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this month off, I decided to present a new format for this Editorial to
bring you more news! For the person who has everything, introduce him
to the advancements in propulsion energy sources with the
"Remote-Controlled Hydrogen Car" for only $129 USD http://www.mindware.com/p/Remote-Controlled-H-Racer/44038 It
also includes a Solar-Powered Hydrogen Generating
Station for the hydrogen, which is currently the state of the art
for hydrogen powered vehicles. Great student demonstration which was
almost included in the Breakthrough Energy Movement conference
in Holland upon my recommendation since the organizers
continued to request working models.
One of the memorable zero point energy
breakthroughs this year published in Physical Review Letters was the
"Observation of Quantum Motion of a Nanomechanical Resonator"
which for the first time provided "a direct measure of the
displacement noise power associated with quantum zero-point fluctuations
of the nanomechanical resonator." Another notable breakthrough is
the "Cavitating Electrolyzers and the Zero-Point Energy" by
Moray King published in the current issue of Infinite Energy magazine, based on the
seminal cavitation fusion work of Mark LeClair which is very
robust but hard to control. As a result of these developments, my book "Zero Point Energy: The Fuel of the Future"
will have a companion book on the quantum vacuum coming out probably by
next year. Regarding the developments in quantum vacuum energy
usage, my tutorial on "Zero Point Energy Extraction" is still
current and valuable for its timeless content and humor. The ZPE lecture online video (part
1 of 5) with ZPE lecture part 2 of 5, ZPE lecture part 3 of 5, ZPE lecture part 4 of 5, and ZPE lecture part 5 of 5 (all
fourteen minutes each), together is a popular introduction to the
subject of "zero point energy" and how it can be used. The
free video tutorial also has a good audience reception too. Just this
year, one of these ZPE ideas presented in this lecture has just been
used by Dr. Moddel from U of Colorado to demonstrate energy from the
vacuum with noble gasses in a Casimir cavity (his lecture is on the IRI
website from SPESIF 2012 www.futurenergy.org ). So the
material in this video is slowly making its way into the mainstream.
Lately, the Stoern company has been making
waves, after its Orbo demonstration of a magnetic machine failed. The
latest seems to be a wall-current induction heater that is an
improvement in efficiency. However, based on their track record, it
does not appear that a calorimetry measurement of heat has been
included in their energy calculations of "over-unity" output
from the tricky AC electricity measurement of input energy. The report
from NEST is online .
month we have the best future energy articles such as how hamsters are
going to provide most of the energy in the future (Story #1) or
else we can with the friction of our travels. Story #2 tells the
amazing information about how molecules transfer energy to make PV more
efficient. Story #3 also has a surprise about how noise can be used to
create mechanical energy, which also is a method for zero point energy
extraction, as referenced in my above-mentioned book. In Story #4, we
find that even a electrical power disaster in India can be
the impetus for decentralized renewable energy, which is a lesson
the US needs to learn as well. With the last Story #5 another
breakthrough is being reported in energy conversion. The military has
hoped to put explosions to better use and now they can as fuel
cnsumption is reduced.
1) How Friction May Someday
Charge Personal Electronics
By Katherine Bourzac on
November 19, 2012. Technology Review.
The phenomenon that causes a painful shock when you touch metal
after dragging your shoes on the carpet
could someday be harnessed to charge personal electronics.
Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a device that takes
advantage of static electricity to convert movement-like a phone bouncing
around in your pocket-into enough power to charge a cell phone battery.
It is the first demonstration that these kinds of materials have enough
oomph to power personal electronics.
Excess energy produced when you walk, fidget, or even breathe can,
in theory, be scavenged to power medical implants and other electronics.
However, taking advantage of the energy in these small motions is
Hamster wearing a jacket affixed to a
nanogenerator that harvests biomechanical energy as it runs on an
Zhong Lin Wang, a professor of
materials science at Georgia Tech, has been working on the problem for
several years, mostly focusing on piezoelectric materials that generate
an electrical voltage under mechanical stress (see "Harnessing Hamster Power with a Nanogenerator").
Wang and others have amplified the piezoelectric effect by making
materials structured at the nanoscale. So far, though, piezoelectric
nanogenerators have not had very impressive power output.
Now Wang's group has demonstrated that a different approach may be
more promising: static electricity and friction. This is the effect at
work when you run a plastic comb through your hair on a dry day, and it
stands on end. The Georgia Tech researchers demonstrated that this static
charge phenomenon, called the triboelectric effect, can be harnessed to
produce power using a type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, and a
metal. When thin films of these materials come into contact with one
another, they become charged. And when the two films are flexed, a
current flows between them, which can be harnessed to charge a battery.
