Energy

MS&T conference to feature new symposium on materials and electric/magnetic fields

By / March 12, 2009

In recent years, the Materials Science & Technology conference has become the broadest materials-oriented meeting in the United States. The 2009 MS&T conference – to be held Oct. 25-29 in Pittsburgh – will feature a novel symposium organized by Rishi Raj, with assistance from Rustum Roy and Dinesh Agrawal. Guest blogger Raj provides the following…

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Advance ceramics to grow at 4% pace in U.S.?

By / March 11, 2009

That’s the growth rate predicted in a just-released report by a Indian research firm, Bharat Book Bureau. The report also says that sales will reach $12 billion by 2012, with advanced ceramics benefiting from significant expansion in electronics (such as capacitors), cutting tools, joint implants and membranes. 3B asserts that opportunities in electronics grow as…

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AFS Trinity’s extreme hybrid: marriage of Li-ion battery and ultracapacitors

By / March 9, 2009

AFS Trinity is set to demonstrate 150 mpg SUVs today using a system that is optimized for 40-mile-range usage, tolerant of heavy-duty power cycling and, they claim, ready for mass production. Says company CEO Edward W. Furia: “Each of the XH150S SUVs being driven in San Francisco today is a prototype of a mass-producible family-sized…

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CFC says it holds fuel cell efficiency record

By / March 7, 2009

Since we are on the subject on new efficiency records [see post here], I wanted to note that Australia’s Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd. claims to have achieved 60% electrical efficiency from a natural gas powered fuel-cell “home appliance” while pushing 1.5 kilowatts to an external grid. Managing Director Brendan Dow claims solid oxide fuel cells…

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Quant: One large, rolling solar panel?

By / March 6, 2009

Swedish car maker Koenigsegg just unveiled its Quant electric car at the Geneva Motor Show. The company says the car can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds, has room for four adults and can be charged from either an electrical outlet or by the sun. The solar power reported comes from a thin…

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Railway looking to fuel cells to keep them rolling

By / March 6, 2009

The sound of choo-chooing left the commercial railway business years ago, and now the smell of burnt diesel fuel may be going away, too. Via the Railway Gazette, news comes of a project in Kansas by a team to develop a fuel-cell powered switcher (a.k.a., “shunter” for those of you outside the U.S.) locomotive. The…

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Group tackles tougher turbine coatings

By / March 5, 2009

The Argonne National Lab website has a nice article discussing the work of a research team from Northwestern University, Rolls-Royce and ANL to improve the performance of materials used in power-generating turbines, improvements that can decrease weight, increase temperature tolerance, extend component life and, thus, increase the overall efficiency of these units that are expected…

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Video of the week: Piezo precision motion devices

By / March 4, 2009

This week’s video is a demonstration-“tutorial” about one type of application of piezoelectric technology: a piezo-driven motion system developed by NanoMotion, a Israel-based division of Johnson Electric. This video is produced by “Minarik University,” the educational wing of Minarik, a distributor of electronic and electrical equipment. It demonstrates how piezo ultrasonic ceramic motors can provide…

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Need research funding? Apply to NIST!

By / March 4, 2009

Does your research project need funding? Money may be available through the 2009 Technology Innovation Program, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST invites you to submit a “white paper” pitching your project.  Here’s how: Who is eligible? Small- or medium-sized businesses or joint ventures involving a private-sector firm coupled with an…

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Scorching sun + mirrors + graphite = 1 wired Outback town

By / February 23, 2009

Via Gizmag, word comes of one Australian town that is to go solar powered, 24-hours a day. How is that possible? The technology used will ensure the 10 megawatt Cloncurry solar thermal power station will continue to generate electricity when the sun is not shining and will deliver about 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity…

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