Iron-air batteries: a cheap and eco-friendly solution for energy storage

After more than 40 after preparing the first prototype of a cheap , rechargeable, high energy density iron-air battery, researchers at the University of Southern California are now finishing the job of the patent-pending design of the battery.

The technical characteristics of the batteries look particularly well-suited to the kind of large-scale energy storage that could accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources.

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Back in the 70’s, researchers were already working on environmentally friendly rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and only recent advances in materials technology have made this technology into one of the most common, high-performing solutions for today’s portable electronics.

Iron compared to other materials has a few advantages: it’s durable, it has a great capacity to pack energy (per unit of mass), it’s recyclable but most importantly it’s cheap with costs around US$1/kg (2.2 lb).

Iron-air batteries were first expected to be used for electric vehicles and military applications after the 1973 oil crisis. However, research stopped abruptly only years later, when scientists realized that iron-air batteries presented a serious  limitation: whenever the battery was being charged, a wasteful process of hydrolysis drained away about half of the battery’s energy.

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With today’s technology and advanced research, University of Southern California found a solution to this  problem. They learned that adding a small amount of bismuth sulfide into the battery shut down the harmful reaction and reduced the waste of energy more than tenfold, from 50 down to just 4% .

The other good characteristic cost-effective design of its iron electrode. The researchers combined iron powder with a polyethylene binder, heating the mix to obtain a “pressed-plate” electrode that is simple to make and has high specific energy.

The iron-air battery is exhibiting very promising durability, with a target life of 5,000 charge-discharge cycles. Even more importantly, the batteries seem to retain good performance when they are being drained quickly: at a two-hour rate of discharge, the batteries are showing a twenty-fold increase in capacity compared to commercially available electrodes.

Shanghai Metal Corporation encourages the development and innovation of new technologies. You can visit the company’s website , contact us and follow us on twitter and facebook for more information and news on metal.

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Houria // SMC Editor

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Distribution Poles: From Wood to Hot Dip Galvanized Steel

With the increasing demand of eco-friendly ans sustainable products from both the public and private sector, the main sector to improve is the energy sector itself.
Distribution pole are the main vectors of electricity and have become over the century a common view of our roads and fields. 

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wood distribution pole

Steel poles are becoming increasingly popular among utility companies for building  distribution lines or for replacing the traditional wood poles. Many reasons push these companies to use steel ans invest in the new distribution poles. In this article we will try to summarize the benefit of hot dip galvanized steel mainly reported from linemen who have worked with both wood and steel

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distribution pole – source: wikipedia.org

Wood pole VS Steel pole

Lighter

For similar strengh, a steel pole is 30 to 60% lighter than a wood pole. This makes them easier to lift, load, install and  handle in general.

Cheaper: Thanks to continuous improvement of quality and manufacturing process of steel poles the cost of steel poles come down to a point where they became competitive with wood. 

Flexible:  

Unlike wood poles which can only have a certain maximum size determined by the size of the tree taken from,  the size of wood poles can be determined freely according to the need. Steel poles can be made to handle virtually any load and in any length and can also be made as single piece poles or in sections if that would help handling them in the field.

More Sustainable

Galvanized steel poles were a response deforestation issues steel is one of the most recyclable materials around so there is never any environmental concern over disposing steel. an old pole will be recycled to make a multitude of other products. Also , the protective system that is required to cover steel poles is made of zinc which is also an environmentally friendly material and virtually 100 percent recyclable. In addition. The coating systems have been improved so much over the years that it has reduced  the maintenance needed and improved their life expectancy of the poles.

Safer:  

The steel structures do not require a full-length copper grounding wire. They are already self conducting for grounding purposes. As a result, no installation of a ground wire is required.

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lineman on distribution pole source: wikipedia.org

source: steel.org,  smdisteel.org

Shanghai Metal Corporation manufactures hot dip galvanized steel products because it believes in its potential and encourages its use for a more sustainable industry and a clean environment.
For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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Houria // SMC Editor

It Doesn’t Rain from Light Bulbs’ Cloud

Light bulbs don’t seem like an inspiration for making art but two Canadian artists Wayne Garrett and Caitlind Brown used a charm of bulbs and created an illuminating permanent installation.

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Cloud Ceiling, as they called the installation, is constructed from hand-bent steel, electronics, motion sensors, reflective mylar, LEDs and 15,000 re-appropriated incandescent light bulbs. This design was created especially for Progress Bar in Chicago, located in heart of Boystown, considered to be the third largest gay community in the United States.

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Mentioned motion sensors embedded in the ceiling cause light bulbs’ surface to illuminate as the people move around the space. Those sensors are supposed to track people moving inside the bar and that moving activate LEDs lights to turn on in response.  They monitor not only people’s progress through the space but they also map the social “electricity” between people, customers.

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A second miniature Cloud was created in the far room of Progress Bar adding a cohesive vision of the space.

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This Cloud installation gives a unique style to the Progress Bar and it makes it visible from the outside as well. Many people walking by just stop and look through the windows. It really does look awesome!

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Shanghai Metal Corporation offers customers besides metal products also LED lights and wide range of steel products. For more information visit main website or send us inquiry. English speaking staff will help you to find the most suitable products for you. Download a new application by scanning the QR code or follow us on Social Media.

