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Explaining the Beast from the East and other climate "anomalies"

posted Apr 17, 2021, 11:03 AM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Apr 17, 2021, 11:55 AM ]










APR 13, 2021 2:33 PM PDT
Explaining the Beast from the East and other climate "anomalies"

Agriculturalists across Europe are tense with worry for their crops. After a temptingly warm weather week at the end of March, the following days of frost have left crops confused and crispy with frost. New research from a similar weather pattern in 2018 named the “Beast from the East” suggests that the loss of the Arctic sea-ice due to climate warming is connected with the severe cold and snowy mid-latitude winters. The study’s findings are published in Nature Geoscience

"Climate change doesn't always manifest in the most obvious ways. It's easy to extrapolate models to show that winters are getting warmer and to forecast a virtually snow-free future in Europe, but our most recent study shows that is too simplistic. We should beware of making broad sweeping statements about the impacts of climate change," comments study co-author Alun Hubbard from the Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, who is a professor of Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Lead author Dr. Hanna Bailey at the University of Oulu, Finland adds that the long-term decline of Arctic sea-ice since the late 1970s was the culprit behind the "Beast from the East." She explains that the 50% reduction in Arctic sea-ice cover has increased open-water and winter evaporation, which during that extreme snowfall event was estimated to supply 88% of the fresh snow across Europe. Using geochemistry, it was possible to track the origin of the European snowfall to the Barents Sea, which is located in the Arctic Ocean between Norway, Russia, and Svalbard. 


"What we're finding is that sea-ice is effectively a lid on the ocean. And with its long-term reduction across the Arctic, we're seeing increasing amounts of moisture enter the atmosphere during winter, which directly impacts our weather further south, causing extreme heavy snowfalls. It might seem counter-intuitive, but nature is complex and what happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic." says Bailey.

The researchers were even able to calculate the numerical weight of loss sea ice as it is translated into snowfall: every square meter of winter sea-ice lost from the Barents Sea is equivalent to a 70 kg increase in the evaporation, moisture, and snow falling over Europe. As you can imagine, the predictions for an ice-free Barents Sea don’t bode well for Europe. 

"This study illustrates that the abrupt changes being witnessed across the Arctic now, really are affecting the entire planet" concludes Professor Hubbard.

Sources: Nature GeoscienceScience Daily

Apple Car: Vertrag mit LG und Magna angeblich kurz vor Abschluss

posted Apr 15, 2021, 8:38 AM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Apr 15, 2021, 8:41 AM ]

Apple Car: Vertrag mit LG und Magna angeblich kurz vor Abschluss


Apple Car: Vertrag mit LG und Magna angeblich kurz vor Abschluss

Bisher gibt es nur wenige Details zu dem Auto, an dem Apple seit Jahren im Geheimen arbeitet. (Bild: iurii/ Shutterstock.com)

14.04.2021, 13:08 Uhr • Lesezeit: 2 Min.  Gerade keine Zeit? Jetzt speichern und später lesen

Apple scheint einen neuen Partner zum Bau des Apple Car gefunden zu haben: LG Magna E-Powertrain heißt das noch junge Joint Venture, das aus vielerlei Gründen geeignet scheint.


Apple könnte auf dem Weg zu einem selbst entwickelten Elektrofahrzeug einen entscheidenden Schritt weiter gekommen sein. Laut Korean Times soll sich ein Vertragsabschluss zwischen dem kalifornischen Computerhersteller und dem kanadisch-koreanischen Joint Venture LG Magna E-Powertrain abzeichnen. Die gemeinsame Firma von Elektronikgigant LG und dem Autozulieferer Magna besteht erst seit wenigen Monaten. Sie entstand, um Komponenten für Elektroautos bis hin zu kompletten Antriebssträngen herzustellen. Der Name Magna fällt indes nicht zum ersten Mal im Zusammenhang mit Apples E-Auto. Bereits im März wurde der kanadisch-österreichische Automobilzulieferer als möglicher Partner genannt.

