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 September 2013




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 is great.


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 is  where 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 efficiency.


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 #3.


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 "Tricorderwill 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. 




Thomas Valone, PhD, PE.














University of Colorado Boulder

October 10-12, 2013










 By Jim Motavalli · September 03, 2013   PluginCars



Let's start out by saying that a collaboration between GE Global Research and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is promising great things from water-based "flow" batteries. The claim is triple the driving range for electric cars equipped with lithium-ion battery packs, at a quarter the price.

Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik, a chemist and project leader at the GE unit, told me, "We're confident about the energy density and costs, but we also have to show that the batteries can quickly charge and discharge." He said that the new batteries should be easily able to beat a Department of Energy goal of 240 miles on a charge.

Before you get too excited, GE and Berkeley are still in the lab stage. Dr. Soloveichik said that what's happened so far is "some experiments to show it's real." The joint operation is planning to produce, within a year, a chemical cell "that will demonstrate what will be needed to produce a working battery." The actual pack "for a small vehicle" is likely to take three years, he said. To get to a pre-production pack stage, two or three more years are needed, Dr. Soloveichik said. Don't expect to see these cells in the 2015 Nissan LEAF.

Dr. Soloveichik said that the key to the research lab's flow battery is "really cheap stuff, inexpensive materials." According to GE, the flow battery uses a water-based solution with inorganic chemicals "that are capable of transferring more than one electron, providing high energy density."


 Down This Road Before


I definitely hope the water battery happens, but by now I've visited at least half a dozen college labs where a white-coated academic told me excitedly about a breakthrough, with cars on the road in a year. Or maybe two years, tops. Pushing the battery envelope must be really hard, because none of that tech has made it to market yet. Read up on Envia and the Prieto Battery.

If it's any consolation, while they are waiting for their breakthroughs to materialize, the scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory can now use a City CarShare membership to access Dash, a carmaker-supported electric vehicle sharing operation in the Bay Area. The East Bay operation, in conjunction with Toyota and to launch September 11, involves more than 24 Scion iQ electric vehicles with approximately 50-mile range. The cars will be based around the Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton.

The program mirrors other manufacturer-supported EV sharing operations run by Daimler (Car2Go in San Diego and other cities) and BMW (DriveNow in San Francisco). It's an especially popular concept in California, because EVs are so popular there-even with the current state of EV battery technology.


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New Scientist,  September 2013


 CELLS can't see or hear, but some of them have a sense we lack: they can detect the electric fields generated by a wound. Identifying how they do this could help efforts to boost wound healing.

The flow of ions across a cell membrane creates tiny electric fields. Tissue damage changes that field, and cells involved in tissue repair seem to sense this change.


To work out what might cause these cells to respond to electric fields, Min Zhao and Alex Mogilner at Stanford University in California and their team looked at fish skin cells, which are often used to study cell motion. When placed in an electric field to mimic the field formed around a wound, whole cells moved towards the positive electrode, as if moving towards an injury. Curiously, though, smaller fragments of cellular material in the fish skin cell sample headed in the opposite direction.


The cells and fragments have one thing in common - both possess bundles of proteins that help them move. The team realised that these proteins act as tiny electromagnetic compasses: they propel cells towards a wound, but send cell fragments away (Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.02.026).


Inducing electric currents at sites of injury could improve wound healing therapies, says Zhao.

This article appeared in print under the headline "Internal compass points to injury"


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Hearst Electronics Magazine,  Sept 2013


Energy harvesters challenge batteries in wireless sensors

 Emerging Energy Harvesting Devices a report from Yole Développement


Lyon, France  - Yole Développement announces its new analysis "Emerging Energy Harvesting Devices". In this report, Yole Développement analysts describe why and how emerging energy harvesting devices will be increasingly used in the dynamic wireless sensor business.


Building and industry will drive market growth to +51%/year

Until now, batteries were dominantly used to power those networks, but progress in low power electronics and communication protocols are enabling sensor networks to run of energy harvesters in conditions where it's not practical to replace batteries. Yole Développement's report is an overview of the energy harvesting applications with a focus on building and industrial applications.


Building applications are by far the main use for energy harvesters with 1M units sold in 2011. They are used in commercial building where large networks of wireless switches (for lighting) and sensors (presence, humidity) are installed. The clear market drivers for energy harvesters are the huge installation cost reduction (no wiring), and their being maintenance free. Hence, production will be multiplied by a factor of more than 10 between 2012 and 2017.


