Sensors make Senior Independence Achievable

Lively

Technology like this pillbox sensor from Lively can help caretakers monitor people with Alzheimer’s and dementia from afar.

Sensors may be the answer to easy and accessible in-home senior care – at least that’s what the elder care tech industry is trying to achieve.

It’s no secret that the American population is greying, and with the continuing aging of the “baby boom” generation, the issue of independence at home has become a high priority. Now, seniors have to opportunity to stay in their own homes safely thanks to sensors.

This from CNN:

SmartThings is a DIY home automation system that connects sensors and smart devices with a wireless hub. In addition to sensors like those in Mary Lou’s home, the system can loop in smart thermostats, smart plugs, door locks and surveillance cameras.

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$40 Million Energy Technology Contest to be launched this Fall

Microgrid

Microgrids are small power systems that are able to function independently when storms or other emergencies knock out electricity.
Credit: Center for Sustainable Energy

New York state will be holding a $40 million energy technology competition this fall in order to aid research that will allow local communities to retain power during outages.

This from Associated Press:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Prize competition, which would award funding to companies or utilities that suggest the best ways to create so-called “microgrids.” Microgrids are small power systems that are able to function independently when storms or other emergencies knock out electricity.

The microgrids will allow for hospitals, schools, water plants, and even homes to hold energy when the main electrical grid is not working.

Cuomo is to launch the competition this fall.

If you find this concept interesting and would like to partake in solving some of the most challenging issues in the world today, check out the details on ECS’s 2014 Electrochemical Energy and Water Summit.

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Matt Damon puts new spin on ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by using Toilet Water

Matt Damon

Damon opts to use toilet water in lieu of fresh H2O for his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Like many other celebrities, Matt Damon has decided to do his part and participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Though, the award-winning actor and humanitarian was a bit conflicted about wasting a bucket of clean water.

His solution? Use toilet water, of course.

“It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon explained in his video, “but because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to clean drinking water – and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t – and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.”

According to Water.org, there are about 2.4 billion people globally who still lack access to clean sanitation systems. Through his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Damon saw a way to not only contribute to a good cause – but also educate about the very important global issue of sanitation.

“For those of you like my wife who think this is really disgusting, keep in mind that the water in our toilets in the West is actually cleaner than the water that most people in the developing world have access too.”

ECS is also focusing on the global issue of sanitation by partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at the 4th International Electrochemical Energy Summit. By distributing over $200,000 in funding, ECS hopes to empower researchers and bolster innovate research. Join us in Cancun, October 5-9, to take part in this multi-day workshop.

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Lithium or Magnesium?

LinkedIn chat bubbles

Join the ECS LinkedIn group.

This from our LinkedIn group:

Recently some researchers move to Mg batteries. Pellion Tech in its white paper claims double energy density both in volumetric and gravimetric for Mg batteries.

I am confused since it seems that the discharge voltage should be at least 3V and no cell have been reported working experimentally at such potential yet (Maybe I did not find).

Moreover, the safety issues will not come for Mg batteries with magnesium anodes? and for Mg-ion batteries, the energy density would be competitive with current Li-ion batteries?

Does the main opportunity for Mg batteries lie in their cathodes same as Lithium batteries?

Leave comments here.

Request to join the LinkedIn group today!

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Watch New ECS Membership Video

Membership Video Still Single Person

Greg, a 6 year ECS member, thinks the older you get the more important membership becomes.

Our last video, shot in May 2014 was about coming to the ECS meetings. This new one, also shot in Florida, is about becoming a member.

Turns out there are a lot of reasons to become a member. But the best part for me was sharing the finished product with the folks here in the home office. They walked away with a smile, saying it was nice to hear all those good things about ECS.

You can have your head down working so hard, so focused on the day-to-day, that it’s easy to forget the big picture and what all those little things we do here add up to.

Thanks to all the members!

Find out more about individual, institutional, and student memberships.

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Call for Meeting Abstracts

227th ECS Meeting Chicago Logo

The 227th ECS Meeting is in Chicago, IL from May 24 – 28, 2015

The call for abstracts for the 227th ECS Meeting to be held May 24-28, 2015 in Chicago, IL is now open.

