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On the Drawing Board

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Plastic Overlay Doubles Solar Panel Efficiency

Written by , on September 16, 2016

A Swiss startup, has developed a thin plastic layer that sits on top of a solar panel and directs the sun’s rays to a small area of very high performance solar cells. The company says that the result is about double the efficiency of traditional solar panels for the same footprint.  Read more »

Storing Energy in Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells

Written by , on August 30, 2016

A Texas company is developing what it claims could be a breakthrough, low cost means of storing energy by pumping water under pressure deep into the earth to fill up the cracks and cavities in rocks that previously held oil or gas  Read more »

Solar Cell Produces Fuel from CO2 and Sunlight

Written by , on August 5, 2016

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.  Read more »

Nano-Membrane Generates High Yield of Electricity from Salt & Water

Written by , on July 19, 2016

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne have developed an osmotic power generation system that delivers high yields of electricity. Their innovation lies in a three atoms thick membrane used to separate salty and fresh water.   Read more »

Magnetic Fridge Claimed to Halve Power Consumption

Written by , on July 12, 2016

A French company has released a commercial magnetic refrigerator which uses only half the electricity of a conventional compression refrigerator.  Read more »

New Process Absorbs CO2 and Excess Salt from Desalination

Written by , on July 5, 2016

A new process reacts carbon dioxide with brine to produce sodium bicarbonate.  Read more »

New Design Greatly Simplifies Flow Batteries

Written by , on May 27, 2016

MIT researchers have developed a new approach to the design of a liquid battery, using a passive, gravity-fed arrangement similar to an old-fashioned hourglass.  Read more »

Major Step Towards Magnesium Batteries

Written by , on May 17, 2016

Engineers at the Toyota Research Institute of North America believe that they have made a significant step towards being able to use magnesium in rechargeable batteries, making them smaller, cheaper and much safer than lithium batteries.  Read more »

New Turbine Could Draw Energy from Ocean Currents

Written by , on April 5, 2016

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University have developed a novel ocean current turbine which, they say, can match the efficiency of wind turbines while providing much more consistent and reliable output and taking up no land.  Read more »

Turning Carbon Dioxide into a Replacement for Concrete

Written by , on March 15, 2016

A team of researchers at UCLA are developing process which would use captured carbon dioxide to make a new building material to replace concrete.  Read more »