Apples Suche gestaltet sich schwierig

Apples Partnersuche geriet in der Vergangenheit immer wieder in die Schlagzeilen. Seit Jahren sucht der iPhone-Erfinder nach Partnern in der Automobilindustrie. Doch unterschiedliche Vorstellungen ließen die potenziellen Kandidaten immer wieder abwinken. Die deutschen Premiumhersteller wollten beispielsweise nicht den Zugriff auf ihre Kundendaten verlieren. Zuletzt soll Apple mit Hyundai im Gespräch gewesen sein. Allerdings zögerte deren Führungsriege, denn man wollte nicht als Auftragsfertiger fungieren. Genau das scheint sich Apple aber zu wünschen – und könnte nun dafür das geeignete Gegenstück gefunden haben.

Scheinbar endlich passenden Partner gefunden

Da sich beide Unternehmen bereits als Zulieferer betätigen, scheinen sie mit der Rolle kein Problem zu haben. Magna baut etwa für Jaguar das Elektro-SUV iPace, LG liefert das Batterie-Pack dazu. Aus dieser Zusammenarbeit könnte die Idee für das gemeinsame Zulieferprojekt entstanden sein. Magna entwickelt zudem mit Sony zusammen das erste Elektroauto des Playstation-Produzenten. Angeblich hat Magna auch schon am Apple Car mitgearbeitet: Vor etwa sechs Jahren soll ein Team aus dem österreichischen Graz nach Sunnyvale geflogen sein, um dort an nicht näher beschriebenen Komponenten zu arbeiten. Mit Töchtern der LG Group hat Apple ebenfalls schon Erfahrungen gesammelt. So liefert eine von ihnen etwa Akkus für Apples Gerätschaften aus, eine andere Displays.

Insidern zufolge will Apple zunächst keine großen Mengen des Autos herstellen lassen. Die erste Generation soll dazu dienen, den Markt zu sondieren. Angeblich läuft 2024 die Produktion an. Andere Quellen sprechen von 2025.

E-Auto-Fahrer wollen nicht mehr zurück zu Benzin oder Diesel

posted Apr 12, 2021, 10:35 PM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Apr 13, 2021, 2:03 PM ]

FREUDE AM STROMERNE-Auto-Fahrer wollen nicht mehr zurück zu Benzin oder Diesel

12. April 2021
Quelle: dpa

Bild:  dpa

Die Zahl der E-Autobesitzer steigt stetig. Nun belegt eine Umfrage, dass ein Großteil sehr zufrieden mit seiner Kaufentscheidung ist und auch jederzeit wieder ein elektrisch angetriebenes Auto kaufen würde.

Fahrer von Elektroautos wollen nicht mehr auf Benziner oder Diesel umsteigen. Das zeigt eine Umfrage unter Besitzern von rein elektrisch angetriebenen Autos durch den Düsseldorfer Marktforscher Innofact. 85 Prozent der E-Auto-Fahrer würden bei einem erneuten Autokauf innerhalb der nächsten 24 Monate wieder zu einem rein elektrisch angetriebenen Auto greifen, sechs Prozent würden einen Plug-in-Hybrid wählen, der elektrisch und mit Verbrennungsmotor bewegt werden kann. Fünf Prozent planen die Anschaffung eines Wasserstoff-betriebenen Elektroautos. Nur drei Prozent planen den Kauf eines Diesels oder eines Benziners.

Ein Hauptgrund für die hohe Zufriedenheit mit den Stromautos ist der Fahrspaß: Waren vor der Anschaffung der Elektroautos Umwelt- und Klimaschutz (sehr wichtig oder eher wichtig für 89 Prozent) und Nachhaltigkeit (86 Prozent) die wichtigsten Aspekte für die Elektromobilisten, dominiert nach Erfahrungen mit den Batterieautos der Fahrspaß.

