Volume 3, Issue 1
February 6, 2017 – February 12, 2017
Jason Mulderrig | Will Atkinson | Rohit Dilip | Anushka Dasgupta

Slow cooling and highly efficient extraction of hot carriers in colloidal perovskite nanocrystals                                                                                                         (February 8, 2017; Nature Communications; Mingjie Li et al)
Current solar cells have theoretical limits on maximum efficiency, due to certain properties of photoelectric materials. This paper revealed substantial improvements in extracting energy from “hot” carriers, which are electrons above a certain energy level. These processes could increase the efficiency of single solar cells, which, when stacked, could substantially improve solar efficiency. -RD

A hybrid electrochemical device based on a synergetic inner combination of Li ion battery and Li ion capacitor for energy storage
(February 7, 2017; Nature Scientific Reports; Jun-Sheng Zheng et al)
Energy density and power density are two of the most important properties in energy storage devices, but are hard to simultaneously realize. This paper describes the model of a hybrid Lithium ion capacitor, which could theoretically achieve both high energy density and power density, as well as a long cycle life. -RD

Turbine Breaks World Record for Wind Power Generated in Just One Day
(February 1, 2017; YaleEnvironment360)
A large offshore wind turbine from Denmark recently generated enough energy in one day to power 240 U.S. homes for a month. While the U.S. has just completed its first offshore wind project, many European countries have much more developed programs, with larger and more efficient offshore turbines. Nearly half of the energy in Denmark is generated by wind. -WA

Wind Power Surpasses Hydroelectric in a Crucial Measure
(February 9, 2017; The New York Times; Diane Cardwell)
For the first time in American history, the generating capacity of wind power exceed that for hydroelectric power this past year, according to the American Wind Energy Association. The rise in wind power in America has come from technological advances in wind turbine design and a slew of federal and state tax incentives towards wind power. However, in terms of actual electricity production, hydroelectric power edges out wind power by 30%. -JPM

Intelligence Test: A computer program that learns how to save fuel
(January 26, 2017; The Economist)
Researchers at UC, Riverside have made an artificial intelligence/machine learning algorithm that can drive vehicles more energy-efficiently. The algorithm works by breaking down the trip into small segments, and, based on the data of the situation, determines if the same energy-management system needs to be employed for the upcoming segment, or not. In a simulation controlling a hybrid car in southern California traffic, the algorithm yielded a 10.7% improvement in efficiency. -JPM