Power Systems

Sea water can be converted into hydrogen fuel using this design for a sea water electrolyzer, according to Penn State researchers. Courtesy: Tyler Henderson, Penn State University
Energy, Power October 9, 2020

Generating renewable hydrogen fuel from the sea

Membranes originally developed for purifying water in the reverse osmosis (RO) treatment process, commonly used in electrolyzers, are used to remove salt from water to help turn sea water into hydrogen fuel.

By Tim Schley
Courtesy: Gas Technology Institute
Energy, Power September 24, 2020

Understanding the growing importance of hydrogen

A look at hydrogen, from generation to blending with natural gas

By Gas Technology
Cold neutrons uncover atomic dynamics that give thermoelectric materials low-heat conductivity. Shown is the evolution of atomic lattice oscillation waves upon heating the tin sulfide crystal, as measured with neutron scattering. Courtesy: Duke University
Energy, Power September 23, 2020

Atomic dynamics help turn heat into electricity

An atomic mechanism that makes some thermoelectric materials efficient near high-temperature phase transition could help unlock better options for technologies reliant on transforming heat into electricity.

By Ken Kingery
The electron microscope image shows the air (darkest gray) sandwiched between the gold backing at the bottom and the semiconductor at the top, supported on gold beams. Credit: Dejiu Fan, Optoelectronic Components and Materials Group, University of Michigan
Energy, Power September 23, 2020

Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat

Heat-harnessing solar cells that reflect 99% of the energy they can’t convert to electricity could help bring down the price of storing renewable energy as heat and improve overall energy efficiency.

By Kate McAlpine
Courtesy: Dewberry
Energy, Power September 8, 2020

Cause and effect of record-low energy prices

An elevated supply of natural gas and increased use of renewables, along with COVID-19 changing everyday life, has made energy prices drop to record lows.

By Joe Estrada
Researchers have developed new electrode designs for lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries that use graphene-coated nanoparticles to optimize battery performance. Courtesy: Northwestern University
Energy, Power August 19, 2020

How nanomaterials are improving battery design

Graphene coating enables new electrode designs with potential for electric vehicles

By Mark Heiden
At left, a copper current collector with a laser-induced silicon oxide coating created at Rice University. At right, a scanning electron microscope image of the coating created by lasing adhesive tape on the copper collector. Courtesy: Tour Group/Rice University
Energy, Power July 15, 2020

Adhesive tape improves lithium batteries’ performance, lifespan

Rice University researchers turned adhesive tape into a silicon oxide film improve lithium metal technology and make them last longer.

By Mike Williams
Changyeong Jeong, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, measures how well light passes through a sheet of flexible transparent conductor. The material sandwiches a thin layer of silver between two “dielectric” materials, aluminum oxide and zinc oxide, producing a conductive anti-reflection coating on the sheet of plastic. Courtesy: Robert Coelius/University of Michigan Engineering
Energy, Power July 13, 2020

Making plastic more transparent while adding electrical conductivity

University of Michigan researchers have made plastic conductive while also making it more transparent, which can improve large touchscreens, LED light panels and window-mounted infrared solar cells.

By Kate McAlpine
Research involving Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source demonstrates crystal-like heat conduction in a solid-liquid hybrid, AgCrSe2. Courtesy: Jill Hemman/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy
Energy, Power June 30, 2020

Spectrometry research advances could lead to safer rechargeable batteries

Researchers have found a way to advance safer rechargeable batteries with spectrometry. Their findings could improve batteries used for consumer electronics such as laptops and cellphones.

By Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Small batteries were used to study the spontaneous formation of nanoscale hollow structures in the laboratory of Matthew McDowell at Georgia Tech. Courtesy: Matthew McDowell, Georgia Tech
Energy, Power June 15, 2020

Nanoscale hollow structure formation could boost battery storage

Researchers at Georgia Tech, ETH Zurich and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered particles can change a nanoscale hollow structure formation, which could be beneficial for lithium-ion battery storage.

By John Toon