Current Energy Efficiency News and Events

Current Energy Efficiency News and Events, Energy Efficiency News Articles.
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New material is next step toward stable high-voltage long-life solid-state batteries
A team of researchers designed and manufactured a new sodium-ion conductor for solid-state sodium-ion batteries that is stable when incorporated into higher-voltage oxide cathodes. This new solid electrolyte could dramatically improve the efficiency and lifespan of this class of batteries. A proof of concept battery built with the new material lasted over 1000 cycles while retaining 89.3% of its capacity--a performance unmatched by other solid-state sodium batteries to date. (2021-02-23)

Low-level jets create winds of change for turbines
Global wind power capacity has increased more than fivefold over the past decade, leading to larger turbines, but low-level jets are one cause for concern. The effects of these strong, energetic wind flows depend on how high the wind flows are in relation to the turbines. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers considered three different scenarios in which the LLJs were above, below, and in the middle of the turbine rotors. (2021-02-23)

Scientists link star-shredding event to origins of universe's highest-energy particles
A team of scientists has detected the presence of a high-energy neutrino in the wake of a star's destruction as it is consumed by a black hole. This discovery sheds new light on the origins of Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays--the highest energy particles in the Universe. (2021-02-22)

Environmental policies not always bad for business, study finds
Critics claim environmental regulations hurt productivity and profits, but the reality is more nuanced, according to an analysis of environmental policies in China by a pair of Cornell economists. (2021-02-22)

Optical frequency combs found a new dimension
Scientists from EPFL and IBM Research Europe have demonstrated the generation of tunable and coherent frequency combs in a pair of hybridised optical microresonators. (2021-02-20)

Amination strategy improves efficiency of CO2 electrocatalytic reduction
A research team led by Prof. LIU Licheng from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) proposed a two-step amination strategy to regulate the electronic structure of M-N/C catalysts (M=Ni, Fe, Zn) and enhance the intrinsic activity of CO2 electrocatalytic reduction. (2021-02-19)

Direct cloning method CAPTUREs novel microbial natural products
Microorganisms possess natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that may harbor unique bioactivities for use in drug development and agricultural applications. However, many uncharacterized microbial BGCs remain inaccessible. Researchers at Illinois previously demonstrated a technique using transcription factor decoys to activate large, silent BGCs in bacteria to aid in natural product discovery. (2021-02-19)

Spin hall effect of light with near 100% efficiency
POSTECH-KAIST joint research team develops perfect SHEL using anisotropic metasurfaces. (2021-02-18)

You snooze, you lose - with some sleep trackers
Wearable sleep tracking devices - from Fitbit to Apple Watch to never-heard-of brands stashed away in the electronics clearance bin - have infiltrated the market at a rapid pace in recent years. And like any consumer products, not all sleep trackers are created equal, according to West Virginia University neuroscientists. (2021-02-17)

Skies of blue: Recycling carbon emissions to useful chemicals and reducing global warming
Researchers optimize a novel process for the efficient conversion of carbon emissions into useful chemicals like acetate using microbes (2021-02-17)

Reserve prices under scarcity conditions improve with a dynamic ORDC, new research finds
A new paper quantifies how better accounting for the temperature-dependent probability of large generator contingencies with time-varying dynamic ORDC construction improves reserve procurement. The paper, 'Dynamic Operating Reserve Procurement Improves Scarcity Pricing in PJM,' by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, was published in Energy Policy. (2021-02-16)

Switching to firm contracts may prevent natural gas fuel shortages at US power plants
New research now indicates that these fuel shortages are not due to failures of pipelines and that in certain areas of the country a change in how gas is purchased can significantly reduce generator outages. The paper, 'What Causes Natural Gas Fuel Shortages at US Power Plants?' by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, was published in Energy Policy. (2021-02-16)

Solution to puzzling phenomenon may open door to improved Cold Spray efficiency
An international team of researchers has solved a puzzling phenomenon whereby strangely beautiful, vortex-like structures appear between materials deposited onto engineering components used in multiple settings - from space shuttles to household items and everyday transport vehicles The discovery may ultimately improve the efficiency of the ''Cold Spray'' (CS) deposition process from which these structures are formed - a not-insignificant financial or functional consideration. (2021-02-16)

