Imagine a car coated with a surface that can simultaneously capture and store energy from the sun's rays. It would solve one of the main problems associated with solar cells - they don't work at night or in foul weather.
Scientists today answered a question that worries millions of owners and potential owners of electric and hybrid vehicles using lithium-ion batteries: How long before the battery pack dies, leaving a sticker-shock bill for a fresh pack or a car ready for the junk heap?
New research presented by IIASA researcher Hannes Bottcher at the EGU General Assembly this week estimates future land use emissions for the European Union, showing that Europe could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land use by more than 60 percent by 2050.
Scientists have found unexpectedly high concentrations of opal, a mineral containing silicate, in marine sediments during the transition periods from ice ages to warm phases. The explanation as to what caused these high concentrations can also clarify how oceans release sequestered carbon dioxide. The underlying mechanism is still unexplained today.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched an initiative to build an open-source database of real-world performance from solar facilities across the country.
Another innovative feature has been added to the world's first practical 'artificial leaf', making the device even more suitable for providing people in developing countries and remote areas with electricity, scientists reported here today. It gives the leaf the ability to self-heal damage that occurs during production of energy.
The rapid growth of the solar power industry over the past decade may have exacerbated the global warming situation it was meant to soothe, simply because most of the energy used to manufacture the millions of solar panels came from burning fossil fuels. That irony, according to Stanford University researchers, is coming to an end.
Production of hydrogen from methane without carbon dioxide emissions is the objective of a project in which KIT is a major partner. At KALLA, the Karlsruhe Liquid-metal Laboratory, researchers are setting up a novel liquid-metal bubble column reactor, in which methane is decomposed into hydrogen and elemental carbon at high temperature.
Pigments found in plants and purple bacteria employed to provide protection from sun damage do more than just that. Researchers from the University of Toronto and University of Glasgow have found that they also help to harvest light energy during photosynthesis.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a five-year renewal of funding for the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a Bay Area multi-institutional scientific partnership. Under the renewal, JBEI will be funded at the rate of $25 million annually through 2018.
Despite more energy-efficient manufacturing, researchers found that such processes may be approaching their thermodynamic limits: There are increasingly limited options available to make them significantly more efficient. The result is that energy efficiency for many important processes in manufacturing is approaching a plateau.
A network of small power plants capable of replacing traditional power stations has long been the dream of proponents of renewable energy. The idea, however, has always foundered on concerns over whether a decentralised network could meet national energy demands and provide a stable service while dealing with such huge capacities. Now, a team of European researchers have taken a giant step towards making this dream a reality with the Combined Power Plant 2 (Kombikraftwerk2) project.