When the two surfaces are patterned
with nanoscale structures, their surface area is much greater, and so is
the friction between the materials-and the power they can produce.
The Georgia Tech nanogenerator can convert 10 to 15 percent of the
energy in mechanical motions into electricity, and thinner materials
should be able to convert as much as 40 percent, Wang says. A
fingernail-sized square of the triboelectric nanomaterial can produce
eight milliwatts when flexed, enough power to run a pacemaker. A patch
that's five by five centimeters can light up 600 LEDs at once, or charge
a lithium-ion battery that can then power a commercial cell phone. Wang's
group described these results online in the journal Nano Letters.
"The choice of materials is wide, and fabricating the device is
easy," says Wang. Any of about 50 common plastics, metals, and other
materials can be paired to make this type of device.
"I'm impressed with the power density here," says Shashank Priya, director of the
Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems at Virginia Tech.
Other smart materials haven't produced enough power for practical
applications, he says.
Whether the new nanogenerator will work outside the lab remains to
be seen. "They need to demonstrate that this can generate power from
mechanical vibrations in real life," says Jiangyu Li, professor of
mechanical engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. To
work in the real world, an energy scavenger will have to be able to pick
up on vibrational frequencies that provide the most energy. A nanogenerator
that can only pick up on low-energy mechanical vibrations would take way
too long to charge a cell phone, Priya notes. Wang says he is in talks
with companies about developing the energy scavenger for particular
applications, and envisions it being worn on an armband.
Transfer Between Molecules Could Transform Photovoltaics
study, the nanoscale energy transfer system consists of two molecules
separated by 6.8 nm at opposite ends of a short, rigid DNA strand,
positioned at a controlled distance from a mirror.
credit: Christian Blum, et al.
(Phys.org)-The transfer of energy between
two molecules spaced just nanometers apart plays a key role in many
technologies, including photovoltaics, quantum information systems,
lighting, and sensors, as well as in biophysics to measure nanometer
distances and in photosynthesis. But an open question in this area is
what effect, if any, the surrounding photonic environment has on this
nanoscale energy transfer. By designing and performing a carefully
controlled experiment to answer this question, scientists have settled
the debate and found clues to improving the efficiency of many of the
technologies that rely on this process.
scientists, Christian Blum, Niels Zijlstra, Ad Lagendijk, Allard P. Mosk,
and Willem L. Vos from the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the
University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands (Lagendijk is also with
the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam), along with Martijn Wubs of the
Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby and Vinod Subramaniam of the
MIRA Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Technical Medicine in
Enschede and the MESA+ Institute, have written a paper on the influence
of the environment of energy transfer that will be published in an
upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.
specific type of energy
transfer the scientists investigated is called Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), which is the
dominant energy transfer mechanism on the nanoscale. In FRET, a quantum
of excitation energy is transferred from one optical emitter (the donor)
to another (the acceptor) in nanometer proximity. Scientists know that
the Förster transfer rate can be controlled by three criteria: the
spectral properties of the optical emitters, the distance between the
optical emitters, and the relative orientations of the emitters' dipole
moments (a measure corresponding to their electromagnetic properties).
But the role of the environment's photonic properties on Förster transfer
has been much less clear.
photonic properties of the environment are characterized by the number of
states that can potentially be occupied by a photon, which is referred to
as the local density of optical states (LDOS). Scientists know that an
environment's LDOS has a definite impact on some molecular processes; for
example, a higher LDOS corresponds to a higher spontaneaous emission
rate. Using a more familiar analogy, the researchers explain that the
question is similar to asking how our surroundings influence our personal
lives in a romantic way. "When you fancy someone, inviting him or
her out for dinner is a great idea," Blum told Phys.org. "The
romantic environment may help to fall in love. One may wonder if the
romantic environment is the reason for falling in love or if it only
helps the affection to show. These matters of the heart are notoriously
difficult to disentangle and measure."
to table of contents
Transforming "Noise" Into Mechanical Energy at
ScienceDaily (Nov. 22, 2012)
A team of researchers at the Freie Universität Berlin, co-ordinated by
José Ignacio Pascual*, have developed a method that enables efficiently
using the random movement of a molecule in order to make a
macroscopic-scale lever oscillate.
courtesy of Basque Research.
The research was published inScience.
