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Power Rangers: New battery technology is here

Power Rangers: New battery technology is here

 


We've all been there. It's Christmas morning. A child tears open a gift, takes the year's most popular toy out of its packaging, and presses a button with the intention of annoying the house for days with noise and flashing lights, but nothing happens. Check the disposal box and read in small print “Batteries not included”.

These days, it seems like everything has batteries built into it, from watches and cell phones to bicycles and cars. Rather than stealing them from TV remotes or searching for them in the depths of dusty kitchen drawers, we were figuring out how to keep them charged, extend their lifespan, and perhaps completely transform our energy infrastructure.

As The New York Times reported earlier this month, giant batteries are transforming the way America uses electricity, especially in regions that rely heavily on renewable sources like solar and wind power.

Since 2020, California, which uses more solar power than any other state, has installed more giant batteries on its energy grid than anywhere else in the world outside of China. The logic is simple. Since there is no sun at night, there is no solar power generation. However, by storing excess energy absorbed during the day in batteries, it can be used at night, replacing some of the demand for fossil fuels.

Similarly, in Texas, nighttime wind power can be stored during periods of low demand and used when usage spikes the next day. Over the past three years, the battery storage capacity of the US power grid has increased tenfold and is expected to double again this year. Batteries are rapidly moving from these niche applications to applications that deliver large amounts of renewable energy during peak demand periods, Helen Kou, head of U.S. power analysis at BloombergNEF, told the Times.

However, batteries alone cannot eliminate dependence on fossil fuels. Lithium-ion batteries are still mainly produced in China, making availability an issue and increasing the risk of fire. Fortunately, battery technology continues to evolve, and new features may come along with it.

One innovation is the development of flow batteries that store energy through salt water. To charge the battery, water is separated into acids and bases and stored in separate tanks. When they recombine, the reaction releases energy. Imperial College London reports that Jiajun Sen, who developed the idea while in school and now heads Aquabattery, received $6 million in seed investment to help bring the technology to market. By the way.

Energy storage could also be transformed by new material structures, allowing capacitors in electric cars and other devices to hold a charge longer.

Live Science highlighted a recent breakthrough in which scientists accidentally achieved a heterostructure with new properties that slow the rate of energy dissipation through materials. These new capacitors have the potential to hold 19 times higher energy density and could be the basis for improving batteries in both consumer devices and grid-scale energy storage.

When I looked into it

Although online shopping has become part of our retail lives, major retailers are still trying to bring digital experiences into physical spaces.

Retail chain Sam's Club is the latest brick-and-mortar store to introduce an AI-powered checkout experience. It uses a combination of AI, computer vision, and digital technology to allow customers to pay for their purchases and leave the store without any scanning or verification. By one of the staff.

Since rolling out the technology to 120 stores, store exit times for all shoppers have increased by 23%, and member satisfaction with the speed of the experience has increased by 11%, a spokesperson for the Walmart-owned membership chain said. the person in charge said. he told PYMNTS. The brand says it hopes to roll out the system to all stores by the end of the year.

The move comes after Amazon discontinued a similar system at its Amazon Fresh grocery store in favor of a new system that allowed customers to scan and pay for purchases directly in their smart shopping carts. It is something that was given to me.

It remains to be seen whether technology exists to facilitate shopping cart operations.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.mastercard.com/news/perspectives/2024/power-rangers-new-battery-tech-on-the-horizon/

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