90 Prozent der Nutzer sind damit sehr zufrieden oder eher zufrieden. Gute Noten gibt es auch für die Sicherheit der Akkus, den Umweltschutz und die Ladedauer der Fahrzeuge. Dagegen sind das Ladennetz und die Preise an den Ladesäulen ein Ärgernis für einen Teil der Befragten: 16 Prozent sind weniger oder gar nicht zufrieden mit den Lademöglichkeiten, zehn Prozent stören sich an den Ladepreisen. Immerhin deutlich mehr als die Hälfte der Befragten waren aber auch mit dem Laden zufrieden.


Market Data: Electric Trucks and Buses

posted Apr 9, 2021, 8:48 AM by Frederick H. Schuchardt

Global Forecasts for Electric Trucks, Buses, and Supporting Charging Infrastructure in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Markets

Significant growth lies ahead for electric HCVs (e-HCVs) in China, particularly with e-trucks, but the larger question is how quickly the rest of the world is going to catch up. In that regard, the next 10 years are likely to be dramatic. Public transit fleets worldwide are implementing the transition toward electricity at a rapid pace, and major parcel delivery services have made huge orders for purpose-built e-HCVs. Electric rigid trucks and day cab tractors are being introduced by established truck, and high capacity charging technology standards to enable electric long-haul trucking are nearing debut.

These developments follow mounting pressure from governments and corporate customers demanding that manufacturers and fleets provide zero emissions solutions. Emissions and energy efficiency regulations in two-thirds of the global HCV market are pressing manufacturers to make more energy efficient vehicles, making e-HCVs more attractive. Additionally, corporate climate action planning is looking into the supply chain for emissions savings, resulting in fleet emissions characteristics becoming a criterion for competitive assessment. The Science Based Targets initiative has logged nearly 1,000 corporate commitments—a sign of this trend.

This Guidehouse Insights report provides an assessment of the global markets for e-HCVs and supporting charging infrastructure, including technologies, market drivers and barriers, and the extent by which the market is likely to grow over the next decade. Forecast vehicle technologies in this report include battery electric trucks and buses with gross vehicle weight ratings over 3.5 tons (T) segmented by major vehicle types as follows: vans, rigid trucks, tractors, transit and coach buses, and shuttles. Charging infrastructure technologies include all charge points deployed to specifically support e-HCVs. Forecasts on these technologies are provided from 2020-2030 by major global region.

Das Multimilliardengeschäft: So viel deutsche Technik steckt in Batterien für Elektroautos

posted Apr 8, 2021, 9:51 AM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Apr 8, 2021, 9:52 AM ]

Zellchemie, Kühlsysteme, Akku-Gehäuse: Deutsche Unternehmen liefern wichtige Komponenten für das Herzstück von E-Autos und profitieren von dem Boom.
07.04.2021 - 04:00 Uhr 
10 x geteilt
Schon heute steckt in Elektroautos auf aller Welt mehr deutsche Technik, als man denkt.  Quelle: dpa
Batterie wird in einen Mercedes eingesetzt

Schon heute steckt in Elektroautos auf aller Welt mehr deutsche Technik, als man denkt. 

(Foto: dpa)


Düsseldorf, Frankfurt Deutschland hat den Anschluss verpasst. Die erfolgreichste Elektroautomarke der Welt kommt aus den USA, die Batteriezellen, das Herzstück eines jeden Stromers kommen fast ausschließlich aus Südkorea, Japan oder China. Und selbst bei den Rohstoffen für Elektroautos ist Deutschland auf Importe angewiesen. Und trotzdem erwartet die europäische Industrie ein Multimilliarden-Geschäft. 

