Researchers have developed the first battery using sodium ions in the usual '18650' format, an industry standard. The main advantage of the prototype is that it relies on sodium, an element far more abundant and less costly than lithium.
Three technologies - a computational tool to improve power grid planning, a process to create biofuel from kelp and a hybrid device that makes hydrogen and stores energy - are being developed under new projects just announced by ARPA-E.
The transportation sector has the capacity to nearly halve its CO2 emissions by 2050 and, hence, to contribute far more than previously thought to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Realizing this would require further efficiency improvement and, especially, promotion of public transport in cities, alongside with a large-scale shift to electric cars.
A key issue with lithium ion batteries is aging. It significantly reduces their potential storage capacity. To date, very little is known about the causes of the aging effects. Scientists have now come a step closer to identifying the causes in their latest experiments.
An innovative facade, able to turn solar energy into heat for residents' use, will be installed next year in a building in Merida, Spain. The complex insulation system has passed all the tests and will prove its capabilities in real-life conditions.
Owners of home photovoltaic systems will soon be able to make their households even more sustainable, because PV power is also suitable for charging personal electronic vehicles. A home energy management system created by Fraunhofer researchers incorporates electric vehicles into the household energy network and creates charging itineraries.