Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 18

Jun 25, 2020

Astronauts gear up for Friday spacewalk amid planning for Crew Dragon return

Posted by in category: energy

Up to four spacewalks are planned to finish a space station power upgrade, clearing decks for early Crew Dragon return in early August.

Jun 24, 2020

Have Dark Forces Been Messing With the Cosmos?

Posted by in category: energy

Axions? Phantom energy? Astrophysicists scramble to patch a hole in the universe, rewriting cosmic history in the process.

Credit… Brian Stauffer

Jun 22, 2020

Israelis looking to harness local bromine to produce revolutionary new battery

Posted by in category: energy

Technion researchers, US company working to create affordable, rechargeable batteries to store solar and wind power that could ‘bring Israel to forefront of renewables revolution’.

Jun 21, 2020

The Tide Is Turning (And Is It Ever!)

Posted by in category: energy

In the US, renewables are expected to see fifty times as much net capacity added in the next three years as nuclear and fossil fuels combined.

Jun 20, 2020

NASA TV Coverage Set for Final Space Station Spacewalk Power Upgrades

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken are scheduled to go outside the International Space Station (ISS) Friday, June 26, and Wednesday, July 1, for spacewalks to begin the replacement of batteries for one of the power channels on the orbiting laboratory.

NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast the spacewalks live, along with a news briefing to discuss them.

The briefing will take place at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday, June 24, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Coverage of the spacewalks will begin at 6 a.m. on the day of each spacewalk. The spacewalks will begin at around 7:35 a.m., and will last as long as seven hours.

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Jun 19, 2020

Tesla Model 3 gets a solar roof thanks to Lightyear

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

A Tesla Model 3 has been modified with a solar roof as part of Lightyear’s solar car development program.

We have been reporting on Lightyear for a few years now.

The startup first caught our attention because it spun out of Solar Team Eindhoven, a group of engineering students from the Technical University of Eindhoven (Netherlands) who have been competing in the World Solar Challenge with their Stella and Stella Lux, energy positive solar cars — meaning that they can produce more energy than they consume.

Jun 19, 2020

Dash of graphene leads to “toughest” solid battery electrolyte to date

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

A solid-state battery, where the liquid electrolyte that carries the charge is swapped out for a solid alternative, promises a number of performance benefits over today’s solutions, but there are a few problems to solve first. Scientists at Brown University are reporting a new design that overcomes some of the key hurdles, using a delicate mix of ceramics and the wonder material graphene to produce the toughest solid electrolyte to date.

As the solution that carries the lithium ions back and forth between the anode and cathode while the battery is charged and discharged, liquid electrolytes play an important role in the function of today’s lithium-ion batteries. But these highly volatile liquids bring a risk of fire when the battery short circuits, so there is room for improvement in terms of safety.

Beyond that, alternative electrolytes could offer greater energy density and even allow for other components of the battery to be upgraded, too. For example, the anode is typically made out of copper and graphite, but scientists believe a solid electrolyte would enable the battery to function with a pure lithium anode, something that could break the “energy-density bottleneck,” according to one recently published study.

Jun 18, 2020

Daimler announces upcoming electric garbage truck

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

Daimler has announced an upcoming new truck called eEconic, a garbage truck based on the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eActros.

The German automotive company announced the vehicle today:

“The eEconic will at first be offered in the configuration 6×2/N NLA and is mainly in demand as a waste-collection vehicle. Battery-electric trucks are very well suited for urban use in waste management due to the comparatively short and plannable daily routes of up to 100 kilometers with a high proportion of stop-and-go in inner-city traffic. With an anticipatory driving style, electrical energy can be recovered during braking to charge the battery, which further improves range and efficiency.”

Jun 16, 2020

Artificial Synapse That Works With Living Cells Developed at Stanford

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

In 2017, Stanford University researchers presented a new device that mimics the brain’s efficient and low-energy neural learning process. It was an artificial version of a synapse — the gap across which neurotransmitters travel to communicate between neurons — made from organic materials. In 2019, the researchers assembled nine of their artificial synapses together in an array, showing that they could be simultaneously programmed to mimic the parallel operation of the brain.

Now, in a paper published June 15 in Nature Materials, they have tested the first biohybrid version of their artificial synapse and demonstrated that it can communicate with living cells. Future technologies stemming from this device could function by responding directly to chemical signals from the brain. The research was conducted in collaboration with researchers at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology – IIT) in Italy and at Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands).

“This paper really highlights the unique strength of the materials that we use in being able to interact with living matter,” said Alberto Salleo, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and co-senior author of the paper. “The cells are happy sitting on the soft polymer. But the compatibility goes deeper: These materials work with the same molecules neurons use naturally.”

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Jun 15, 2020

This Mini Ion Thruster Is Adorably Tiny

Posted by in categories: energy, satellites

Its performance is equally microscopic, only generating anywhere between 10 to 400 micronewtons — a tiny fraction of the power of a toy rocket.

But in space, even that low amount of power can allow satellites to hold their positions, and even gradually deorbit to make sure they’re out of harm’s way and don’t become space debris.

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