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Smart Grid

— Science

New energy cell can store up solar energy for release at night

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.

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— Environment

Smart grid leads to more efficient electric trains

Electric commuter trains, while quiet and fast, have one glaring inefficiency – when they brake at a station, the energy of the moving train is lost, even when the motors are electrically reversed. Capturing the electrical energy generated during braking is simple, but efficiently redistributing it through the power grid is not. The result, in too many systems, is that the braking energy is simply wasted. Now an energy storage project in Philadelphia aims to capture and efficiently utilize that braking energy, providing a clear view into the potential of the forthcoming smart grid. Read More
— Automotive

Toyota vehicle-to-home technology turns Prius Plug-in into an emergency generator

Electric vehicle charging has been a hot topic for years, but it's mostly been a one-way discussion: how the EV charges from a given home charging system. Toyota turns the conversation around, experimenting with how the home can draw power from the EV. Toyota's vehicle-to-home (V2H) charging system offers two-way charging between the Prius Plug-in and a home power supply. Read More
— Around The Home

LG launches first Smart-Grid appliance: the Smart Fridge

According to legend, while Scotland's Robert the Bruce was on the run he hid in a cave and observed a spider repeatedly trying and failing to spin its web from one area to another. Although it's unlikely that electronics giant LG has been studying Scottish lore, the "if at first you don't succeed, try try again" maxim has evidently been embraced with the announcement of the upcoming release of the company's latest connected fridge. More than a decade has passed since its Internet Fridge first broke cover to a somewhat cool reception. Now LG believes that the world – and technology – is ready to welcome the Smart Refrigerator. Read More
— Good Thinking

Smart Grid City now online

Boulder, Colorado has just become the world's first city to benefit from an intelligent power supply monitoring system. The Smart Grid City system aims to make outages easier to predict and/or prevent, manage power flow throughout the infrastructure and give customers greater access to energy information and more control over how much they use. Xcel Energy constantly monitors the grid network for any irregularities, allowing the company to fix problems before they happen. Read More