Tag Archives: batteries

Flow batteries: For when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine

The Harvard prototype organic flow battery….Credit: SEAS A team of scientists and engineers at Harvard tackled the problem of storing electricity from short term or irregular energy sources, such as wind mills or solar panels by looking to improve on a type of battery technology known as a flow battery. As published in the journal […]
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Hybrid locomotives move onto the line

While road-based vehicles (cars, trucks) by their vast numbers are the most significant contributors to pollution, it shouldn’t be forgotten that others forms of transport – namely boats, planes and trains – also play dirty. Nor are they hopeless polluters. Because they are commercially operated, they are amenable to improvements that save money or avoid […]
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Feeding the electric cars of the future

There’s an interesting article in The Economist this week, “Running out of juice” that raises the issue (for the U.S. specifically, and by implication the world in general) of not having enough energy infrastructure to recharge all the vehicle batteries expected in the ‘green revolution’. If we’re really going electric in the near future (that’s […]
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Go with the flow battery

Did you know that one kind of battery can be refilled with a charge in much the same way as a gas tank? It’s not a new idea. One of the most efficient incarnations of what is called a redox flow battery was developed in the 1980s at the University of New South Wales, Australia. […]
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Carborundum + tritium = 25 year battery

The idea of using radioactive materials to generate energy in batteries is not a new idea. In fact, it’s about fifty years old. In practice, betavoltaics, batteries that use beta particles to generate electricity, were used in the first heart pacemakers; but eventually lost out to less expensive lithium-ion batteries. Although betavoltaic batteries can have […]
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Borrowing the electric eel’s battery

Ever been shocked by an electric eel? Probably not; if you had you’d know it. The ‘eel,’ which is actually a knifefish, can discharge an electric current of about 500 volts at 1 Ampere (500 watts). That’s not far from the shock you’d get from making contact with a wall circuit. It’s impressive enough that […]
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Rechargeable zinc-air batteries coming to market

If you go to your local home improvement store, the buzz-word in batteries is lithium-ion. As most of us are finding out, these are a lot better than the old alkaline or cadmium rechargeable batteries. But of course, the product cycles of modern technology are doing their thing, and a successor to lithium-ion is already […]
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Renault goes all-in for all-electric vehicles

It’s nice to see that at least some big car makers have electric sparks in their eyes. From the pages of The Economist: OVER the past few weeks Renault has been giving politicians, journalists and big commercial customers across Europe the chance to drive a slightly odd-looking battery-powered vehicle based on its Kangoo, a small […]
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