Turning Over a New Leaf at JCAP

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The blog has covered Professor Daniel Nocera’s “artificial leaf,” a means by which a flat panel in water and exposed to sunlight would generate clean water and hydrogen.  But that promising development has been set aside by the startup company Catalytix that attempted commercial development of the leaf for now.  Instead, the company is now pursuing the design of a practical low-cost flow battery for grid storage. Researchers at Berkeley’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), though, may have found a different approach to the artificial leaf that will overcome many shortcomings in its predecessors.  Gary Moore, a chemist and principal investigator with Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division, found that in his artificial leaf, “nearly 90-percent of the electrons generated …

Free Battery Software May Free Battery Designers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor used to teach a class on technical writing.   One of its premises was that good technical writing should be so clear it helps us see the error of our ways.  If the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail had done a brief description and a few simple drawings before catapulting cows over their enemy’s walls, they might have realized that they had supplied bovine bombs for the enemy to catapult back. To avoid similar defeats on the stored energy front, engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have cooked up a Cliff’s Notes of how different battery chemistries will behave when being charged.  This “back of the envelope calculation,” as Venkat Subramanian, PhD, associate professor of …