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Indian village gets Bio-CPV UPS

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 16:39 -- Anonymous
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UK project leader Professor Tapas Mallick.
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British and Indian researchers are working together to combine solar power with bio-mass and hydrogen to create a Bio-CPV uninterruptible power supply.

British and Indian researchers are working together, in the hope that a low-cost combination of solar power with bio-mass and hydrogen will create a Bio-CPV uninterruptible power supply.

The project is expected to generate power tt about 45 households in a remote village in West Bengal by 2016. It has been jointly funded by Research Councils UK and India’s department of science and technology.

"Descentralised hybrid power plants with different renewable technologies can be the most efficient, cheap and sustainable options for rural electrification,” said UK project leader Professor Tapas Mallick in the research paper related to the project.

The biomass and hydrogen will be produced locally.

The research, which began in 2012, is being conducted by scientists from British universities in Sheffield, Exeter and Nottingham, and the Indian institutions Visva-Bharati, IIT Madras and IIT Bombay.

Korean researchers develop reusable graphene fuel cell catalyst

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 15:27 -- Anonymous
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Korean researchers develop reusable graphene fuel cell catalyst
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Korean researchers have developed a technique to make the first reusable fuel cell electrode material.

By selectively coating the metalloid antimony with graphene in a mechanochemical process, the scientists at the Ulsan National Institute for Science and Technology managed to maximise the electrode’s electrochemical activities.

Due to the costs of platinum, commonly used in fuel cells, graphene has long been talked about as a replacement. But until now the electrochemical activities in the material has been too low.

The development process of the electrode has been transferred to a Korean company and is expected to be commercialised, reports Business Korea.

The findings of the study were first published in the scientific journal Nature Communications’ May issue.

Toyota hopes fuel cell research will lead to increased efficiency

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 16:19 -- Anonymous
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Toyota hopes fuel cell research will lead to increased efficiency.
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Automotive manufacturer Toyota has made a breakthrough in its research that could result in more efficient fuel cell stacks.

The company claims to have developed an observation technique

which allows researchers to monitor the behaviour of nanometer-sized platinum particles during the chemical reaction in fuel cells.

This will allow the processes leading to reduced catalytic reactivity to be observed.

By observing the coarsening of platinum particles – when nanoparticles increase in size and decrease in surface area –researchers hope to find the starting point of the process.

Scientists will also measure voltage output during the coarsening process with the aim of  improving the performance of the platinum catalyst and the fuel cell stack as a whole.

The breakthrough was made in partnership with Japan Fine Ceramics Center (JFCC).

Researchers with new method for catalyst platinum extraction

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 16:10 -- Anonymous
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Researchers with new method for catalyst platinum extraction.
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Researchers from Delft University of Technology have developed an environmentally friendly method of recycling fuel cell catalysts.

The scientists claim to have discovered how to recover platinum through a selective electrochemical dissolution method.

The team applied a 0.5 to 1.1 V with a voltage scan rate of 50 mV/s to the carbon substrate resulting in only the platinum being dissolved.

The researchers used a solution of perchloric acid (HClO4, 0.1 M) and hydrochloric acid (HCl) - with three different concentrations of HCI testing at 0.1, 0.25 and 0.5 M.

Even with the lowest concentration of HCl the researchers managed to extract 90% of the platinum.

The separation method was tested at 22.35 and 60 degrees Celsius.

Platinum is currently recovered by dissolving the substrate material in acid or through oxidation, and then separating the platinum from the solution.

The researchers at Delft University of Technology claim their method could be more environmentally friendly, as it avoids the use of concentrated acid mixtures.

The findings were published in the May issue of the journal ChemSusChem titled Environmentally Friendly Carbon-Preserving Recovery of Noble Metals From Supported Fuel Cell Catalysts.


Power cuts cost European and US industries billions

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 12:50 -- Anonymous
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Gautham Gnanajothi, Frost & Sullivan Energy & Environmental Senior Industry Analyst
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Market forecasters predict a surge in the UPS market following revelations the industry loses around €150billion in Europe, and the U.S €188 billion due to power failures.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s analysis, mature American and European markets will make up 45% of the UPS market revenues by 2018, while the Asia-Pacific will contribute 26% of the revenue.

Analysis of the global industrial UPS market reveals market earned revenues for 2014 at $1.13 billion, and estimates that this will reach $1.38 billion in 2018.

However, the market researchers also point out that the replacement rate for industrial UPS systems is fairly low, as they are built to last 20-30 years, the replacement demand will remain low globally and decrease the market revenue.

"Manufacturers need to introduce energy-efficient UPS systems with additional features," said Frost & Sullivan Energy & Environmental Senior Industry Analyst Gautham Gnanajothi. "They should also enhance their customisation capabilities to strengthen their appeal to customers in various market segments."

Not a game changing battery- but a very impressive cell!

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 15:21 -- Anonymous
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Stanford University's aluminum-ion battery cell
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When is a novel battery not a battery?  When its only an experimental cell and developed at a University. That’s the fact under the hype of last week’s news that researchers had developed an ultrafast charging battery that could replace conventional lithium cells used in today’s consumer electronics.

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Highly active catalyst to improve fuel cells and lithium-air

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 10:44 -- Anonymous
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Crystal structure of a double perovskite
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A highly active catalyst for oxygen evolution, using a water splitting reaction for use in some forms of energy storage, has been discovered by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

It is an advance towards finding an inexpensive and efficient way to split water into its constituent elements for storing, and then re-join the hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity when power is required.

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Coming unstuck – change of glue to lengthen lithium life?

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 14:47 -- Anonymous
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Research scientists at Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC) have found using a different binding agent in the cathode resulted in five times longer lithium-ion battery life.

The researchers were looking at improving the cathode by using lithium sulfide instead of sulphur, it binds strongly with intermediate polysulfide molecules that dissolve out of the cathode and diminish the battery's storage capacity and useful lifetime.

The new binder – known as PVP – retained 94% of the energy storage capacity of cells over 100 charge/discharge cycles, compared to 72% for cells using a conventional binder. After 500 cycles, it maintained 69% capacity.

The professor who led the research, Yi Cui, said the PVP has a strong affinity for lithium sulfide and when combined they form a fine-grained lithium-sulfide/carbon composite. The previous binder material tended to clump together which hindered the lithium-ions movement, but the fine-grain composite allows lithium-ions to penetrate the active material in the cathode far more easily.

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