Data travels through thousands of miles of fiber optic cables underneath the world's oceans -- via pulses of light. And according to experts, the data in these cables is at great risk of being intercepted. However, a newly designed frequency comb might be an effective tool for data encryption.
A new design of algae-powered fuel cells that is five times more efficient than existing plant and algal models, as well as being potentially more cost-effective to produce and practical to use, has been developed.
Scientists have observed the concentration of lithium inside individual nanoparticles reverse at a certain point, instead of constantly increasing. This discovery is a major step toward improving the battery life of consumer electronics.
Researchers have discovered the atomic mechanisms that give the unusual material yttrium manganite its rare magnetic and electric properties. All it took was ricocheting neutrons off the atoms of a sample of the material heated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the quest to find safe, low-cost batteries for the future, eventually we have to ask ourselves a question: Why not simply use water as an electrolyte? Water is cheap, in abundant supply, doesn’t burn and can conduct ions. But it has one major drawback: It is only chemically stable up to a voltage of 1.23 volts. In other words, a water cell provides three times less voltage than a customary lithium ion cell with 3.7 volts, which makes it poorly suited for applications in an electric car. A cost-effective, water-based battery, however, could be extremely interesting for stationary electricity storage applications.
The use of renewables like the sun and wind can cause fluctuations in power grids. But what impact do these fluctuations have on security of supply? To answer this question, scientists analyzed different types of fluctuations in several power grids in Europe, Japan, and the USA -- and came to surprising conclusions.
A team of researchers has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius without the use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants.
Carbon nanotubes bound for electronics not only need to be as clean as possible to maximize their utility in next-generation nanoscale devices, but contact effects may limit how small a nano device can be, according to researchers.
Engineers are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
A research team developed a flow-type polymer electrolyte cell for power storage. The cell reduces oxalic acid (OX) to glycolic acid, which has a higher volumetric energy-storage capacity than hydrogen gas. Newly fabricated TiO2 cathode enhanced the speed and efficiency of OX reduction. This competitive energy-storage device could be used to balance out the fluctuations in renewable power supplies.
Researchers have proposed an improved model for predicting the generation of thermal energy from nuclear fission processes, by focusing on Uranium-236. This model can help improve efficiency in nuclear power generation.
A research team has created a thermoelectric material with promising performance at room temperature. Ytterbium silicide is a good electrical conductor. It also has a high Seebeck coefficient thanks to Kondo resonance (fluctuation of f-electrons), which increases its power factor. Its layered structure further promotes the thermoelectric effect by blocking heat conduction. This non-toxic, room-temperature thermoelectric material is competitive with conventional bismuth telluride, and could be used for power generation or refrigeration.
Researchers have found that the topological material trisodium bismuthide (Na3Bi) can be manufactured to be as 'electronically smooth' as the highest-quality graphene-based alternative, while maintaining graphene's high electron mobility.
The electrical grid in the contiguous United States is a behemoth of interconnected systems. If one section fails or is sabotaged, millions of citizens could be without power. Remote villages in Alaska provide an example of how safeguards could build resilience into a larger electrical grid. These communities rely on microgrids -- small, local power stations that operate autonomously.
First study to show fetal health improvement as a result of a coal-fired power plant shutdown due to direct federal level regulation on single pollution source finds 15 percent reduction in likelihood of having a low birth weight baby and 28 percent reduction in likelihood of a preterm birth in areas downwind of the power plant.