Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan5
Monday Quickies: Lithium-Sulfur Battery Advances, Alarm.com Wins, Philips Unveils, EPIC Ventures Invests
There are a handful of top cleantech stories we simply couldn’t get to over the past week. Below are quick snapshots of them (+ links) for cleantech enthusiasts who could be deprived of some useful information if we didn’t share. Enjoy!
It’s known that electric vehicles could travel longer distances before needing to charge and more renewable energy could be saved for a rainy day if lithium-sulfur batteries can just overcome a few technical hurdles. Now, a novel design for a critical part of the battery has been shown to significantly extend the technology’s lifespan, bringing it closer to commercial use.
New advanced materials like MOFs (metal organic frameworks), advanced high-strength steel, and carbon nanotubes have the potential to enable novel products and disrupt existing businesses. However, material commercialization timelines are notoriously long and unpredictable. Now, Lux Research analysts have designed a tool that can help predict the commercial development trajectory of future materials.
Alarm.com, the leading technology provider for the connected home, won the Consumer Electronic Association’s (CEA) Mark of Excellence Award for its Geo-Services technology. Using a homeowner’s location, Geo-Services improves smart thermostats by eliminating the guesswork and making automation completely effortless. Geo-Services provides a smarter way to manage your energy use by automatically optimizing for saving when you are away and comfort when you are home.
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, today announced the introduction of their new InstantFit LED T8 that reduces the cost for facility managers replacing fluorescent tube lighting with energy efficient LED technology, known as LED tube lamps (TLEDs). TLEDs use up to 40 percent less energy compared to linear fluorescent tube lighting and require less maintenance due to their long lifetime.
EPIC Ventures, in partnership with Blue Startups, announced today a seed capital investment in Volta Industries, a Honolulu-based provider of free-to-use, advertising-supported electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed; Volta has raised $1.875 million in funding to date. EPIC joins existing Volta investors Blue Startups, 500 Startups and Ulupono Initiative, the Hawaii-based social investment firm of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
The first two vehicles leased by Slovakian company GreenWay have travelled further in six months than any other, the company claims. The distance travelled makes them cheaper to run than conventional vans, says Greenway.