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Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs

Hoverboards aside, these 10 technologies debuted to save energy and the planet.

Energy has come a long way over the years. We all rely on energy to use in our daily lives – while at home and when conducting business. Advancements within the energy sector make using energy even more convenient. Since innovations within the energy sector are ongoing, there are always breakthroughs being implemented to help energy work even more efficiently than it already does. Here is an overview of the latest top 10 energy breakthroughs.

10. Improvements to Self-Charging Batteries Using Nanocomposite Film

In 2012, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed the first self-charging battery pack. Instead of requiring re-charging by plugging it into an electrical outlet, these special battery packs are able to charge by manipulating the lithum ions in the battery. Researchers at the institute have made recent advancements in their inventions, enabling the battery pack to charge even more efficiently. By using nanocomposite film in order to accomplish this goal, researchers were also able to increase the storage capacity of the batteries, as well.

9. Body-Charging Devices

With more and more consumers seeking wearable electronic devices, these devices are becoming increasingly popular. However, a poor battery life is a common complaint among consumers. This is what prompted researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science to begin researching a way to remedy this problem. Through their extensive research, these researchers have discovered a way to keep these devices charged through the wearer's body heat.

8Real-Time Energy Monitoring Tools

Businesses and homeowners are always looking for ways to save as much as possible on their energy costs. In an effort to fulfill this need, AutoGrid Systems, with the assistance of ARPA-E, has created cutting-edge software with the ability to monitor real-time energy usage. With the ability to keep track of exactly how much energy is being used in real-time, home and business owners can effectively limit their energy usage and save on their bills.

7. Electric Cars

BMW's i3, a super long-range electric vehicle, was recently introduced to the public. Previous electric vehicles required frequent recharging, but the i3 boasts the ability to operate for up to 100 miles before recharging is required. The battery of this BMW must simply be charged for 3 hours (as opposed to the traditional 12).

6. Ultra-Fast Electrical Circuit Panels 

Singapore scientists have developed an electrical circuit that works even more optimally than the current already efficient microprocessors. These newly-designed, ultra-fast electrical circuits can operate tens of thousands times faster than traditional processors. This is a major breakthrough that has the potential to modernize the use of high-speed electronics, improving consumers' enjoyment of these items, in addition to the functioning of businesses.

5. World's First Battery-Operated Airplane

A French airplane maker recently began testing out the prototype of an airplane that is completely powered by batteries. Once the airplane successfully passes the testing phase, creators intend to sell a two-seater plane, and eventually a four-seat choice.

4. A New Long-Lasting Light Bulb

A company called "The Finally Light Bulb Company" recently created a non-LED bulb that is 75 percent more energy efficient than traditional bulbs. The Acandescent bulb, which lasts up to 15 times longer than standard bulbs, is based on the induction technology. A copper coil is used to produce light, and users can expect the light to be the same as the light produced by traditional bulbs, only a great deal more energy efficient.

3. Fusion Energy through High-Powered Lasers

Scientists in California, at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, have recently made an important breakthrough. While experimenting with high-powered lasers, these researchers were able to create fusion energy. While this can't yet be relied on as an alternative form of energy, it is hoped that in the future scientists will find a way to utilize the sun and stars as a power source.

2. Producing Hydrogen to Help Consumers Save on Energy Costs

Despite the fact that the current hydrogen production is performed in a state-of-the-art manner, technology researchers at Glasgow have made a recent discovery that will improve the production even more. The Glasgow chemists have created a newer and more efficient hydrogen that is created 30 times faster than traditional types. This will help consumers save a great deal on their energy costs by using this cleaner, more efficient type of energy.

1. Nanomaterial Could Improve the Production of Solar Energy

Technology researchers at UC San Diego recently introduced a new nanomaterial that has the potential to increase the production of solar energy derived from the sun. This might soon be possible because the nanomaterial will make it easier to absorb and convert solar energy. While the research is still being conducted, researchers are confident that this breakthrough will save homeowners and businesses millions each year.

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