The reshoring trend has been driven by rising offshore costs such as labor rates, energy prices, impact on innovation, intellectual property theft, and total cost analysis recognizing all relevant costs and risk.
Gone are the days when the webmasters did not give much prominence to the Social SEO. The traffic was driven to the website with the help of the SEO by putting in the most effective keywords and meta tags.
However, thanks to the recent changes in the Google algorithm, various popular social media channels such as theFacebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube have gone on to greatly influence the search engine results.
The world of rechargeable batteries is full of trade-offs. While lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are currently the most commercially successful, their low energy density doesn't allow for a long driving range. They are also very expensive, often accounting for half the price of electric vehicles. One alternative is lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, which are attractive for their high gravimetric energy density that allows them to store more energy than Li-ion batteries. And although they still use some lithium, the sulfur component allows them to be much cheaper than Li-ion batteries. But one of the biggest drawbacks of Li-S batteries is their short cycle life, which causes them to lose much of their capacity every time they are recharged.
Now a team of researchers led by Yi Cui, a professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University, has developed a Li-S battery that can retain more than 80% of its 1180 mAh/g capacity over 300 cycles, with the potential for similar capacity retention over thousands of cycles. In contrast, most Li-S batteries lose much of their capacity after a few tens of cycles. To achieve this improvement, the researchers first identified a new mechanism that causes capacity decay in Li-S batteries after cycling. In order for a Li-S battery to successfully recharge, the lithium sulfide in the cathode must be bound to the cathode surface—in this case, the inner surface of the hollow carbon nanofiber that encapsulates it. This binding creates a good electrical contact to allow for charge flow. But the researchers found that, during the discharge process, the lithium sulfide detaches from the carbon, resulting in a loss of electrical contact that prevents the battery from fully recharging.
After identifying the problem, the researchers set about fixing it by adding polymers to the carbon nanofiber surface in order to modify the carbon-sulfur interface. The polymers are amphiphilic, meaning they are both hydrophilic (water-loving) and lipophilic (fat-loving), similar to soap. This property gives the polymers anchoring points that allow the lithium sulfides to bind strongly with the carbon surface in order to maintain strong electrical contacts. As experiments showed, sulfur cathodes containing the amphiphilic polymers had very stable performance, with less than 3% capacity decay over the first 100 cycles, and less than 20% decay for more than 300 cycles. Although the improvement is a big step forward, the capacity retention still doesn't compare to Li-ion batteries, some of which have lifespans approaching 10,000 cycles. In order to avoid having to replace the battery every few years, electric vehicles require these longer lifespans. But Cui says that Li-S batteries have the potential to close this gap in the foreseeable future. "Using the amphiphilic polymer idea here in this paper, together with nanoscale materials design and synthesis, it is possible to improve the cycle life up to 10,000 cycles," Cui told Phys.org. "My group is working on this. Our recent results on nanomaterials design already improved to 1000 cycles." In the future, Cui think Li-S batteries will give Li-ion batteries some serious competition. "The Li-S batteries become pretty promising for electric vehicles," he said. "The life cycle needs to improve further. The lithium metal anodes' safety problem needs to be solved. It is possible to get around Li metal anodes with Si anodes."
PA school district reports $372K savings from Blue Bird propane-fuel school buses.
110 Roush-Powered Buses for Pennsylvania, as the Pace Picks Up
Student Transportation of America has orders for 110 propane autogas-fueled Blue Bird school buses for Pennsylvania, adding to recent word of more than 400 propane buses in Nebraska. And, STA predicts more to come.
‘Less Pollution, Less Dilution’
“We can deploy more alternative fuel vehicles, lowering our fuel cost and reducing carbon monoxide around schools. This is our ‘less pollution, less dilution’ program we have been working towards"
“Our customers, shareholders, communities and our children all benefit by this new approach,” Vaughan said. “It is a new start in our effort to work on those 10,000 schools which continue to own and operate their own fleets. We are pleased to be leading the change to a more cost effective model for schools and for a cleaner environment in the communities we serve." - STA COO Patrick Vaughan
More about clean technology on Twitter from @fleetsandfuels and @reachscale, #hashtags #clean #green #tech.
There was a time when the automotive industry was the pride of America, when consumers eagerly awaited each new model, when Wall Street happily buzzed about each upcoming earnings report.
Dan Aldridge's insight:
Integrating smartphone technology into cars is one area where U.S. automakers have a competitive advantage. As the world gets more "social" and digital, demand for these kinds of design features only grows.
For those concerned about the environmental impact of their daily commute, taking public transportation may be a way to be nicer to the planet. According to statistics highlighted by the Sustainable Cities Collective, taking public transportation over driving can save 340 million gallons of fuel from being used, preventing the release of 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Now, public transportation is becoming even better for the environment thanks to the benefits of solar power. From California to Massachusetts, public transportation agencies are increasingly turning to photovoltaic energy to keep their operations running smoothly.
While trains are not (yet) propelled by photovoltaic energy, some public transportation agencies do use solar panels to help power their rail fleets. For example, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority announced in September that it would be putting up solar modules on an 18-acre rail yard and on a garage. The installations, paid for through a power purchase agreement, are expected to save the MBTA close to $49,000 a year by providing an estimated 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, Boston.com reported.
On the other side of the country, L.A. Metro has announced its intentions to install a combined 2 megawatts of PV energy capacity on all of its bus and rail facilities in Los Angeles County, according to Clean Fleet Report...
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