MIT discovery unleashes solar revolution

First, MIT scientists recharged batteries wirelessly. Now they can mimic essence of plants' energy storage system.

08/22/2008


In a leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.

Until now, solar power has been a daytime-only energy source, because storing extra solar energy for later use is prohibitively expensive and grossly inefficient. With today's announcement, MIT researchers have hit upon a simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy.


Now a team led by Daniel Nocera at MIT has found a catalyst that uses cheap, abundant metals—cobalt and phosphorus—and works at an environmentally friendly neutral pH to release oxygen from water.

In this video , Daniel Nocera describes new process for storing solar energy.

Last year , MIT scientists developed the basis for a technology that could bring wireless convenience to battery recharging, allowing you to pack all those adapters into a drawer for good. The MIT team, with members from the school's physics, electrical engineering, and computer science departments, along with its Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies [http://web.mit.edu/isn/], adapted known qualities of magnetically coupled resonance to transmit electricity from a power source to light a 60 W light bulb 7 ft away.





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Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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