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February 27, 2017

Dousing Flames with Low-Frequency Sound Waves

A new type of extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out fires has been built by two engineering students in the US. Both chemical- and water-free, the invention offers a relatively non-destructive method of fire control, which could find applications in fighting small fires in the home, and the researchers now hold a preliminary patent application for their device.

While the concept of using sound waves to extinguish flames is not new, previous attempts to realize the principle – including efforts by teams at West Georgia University and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – had not been successful.

Undeterred by this, as well as initial [...]

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February 26, 2017

Precision Nanobatteries by The Billions

Tiny batteries formed inside nanopores demonstrate that properly scaled nanostructures can use the full theoretical capacity of the charge storage material. These nanobatteries delivered their stored energy efficiently at high power (fast charge and discharge) and for extended cycling.

Precise structures can be constructed to assess the fundamentals of ion and electron transport in nanostructures for energy storage and to test the limits of three-dimensional nanobattery technologies.

Nanostructured batteries, when properly designed and built, offer promise for delivering their energy at much higher power and longer [...]

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October 26, 2015

Tesla Energy is Elon Musk’s Battery System That Can Power Homes, Businesses, and The World

Tesla has finally taken the wraps off Tesla Energy, its ambitious battery system that can work for homes, businesses, and even utilities. The system breaks down into two separate products: the Powerwall is a home battery system, that comes in a 10 kWh version for $3,500, or a 7 kWh model for $3,000, excluding installation and the inverter. The unit is about three feet by four feet in size and six inches thick, and comes with integrated heat management and can fit either on the inside or outside of the wall of your home.

The system is connected to the internet — Elon Musk said that the system can be used to create “smart microgrids” — and can be used as a redundancy [...]
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April 8, 2015

Researchers Discover N-type Polymer for Fast Organic Battery

Researchers at the Univ. of Houston have reported developing an efficient conductive electron-transporting polymer, a long-missing puzzle piece that will allow ultrafast battery applications.The discovery relies upon a "conjugated redox polymer" design with a naphthalene-bithiophene polymer, which has traditionally been used for applications including transistors and solar cells. With the use of lithium ions as dopant, researchers found it offered significant electronic conductivity and remained stable and reversible through thousands of cycles of charging and discharging energy.The breakthrough, described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, addresses a decades-long [...]
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April 7, 2015

This Super-Stable Aluminum Battery Can Charge in 60 Seconds

This may look like a scrap of kitchen foil, but it’s actually a new kind of aluminum battery that could out-perform the lithium-ion cells in your smartphone. Read more...
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April 2, 2015

Silk Could Be New ‘Green’ Material for Next-Generation Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries have enabled many of today's electronics, from portable gadgets to electric cars. But much to the frustration of consumers, none of these batteries last long without a recharge. Now scientists report in the journal ACS Nano the development of a new, "green" way to boost the performance of these batteries -- with a material derived from silk. Chuanbao Cao and colleagues note that carbon is a key component in commercial Li-ion energy storage devices including batteries and supercapacitors. Most commonly, graphite fills that role, but it has a limited energy capacity. To improve the energy storage, manufacturers are looking for an alternative material to replace [...]
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March 30, 2015

New Flow Battery to Keep Big Cities Lit, Green & Safe

PNNL's new zinc-polyiodide redox flow battery uses an electrolyte that has more than two times the energy density of the next-best flow battery used to store renewable energy and support the power grid.
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