Humankind has an insatiable appetite for energy that has put the planet in a very precarious position environmentally, but is also one of the main drivers of prosperity and improved living standards. New Atlas keeps you up to date with the latest breakthroughs in the energy sector, from the expanding field of renewable energy production to the exponential rise of battery technology and the slow march towards cold fusion.
June 24, 2019
While we've already seen that large-scale wind turbine blades which are shaped like humpback whale fins can be more efficient, what works for big turbines doesn't necessarily work for little ones. In fact, a new study suggests that for small-scale units, copying seagull wings may be the way to go.
An innovative new method of drawing direct electrochemical energy from seawater means underwater robots, vehicles and detectors could go deeper and longer into the unknown.
The Three Mile Island nuclear power station in Pennsylvania is scheduled to close in September according its owner, Exelon Generation. The site of the worst nuclear disaster in US history, the still functioning TMI-1 reactor will be deactivated on September 30, 2019.
Snowy places aren’t ideal for harvesting solar energy – panels can’t do much if they’re buried under blankets of snow, of course. Now a team from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has developed a new device that can produce electricity from snow itself.
In 2014, US Army engineers Charles Marsh and Carl Feickert envisioned a wind-power system inspired by fluttering Venetian blinds. They have since teamed up with eight colleagues, creating a system that generates power in breezes that are too light to turn the blades of a traditional wind turbine.
Tokamak reactors and fusion stellarators are a couple of the experimental devices used in pursuit of nuclear fusion, but scientists at the University of Washington are taking a far less-frequented route known as a Z-pinch, with the early signs pointing to a cheaper and more efficient path forward.
A South Australia-based startup says it's built a thermal energy storage device with a lifetime of at least 20 years that can store six times more energy than lithium-ion batteries per volume, for 60-80 percent of the price.