May 17, 2020

Liquid Fuel for Electric Cars?

MIT
research
battery
batteries
Admin
2 min
MIT researchers develop a liquid fuel to charge electrical vehicles that is cheaper and more efficient than lithium-ion batteries
A group of young researchers at MIT has set out “to reinvent the rechargeable battery,” according to supervising professor Yet-Ming Chiang...

 

A group of young researchers at MIT has set out “to reinvent the rechargeable battery,” according to supervising professor Yet-Ming Chiang, and has accomplished just that.  The inventors have created a rechargeable liquid fuel for electric vehicles that holds charged particles, acting as an electrolyte.  The fuel has been named “Cambridge Crude,” and could make charging an electric car as easy as pulling up to the gas pump.

The new type of batteries function by way of semi-solid flow cells (the fuel) filling a fuel tank that rests between two other tanks—one for energy storage and the other for energy discharge.  The liquid fuel can be pumped in and either recharged in the vehicle itself, or pumped out and replaced with fully charged fuel.

 

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The Cambridge Crude liquid electric vehicle fuel makes it possible to reduce the size and cost of producing an overall battery system.  The new system design is also ten times more efficient than lithium-ion batteries.

The research team believes that the liquid fuel design could reduce infrastructure development needs by half, since existing pump and pipeline infrastructure could be used to transfer the fuel.  They argue that the technology could make electric vehicles fully competitive with gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. 

Chiang’s team of researchers is preparing a fully operational prototype that could be manufactured for electric vehicles over the next 18 months. 

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Jul 30, 2021

Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector

marineenergy
renewableenergy
tidalturbine
Sustainability
3 min
The UK’s nascent marine energy sector starts exporting electricity to the grid as the most powerful tidal turbine in the world begins to generate power

Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre

At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable. 

How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?

Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.” 

“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement. 

The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.

“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government. 

“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.

“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”

However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future. 

We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.” 

The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours

This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly

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