Archive for the ‘energy’ category

Aug 23, 2023

World’s first wind-powered cargo ship sets sail with groundbreaking giant metal ‘wings’

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

The world’s first wind-powered cargo ship has set off on her maiden voyage, using her giant metal ‘wings’ to fly through the ocean.

The WindWings have been fitted onto Mitsubishi-owned Pyxis Ocean — chartered by Cargill — and was designed by a team of British Olympic sailors.

It’s been built by Yara Marine Tech, and the WindWings are expected to save up to 30 percent of shipping fuel on average.

Aug 23, 2023

This advanced zinc-air battery can further electric mobility

Posted by in categories: energy, futurism

Researchers use a mix of less expensive, safer, and sustainably available components to create long-lasting bi-functional air electrodes.

We have all heard the line; the future is electric. But are we fully equipped to handle a full-scale transition to all-electric power? One thing standing in the way is the lack of cleaner and more affordable battery technologies to store energy.

Compared to commonly used Lithium-ion cells facing challenges related to cost, finite resources, and safety concerns, rechargeable zinc-air batteries (ZABs) are pitched as cost-effective energy storage devices and display high-energy density, especially for application in EVs.

Aug 23, 2023

Powering Ahead: Nobel-Winning Chemistry Unleashes Next-Generation Energy Storage Devices

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, sustainability, transportation

Flexible polymers made with a new generation of the Nobel-winning “click chemistry” reaction find use in capacitors and other applications.

Society’s increasing demand for high-voltage electrical technologies – including pulsed power systems, cars, electrified aircraft, and renewable energy applications – requires a new generation of capacitors that store and deliver large amounts of energy under intense thermal and electrical conditions.

A new polymer-based device that efficiently handles record amounts of energy while withstanding extreme temperatures and electric fields has now been developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Scripps Research. The device is composed of materials synthesized via a next-generation version of the chemical reaction for which three scientists won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Aug 21, 2023

Wind-powered cargo ship sets sail

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

New, ground-breaking wind technology for the maritime industry has the potential to decarbonise large cargo vessels, which are currently responsible for about 2% of global emissions.

Pyxis Ocean retrofitted with WindWings setting sail for its maiden voyage, August 2023. Credit: Cargill.

Continue reading “Wind-powered cargo ship sets sail” »

Aug 20, 2023

Physicists Identify a Strange New Form of Superconductivity

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

Superconductivity promises to transform everything from power grids to personal electronics. Yet getting the low-waste form of power to operate at ambient temperatures and pressures is proving to be easier said than done.

A discovery by a team of researchers from Emory University and Stanford University in the US could inform theories that might help us get around the stumbling blocks.

The finding involves what’s known as oscillating superconductivity. Typical superconductor behaviors involve electron partnerships called Cooper pairs moving through materials without losing significant amounts of energy in the form of heat.

Aug 20, 2023

Scientists Build Drone That Seeks Air Currents Like a Bird, Flying With Almost No Power

Posted by in categories: drones, energy, information science

A tiny little winged drone can soar with close to zero throttle, thanks to an impressive algorithm that responds to changing winds.

Aug 19, 2023

Materials to feed the green energy revolution

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, engineering, sustainability

Dr Kathryn Mumford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne, specialising in separation processes in ion exchange, solvent absorption and solvent extraction technologies. In collaboration with industry, her recent research has pioneered a more efficient, greener process to produce lithium carbonate.

Dr Mumford leads the Sustainable Resources platform, which focuses on research to support the transition to green energy, reduce environmental impact and develop smart mining and processing. Here, she discusses how the platform is tackling the industry’s greatest challenges, and the role the sector will play in decarbonising the world.

I’ve been thinking about sustainability and environmental health throughout my whole career. I saw the consequence of waste and was compelled to develop ways to reduce its impact. My PhD was around environmental clean-up, specifically cleaning up tip sites and fuel spills at contaminated sites in Antarctica – I’ve since been back to Antarctica seven times on clean-up missions.

Aug 18, 2023

MIT alumni’s thermal battery enables 24/7 renewable energy

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

The energy storage solution uses inexpensive carbon blocks that are inexpensive to make and easy to scale.

MIT alumni David Bierman and Jordan Kearns have joined hands to build a thermal battery that lets industrial users rely on renewable energy round the clock, a university press release said. The duo, who studied at the university during the last decade had set up separate companies in the field of renewable energy that have now merged and could see joint projects become operational as early as 2025.

As renewable energy installations such as solar and wind have increased recently, increased production and lower demand during parts of the day have resulted in low electricity prices. Although this is good news for end-use customers, it dampens investments in the sector.

Aug 16, 2023

Rocket Lab to launch pair of NASA Earth science cubesats

Posted by in categories: energy, satellites, science

WASHINGTON — NASA selected Rocket Lab to launch a pair of cubesats in 2024 to monitor energy entering and exiting the polar regions of the planet.

NASA announced Aug. 14 it awarded a task order through its Venture-class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) contract to Rocket Lab for the launch of two 6U cubesats for the Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment, or PREFIRE mission.

The NASA announcement did not disclose the value of the task order. The agency stated in past awards done under VADR that the pricing is considered “proprietary” because the awards are competed in a closed environment, with only companies on the VADR contract eligible to bid on launches of taxpayer-funded missions.

Aug 15, 2023

Unbelievably excited

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

A new airplane seat concept that allows wheelchair users to stay in their own chair throughout a flight was revealed this week by a subsidiary of US airline Delta, a move welcomed as a “huge step” by potential customers.

“Unbelievably excited,” is how power wheelchair user and avid traveler Cory Lee described his reaction after a working prototype of the design was demonstrated by Delta Flight Products (DFP) at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany, a symposium spotlighting airplane cabin innovations.

DFP’s concept seamlessly converts to and from a traditional airplane seat. The built-in seat folds up to allow a wheelchair to be docked into place. The seat would be installed into pre-existing aircraft seat track systems, so would not involve any structural change to the airplane.

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