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A battery that 'breathes' could power next-gen electric vehicles

The main difference between lithium-ion and lithium-air batteries is that the latter replaces the traditional cathode - a key battery component involved in the flow of electric current - with air. That makes the rechargeable metal-air battery lighter with the potential to pack in more energy than its commercial counterpart.

Posted: Mar 16th, 2014

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Automatic self-optimization of wind turbines

The turbines are learning to use sensor data on parameters such as wind speed to make changes to their settings. These changes ensure the turbines can optimally exploit the prevailing conditions.

Posted: Mar 12th, 2014

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European collaboration to develop highly efficient organic solar cells

The European FP7 project ArtESun aims to develop highly efficient organic solar cells with an increased lifetime and a decreased production cost. The ultimate goal of the ArtESun project is to bring organic photovoltaic technologies (OPV) towards introduction into the competitive thin-film PV market.

Posted: Mar 10th, 2014

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Testing components for solar power plants in Morocco and South Africa

The German Aerospace Center is testing the performance and durability of reflectors and receivers for solar power plants in Ouarzazate, Morocco and in Bokpoort, South Africa. These quality controls are the first to permit an assessment of solar power plant component quality and longevity.

Posted: Mar 6th, 2014

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Effective thermal insulation with wood foam

Insulation materials of tomorrow must be both efficient and environmentally friendly. Fraunhofer scientists are developing insulation foam made from wood that could re- place petrochemical plastics in the long term.

Posted: Mar 4th, 2014

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Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet

Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany's largest charging station.

Posted: Mar 4th, 2014

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LED lamps: less energy, more light

LEDs are durable and save energy. Now researchers have found a way to make LED lamps even more compact while supplying more light than commercially available models. The key to success: transistors made of the semiconductor material gallium nitride.

Posted: Mar 4th, 2014

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Manufacturing a solution to planet-clogging plastics

Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have developed a method to carry out large-scale manufacturing of everyday objects - from cell phones to food containers and toys - using a fully degradable bioplastic isolated from shrimp shells. The objects exhibit many of the same properties as those created with synthetic plastics, but without the environmental threat.

Posted: Mar 3rd, 2014

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NREL examines solar policy pathways for states

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report that aligns solar policy and market success with state demographics. By organizing the 48 contiguous states into four peer groups based on shared non-policy characteristics, the NREL research team was able to contextualize the impact of various solar policies on photovoltaic installations.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2014

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