Current Energy News and Events

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Attosecond interferometry in time-energy domain
Analogous to the conventional spatial double-slit experiment, the time domain Young's experiment can be realized by using temporal slits for diffraction instead, and fringes in the energy domain are expected. As a time-energy domain interferometric device, the temporal Young's interferometer is anticipated to possess advantageous time resolving capability and holds the promise of tracking ultrafast processes. Scientists from China developed an all-optical attosecond few-slit interferometer and demonstrated its applications in time-energy domain high precision measurement (2020-11-24)

NREL advanced manufacturing research moves wind turbine blades toward recyclability
A new material for wind blades that can be recycled could transform the wind industry, rendering renewable energy more sustainable than ever before while lowering costs in the process. The use of a thermoplastic resin has been validated at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Researchers demonstrated the feasibility of thermoplastic resin by manufacturing a 9-meter-long wind turbine blade using this novel resin, which was developed by a Pennsylvania company called Arkema Inc. (2020-11-17)

Boosting the capacity of supercapacitors
Carefully designed covalent organic frameworks could make supercapacitor electrodes that have a greater ability to store electric charge. (2020-11-01)

Muscle pain and energy-rich blood: Cholesterol medicine affects the organs differently
Contrary to expectation, treatment with statins has a different effect on blood cells than on muscle cells, a new study from the University of Copenhagen reveals. Today, statins are mainly used in the treatment of elevated cholesterol, but the new results may help design drugs for a number of conditions. (2020-10-29)

Menstrual dysfunction is more common among young athletes than among non-athletes
Menstrual dysfunction is more prevalent in young Finnish athletes than it is among non-athletes of a similar age, but athletes experience less body weight dissatisfaction than non-athletes do. These findings are from a recent study at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The study was conducted among members of sports clubs who exercised at least four times a week (athletes) and non-members (non-athletes). (2020-10-28)

Burning biomass fuels at home led to 32% of premature deaths from inhaling fine particles in China in 2014
The burning of biomass fuels such as wood and crop residues, which are often used for cooking and heating homes in rural China, contributed to 32% of an estimated 1,150,000 premature deaths caused by inhaling fine particle pollutants in China in 2014, according to a new study. Residential energy use of all types led to 67% of these premature deaths overall, the findings (2020-10-28)

A question of affinity
A collaboration of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Germany and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have recently scrutinized organic solar cells and derived design rules for light-absorbing dyes that can help to make these cells more efficient, while tailoring the absorption spectrum of the cells to the needs of the chosen application. (2020-10-27)

Renewable energy targets can undermine sustainable intentions
Renewable energy targets (RETs) may be too blunt a tool for ensuring a sustainable future, according to University of Queensland-led research. PhD candidate Scott Spillias, from UQ's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said that, while RETs are a go-to for policymakers, more nuanced approaches were more effective at actually achieving holistic, sustainable outcomes. (2020-10-27)

Turning streetwear into solar power plants
Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich succeeded in developing a material that works like a luminescent solar concentrator and can even be applied to textiles. This opens up numerous possibilities for producing energy directly where it is needed, i.e. in the use of everyday electronics. (2020-10-22)

Studying new solar tracking strategies to maximize electric production
The University of Cordoba analyzed a new strategy for solar tracking using backtracking in order to avoid shadows being cast among solar panels in photovoltaic plants (2020-10-19)

Mathematical tools predict if wave-energy devices stay afloat in the ocean
Ocean waves represent an abundant source of renewable energy. But to best use this natural resource, wave-energy converters need to be capable of physically handling ocean waves of different strengths without capsizing. (2020-10-13)

The distance local energy goes to bring power to the people
A study published today in the journal Frontiers in Sustainability by the University of California, Davis, sheds light on the lengths alternative energy providers go to bring electrical power to customers. (2020-10-12)

Cement, salt and water: From Politecnico di Torino a new material toward green heat
A study carried out from the Turin university in collaboration with the Advanced Energy Technology Institute CNR-ITAE and published on the journal Scientific Reports, suggest a low cost technology to store heat during the summer and use it during the winter, thus saving in fossil fuels. (2020-10-08)

