a public service, here's a reminder: Now that the summer is
approaching don't forget about the superior energy-storage, phase
change insulation that Future Energy eNews reported
on inJanuary, 2012 and
available for example, from www.phasechange.com .
It is worth reviewing "How It
Works" and seeing the four degree F
change a building will amazingly experience even with a 37
degree change (86 - 49 F) on the outside (scroll down to the second
picture). We feel it is important for everyone to retrofit their old
fashioned home insulation to become more energy efficient, help avoid
brownouts, and save money in the process. Then you can tell others
where you learned such a valuable energy trick of the trade!
of us still dream about the day when spaceships will utilize
matter-antimatter engines to achieve "2 billion times" more
energy release than hydrocarbons. That dream has moved one step
closer to reality with the latest simulation in Story #1
from Kent State University and Case Western
Reserve. With new magnetic nozzles the estimated efficiency can now
reach about 85% instead of the old maximum of 36%. Even the 12 Tesla
magnets are now within reach. It is certain that a Nobel Prize is waiting
for a sufficient antimatter manufacturing technique that will keep up
about solar panels that are simply tinted films applied to your
south-facing windows? Now a startup in Germany as raised 25
million euros to do just that in Story #2. Heliatek has a projected
40 to 50 cents per watt for the cost which is very attractive, in
more ways than one. No longer will we have to put unsightly hardware
on our roofs for renewable energy. In a related story on the solar
revolution, our #4 article explains a similar research achievement
with double layer transparent metal oxides which cover the entire
solar spectrum in work done at Binghamton University.
the lithium-ion companies (e.g. A123) are having financial
difficulty, the lithium-air battery at IBM is moving forward with
help from ARPA-E with a projected product to yield 500 miles on a
single charge instead of only about 150 miles by present standard. In
Story #3 we have reprinted an excellent diagram to help everyone
understand this cutting edge energy technology of the immediate
future. In a related Story #5, we are happy to help announce the
agreement signed this month between ZENN electric cars (Zero Emission
- No Noise) and EEStor ultracapacitor company. This a marriage made
in heaven since the ultracaps are very light compared to batteries,
also are projected to last the entire life of the car, and the
recharging of an ultracap is extremely fast. Check out the ZENN
archive photo and television footage http://www.zenncars.com/lsv.html before
the upgrade to EEStor ultracaps. The broadcast interview is quite
humorous and politically insightful.
Thomas Valone, PhD
1) Antimatter Propulsion Engine
Redesigned Using CERN's Particle Physics Simulation
Latest simulation shows that the magnetic nozzles
required for antimatter propulsion could be vastly more efficient
than previously thought--and built with today's technologies
Smash a lump of
matter into antimatter and it will release a thousand times more
energy than the same mass of fuel in a nuclear fission reactor and
some 2 billion times more than burning the equivalent in
hydrocarbons. So it's no wonder that antimatter is the dream
fuel for science fiction fans. The problem, of course, is that
antimatter is in rather short supply making the prospect of ever
building a rocket based on this technology somewhat remote.
But from time to
time physicists put aside these concerns and have a little fun
working out how good antimatter rocket engines can be. Today it's the
turn of Ronan Keane at Western Reserve Academy and Wei-Ming Zhang at
Kent State University, both in Ohio, who take a new approach to the
problem with some interesting results.
basic rocket science. The maximum speed of a rocket depends on its
exhaust velocity, the fraction of mass devoted to fuel and the
configuration of the rocket stages. "The latter two factors
depend strongly on fine details of engineering and construction, and
when considering space propulsion for the distant future, it seems
appropriate to defer the study of such specifics," say Keane and
So these guys
focus on the exhaust velocity--the speed of the particles produced in
matter-antimatter annihilations as they leave the rocket
engine. The thrust from these annihilations comes largely
using a magnetic
field to deflect charged particles created in the annihilation. These
guys focus on the annihilation of protons and antiprotons to produce
So an important factor is how efficiently the magnetic
field can channel these particles out of the nozzle.
In the past,
various physicists have calculated that the pions should travel at
over 90 per cent the speed of light but that the nozzle would be only
36 per cent efficient. That translates into an average exhaust
velocity of only a third of lightspeed, barely relativistic and
somewhat of a disappointment for antimatter propulsion fans.
All that is set
to change now, however. Keane and Zhang have come up with a different
set of figures with the help of software developed by CERN that
simulates the interaction between particles, matter and fields of
CERN uses this
software, called GEANT4 (short for Geometry and Tracking 4), to
better understand how particles behave at the Large Hadron Collider,
which itself collides beams of protons and antiprotons. So it's
ideally suited to Keane and Zhang's task.