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Silvia M.//SMC Editor

Read more articles written by this author here.

Credits : inhabitat.com, incandescentcloud.com, thisiscolossal.com, googleimages

Juice Up Your Phone At Social Solar Charger While In NYC

Solar energy is known as the future in power generation, commonly present in solar-powered roofs as an alternative to conventional electricity or in more sophisticated applications such as solar charging cars through a combination of photovoltaic cells and carbon fiber rods.

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Now you can add social solar charger to the list. CityCharger is a social solar charging station located at Bryant Park in New York City, which enables “on-the-go” users to charge their devices. Powered entirely by solar energy, it comes equipped with a solar panel that can be manually rotated to point South, six charging cables and a communal table that encourages social interaction while the users wait for their devices to be charged. Each small round table has an internally illuminated power-icon that indicates when the unit is turned.

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CityCharge is the result of two years of product development collaboration between, Bryant Park Corporation, Green Barrel Energy Inc., a New York City based solar company, and Landscapeforms, USA’s leading manufacturer of high quality street furniture. With plans to expand around New York City and other areas in the US, CityCharge is an ideal choice for any public space manager, allowing easy relocation in case of events and maintenance activities, and no need of storage during rain or snow. The carbon steel with an electro-coated and polyester powder-coated finish provides incredible protection against rust and UV degradation and is easy to clean.

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CityCharge doesn’t let down when it comes to its anti-scratch experience. The soft blue polycarbonate table takes easy on users’ phone casings, whilst “visually connects the product to the sky and nature, where the power comes from”, says Ignacio Ciocchini, the designer behind CityCharge.

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Shanghai Metal Corporation manufactures a wide range of Solar panel aluminum extrusion widely used in solar panels and tin coated/plated copper strip used in solar panel batteries. For our full list of products that we offer check out our website. Be sure to join the conversation in our LinkedIn groupFacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or you could try our new mobile app by scanning our QR code. Moreover, we sell directly from Alibaba , EC21 ,Tradekey or directly at sales@shanghaimetal.com.

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Source and pictures: yankodesign.com, blog.bryantpark.org, weburbanist.com

Camilla G.//SMC Editor

Obama Saved by a Portable Generator

On December 2008, there was an electric storm in Honolulu that left over 290,000 homes without electricity. The president Barack Obama was also on the island.

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The Time magazine reported that the sudden storm caused a panic for which the police of Honolulu and the US Marines send people to protect the first family. Also Hawaii Electric company offered their assistance by sending a portable generator to Obama’s Oahu residence.

The storm caused an outrage shuttering shopping malls and business offices. Also the Hawaii airport had to cancel all the flights. Traffic lights went dark leaving the Honolulu police no chance but to call in all the available officers for duty. The blackout lasted 18 hours in total.

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For such situations to avoid panic and outbreaks, Shanghai Metal Corporation also offers well-designed generators. Shanghai Metal Corporation’s generators are of superb quality that assures the best performance at all times.

SMC’s core business focuses on design, manufacture, supply, installation and after sales services with our highly trained and experienced technicians and engineers for diesel generator sets ranging from 7.5 KVA to 3300 KVA. SMC supply open and silent gensets, super silent gensets, high voltage genset, light tower, communication base station power, mobile power stations, shelters, base stations, power plants and arctic zones integrated communications devices.  Please see our website for further details.

Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Sources: the Time Magazine

Pictures: the Huffington Post, the Time Magazine

 

Pylons – The Under Appreciated Life Bringer

It has become as essential to the modern world as water and sunlight were to previous ages. From electricity demand, aging infrastructure, wind turbines, new electricity demands for heating and electric cars, pylons are a necessity to everyday life.

pylon2They have even become a point of reverence to some, with the UK publishing a ‘Pylon of the Month’ publication.

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Last Month’s Winner: EASTON-NAB, in Yorkshire, UK.

Though some claim they pose negative health risks, ultimately this is yet to be proven, and pylons remain an integral part of life.

Power pylons are probably one of the best known structural steel products – power lines reach into almost every remote part of our country. A power pylon is made from steel angles, channels and plates that are galvanized to protect it from rust.

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They are then bolted together to build a latticed upright structure to support the various high voltage power conductors transmitting our electricity.

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Shanghai metal manufactures the steel metal products used to produce electricity pylons. To find out more, please visit our websiteLinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

You can also read more articles by our team at SMC:

Imagine A Summer Without Air Conditioning

The Secret To The Perfect Shave – Stainless Steel Razors

Man Of Steel: Why It Wasn’t Called ‘Superman’              

The Science Behind Saw – Could It Really Have Cut Through Bone?

What Hollywood Finally Got Right About Science

Modern Metal Revamps Ancient Weapons

Why You Should Thank Carbon Steel for Your Flavorsome Stir Fry

Good News for China’s Steel Sector

Quiz – How Much Of Your High School Chemistry Do You Remember?

How You Can Get Your Own Game Of Thrones Valyrian Style Blade

Tired Of Wasting Money On Expensive Morning Coffees? Why Not Invest In A Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

Is Stainless Steel Really Stainless?

Sources: BBC, Independent, Saisc, Pylon of the Month

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Siobhan R.// SMC Editor