When electronics need their own power sources, there are two basic options: batteries and harvesters. Batteries store energy internally, but are therefore heavy and have a limited supply. Harvesters, such as solar panels, collect energy from their environments. This gets around some of the downsides of batteries but introduces new ones, in that they can only operate in certain conditions and can’t turn that energy into useful power very quickly.New research from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is bridging the gap between these two fundamental technologies for the first time in the form of… Read More »
We’ve come to depend on electric power for many of our day-to-day activities. When there are outages, we feel the impact of that dependency, followed by a sense of relief when the power’s back on again.
Electricity has helped us stay healthier, work more efficiently and live life around the clock. Because electricity has had such a positive influence on our lives, science and industry researchers are constantly finding ways to provide electric power more easily and inexpensively. As a result, innovations in electric power have made the industry cleaner and more efficient throughout its history, and made electric service available to millions of homes.
Writing in the journal Nature Communications, Professor Peng Wang explains how the device can distil potable water without compromising electricity generation performance. It does this by using the waste heat from a photovoltaic (PV) panel as energy for the water distillation process – typically, up to 90% of the energy generated is thermal waste.
According to the team, the water production rate of the unit is three times higher than that of a conventional solar … Read More »