WOW-POW = World Of Wonderful POWer: May 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

STAIR Air-fuelled Battery Could Last Up to 10 Times Longer

A new type of air-fuelled battery could give up to ten times the energy storage of designs currently available. This step-change in capacity could pave the way for a new generation of electric cars, mobile phones and laptops. The research work, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is being led by researchers at the University of St Andrews with partners at Strathclyde and Newcastle.The new design has the potential to improve the performance of portable electronic products and give a major boost to the renewable energy industry. The batteries will enable a constant electrical output from sources such as wind or solar, which stop generating when the weather changes or night falls. The STAIR (St Andrews Air) cell should be cheaper than today’s rechargeables too. The new component is made of porous carbon, which is far less expensive than the lithium cobalt oxide it replaces. “The key is to use oxygen in the air as a re-agent, rather than carry the necessary chemicals around inside the battery,” says Bruce. The oxygen, which will be drawn in through a surface of the battery exposed to air, reacts within the pores of the carbon to discharge the battery. “Not only is this part of the process free, the carbon component is much cheaper than current technology,” says Bruce. He estimates that it will be at least five years before the STAIR cell is commercially available.
More at EPSRC

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Lithium Battery Can Store And Deliver More Than Three Times Power Of Conventional Lithium Batteries

Scientists at the University Of Waterloo has laid the groundwork for a lithium battery that can store and deliver more than three times the power of conventional lithium ion batteries. The research team of professor Linda Nazar, graduate student David Xiulei Ji and postdoctoral fellow Kyu Tae Lee are one of the first to demonstrate robust electrochemical performance for a lithium-sulphur battery. The finding is reported in the online issue of Nature Materials. The prospect of lithium-sulphur batteries has tantalized chemists for two decades, and not just because successfully combining the two chemistries delivers much higher energy densities. Sulphur is cheaper than many other materials currently used in lithium batteries. It has always showed great promise as the ideal partner for a safe, low cost, long lasting rechargeable battery, exactly the kind of battery needed for energy storage and transportation in a low carbon emission energy economy.
More at Science Daily

Wind-it, installs wind turbines in existing electrical transmission towers.

Wind-it, the brilliant project aims to give our existing energy grid a much needed boost by installing wind turbines in ailing electrical transmission towers. The project is designed for France, but creators Nicola Delon, Julien Choppin, and Raphael Menard believe it could be integrated everywhere, from China’s Sichuan Province to the streets of New York City. The French design team proposes inserting wind turbines into broken electrical towers, thereby turning the towers into wind energy powerhouses and providing an energy boost to a ready-made grid. Wind-it could also be placed in newly built electrical towers. The design, available in three sizes, could provide enough energy to power one room in a house or even 20 whole houses depending on size and wind speed.
More at Inhabitat

Microsoft's Laptop Hunters, Jennie, spoofed by Funny or Die

Microsoft's Laptop Hunters, Jennie, spoofed by Funny or Die

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Solar Powered Mobile Phone, Sharp Solar Hybrid 936SH to be released in Japan

Solar Powered Mobile Phone, the Sharp Solar Hybrid 936SH to be released in Japan. The phone, offered by Softbank, has a large solar array up front that will give you one minute of call time or two hours of standby per 10 minutes of charging. The phone also features IPX7 water resistance, an 8 megapixel camera, and a full wide VGA display and is expected to be release in August. Sorry for Japan only.
More at Impress Watch (in Japanese)

New Prius Debuts with Kyocera's Solar Cells

Polycrystalline Si solar cells manufactured by Kyocera Corp are used for the solar panel that comes as an option for the new Prius, which Toyota Motor Corp announced May 18, 2009, in Japan. The solar panel is composed of a total of 36 cells arranged in six rows and six columns. Each cell is half the size of the standard 15 x 15cm cell. With a cell conversion efficiency of 16.5%, the maximum output of the entire panel reaches fifty-odd watts. The portions where three bus bars are believed to exist were covered with a black component.
More at Tech-on

Galactic Core of the Milky Way as seen via Time-Lapse Photography

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Galactic Core of the Milky Way as seen via Time-Lapse Photography. "This gorgeous video is a compilation of shots taken with a Canon EOS-5D every 20 seconds over about nine hours at a star party in Fort Davis, Texas. It's a humbling sight.
Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo. Some specifics: The Canon was equipped with a fisheye lens (an EF 15mm f/2.8 lens) and powered with an external battery to capture all that goodness.
More at Gizmodo