NREL heats up thermal energy storage with new solution meant to ease grid stress
Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a simple way to better evaluate the potential of novel materials to store or release heat on demand in your home, office, or other building in a way that more efficiently manages the building's energy use. (2021-02-16)

Luminescent windows generate energy from inside and out
Rice University engineers design and build windowpanes that redirect sunlight or illumination from indoors to edge-band solar cells. (2021-02-15)

Producing more sustainable hydrogen with composite polymer dots
Hydrogen for energy use can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from water and sunlight, using photocatalytic composite polymer nanoparticles developed by researchers at Uppsala University. In laboratory tests, these 'polymer dots' showed promising performance and stability alike. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. (2021-02-12)

Scientists manipulate magnets at the atomic scale
Fast and energy-efficient future data processing technologies are on the horizon after an international team of scientists successfully manipulated magnets at the atomic level. Physicist Dr Rostislav Mikhaylovskiy from Lancaster University said: ''With stalling efficiency trends of current technology, new scientific approaches are especially valuable. Our discovery of the atomically-driven ultrafast control of magnetism opens broad avenues for fast and energy-efficient future data processing technologies essential to keep up with our data hunger.'' (2021-02-12)

Capturing free-space optical light for high-speed wifi
Visible and infrared light can carry more data than radio waves, but has always been confined to a hard-wired, fiber-optic cable. Working with Facebook's Connectivity Lab, a Duke research team has now made a major advance toward the dream of ditching the fiber in fiber optics. (2021-02-11)

Research reveals why plant diversity is so important for bee diversity
A study in southern England reveals why bumble bees and honey bees thrive despite foraging on the same flowers. (2021-02-10)

RUDN University veterinarians tested a new drug against pneumonia in calves
Respiratory tract diseases in young animals of the cattle are a big issue for world agriculture and food safety because a bacterium that causes them is resistant to most antibiotics. A team of veterinarians from RUDN University developed and tested a complex preparation called gentaminoseleferon that could help treat respiratory infection in calves. (2021-02-10)

Russian scientists significantly improved coal-burning efficiency
A team of Russian scientists from NUST MISIS, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and Boreskov Institute of Catalysis has suggested a new approach to modifying the combustion behavior of coal. The addition of copper salts reduces the content of unburnt carbon in ash residue by 3.1 times and CO content in the gaseous combustion products by 40%, the scientists found. The research was published in Fuel Processing Technology. (2021-02-10)

Physicists finesse the storing of light to create rainbows of colour
Physicists at the University of Bath have found a way to use resonance to harness the energy of light more effectively inside microresonators. (2021-02-09)

Advanced simulations reveal how air conditioning spreads COVID-19 aerosols
A restaurant outbreak in China was widely reported as strong evidence of airflow-induced transmission of COVID-19, but it lacked a detailed investigation about exactly how transmission occurred. In Physics of Fluids, researchers at the University of Minnesota report using advanced simulation methods to capture the complex flows that occur when the cold airflow from air conditioners interacts with the hot plume from a dining table and the transport of virus-loading particles within such flows. (2021-02-09)

A new modifier increases the efficiency of perovskite solar cells
The research team of NUST MISIS has presented an improved structure of perovskite solar cells. Scientists have modified perovskite-based solar cells using MXenes -- thin two-dimensional titanium carbides with high electrical conductivity. The MXenes-based modified cells showed superior performance, with power conversion efficiency exceeding 19% (the reference demonstrated 17%) and improved stabilized power output with respect to reference devices. The results have been published in the Nano energy international scientific journal. (2021-02-09)

Scientists suggested using non-symmetrical magnets for target drug delivery
A team of scientists from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and the University of Genoa suggested combining permanent magnets of different shapes to target magnetic particles with drugs at the organs of lab mice. Such a combination secured a magnetic driving force that was ten times stronger compared to regular cylindrical magnets. (2021-02-09)

Low carbon transport at sea: Ferries voyage optimization in the Adriatic
What CO2 savings are potentially attainable through path optimization? How much can ferries' carbon intensity be decreased? What is the role of waves and currents? A new study led by the CMCC Foundation shows how the future least-CO2 ferry routes could look like. (2021-02-09)

HIV: an innovative therapeutic breakthrough to optimize the immune system
Prompted by the need to improve conventional treatments for people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), a team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has identified a therapeutic approach to restore the effectiveness of immune cells. The study, led by doctoral student Hamza Loucif and Professor Julien van Grevenynghe, was published in the journal Autophagy. (2021-02-08)

