Energy, Power

Bacteria laying on a thin layer of quantum dots are probed with a laser. Courtesy: Cornell University
Energy, Power September 6, 2019

Interdisciplinary team awarded grant to research bioenergy conversion

Cornell researchers received a $2 million grant to study the combination of inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles and bacterial cells for more efficient bioenergy conversion.

By David Nutt
An electrocatalysis reactor built at Rice University recycles carbon dioxide to produce pure liquid fuel solutions using electricity. The scientists behind the invention hope it will become an efficient and profitable way to reuse the greenhouse gas and keep it out of the atmosphere. Courtesy: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
Energy, Power September 5, 2019

Greenhouse gases transformed into liquid fuel

Rice University researchers have found a common greenhouse gas could be repurposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way with an electrolyzer that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels.

By Mike Williams
Hybridization can help companies control and reduce energy expenditures. Courtesy: Danfoss/Control Engineering Europe
Energy, Power August 29, 2019

Hybridization as a disruptive, profitable energy strategy for manufacturers

The basic configuration of electrical power systems for industrial and commercial applications has altered little for decades, but hybridization could change this in a disruptive and positive way.

By Steve Moore
Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media
Energy, Power August 25, 2019

Battery developed to harness energy from mixing freshwater and seawater

Stanford University researchers have developed technology to harness energy where salt and freshwater mingle, providing a massive source of renewable power that could be valuable for wastewater treatment plants.

By Rob Jordan
Lance Lin, civil and environmental engineering professor, is the lead investigator of a research project aiming to reduce the use of fresh water resources by the nation's power plants. Courtesy: West Virginia University
Energy, Power August 22, 2019

Reducing freshwater use by power plants

West Virginia University researchers are seeking ways to quench the thirst of the nation’s power plants in a more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly fashion. 

By Jake Stump
A battery-free underwater “piezoelectric” sensor invented by MIT researchers transmits data by absorbing or reflecting sound waves back to a receiver, where a reflected wave decodes a 1 bit and an absorbed wave decodes a 0 bit — and simultaneously stores energy. Courtesy: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Energy, Power August 22, 2019

Battery-free sensor developed for underwater exploration

A submerged system developed by MIT researchers uses the vibration of piezoelectric materials to generate power and send and receive data.

By Rob Matheson
Large anions with long tails (blue) in ionic liquids can make them self-assemble into sandwich-like bilayer structures on electrode surfaces. Ionic liquids with such structures have much improved energy storage capabilities. Courtesy: Xianwen Mao, MIT
Energy, Power August 17, 2019

Electrolyte developed to enhance supercapacitor performance

Researchers at MIT and several other institutions have developed an electrolyte for improving the efficiency and stability of supercapacitors while reducing their flammability.

By David L. Chandler
Figure 1: Long-life lithium batteries serve to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) by enabling some low-power devices to operate maintenance-free for up to 40 years. Courtesy: Tadiran Batteries
Energy, Power August 9, 2019

Achieving long battery life with remote wireless devices

A lower self-discharge rate leads to longer operating life for batteries and a lower cost of ownership for remote wireless devices.

By Sol Jacobs
Figure 6: A smart battery switch has high current-carrying capability, low resistance, excellent thermal resistance and heat spreading, and high mechanical stability. Courtesy: element14
Energy, Power August 5, 2019

Smart power distribution architecture benefits

To improve power management applications, smart power distribution uses a de-centralized power architecture based on multiple electronic and electrical modules.

By Randall Scasny
Figure 2: Ladder logic programming example; LL is the most commonly used PLC programing, most closely resembling circuit diagrams used for relays. Courtesy: Frank Lamb, Automation Primer
Energy, Power August 1, 2019

Control Engineering hot topics, July 2019

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in July 2019 included stories about PLC programming languages, connecting a PLC to the internet, digitalization advantages, choosing the right enclosure, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra