Latest Technology News


Relieving electric vehicle range anxiety with improved batteries

Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:13:37 EDT

A new nanomaterial called a metal organic framework could extend the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries, which could be used to increase the driving range of electric vehicles. Researchers added the powder, a kind of nanomaterial called a metal organic framework, to the battery's cathode to capture problematic polysulfides that usually cause lithium-sulfur batteries to fail after a few charges. During lab tests, a lithium-sulfur battery with the new MOF cathode maintained 89 percent of its initial power capacity after 100 charge-and discharge cycles.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Look who's evolving now: Using robots to study evolution

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:19:09 EDT

Scientists have demonstrated the usefulness of robots in studying evolution.  They successfully used a colony of rodent-like robots to watch different mating strategies evolve.  The work not only generated interesting and unexpected results, but it has also helped validate the use of robots in the study of evolution.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Thermoelectric generator on glass fabric for wearable electronic devices

Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:14:58 EDT

Wearable computers or devices have been hailed as the next generation of mobile electronic gadgets, from smart watches to smart glasses to smart pacemakers. For electronics to be worn by a user, they must be light, flexible, and equipped with a power source, which could be a portable, long-lasting battery or no battery at all but a generator. How to supply power in a stable and reliable manner is one of the most critical issues to commercialize wearable devices. Scientists have now proposed a solution to this problem by developing a glass fabric-based thermoelectric (TE) generator that is extremely light and flexible and produces electricity from the heat of the human body.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Sunlight generates hydrogen in new porous silicon

Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:12:16 EDT

Porous silicon manufactured in a bottom up procedure using solar energy can be used to generate hydrogen from water, according to mechanical engineers who also see applications for batteries, biosensors and optical electronics as outlets for this new material.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Researching materials to optimize lithium-ion battery performance

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 07:48:17 EDT

Creating environment friendly energy storage systems, non-explosive and with charge/discharge long-term cycles, motivated a group of scientists to research which polymeric materials have the properties to maintain the highest level of energy in a lithium - ion battery.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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How electrodes charge and discharge: Analysis probes charge transfer in porous battery electrodes for first time

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:54:17 EDT

A new analysis probes charge transfer in porous battery electrodes for the first time. The electrochemical reactions inside the porous electrodes of batteries and fuel cells have been described by theorists, but never measured directly. Now, scientists have figured out a way to measure the fundamental charge transfer rate -- finding some significant surprises.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Strain can alter materials' properties

Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:16:25 EDT

In the ongoing search for new materials for fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, separation membranes, and electronic devices, one newer approach involves applying and managing stresses within known materials to give them dramatically different properties.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Cheap, better-performing lithium-ion batteries created

Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:41:43 EDT

Researchers have developed a cheap, high-performing silicon anode and sulfur-based cathode for lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are a popular type of rechargeable battery commonly found in portable electronics and electric or hybrid cars. Scientists have developed a cost-effective (and therefore commercially viable) silicon anode nearly three times more powerful and longer lasting than a typical commercial anode.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Hybrid vehicles more fuel efficient in India, China than in U.S.

Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:41:39 EDT

What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in -- heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways -- makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research. In a pair of studies using real-world driving conditions, they found that hybrid cars are significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Sticky composites improve, 'green up' lithium-ion batteries: New battery technology employs multifunctional materials

Mon, 31 Mar 2014 09:55:52 EDT

Lithium-ion batteries power a vast array of modern devices, from cell phones, laptops, and laser pointers to thermometers, hearing aids, and pacemakers. Scientists have now discovered a “sticky” conductive material that may improve them while eliminating the need for toxic solvents.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Scientists track 3-D nanoscale changes in rechargeable battery material during operation

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:46:35 EDT

Scientists have made the first 3-D observations of how the structure of a lithium-ion battery anode evolves at the nanoscale in a real battery cell as it discharges and recharges. The details of this research could point to new ways to engineer battery materials to increase the capacity and lifetime of rechargeable batteries.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Rain used to illuminate low income homes

Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:14:37 EDT

By collecting rainwater, students were able to generate electricity using a microturbine and supplying the vital liquid to homes in a poor community in Iztapalapa, in Mexico City. This system is similar to that used in dams, which uses rainwater to rotate a microturbine and generate electricity. Currently, it is only possible to recharge portable 12 volt batteries, whose energy is sufficient to power LED lamps but not to provide power to the entire house.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

Thu, 20 Mar 2014 14:08:54 EDT

Researchers have found that the wind industry can easily afford the energetic cost of building batteries and other grid-scale storage technologies. However, for the solar industry, scientists found that more work is needed to make grid-scale storage energetically sustainable.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Antimony nanocrystals for batteries

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:32:26 EDT

Researchers have succeeded for the first time to produce uniform antimony nanocrystals. Tested as components of laboratory batteries, these are able to store a large number of both lithium and sodium ions. These nanomaterials operate with high rate and may eventually be used as alternative anode materials in future high-energy-density batteries.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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A battery that 'breathes' could power next-gen electric vehicles

