Toyota’s Fuel Cell Car Unveiled

Recently, fuel cells have been the hot topic in energy discussions. In accordance with this, Toyota has introduced its first mass-market fuel cell car that will be available for purchase next month.

The company is calling the four-seat sedan Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese. The car will first go on sale in Japan on December 15th, followed by sales in the United States and Europe in the fourth quarter of 2015.

This from Reuters:

The ultimate “green car”, fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) run on electricity made by mixing hydrogen fuel and oxygen in the air – a technology first used in the Apollo moon project in the 1960s. Its only by-product is heat and water – water so pure the Apollo astronauts drank it.

(more…)

3 New Job Postings in Electrochemistry

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

ECS’s job board keeps you up-to-date with the latest career opportunities in electrochemical and solid-state science. Check out the latest openings that have been added to the board:

Post-Doctoral Research Associate
North Carolina State University – Raleigh, North Carolina
The Postdoctoral Research Associate will focus his/her work on research and development of new lithium-sulfur batteries. The work includes the development of both electrode and electrolyte materials and the integration of these materials into lithium-sulfur batteries. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be responsible on designing and carrying out experiments, analyzing data, writing reports, and/or help mentoring junior researchers to conduct their research.

(more…)

Member Spotlight – Chanyuan Liu

Chanyuan Liu

Chanyuan Liu, ECS member and Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, is the lead author on the nanopore study.
Credit: University of Maryland

The Electrochemical Society’s Chanyuan Liu, along with a team of University of Maryland researchers, believe they have developed a structure that could bring about the ultimate miniaturization of energy storage components.

The tiny structure, known as the nanopore, includes all the components of a battery and can be fully charged in 12 minutes and recharged thousands of times.

This from University of Maryland:

The structure is called a nanopore: a tiny hole in a ceramic sheet that holds electrolyte to carry the electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end. The existing device is a test, but the bitsy battery performs well.

(more…)

Smart Streets: The Highway Is Getting Brighter

The painted road markings are said to be able to glow up to eight hours in the dark.Credit: Roosegaarde

The painted road markings are said to be able to glow up to eight hours in the dark.
Credit: Roosegaarde

There has been a great deal of debate and innovation in smart cars recently, but why just stop at the car? Why not make a smart highway?

At least that’s the question Dutch developer Heijmans and designer Daan Roosegaard are asking. Since 2012 the duo have been talking about and drumming up game plans for innovative designs that would improve road sustainability, safety, and perception.

These ideas include: electric priority lane, which would allow electric cars to charge themselves while driving; dynamic paint, which would glow or become transparent upon sensing temperature in order to let you know road conditions; and interactive light, which would be controlled by sensors to active only when traffic approaches in order to create sustainable road light.

But the company’s main, and most tangible, development is their glow-in-the-dark lining.

(more…)

The ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS) is one of the newest peer-reviewed journals from ECS launched in 2012.

The ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS) is one of the newest peer-reviewed journals from ECS launched in 2012.

Printing technologies in an atmospheric environment offer the potential for low-cost and materials-efficient alternatives for manufacturing electronics and energy devices such as luminescent displays, thin film transistors, sensors, thin film photovoltaics, fuel cells, capacitors, and batteries.

This focus issue will cover state-of-the-art efforts that address a variety of approaches to printable functional materials and devices.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Printable functional materials: metals; organic conductors; organic and inorganic semiconductors; and more
  • Functional printed devices: RFID tags and antenna; thin film transistors; solar cells; and more
  • Advances in printing and conversion processes: ink chemistry; ink rheology; printing and drying process; and more
  • Advances in conventional and emerging printing techniques: inkjet printing; aerosol printing; flexographic printing; and more

Find out more!

Deadline for submission of manuscripts is November 30, 2014.

Please submit manuscripts here.

Engineers at UC San Diego have developed a nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants that converts 90% of captured sunlight to heat. With particle sizes ranging from 10 nanometers to 10 micrometers, the multiscale structure traps and absorbs light more efficiently and at temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius.Credit: Renkun Chen, Mechanical Engineering Professor, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Engineers at UC San Diego have developed a nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants that converts 90% of captured sunlight to heat.
Credit: Renkun Chen, Mechanical Engineering Professor, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

An engineering team from the University of California, San Diego, has developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power. The new research, which has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot program and published in the journal Nano Energy, aims to convert 90 percent of captured light into heat and make solar costs more competitive.

The new material will be able to withstand temperatures greater than 700° Celsius and can survive many years outdoors, despite exposure to humidity.

