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Batteries

— Good Thinking

Panasonic's Power Supply Container: A solar power plant in a box

By - March 25, 2014 5 Pictures
In an effort to bring reliable electricity supplies to emerging regions and remote island communities, Panasonic has developed an expandable, portable, self-contained photovoltaic system. The "Power Supply Container" comes equipped with 12 of Panasonic's HIT240 solar modules on the roof and generates approximately 3 kW of electricity, with 24 lead-acid batteries capable of storing 17.2 kWh of energy used to store excess electricity. Read More
— Urban Transport Feature

The story of the RYNO electric microcycle – in the inventor's own words

Six years ago, Chris Hoffmann's 13-year-old daughter Lauren said, “Daddy, I’ve been thinking about this one-wheeled motorcycle I saw in a video game. Could you actually build something like that?” What happened next changed his life. In the next few months, Chris' new company begins shipping the Ryno, a self-balancing, one-wheeled US$5250 personal mobility device that has caused tidal waves of interest across the globe. This is Chris Hoffmann’s story of what happened in the intervening six years, in his own words, and that's 20-year-old Lauren with daddy's one-wheeled motorcycle. Read More
— Science

Hybrid anode quadruples the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries

By - February 20, 2014 1 Picture
Increasing the range of electric vehicles and improving the storage of renewable energy systems are two examples of the benefits offered by lithium-sulfur batteries. Though they can hold four times the energy per mass of the lithium-ion batteries used today, their considerably shorter lifespan has proven something of a roadblock. Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have now designed a lithium-sulfur battery with four times the longevity, bringing the technology that little bit closer to maturity. Read More
— Science

Tiny fish-tracking "jellyroll" batteries should help protect salmon

By - February 19, 2014 4 Pictures
In order to better understand and protect wild stocks of salmon, it's necessary to track their whereabouts using implanted acoustic tags. Needless to say, the longer that those tags are able to transmit a signal, the greater the amount of data that can be gathered. Scientists at Washington state's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are helping make that happen, by developing batteries that have both a smaller size and higher energy density than conventional fish tag batteries. Read More
— Electronics

Pomegranate-inspired electrode could mean longer lithium-ion battery life

By - February 19, 2014 3 Pictures
Though the use of silicon in lithium-ion batteries promises a whole new world of energy storage, it also poses several problems to a battery's durability and overall performance. A new electrode design inspired by clusters of pomegranate seeds and developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) and Stanford University, overcomes some of these obstacles, bringing lighter and more powerful batteries closer to reality. Read More
— Electronics

New electrolyte could mean an end to spontaneously combusting lithium batteries

By - February 11, 2014 1 Picture
Last year, lithium-ion battery fires became a hot topic, pardon the inescapable pun, with both a Tesla automobile and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner succumbing to fires. In cross-disciplinary research at the University of North Carolina (UNC), a compound being studied to prevent marine life from sticking to ships may also be the solvent (and the solution) to keep lithium ion batteries from catching alight when they overheat. Read More
— Science

Lithium batteries could soon be safer, thanks to a material inspired by gum

By - February 5, 2014 1 Picture
Although high-capacity lithium batteries make many of today's mobile electronics possible, they do have one flaw – they occasionally catch fire. This can happen when they overheat, and their liquid acid electrolyte ignites and leaks out. Now, however, scientists at Washington State University have created a gummy electrolyte material that could make such fires a thing of the past. Read More
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