The new work
produces some good news and some bad news. First the bad. The new
simulations indicate that pions produced in this way will be
significantly slower than previously thought, travelling at only 80
per cent of light speed.
The good news is
that the GEANT4 simulations indicate that a magnetic nozzle can be
much more efficient than previously envisioned, reaching 85 per cent
efficiency. That translates into an average exhaust velocity of about
70 per cent light speed. That's much more promising. "True
relativistic speeds once more become a possibility," say Keane
These guys have
another surprise up their sleeve. Their nozzle has a magnetic field
strength of around 12 Tesla. "Such a field could be produced
with today's technology, whereas prior nozzle designs anticipated and
required major advances in this area," they say.
That will bring
a smile to the face of many science fiction fans. There is, of
course, the small problem of gathering enough antimatter for a
journey of any decent length. The number of antiatoms made at CERN is
small enough to be countable. By one estimate, at this rate it will
take a thousand years to make a single microgram of antimatter.
Keane and Zhang
point out that all earlier estimates predate the PAMELA
spacecraft's discovery last year that Earth is surrounded by a ring
of antiprotons and suggest that this could mined for fuel.
What they don't mention, however, is that PAMELA spotted only 28
antiprotons in two years--far less than the rate at which CERN makes
them on a daily basis.
Keane and Zhang
finish by noting that other fuel technologies have advanced at an
exponential rate, liquid hydrogen production, for example. If
antimatter manufacture turns out to follow a similar trajectory, who
knows what could happen.
entertaining and wildly ambitious--all good fun.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1205.2281: Beamed
Core Antimatter Propulsion: Engine Design and Optimization
back to table of contents
2) Tinted Windows That Produce Electricity
Bulls, Technology Review, April 17, 2012
A German company borrows the
materials and manufacturing process of OLED displays to make a new
kind of solar panel.
A STARTUP IN GERMANY HAS DEVELOPED A NEW
KIND OF SOLAR PANEL MADE OF SMALL, ORGANIC MOLECULES DEPOSITED ON
POLYESTER FILMS. THE TECHNOLOGY IS SIMILAR TO WHAT'S USED FOR OLED
DISPLAYS FOR PHONES AND FLAT-SCREEN TVS. THE PANELS ARE FLEXIBLE, AND
FAR LIGHTER THAN CONVENTIONAL SOLAR PANELS, YET IN SOME
LOCATIONS-PARTICULARLY WHERE IT'S HOT OR CLOUDY-THEY CAN GENERATE
JUST AS MUCH ELECTRICITY AS A CONVENTIONAL SOLAR PANEL.
based in Dresden, is funded by Bosch, BASF, and others, and has
raised 28 million euros so far. The company, which recently started
making its panels on a small, proof-of-concept production line, hopes
to raise an additional 60 million euros, part of which will be used
to build a 75-megawatt factory. This is fairly small for a solar
panel factory-at such a small scale, Heliatek's panels will cost more
per watt than conventional solar panels, says CEO Thibaud de
Séguillon. But in four to five years, by which time Heliatek should
reach large-scale production, the cost could drop to around 40 to 50
cents per watt, which would make them competitive with conventional
solar panels, he says.
Heliatek will need to find a way to sell its solar panels at a
premium to fund its expansion. It plans to do this by selling
products that take advantage of its solar panels' unusual light
weight and flexibility. In one case, it's working with a building
materials company to integrate its solar panels into forms for
concrete facades. At a construction site, forms will be filled with
concrete, and the panels will become a part of the façade.
Heliatek is also working with another manufacturer to
incorporate its solar panels, which can be semitransparent, into
windows. "It's like tinted windows, only these windows generate
electricity," Séguillon says.
might be willing to pay a premium for the solar panels because
they're cheaper to integrate into a building; they wouldn't have to
buy hardware to anchor the panels to a roof, for example. Policies
in Europe that will soon require buildings to produce as
much electricity as they consume could also drive builders to
integrate solar panels into windows and facades, says Séguillon.
key innovations are the active materials in its solar cells and the
process for making the cells. Organic solar cells have been around
for decades. The idea behind them is that certain organic
molecules-typically types of long polymers-could be cheaply printed,
leading to very-low-cost solar cells. But such cells have proven
inefficient and have had relatively short lifetimes, so they are used
only in niche applications.
