BMW brings wireless charging to the US

D75E1F2C-6A2C-4BB9-91B1-2852E7BA660B

Because plugging in an electric vehicle is a hassle.

BMW first announced its wireless charging pilot program back in 2017. It works with BMW 530e plug-in hybrid models and the pilot program is helping people test the ability to charge the cars using magnetic induction. The system works in much the same way as we use induction charging for cell phones, except the charging pad is bigger. Parking over the pad starts the charging process automatically and the driver doesn’t have to do anything more. We knew the technology would make it to the US eventually, and now BMW has announced it’s testing it here through a pilot program.

Continue reading… “BMW brings wireless charging to the US”

0

Chinese shadow growing longer over India’s electric-vehicle dream

DC961B17-170C-46A4-B2AB-A18440BBADAF

India’s dream of getting more and more middle-class families to use electric vehicles (EVs) seems to be hinging to Beijing, which controls the supply of some key battery components. And this might well become another flashpoint in the volatile relations between India and China.

With nations placing a strategic interest in controlling the supply chain, political interference in mining activities is increasingly making the availability of lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper scarce, EV major Tesla has warned. India might soon have to join a global struggle for Lithium, the most consequential of these minerals.

Continue reading… “Chinese shadow growing longer over India’s electric-vehicle dream”

0

Tesla’s Megapack battery is big enough to help grids handle peak demand

A55D350E-F3F3-49F2-8608-366988FEEAE8

A new industrial storage product coming as the company’s lost its lead in home solar

Tesla announced a new massive battery today called Megapack that could replace so-called “peaker” power plants, which provide energy when a local electrical grid gets overloaded. Tesla says that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will deploy several Megapacks at Moss Landing on Monterrey Bay in California, which is one of four locations where the California utility plans to install more cost-effective energy storage solutions.

Each Megapack can store up to 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy at a time, and it’s possible to string enough Megapacks together to create a battery with more than 1 GWh of energy storage, Tesla says. The company says this would be enough energy to power “every home in San Francisco for six hours.” Telsa will deliver the Megapacks fully assembled, and they include “battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls.” Tesla says the Megapack takes up 40 percent less space, requires a tenth of the parts to build, and can be assembled 10 times as fast as alternative energy storage solutions.

Continue reading… “Tesla’s Megapack battery is big enough to help grids handle peak demand”

0

Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer

B540A8BA-25FA-4A12-A46D-4AC6E08A6243

An innovative thermal battery being developed by Curtin University researchers will be key to a solar power system capable of producing electricity overnight, rivaling fossil fuels as a viable source of power for commercial and heavy industries around the world, including mining operations.

Curtin is collaborating with international renewable energy companies United Sun Systems and ITP Thermal on the potentially game-changing project, which is being led by Professor Craig Buckley from Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Craig Buckley said the thermal battery was part of the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) system being developed by United Sun Systems, which requires a battery to store and release energy to enable non-stop solar power generation.

Continue reading… “Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer”

0

Fake blood pumps life into this robotic fish

3C319ED9-AF0E-4A53-A27F-45A0F538CADD

Autonomous robots may soon be an ever-present force in our lives, but they are going nowhere fast — or rather, a short distance quickly — without better batteries. You’ve surely seen modern robots scamper through woods or vacuum your floors, but they can only do it for short periods before their energy runs out. Many carry a large battery, which increases a robot’s weight, and in a vicious cycle, requires more power to move.

But a new development in robotic technology that borrows from biology may lead to longer lasting batteries.

The fish “blood” that runs through it serves as both the robot’s power source and controls its movement.

Researchers have engineered a robotic lionfish with synthetic arteries, similar to those found in a human’s circulatory system. The fish “blood” that runs through it serves as both the robot’s power source and controls its movement. The findings, published Wednesday in Nature, may propel the new wave of soft robots, in which inventors seek to improve lifelike automated machines for human connection.

Continue reading… “Fake blood pumps life into this robotic fish”

0

The holy grail of lithium batteries

48AC7FE6-351D-46B3-8ECE-AA1D03B203A5

Mark Bissett, lecturer in nanomaterials at The University of Manchester, poses for a photograph holding a model showing the hexagonal structure of graphene inside a laboratory at the National Graphene Institute facility, part of the The University of Manchester, in Manchester, U.K., on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Researchers are studying ways to use graphene in batteries, and the material has the potential to significantly boost performance in a much-needed technology.

