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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 9

Oct 22, 2020

Smart windows darken and become solar cells when heated

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Windows are great for letting in light, but in summer months that comes with an unwanted side order of heat, causing many people to run the air conditioning non-stop. Now, researchers have developed windows that can change color automatically when heated by sunlight, to keep buildings cool – and to top it off, they’re solar panels as well.

Color-changing glass has been around for a long time, most commonly as transition lenses for eyeglasses that tint automatically under bright light. More recent developments have made it electronic and switchable on demand, and scaled it up to window size. At the same time, transparent (or semi-transparent) solar cells are getting more efficient, to the point where they can be fitted into windows.

In the new study, researchers at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has combined the two technologies into one window. The “thermochromic photovoltaic” tech, as they call it, can switch colors when heated up by sunlight to block glare and reduce the need for cooling, and when it does it also starts harvesting energy from that light.

Continue reading “Smart windows darken and become solar cells when heated” »

Oct 21, 2020

Tesla’s 4680 tabless cells are curiously similar to LG Chem’s ‘new form factor’ batteries

Posted by in categories: business, sustainability, transportation

As the electric vehicle sector grows, the demand for batteries is poised to see a significant increase. This is a big opportunity for companies like LG Chem, which supplies batteries for several EV makers like Tesla. Amidst this surging demand, LG Chem revealed on Wednesday that it is planning on tripling its production capacity for cylindrical batteries, the type used by the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker.

LG Chem currently forecasts a further rise in its battery sales and profits this fourth quarter. This is rather optimistic of the South Korean company considering that the company has already posted record quarterly earnings thanks to its growing EV battery business. “Sales are continuously expected to grow thanks to greater shipments of automotive batteries and cylindrical batteries for EVs,” LG Chem noted.

Oct 21, 2020

Tesla reports fifth consecutive quarter of profits

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

Elon Musk’s carmaker reported net income of $331 million on revenue of $8.77 billion in the third quarter.

Oct 21, 2020

Samples from Ferndale’s municipal water system have lead levels exceeding state standards

Posted by in categories: health, sustainability

FERNDALE, Mich. – Samples from Ferndale’s municipal water system have lead levels in the drinking water exceeding state standards, according to officials.

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) was notified by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) about the results from testing. Testing occurred as part of routine compliance sampling required by EGLE under Michigan’s Safe Drinking Water Act.

The OCHD is coordinating the distribution of free water filter kits to Ferndale residents who qualify on Oct. 28 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Gary Kulick Community Center (1201 Livernois St, Ferndale, MI 48220).

Continue reading “Samples from Ferndale’s municipal water system have lead levels exceeding state standards” »

Oct 21, 2020

Volcon Grunt unveiled as affordable 60 MPH US-made electric motorcycle

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Volcon is the latest startup hoping to bite off a piece of the growing electric motorcycle pie. The company’s new Volcon Grunt is poised to fill a gap in the market with an interesting mix of specs and pricing.

Volcon Grunt electric motorcycle unveiled

The Volcon Grunt is a fat tire electric motorcycle of sorts that doesn’t just talk the talk.

Continue reading “Volcon Grunt unveiled as affordable 60 MPH US-made electric motorcycle” »

Oct 21, 2020

This Mutant Super-Enzyme Can Eat Plastic Waste Within Days

Posted by in category: sustainability

Plastic eating enzyme.


PLASTIC-EATING ENZYME: Researchers have re-engineered a plastic-eating enzyme to degrade bottles within days — and it might be ready to start eating our trash as soon as next year 👀.

Oct 20, 2020

Etching a Simple Pattern on Solar Panels Boosts Light Absorption

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A simple way to improve efficiency…


Solar panels offer huge potential to move more people away from electricity generated from burning coal, and a new innovation devised by scientists stands to more than double the amount of light captured by conventional solar cells.

In a new study, a team of scientists from the UK, Portugal, and Brazil discovered that etching a shallow pattern of grating lines in a checkerboard design on solar cells can enhance the current generated by crystalline silicon (c-Si) by as much as 125 percent.

Continue reading “Etching a Simple Pattern on Solar Panels Boosts Light Absorption” »

Oct 20, 2020

Twin peaks: South Australia reaches 100 pct solar, and then 100 pct wind power in same week

Posted by in categories: energy, government, sustainability

Australia seems to be leading the way in terms of wind power as well. 😃


It was a big week for South Australia last week. First, as we wrote at the time, the state reached 100 per cent solar power (of state demand) for the first time on Sunday, October 11.

Then, just a few days later, the state reached 100 per cent wind power (of state demand), on Thursday, October 15.

Continue reading “Twin peaks: South Australia reaches 100 pct solar, and then 100 pct wind power in same week” »

Oct 19, 2020

New insight brings sustainable hydrogen one step closer

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, sustainability, transportation

Leiden chemists Marc Koper and Ian McCrum have discovered that the degree to which a metal binds to the oxygen atom of water is decisive for how well the chemical conversion of water to molecular hydrogen takes place. This insight helps to develop better catalysts for the production of sustainable hydrogen, an important raw material for the chemical industry and the fuel needed for environmentally friendly hydrogen cars. Publication in Nature Energy.

For years there has been a heated debate in the literature: how to speed up the electrochemical production of on platinum electrodes in an alkaline environment? Chemist Ian McCrum watched from the sidelines and concluded that part of the debate was caused by the fact that the debaters were looking at slightly different electrodes, making the results incomparable. Time to change that, McCrum thought, who was a LEaDing Fellow postdoc in the group of Professor Marc Koper at the time.

Oct 19, 2020

Mini Wind Turbine Can Generate Energy Made From the Breeze You Make When Walking

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, sustainability

Scientists in China have created a nanogenerator that can generate wind energy created by a person on a brisk walk.

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