First it was the Motor Challenge, then the Compressed Air Challenge, and now comes the Steam Challenge. Like its predecessors, the Steam Challenge is an initiative by the Department of Energy (DOE) to promote efficiency in industrial power systems. This one aims to help industry adopt system approaches to designing, purchasing, installing, and managing boilers, distribution systems, and steam applications. The Alliance to Save Energy and DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies are working with more than 50 steam-related organizations on the venture. Included are the American Boiler Manufacturers Association, the Association of Energy Engineers, Babcock Wilcox, DuPont, and the Energy Center of Wisconsin. Among plans are information campaigns, establishment of a network for training and certifying those who operate steam systems, and expansion of the market for steam efficiency equipment and services. Officials hope for an overall improvement of 20% in steam efficiency by 2010.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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