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Power Storage

New Tech Could Bring Fuel Cell Powered Electronics

MIT just announced that its engineers have improved the power output of one of buy ultram er online their fuel cells, by over a startling 50%. What’s even more surprising is that the new material that makes this increase in efficiency possible, is actually cheaper than conventional methods.

The research was done on direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), which utilize methanol as a fuel rather than the more commonly known hydrogen cells. Among the advantages of using methanol over hydrogen is that being a liquid, and not highly volatile, it is easier to store and click now levitra overnite transport, it has a high energy density, and it’s easy to refuel, there is no specialized fuel station necessary, just pump (or pour) and go.

Traditional DMFCs have a membrane made of Nafion, an expensive material, and one that is also permeable to methanol, which means you waste some of cialis mexico your fuel without getting anything out of it. So the team at MIT designed a new nanomaterial, using a technique known as layer-by-layer assembly, to create an alternative. “We were able to tune the uk cialis sales structure of [our] film a few nanometers at a time,” says one of the researchers. This new film, which is viagra cheapest price cheaper to produce, is also 2 orders of magnitude less permeable to methanol, thus conserving fuel and greatly improving power output.

This advance could play a big role in portable electronics (such as the LG latop pictured). We recently saw that DMFCs are already on the market, and coming soon for cameras, though they are a bit bulky, but this new technology could halve the size of the units, making them more attractive for compact portable electronics.

The researchers are now looking at seeing whether their membrane could be used in improving the efficiency of photovoltaics. We certainly hope so.

via physorg


UltraCapacitors to Replace Batteries?

Popular Science has just gotten a scoop that I've been waiting for ages to see. Ultracapacitors, which are completely shunned by most auto companies, have been quietly continuing development at small companies and in universities all over the world. The reason they've been so largely ignored is that they hold so much less energy than batteries. The best commercially available ultracaps have about 5% of the energy density of batteries.

Yet they also have tremendous advantages. You can charge them all the way up and all the way down without damaging them (lithium ion batteries stop functioning when charged all the way down.) They contain no chemical reagents and so are thermally stable under all conditions. And they can charge and discharge much faster than batteries.

Popular Science was recently able to visit a lab at MIT working on advanced vehicle technologies. One of these technologies is a nano-tube ultracapacitor that could potentially hold half the charge of a lithium ion battery. And while this alone doesn't sound all that exciting, it's a lot cooler when you realize that most batteries in hybrid cars hardly ever use more than 20% of their charge in order to extend the batteries life.

That's right, 80% of the battery just sits there and never discharges. Ultracapacitors could discharge completely, over and drug generic cialis over again, and never need to be replaced.

Unfortunately, after two years of work, the nano-tube capacitors still haven't hit their theoretical capacity. And while it might not take long for them to make capacitors that have competitive energy levels, it will certainly take years, if not decades, to scale the technology up to industrial level.

Via PopMech


Researchers Extend Lithium Ion Battery Life 10X

Yes...I mean that if your laptop currently gets 2 hours of unplugged life, these would get 20 hours. Holy Schmoley!

The new batteries use silicon nano wires to basically reinvent the way that the batteries electrodes work. Instead of using carbon to gay levitra store the lithium ions in the anode, they're using silicon. Silicon can hold far more ions; however, it actually stores so many ions that it literally swells during charging and contracts during use. That swelling and unswelling has generally led to complete destruction of the anode over very little use.

The silicon nanowires allow the levitra cheap prices anode to absorb the lithium without breaking down. The nanowire "forest" (yes, they actually call it a forest) expands to four times its original size during charging, but the wires don't ever fracture.

The batteries could be used to store electricity during off-peak hours or to power portable electronics. But the real exciting possibility is that these batteries could power electric vehicles that would store more energy than could be stored in a tank of gas!

Of course, one never knows what will happen when you move a technology from the lab into manufacturing, but this technology is revolutionary and extremely promising.

Via Stanford Press Release


Exxon Develops Battery For Electric Cars. Wait...WHAT!?

Just in case the world was beginning to seem too simple for you, Exxon has just begun mass-marketing a new kind of lithium ion battery specifically designed for use in hybrids and electric vehicles.

The batery is very similar to the best choice generic cialis pill regular lithium ion batteries found in consumer electronics today, but the membrane that separates the cathode from the anode is thinner and stronger. This allows the battery to charge faster and hold more power per unit of weight, while also making the battery safer in the event of an accident.

A chemical division of Exxon, Tonen Chemical Corporation, is already mass producing the membrane. And Exxon says that they will be perfect for electric vehicles and levitra philippines hybrids. I've only found one story about the technology that doesn't read like a press release, so I don't have much to go on canada viagra generic in the way of actual data.

It will be interesting to see how these batteries stand up to the ones that GM is producing for its Volt electric vehicle. We've already seen those things pierced by a nail...with absolutely none of the fireworks we expect to see from Li-ion batteries.


Storing Surplus Wind Underground

Wind Storage
Wind power is viagra 10 mg great...but it sure would be greater if it were constant. Indeed...the wind doesn't blow all day every day. And so, it seems, we might be stuck with some of the less renewable (but more constant) forms of generating power. That is, unless we can find high-capacity, high-efficiency means to store the power when there's plenty of it, and use it when it's needed.

Which is why a group of entrepreneurs in Dallas are looking at digging some big holes into "porous sand stone." Basically, they plan on taking excess electricity from a wind farm and pumping it into a subterranean cavern with giant compressors. Then, when mother nature turns off the wind, they simply open up the valve, and use the only today levitra daily air pressure to spin some turbines that produce electricity.

They plan to literally store wind...and it looks pretty cool. We just blogged about a hydro-electric system working on the same power storage principle. But a region's natural geography is going to be important. And in ultra-flat areas like Texas, hydroelectric might not be the best option.

Via Ecotality

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