Imagine a world where instead of threading the walls of your house with copper wires that deliver electricity from the grid, the walls themselves stored that energy, potentially drawn from a solar array on your roof. While the science isn’t anywhere near delivering that fantasy yet, Julio D’Arcy’s lab at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a proof-of-concept simple red construction brick imbued with the ability to store energy, as well as power small devices. His team revealed its invention in a study published in Nature Communications this week. About 40 percent of energy consumption in the United States takes place in buildings — homes, hospitals, stores, schools, restaurants. Right now much of that demand is met by fossil fuels, resulting in about a third of U.S. carbon emissions. As renewable sources replace coal and gas power plants, it will become increasingly essential to store some of that […]