This next month the World Energy
Engineering Congress will take place here in DC on
Sept. 25-26th, which is a huge event, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and
other notable speakers. Also, we encourage everyone within a stone's
throw of DC to at least take advantage of the FREE Expo
Admission with hundreds of energy vendors on display.
Pre-registration online for it is recommended. Lastly, the WEEC is
also branching out for the first time into "New Emerging
Technologies" with the Session K3 on Thursday, September 26th which
In the same vein, can you believe that even the Nobel
Prize Committee is sponsoring a Nobel Week Dialogue that includes,
"Exploring the Future of Energy" on December 9th in
Gothenburg, Sweden? The Facebook link
one recent post by others on the Nobel Committee site asks,
"Will you be discussing Free Energy systems?"
More close to home, as a direct result of the
networking accomplished at the Nexus Youth
Summit last month at the UN, IRI is now negotiating
with a company for funding and development of at least one of our bioenergetics
products which includes patent-pending Therapeutic
Electric Clothes. In keeping with this theme, Chemistry World just
announced in Story #1 a means for Self-Powering Cloth Electronics,
which is a great match with tin oxide nanoparticles with high quantum
Our Story #2 and #3 are complimentary and also
represent breakthroughs in energy harvesting of ambient RF
energy. IRI predicts that the world will see more and more of
this future energy type of invention, so that small products will no
longer need batteries! Developed on both sides of the ocean in the
past month, it is an invention whose time has come and includes
"battery-free wireless" by taking energy from other sources
like TV, radio, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks. Video included in Story
At our Sixth
Conference on Future Energy in July at the University
of Maryland, Dr. Max Formichev-Zamilov from Penn State explained that
bubble fusion was suppressed by the competing scientists who also
wanted government funding (listen to his video lecture online for
free). It now seems that Dr. Taleyarkhan from Purdue is bouncing back
with the help of New Energy Times in Story #4. The conspiracy deepens
as the facts about the previous suppression attempt are now
surfacing. Both Dr. Max and Dr. Taleyarkhan specialize in this type
of fusion, better technically known as "cavitation fusion"
which also has ties to zero point energy as well.
Now talk about future bioenergetics, Star Trek fans are once
again vindicated with the introduction of the Scanadu Scout in Story
#5, thanks to NASA. Put it next to your temple for ten seconds and
the closest thing to a Star Trek "Tricorder" will send your skin/core temperature, heart rate,
respiratory rate, blood pressure, ECG data, and SpO2 level to your
smart phone! I once heard
from a public affairs rep for William Shatner that he was working on
a book about all of the current technology that was inspired by the
Star Trek television series. Well here is another big one that we all
have been waiting for, guaranteed to reduce your doctor bills. Maybe
all of the data will be electronically available to your doctor too
so he can give a diagnosis by email perhaps and then send you a bill
of course J.
are an exciting area of research with foldable displays and wearable
electronics being potential uses. Self-contained power generation
complements flexibility by removing the need for bulky external power
supplies to make smaller devices more feasible.
Guozhen Shen from the
Chinese Academy of Sciences, and co-workers at the Wuhan National
Laboratory for Optoelectronics, have made tin dioxide cloth by
growing tin dioxide nanoparticles on a carbon cloth template to give
hollow microtubes of tin dioxide in a woven pattern. Tin dioxide is a
wide band gap semi-conductor that has high quantum efficiency in the
UV region, making it a good material for both battery electrodes and
light sensing. Shen's team integrated a tin dioxide cloth-based UV
photodetector and a tin dioxide cloth-based lithium-ion battery into
one device to form a flexible, self-powering photodetector that can
be trimmed to match any shape. The detector's performance is
comparable to conventional devices and, importantly, no change in
performance occurs when the cloth is folded.
Shen says that
fabricating large areas of cloth that retain a consistent woven
structure was initially challenging, however, by growing a dense
layer of nanoparticles on the template a well-defined structure could
be reliably formed. He is pleased that the resulting device 'is a
very simple system possessing advantages of adjustable size and
Jia Huang of Tongji
University, China, an established researcher in the field of
materials chemistry and electronics, is impressed by this low cost
approach to fabricating flexible electronic devices which have 'unique
applications in foldable, stretchable and wearable electronic
systems.' However, he warns that optimising the mechanical durability
of the cloth will be important when developing these devices in the
Shen and colleagues
plan to develop even smaller and neater devices from this prototype
to suit a wide range of applications.
