Energy Efficiency

December 2019
Harnessing hot Carriers for High Efficiency Solar Cells

Crystal structure of a two-dimensional hybrid perovskite with long hot-carrier cooling time.

Two-dimensional solar materials may offer a way to extract more energy from sunlight. By tuning the structure of a 2D perovskite solar material, researchers from KAUST and the Georgia Institute of Technology have shown they can prolong the lifetime of highly energetic hot carriers generated by light striking
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12/30/2019
2D Materials: Arrangement of Atoms Measured in Silicene

A low-temperature atomic force microscope with a single carbon atom at the tip allows quantitative measurement of forces between sample and tip. With two-dimensional silicon (silicene), surface buckling can be quantitatively determined.

Silicene consists of a single layer of silicon atoms. In contrast to the ultra-flat material graphene, which is made of carbon, silicene shows surface irregularities that influence its electronic properties. Now, physicists from the University of Basel have been able to precisely determine this corrugated structure.
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12/24/2019
Engineer Helps Keep US Nuclear Deterrent Safe From Radiation

Sandia National Laboratories' Alan Mar was recognized this year by the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.

When nuclear radiation hits electronics, it cuts through semiconductors, leaving scars of charged particles that can flip computing bits and corrupt memory circuits, potentially disabling devices or causing erratic errors. Alan Mar Sandia National Laboratories' Alan Mar
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12/24/2019
Carbon-Free Energy Deepens Penetration in North America
The transition from carbon-intensive generation to clean and renewable energy is picking up the pace in the United States, finds DNV GL’s latest Energy
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12/23/2019
Stretchable Vibration-Powered Device Uses a Liquid Electret

The newly developed liquid electret material (left) and the bendable and stretchable vibration-powered device (middle and right).

NIMS and AIST developed a liquid electret material capable of semi-permanently retaining static electricity. They subsequently combined this material with soft electrodes to create the first bendable, stretchable vibration-powered device in the world. Because this device is highly deformable and capable of converting
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Date:
12/23/2019
Capturing CO2 from Trucks, Reducing Their Emissions by 90%

Researchers at EPFL have patented a new concept that could cut trucks' CO2 emissions by almost 90%. It involves capturing CO2 within the exhaust system, converting it into a liquid and storing it on the vehicle. The liquid CO2 would then be delivered to a service station and where it will be turned back into fuel using renewable energy.

In Europe, transport is responsible for nearly 30% of the total CO2 emissions, of which 72% comes from road transportation. While the use of electric vehicles for personal transportation could help lower that number, reducing emissions from commercial transport - such as trucks or buses - is a much greater challenge. Researchers
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12/23/2019
Nuvera Advances Automated Fuel Cell Facility in China
Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC, is pleased to announce construction of a fuel cell stack production line in the Hangzhou district government of Fuyang, China. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on Dec. 17, 2019 attended by Lucien Robroek, CEO and Jon Taylor, President of Nuvera, along with Fuyang government officials. In
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12/20/2019
Clemson Materials Research may Advance Quantum Computing

Joseph W. Kolis, Tobey-Beaudrot Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, has received new funding from the Department of Energy to rationally design new quantum materials for use in quantum computing.

An emerging technology called quantum computing may soon be capable of solving incredibly complex problems that are beyond the capacity of today's most powerful supercomputers. When this eventually happens, quantum computing will revolutionize a range of fields, including encryption and cybersecurity, drug discovery
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12/17/2019
Consider Marine Life When Adding Offshore Renewable Power

This is a photograph of offshore wind turbines.

With countries such as Iceland, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Norway adopting green energy practices, renewable energy now accounts for a third of the world's power. As this trend continues, more and more countries are looking to offshore energy sources to produce this renewable energy. In an Opinion publishing
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12/17/2019
Thermoelectric Materials for Cheaper Renewable Energy
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have developed new thermoelectric materials, which could provide a low-cost option for converting heat energy into electricity. Materials known as halide perovskites have been proposed as affordable alternatives to existing thermoelectric materials,
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Date:
12/17/2019
Creating a Nanoscale on-off Switch for Heat

Research assistant Wei Gong, master's student Xiao Luo, and Associate Professor Sheng Shen of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University

Polymers are used to develop various materials, such as plastics, nylons, and rubbers. In their most basic form, they are made up of many of identical molecules joined together over and over, like a chain. If you engineer molecules to join together in specific ways, you can control the characteristics of the
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12/16/2019
Green Hydrogen: Research to Enhance Efficiency

This is the main author of the study, Aleksandr Bashkatov from the Institute of Fluid Dynamics.

Laboratory experiments and a parabolic flight campaign have enabled an international team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) to gain new insights into water electrolysis, in which hydrogen is obtained from water by applying electric energy. Water electrolysis could play a key
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12/12/2019
Retail Energy Customers in U.S. Looking to Energy Providers
DNV GL recently completed its annual U.S. Competitive Energy Sales Strategies Survey, a comprehensive survey exploring interconnected relationships between competitive energy providers, commercial customers, and the aggregator, broker, and consulting (ABC) companies who support the industry. The survey found
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12/12/2019
DOE Gives $5 Million for Computational Approaches to Biology
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $5 million to develop new computational tools and software for analyzing the masses of genomics and other data generated by today's systems biology research. "The rapid development of technologies for high-throughput screening of
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Date:
12/08/2019
Fusion by Strong Lasers

Accelerator tunnel at the European XFEL

Nuclear physics usually involves high energies, as illustrated by experiments to master controlled nuclear fusion. One of the problems is how to overcome the strong electrical repulsion between atomic nuclei which requires high energies to make them fuse. But fusion could be initiated at lower energies with
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12/06/2019
DOE funds UT Austin Engineers w/ Geothermal Energy Ecosystem
With a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Cockrell School of Engineering is launching a unique initiative that aims to make The University of Texas at Austin a national hub for geothermal energy expertise and startups. The new Geothermal Entrepreneurship Organization (GEO) will bring together
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12/05/2019
Implementing Fast DC BEV Chargers Up to 150 kW

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Figure 1: Typical topology for charging sub-unit in 15 – 40 kW range

One cannot fail to notice that our city streets and car parks are going through a slow transformation: they are beckoning the age of the electric vehicle. As the battery electric vehicle (BEV) grows in popularity, the infrastructure to keep them charged is appearing to meet demand. While the majority of BEVs
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Date:
12/03/2019
Improving EV Power w/ High Step-Down Ratio DC/DC Converters

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Figure 1: Relationship between Duty Cycle and Output Voltage

To achieve the regulatory limits set by a number of countries worldwide, automakers are increasingly working on developing electric vehicles. Currently, 5 types of electric vehicle technologies are being employed: Pure EV, powered solely by electricity, Fuel Cell EV that
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Date:
12/03/2019
Battery Stack Monitor Maximizes Batteries in Hybrid and EVs

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Figure 1. A 96 cell battery pack architecture with the 12-channel LTC6811 measurement IC.

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Date:
12/03/2019
SiC MOSFET Efficiency and Protection without Compromise

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Figure 1. Comparing SiC with conventional Silicon MOSFETs reveals the clearly superior semiconductor characteristics of the SiC material, which allows the construction of significantly smaller switching devices

The lower sheet resistance of wide-bandgap SiC materials (typically 1/100th that of conventional silicon) results in smaller devices for a given current capacity – valuable in space saving applications. In addition, the electric-breakdown- field for SiC (approximately 2.8 MV/cm) allows for a much
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Date:
12/03/2019