Future Power Technology Magazine: Issue 48

6 March 2014 (Last Updated July 14th, 2020 09:18)

In this issue: controversy around the idea that coal could help fight climate change, Clariant’s synthetic natural gas catalyst, music to enhance the efficiency of solar cells and much more

Future Power Technology Magazine: Issue 48

Future Power Technology Magazine: Issue 48 March 2014

The timing of the International Coal and Climate Summit alongside the UN's annual climate conference in Poland last year sparked controversy and the pro-coal lobby's claim that it can help in the fight against climate change added fuel to the fire. We investigate the role of coal in the quest for a cleaner future energy mix.

We also explore the geothermal power potential of the East Africa Rift System, where the African Development Bank is financing several projects, take a look at the world's most powerful hydroelectric plants and ask if innovation in nuclear reactor design can help keep the sector competitive with other power sources.

Moreover, we find out how Clariant's synthetic natural gas catalyst helps power Audi's cars, look at new research claiming that music can improve the efficiency of solar cells, and ask how a black start helps to bring the grid back online in the event of a blackout.

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In this issue

Sing for Your Solar
You might have heard that listening to music can improve productivity at work, but did you know that it can also boost the efficiency of solar cells by up to 50%? Elly Earls investigates.
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A Valley of Potential
Recognising its geothermal potential, the African Development Bank is financing several projects along the East Africa Rift System. Frances Marcellin finds out how they are overcoming issues of high cost and risk.
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The Future's Synthetic
Audi's power-to-gas facility will produce enough synthetic methane per year to supply 1,500 vehicles with 15,000 carbon neutral kilometres each. Elly Earls finds out how Clariant's synthetic natural gas catalyst is making this possible.
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Hydro Giants
Hydropower is one of the oldest and most widely used renewable sources of energy and some installations generate power on a huge scale. We take a look at the ten biggest hydroelectric power plants in the world.
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A Question of Cost
Could new, standardised reactor designs with passive safety systems make the nuclear sector financially competitive? Ross Davies investigates.
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Controversial Situation
If the timing of the International Coal and Climate Summit sparked controversy, their idea that coal could play a part in the fight against climate change has definitely added fuel to the fire. Chris Lo investigates.
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The Black Start
In the context of nuclear power, the term 'black start' conjures up images of sinister government secrecy and doomsday scenarios. Adam Leach finds the reality to be far less dramatic, but no less intriguing.
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Next Issue

Scientists have demonstrated a new type of battery that could transform electricity storage, making power supply from renewable energy sources more reliable. We find out more about the potential of the metal-free flow battery.

We also explore how the US is protecting energy infrastructure against both cyber and physical attacks, find out how a new £8m research project in the UK is tackling the issue of handling and disposing of nuclear waste, and look at Bristol University's nuclear plant monitoring drone.

Moreover, we speak to the developers of Kusile power plant in South Africa about how 3D simulation software was used to speed up the construction process.

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