Aerogel obsession

By / April 15, 2009

Check it out.

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Ener-G-Rotors friction question

By / April 12, 2009

Ener-G-Rotors recently has been touted as one of the next big companies. Although I have tried to follow discussion of its “Trochoidal Gear Engine” system since last year, little has been revealed about the company’s “nearly frictionless” bearing system. Understanding that this is probably Ener-G-Rotors’ ace-in-the-hole, any readers out there have any insights or knowledge…

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A step closer to automated blade inspections

By / April 10, 2009

German researchers soon will be demonstrating a new method to test the integrity of laminates such as those used in wind turbine blades. The group, from Fraunhofer’s Wilhelm Klauditz Institute, says their infrared method is a cost-effective way of using thermography to check for defects such as trapped air. The concern, of course, is identifying…

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U.S. installed solar capacity up 16%

By / April 6, 2009

A new solar industry organization publication reports that total solar capacity (electric power plus water, pool and space heating) in the United States grew by 1,265 megawatts in 2008, an increase of 16 percent to a total capacity 9,183 MW. The Solar Energy Industry Association’s Year in Review also notes that even though no new…

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Budget good news for fusion effort

By / April 3, 2009

The FY 2009 federal budget bill, at last, ends what has been something of an embarrassment and point of anger and pessimism with the U.S. scientific community by containing significant funding for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project. This is great news for the international project and for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory employees who…

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Can a nuclear fuel “lease” system aid the growth of nuclear power?

By / April 1, 2009

For those who still see a “Nuclear Renaissance” in the world’s energy future, the Russian Federation’s and the United State’s respective national academies of sciences have a proposal that is akin to pruning a bush in order to make it flourish: Provide to those nations that want to use it a stable – but tightly…

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AECOM launching new UCSB nano sustainability initiative

By / March 31, 2009

Los Angeles-based AECOM has announced that one of its divisions, AECOM Environment, and the University of California at Santa Barbara are collaborating on a new Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative that will be located at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. AECOM is a worldwide enterprise that describes itself as a provider of “a blend…

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New hydrogen economy book available

By / March 30, 2009

The American Ceramic Society has just published a book on one of the most vibrant areas of energy research and development: Materials Innovations in an Emerging Hydrogen Economy (Ceramic Transactions Volume 202), edited by George Wicks and Jack Simon. The book is a collection of new papers presented at the 2008 Materials Innovations in an…

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Fuel cells: Will a nanowire net cut catalyst costs?

By / March 25, 2009

One of the big divides the world of proton exchange fuel cell research is between those who are looking for an alternative to platinum (such as the University of Dayton’s Liming Dai) and those who are sticking with a platinum catalyst. The pro-platinum group, populated by realists, are quick to acknowledge that ordinary catalyst systems…

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Birdair to show aerogel membrane roofing systems

By / March 24, 2009

Although there is a tendency to associate aerogel with more exotic applications, one of the frustrations has been finding ways to incorporate the temperamental material into common large-scale manufacturing and applications, such as insulation. Some enterprises, however, are plugging away at the problems and are succeeding in making greater use of aerogel. One example is…

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