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MM: World’s 2nd Largest Offshore Wind Farm Now Operational; Longer-Lasting EV Batteries

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, how to extend your EV’s battery life and a look at Europe’s largest offshore wind farm.

Extending EV Battery Life

Range anxiety. The worry that your electric vehicle’s battery will run out before you’ve reached your destination. It’s something that’s in the back of the mind of most EV drivers, and is often cited as a big reason people are reluctant to switch to electric cars.

Range anxiety may soon be a thing of the past thanks to research by the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems, ThyseenKrupp System Engineering and IAV Automotive Engineering. Together they are developing a new battery, called EMBATT, that could potentially extend EV driving range by more than 60 percent, to about 621 miles per charge.

The new battery optimizes battery space and achieves maximum storage capacity by using the bipolar principal used in fuel cells. The bipolar electrode is a metallic tape coated with ceramic storage materials, one side as the anode and one side as the cathode. The battery cells will also be stacked on top on one another, instead of side-by-side, with bipolar plates on top.

The plates carry the current across its surface, simplifies the design, reduces resistance and makes more electricity available more quickly.

So far the EMBATT hasn’t left the lab, but the team plans to develop bigger batteries and conduct initial testing in EVs by 2020.

SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you think a more efficient battery would encourage more drivers to switch to electric vehicles? In what other ways could this battery technology be used? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The Biggest Offshore Wind Farm In Europe Is Now Operational

Off the coast of the Netherlands in Europe, one of the world’s largest wind farms just turned on. The Gemini wind farm is considered to be the largest not just in terms of its physical size but also regarding its expected production output.

Currently, the wind farm is composed of 150 turbines spread out over a sprawling 26 miles. The Gemini wind farm also isn’t visible to any Netherlands residents, as it is situated about 53 miles from the Netherlands coast.

Although an added benefit, the location for the farm was actually chosen because the wind speeds are consistently high, averaging 22 mph. And with a capacity of a whopping 600 MW, this makes the Gemini farm the second largest offshore wind farm in the world with only the London Array ahead of it.

Over the next few decades, the wind farm is expected to supply energy to 1.5 million residents throughout the Netherlands, while also reducing the amount of CO2 emissions by more than 1.3 million tons every year.

According to the site’s building contractors, the wind farm took just two years to complete, putting it ahead of schedule and under budget.

SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Offshore wind energy is becoming an ever-popular and cost-effective choice for those looking to invest in renewable energy. Do you think more companies will jump on the wind energy bandwagon? What potential limitations or benefits do you see? Tweet me your thoughts @MnetNews or leave your comments in the section below.

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