24-08-2015   -   Energy

Mon 24 Aug 2015. A new Power grid forecasting tool (PMI) that increases the accuracy of forecasting future electricity needs by up to 50%, and may also have the potential to save millions in wasted energy costs, has been developed. Accurately forecasting future electricity needs can be difficult due to sudden weather changes or other variables impacting projections minute by minute. The Power Model Integrator - PMI has been designed to assist with addressing costly errors that can lead to serious impacts, from blackouts to high market costs. Performance of the tool was tested against five commonly used forecasting models processing a year’s worth of historical power system data. Fluctuations in energy demand throughout the day, season and year along with weather events and increased use of intermittent renewable energy from the sun and wind all contribute to forecasting errors. Miscalculations can be costly, put stress on power generators and lead to instabilities in the power system. More

  17-08-2015   -   Chemistry

Mon 17 Aug 2015. Sol-gel Capacitor Dielectric Offers Record-high Energy Storage. Using a hybrid silica sol-gel material and self-assembled monolayers of a common fatty acid, researchers have developed a new capacitor dielectric material that provides an electrical energy storage capacity rivaling certain batteries, with both a high energy density and high power density. If the material can be scaled up from laboratory samples, devices made from it could surpass traditional electrolytic capacitors for applications in electromagnetic propulsion, electric vehicles and defibrillators. Capacitors often complement batteries in these applications because they can provide large amounts of current quickly. More

  23-07-2015   -   Physics

Thu 23 Jul 2015. Boosting Wireless Power Transfer with Magnetic Field Enhancement. Wireless power transfer works by having a transmitter coil generate a magnetic field; a receiver coil then draws energy from that magnetic field. One of the major roadblocks for development of marketable wireless power transfer technologies is achieving high efficiency. New research shows that passing wireless power transfer through a magnetic resonance field enhancer (MRFE) – which can be as simple as a copper loop – can boost the transfer efficiency by at least 100 percent as compared to transferring through air alone. MRFE use could potentially boost transfer efficiency by as much as 5,000 percent in some systems. By placing the MRFE between the transmitter and the receiver (without touching either) as an intermediate material, the researchers were able to significantly enhance the magnetic field, increasing its efficiency. More

  13-06-2015   -   Medicine

Sat 13 June. Hybrid scanner combines five molecular imaging technologies. Scientists are taking medical imaging research and drug discovery to a new level by developing a molecular imaging system that combines several advanced technologies for all-in-one imaging of both tissue models and live subjects. Each imaging technology has its own strengths. Direct positron imaging is a nuclear medicine technique that allows researchers to gain physiological information from radiolabeled imaging agents that bind to targets in the body, which are then imaged with a specialized detector. The hybrid system applies both conventional and hyperpolarized MRI. The former is ideal for soft-tissue contrast, and the latter has extremely fine imaging resolution due to a revolution in the technology called dynamic nuclear spin polarization (DNSP), which is used to track minute biochemistry in the body -- such as the transition of the naturally occurring chemical pyruvate to lactate. More

  18-05-2015   -   Physics

Mon 18 May 2015. First Proton Collisions at World's Largest Science Experiment Should Start in Early June. The LHC at CERN in Geneva was restarted last Aplril for its second three-year run after a two-year pause to upgrade the machine to operate at higher energies. At higher energy, physicists worldwide expect to see new discoveries about the laws that govern our natural universe. The world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider made headlines when its global collaboration of thousands of scientists in 2012 observed a new fundamental particle, the Higgs boson. After that, the collider was paused for the extensive upgrade. Much more powerful than before, as part of Run 2 physicists on the Large Hadron Collider's experiments are analyzing new proton collision data to unravel the structure of the Higgs. More

  25-03-2015   -   Physics

Wed 25 Mar 2015. Researchers have shed new light on the fundamental mechanisms of heat dissipation in graphene and other two-dimensional materials. They have shown that heat can propagate as a wave over very long distances. This is key information for engineering the electronics of tomorrow. In the race to miniaturize electronic components, researchers are challenged with a major problem: the smaller or the faster your device, the more challenging it is to cool it down. One solution to improve the cooling is to use materials with very high thermal conductivity, such as graphene, to quickly dissipate heat and thereby cool down the circuits. Researchers have demonstrated that heat propagates in the form of a wave, just like sound in air. This was up to now a very obscure phenomenon observed in few cases at temperatures close to the absolute zero.Their simulations provide a valuable tool for researchers studying graphene, whether to cool down circuits at the nanoscale, or to replace silicon in tomorrow's electronics. More

  24-03-2015   -   Chemistry

Tue 24 Mar 2015. Chemists develop new way to make cost-effective material for electricity storage. Researchers wanted to find a better way to make coatings that can be painted onto surfaces to conduct electricity or convert electricity into hydrogen fuels. Typically these coatings are developed in extreme conditions with expensive tools and materials. But the researchers developed a technique that allows them to use a consumer grade heat lamp to get the same results. A solution is painted onto a surface and once heated up, it transforms into a catalytic coating. These coatings can be used in a range of technologies, such as flexible electronic devices or to convert electricity into hydrogen fuels. The discovery could have implications for clean energy technologies. More

  26-02-2015   -   Energy

Thu 26 Feb 2015. Renewable energy obtained from wastewater. Researchers have devised an efficient way to obtain electrical energy and hydrogen by using a wastewater treatment process. The proposed system uses bacteria which consumes the organic material and produces electricity, which produces hydrogen, the energy vector of the future. The results point to further developments of this technology at industrial scale. Currently, there are treatments in which wastewater can flow out to the river or sea without causing any environmental problems. These technologies, however, entail high energy costs, mainly in aeration and pumping, and an elevated economic cost in treating the sludge left over from the treatment process. Wastewater contains an elevated amount of chemical energy in the form of organic contaminants. In order to make use of this energy, researchers from around the world study ways to recover it in the form of hydrogen, a process which efficiently eliminates organic matter from wastewater. More

  25-02-2015   -   Physics

Wed 25 Feb 2015. SuperSTEM microscope that can see single atoms is unveiled. The new super powerful electron microscope that can pinpoint the position of single atoms was unveiled at the Science and Technology Research Council's Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, England. The microscope will help scientists push boundaries even further in fields such as advanced materials, healthcare and power generation. More

  29-01-2015   -   Chemistry

Thu 29 Jan 2015. Unlocking magnetization and polarization simultaneously. Scientists have controlled the structure of a material to simultaneously generate both magnetisation and electrical polarisation, an advance which has potential applications in information storage and processing. Researchers demonstrated that it is possible to unlock these properties in a material which initially displayed neither by making designed changes to its structure. To make a single material that has these two distinct properties - magnetisation and electrical polarisation - is difficult because the electronic requirements for obtaining them in a material are typically contradictory: materials characteristics, such as the crystal structure or the atomic composition, which favour polarisation often disfavour magnetisation. However, materials where polarisation and magnetisation coexist at room temperature are potentially important for low-energy information technology applications. More

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