“We wanted to create a material that absorbs sunlight that doesn’t let any of it escape. We want the black hole of sunlight,” said Sungho Jin, a professor in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

This from the University of California, San Diego:

The novel material features a “multiscale” surface created by using particles of many sizes ranging from 10 nanometers to 10 micrometers. The multiscale structures can trap and absorb light which contributes to the material’s high efficiency when operated at higher temperatures.

Read the full article here.

Head over to our Digital Library and read more research by Sungho Jin, one of the developers of the Silicon boride-coated nanoshell material.

Not Your Average Light Bulb

Thermal management represents about 25-30 percent of total costs in a LED bulb, second only to the LEDs themselves.Credit: Cree

Thermal management represents about 25-30 percent of total costs in a LED bulb, second only to the LEDs themselves.
Credit: Cree

LED maker Cree has introduced a new consumer bulb that costs less, lasts longer, and consumes less energy than the traditional bulb.

The company’s new bulb does not use the heats sinks that LED bulbs typically use. An LED bulb’s metal collar or other heat sink serves to draw away heat from the bulb to ensure a long life. Accordingly, this makes the bulb more expensive and give it a bulky look.

By eliminating the heat sink, Cree lowered the bulb cost from $9.97 for a “soft white” 40-watt to $7.97.

This from IEE Spectrum:

In its new design, heat is removed from the LEDs through convection, or a flow of air through the bulb. The LEDs are mounted on circuit boards, rather than the metal tower. As the diodes heat up, they draw air from outside the bulb through small vent-like openings at the base and on the top. Because hot air rises, air flows continually through the bulb to cool the LEDs. The airflow circulates whether the bulb is vertical, horizontal or upside down, Watson says.

Read the full article here.

The new generation bulb will last 25,000 hours and consume 85 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb.

Want to know what the future has in store for LEDs? Check out what our scientists have been researching to propel this technology. While you’re over there, sign up for our e-Alerts so you are up-to-date on what is happening in the world  of electrochemical and solid state science and technology.

The technology can be applied on top of an existing module or integrated into a new module during assembly, on flat or curved surfaces.Credit: CSEM

The technology can be applied on top of an existing module or integrated into a new module during assembly, on flat or curved surfaces.
Credit: CSEM

The Swiss company, Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), has announced that they have developed the world’s first white solar modules. According to the company, this will allow for a more visually appealing solar module, which will blend into buildings to become virtually invisible.

The current blue-black solar modules are built to maximize sunlight absorption, whereas a white solar module was previously not a color option due to the fact that the color would generally reflect light, rather than absorbing it.

This from CSEM:

CSEM has developed a new technology to make white solar modules, with no visible cells and connections, a reality. It combines a solar cell technology able to convert infrared solar light into electricity and a selective scattering filter, which scatters the whole visible spectrum while transmitting infrared light. Any solar technology based on crystalline silicon can now be used to manufacture white – and colored – modules.

(more…)

2 New Job Postings in Electrochemistry

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

ECS’s job board keeps you up-to-date with the latest career opportunities in electrochemical and solid-state science. Check out the latest openings that have been added to the board:

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Battery Manufacturing
Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Under general supervision, the postdoctoral research associate will be conducting research specifically in battery manufacturing R&D to lower cost, raise energy density, increase production yield, and address manufacturing bottlenecks. This incumbent will work in close collaboration with other researchers involved with ORNL’s applied energy storage program. This position resides in the Department of Energy (DOE) Battery Manufacturing Facility and the Manufacturing Systems Research Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Director at the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy Production (HI ERN)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH – Jülich, Germany
We are seeking an internationally respected researcher in the field of electrocatalysis, who is capable of further developing in particular the material and process engineering principles of electrolytic water splitting at the highest scientific level. It is envisaged that research activities will be complementary to and interlinked with work at Jülich‘s Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK) with its sub-institutes involved in electrochemical, process engineering, and materials science research, and with research work at the Erlangen cluster of excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials.

Norwegian entrepreneur, Jostein Eikeland, is finally unveiling the development his has been working on in secret for the past decade in hopes to jolt the world of energy storage.

Eikeland and his company Alevo plan to reveal a battery that will last longer and cost far less than the current rival technologies. To do this, they have developed a technology that is to store excess electricity generated by power plants.

This from Reuters:

The company has created what it calls GridBanks, which are shipping containers full of thousands of battery cells. Each container can deliver 2 megawatts of power, enough to power up to 1,300 homes for an hour. The batteries use lithium iron phosphate and graphite as active materials and an inorganic electrolyte – what Eikeland called the company’s “secret sauce” – that extends longevity and reduces the risk of burning. They can be charged and discharged over 40,000 times, the company said.

(more…)