In nature, processes such as the movement of
fluids, the intensity of electromagnetic signals, chemical compositions,
etc., are subject to random fluctuations which normally are called
'noise'. This noise is a source of energy and its utilisation for
undertaking a task is a paradigm that nature has shown to be possible in
The research led by José Ignacio Pascual and
published in Science, focused on a molecule of hydrogen (H2). The
researchers placed the molecule within a very small space between a flat
surface and the sharp point of an ultra-sensitive atomic force microscope.
This microscope used the periodic movement of the
point located at the end of a highly sensitive mechanical oscillator in
order to 'feel' the forces that exist at a nanoscale level. The molecule
of hydrogen moves randomly and chaotically and, when
the point of the microscope approaches it, the point hits the molecule,
making the oscillator or lever move. But this lever, at the same time,
modulates the movement of the molecule, resulting in an orchestrated
'dance' between the point and the 'noisy' molecule. "The result is that
the smallest molecule that exists, a molecule of hydrogen, 'pushes' the
lever, that has a mass 1019greater; ten trillion time greater!,"
explained José Ignacio Pascual.
The underlying principle is a mathematical theory
known as Stocastic Resonance which describes how random movements of
energy are channelled into periodic movements and, thus, can be
harnessed. With this research, it has been shown that this principle is
fulfilled at a nanometric scale.
"In our experiment, the 'noise' of the
molecule is made by injecting electric current, and not temperature,
through the molecule and, thus, functions like an engine converting
electric energy into mechanical," stated José Ignacio Pascual. Thus,
one of the most promising aspects of this result is that it can be
applied to the design of artificial molecules, which are complex
molecules designed to be able to oscillate or rotate in only one
direction. The authors do not discard, moreover, that this molecular fluctuation
can be produced by other sources, such as light, or be carried out with a
greater number of
molecules, even with different chemical compositions.
*current leader of the Nanoimagen team at CIC
table of contents
Epic Blackout Launching MicroGrids Solar Power
Chris Turner, Mother Nature Network 2012
As India emerges
from the darkness of the largest blackout the world's ever seen, it
should look for a more stable energy future not in a larger grid but in
decentralized solar power.
never more acutely aware of the value of electricity than I was during
the year I spent living in India. I should be more specific: I was never
more acutely aware of the value of electricity than I was on those nights
when my wife and I were staying at a cheap little guest
house in Delhi at
the height of the swampy monsoon heat, lying in bed on the verge of
sleep, when a sudden sci-fi sound of motors winding down en masse
indicated that the hotel had been hit by one of the city's routine
rolling blackouts. There went the A/C we'd paid extra for.
couldn't handle the full demand for power on its hottest days, and so the
grid's managers would shed loads neighborhood to neighborhood to keep the
system (barely) humming. We'd heard that the poshest districts were never
part of the roll; the backpacker ghetto of
the railway station was definitely not one of those.
establishments, our little guest house had a contingency plan: a single
small diesel generator, which someone started up a few minutes after the
rolling blackout hit. It wasn't strong enough to run the A/C, but it
would spin the ceiling fans, which did their best to dissipate the stench
of diesel smoke from all the generators fired up at establishments the
length of the bazaar. The way you tried to fall asleep once the A/C went
off was you stood in the shower, soaked yourself with cold water, lay
down in bed dripping under the ceiling fan, and hoped you nodded off
before all the water condensed away and let the ferocious heat back in.
If you didn't, that was when you truly understood the value of reliable
worth bearing in mind as we contemplate the blackout of this young
century, maybe the greatest of all time: the wholesale power failure that
plunged Indians by the hundreds of millions into darkness, shut down
air conditioners, induced traffic chaos and halted trains nationwide.
(For the best single-link analysis of the blackout and what it means, Jonathan Shainin has you
covered over at The New Yorker.) It's 90 degrees, hazy and thick with
humidity in the late evening in Delhi as I write this, and I feel
terrible for anyone stuck there still stuck without access to
electrically powered cooling technology.
press took alarmed notice at those rendered powerless by the blackout,
noting breathlessly that 600 million Indians - nearly a tenth of the
world's people - were without power. As electricity service is restored,
the media spotlight is already shifting elsewhere, and India will carry
on as a country where several hundred million people (I've seen figures
ranging from 300 million to 450 million) live in
homes with no electricity. Ever.
