Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs
Energy has come a long way over the years. We all rely on energy to use in our daily lives – while at home and when conducting business. Advancements within the energy sector make using energy even more convenient. Since innovations within the energy sector are ongoing, there are always breakthroughs being implemented to help energy work even more efficiently than it already does. Here is an overview of the latest top 10 energy breakthroughs.
10. Improvements to Self-Charging Batteries Using Nanocomposite Film
In 2012, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed the first self-charging battery pack. Instead of requiring re-charging by plugging it into an electrical outlet, these special battery packs are able to charge by manipulating the lithum ions in the battery. Researchers at the institute have made recent advancements in their inventions, enabling the battery pack to charge even more efficiently. By using nanocomposite film in order to accomplish this goal, researchers were also able to increase the storage capacity of the batteries, as well.
9. Body-Charging Devices
With more and more consumers seeking wearable electronic devices, these devices are becoming increasingly popular. However, a poor battery life is a common complaint among consumers. This is what prompted researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science to begin researching a way to remedy this problem. Through their extensive research, these researchers have discovered a way to keep these devices charged through the wearer's body heat.
8. Real-Time Energy Monitoring Tools
Businesses and homeowners are always looking for ways to save as much as possible on their energy costs. In an effort to fulfill this need, AutoGrid Systems, with the assistance of ARPA-E, has created cutting-edge software with the ability to monitor real-time energy usage. With the ability to keep track of exactly how much energy is being used in real-time, home and business owners can effectively limit their energy usage and save on their bills.
7. Electric Cars
BMW's i3, a super long-range electric vehicle, was recently introduced to the public. Previous electric vehicles required frequent recharging, but the i3 boasts the ability to operate for up to 100 miles before recharging is required. The battery of this BMW must simply be charged for 3 hours (as opposed to the traditional 12).
6. Ultra-Fast Electrical Circuit Panels
Singapore scientists have developed an electrical circuit that works even more optimally than the current already efficient microprocessors. These newly-designed, ultra-fast electrical circuits can operate tens of thousands times faster than traditional processors. This is a major breakthrough that has the potential to modernize the use of high-speed electronics, improving consumers' enjoyment of these items, in addition to the functioning of businesses.
5. World's First Battery-Operated Airplane
A French airplane maker recently began testing out the prototype of an airplane that is completely powered by batteries. Once the airplane successfully passes the testing phase, creators intend to sell a two-seater plane, and eventually a four-seat choice.
4. A New Long-Lasting Light Bulb
A company called "The Finally Light Bulb Company" recently created a non-LED bulb that is 75 percent more energy efficient than traditional bulbs. The Acandescent bulb, which lasts up to 15 times longer than standard bulbs, is based on the induction technology. A copper coil is used to produce light, and users can expect the light to be the same as the light produced by traditional bulbs, only a great deal more energy efficient.
3. Fusion Energy through High-Powered Lasers
Scientists in California, at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, have recently made an important breakthrough. While experimenting with high-powered lasers, these researchers were able to create fusion energy. While this can't yet be relied on as an alternative form of energy, it is hoped that in the future scientists will find a way to utilize the sun and stars as a power source.
2. Producing Hydrogen to Help Consumers Save on Energy Costs
Despite the fact that the current hydrogen production is performed in a state-of-the-art manner, technology researchers at Glasgow have made a recent discovery that will improve the production even more. The Glasgow chemists have created a newer and more efficient hydrogen that is created 30 times faster than traditional types. This will help consumers save a great deal on their energy costs by using this cleaner, more efficient type of energy.
1. Nanomaterial Could Improve the Production of Solar Energy
Technology researchers at UC San Diego recently introduced a new nanomaterial that has the potential to increase the production of solar energy derived from the sun. This might soon be possible because the nanomaterial will make it easier to absorb and convert solar energy. While the research is still being conducted, researchers are confident that this breakthrough will save homeowners and businesses millions each year.
HyNet North West and InterGen to build Zero Carbon plant
Expected to begin in the mid-2020s, the partnership could reduce the CO2 emissions from the Runcorn power station by over 150,000 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road every year.
Situated across one of the UK’s largest industrial areas which supports the highest number of manufacturing jobs of any UK region, HyNet North West will bring clean growth to safeguard jobs, and create thousands of new employment opportunities.
Following a commitment of £72 million in funding, HyNet North West will transform the North West into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster, playing a critical role in the UK’s transition to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the global fight against climate change.
HyNet North West will begin decarbonising the North West and North Wales region from 2025, replacing fossil fuels currently used for electricity generation, industry, heating homes and transportation with clean hydrogen. The project will also capture and lock up carbon which is currently emitted into the atmosphere.
It anticipates that by 2028, Rocksavage will have enough hydrogen produced by HyNet to move towards a 100% net zero power generation power station as the Gas Turbine technology becomes available.
InterGen’s Rocksavage Plant Manager Dan Fosberg said Rocksavage has been safely generating energy to power the north west for nearly 25 years, but in order to meet the UK’s net zero targets, traditional generation needs to adapt.
"HyNet North West will allow us to pivot our operations as we transition to a low-carbon world. The proximity of the Rocksavage Power Plant to the HyNet North West hydrogen network provides us with an exciting and unique opportunity," he said.
As soon as the first stage of the hydrogen network is available at Runcorn, InterGen intends to modify the existing generating plant to consume a blend of hydrogen with natural gas and start to reduce our emissions.
The HyNet North West project milestones mean that Rocksavage could be the first plant in the UK to blend Hydrogen with natural gas, a step forward for the industry in the target for net-zero. Once the gas turbine technology becomes available, it will explore options with HyNet North West to create a zero emissions power station using 100% hydrogen.
The project will play a big part in supporting Liverpool City Region in its commitment to reach zero carbon by 2040 and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “Putting the Liverpool City Region at the heart of the Green Industrial Revolution is one of my top priorities. With our existing strengths in green energy, we have the potential to become the UK’s renewable energy coast.
“I am committed to doubling the number of green jobs in our region and exciting projects like HyNet will be a key part of that. We’re going to lead the way, not only in doing our bit to tackle climate change, but in pioneering new and innovative technology that in turn attracts more jobs and investment to our region.”
David Parkin, HyNet North West Project Director, said HyNet North West will play a big part in tackling climate change regionally. "It will ensure the region remains an attractive location for investment and for companies to grow through the establishment of a clean economy, protection of skilled jobs and creation of thousands of new long-term employment opportunities.
“Our partnership with InterGen at Rocksavage shows just how great an impact HyNet will have on the region – decarbonising homes, workplaces, travel and industry.”
HyNet North West is a low carbon energy project at the forefront of the UK’s journey to a Net Zero future, being developed by a consortium comprising Progressive Energy, Cadent, Essar, Inovyn, Eni, University of Chester, CF Fertilisers and Hanson.