A team of Canadian and German scientists have found a way to fabricate a superconducting material, made of a silicon-hydrogen compound, that does not require cooling. They say that the breakthrough means we will be able to cut the power usage of all sorts of devices from refrigerators to cell phones.
This new material is super-compressed instead of being super-cooled like conventional superconductors, allowing scientists to create superconducting wires that work at room temperature.
Superconductors offer no electrical resistance, meaning that energy will not be lost while a current is traveling along a superconducting wire.
If the scientists can find a way to mass-produce this material, we could see a new age in electronics. Battery life would improve dramatically for all sorts of gadgets, and power usage would go down for anything that stays plugged in. Hopefully they can figure out the magic formula soon.
Tags: battery life, energy, hydrogen, power, silicon, superconductor
Penn State scientists have created a new type of solar cell that mimics photosynthesis to produce hydrogen gas directly from water.
Unfortunately, the prototype is inefficient, able to use only about 1% of the light energy falling on it for splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen gases. The scientists believe that with some optimization they could get that efficiency up to 10%.
Although still in its infancy, this new technology could eventually make it into cars. That would mean that you would be able to simply pour some water into your H2-powered vehicle to keep it going.
These solar cells would eliminate the need to build new hydrogen gas stations because they could completely be contained inside a car. This could ease the transition to alternative-fuel vehicles and help us get rid of our dependence on oil.
Tags: car, energy, hydrogen, solar cell