POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Apr. 29, 2016

Using trains to store energy; Weather patterns affect wind generation; A battery that can last for 100,000 charges


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • A start-up company in California is looking to 19th century technology for tomorrow’s energy storage. The company, Advanced Rail Energy Storage (ARES), absorbs excess energy and uses it to power electric trains pulling giant slabs of concrete up a hill converting kinetic electricity to potential energy. When the energy is needed, the same train carries the concrete back down the hill unlocking the energy. ARES claims this process is 86 percent efficient.
  • In 2015, U.S. wind generation grew by 5.1 percent, the smallest annual growth since 1999. The EIA attributes this to changing weather patterns across the U.S which saw lowered wind speeds in the west and stronger winds in the central part of the country.
  • A research team at UC-Irvine has created a type of energy storage that can last for more than 100,000 charges. Although this battery is still in the early research stage, scientists say that if this technology moves ahead, it could have a significant impact on the life-cycle and supply chain issues for a number of every day technology like smart phones and electric vehicles.
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