"The industrial market will be the second key area for energy harvesters, again with applications in wireless sensors that are used to monitor machines and processes", announces Antoine Bonnabel, Technology & Market Analyst, MEMS Devices & Technologies at Yole Développement. Energy harvesters increase the autonomy of the battery and thus the measurement data rates which are today limited with batteries. Maintenance free is also a great argument for EH in those applications where accessibility is sometimes critical (oil & gas industry for instance). "Today, sales are limited because there is no real agreement on a low power radio protocol, as in buildings, but this will soon change and will allow significant price reduction and production ramp-up to several hundred thousand units in 2017", said Antoine Bonnabel.


Other emerging applications will also likely adopt energy harvesters to replace batteries in wireless sensors applications and will add additional volumes to the global energy harvester business: transportation (helicopters, trains), automotive TPMS, environmental, medical.... Yole Développement report provides a deep understanding of the market drivers and challenges for energy harvesters, and identifies the real businesses among hype applications.


"Overall, the global emerging energy harvesting business at the wireless module level will grow from $19 M in 2012 to $227 M in 2017, meaning an impressive growth of + 51 % /year", stated Yann de Charentenay, Senior Analyst at Yole Développement.


Mechanical and thermal harvesters are the most dynamic technologies

Wireless sensor modules require a power source from tens of microwatts up to tens of milliwatts, and energy harvesters have now enough power output in many applications to provide an infinite lifetime to those modules. The scope of technology candidates is very broad, with very variable technological maturity. In this report, Yole Développement's experts analyze and provide a detailed description of different energy harvesting technologies currently used and under development, along with their strengths and limitations. Those technologies have been segmented by mechanical, thermal and solar PV categories. Yole Développement's report provides market share of each technology per application, trend until 2017, and market forecast.


Mechanical and thermal are the most dynamic and innovative technologies and will experience a rapid adoption in several markets (building, industry, transportation) that will drive their sales to reach respectively 39% and 25% of the total energy harvesting sales in 2017. Price erosion will be very significant (12%/year) thanks to production ramp up.


"Energy harvesting devices produced by MEMS technologies will be mainly thermal thin-film technology whose production will start industrially in 2012", announces Yole Développement. Other mechanical vibration MEMS harvesters will take longer time to be adopted specially for TPMS due to cost challenge.

Analysis of energy harvesting industry dynamic


The report identifies and positions the key energy harvesting market players depending on technologies developed, level of maturity, business model and targeted markets. The dynamics of

the supply chain is analyzed, in order to understand:

- Who are the key market players, in each application field at both transducer and module level

- How the competitive landscape will evolve.


About the report


Antoine Bonnabel, works as market & technology analyst for MEMS devices and technologies at Yole Développement. He holds a M.Sc. in microelectronics and microsystems from Grenoble Institute of Technologies and a M.Sc. in marketing and business management from Grenoble Graduate School of Business.

Yann de Charentenay has worked for Yole Développement in the field of MEMS, materials and compound semiconductors since 2003. He has contributed to more than 60 marketing & technological analyses since the beginning of our collaboration.

Catalogue price: Euros 3,990.00 (single user license) - Publication date: November 2012.

For special offers and the price in dollars, please contact David Jourdan (


Companies cited in the report:

A.raymond, ABB, Advanced ceramics, Alphabet energy, Arveni, Bently Nevada (GE Energy), Boston Scientific, CEA Leti, Continental, Cymbet Corporation, Dust Networks / Linear Technology, Emerson, EnOcean, Ferrotec, GE Bently Nevada (GE Energy), Global Thermoelectric, Hager, Holst centre / IMEC, Infineon, Infinite Power Solutions, Kavlico, Kryotherma, Laird technologies, Legrand, Lightning switch, Linear technology, Lord, Lumedyne, LV Sensors, Marlow Industries, Maxim, Medtronic, MEMS@MIT, MEMSIC, MEMSIC, Microchip, Microgene systems, Micropelt, Microstrain, Midé, MIT, National instrument, Nextreme, Perpetua, Perpetuum, Phononic devices, Piezotag, Powercast, Saint Jude, Savi Technology, Schneider electric, Shraeder , Siemens Corporate Technology, Smartire, Somfy, Sorin Group, ST Microelectronics, Swatch, Tellurex, Texas Instrument, TPL micro power, Transense, Visityre, Xtrion, Yokogawa...


About Yole Développement

Beginning in 1998 with Yole Développement, we have grown to become a group of companies providing market research, technology analysis, strategy consulting, media in addition to finance services. With a solid focus on emerging applications using silicon and/or micro manufacturing, Yole Développement group has expanded to include more than 50 associates worldwide covering MEMS, Microfluidics & Medical, Advanced Packaging, Compound Semiconductors, Power Electronics, LED, and Photovoltaics. The group supports companies, investors and R&D organizations worldwide to help them understand markets and follow technology trends to develop their business.



