Temporary Tattoo Batteries Produce Power From Sweat
Wenzhao Jia, Ph.D., a postdoctoral student at the University of California San Diego, along with her colleagues have developed a sensor in the form of a tattoo that can both monitor a person’s progress during exercise and produce power from lactate, which is naturally present in sweat. The team imprinted a flexible lactate sensor onto tattoo paper, which strips electrons from lactate, generating a weak electrical current. The team is currently working to boost the power output of the sweat-powered biobattery. It currently only generates about 4 microWatts - a bit small to generate enough power to run a wristwatch, which requires at least 10 microWatts.
Brazil Offers Cheaper Loans to Encourage Local Solar Industry
Brazil will offer cheaper funding to solar projects that use locally manufactured equipments and parts in a bid to foster a national manufacturing industry as the country prepares to ban solar-cell importation by 2020. The subsidized loans linked to local content are part of policies drafted by state-owned BNDES Development Bank and the country’s Energy Research Agency. The standard cost of borrowing from BNDES is at least 6.9 percent and as low as 2 percent under a special program to counter climate change.
Solar PV Capacity in the UK Reaches 5 GW Milestone
According to NPD SolarBuzz, solar photovoltaic capacity installed throughout the United Kingdom has reached 5 GW, making the nation just the sixth country to reach the milestone behind Germany, China, Japan, Italy and the US. UK solar PV has greatly benefited from incentive schemes such as the small-scale feed-in-tariff, which accounts for 42 percent of the 5 GW capacity. Residential Installs also contributed well as it represents a third of the current reported capacity.
Sharp Launches Smart Energy Storage for Industrial and Commercial Buildings
Sharp has launched an energy storage system aimed at large individual consumers that could dramatically reduce utility and demand charges. Sharp’s SmartStorage energy solution uses lithium ion batteries to store a huge amount of electricity and releases it selectively according to the changing demand supply of a building. The system uses sophisticated predictive tools to estimate demand throughout the day and then releases the stores energy during high-demand periods, thus significantly reducing electricity costs. The system is currently offered in California but is expected to be launched across the country later this year.