Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 141

Aug 2, 2021

Scientists Find A Better Way To Turn Heat Into Electricity

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Engineers usually regard heat as “waste energy” since it is hard to efficiently turn into anything useful. However, a new class of thermoelectric materials could change that after researchers opted to try the exact opposite of the usual approach. A paper in Science Advances explains why, speeding the search for even better versions.

As the name suggests, thermoelectric materials turn heat into electricity, skipping the boiling water stage used in most bulk electricity production. However, cost and inefficiency have kept thermoelectric generators restricted to niche applications, such as powering spacecraft like the Mars Perseverance rover where lightweight, reliable energy production matters more than price.

Thermoelectric materials are too expensive and polluting for more widespread use, but new versions that replace heavier elements with magnesium could change that, opening the door to even better options that could find widespread uses.

Jul 30, 2021

Chinese giant CATL launches a commercial salt-based battery for EVs

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

The future of energy storage is getting better. Welcome salt batteries! cheaper & more abundant than lithium!

It is claimed to have an energy density of up to 160 Wh/kg, which is a far cry from the density offered by lithium batteries of up to 285 Wh/kg, but is nothing to sneeze at in the world of sodium batteries. It can also be charged to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes at room temperature, and maintain 90 percent of its capacity in temperatures of-20 °C (−4 °F).

A cheap and abundant material like salt might have plenty to offer the world of science, and one field where it could have game-changing effects is battery chemistry. Leveraging salt could help us avoid much of the cost and difficulty in sourcing scarcer lithium, and Chinese giant CATL is looking to lead the charge by launching its first commercial sodium-ion battery.

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Jul 29, 2021

World’s cheapest energy storage will be an iron-air battery, says Jeff Bezos-backed start-up

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

Form Energy, the billionaire-backed start-up that claimed to have developed an innovative low-cost 150-hour battery, has finally revealed its battery chemistry after more than a year of high-profile secrecy.

The Boston-based company says its first commercial product is a “rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion”.

Jul 29, 2021

Earth’s inner core is growing more on one side than the other – here’s why the planet isn’t tipping

Posted by in category: energy

Earth’s core was formed very early in our planet’s 4.5 billion-year history, within the first 200 million years. Gravity pulled the heavier iron to the centre of the young planet, leaving the rocky, silicate minerals to make up the mantle and crust.

Earth’s formation captured a lot of heat within the planet. The loss of this heat, and heating by ongoing radioactive decay, have since driven our planet’s evolution. Heat loss in Earth’s interior drives the vigorous flow in the liquid iron outer core, which creates Earth’s magnetic field. Meanwhile, cooling within Earth’s deep interior helps power plate tectonics, which shape the surface of our planet.

As Earth cooled over time, the temperature at the centre of the planet eventually dropped below the melting point of iron at extreme pressures, and the inner core started to crystallise. Today, the inner core continues to grow at roughly 1mm in radius each year, which equates to the solidification of 8000 tonnes of molten iron every second. In billions of years, this cooling will eventually lead to the whole core becoming solid, leaving Earth without its protective magnetic field.

Jul 29, 2021

Chaotic electrons heed ‘limit’ in strange metals

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Electrons in metals try to behave like obedient motorists, but they end up more like bumper cars. They may be reckless drivers, but a new Cornell-led study confirms this chaos has a limit established by the laws of quantum mechanics.

The team’s paper, “T-Linear Resistivity From an Isotropic Planckian Scattering Rate,” written in collaboration with researchers led by Louis Taillefer from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada, published July 28 in Nature. The paper’s lead author is Gael Grissonnanche, a postdoctoral fellow with the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science.

Metals carry electric current when electrons all move together in tandem. In most metals, such as the copper and gold used for electrical wiring, the electrons try to avoid each other and flow in unison. However, in the case of certain “strange” metals, this harmony is broken and electrons dissipate energy by bouncing off each other at the fastest rate possible. The laws of quantum mechanics essentially play the role of an electron traffic cop, dictating an on how often these collisions can occur. Scientists previously observed this limit on the collision rate, also known as the “Planckian limit,” but there is no concrete theory that explains why the limit should exist, nor was it known how electrons reach this limit in . So Ramshaw and his collaborators set out to carefully measure it.

Jul 29, 2021

It’s Big and Long-Lived, and It Won’t Catch Fire: The Vanadium Redox-⁠Flow Battery

Posted by in category: energy

Move over, lithium ion: Vanadium flow batteries finally become competitive for grid-scale energy storage.

Jul 29, 2021

California approves desalination plant as western states face an epic drought | Latest news

Posted by in category: energy

Environmentalists say desalination decimates ocean life, costs too much money and energy. But as Western states face an epic drought, regulators appear ready to approve a desalination plant in Huntington Beach, California.

#California #Desalination #Drought.

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Jul 27, 2021

American Airlines warns about jet fuel shortages around the U.S., asks pilots to conserve

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

American asked pilots to save fuel due to shortage at certain midsize airports.

Jul 27, 2021

Form Energy announces Iron-Air 100-hour storage battery

Posted by in category: energy

Officials with battery maker Form Energy have announced the development of the Iron-Air 100-hour storage battery—a battery meant to store electricity created from renewable sources such as solar and wind. As part of their announcement, they note that their new battery is based on iron, not lithium, and thus is much less expensive to produce.

The team at Form Energy describe their as a multi-day storage system—one that can feed electricity to the grid for approximately 100 hours at a cost that is significantly lower than .

The basic idea behind the -air is that it takes in oxygen and then uses it to convert iron inside the battery to rust, later converting it back to iron again. Converting back and forth between iron and rust allows the energy that is stored in the battery to be stored longer than conventional batteries.

Jul 24, 2021

Multi-day iron-air batteries reach commercialization… at one tenth of the cost of lithium

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, sustainability

Boston startup Form Energy has secured $200 million Series D funding for the development of what is being called a breakthrough in energy storage. #solarenergy #solarpv #solar

Solar and wind power have variability in their productive hours, as multi-day weather events can impact output. Therefore, multi-day storage that is cost effective is important in grid reliability.

Boston startup Form Energy developed technology to address this need, revealing recently the chemistry behind their iron-air batteries. The company said its iron-air batteries can deliver renewables-sourced electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants. At full-scale production, Form Energy said the modules would deliver electricity at tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

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