In den kommenden Jahren wird die deutsche und europäische Industrie massiv aufholen – nicht nur beim Bau von Elektroautos, auch bei der Batterietechnik. In Europa sind im großen Stil Werke geplant. Nach Schätzungen von Branchenexperten lockt allein bis 2030 ein Markt von 60 Milliarden Euro für den Aufbau der Werke und dann ein jährliches Umsatzvolumen von mindestens 20 Milliarden Euro – an dem auch viele Zulieferer verdienen werden.  

DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks join forces to speed up transition to fossil free road transport on longer distances

posted Feb 26, 2021, 8:46 AM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Feb 26, 2021, 11:33 AM ]

Feb 23, 2021:

Bonn, Stockholm - DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy-duty electric trucks to be used for regional transport in Europe. The combined effort marks another important step towards climate neutral transport solutions. So far, the main use of electric trucks has been for shorter distances within cities and urban areas. Now DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks have initiated a project focusing on longer distance heavy transports. The cooperation includes exclusive, worldwide first pilot tests of a fully electric Volvo FH truck with gross combination weights up to 60 tons.

New battery electrolyte developed at Stanford may boost the performance of electric vehicles

posted Oct 21, 2020, 2:45 PM by Frederick H. Schuchardt

June 22, 2020
By Mark Shwartz

A new lithium-based electrolyte invented by Stanford University scientists could pave the way for the next generation of battery-powered electric vehicles.

In a study published June 22 in Nature Energy, Stanford researchers demonstrate how their novel electrolyte design boosts the performance of lithium metal batteries, a promising technology for powering electric vehicles, laptops and other devices.

“Most electric cars run on lithium-ion batteries, which are rapidly approaching their theoretical limit on energy density,” said study co-author Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “Our study focused on lithium metal batteries, which are lighter than lithium-ion batteries and can potentially deliver more energy per unit weight and volume.”

EVs: Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave – Definitive Proof from the UCS

posted Aug 25, 2020, 2:54 PM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Aug 25, 2020, 3:32 PM ]

Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave

Aug 16, 2019

The Union of Concerned Scientists has found that electric vehicles produce less than half the global warming emissions of comparable gasoline-powered cars. Period!

What follows is the Executive Summary from the 2015 Union of Concerned Scientists report titled,
Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave – How Electric Cars Beat Gasoline Cars on Lifetime Global Warming Emissions:

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a critical part of the American transportation future given their potential to dramatically cut global warming emissions—especially when charged by a clean electricity grid.

Together with other oil-saving approaches, such as more efficient vehicles and advanced biofuels, EVs can help cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years. EVs will also be essential to achieving the deep emissions reductions by mid-century needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

This report compares battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) with similar gasoline vehicles by examining their global warming emissions over their “life cycles”—from the raw materials to make the car through manufacturing, driving, and disposal or recycling. Toward that end, we performed up-to-date assessments of the carbon footprints of BEVs, taking into account the latest information about electricity generation and BEV models. The two BEVs we modeled, midsize and full-size, are not specific to any particular manufacturer but are based on the two most popular BEV models sold in the United States today: the Nissan LEAF and the Tesla Model S. Our analysis reflects the BEVs available to American consumers and comparable gasoline vehicles.

Costa Rica Presents Interoceanic Canal Project

posted Aug 29, 2018, 12:57 PM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Aug 29, 2018, 3:54 PM ]

http://www.ticotimes.net/2016/11/15/costa-rica-inter-oceanic-canal
Officials from various public agencies announced that they are evaluating a proposal to build an interoceanic shipping canal through the country’s northern zone to connect ports on the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica.

The National Concessions Council (CNC) on Monday confirmed they have received the proposal for the $16 billion project from Canal Seco de Costa Rica (CANSEC), a private consortium.

The megaproject would link three ports: one on the Caribbean coast in Parismina, another in San Carlos, north of Alajuela province and another in Santa Elena, in La Cruz, Guanacaste.

Silvia Jiménez, technical director of the CNC, said at a press conference on Monday that ports would be connected by 315 kilometers (196 miles) of railways that can accomodate double-height containers.