Sun, 16 Mar 2014 10:27:09 EDT

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) nearly doubled in 2013, but most won't take you farther than 100 miles on one charge. To boost their range toward a tantalizing 300 miles or more, researchers are reporting progress on a "breathing" battery that has the potential to one day replace the lithium-ion technology of today's EVs.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 08:46:12 EST

Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany’s largest charging station.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Battery-free technology brings gesture recognition to all devices

Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:52:04 EST

Computer scientists have built a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control their electronic devices hidden from sight with simple hand movements. The prototype, called "AllSee," uses existing TV signals as both a power source and the means for detecting a user's gesture command.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Real-time view of battery electrochemistry

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:03:15 EST

Using a new microscopy method, researchers can image and measure electrochemical processes in batteries in real time and at nanoscale resolution. Scientists used a miniature electrochemical liquid cell that is placed in a transmission electron microscope to study an enigmatic phenomenon in lithium-ion batteries called the solid electrolyte interphase.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Kinetic battery chargers get a boost

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:34:24 EST

New technology to capture the kinetic energy of our everyday movements, such as walking, and to convert it into electrical energy has come a step closer. Researchers have for many years attempted to harvest energy from our everyday movements to allow us to trickle charge electronic devices while we are walking without the need for expensive and cumbersome gadgets such as solar panels or hand-cranked chargers. Lightweight devices are limited in the voltage that they can produce from our low-frequency movements to a few millivolts. However, this is not sufficient to drive electrons through a semiconductor diode so that a direct current can be tapped off and used to charge a device, even a low-power medical implant, for instance. Now all that is about to change.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Battery small enough to be injected, energetic enough to track salmon

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:33:30 EST

Scientists have created a microbattery that packs twice the energy compared to current microbatteries used to monitor the movements of salmon. The battery is just slightly larger than a long grain of rice, however is not the world's smallest battery. Engineers have created batteries far tinier than the width of a human hair, but those smaller batteries don't hold enough energy to power acoustic fish tags. The new battery is small enough to be injected into an organism and holds much more energy than similar-sized batteries.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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New 'pomegranate-inspired' design solves problems for lithium-ion batteries

Sun, 16 Feb 2014 15:17:43 EST

A novel battery electrode features silicon nanoparticles clustered like pomegranate seeds in a tough carbon rind. The design could enable smaller, lighter rechargeable batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Nonflammable lithium ion battery developed

Mon, 10 Feb 2014 16:13:26 EST

Researchers have created a nonflammable lithium-ion battery, a discovery that could renew consumer confidence in a technology that has attracted significant concern after recent lithium battery fires in Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Tesla Model S vehicles.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Invisibility cloak for hearing aids, implants

Mon, 10 Feb 2014 08:31:02 EST

Microsystems are at the heart of portable hearing aids and implants. Now researchers are developing a miniature, low-power wireless microsystem to make these medical aids smaller, more comfortable and more efficient.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Efficiently harnessing low frequency vibrations as infinite power source for miniature electronic devices

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 09:40:06 EST

Researchers have conceptualized a novel strategy to efficiently harness low frequency vibrations as infinite power source for miniature electronic devices.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Gummy material addresses safety concerns of lithium ion batteries

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 07:42:23 EST

Researchers have developed a chewing gum-like battery material that could dramatically improve the safety of lithium ion batteries.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Breakthrough in rechargeable batteries: New twist to sodium-ion battery technology

Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:46:48 EST

Engineers have made a breakthrough in rechargeable battery applications. They have demonstrated that a composite paper -- made of interleaved molybdenum disulfide and graphene nanosheets -- can be both an active material to efficiently store sodium atoms and a flexible current collector. The newly developed composite paper can be used as a negative electrode in sodium-ion batteries.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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One good tern deserves another: Low-power, remote monitoring of island birds cuts bills

Fri, 24 Jan 2014 11:11:44 EST

A new report reveals details of an energy-efficient system for monitoring wild birds that reduces power consumption without significantly compromising image quality.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Study: Electric drive vehicles have little impact on US pollutant emissions

Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:38:56 EST

A new study indicates that even a sharp increase in the use of electric drive passenger vehicles by 2050 would not significantly reduce emissions of high-profile air pollutants carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Energy-dense sugar battery created

Tue, 21 Jan 2014 09:30:44 EST

A new sugar battery that could be on the market and powering the world's gadgets in three years has an energy density and order of magnitude higher than others.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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Technology uses micro-windmills to recharge cell phones

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 07:43:36 EST

Electrical engineers have designed a micro-windmill that generates wind energy and may become an innovative solution to cell phone batteries constantly in need of recharging and home energy generation where large windmills are not preferred.<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>
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