'Power to gas' is a key concept when it comes to storing alternative energy. This process converts short-term excess electricity from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines into hydrogen. Combined with the greenhouse gas CO2, renewable hydrogen can be used to produce methane, which can be stored and distributed in the natural gas network. Empa researchers have now succeeded in further optimising this process.
Researchers have found that an increase in the use of wind power generation can make the power grid more fragile and susceptible to disruptions. But the researchers didn't just identify the problem - they have also devised a technique for coordinating wind power generation and energy storage in order to minimize the potential for such power disruptions.
The solar cell developed by the researchers of the ICMol consists of a thin perovskite film sandwiched in between two very thin organic semiconductors. The total thickness of the device is less than half a micrometer.
In the lab, researchers can simulate almost any smart grid because the facility is equipped with control cabinets full of batteries as well as with a cogeneration plant, an emergency power unit, an adjustable local grid transformer, various loads and converters, two refrigeration units, and a water purification plant.
While climate change negotiators struggle to agree on ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, they have paid inadequate attention to other greenhouse gases associated with livestock. One of the most effective ways to cut methane is to reduce global populations of ruminant livestock, especially cattle.
The Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is leading a European consortium to develop and test new methane measurement instruments for municipal shale gas extraction, waste water treatment plants and gas distribution.
Drexel University is opening a new research institute that will strive to answer some of the most challenging questions about energy and environmental sustainability facing the nation today. The A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment will look at the science, economics and politics that influence decisions about energy and the environment; and serve as a resource for decision makers both in the region and around the world.
A pioneering collaboration within the international scientific community has provided comprehensive projections of climate change effects, ranging from water scarcity to risks to crop yields. This interdisciplinary effort, employing extensive model inter-comparisons, allows research gaps to be identified, whilst producing the most robust possible findings. The results provide crucial insights for decision-making regarding mitigation efforts in the face of potential impact cascades.
The first 'E-Waste World Map' has been created by UN organizations, industry, governments, non-government and science organizations through their 'Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP)' initiative. By 2017, world volumes of end-of-life e-products is expected to be 33 percent higher than 2012 and weigh the equivalent of eight Great Egyptian Pyramids. A complementary new EPA-funded StEP report by MIT and NCER characterizes US domestic and transboundary flows of used electronics.
Future solar cells will be light and mechanically flexible. They will be produced at low costs with the help of printing processes. POPUP, the new BMBF-funded research project, aims at developing more efficient materials and new architectures for organic photovoltaic devices.