Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Monday Quickies: Lithium-Sulfur Battery Advances, Wins, Philips Unveils, EPIC Ventures Invests

January 13th, 2014 by  

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!

lithium sulfur graphite battery

Battery Development May Extend Range of Electric Cars

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 Method for Predicting Commercialization of Advanced Materials

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. Wins Energy Efficiency Product of the Year, 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.

Philips Unveils LED Tube Lamp

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 Invests in Volta Industries

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.

EV Travel Record Broken?

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.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Benjamin Nead

    In regards to the lithium sulfur battery part of this overview, I’m pleased to hear about progress on these. Other labs – notably Oak Ridge National Laboratories and the University of Arizona Chemistry Department are also doing important work with Li-S cells (I work on the same campus of the latter, just a few buildings away, and got a tour of their lab last spring.) Here is yet another approach to extending the number of charge cycles on what could be one of the most important battery chemistries in the next few years. Sulfur abounds, as it’s the byproduct of shale oil production. There are literally mountains of the stuff and more than enough right now for countless batteries. So, the promise of Li-S (if the extended charge cycle problem can be solved reliably enough for commercial production) is a cell chemistry that has 4 to 8 times the power/energydensity and at a fraction of the cost of today’s lithium ion batteries.

    • johnBas5

      Which is what we need to have electric cars that are range competitive with fossil fuel cars.

      • Bob_Wallace

        200 mile range is adequate.

        With a couple of ~20 minute stops you could drive all day. You’d get there within short minutes of someone driving a gasmobile.

  • Steeple

    Great news on the replacement LED tube lights. Huge market with buyers who are economically attuned to savings.

    • Wayne Williamson

      In my mind, I say good news/bad news. The problem with using the existing cfl housing is the ballast. I think I’ve had to replace them every 10 years or so. leds don’t need it, and its just a waste of electricity…so the good news/bad news;-)

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