• Tech Tech

5 recent scientific advancements that could change how we power the world

From solar panels that work at night, to airborne wind generators, these five cutting-edge discoveries offer exciting glimpses into the future.

From solar panels that work at night, to airborne wind generators, these five cutting-edge discoveries offer exciting glimpses into the future.

Photo Credit: iStock

The world is in need of cleaner, more sustainable energy solutions to reduce our reliance on fuel that pollutes our atmosphere. Scientists and innovators around the globe are rising to this challenge, developing groundbreaking technologies that could revolutionize the way we generate and store power.

From solar panels that work at night to airborne wind generators, saltwater batteries, eco-friendly crab shell power cells, and advanced floating wind turbines, these five cutting-edge discoveries offer exciting glimpses into a future where renewable energy is more efficient, affordable, and accessible than ever before.

1. Solar panels that keep generating clean power even after the sun sets

Stanford scientists have found a way to make that happen. By modifying regular solar panels to radiate heat at night, they can create electricity from the temperature difference between the panels and the air. While the panels don't generate a ton of electricity yet, future designs could be more efficient.

2. Wind power from a kite

Kitemill's revolutionary kite-like wind generator, KM2, is soaring to new heights in clean energy. This airborne marvel captures stronger winds over 1,000 feet up, generating more power with a fraction of the materials used in traditional wind turbines. That means it's not just greener, but cheaper too. 

By harnessing the power of the wind in a totally new way, innovative solutions like KM2 are empowering us to build a cleaner, more affordable energy future together.

3. A battery that kills two other birds with one stone while charging

Imagine a battery that makes drinking water from the sea while it charges — all while creating graphene, a wonder material with endless eco-friendly applications. Salgenx's innovative saltwater battery does just that, storing clean energy and desalinating ocean water in one fell swoop. 

This could be a game-changer for everyone, from cargo ships to coastal communities.

4. Crustacean batteries that are better for the environment 

Crab and lobster shells could be the key to powering our future. Scientists at the University of Maryland found that these shells contain a chemical called chitin that, when mixed with zinc, can make batteries that are not only super efficient but that also decompose in just five months. 

Plus, the leftover zinc can be recycled. This means we could eventually rely less on those pesky lithium-ion batteries that take forever to break down.

5. The floating, "twirling" turbine

Did you know that a state-of-the-art floating wind turbine could revolutionize clean energy?

SeaTwirl's innovative vertical-axis design is not only easier to build but could also be less expensive to maintain than traditional offshore turbines. By harnessing strong, consistent winds in deep waters, these "twirling" marvels offer an exciting solution for powering our planet. 

As we strive to create a sustainable future, SeaTwirl's technology brings us one step closer to a world where renewable energy is accessible and affordable for all.

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