Lithium Air Battery R&D Moves Forward
Last week, IBM announced that
it is bringing on two corporate partners, Asahi Kasei and Central
Glass, to collaborate on research for its Battery 500
the goal of which is to develop a lithium-air battery that can power
an electric car for 500 miles on a single charge. In comparison,
today's conventional lithium-ion batteries can only take cars roughly
150 miles between plug-ins. Lithium-air batteries, so-named because
they use oxygen to drive a chemical reaction, theoretically have a
much higher energy density - hence their appeal. The fact that IBM
has dedicated time and money to the development of the technology is
an indication of its significant potential. Furthermore, the
progression of the Battery 500 Project itself is an interesting case
study in innovation.
late 2009, IBM applied for an ARPA-E grant to support its lithium-air
battery research, one of 220 battery-related proposals. Ultimately,
the agency chose to fund two other lithium-air projects instead,
doling out roughly $5 million to the PolyPlus
Battery Company and a little more than $1 million to
researchers at Missouri
University of Science and Technology. IBM chose to
continue its work nonetheless, leading the New York Times to characterize it
as being in the "rare category" of "a big company
willing to take a big risk". If anything, the decision to
continue high-risk research without the cost being in part defrayed
by government funding is a telling sign of just how high-reward a
potential breakthrough could be.
taking on the burden of risk in advanced research without government
financial support, IBM is very much an anomaly in today's clean tech
world. Nevertheless, although the Battery 500 Project may not have
been able to secure an ARPA-E grant, the federal government has been
a key collaborator in other ways. Scientists from multiple national
labs - Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, Pacific Northwest, and
Oakridge - have been involved in R&D efforts. In addition,
essential experiments on electrolytes were conducted at Argonne and
not IBM's own Almaden research center, as might be expected. It is
worth noting, however, that future project collaborators Asahi Kasei
and Central Glass are Japanese companies that were brought on for
their advanced manufacturing expertise, which highlights a key national
energy policy weakness: the lack of an aggressive,
national advanced manufacturing strategy.
with IBM, the two ARPA-E grantees are moving forward with their own
proprietary research. Their work is different than IBM in that ARPA-E
gave special consideration for batteries that displayed potential for
being domestically manufactured when originally considering grant
applicants. As agency head Arun Majumdar put
it, "At the end of the day, we want the scaling in
the United States of these successful technologies."
PolyPlus in particular has also set itself apart in deciding to
perfect a lithium-water battery before applying the breakthrough
technology to the development of a lithium-air battery. Although a
battery that works underwater obviously does not have practical
applications for electric cars, the fact that most of today's
underwater batteries are toxic, whereas PolyPlus' model is both
benign and can last as much as twice as long on a single charge,
makes their battery "ideal for powering sensors that monitor
offshore oil rigs, submarine activity, and tsunamis," as BloombergBusinessweek put it.
innovations in batteries, for electric vehicles or otherwise, are
essential to making clean energy cheap. The progress of IBM,
PolyPlus, and others is a promising sign that the work of both the
public and private sector in the U.S. is making an impact.
4) Tailoring Metal Oxides for
Green Energy Tech
Design Briefs, Thursday, April 26, 2012
Harnessing solar energy can be as simple as tuning the optical
and electronic properties of metal oxides at the atomic level by
making an artificial crystal or super-lattice 'sandwich.' "Metal
oxides can be tailored to meet all sorts of needs, which is good news
for technological applications, specifically in energy generation and
flat screen displays," said Louis Piper, assistant professor of
physics at Binghamton University.
Louis Piper, Assistant Professor of Physics at
Though metal oxides are very good at electron conduction, they
are very poor "hole" conductors. Holes refer to absence of
electrons, and can conduct positive charge. To maximize their
technologically potential, especially for artificial photosynthesis
and invisible electronics, hole conducting metal oxides are required.
Layered metal oxides systems can be combined to selectively
'dope' (replace a small number of one type of atom in the material),
or 'tune' (control the size of the band gap). Recent work revealed
that a super-lattice of two hole-conducting copper oxides could cover
the entire solar spectrum. The goal is to improve the performance
while using environmentally benign and cheap metal alternatives.
Indium oxide is one of the most widely used oxides used in the
production of coatings for flat screen displays and solar cells. It
can conduct electrons really well and is transparent. But it is also
rare and very expensive. Piper's current research is aimed towards
using much cheaper tin oxide layers to get electron and hole
conduction with optical transparency.
