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Energy R&D

Open Grid Integration Platform to Be Created for Electric Vehicles

Karen Henry

With the number of plug-in electronic vehicles (EV) on US roads—225,000 and growing—they are likely to play a significant role in electricity demand side management. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), eight automakers and 15 utilities are developing an open platform that would integrate plug-in EVs with smart grid technologies enabling utilities to support EV   …Continue Reading


Hybrid Solar-Geothermal Can Save 75% on Energy Bills

Linda Hardesty

The HL Turner Group has been awarded US Patent No. 8,733,429 for its high efficiency E-Max Hybrid solar-geothermal heating and/or cooling system design, which the company says can yield geothermal system performances upwards of a 7.5 effective Coefficient of Performance, about twice that of conventional geothermal applications. Actual net energy cost reductions of up to   …Continue Reading


Google Offers $1M for Small-Scale Power Inverter

Karen Henry

Can you take a big box and shrink it into a little box? That’s the question Google has posed to the engineering masses in its Little Box Challenge. The search engine giant is looking for a better—and smaller—power inverter. Specifically, Google, in conjunction with IEEE, is looking for someone who can build a kW-scale inverter   …Continue Reading


GE Finds Substitute for Platinum in Fuel Cells, Builds Pilot Manufacturing Facility

Linda Hardesty

General Electric is building a fuel cell manufacturing facility in upstate New York to pilot a new form of fuel cell that uses stainless steel in place of platinum and rare metals. “Scientists in GE labs recently cracked an important conundrum involving one iteration of the technology called solid oxide fuel cell, or SOFC,” says GE’s   …Continue Reading


Self-Cooling Solar Cells Boost Power, Last Longer

Karen Henry

By adding a specially patterned layer of silica glass to the surface of ordinary solar cells, a team of researchers at Stanford University has found a way to let solar cells cool themselves by shepherding away unwanted thermal radiation. Even the best solar cell designs operating at peak efficiency convert less than 30 percent of   …Continue Reading


DOE Announces $31 Million for Enhanced Geothermal Systems Field Observatory

Karen Henry

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $31 million to establish the initial phases of the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), a field laboratory dedicated to research on enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). EGS are engineered reservoirs created beneath the Earth’s surface where there is hot rock but limited pathways   …Continue Reading


Apple Planning to Put Fuel Cells in Portable Devices?

Linda Hardesty

Apple is rumored to be working with UK fuel cell firm Intelligent Energy to introduce fuel cell technology into future mobile devices, reports The Daily Mail. Intelligent Energy does have ties to Apple; In 2011, it hired former Apple executive Joe O’Sullivan to serve as its chief operating officer. And Intelligent Energy recently opened an   …Continue Reading


World’s Largest Carbon Capture Project

Linda Hardesty

The Department of Energy – in partnership with NRG Energy and JX Nippon – has begun construction on the first commercial-scale, post-combustion carbon capture retrofit project in the United States, the largest such project in the world. NRG Energy, through its wholly owned subsidiary Petra Nova Holdings, has formed a 50/50 joint venture with JX   …Continue Reading


India ‘Floats’ Solar Panels, Prevents Water Evaporation

Linda Hardesty

India’s National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) is setting up a 50 MW solar PV installation, which will float on water in the southern state of Kerala. NHPC hired the local Renewable Energy College, which developed the technology, to implement the project. Renewable Energy College is installing the pilot project on a lake outside the city of   …Continue Reading


Stanford Works on ‘Reversible’ Fuel Cells

Linda Hardesty

Stanford University scientists are working on “reversible” fuel cells as an energy storage possibility. Fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen as fuel to create electricity; but the scientists are using electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. “The hydrogen can be stored and used later in the fuel cell to generate electricity at night   …Continue Reading


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