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May 2015

May 31, 2015

Reduced graphene oxide separator improves performance of Li-sulfur battery

Researchers in have shown that a lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery with a reduced graphen oxide (rGO) -coated separator exhibits much smaller impedance and much better electrochemical performance than cells with an uncoated separator. After coating with rGO, the initial discharge capacity can be as large as 1067 mAh g−1 at 0.2 C; the cell can retain 878 mAh g−1 after 100 cycles; and the discharge capacity can reach 710 mAh g−1 even at 2 C.


May 31, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 30, 2015

DARPA program integrates non-mechanical optical scanning tech on microchip; new class of low-cost, miniature LIDAR could support autonomous vehicle apps

DARPA’s Short-range Wide-field-of-view Extremely agile Electronically steered Photonic EmitteR (SWEEPER) program has successfully integrated breakthrough non-mechanical optical scanning technology onto a microchip. Freed from the traditional scanning architecture of gimbaled mounts, lenses and servos, SWEEPER technology has demonstrated that it can sweep a laser back and forth more than 100,000 times per second, 10,000 times faster than current state-of-the-art mechanical systems.

SWEEPER technology can also steer a laser precisely across a 51-degree arc, the widest field of view yet achieved by a chip-scale optical scanning system. These accomplishments could open the door to a new class of miniaturized, extremely low-cost, robust laser-scanning technologies for LIDAR and other uses. Applications can include autonomous vehicle technology.


May 30, 2015 in Autonomous driving, Sensors, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (6)

Infineon and Google ATAP developing technology for gesture sensing and presence detection; automotive applications

Infineon Technologies AG is working with Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) to develop a sensing solution. Potential applications include wearables, internet of things and automotive applications.


May 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Voith receives order for high-volume production of CFRP components for future Audi model

Audi AG has placed an order with Voith for the high-volume production of a CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) component for a future Audi model. Voith and Audi will jointly prepare the manufacturing ramp-up for the CFRP component.


May 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 29, 2015

University of Maryland team creates solid-state Li-ion battery out of one material

UMD Engineers made a battery of all one material simply by sprinkling carbon (red) into each side of a new material (blue) that forms the electrolyte and both electrodes at the ends of the battery. Credit: Maryland NanoCenter Click to enlarge.

Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a solid-state Li-ion battery that is made entirely out of one material. Chunsheng Wang, a professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and his team have made a single material that incorporates the properties of both electrodes (cathode and anode) and electrolyte.

The new material consists of a mix of sulfur, germanium, phosphorus and lithium (Li10GeP2S12). This compound is used as the ion-moving electrolyte. At each end, the scientists added carbon to form electrodes that push the ions back and forth through the electrolyte as the battery charges and discharges. The Li–S and Ge–S components in Li10GeP2S12 act as the active centers for its cathode and anode performance, respectively.


May 29, 2015 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (6)

USDA to invest up to $100M to boost infrastructure for renewable fuel use; seeks to double number of higher blend ethanol fuel pumps

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest up to $100 million in a Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership to support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers. USDA will post a Notice of Solicitation of Applications in June.

Specifically, USDA will administer competitive grants to match funding for state-led efforts to test and evaluate innovative and comprehensive approaches to market higher blends of renewable fuel, such as E15 and E85. States that are able to provide greater than a one-to-one ratio in funding will receive higher consideration.


May 29, 2015 in Ethanol, Infrastructure | Permalink | Comments (1)

EPA proposes volume requirements for Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014-2016

Adhering to a schedule in a proposed consent decree (earlier post), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its long-awaited proposed volume requirements (renewable volume obligations, RVO) (earlier post) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and also proposed volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2017. The period for public input and comment on the proposal will be open until 27 July. EPA says it will finalize the volume standards in this rule by 30 November.

EPA is proposing to establish the 2014 standards at levels that reflect the actual amount of domestic biofuel used in that year; the standards for 2015 and 2016 (and 2017 for biodiesel) increase steadily over time, with the most aggressive growth projected for the problematic area of cellulosic biofuels: from 33 million gallons in 2014 to 206 million gallons in 2016.


May 29, 2015 in Biodiesel, Biomass, Cellulosic ethanol, Ethanol, Fuels, Policy, Regulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

First Dragon-class ethane carriers w/ Wärtsilä integrated systems and engines delivered

The first in a series of 27,500 cbm Dragon-class ethane carriers ordered by Evergas is being delivered from the Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (SOE) shipyard in China. The vessel features a comprehensive Wärtsilä solutions package, including two Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, Wärtsilä propulsion equipment including the gearbox, two Wärtsilä 20DF auxiliary generating sets, a Wärtsilä LNG fuel system and a Wärtsilä cargo handling system. (Earlier post.)


May 29, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

MIRA and FPTI partner in Brazil to develop new Li-ion battery for stationary and transportation applications

UK-based advanced vehicle and systems technology consultancy MIRA Ltd. announced a collaborative agreement with Fundação Parque Tecnológico Itaipu (FPTI) to develop a new centre of excellence for energy storage in Brazil. Their first project together will focus on the research and development for a new and flexible architecture lithium battery for stationary power and transportation applications.


May 29, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1)

Daimler enters stationary energy storage market with ACCUmotive battery systems; 500 kWh unit already on line for grid stabilization

Daimler is entering the commercial and residential stationary energy storage system (ESS) market with its wholly-owned subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive. The announcement comes four weeks after Tesla Motors announced its own entry into the ESS market with the home PowerWall Li-ion battery system (earlier post), although Daimler has been considering the move for several years.

Daimler’s first industrial-scale lithium-ion unit is already on the grid and is being operated by the partner companies The Mobility House AG and GETEC Energie AG. The 96-module ESS currently has a total capacity of more than 500 kWh; it will be increased step-by-step to 3000 kWh by the partners in the coming weeks. Daimler AG is planning to collaborate with EnBW AG for distribution to customers in Germany. Daimler is also aiming to enter into cooperation with other sales and distribution partners both in Germany and at international level.


May 29, 2015 in Batteries, Infrastructure, Smart Grid | Permalink | Comments (12)

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