Nuclear battery the size of a penny
To some, the word 'nuclear' conjures up images of mushroom clouds and Chernobyl. So a nuclear battery may sound downright dangerous. But, in fact, nuclear batteries have been safely powering pace-makers, satellites and underwater systems for years. They boast an extremely long life and high energy density compared to typical batteries. However, they are also large and heavy: or at least they were.
Researchers at University of Missouri (MU) are working on a smaller, lighter model. Jae Kwon and his research team are developing a battery that is currently the size and thickness of a penny. However, the battery's small size is not the only innovation; it also utilizes a liquid semiconductor rather than a solid one.
"The critical part of using a radioactive battery is that when you harvest the energy, part of the radiation energy can damage the lattice structure of the solid semiconductor," Kwon said. "By using a liquid semiconductor, we believe we can minimize that problem."
Working in collaboration with J. David Robertson, a chemistry professor and the associate director of the MU Research Reactor, Kwon is working to build and test the battery at the MU research facility. He hopes to increase the battery's power while continuing to shrink its size. In fact, Kwon said the battery could eventually be thinner than the thickness of human hair.
Amazon's renewable energy projects surpass 200 milestone
Amazon claims it is now Europe's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy as its projects surpassed 200 globally.
Broken down, it has 136 solar rooftops on facilities and stores and 71 utility-scale wind and solar projects, nine of which were announced today covering the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden and UK. They include:
First solar project paired with energy storage Based in California’s Imperial Valley, Amazon’s first solar project paired with energy storage allows the company to align solar generation with the greatest demand. The project generates 100MW of solar energy, and includes 70MW storage.
It now has more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy capacity, enough to power more than two million European homes a year, and aims to power all its activities with renewables by 2025 and net zero by 2040.
Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019, a commit ment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 53 signatories, including IBM, Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft, and Best Buy.
A map of all of Amazon’s renewable energy projects around the world can be found here.