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Kevin Bullis,  Technology Review,  September 2013


People could soon get cleaner energy from a compact fuel-cell generator in their backyards, at costs cheaper than power from the grid. At least, that's the hope of Redox Power Systems, a startup based in Fulton, Maryland, which plans to offer a substantially cheaper fuel cell next year.


Redox is developing fuel cells that feed on natural gas, propane, or diesel. The cells, which generate electricity through electrochemical reactions rather than combustion, could allow businesses to continue operating through power outages like those caused by massive storms such as Hurricane Sandy, but they promise to be far cleaner and quieter than diesel generators. They can also provide continuous power, not just emergency backup power, so utilities could use them as distributed power sources that ease congestion on the grid, preventing blackouts and lowering the overall cost of electricity.


Redox's claims sound a lot like those made in 2010 by Bloom Energy (see "Bloom Reveals New Fuel Cells"), a well-funded fuel-cell startup in Sunnyvale, California. But Bloom's fuel cells are based on relatively conventional technology, and so far they have proved far too expensive for homes. Redox claims to have developed fuel cells based on novel materials that could cut costs by nearly 90 percent. The first product will be a 25-kilowatt generator that Redox says produces enough electricity for a grocery store. The company eventually plans to sell smaller versions for homes.


Redox's fuel cells are based on highly conductive materials developed at the University of Maryland that help increase power output by a factor of 10 at lower temperatures (see "Gasoline Fuel Cell Would Boost Electric Car Range"). The company says its fuel cells will pay for themselves with electricity-bill savings in two years.


Redox, a self-funded company founded just two years ago, is basing its cost estimates on data derived from manufacturing key components of the fuel-cell systems. But it hasn't started making complete systems, which would include several stacks of the fuel cells and other equipment such as pipes and pumps for distributing fuel to them.


The type of fuel cell Redox makes is called a solid-oxide fuel cell. Like all fuel cells, it produces power through electrochemical reactions. Unlike those being developed for use in cars, it can run on a variety of fuels, not just hydrogen. Redox's cells will release carbon dioxide, but emissions per kilowatt-hour should be lower than those associated with power from the grid.


Though Bloom also uses solid-oxide fuel cells, Redox's are more advanced, says Mark Williams, a former technical director for fuel cells at the U.S. Department of Energy, who is not connected to Redox. He says they're among the most powerful solid-oxide fuel cells ever made, producing about two watts per square centimeter versus 0.2 watts for Bloom's cells.

Warren Citrin, the company's CEO, says the fuel-cell systems will cost about $1,000 per kilowatt, compared with $8,000 per kilowatt for Bloom. 


However, the company's claim of a two-year payback is a rough estimate; it doesn't include the cost of financing, for example, and it factors in expected economies of scale from producing about 400 fuel-cell systems per year, although the company has yet to manufacture even one complete system so far.

Citrin says the company has made the individual ceramic plates that fit inside the fuel-cell system. It started with small, experimental "button" fuel cells from the University of Maryland and, working with contract manufacturers, demonstrated that it's possible to manufacture the larger, 10-centimeter-wide versions needed in a commercial system. It's also started testing stacks of these cells.


Citrin says the company plans to finish a 25-kilowatt prototype by the end of the year, in time to start selling complete systems by the end of 2014.


Because Redox hasn't yet manufactured complete systems, it remains to be seen how reliable they will be. Fuel cells are notorious for requiring expensive maintenance and not lasting more than a few years, which is one of the reasons they haven't taken off yet.


Eric Wachsman, director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, who developed the original technology, believes the system will perform well over time because it operates at lower temperatures than other versions, reducing damage to the fuel cells. He says data from individual cells suggest that the systems could last for 10 years-still far short of the lifetime of a power plant, but within the payback period.


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Susan Young, Technology Review August 31, 2013

In early human tests, SetPoint Medical has found that an electronic implant helped reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in six of eight patients. The company, which is based in Valencia, California, is one of many groups exploring the potential of electronic implants to treat diseases by delivering pulses to nerves that regulate organ or body functions.


Earlier this month, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, medical-device manufacturer Boston Scientific, and others invested $27 million in SetPoint. Although nerve-stimulating devices have been available for many years, GSK and academic researchers argue that the field of bioelectronic therapies is just beginning to ramp up and that in the future many conditions could be treated with electrical impulses.


The arthritis-regulating device is implanted in the patient's neck and wraps around the vagus nerve, a bundle of nerve fibers that communicates sensory information from internal organs and controls involuntary body functions such as heart rate and digestion. The device stimulates the nerve at regular intervals in a particular pattern that regulates the immune system, which is overactive in rheumatoid arthritis.


