One of the biggest hurdles to more widespread use of solar power is that there is no simple way to store the excess energy produced, and peak energy demand doesn't always dovetail with sunny days. The latest attempt to solve this problem comes from MIT, where a team has invented an all-liquid battery that is powerful enough to store solar-generated electricity.
With worldwide auto sales stuck in reverse, the
organizers of the 79th International Motor Show are wondering whether
the next big thing might in fact come from a small company. This year,
they'll devote an entire exhibition hall to electric and alternative
power. The "Green Pavilion" isn't just for major automakers — it also
promises "an equal opportunity" for "startup specialists" to showcase
their earth-loving technologies. In rosier times, we might hail that as
a daring and surprisingly broad-minded move.
Our wireless power article showcased new products that you don't need to plug in to charge up—but they still use a base station that's tethered to some kind of power supply. Now Intel has demonstrated an even more innovative way to draw power. It's a wireless device that grabs its energy from a freely-available and abundant source: radio transmissions.
While Li-ion battery makers in the US are going cap-in-hand to the government in search of federal aid to keep up with foreign companies, it's been rumored that Nissan and NEC are about to invest around $1 billion of their own capital into making batteries for electric cars.
Sony's new demonstration Hana-Akari lighting unit contains a neat innovation: Dye-sensitized solar power generating cells that allow for different colors and patterns to be designed into the light-capturing surface.