Continue reading… “The holy grail of lithium batteries”

0

Battery storage is the fastest-growing industry sector on the planet (which could save the planet)

 

BD37D94F-3660-49AF-9B77-69E42F4B87C0

Billions of dollars are being invested worldwide in the developing battery boom, involving research into storage techniques to use the growing surpluses of cheap renewable energy now becoming available. Recent developments in batteries are set to sweep aside the old arguments about renewables being intermittent, dismissing any need to continue building nuclear power plants and burning fossil fuels to act as a back-up when the wind does not blow, or the sun does not shine.

Batteries as large as the average family house and controlled by digital technology are being positioned across electricity networks. They are being charged when electricity is in surplus and therefore cheap, and the power they store is resold to the grid at a higher price during peak periods.

Continue reading… “Battery storage is the fastest-growing industry sector on the planet (which could save the planet)”

0

Sorry, graphene—borophene is the new wonder material that’s got everyone excited

5C7BE969-6FFB-4B75-BBC4-073A95BC197E

Stronger and more flexible than graphene, a single-atom layer of boron could revolutionize sensors, batteries, and catalytic chemistry.

Not so long ago, graphene was the great new wonder material. A super-strong, atom-thick sheet of carbon “chicken wire,” it can form tubes, balls, and other curious shapes. And because it conducts electricity, materials scientists raised the prospect of a new era of graphene-based computer processing and a lucrative graphene chip industry to boot. The European Union invested €1 billion to kick-start a graphene industry.

This brave new graphene-based world has yet to materialize. But it has triggered an interest in other two-dimensional materials. And the most exciting of all is borophene: a single layer of boron atoms that form various crystalline structures.

Continue reading… “Sorry, graphene—borophene is the new wonder material that’s got everyone excited”

0

How we get to the next big battery breakthrough

5F4C5331-050D-4033-8F4A-8D4AEFDF8237

Electric planes could be the future of aviation. In theory, they will be much quieter, cheaper, and cleaner than the planes we have today. Electric planes with a 1,000 km (620 mile) range on a single charge could be used for half of all commercial aircraft flights today, cutting global aviation’s carbon emissions by about 15%.

It’s the same story with electric cars. An electric car isn’t simply a cleaner version of its pollution-spewing cousin. It is, fundamentally, a better car: Its electric motor makes little noise and provides lightning-fast response to the driver’s decisions. Charging an electric car costs much less than paying for an equivalent amount of gasoline. Electric cars can be built with a fraction of moving parts, which makes them cheaper to maintain.

So why aren’t electric cars everywhere already? It’s because batteries are expensive, making the upfront cost of an electric car much higher than a similar gas-powered model. And unless you drive a lot, the savings on gasoline don’t always offset the higher upfront cost. In short, electric cars still aren’t economical.

Similarly, current batteries don’t pack in enough energy by weight or volume to power passenger aircrafts. We still need fundamental breakthroughs in battery technology before that becomes a reality.

Continue reading… “How we get to the next big battery breakthrough”

0

Harley-Davidson’s newest electric concept is aimed at city dwellers — and could help the struggling brand reinvent itself

5c588e53a265164c7021fc16-1136-568

HD Electric Concept 2.1

Harley-Davidson has unveiled two electric-concept bikes as it tries to rebound from four years of declining sales. Harley-Davidson

  • Harley-Davidson has declared that the future is electric — and it’s quickly scaling up a pipeline of electric bikes.
  • Two new concepts unveiled last week at the X Games in Colorado wouldn’t require a motorcycle license and could be charged with a normal wall plug, the company says.
  • Courting new riders, including city dwellers and millennials, is key to the company’s turnaround plans.

Continue reading… “Harley-Davidson’s newest electric concept is aimed at city dwellers — and could help the struggling brand reinvent itself”

0

Tesla proposes microgrids with solar and batteries to power Greek islands

2120x1192-kiuc-powerpack-high-1

Tesla has met with the Greek government to propose ways to modernize the electric grid of the country’s many islands in the Mediterranean sea with microgrids and renewable energy to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Several Greek islands are relatively remote and rely heavily on fossil fuels to power their electric grid.

Over the years, Tesla has acquired some experience in building microgrids to power remote islands using solar panels and its energy storage systems, like the Powerpack.

Continue reading… “Tesla proposes microgrids with solar and batteries to power Greek islands”

0

A massive, ‘semi-infinite’ trove of rare-earth metals has been found in Japan

DE2FA787-4F69-4980-BCFA-4D11AE8DCFB6

  • Researchers have found hundreds of years’ worth of rare-earth materials underneath Japanese waters — enough to supply to the world on a “semi-infinite basis,” according to a study published in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports.
  • Rare-earth metals are crucial in the making of high-tech products such as electric vehicles and batteries, and most of the world has relied on China for almost all of its needs.

Continue reading… “A massive, ‘semi-infinite’ trove of rare-earth metals has been found in Japan”

0