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Energy policies relating to alternative energy

Current energy policies are still based heavily on natural resources. Meanwhile, the trend is increasingly toward alternative resources, such as wind power.

It's only a matter of time before natural resources, such as petroleum, are depleted. Petroleum, a fossil-based energy source deposited across millions of years, is used to produce fuel or electricity. Taking stock of the fact that 260 billion barrels (one barrel = 159 liters) of oil were extracted over the last 11 years, it's evident that the world's petroleum resources will be depleted one day. New developments in solar or wind power are aimed at providing alternative energy sources that will enable us to maintain our current standard of living. Petroleum is also required by the chemical industry to manufacture special plastics.

The advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources

When discussing the subject of petroleum and alternative energy, one must bear the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Our resources are running short . Because we cannot count on petroleum for the future, there will come a time when everyone will rely on the efficiency of wind power and other alternative energy sources . Unlike petroleum, wind power can be managed to ensure that it constantly renews itself. Wind power meanwhile makes it possible to have enough resources to supply entire cities. Petroleum has the additional disadvantage of harming the environment through CO2 emissions. This has resulted in increasing demand for resources such as wind power. Wind power can be classified into different categories. A class 4 wind turbine can meanwhile provide resources in a much more efficient manner than petroleum resources for instance. In addition, unlike petroleum, resources such as wind power offer a decentralized energy supply. This means that in contrast to petroleum, the utilization of wind power does not require a large power plant. Instead, it makes "transporting" the energy easier and faster. Decentralized wind power entails a massive infrastructure change. Resources such as wind power certainly bring disadvantages when it comes to the environment, although they pale in comparison to the disasters that can result from petroleum. The utilization of our resources determines how we continue to maintain our standard of living. This makes it important to continue public discourse on the issues of wind power and petroleum.

Resource shortage

It's only a matter of time before there is no petroleum left. For this reason, from a resource standpoint we should already be moving toward heavy reliance on wind power instead of petroleum. After all, from a pure scientific point of view, new petroleum resources won't be available for millions of years. Unlike petroleum, wind power is a resource that will never run dry. In Germany alone, wind power is serving as a popular alternative resource to petroleum. The demand for wind power will increase in line with the consumption of petroleum. For this reason, it is imperative that we gradually move away from petroleum and make more use of wind power or other alternative energy resources. The environmental pollution caused by petroleum is reason enough for an environmentally-conscious society to use solar or wind power. In contrast to petroleum, wind power is significantly better for the environment and offers a unique resource balance.

Power and Electrical Engineering

This topic covers issues related to energy generation, conversion, transportation and consumption and how the industry is addressing the challenge of energy efficiency in general.

innovations-report provides in-depth and informative reports and articles on subjects ranging from wind energy, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy and energy efficiency to fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

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Hope for silicon solar cells with significantly improved efficiency: New synthesis route to soluble silicon clusters

Theoretical calculations indicate that under certain conditions silicon can endow solar cells with a much higher efficiency. Small silicon clusters may provide a source of accordingly modified silicon. However, to date these clusters have not been accessible in soluble form, a prerequisite for flexible processing. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now discovered a simple synthesis approach.

Today, the best silicon solar cells in the world have an efficiency of 24 percent. The theoretical limit is around 29 percent. "This is because silicon...

15.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

New efficiency world record for organic solar modules

A research team from Nuremberg and Erlangen has set a new record for the power conversion efficiency of organic photovoltaic modules (OPV). The scientists from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE), and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN), a branch of Forschungszentrum Jülich, in cooperation with the South China University of Technology (SCUT), designed an OPV module with an efficiency of 12.6 percent over an area of 26 square centimeters. The former world record of 9.7 percent was exceeded by 30 percent.

This is the highest efficiency value ever reported for an organic photovoltaic module. It was confirmed by a certified calibrated measurement under standard...

12.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Using mountains for long-term energy storage

The storage of energy for long periods of time is subject to special challenges. An IIASA researcher proposes using a combination of Mountain Gravity Energy Storage (MGES) and hydropower as a solution for this issue.

Batteries are rapidly becoming less expensive and might soon offer a cheap short-term solution to store energy for daily energy needs. However, the long-term...

12.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

“KaSiLi”: Better batteries for electric cars “Made in Germany”

New thin-film electrodes made of silicon and lithium for the “Research Fab Battery”

In the umbrella concept “Research Fab Battery”, German scientists want to develop novel batteries that are capable of storing at least 70 percent more energy...

12.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Sounds of mosquito mating rituals could lead to quieter drones

Research could also lead to nontoxic method using sound to diminish mosquito breeding

Mosquitoes flap their wings not just to stay aloft but for two other critical purposes: to generate sound and to point that buzz in the direction of a...

11.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

The first Cr-based nitrides superconductor Pr3Cr10-xN11

Since the discovery of superconductivity in the chromium-based compound CrAs, which is more complex than those within the realm of the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory, the study on chromium based superconductors has attracted much attention.

Among the 3d transitional metallic compounds, the Cr and Mn based materials can hardly become superconducting due to robust static magnetism which can destroy...

07.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

3D-printed plastics with high performance electrical circuits

Rutgers innovation could lead to better drones, satellites, biomedical devices

Rutgers engineers have embedded high performance electrical circuits inside 3D-printed plastics, which could lead to smaller and versatile drones and...

05.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Mimicking body's circulatory AC could keep airplanes, cars and computers cooler

Drexel researchers' program designs materials with human-like microvasculature

The complex network of veins that keeps us cool during the heat of summer has inspired engineers to create novel thermal management systems. But replicating...

01.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Shedding new light on the charging of lithium-ion batteries

Exposing cathodes to light decreases charge time by a factor of two in lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion...

01.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

New technique lets researchers map strain in next-gen solar cells

People can be good at hiding strain, and we're not alone. Solar cells have the same talent. For a solar cell, physical strain within its microscopic crystalline structure can interrupt its core function -- converting sunlight into electricity -- by essentially "losing" energy as heat. For an emerging type of solar cell, known as lead halide perovskites, reducing and taming this loss is key to improving efficiency and putting the perovskites on par with today's silicon solar cells.

In order to understand where strain builds up within a solar cell and triggers the energy loss, scientists must visualize the underlying grain structure of...

01.11.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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