The Kymogen Wave Energy Generator

Energy Inventions | Hydro Power | Wave PowerMechanical Engineer David Hartmann and Craftsman Jason Ballash have designed a new wave power technology called the KymoGen, which has the potential to produce clean, low-cost energy using the constant power of waves. Key to the design is its simplicity. A portable 8’x8′ platform is tethered to a mooring on the sea floor. Inside the […]

‘Yolks’ and ‘shells’ improve rechargeable batteries

One big problem faced by electrodes in rechargeable batteries, as they go through repeated cycles of charging and discharging, is that they must expand and shrink during each cycle — sometimes doubling in volume, and then shrinking back. This can lead to repeated shedding and reformation of its “skin” layer that consumes lithium irreversibly, degrading the battery’s performance over time. Now researchers have found a novel way around that problem: creating an electrode made of nanoparticles with a solid shell, and a “yolk” inside that can change size again and again without affecting the shell.

These bacterial communities are heating up the desert

Do you ever feel like this is a microbial world, and that we’re just living in it? It seems like every day, scientists are discovering new ways that these invisible communities are manipulating our health, impacting the climate, keeping ecosystems in check, and (maybe) occasionally killing off more than 70 percent of all species on Earth. Well, now we can add one more thing to their resume: heating up the desert. According to a new paper published in Nature Communications, bacterial communities that form on arid soil can increase surface temperatures by as much as 10 degrees C. They do this by secreting a kind of “sunscreen” that, while protecting the microbes themselves from harmful ultraviolet light, actually absorbs sunlight that would otherwise reflect off the soil…

Synthetic batteries for the energy revolution

A team of researchers made a decisive step towards a redox-flow battery which is simple to handle, safe and economical at the same time: They developed a system on the basis of organic polymers and a harmless saline solution. The new redox-flow battery can withstand up to 10,000 charging cycles without losing a crucial amount of capacity.

Toward liquid fuels from carbon dioxide

In the quest for sustainable alternative energy and fuel sources, one viable solution may be the conversion of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into liquid fuels, say scientists.

Self-heating lithium-ion battery could beat the winter woes

A lithium-ion battery that self heats if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit has multiple applications, but may have the most impact on relieving winter ‘range anxiety’ for electric vehicle owners, according to a team of researchers.

A simple way to make lithium-ion battery electrodes that protect themselves

Scientists have discovered how to keep a promising new type of lithium ion battery cathode from developing a crusty coating that degrades its performance. The solution: Use a simple manufacturing technique to form the cathode material into tiny, layered particles that store a lot of energy while protecting themselves from damage.