Caging Hydrogen in Self-assembling Origami Structures

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Let’s say that you’re really good at folding pieces of paper into miniature birds such as cranes, or life-size elephants, something origami artist Sipho Mabona did recently, starting with a 50-foot by 50-foot piece of paper (he had help from up to 40 others).   The paper elephant, including a metal subframe to support it, weighs over 500 pounds. How about using origami to trap hydrogen in a novel approach to storing energy for fuel cells?  Only, instead of paper, you might use sheets of graphene cleverly folded into cages no more than a few nanometers across – the opposite of the elephant in the art gallery.  Researchers at the University of Maryland’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Maryland NanoCenter, have …

Hybrid Batteries in Hybrid Vehicles?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Frances White of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) reports that a new anode quadruples the life of a test lithium-sulfur battery and could lead to much lower costs for electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage. This blog has noted that many researchers focus on development of better cathodes, or anodes, or electrolytes exclusively, neglecting a more holistic, or whole battery approach to their delving.  PNNL scientists have a reason for focusing on anodes, having found that a “battery with a dissolved cathode can still work.” What dissolves the electrodes in a battery?  “Unwanted side reactions,” according to PNNL, cause the battery’s sulfur-containing cathode to disintegrate slowly and form polysulfide molecules that dissolve into the battery’s electrolyte liquid.  This becomes …

Call for EAS VIII Papers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and president of the CAFE Foundation, shared this message today. “The CAFE Foundation is accepting presentation proposals for the 8th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, to be held April 25-26, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California. This international graduate level program will cover a comprehensive range of topics and will emphasize the latest breakthroughs in the rapidly growing domain of electric powered aircraft.  Faculty and attendees will include experts from leading aerospace, electronics and energy companies. Topics will include aerodynamics, motors, energy storage, energy harvesting, control systems, recreational aircraft, propulsion, robotics, avionics, airspace integration, manufacturing, business cases and airport land uses. “Interested parties should email inquiries and abstracts to: cafe400@sonic.net“