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Energy Efficiency

At left, a copper current collector with a laser-induced silicon oxide coating created at Rice University. At right, a scanning electron microscope image of the coating created by lasing adhesive tape on the copper collector. Courtesy: Tour Group/Rice University
Energy, Power July 15, 2020

Adhesive tape improves lithium batteries’ performance, lifespan

Rice University researchers turned adhesive tape into a silicon oxide film improve lithium metal technology and make them last longer.

By Mike Williams
Changyeong Jeong, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, measures how well light passes through a sheet of flexible transparent conductor. The material sandwiches a thin layer of silver between two “dielectric” materials, aluminum oxide and zinc oxide, producing a conductive anti-reflection coating on the sheet of plastic. Courtesy: Robert Coelius/University of Michigan Engineering
Energy, Power July 13, 2020

Making plastic more transparent while adding electrical conductivity

University of Michigan researchers have made plastic conductive while also making it more transparent, which can improve large touchscreens, LED light panels and window-mounted infrared solar cells.

By Kate McAlpine
Courtesy: North Carolina State University
Energy Efficiency July 11, 2020

Computational model developed to build better capacitors

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a computational model that shows how changes in the nanostructure of materials affect their conductivity, which could help improve energy storage devices for many electronic devices.

By Matt Shipman
Research involving Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source demonstrates crystal-like heat conduction in a solid-liquid hybrid, AgCrSe2. Courtesy: Jill Hemman/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy
Energy, Power June 30, 2020

Spectrometry research advances could lead to safer rechargeable batteries

Researchers have found a way to advance safer rechargeable batteries with spectrometry. Their findings could improve batteries used for consumer electronics such as laptops and cellphones.

By Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Hot electrons travel along the molecule into the probe tip. The molecule only allows electrons within a narrow range of energies to pass. Credit: Enrique Shagun, Scixel
Energy Efficiency June 25, 2020

Electron energy distribution measured for improved storage, conversion

Researchers at the University of Michigan, Purdue University, and the University of Liverpool in the UK have figured out a way to measure how many hot charge carrier are present in a metal nanostructure for improved energy storage and conversion.

By Kate McAlpine
Small batteries were used to study the spontaneous formation of nanoscale hollow structures in the laboratory of Matthew McDowell at Georgia Tech. Courtesy: Matthew McDowell, Georgia Tech
Energy, Power June 15, 2020

Nanoscale hollow structure formation could boost battery storage

Researchers at Georgia Tech, ETH Zurich and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered particles can change a nanoscale hollow structure formation, which could be beneficial for lithium-ion battery storage.

By John Toon
Courtesy: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Energy, Power June 8, 2020

Transparent graphene electrodes could lead to improved solar cells

MIT researchers have developed a roll-to-roll production method could enable lightweight, flexible solar devices and a new generation of display screens.

By David L. Chandler
Courtesy: EPRI
Power Quality June 5, 2020

Understanding power quality and improving manufacturing system reliability

Industrial controls that provide built-in robustness to voltage sags already have capabilities installed and don’t require after-the-fact voltage sag mitigation for defense against the effects of voltage sags.

By Mark Stephens, Alden Wright
Courtesy: Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, www.controleng.com 
Power Quality June 3, 2020

COVID-19 emergency support for safety circuits, VFDs, vision, PLC power quality, SCADA

System integrators can provide emergency support for automation troubleshooting to shorten or prevent downtime, improve quality and save money as manufacturing restarts or continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Matt Ruth
The experimental flow loop that will be used to emulate the cooling loop in a molten salt reactor. Courtesy: Xiaodong Sun, High-temperature Fluoride Salt Test Facility, University of Michigan
AI and Machine Learning May 22, 2020

Digital twins could reduce nuclear energy costs

University of Michigan researchers are leading a project to develop virtual copies of nuclear reactors with digital twins, which could enable smarter maintenance for current reactors and more automation for advanced reactors.

By Kate McAlpine