Efficiency limits of next-generation hybrid photovoltaic-thermal solar technology
Spectral-splitting hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (SSPVT) technology has emerged as a promising route toward high-performance solar harvesting. In this research, scientists have developed a comprehensive framework for modelling SSPVT solar collectors. The framework can be used to determine the efficiency limits of such collectors and to indicate how these limits can be approached through the selection of optimal designs and materials. This work promotes and provides guidance to the design, development and deployment of next-generation solar systems. (2021-02-08)

Does Goal 7 Energy for All need a rethink?
Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. Yet according to new research by Copenhagen Business School the poor planning and execution of decarbonisation strategies in emerging markets challenges the aims of Goal 7. (2021-02-08)

WVU biologists uncover forests' unexpected role in climate change
New research from West Virginia University biologists shows that trees around the world are consuming more carbon dioxide than previously reported, making forests even more important in regulating the Earth's atmosphere and forever shift how we think about climate change. (2021-02-08)

Establishment testing standards for particulate photocatalysts in solar fuel production proposed
Recently, an international research team initiated the establishment of international efficiency accreditation and testing protocols for particulate photocatalysts toward solar fuel production. (2021-02-05)

New way to power up nanomaterials for electronic applications
UCLA materials scientists and colleagues have discovered that perovskites, a class of promising materials that could be used for low-cost, high-performance solar cells and LEDs, have a previously unutilized molecular component that can further tune the electronic property of perovskites. (2021-02-05)

The proton conduction mechanism in protic ionic liquids
Researchers from Niigata University, Japan along with their collaborators from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, Yamagata University, Japan and University of Regensburg, Germany have reported a marked shift in the hydrogen ion hopping mechanism as a function of acid/alkali index in protic ionic liquids. The study holds immense potential to revolutionize the development of protonic conductors for fuel cells. These promising results are now published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. (2021-02-04)

Load-reducing backpack powers electronics by harvesting energy from walking
Hikers, soldiers and school children all know the burden of a heavy backpack. But now, researchers have developed a prototype that not only makes loads feel about 20% lighter, but also harvests energy from human movements to power small electronics. The new backpack, reported in ACS Nano, could be especially useful for athletes, explorers and disaster rescuers who work in remote areas without electricity, the researchers say. (2021-02-03)

Blink! The link between aerobic fitness and cognition
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found evidence that spontaneous eye blink activity, which reflects activity in the dopaminergic system, explains the connection between fitness and cognitive function. This is the first study to indicate that dopamine has an essential role in linking aerobic fitness and cognition. These findings open the door to new research regarding the mechanisms by which exercise improves brain function, and may lead to novel fitness strategies for enhancing cognition. (2021-02-03)

New global 'wind atlas' propels sustainable energy
Wind energy scientists at Cornell University have released a new global wind atlas - a digital compendium filled with documented extreme wind speeds for all parts of the world - to help engineers select the turbines in any given region and accelerate the development of sustainable energy. (2021-02-03)

Good customer service can lead to higher profits, even for utilities without competition
New research finds that satisfied customers mean increased profits even for public utilities that don't face competition. It found that customer satisfaction does not lead to increased profits via higher rates or greater demand suggests current regulatory controls are effective. The findings suggest regulators should view investments in customer satisfaction as recoverable costs. (2021-02-02)

NREL reports sustainability benchmarks for plastics recycling and redesign
Researchers developing renewable plastics and exploring new processes for plastics upcycling and recycling technologies will now be able to easily baseline their efforts to current manufacturing practices to understand if their efforts will save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Benchmark data calculated and compiled at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provide a measurement -- at the supply chain level -- of how much energy is required and the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from the production of a variety of plastics in the United States. (2021-02-02)

Photonics research makes smaller, more efficient VR, augmented reality tech possible
Engineering researchers have developed and demonstrated a new approach for designing photonic devices. The advance allows them to control the direction and polarization of light from thin-film LEDs, paving the way for a new generation of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. (2021-02-01)

Virtual conference CO2 emissions quantified in new study
The virtual conferencing that has replaced large, in-person gatherings in the age of COVID-19 represents a drastic reduction in carbon emissions, but those online meetings still come with their own environmental costs, new research from the University of Michigan shows. (2021-02-01)

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