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Battery Charged by Solar Energy

Written by , on September 27, 2016

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by chemistry Professor Song Jin, have developed a single device that uses solar energy to charge a battery without the intermediate step of producing electricity and then using that electricity to charge the battery. In the new device, standard silicon solar cells are mounted on the reaction chamber […]  Read more »

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 »

Turning Plastics into Liquid Fuel

Written by , on June 26, 2016

The widespread use of large volumes of plastics has created serious environmental issues. Polyethylene and polypropylene make up more than 60% of the total plastic content of municipal solid waste. These plastics originate primarily from fossil fuels.
Scientists in the United States and China have now developed a method of efficiently turning these plastics back into useful fuels and chemical feedstocks.  Read more »

Concentrated Solar Heat in Developing Countries

Written by , on May 30, 2016

The largest energy demand in many communities is for producing heat, for example for cooking or water sterilization. Using electricity, if available, risks regular blackouts and high costs and wood contributes to deforestation and indoor air pollution.
Using concentrated solar power directly, without the need for expensive and complex components, is ideal for many developing communities energy needs.  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 »