Brain implants have previously been used to treat movement disorders and some psychiatric conditions (see "Brain Implants Can Rest Misfiring Circuits"). Devices are also used to stimulate nerves outside the brain. An electrical device that stimulates the vagus nerve is already used to treat some cases of drug-resistant epilepsy and depression, and another is undergoing testing as a treatment for congestive heart failure. But SetPoint is covering new ground by testing peripheral-nerve stimulation as a treatment for immune disease.


"The industry is expanding rapidly," says Kenneth Gustafson, a biomedical engineer at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, who is studying electrical nerve stimulation as a way to treat bladder dysfunction. The precedent set by pacemakers, deep brain implants, and other such devices enables researchers to "take that existing technology and repurpose it for all these new applications," he says.


Researchers say the main advantage of the electrical devices over drug treatments is that they may not cause as many side effects. "Electrostimulation can be much more selective," Gustafson says. "The targets are neural circuits that are not behaving as they should." Drugs, on the other hand, often affect many pathways in the body.


SetPoint has been running animal and human trials using devices developed by another company to treat epilepsy. In the future, trials will use a proprietary device that is smaller and specifically engineered for the infrequent stimulation needed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The company will soon launch another small patient study to test stimulation in patients with Crohn's disease, an autoimmune condition that attacks the gastrointestinal system.



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By Bryan Walsh @bryanrwalsh, Time, Sept. 05, 2013 


o    A summary of the expected impact for the President's Power Africa Initiative.


About 1.3 billion people around the world lack access to electricity.


What did you do when the sun went down? If you're reading this, chances are you switched on a light. But for the 1.3 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity, darkness is a reality. There is no electric light for children to do their homework by, no power to run refrigerators that keep perishables or needed medicine cold, no power for cooking stoves or microwaves. What light they have mostly comes from the same sources that humans have relied on forever-firewood, charcoal or dung-and the resulting smoke turns into indoor pollution that contributes to more than 3.5 million deaths a year. "For us, life does not stop after dark," says Michael Elliott, president and CEO of the development nonprofit ONE. "For 550 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and many more than that around the rest of the world, it does."


That lack of electricity is called energy poverty, and it's a development challenge that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. It's easy to see why. Extreme poverty, global hunger, HIV/AIDS and malaria are all immediate threats to human life. Not having somewhere to plug in a cell phone, by contrast, might seem like an inconvenience at worst. But energy poverty is connected to a host of deeper ills: 90% of the children in sub-Saharan Africa go to primary schools that lack electricity, which means no fans or air conditioners in the equatorial heat, no computers, no lights for evening classes. Economic growth is stunted as a result-60% of African businesses cite access to reliable power as a binding constraint on their operations. Energy poverty is even a political issue. In Pakistan, which has just half the electrical-generation capacity of the state of Virginia, frustration over an antiquated grid helped get President Asif Ali Zardari kicked out of office this year.


(MORE: Grid Politics)


The good news is that the issue is slowly receiving more notice. This summer, President Barack Obama announced his Power Africa initiative, which promises more than $7 billion over the next five years to bring electricity access to 20 million new households in countries like Ethiopia and Ghana. Development groups like ONE have begun making energy poverty a priority, weaving it into long-standing health and economic programs. "A light where currently there is darkness. The energy needed to lift people out of poverty," Obama told South African students in June. "That's what opportunity looks like."


The Price of Progress
But the challenge is enormous. While some 1.7 billion people have acquired access to electricity globally since 1990, the rate of electrification has been slower than the rate of population growth in the most energy-poor countries. Just to get all of sub-Saharan Africa-a region that generates about as much electricity as Spain-up to levels that comparatively well-off South Africa enjoys would require 330 gigawatts of new capacity. (Power Africa should account for about 10 gigawatts.) The World Bank estimates that it would take $1 trillion a year in global investment to eliminate energy poverty by the year 2030-more than twice what is being spent now. And even that level of investment would guarantee the poorest of the poor only enough electricity to run a floor fan, a mobile phone and two compact fluorescent lights for five hours a day.


The reality is that banishing energy poverty won't be easy or cheap, and it may come with an environmental cost. Much of Africa can and will be supplied with renewable energy sources-especially rural areas beyond the reach of any grid, where solar fits perfectly. But the fastest population growth is happening in the developing world's exploding urban areas, which will eventually need the same reliable, grid-delivered electricity that developed cities enjoy. Some of that electricity will be generated by fossil fuels, including carbon-heavy coal. The result may well be an increase in greenhouse gases, but given that the average Ethiopian emits less than 1% of the carbon that the average American does, Africans should hardly feel climate guilt. For those who live in darkness, electricity by nearly any means will be worth the price.

MORE: A Bump on the Road to Green

Read more:



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