Imec and the Holst Centre, along with the Delft
University of Technology and the Eindhoven University of Technology,
have designed and fabricated a self calibrating rf energy harvester
which may pave the way towards capturing energy from ambient WiFi or GSM
to the researchers, the device can harvest rf energy at lower input
powers than current solutions. Measurements taken in an anechoic
chamber in the 868MHz band show a -26.3dBm sensitivity for 1V output
and 25m range for a 1.78W rf source in an office corridor. The
maximum end to end power conversion efficiency is said to be
The key blocks are a five stage cross connected bridge rectifier, a
high Q antenna and a 7bit capacitor bank. The capacitor bank and the
rectifier are implemented in standard 90nm cmos and are esd
The design is said to overcome several limitations of existing rf
energy harvesters, including poor sensitivity, the need for
calibration, the need for a special technology process and a large
The device features a smaller antenna area and operates at lower
frequencies and is believed to be suitable for powering small sensor
systems in applications where other energy sources are not available.
that can make wireless connections even without an onboard battery
could spread computing power into everything you own.
novel type of wireless device sends and receives data without a
battery or other conventional power source. Instead, the devices
harvest the energy they need from the radio waves that are all around
us from TV, radio, and Wi-Fi broadcasts.
seemingly impossible devices could lead to a slew of new uses of
computing, from better contactless payments to the spread of small,
cheap sensors just about everywhere.
wireless communication has been about devices that generate radio
frequency signals," says Shyam Gollakota, one of the University
of Washington researchers who led the project. "But you have so
many radio signals around you from TV, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks.
Why not use them?"
and colleagues have created several prototypes to test the idea of
using ambient radio waves to communicate. In one test, two
credit-card-sized devices-albeit with relatively bulky antennas
attached-were used to show how the technique could enable new forms
of payment technology. Pressing a button on one card caused it to
connect with and transfer virtual money to a similar card, all
without any battery or external power source.
that demonstration, the LEDs, touch sensors, microcontrollers, and
the wireless communication are all powered by those ambient TV
signals," says Gollakota.
devices communicate by varying how much they reflect-a quality known
as backscatter-and absorb TV signals. Each device has a simple dipole
antenna with two identical halves, similar to a classic "rabbit
ears" TV aerial antenna. The two halves are linked by a
transistor, which can switch between two states. It either connects
the halves so they can work together and efficiently absorb ambient signals,
or it leaves the halves separate so they scatter rather than absorb
the signals. Devices close to one another can detect whether the
other is absorbing or scattering ambient TV signals. "If a
device nearby is absorbing more efficiently, another will feel [the signals]
a bit less; if not, then it will feel more," says Gollakota. A
device encodes data by switching between absorbing and not absorbing
to create a binary pattern.
device gets the power to run its electronics and embedded software
from the trickle of energy scavenged whenever its antenna is set to
absorb radio waves.
the tests, the devices were able to transfer data at a rate of one
kilobit per second, sufficient to share sensor readings, information
required to verify a device's identity, or other simple tidbits. So
far the longest links made between devices are around 2.5 feet, but
the University of Washington team could extend that to as much as 20
feet with some relatively straightforward upgrades to the prototypes.
The researchers also say the antennas of backscatter devices could be
made smaller than those in the prototypes.
says the devices could be programmed to work together in networks in
which data travels by hopping from device to device to cover long
distances and eventually connect to nodes on the Internet. He
imagines many of a person's possessions and household items being
part of that battery-free network, making it possible to easily find
a lost item like your keys. "These devices can talk to each
other and know where it is," he says.
researchers tested that scenario by placing tags on cereal boxes
lined up on a shelf to mimic a grocery store or warehouse. Each tag
communicated with its nearest neighbor to check if it was in the
correct place, and blinked its LED if it was not.
demonstration impresses Kristofer Pister, a professor at the
University of California, Berkeley, whose work on tiny devices dubbed
"smart dust," which gather data from just about anywhere,
helped spawn many research projects on networked sensors. Using TV
signals to enable such applications without batteries is "a
really clever idea," he says.
Pister and others around the world-including the Washington
group-have spent years creating the technology needed to make cheap,
compact sensors practical (see "Smart Specks"), such networks are
relatively scarce. Josh Smith, a University of Washington professor
who led the backscatter project with Gollakota, says that being able
to do without onboard power could help.
The twelve-year-old "bubble fusion"
saga reignited this week. Bubble fusion is the theory that nuclear
fusion can be induced by rapidly collapsing bubbles in certain
fluids. According to a new
investigative report into Oak Ridge National
Laboratory records, a highly publicized finding from 2002 that cast
the controversial tabletop nuclear fusion experiment into doubt has
itself been cast into doubt.
In fact, the reporter who examined the Oak Ridge
document dump also found possible vindicating evidence that might
have supported some of the embattled researchers-including lead
Taleyarkhan, now at Purdue University.