us to the enormous cleantech opportunity lurking in the shadows of
India's shaky grid. It's one akin to what just happened to Indian
telecommunications. When I was living in India in 1999, we heard many
stories of multiyear waits for new landlines, which are zealously
controlled by the monument to stasis that is India's state-owned
telephone company. Mobile phones were nonexistent. For the vast majority
of Indians, telecom was a rare and complicated affair that occurred only
on public-access phones at retail kiosks. (I can report that in those
days you would overhear the most extraordinary things being bellowed down
creaky old telephone wires as you passed by.)
another factor to consider: the Indian government is notoriously slow,
sloppy and graft-ridden, especially when it comes to great big top-down
megaprojects - a national grid upgrade, for example, capable of bringing
hundreds of gigawatts of new coal power online. This is the landline
version of India's energy future. Distributed, small-scale solar energy,
on the other hand, looks a lot like a nation that's only ever known
mobile phones. Imagine a kiosk recharging mobile phones for a few rupees
a pop in a rural village, its awning capped in solar panels and the sky
above unblocked by overhead wires of any sort. That would be a bright
future indeed - for India and beyond.
Nov 2, 2012 -
BEIJING: China today rolled out a red carpet to "Missile man"
and ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam on his first visit to the
country, proposing a joint collaboration for a space solar power
mission with India and inviting him to teach at the prestigious
Peking University here.
5) Exploding Engine Could Reduce Fuel Consumption
Bullis, Technology Review, November 2012
A new kind of engine
under development, called a detonation engine, could save the military
hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs every year. The technology,
which military researchers are working on together with scientists at GE
and other companies, could reduce fuel consumption at power plants, in
ships, and on airplanes by as much as 25 percent. The Navy alone
estimates that retrofitting its ships with the technology would reduce
annual fuel costs by $300 to $400 million.
It could be over a decade
before such engines are put to practical use. But DARPA, having finished
detailed plans, is now in the middle of a $62 million program aimed at
building the first full-scale demonstration of one version of the
technology. (GE is involved in the project: see "GE's Risky Research.") Meanwhile,
Navy researchers are using sophisticated simulations to advance a version
of the concept that could make it far more practical.
Detonation engines would
replace jet engines in airplanes and the gas turbines that run power
plants and Navy ships. A set of rotating blades at the front of those
engines compresses air, which is then mixed with fuel and combusted in a
steady flame. That produces hot gases that do the work an engine is
designed to do, whether it's turning a propeller, propelling a jet, or
spinning a generator to produce electricity.
Improving the efficiency
of conventional jet engines has involved finding ways to increase air
compression. But the cost and complexity of that approach is making it
harder to realize improvements. Detonation engines offer another way to
achieve high pressures. In a detonation engine, fuel combustion generates
a shock wave that raises pressures to levels 10 times those inside a
conventional engine. "It's like an explosion or a bomb," says
Kazhikathra Kailasanath, a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory in
Washington, DC. "If you burn something in an open flame, the
pressure stays the same as the surrounding pressure. The big difference
with a detonation engine is going from that to a confined type of
combustion, where the pressure goes up and the combustion occurs more
The most highly developed
form of detonation engine, which has been in the works for many years, is
the pulse detonation engine, the type GE is developing. Whereas
combustion occurs continuously in a conventional jet engine, pulse
detonation involves setting off a series of detonations-say, 60 to
100 per minute.
The Naval Research
Laboratory has another idea. It involves the use of a specially designed
doughnut-like combustion chamber. One explosion is set off with a spark
in one part of the chamber. As the shock wave propagates out from that
explosion, the researchers keep it going by feeding in a precise mixture
of fuel and air ahead of it. A handful of research groups have tested
small versions of the engine that burn hydrogen. And the Navy researchers
recently published a paper that shows the idea can work with hydrocarbon
fuels like the ones that would be used in a ship, at least in detailed
computer simulations. An advantage of this approach is that it produces a
constant stream of hot gases, which more closely resembles what's seen in
a conventional jet engine. It's also simpler, in that there's no need to
engineer a system to create detonations at a high rate.
Kailasanath says that
while people had dreamed of making detonation engines for decades, it's
only the advent of advanced computer simulations that is making it
possible to understand the fast reactions involved. Many challenges still
remain, especiallly building engines that are strong enough to withstand
the detonations. That's easier to do for stationary application like
power plants, where the weight of the engine isn't much of an issue. But
detonation engines for airplanes might require new materials. They also
require careful engineering, says Narendra Joshi, advanced technology
leader for propulsion technologies at GE. "The detonation is like a
hammer blow," he says. "You have to be careful where that
hammer blow goes."
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