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Smithsonian Magazine

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found that the sun’s magnetic field “could form much closer to the star’s surface than previously thought,” reports Will Sullivan for Smithsonian Magazine. “The findings could help improve forecasts of solar activity that can affect satellites, power grids and communications systems on Earth—and produce magnificent auroras,” explains Sullivan. 

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters spotlights how researchers at MIT have combined cement with carbon black to make concrete that can store energy as one of the climate tech innovations that provide hope “that it’s still possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” With this new technology, “the foundation of your future house could eventually store solar power from your roof,” explains Peters.

Newsweek

MIT researchers have developed a supercapacitor comprised of concrete and charcoal, that can store electricity and discharge as needed, reports Aleks Phillips for Newsweek. Researchers hope the device can provide “a cheap and architectural way of saving renewable energy from going to waste,” writes Phillips.

Xinhuanet

Researchers at MIT have developed a conceptual design for a system that can efficiently produce “solar thermochemical hydrogen,” reports Xinhua. “The system harnesses the Sun's heat to directly split water and generate hydrogen -- a clean fuel that can power long-distance trucks, ships, and planes, while in the process emitting no greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Boston Globe reporter Aruni Soni about her new study that finds reducing the cost of solar energy will be accelerated by improvements in soft tech. “We found that the soft technology involved in solar energy really has not changed and hasn’t improved nearly as quickly as the hardware,” says Trancik. “These soft costs, in many systems, can be 50 percent or even more of the total cost of solar electricity.”

The Boston Globe

Researchers at MIT have developed a supercapacitor, an energy storage system, using cement, water and carbon, reports Macie Parker for The Boston Globe. “Energy storage is a global problem,” says Prof. Franz-Josef Ulm. “If we want to curb the environmental footprint, we need to get serious and come up with innovative ideas to reach these goals.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters writes that MIT researchers have developed a new type of concrete that can store energy, potentially enabling roads to be transformed into EV chargers and home foundations into sources of energy. “All of a sudden, you have a material which can not only carry load, but it can also store energy,” says Prof. Franz-Josef Ulm.

New Scientist

MIT engineers have uncovered a new way of creating an energy supercapacitor by combining cement, carbon black and water  that could one day be used to power homes or electric vehicles, reports Jeremy Hsu for New Scientist. “The materials are available for everyone all over the place, all over the world,” explains Prof. Franz-Josef Ulm. “Which means we don’t have the same restriction as with batteries.”

Popular Science

MIT researchers have discovered that when combined with water, carbon black and cement can produce a low-cost supercapacitor capable of storing electricity for later use, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “With some further fine-tuning and experimentation, the team believes their enriched cement material could one day compose portions of buildings’ foundations, or even create wireless charging,” writes Paul.

Science

Researchers at MIT have found that cement and carbon black can be combined with water to create a battery alternative, reports Robert Service for Science. Professor Franz-Josef Ulm and his colleagues “mixed a small percent of carbon black with cement powder and added water,” explains Service. “The water readily combines with the cement. But because the particles of carbon black repel water, they tend to clump together, forming long interconnected tendrils within the hardening cement that act like a network of wires.”

The Wall Street Journal

Founded by MIT engineers, CubicPV is building a solar-component factory, reports Phred Dvorak for The Wall Street Journal. CubicPV’s process “peels a thin layer of crystallized silicon off the top of the molten material, a technique the company says is faster, cheaper and less wasteful,” explains Dvorak.

NBC

NBC 1st Look host Chelsea Cabarcas visits MIT to learn more about how faculty, researchers and students are “pioneering the world of tomorrow.” Cabarcas meets the MIT Solar Electric Vehicle team and gets a peek at Nimbus, the single-occupant vehicle that team members raced in the American Solar Challenge from Kansas City to New Mexico. Cabarcas also sees the back-flipping MIT mini cheetah that could one day be used in disaster-relief operations.

Fast Company

MIT researchers have developed paper-thin solar cells that can adhere to nearly any material, reports Elissaveta M. Brandon for Fast Company. “We have a unique opportunity to rethink what solar technology looks like, how it feels, and how we deploy it,” says Prof. Vladimir Bulović.

Mashable

MIT researchers have developed an ultra-thin solar panel that can adhere to any surface for access to immediate power, reports Jules Suzdaltsev for Mashable. “These ultra-portable panels can make the difference in remote regions where emergencies require more power,” writes Suzdaltsev.

Boston.com

Researchers at MIT have developed a new ultrathin solar cell that can adhere to different surfaces providing power on the go, reports Clara McCourt for Boston.com. “The new technology surpasses convential solar panels in both size and ability, with 18 times more power per kilogram at one-hundredth the weight,” writes McCourt.