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Latest Tech Highlights: Superfast EV Battery Charging, Efficient Bitcoin Mining, and Wind-Assisted Shipping

by Anna

This week’s technology radar features breakthroughs in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, sustainable cryptocurrency mining, and innovative wind propulsion for shipping, showcasing advancements that hold significant potential for a more efficient and environmentally friendly future.

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Superfast Charging LFP Batteries for EVs

Chinese battery manufacturing company CATL is poised to revolutionize the EV market with its upcoming lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery named ‘Shenxing.’ Leveraging cutting-edge technology, Shenxing promises a 10-minute charge for a 400km driving range and a full charge for a remarkable 700km. The battery incorporates super-electronic network cathode technology and nano-crystallized LFP cathode material to facilitate lithium ion extraction and rapid response to charging signals. CATL’s second-generation fast ion ring technology enhances current conduction through modified graphite surfaces, while a new superconducting electrolyte formula improves conductivity by reducing electrolyte viscosity. Reduced resistance of lithium ion movement and cell temperature control technology further expedite charging. Shenxing batteries are set to enter mass production by the year’s end, with vehicles featuring these batteries expected in the first quarter of next year.

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Improving Bitcoin Mining Efficiency

London-based Quantum Blockchain Technologies is addressing the energy-intensive nature of Bitcoin mining by focusing on enhancing mining efficiency. The company’s ‘Method A’ introduces a unique approach by selecting between traditional and spaced confined searches for hashing within each block, achieving a roughly 10% improvement in mining speed. The more advanced ‘Method B’ involves partial pre-computation on upcoming blocks, guiding the search for winning hashes more effectively. This approach reduces logic gate count on mining chips and avoids excessive hash processing, leading to a potential 2.6x improvement in finding winning hashes and up to 4.3% energy savings. Implementing this approach requires a new architecture and chip design.

Setting Sail with ‘Windwings’

In a significant step towards decarbonizing shipping, Mitsubishi Corporation’s bulk carrier vessel ‘Pyxis Ocean’ has become the world’s first to be equipped with a novel wind propulsion system called ‘Windwings.’ Developed by BAR Technologies, the system features large wing sails measuring up to 37.5m in height, including central and flanking components that can rotate and pivot according to wind angles and speeds. These Windwings are expected to deliver up to 30% fuel savings by harnessing wind power to assist propulsion. Currently on its maiden voyage from Shanghai to Brazil, ‘Pyxis Ocean’ will provide valuable data for further improving the Windwings’ design and operation. BAR Technologies plans to produce hundreds of wings in the coming years, alongside research into new builds with enhanced hull forms.

These technological breakthroughs underscore the continuous drive towards sustainability, efficiency, and innovation across diverse industries, promising a greener and more advanced future for our world.

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