World’s first solar battery developed

American scientists have developed the world’s first solar battery which recharges itself using air and light. Ohio State University researchers developed the solar battery by combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device.

Researchers said the key to the innovation is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery, and a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode. Inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery. The solar battery will be licensed to industry, where it will help tame the costs of renewable energy.

Govt norms for plying of e-rickshaws

The Central Government has notified the rules for plying of e-rickshaws making driver’s licence mandatory for operating them and limiting the maximum speed to 25 km per hour. The government has notified the Central Motor Vehicles (Sixteenth Amendment) Rules, 2014, which paves the way for plying of “special purpose battery operated vehicles”.

The new rules provide that e-rickshaws will be allowed to carry four passengers and 40 kg luggage while e-carts would transport goods up to 310 kg. The Delhi High Court had on July 31 banned plying of e-rickshaws on the roads of the national capital saying “prima facie they are a hazard to other traffic as well as citizens”.

Air pollution set to rise drastically in Indian cities

If current trends of vehicle population, fuel and emission standards persist in India, PM 2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers) emissions will increase three times and NOx (nitrogen oxide) will rise five times in the coming years, a new report has revealed.

Compiled by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and others, the report said that the transport sector contributes about 15-50% of PM 2.5 emissions in cities and is a dominant contributor to NOx emissions. Upgrading fuel quality, tightening vehicle emission standards, fostering new engine management technology, encouraging fleet modernisation, increasing distribution of electric and hybrid vehicles are some of the many steps that the report suggests to curb the rising pollution levels.

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