Meeting abstracts should explicitly state objectives, new results, and conclusions or significance of the work.

Regardless of whether you submit as a poster or an
oral presentation, it is at the symposium organizers’ discretion whether it is scheduled for an oral or poster presentation.

Programming for this meeting will occur in January 2015.

Abstracts are due no later than November 14, 2014.

Find out more.

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Grant opportunity in Cancun

Gates Foundation logo

The goal: to enable universal access to sustainable sanitation services by supporting the development of radically new sanitation technologies as well as markets for new sanitation products and services.

ECS is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to host a multi-day workshop at the 2014 International Electrochemical Energy Summit (E2S) which takes place during the ECS and SMEQ Joint International meeting in Cancun, Mexico being held Oct. 5-9, 2014. The workshop will culminate in the distribution of over $200,000 in seed funding from ECS, addressing critical technology gaps in water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges being faced around the world.

40% of the world’s population–2.5 billion people–practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities, and the consequences can be devastating for human health as well as the environment.

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Harnessing Renewable Energy Where the River Meets the Sea

Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO)

Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) is a method of producing renewable energy from two streams of a different salinity.
Credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

When the River Meets the Sea” may very well be a John Denver song circa 1979, but it is also an intersection with the potential to generate a significant amount of power. According to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT, when river water collides with sea water, there exists the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy.

This from Phys.org:

The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane. Through osmosis, water from the less-salty stream would cross the membrane to a pre-pressurized saltier side, creating a flow that can be sent through a turbine to recover power.

Read the full article here.

According to calculations by Leonardo Banchik, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, a PRO system could potentially power a coastal wastewater-treatment plant by taking in seawater and combining it with treated wastewater to produce renewable energy.

Although more research needs to be done to see in what applications the PRO system is economically viable, Banchik sees the huge potential of this method.

“Say we’re in a place that could really use desalinated water, like California, which is going through a terrible drought,” Banchik says. “They’re building a desalination plant that would sit right at the sea, which would take in seawater and give Californians water to drink. It would also produce a saltier brine, which you could mix with wastewater to produce power.”

Learn more about new devlopments in osmosis via ECS’s Digital Library.

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Google Science?

Google scholar logo

“Google Science” would launch a number of journals, be “self-organising” and yet have a team of “qualified reviewers.”

There is a Google Scholar, but what if there was a Google Science? The UK edition of Wired magazine is tracking the mystery of whether it is or is not in the mix in How ‘Google Science’ could transform academic publishing.

“Google Science” would launch a number of journals, be “self-organising” and yet have a team of “qualified reviewers”.

“99.9 percent of the work, including peer review would be done by the scientific community,”

This is, of course, about open access an issue we at ECS are committed to. There’s a great discussion on this. The article says:

“Most [academics] don’t particularly care about open access, in part because they are not incentivised to do so. This is changing, but only slowly, and right now most still care more about publishing in established, high-profile journals and in gaining a lot of citations.”

Google could change the game, if they really were going to get involved. Spoiler alert: Wired found no evidence a Google Science was in the works.

Find out more about ECS open access.

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Solar Energy Without Blocking the View

Solar Concentrator

The solar harvesting system uses small organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight.
Credit: Yimu Zhao

A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that can harvest energy when placed over a window without blocking the view.

The new development is called the transparent luminescent solar concentrator and it has the potential to be used on buildings, cell phones, and any other device that has a flat, clear surface.

This from Science Daily:

Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials is not new. These past efforts, however, have yielded poor results – the energy production was inefficient and the materials were highly colored.

Read the full article here.

The transparent luminescent solar concentrator is still in the beginning of its development – yielding a solar conversion efficiency just close to one percent. However, Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering believes the concentrator will reach efficiencies beyond five percent when fully optimized.

“It opens a lot of area to deploy solar energy in a non-intrusive way,” Lunt said. “It can be used on tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader. Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there.”

ECS will have a symposium at the upcoming meeting in Cancun dealing with solar fuels and the utilization of solar energy. Find out more about the meeting and sign-up for early bird registration today!

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