Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 120

Sep 21, 2015

German Scientists Create Lithium Ion Battery that Can Charge an Electric Car for 27 Years

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

German scientists have developed technology that makes lithium-ion batteries last for 10,000 charging and discharging cycles while still retaining 85% of their original capacity.

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Sep 21, 2015

Intel wireless charging in a bowl coming sooner than later

Posted by in categories: electronics, energy, mobile phones

When vendors send out announcements of long battery life and juicing strategies for electronic gadgets, interest is assured; the bad news is that interest is assured because consumers are still eagerly looking for less bother and less time needed to keep their smartphones and other mobile gadgets up and running. Intel is aware of the challenge, what with wearables on tap in an assortment of form factors. To be sure, Intel would like to be in the frontlines of technology giants providing the buying public with finer solutions.

“What’s New with Wireless Charging?” Intel asked in July. Intel’s answer, “If you’ve been keeping up with trade shows and tech blogs, you might think that some new breakthrough in wireless energy transfer has taken place in the past year. It hasn’t.” Nikola Tesla worked on before the turn of the 20th century; his inductive charging techniques would see a renaissance some five decades after his death in 1943, said Intel. That has not stopped technologists, however, from asking what comes next. Today, said Intel, the idea and the technology is gaining momentum.

This week’s news headlines of Intel saying its charging bowl will be available by the end of this year will no doubt interest readers and will please those who saw the bowl earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics show, and kept sending e-mails to Intel asking when it will be ready. Earlier this year, it was clear that Intel was working on a day not too distant in the future when people in PC environments could enjoy docking and charging activities as a wire-free experience. Intel revealed at the Computex trade show in Taipei, via an Intel demonstration by Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, that the chipmaker was in fact working on wireless technologies to help deliver a new normal. Skaugen demonstrated how wireless technology could be integrated into a table that could simultaneously charge a laptop, phone, headset and tablet. In January, the company had really whetted appetites for changes in showing a wireless charging bowl at CES. The bowl looks like the standard bowl one might place on a table at home to hold keys, loose coins, or other items.

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Sep 21, 2015

‘Cool-Burning’ Space Flames Could Make Greener Cars

Posted by in categories: energy, space, transportation

Astronauts typically try to avoid starting fires in space, but new research on the behavior of flames in orbit could have benefits closer to home. In fact, this fiery research could lead to more-efficient car engines that contribute less pollution to the environment, according to a new study.

A series of experiments aboard the orbiting complex is investigating “cool-burning” flames in space — a type of fire that burns at lower temperatures than ordinary flames on Earth. Blazes on this planet typically burn at between 2,240 degrees and 3,140 degrees Fahrenheit (1,225 degrees and 1,725 degrees Celsius). Cooler flames produced in microgravity burn at temperatures of between 440 degrees and 980 degrees Fahrenheit (227 degrees and 527 degrees Celsius).

In the space station experiments, researchers ignited droplets of heptane fuel. These types of fires are possible on Earth, but they are typically short-lived, flickering out almost immediately, the researchers said. In microgravity, though, the flames burned for several minutes. [7 Everyday Things that Happen Strangely In Space].

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Sep 21, 2015

Laser ‘Lightning rods’ channel electricity through thin air

Posted by in category: energy

By zapping the air with a pair of powerful laser bursts, researchers at the University of Arizona have created highly focused pathways that can channel electricity through the atmosphere.

The new technique can potentially direct an electrical discharge up to 10 meters (33 feet) away or more, shattering previous distance records for transmitting through . It also raises the intriguing possibility of one day channeling lightning with laser power.

Described in a paper published in The Optical Society’s new open-access journal Optica, the current system may have near-term, lifesaving applications in areas such as the remote detonation of land mines, the researchers speculate. The laser system could easily pinpoint an active land mine and then carry an electric pulse strong enough to safely discharge harmful explosives from afar.

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Sep 21, 2015

Kickstarter campaign bringing magnetic charging to iPhone

Posted by in categories: energy, mobile phones

If you’ve got an iPhone, there is a good chance you also have a MacBook. The MagSafe charger on Apple’s laptop offerings is easy to use, leading some to want an iPhone with the same functionality. A recently funded Kickstarter is attempting to bring it to us, and even slaps in a battery pack for good measure.

The draw for Cabin is twofold: the magnetic charging, and the battery pack. The battery pack slips onto the rear of the device, much like we see with the Case+ lineup from Logitech. Aluminum, Cabin is relying on your sensitivity to style for the battery pack. At 2200mAh, it’ll charge you up more than once, too.

The magnetic charging is a bit more adapter than anything else. By taking a lightning connector and working a pinned magnetic charger on the end, we get simple, easy, and (hopefully) effective charging. What you won’t be able to do is use your MacBook charger. Cabin includes a Lightning adapter and dock (if you spend a touch more), though.

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Sep 21, 2015

Here’s why your phone and laptop batteries degrade so fast

Posted by in categories: energy, mobile phones, transportation

Researchers in the US have identified the two main culprits in rechargeable battery degradation, which could lead to longer-lasting phone, laptop and electric car batteries.

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Sep 21, 2015

BMW and Mercedes team on wireless car charging

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

BMW and Mercedes-Benz are teaming up on wireless car charging, pushing a super-efficient way of refueling EVs like the BMW i8 and the Mercedes S500 Plug-In Hybrid simply by parking over a certain spot on your driveway. The system, which the two German marques hope to get accepted as the de-facto standard for wireless car recharging, promises a cut in charge times without the hassle of having to regularly plug in: BMW says the batteries in its i8 supercar, for instance, can be topped up in under two hours.

As with other such systems we’ve seen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW use a pair of coils to transmit power wirelessly. A primary coil is mounted in a floor plate, and connects with a secondary coil in the vehicle floor: an alternating magnetic field is created by the former and tracked by the latter.

However, the new system uses a circular coil which the two companies claim makes for a more productive magnetic field, with more than 90-percent efficiency. The charging rate is initially 3.6 kW, but could be ramped up to as much as 7 kW, in preparation for the next generation of higher-powered EV drivetrains car firms envisage.

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Sep 21, 2015

Sand-based batteries could soon power your mobile phone

Posted by in categories: energy, materials, mobile phones

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside in the US have developed lithium-ion batteries that substitute graphite with silicon extracted from sand and last three times longer than current products.

The negative side of lithium-ion batteries, or anode, is made with graphite, and scientists have been trying to find a substitute material that could make batteries last longer. One of the options is silicon, which can store up to 10 times more energy than current materials, but it’s expensive and hard to produce in large quantities.

But then a very simple but brilliant option revealed itself to graduate student Zachary Favors. As Gizmag reports, Favors was relaxing after surfing when he noticed something quite special: sand. Sand is made of quartz, or silicon dioxide, and other materials, so Favors thought he could extract the silicon and use it to make batteries.

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Sep 20, 2015

For more innovative ideas, visit our website at

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering

The Engineering Buddies Team

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Sep 18, 2015

Tesla’s Powerwall home battery is coming to Australia in 2015

Posted by in categories: business, energy, transportation

The Powerwall, a rechargeable lithium ion home battery from the makers of the Tesla Model S car, will be on sale in Australia by the end of the year.

Powerwall will be available in Australia in late 2015 through a variety of Tesla Energy partners who are yet to be announced, Business Insider reported.

See also: All hail Apple’s new iOS 9 font, San Francisco.

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