Hybrid generating systems for remote areas gain traction

May 23, 2016 Hybrid energy systems, which offer lower-cost power to remote off-grid locations, took another step forward with the launch in northern Spain of a new prototype. Developed by Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa, the prototype inaugurates a system which combines four power sources - solar, wind, diesel and batteries. If successful, the system in La … [Read more...]

Schneider reveals Silicon Valley tech play

May 20, 2016 A programme designed to scout out and develop start-ups focused on applications related to the intersection of energy and the internet of things (IoT) has been revealed by Schneider Electric. The energy management and automation major said that the goal of its Silicon Valley Innovation scheme is to explore new growth opportunities outside of existing markets … [Read more...]

Renewables set to steal a march on space heating

May 18, 2016 Existing renewable energy technology could provide nearly half of the energy used to heat Europe’s homes by 2040, slashing gas demand and helping to meet climate targets. This is the conclusion of a new study from research firm IHS Energy. Catherine Robinson, a senior director, said: “Our analysis strongly suggests that existing technology can transform … [Read more...]

3-D virtual environment for Russian reactor development

May 16, 2016 Russian nuclear engineering procurement and construction company Rosatom is to deploy a 3-D virtual environment as it builds and operates its new power plants. The 3-D plant design models, construction processes and resources are integrated and interconnected through a single source of data that is accessible and updated in real time. As a result, less … [Read more...]

Sodium ion battery strikes EV partnership

May 12, 2016 Low-cost batteries suitable for road-transport applications could be available by 2025. That is the goal of a new partnership between sodium-ion technology pioneer Faradion and UK-based cell developer and manufacturer AGM Batteries - backed with £400,000 of new Innovate UK funding. Unlike the typical lithium-ion battery found in the current generation … [Read more...]

Capacity leap for electric vehicle wireless charging

May 11, 2016 Rapid charging of electric vehicles using wireless power transfer is on the horizon following the test of a new high power demonstrator system in the US. Similar to the low-power devices charging household items like toothbrushes or razors, wireless power transfer (WPT) offers a number of advantages to electric vehicle owners. With no plugs, WPT offers … [Read more...]

Road transport carbon emissions to fall nearly a third by 2030

May 6, 2016 The emergence of low-carbon fuels and improved vehicle efficiency will cut carbon dioxide emissions from road transport by 29% in 2030. This is the key conclusion of new analysis from Massachusetts-based Lux Research. “Low-carbon biofuels like cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, and biomethane have lower well-to-wheel carbon intensities compared to their … [Read more...]

Multi-rotor wind turbine trialled

May 3, 2016 Lower cost energy from wind could emerge from a new multi-rotor concept from Danish wind technology giant Vestas. The concept sees several sets of blades mounted on a single tower and foundation. Working with the Technical University of Denmark, Vestas is installing a concept demonstrator to test the technical feasibility of operating and controlling a … [Read more...]

Glass technology turns skyscrapers into power stations

April 14, 2016 Transparent electricity-generating coatings for glass and flexible plastics may see skyscrapers producing 50 times more power than a rooftop solar installation. Designed for applications such as windows or screens, the technology could turn buildings into mini power stations. The launch of the third phase of a research and development deal between … [Read more...]

Prototype fuel cell set for South Korean power project

April 13, 2016 Low-cost and highly efficient heating and lighting for buildings could emerge from trials of a prototype fuel cell in South Korea. The electrochemical fuel cell system will produce both heat and power from hydrogen for housing. Volvo spinout and fuel cell developer PowerCell Sweden says it has received an order from an “important global customer” for … [Read more...]

SOFC fuel cells set for market surge

April 11, 2016 Sales of solid oxide fuel cells – electrochemical systems similar to batteries – are set to double by 2020. Solid oxide fuel cells are among the most efficient and cost-effective types of fuel cell. According to US-based analysis firm, BCC Research, SOFCs are transitioning from an emerging market to a specialty market. The global market for the … [Read more...]

Solid battery tech shows promise

April 8, 2016 High performance batteries suitable for electric vehicles may emerge from new research on crystals by Toyota and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Scientists have synthesised two crystal materials that show considerable promise as solid electrolytes – the charge carrier within a battery. Solid batteries have a number of advantages when compared with … [Read more...]

Norwegian plant to deliver biogas for buses

April 7, 2016 A biogas plant that will produce liquid renewable fuels for public transport vehicles is being developed in Norway. Installed at a paper mill in Skogn, near Trondheim, the system has been designed to liquefy small methane-based gas streams such as those found in agriculture and industry. It will have a capacity of 25 tonnes of liquid biogas per day and … [Read more...]

Sustainable cities investment fund launched

5 April, 2016 Improving access to clean water, energy and transport in cities is the goal of a new initiative coordinated by the World Bank. The aim is to mobilise up to $1.5 billion over the next five years for urban sustainability programmes in developing countries. The Global Platform for Sustainable Cities is coordinated by the World Bank and supported by a … [Read more...]

Solar PV balloons floated

March 24, 2016 Solar panels floating above the clouds on balloons could not only yield more power than terrestrial systems, but could also store excess energy as hydrogen. The concept envisages solar panels on balloons about 6km above ground, higher up than Mont Blanc, where solar intensity is higher and is less likely to be obscured by clouds and dust. The power … [Read more...]

Start-up UK research centre focuses on battery tech

March 22, 2016 A new energy innovation centre, the largest of its kind in Europe, aims to advance the next generation of battery technology. The newly opened centre at the UK’s University of Warwick is focusing on the development of new battery chemistries, from concept to fully proven automotive batteries for industrial-scale testing. Initial research programmes will … [Read more...]

Folding turbines duck out of tropical storms

March 18, 2016 Folding masts are being used as mounts for wind turbines on a South Pacific archipelago to protect them during tropical storms. The turbines’ masts can fold flat to avoid damage in the devastating high winds of the region's tropical storms. On the Vanuatu group of islands, six wind parks are now operational, having been installed by Alizés Energie, a … [Read more...]

Gates predicts energy transformation

March 14, 2016 Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and still world’s richest person, has forecast the discovery of a clean energy breakthrough within the next 15 years. In an annual public letter from the Gates Foundation, he noted that with 2015 greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, a major transformation is needed in energy … [Read more...]

Manure proteins could power cars

March 11, 2016 An engineered bacteria may provide a renewable “drop-in” replacement for liquid fuels such as diesel and petrol. Existing biofuels, such as ethanol, are less energy dense and can also corrode existing infrastructure such as pipelines. Now scientists at UCLA in California in the USA are developing a next-generation biofuel using proteins found in … [Read more...]

Biofuels with guts

March 9, 2016 Harnessing the ability of goats to digest almost anything organic may help to create the next generation of lower-cost biofuels. The gut fungi found in the intestines of goats possess a large range of biomass-degrading enzymes. Scientists from the University of California in the US have now applied these enzymes to the challenge of breaking down woody – … [Read more...]