Every day our researchers read through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert opinions on important developments and industry news. Our analysts then evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.
On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the top news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the past week below.
Paper from University of California, Berkeley, proposes novel simulation tool to optimize agrivoltaic installations
"This simulation approach relies on a digital twin of the installation and machine learning algorithms. The final tool can be tailored for bifacial and monofacial modules tilted at different angles and is capable of tracing incoming rays of sunlight to assess the optical performance of the system. Thousands of configurations can seemingly be evaluated in the span of an hour; using machine learning algorithms, the best configurations are optimized, and less promising features are disregarded. It remains unclear if and how this simulation tool can evaluate crop growth, but, all in all, companies should regard this type of research as another sign of the growing adoption and standardization of agrivoltaic systems."
GM collaborates with Wabtec to commercialize batteries and fuel cells for rail industry
Jinze Dai, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance
"GM and Wabtec signed an MoU to develop and deploy GM's Ultium batteries and Hydrotec fuel cells for Wabtec's locomotives. The context is that GM is building two battery manufacturing plants in the U.S. through its JV with LG Energy Solution, and Wabtec demonstrated 100% battery-powered locomotives called FLXdrive. It is anticipated that Wabtec will test out GM's fuel cells on its high-usage and long-range locomotives. The penetration of batteries and fuel cells into the rail industry is accelerating, with another example being Cummins' fuel cell supply to Alstom's passenger trains. Those developing batteries and fuel cells should pay attention to the rail industry and note GM's clear shift to focusing on heavy-duty fuel cell applications."
Better Juice raises $8 million in seed funding for its sugar reduction technology
"This funding round was led by Israeli investment group iAngels and will help Better Juice scale its sugar reduction technology based on immobilized non-GMO microorganisms. The company plans to build a full-scale manufacturing plant in Israel to increase its production capacity by 40×. Better Juice has previously demonstrated the industrial applicability of its technology by partnering with processing engineering company GEA Group for bioreactor setup and Brazilian company Citrosuco on the application front. Those interested in sugar reduction for fruit juices should engage with the company, as its technology caters to the clean-label trend by converting fruit sugars to prebiotic and nondigestible fibers and sugars."