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Future technologies

New Approach Promises Cheaper Solar Thermal Storage

Written by , on November 5, 2015

Engineers at Oregon State University have developed a new approach, using thermochemical storage, in which chemical transformation is used in repeated cycles to hold heat, for the storage of concentrated solar thermal energy which could reduce its cost and make it more practical for wider use.  Read more »

Significant Progress Towards the “Ultimate Battery”

Written by , on November 5, 2015

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have reported that they have made a significant advance in the practical development of a lithium-air battery – regarded by many as the “ultimate” battery.  Read more »

Coating Greatly Improves Efficiency of Solar Hot Water

Written by , on October 30, 2015

Researchers at the Technological Institute of the Lagoon in Mexico have developed a superconducting coating which they say increases the efficiency of solar water heaters by up to 70%. The coating material is a type of paint, classified as an “ink” because of its quick-setting property, that is built up in several layers. The first […]  Read more »

Plant Removes CO2 from the Air

Written by , on October 12, 2015

A Canadian company has designed and built a pilot “air capture plant” which extracts carbon dioxde from the air in order to reduce atmospheric CO2, particularly the 60% of emissions that do not come from point sources such as power plants.  Read more »

Batteries from Wood, Mushrooms or Reeds

Written by , on October 5, 2015

Scientists have developed ways of making better batteries from biological materials such as wood, mushrooms and reeds.  Read more »

Improving Power Plant Efficiency with Sauce Bottle Coating

Written by , on October 1, 2015

A new coating, if installed globally in steam-driven power stations, could have the same CO2-reducing impact as all solar and wind power installations combined.  Read more »

Capturing Energy from Braking London Tube Trains

Written by , on September 27, 2015

Transport for London has been trialling a new system that collects and recycles waste energy from London’s Underground train brakes. It is estimated that the technology could save as much as £6 million ($au 13 million) a year.  Read more »

Wind Turbine Stores Energy

Written by , on September 25, 2015

A new technology stores excess wind turbine energy and releases it to drive the turbine when winds drop.  Read more »

New Solar Cells Collect High Energy Photons 30 Times Better

Written by , on September 10, 2015

Scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois have made solar cells that collect blue photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells.  Read more »

Water You Can Eat

Written by , on September 5, 2015

The London-based Skipping Rocks Lab has developed an edible alternative to plastic water bottles. Americans alone use approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles each year. Only 23% of these are recycled leaving 38 billion to decompose – a process which can take centuries. The new form of packaging, called Ooho!, is described by its makers as […]  Read more »