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The system developed by Professor Nocera to store energy gathered from solar panels could ...

Reports of new developments in the area of solar power are an almost daily event here at Gizmag. The main focus of research seems to be on improving the efficiency of solar cells, but others are working at developing an inexpensive method of locally storing the energy generated by solar systems. Because society relies on a continuous energy supply and solar energy is diurnal, storage systems are integral to what some see as an inevitable move towards the era of “personalized solar energy”, in which the focus of electricity production shifts from huge central generating stations to individuals in their own homes and communities.  Read More

Two artificial cells that can act as a tiny battery
 (Credit: NIST)

Synthetic cells that act as a battery could one day be used to power nanotech devices. Scientists from Yale University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created a very simple cell model in order to study the way certain real cells generate electric voltages. In the process they produced a minute working battery that converts chemical energy into electrical energy at an efficiency of about 10 per cent - a figure that's high enough to make cell batteries a practical alternative as a nano power source.  Read More

Venom Eco Alkaline batteries are the world's first certified carbon neutral batteries

A new range of batteries from Venom is free of mercury, cadmium and lead, and has been certified carbon neutral by Carbonfund.org. The Eco Alkaline batteries were certified carbon neutral after a detailed product life-cycle assessment of carbon emissions. As part of a carbon neutral project, Venom is supporting the Return to Forest Project which is helping to reforest Nicaragua's Pacific coast.  Read More

Energizer 4X and 8X Lithium batteries

These days, if you go looking for batteries you're likely to find a range of products with some fairly bold claims on their packaging. Standard AA alkaline batteries are the least expensive and have been around for decades, but now there's a bunch of other choices for single use batteries that are marketed as better choices for "digital" devices than the "copper top" or store branded staples we've used for years. Among the newest of these is Energizer's Advanced Lithium and Ultimate Lithium single use batteries.  Read More

A close up of the solar cell created by the Trinity team - the dark hair can clearly be se...

Debate is good. Debate is healthy. Debate is currently raging after an article recently appeared on the UK's Daily Mail website announcing a revolutionary solar cell that's made using human hair. A group of teenage students from Nepal claim to have replaced expensive doped silicon used in conventional solar panels with cheap and readily available human hair to produce a cell capable of generating 9V (18W) of electricity. Curiosity got the better of Gizmag's Paul Ridden, who contacted one of the team to find out more.  Read More

The test vehicle into which researchers are integrating a redox flow battery

German researchers say a new type of electric vehicle battery that runs on electrolyte fluid can be recharged as easily as refilling a petrol tank. When the redox flow rechargeable batteries are low, the discharged electrolyte fluid can simply be exchanged at the gas station for recharged fluid.  Read More

Silicon nanotubes after ultrasonic treatment - inset is an expanded image of a single nano...

In news that could greatly extend the range of electric cars, researchers have shown that replacing the conventional graphite electrodes in lithium-ion batteries with silicon nanotubes can produce a battery that can store ten times more charge. The researchers developed a silicon anode that, aside from extending the range of electric cars, could also make gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles more efficient by allowing them to run in electric mode for longer periods.  Read More

Graphene - the one-atom thick wonder material made up of a honeycomb lattice of carbon ato...

It’s not only integrated circuits that look set to benefit from the use of graphene, the one-atom thick wonder material made up of a honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms. Researchers have discovered that adding graphene to titanium dioxide for use as electrodes in batteries improves performance over standard titanium oxide by a factor of three. This could pave the way for inexpensive titanium dioxide to replace the expensive, rare-earth metals or fire-prone carbon-based materials used in today's lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

Microcapsules filled with carbon nanotubes could be used to repair electronic circuits 
 (...

Dropping an electrical device such as a mobile phone or laptop can prompt a few anxious moments as you rush to see whether your beloved device has survived the fall. Now researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are working to make such incidents a little less distressing - they're developing a self-healing first-aid kit for electrical systems that could stop circuits failing and lead to safer, longer lasting batteries.  Read More

The battery is produced by coating the algae with a thin layer of polypyrrole 
 (Images: G...

Algae blooms are unpleasant and unpredictable phenomena that arise quickly and strike seas and oceans, often causing serious problems to local ecosystems. But, in an effort to try and find a use for such algae, a research team from Uppsala University, Sweden, has recently managed to design a record-breaking "green" lightweight battery that is incredibly easy to produce and might just even out the environmental consequences of these blooms.  Read More

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