Cortex-wide variation of neuronal cellular energy levels depending on the sleep-wake states
The brain is assumed to exert homeostatic functions to always keep the cellular energy status constant, this has not been proven. Researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science discovered that cortical neuronal intracellular concentrations of ATP, the major cellular energy metabolite, greatly decreased during REM sleep, despite a simultaneous increase in cerebral hemodynamics for energy supply, compared with waking in mice. These indicate that cerebral energy metabolism may not always meet neuronal energy demands. (2020-10-07)

Lighting the path to recycling carbon dioxide
Combining solar-harvesting materials with carbon-dioxide-consuming microbes could be an efficient way to generate clean fuels. (2020-10-05)

Untapped potential exists for blending hydropower, floating PV
Hybrid systems of floating solar panels and hydropower plants may hold the technical potential to produce a significant portion of the electricity generated annually across the globe, according to an analysis by researchers at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). (2020-09-29)

Inside mitochondria and their fascinating genome
EPFL scientists have observed -- for the first time in living cells -- the way mitochondria distribute their transcriptome throughout the cell, and it involves RNA granules that turn out to be highly fluid. (2020-09-28)

Scientists explored optimal shapes of thermal energy storages
Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), and the Institute of Automation and Control Processes of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IACP FEB RAS) have studied a correlation between the shape of Thermal Energy Storages (TES) used in traditional and renewable energy sectors and their efficiency. Using the obtained data, design engineers might be able to improve TES for specific needs. A related article was published in the Renewable Energy. (2020-09-28)

Wind forecasts power up for reliable energy production
Prediction of wind speed and direction for up to several hours in advance improves Saudi Arabia's wind energy potential. (2020-09-27)

New storage battery more efficient and heat-resistant
The more important renewable energy sources become, the more urgent is the need to store the electricity produced in this way. Green energy could then also be used when the sun is not shining. To achieve this, suitable energy storage devices are indispensable. Researchers at the University of Jena (Germany) have recently developed promising new polymer electrolytes for redox flow batteries, which are flexible, efficient, and environmentally friendly. (2020-09-25)

Optimizing of VCSEL photon lifetime for minimum energy consumption at varying bit rates
Prof. Bimberg's group at Bimberg Chinese-German Center for Green Photonics Changchun at Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics, and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed VCSELs emitting at 850 nm, 880 nm, 910 nm, 940 nm, which were optimized to achieve 50+ Gb/s, enabling 200+ Gb/s data transmission across a multimode fiber. This was based on the PAM2-modulation scheme without any kind of predistortion leading to a spectral efficiency around 2 bit. (2020-09-24)

KIST develops ambient vibration energy harvester with automatic resonance tuning mechanism
Korean researchers have developed an energy harvester that can generate electric power from ambient vibrations with diverse frequencies through a novel automatic resonance tuning mechanism. It was recently announced by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology that a research team led by Dr. Hyun-Cheol Song from the KIST Center for Electronic Materials developed an energy harvester that can perform automatic resonance tuning (ART) by adjusting the natural frequency by itself in adapting to the environmental conditions. (2020-09-23)

Intelligent software for district renewable energy management
CSEM has developed Maestro, an intelligent software application that can manage and schedule the production and use of renewable energies for an entire neighborhood. The system can process a full range of parameters relating to heat pumps, solar panels, rechargeable batteries and electric vehicle charging stations - and generates a real-time strategy to optimize energy costs. Maestro has already been installed in two Swiss homes. (2020-09-04)

Researchers develop molecule to store solar energy
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a molecule that absorbs energy from sunlight and stores it in chemical bonds. A possible long-term use of the molecule is to capture solar energy efficiently and store it for later consumption. The current results have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, JACS. (2020-08-31)

Evening eating is associated with higher total calorie intake and lower diet quality
A study of nearly 1200 UK adults, being presented at this year's European and International Conference on Obesity (ECOICO 2020), held online this year (Sept. 1-4 ), suggests that there is a link between eating a larger proportion of one's daily energy intake during the evening, and having a higher total energy intake and lower quality of diet. (2020-08-31)

Scientists develop low-temperature resisting aqueous zinc-based batteries
A research group led by Prof. LI Xianfeng from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) developed a low-temperature resisting, cost-effective, safe and eco-friendly hybrid electrolyte for aqueous zinc-based batteries. (2020-08-30)

Study offers new insights for sun-gathering technologies
In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery (CASD) and ASU's School of Molecular Sciences take a page from Nature's lesson book. Inspired by the way plants and other photosynthetic organisms collect and use the sun's radiant energy, they hope to develop technologies that harvest sunlight and store it as carbon-free or carbon-neutral fuels. (2020-08-24)