The proposed project also includes the construction of a 10-lane road, 30 hydroelectric plants and two seaports.

Ambitious Project

CANSEC representative Lucia D’Ambrossio said at the presentation that the project is the opportunity the country needs to position itself globally. “It’s an integral solution. The canal would end the traffic jams. It will change the face of the provinces and make the country a global reference,” she said.

Public Works and Transport (MOPT) Minister Carlos Villalta said this would be the most ambitious and expensive project in the country’s history. Villalta said that the first phase of the project is already underway: analyzing the documents that make up the CANSEC proposal.

“The impact of this project would be similar to that of Panama Canal, as it would create about 80,000 jobs for the country,” Villalta said.

Initial estimates indicate that completion of the project would take five years. The feasibility studies of the project will be ready in a year, while the public bidding and the signing of the contract with the selected firm would take 18 months. Construction would take about three years, MOPT reported.

Minister Villalta also said that four investor groups have already shown interest in financing the project.

Five-junction photo-voltaic cell has 44.5% efficiency

posted Jul 12, 2017, 12:02 PM by Frederick H. Schuchardt

Five-junction photovoltaic cell has 44.5% efficiency

07/12/2017

Senior Editor

Concentrator solar cell captures large portion of the solar spectrum.

(Image: George Washington University)

Scientists at George Washington University and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (both in Washington, DC), Sotera Defense Solutions (Annapolis Junction, MD), Semprius (Durham, NC), and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have designed and constructed a prototype for a new solar cell that has five semiconductor junctions -- three in a gallium arsenide (GaAs)-based section and two in a gallium antimonide (GaSb) section.1

The two overlapping types of photovoltaic cell each capture a different portion of the solar spectrum, allowing conversion of direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5% efficiency, giving it the potential to become the most efficient solar cell in the world. By comparison, the ubiquitous silicon solar cell converts only a quarter of the available energy into electricity.

The new device is a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cell that uses optics to concentrate sunlight onto a microscale solar cell at a concentration ratio of 744 suns. Because of their small size (less than one millimeter square), solar cells utilizing more-sophisticated materials can be developed cost-effectively.

"Around 99% of the power contained in direct sunlight reaching the surface of Earth falls between wavelengths of 250 nm and 2500 nm, but conventional materials for high-efficiency multijunction solar cells cannot capture this entire spectral range," says Matthew Lumb, lead author of the study and a research scientist at George Washington University. "Our new device is able to unlock the energy stored in the long-wavelength photons, which are lost in conventional solar cells, and therefore provides a pathway to realizing the ultimate multijunction solar cell."

The approach has two novel aspects. First, it uses a family of materials based on GaSb substrates, which are usually found in applications for infrared lasers and photodetectors. The novel GaSb-based solar cells are assembled into a stacked structure along with high-efficiency solar cells grown on conventional substrates that capture shorter-wavelength solar photons. In addition, the stacking procedure uses transfer-printing, which enables three-dimensional assembly of the devices with a high degree of precision.

This particular solar cell is very expensive; however, the researchers believe that it was important to show the upper limit of what is possible in terms of efficiency. Despite the current costs of the materials involved, the technique used to create the cells shows much promise. Eventually a similar product may be brought to market enabled by cost reductions arising from the use of very high solar concentration levels and technology to recycle the expensive growth substrates.

The research builds off of the advancements made by the MOSAIC Program, a $24 million research project funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) that funds 11 separate teams across the U.S., each seeking to develop technologies and concepts to revolutionize photovoltaic performance and reduce costs. The researchers note that funding for this type of research is essential for developing viable commercial technology in the future. 

Source: https://mediarelations.gwu.edu/scientists-design-solar-cell-captures-nearly-all-energy-solar-spectrum

REFERENCE:

1. Matthew P. Lumb et al.Advanced Energy Materials (2017); doi: 10.1002/aenm.201700345

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