Piper is convinced that the development of new and exciting
types of metal oxides that can be tailored for specific applications
are well within our reach. "We're talking battery storage, fuel
cells, touch screen technology and all types of computer switches,"
back to table of contents
5) ZENN Cars and EEStor Team Up
- May 15, 2012 ZENN Press Release
ZENN Motor Company
Inc. (TSXV: ZNN) ("ZENN" or the "Company")
announced today that it has entered into a new technology agreement
(the "New Technology Agreement") with EEStor, Inc.
("EEStor") which increases and improves the Company's
EEStor, Inc. ("EEStor") exclusive rights to
purchase electrical energy storage units ("EESUs") under
development by EEStor.
James Kofman, Chairman
and Interim Chief Executive Officer of ZENN commented, "The New
Technology Agreement significantly expands ZENN's rights and improves
upon the terms of the old agreement. Importantly ZENN now has
exclusivity over an enormous potential market in automobiles and
other vehicles and we are no longer limited by weight or category.
The rights of ZENN are clearly defined and some of the uncertainties
in the old agreement have been removed. The Company is now ideally
positioned if EEStor is successful in developing its EESUs. We are
mindful that EEStor has not yet achieved its targeted performance
metrics for its EESUs, but feel the modest up front investment under
the New Technology Agreement puts ZENN in a much stronger position to
capitalize on the technology."
Under the New Technology Agreement, among other rights, ZENN has
received the exclusive, worldwide right to purchase EESUs from EEStor
for any vehicle, new or used, that uses electrical energy (excluding
only one, two and three wheeled vehicles and those produced
exclusively for the U.S. military or government) (a
"Vehicle"). Under the old technology agreement ZENN had
exclusive rights to vehicles with a curb weight up to 1,400
kilograms, net of the battery weight, but exclusions included
pick-ups, trucks, SUVs, trams, buses and high performance sports
cars. Under the New Technology Agreement there are no exclusions other
than those described above.
Importantly all payments
after the initial payment are entirely at the discretion of ZENN. In
the event that ZENN elects not to make any of the payments when due,
its exclusive rights would revert to Vehicles with a curb weight of
1,400 kilograms or less, net of battery weight and its rights would
be non-exclusive with respect to all other Vehicles. This would be an
improvement over the rights under the old technology agreement.
The above is a summary only of the New Technology Agreement and is
qualified in its entirety by the specific legal terms contained in
As required under the New Technology Agreement, EEStor has issued a
press release today providing an update on the current state of
development of its EESU, the advancements it has made to date in
developing its EESU and the challenges that still remain in the
commercialization of its EESU. This is not the public disclosure of
EEStor's technological development required in connection with the
Company's recent equity investment in EEStor announced on March 26,
2012, which is required to be certified by an independent third party
and has not yet been released, but a public update that was a
condition of ZENN agreeing to enter into the New Technology Agreement.
ZENN still expects EEStor to provide the disclosure contemplated in
connection with the equity investment.
The Company's goal is to
be the provider of leading edge power storage solutions and related
technologies to the automotive industry. Technologies and solutions,
powered by EEStor's electrical energy storage units (EESU) have the
potential to enable OEM and Tier 1 partners to deliver advanced
electric transportation solutions to their customers.
About EEStor Inc.
Headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas, EEStor Inc. is dedicated to
the design, development, and manufacture of high-density energy
storage devices. Utilizing revolutionary ultra-capacitor architecture
and environmentally friendly materials, the EEStor technology will compete
against existing battery technologies.
Information contained in
this release relating to EEStor, Inc. or the energy storage
technology being developed by EEStor has not been reviewed by EEStor
and EEStor does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or
completeness of such information.
About Integrity Research Institute
Future Energy eNews is
provided as a public service from Integrity Research Institute,
a Non-Profit dedicated to educating the public on eco-friendly
emerging energy technologies.
of the 30 minute DVD "Progress in Future Energy" is
available by sending an email with
"Free DVD" in subject and mailing address in
Your generous support is
welcome by making a tax deductible donation on
our secure website
- Scott Kelsey, Missouri State, explaining Rejuvamatrix, Pulsed EMF
therapy to increase the length of DNA telomeres, which directly
affect our lifespan.
- Max Formitchev-Zamilov, Penn State, discussing Cavitation Induced
Fusion, that will soon provide power generation and heat
- Christopher Provaditis, from Greece, explaining Inertial
Propulsion and who teamed up recently with Boeing for their space
- PJ Piper of QM Power, discussing the motor invented by
Charles Flynn, with a revolutionary parallel path that gives
double and triple efficiency.
- Dr Thorsten Ludwig from Germany (GASE) discussing
the mysterious Hans Coler motor that WWII British Intelligence