The report by
Steven B. Krivit, publisher of New Energy Times finds, Talekyarkan's
critics instead "said that they attempted their own experiment,
but they didn't. They measured confirmatory data and later publicly
said that they did not measure confirmatory data."
The report is a 12-part series that has appeared on the
website New Energy
Times over the past two weeks. (All but the report's first
installment are behind New Energy Times's paywall.)
The report details the back-channel dealings and institutional
politics behind Taleyarkhan's peer-reviewed
paper in the 8 March 2002 issue of Science.
In the 2002 paper, "Evidence for Nuclear Emissions
During Acoustic Cavitation," Taleyarkahan and his five co-authors
fired neutron pulses into collapsing bubbles of the solvent acetone.
When the acetone contained the isotope deuterium, they said they also
observed statistically significant traces of both neutrons (beyond
the flux of neutrons going into the experiment) as well as the
radioactive isotope tritium. Both are hallmarks of nuclear reactions
of some kind, whether fusion or not.
However, technical reports posted on the Oak Ridge
website in 2002 (one of which is now archived on
New Energy Times's site) claimed to contradict Taleyarkhan's
controversial findings. At the time, publications such as theNew York Times and the
news pages of Science provided a platform for the non-peer-reviewed critiques,
sometimes without a Taleyarkhan rebuttal.
Using Oak Ridge
documents, Krivit investigated the critical claims about the
experiment's generation of neutrons and tritium, particularly those
claims of Oak Ridge scientists Dan Shapira and Michael
was there excess tritium production in the Taleyarkhan group's
experiment, checked by a resident ORNL expert, but also Shapira and
Saltmarsh knew it," Krivit writes. "Not only had the
Taleyarkhan group measured excess neutrons with its detector, but so
did Shapira and Saltmarsh, independently with their own detector."
in the New Energy Times report is a recent interview with Shapira
about his role in the 2002 controversy. "First, they asked me to
review the paper [Taleyarkhan] wrote," Shapira told Krivit.
"It didn't hold water."
associate director then told Shapira to perform an independent
replication of Taleyarkhan's experiment, but in one-quarter of the
time Shapira said he'd need to properly run such an experiment.
'OK, well, you have three months, and together with Taleyarkhan, you
should repeat the experiment,'" Shapria told Krivit. "So
essentially, Taleyarkhan set it up. The only thing I brought is my
own neutron detector. I told him to add it to the setup, that's all.
I was asked to do it. I didn't volunteer to do it. I wasted a year on
the analysis and the write-up and setting up the experiment."
Where the "bubble fusion" saga might go from
here is unclear. Krivit's report concludes with a promise to
investigate the subsequent
controversies around Taleyarkhan's findings.
And as Taleyarkhan wrote in a 2005 feature for IEEE Spectrum, science itself
could provide the controversy's ultimate resolution. "There is
just one way we can find out," Taleyarkhan wrote. "We will
continue making bubbles."
Two devices, long
familiar to Star Trek fans, are coming to life with a little help
in time for the summer movie season come two reports on innovations
that advance the technology revolution in healthcare and in food
production. Conceptually though, both have been with us for years
thanks to the visionaries behind the Star Trek franchise.
From Quartz we get a report on
mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, who is well on
his way to developing the "Replicator" (the microwave
oven-like device that produced passable renditions most common
meals). Contractor is taking 3D printing technology and working to
develop cartridges that will layer powders of the protein, carbohydrates
and nutrients needed to create meals that provide a balanced diet
(not unlike the Soylent compound we covered in last week's blog post). Top Chef
it's not. And questions of hygiene have yet to be addressed, but if
the prototype being constructed now works as planned it could create
a safe, sustainable food source for the world's growing population.
Meanwhile, Fast Company reports that those
of you wishing you had your own Star Trek tricorder are just $199
away from the chance. The Scanadu Scout, from Belgian futurist Walter De Brouwer and
designer Yves Béhar,
will send your skin/core temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate,
blood pressure, ECG data, and SpO2 level to your smart phone for
collection and display. According to the project's IndieGoGo campaign, just place
the Scout to your temple, wait 10 seconds and get results with a 99%
accuracy rate. Unlike many of the gadgets that have come to epitomize
the quantified-self revolution, Scanadu's creators aim to get past
data-driven navel gazing. They want to enable change. As De Brouwer
told Fast Company: "If you know the present, you can change the
And if you wonder, who we have to thank for both of these advances? Thank,
NASA. Contractor received an initial grant to develop his food
printing technology from NASA's Small Business Innovation Researchprogram.
While Scanadu is a Singularity University startup at NASA's Research
Park in Moffett Field. So the next time someone asks what good is
funding NASA, you can tell them the care and feeding of an additional
four billion people.
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