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An economical process for micro energy harvesting

The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues unabated. They are used, for example, to monitor the status of the engines on airplanes, or for medical implants. They gather the energy they need for this from their immediate environment - from vibrations, for instance. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a process for the economical production of piezoelectric materials.

Posted: Nov 4th, 2014

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Wind of Change: European grid prepares for massive integration of renewables

Today, the city of Rome welcomed an important new initiative for the large-scale integration of grids and of renewables sources into Europe's energy mix, with nearly 40 leading organisations from research, industry, utilities, transmission systems operators announcing their united goal to find the BEST PATHS to deliver affordable, reliable power in Europe from coast to coast.

Posted: Oct 30th, 2014

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New policymaking tool for shift to renewable energy

Multiple pathways exist to a low greenhouse gas future, all involving increased efficiency and a dramatic shift in energy supply away from fossil fuels. A new tool 'SWITCH' enables policymakers and planners to assess the economic and environmental implications of different energy scenarios.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2014

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A new method of producing solar cells makes them much cheaper

Researchers have pioneered a new approach to manufacturing solar cells that requires less silicon and can accommodate silicon with more impurities than is currently the standard. Those changes mean that solar cells can be made much more cheaply than at present.

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2014

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Wild molecular interactions in a new hydrogen mixture

Scientists combined hydrogen with its heavier sibling deuterium and created a novel, disordered, 'Phase IV'-material. The molecules interact differently than have been observed before, which could be valuable for controlling superconducting and thermoelectric properties of new materials.

Posted: Oct 20th, 2014

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New tracers can identify frack fluids in the environment

Sscientists have developed geochemical tracers to identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment. The tracers have been field-tested at two sites and can distinguish fracking fluids from wastewater versus conventional wells or other sources. They give scientists new forensic tools to detect if fracking fluids are escaping into water supplies and what risks, if any, they might pose.

Posted: Oct 20th, 2014

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