Power/Performance Bits: May 15


Aluminum battery materials Scientists from ETH Zurich and Empa identified two new materials that could boost the development of aluminum batteries, a potential low cost, materially abundant option for temporary storage of renewable energy. The first is a corrosion-resistant material for the conductive parts of the battery; the second is a novel material for the battery's positive pole that ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 8


Cobalt-free cathodes Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, built lithium-ion battery cathodes without cobalt that can store 50% more energy than traditional cobalt-containing cathodes. Currently, lithium-ion battery cathodes use layered structures, which cobalt is necessary to maintain. When lithium ions move from the cathode to anode during charging, a lot of space is left... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 1


Low power video streaming Engineers at the University of Washington developed a method for streaming HD video from a lightweight, wearable camera. The researchers used backscatter to send pixel data to a more powerful device, such as a smartphone or laptop, for power-hungry tasks like video processing and compression that have made a lightweight streaming camera out of reach. The pixels in ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 24


Waste heat to power Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, developed a thin-film system that can be applied to electronics to turn waste heat into energy. The thin-film system uses pyroelectric energy conversion, which is well suited for tapping into waste-heat energy supplies below 100 degrees Celsius, called low-quality waste heat. In particular, the technology might be part... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 17


Flexible LCDs Researchers at Donghua University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developed a flexible, optically rewriteable LCD for paperlike displays. The team estimates it will be cheap to produce, perhaps only costing $5 for a 5-inch screen. Optically rewriteable LCDs, like conventional LCDs, are structured like a sandwich, with a liquid crystal filling between two ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Apr. 10


Lithium-air battery Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory designed a new lithium-air battery that works in a natural air environment and still functioned after 750 charge/discharge cycles, a record for this battery type. In theory, lithium-air batteries work by combining lithium present in the anode with oxygen from the air to produce lithium p... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 3


Long-lived data storage Scientists from RMIT University and Wuhan Institute of Technology demonstrated a next-generation optical disk with up to 10TB capacity and a six-century lifespan using gold nanoparticles. The technology could radically improve the energy efficiency of data centers according to the researchers, using 1000 times less power than a hard disk center by requiring far less ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 27


Equalizing batteries Engineers at the University of Toledo propose a bilevel equalizer technology to improve the life span of batteries by combining the high performance of an active equalizer with the low cost of a passive equalizer. "Whenever we are talking about batteries, we are talking about cells connected in a series. Over time, the battery is not balanced and limited by the weakest ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 20


Proton battery prototype A team at RMIT University built a prototype rechargeable proton battery combining hydrogen fuel cells and battery-based electrical power that has the potential, with further development, to store more energy than currently-available lithium ion batteries. The working prototype proton battery uses an activated carbon electrode for solid-state storage of hydrogen with... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 13


Wireless charging Engineers at the University of Washington developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser, potentially as quickly as a standard USB cable. Safety features of the system include a reflector-based mechanism to shut off the laser and heatsinks. The charging beam is generated by a laser emitter that the team configured to produce a focused beam in the... » read more

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