A photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) is a special type of solar cell that gathers the Sun's energy and transforms it into either electricity or chemical energy used to split water and produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells. In an advance that could help this clean energy source play a stronger role within the smart grid, researchers at the University of Texas, Arlington have found a way to store the electricity generated by a PEC cell for extended periods of time and allow electricity to be delivered around the clock.
Processor chips may get all the glory, but if it wasn't for lithium-ion batteries, modern electronics would look like something out of the 1950s. Unfortunately, while they may be compact and long lasting, these batteries also suffer from overheating and can become fire hazards as they get old. Now a team led by Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has come up with an additive that holds the promise of extending lithium battery life while improving safety and performance.
It's now fairly common to hear about batteries being used to store power
generated by solar cells. A group of Indian scientists, however, have
eliminated the middleman. They've created a battery that incorporates a
titanium nitride-based photoanode in place of a conventional anode,
allowing the battery to charge itself using solar or artificial light.
Following in the footsteps of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz,
Nissan is now set to become the latest automaker to offer battery packs
for stationary energy storage. Although pricing information has yet to
be provided, the Nissan product should be relatively affordable, as it
will incorporate used batteries from Nissan Leaf electric cars.
recently did it to much acclaim, and now Daimler is doing it too – the
German automotive corporation is launching its own home/business battery
energy storage system. Developed by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche
ACCUmotive, the Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit utilizes lithium-ion
batteries to store energy generated by solar cells, wind turbines or
Scientists have already devised systems that allow electronic devices to
scavenge power from ambient electromagnetic energy sources such as radio waves. While the technology has generally been limited to small devices such as wireless sensors,
a research team has recently created a scavenging system that charges a
smartphone's battery, letting it last up to 30 percent longer per
charge – and the system does so using radio signals emanating from the
Although lithium-ion batteries perform far better than alkalines,
they're also relatively costly, the lithium salts used in them aren't
widely available, and they sometimes catch fire. That's why some
scientists are suggesting sodium-ion batteries as an alternative. To that end, Williams Advanced Engineering recently demonstrated that they could be used to power an electric bike.
If you're like a lot of phone junkies and replace your phone as soon as the latest thing comes along, you'll know that often the hardware in the old phone is perfectly fine, even the battery. But fancier new screens and more powerful processors mean that battery life usually remains a problem, making battery packs a popular accessory. Enlighten's Better Re lets you get some more use out of your old phone's battery, by allowing it to slot into an adjustable external battery charger for your new phone.
The Tesla home battery system hinted at by CEO Elon Musk several months ago
has finally been unveiled by Musk himself at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California. Dubbed the Powerwall, the stationary home battery offers 10 kWh of storage capacity for the relatively modest price of US$3,500. A smaller unit is also available at 7 kWh for $3,000, and homeowners can stack multiple units if needed.