Climate change impact on green energy production
As the climate of the planet is changing, many researchers are looking to more renewable energy sources. In the Journal of Sustainable and Renewable Energy, researchers investigate whether the power generated by solar and wind farms would differ between current and future climates. The researchers focused on sites in Australia where variable renewable generators are located or are likely to be located in the future based on the Australian Energy Market Operator's system plan. (2020-08-18)

Renewables in Europe: Land requirements can be reduced at low cost
Transitioning our energy supply from coal, oil and gas to wind and solar power is feasible. However, renewables require more land than conventional forms of energy generation. A new study explores the options to reduce the land requirements of a fully renewable energy supply in Europe and their possible impact on the cost of electricity. (2020-08-07)

Energy demands limit our brains' information processing capacity
Our brains have an upper limit on how much they can process at once due to a constant but limited energy supply, according to a new UCL study using a brain imaging method that measures cellular metabolism. (2020-08-03)

For solar boom, scrap silicon for this promising mineral
Cornell University engineers have found that photovoltaic wafers in solar panels with all-perovskite structures outperform photovoltaic cells made from state-of-the-art crystalline silicon, as well as perovskite-silicon tandem cells, which are stacked pancake-style cells that absorb light better. (2020-08-03)

Tinkering with roundworm proteins offers hope for anti-aging drugs
KAIST researchers have been able to dial up and down creatures' lifespans by altering the activity of proteins found in roundworm cells that tell them to convert sugar into energy when their cellular energy is running low. Humans also have these proteins, offering up the intriguing possibilities for developing longevity-promoting drugs. These new findings were published on July 1 in Science Advances. (2020-07-31)

Blueprint may power up KSA's wind energy future
High-resolution analysis of wind speed across Saudi Arabia can help fast track the expansion of the Kingdom's emerging world-class wind energy industry. (2020-07-25)

High-protein distillers dried grains with solubles provide high quality pig nutrition
With more ethanol in production and a greater ability to upcycle co-products into animal feed ingredients, companies are creating custom products and partnering with University of Illinois researchers to test for quality and digestibility. (2020-07-24)

Oxygen breathes new life into solar cell research
Scientists in Australia and the United States have been able to 'upconvert' low energy light into high energy light, which can be captured by solar cells, in a new way, with oxygen the surprise secret ingredient. The results are published in Nature Photonics today. (2020-07-20)

Tulane scientists build high-performing hybrid solar energy converter
The project is the culmination of a U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E project that began in 2014 with $3.3 million in funding and involved years of prototype development at Tulane and field testing in San Diego. (2020-07-15)

Towards climate resilient urban energy systems
Nik and colleagues evaluated the progress achieved in the energy sector to adapt to climate change, focusing on the climate resilience of urban energy systems. They investigated the relevant concepts, criteria, methods and gaps that exist to assess climate resilience. A framework is suggested to account for climate change including extreme events when designing urban energy systems, considering multiple climate change scenarios, uncertainties, and complex interactions that exist in the urban context. (2020-07-08)

New study resolves mystery surrounding unique light-harvesting structures in algae
Photosynthesis is a biochemical process that converts solar energy into chemical energy, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. This process is highly complex and requires various combinations of proteins that work in tandem. However, details regarding the structures of these molecules in some organisms have remained poorly understood. Now, scientists in Japan have shed light on the structural complexes that drive photosynthesis in an aquatic microorganism, which could fuel the development of novel solar devices. (2020-07-06)

To quench or not to quench: Understanding the role of a cyanobacterial photosystem protein
Photosynthesis is one of the most fundamental processes that support life on earth. The mechanistic details of how the energy captured from the sun is transferred within the cellular photosynthetic structures are still not understood well. A group of scientists from Okayama University, Japan, analyzed the structural and spectroscopic data of the 'IsiA-PSI' supercomplex, and have unraveled a part of the puzzle of photosynthetic energy transfer in cyanobacteria. (2020-07-06)

Neurobiology -- How much oxygen does the brain need?
The brain has a high energy demand and reacts very sensitively to oxygen deficiency. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich neurobiologists have now succeeded for the first time in directly correlating oxygen consumption with the activity of certain nerve cells. (2020-07-06)

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