Green technologies will be followed in 2023

A lot of resources and skills are invested in the development of more sustainable technologies. There are many initiatives, especially in the field of energy, and we decided to compile an inventory of innovations to watch this year.

Let’s start with the first source of green energy: the Sun. Solar has long been recognized as a competitive primary renewable energy compared to conventional energy sources. However, this has its limits, the first being that the Sun does not shine all the time. And even then, most commercial solar panels are not as efficient as wind turbines.

However, things are changing and some of the innovations are promising. Such are transparent solar panels that can be attached to windows or other surfaces like a film. Two companies are developing this type of technology: Ubiquitous Energy and Solar Windows.

Both aim to partner with other companies rather than sell directly to consumers. So, these transparent solar panels will probably be offered as an option for those who want to install new windows in their homes or offices.

Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent solar panels inside windows. Energy everywhere

Some electric cars are also starting to integrate solar panels. All the solar cars currently available (Aptera, Sono Sion and Lightyear 0) still need to be plugged in to charge on long journeys, but depending on the model, they promise up to 70km per day on solar power alone. , the level of sunlight and the type of photovoltaic cells in which they are installed.

The Aptera solar car is sold in the United States. Jesse Orrall/CNET

The promise of nuclear fusion

Still in the sun, scientists are trying to reproduce the Sun’s energy on Earth. Recently, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory succeeded in exceeding the flammability limit for the first time. This means that the nuclear fusion reactor produced more energy than it consumed. But we are still a long way from operational technology, as this type of reactor would need to increase its input energy tenfold to be viable, probably not for many years. But with major fusion projects such as ITER underway, there is much to watch in this field.

Animation showing nuclear fusion ignition at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The power of waves

Other energy technology companies want to tap into a land-based energy source: the tidal power of the seas. Wave Swell Energy’s artificial vent recently underwent a year-long trial off the coast of King Island, Australia. The Uniwave200 channels the waves into a central chamber, where air is compressed and a turbine spins, sending power to the grid. Wave Swell Energy continues to improve the device to make it more reliable and affordable.

Uniwave200 harvests wave energy off the coast of King Island, Australia. Wave Blowing Energy

Eco Wave Power uses underwater structures to generate wave energy. The floats rest on the surface, where the waves activate them, creating hydraulic pressure in a circuit that turns a hydromotor that drives a generator that sends electricity to the grid through an inverter.

The system is designed to automatically detect approaching storms to raise the floats before bad weather passes, thus preventing damage. Eco Wave Power has already installed systems at Jaffa Port in Gibraltar and Tel Aviv, Israel. It is working on another facility in Los Angeles that should open this year.

Eco Wave Power floats convert wave motion into electricity. Eco Wave Power

AWS Energy has deployed a giant submersible buoy called the Archimedes Waveswing, tethered to the ocean floor, which sits below the surface. As it rises and falls with the waves, the generator converts this movement into electricity.

Archimedes Waveswing underwater buoy. AWS Energy article adapted from CNETFrance

Photo: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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