Scientists have created the artificial leaf:
Significance of the Breakthrough
In time artificial photosynthesis could become an inexpensive way to produce hydrogen from water.
This hydrogen could then be used as a fuel to run electric generators and fuel cells.
Split water using solar during the day and then use the hydrogen to generate electricity at night.
Artificial photosynthesis could become the dream energy storage system for solar power.
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) = 's
Clean Inexpensive Electricity
The engineers and technologists at eSolar, and the company’s key investor, Google, believe they are now ready to build rapidly deployable concentrating solar power (CSP) plants throughout the world. They expect their CSP plants to eventually produce electricity at coal-electricitygenerated prices.
A concentrating solar power plant uses relatively inexpensive components to generate electricity. The concept behind CSP is easy to understand: Mirrors are used to focus the sun’s heat onto a boiler. This solar heating is intense enough to generate steam, which spins an electric generator to produce electricity.
Devices with Ease
A recent MIT breakthrough in resonant magnetic coupling (WiTricity) will one day allow all battery operated devices to recharge without wires. Imagine a new technology that lets you charge everything (hearing aides to electric cars) wirelessly by drawing power through the air.
Powermat is the first company to introduce a very interesting WiTricity product. Energizer has come up with a less high tech but extremely effective way to get rid of all the chargers that came with your electronic devices. These topics are all covered in this column.
Building a Smart National U.S. Power Grid
One of President Obama’s pre-election promises was to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by increasing our use of renewable energy to generate electricity. To increase our use of renewable energy we must create an enhanced electric grid system capable of transmitting electricity from the location where it is generated to the location where it is needed.
To fully embrace renewable energy our electric grid will need to go through a major metamorphosis. Our future grid will include smart meters to monitor the electricity that you use and also new technologies to store electricity produced during low demand periods for use when the demand is high.
Monitoring How Much Electricity You Use
People are frustrated by their inability to control their energy use and the amount of money that this energy costs. The Black & Decker Power Monitor is designed to help people conserve electricity by helping them constantly monitor their electricity usage.
The system has two parts. The meter sensor is simply attached to the electric meter. The digital display is located at a more convenient location within the building.
The All Electric Tesla Roadster
The Tesla Roadster is 100 percent electric and still capable of going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds. However, the early production vehicles will have a transmission that will limit their 0 to 60 acceleration to 5.7 seconds. Tesla Motors is building the car from the ground up with an all-aluminum chassis and 100 percent carbon fiber body panels.
"Saving Energy one Light Bulb
at a time"
A 100-watt incandescent light bulb produces about 1,600 lumens which is the same light output of a 32-watt compact fluorescent light bulb.
The fuel cell is a non-polluting method of generating electricity through a chemical reaction that combines hydrogen with oxygen.
"Green Internal Combustion Engine"
This engine removes most engine emissions by pumping exhaust gases back into the combustion chambers for re-burning. This process reduces gas consumption by about 10 percent without affecting the car's performance.
Since their invention, flywheels have stayed relevant because of their amazing ability to function as an energy intensifier, energy equalizer, and storage medium for energy derived from intermittent resources. We find them in a seemingly infinite number of places, including automobile engines, industrial machines, earth satellites, and even children’s toys.
How are we now using them to spin kinetic energy into electricity?
Hi-Tech Flywheels Spin Kinetic Energy into Electricity
The MIT Liquid Fuel in a New Battery Architecture
The future automobile will run on electricity not gasoline! This could quickly happen if you could pull up with your EV to a "gas" pump to recharge your car with a liquid electric fuel.
Cambridge Crude, the nickname of a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) liquid battery recharging system will let you do just that. This new liquid charge goes in as the old one goes out for re-charging by the fueling station; to be used over and over again.
Turns a Liquid into Electricity
The Friction-Stir Welding process welds metals without melting them. It works on metals including aluminum, a metal that cannot easily be joined using other metal fusion processes.
NASA engineers have recently reengineered this technology so that it can now be used on materials that vary in thickness and even weld objects with very complex shapes.
Reactive Protection Technology
Imagine sports clothing, technology cases, bicycle helmets, and other things all made out of a material that can absorb up to 90% of the most intense force to protect whatever they encase. A material that can protect an already damaged body part, prevent personal injury during extreme sports, or even prevent electronic devices from being crushed.
The flowing water in your home can be turned into electricity. With funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Rentricity is starting to prove that you can turn flowing drinking water into electricity. Their engineers are now installing new valve/generators that will use wasted pressure to generate electricity.
Generating Electricity From Drinking Water
If you don't have electric heat in your home you can get your heating system running during a power blackout. This column can help you design an emergency system that lets you switch from your electric company to a home generator by just flicking some switches in a manual transfer switch box. If you lose utility power often you might want to look at a standby generator that is permanently mounted outside of your home. This type of system is also explained and it is usually installed with an automatic transfer switch.
Don't be Powerless During a Blackout
A new hybrid engine has just been developed that operates both as a jet engine and a rocket engine. This hybrid jet-rocket engine will provide the aerospace industry with the perfect power plant to propel a single stage spaceship from the ground directly into low earth orbit.
A spaceship powered by these hybrid rocket engines could take off from an airport runway and then directly fly cargo and people into low earth orbit. Initially SABRE powered spaceship flights would deliver cargo and people to the International Space Station. Eventually, if the technology proves to be as safe as current jet engines, these planes could carry passengers to any place in the world in just a few hours.
The Hybrid Jet-Rocket Engine
The Hybrid Jet-Rocket Engine
TechDirections Magazine Cover Story
By Alan J. Pierce EdD
The Birth of
Your Personal Digitally Connected World
The birth of the personal digitally connected world is at hand.
Imagine new products that perform tasks for you automatically after they learn your likes and dislikes. The future is here and new consumer products introduced at this year’s CES are ready to automatically control:
Thermostats that automatically build a temperature schedule for your home. They know when you are home and reduce heating and cooling when you are away.
Your doors, lights, appliances, security system, etc all ready to take your commands through Near Field Communications (NFC). When you are not home your smartphone can still automatically give commands or you can take command from anywhere in the world.
Digitally empowered appliances that email to you shopping lists and let you call in what you want them to do..
Wearable tech that helps you stay fit, take videos and photos, and will show you messages while your smartphone is safely tucked away from prying eyes.
Cars that will watch the road for you or never require you to stop at a gas station again.
Japan to Build an Orbiting Electricity-Generating Station
If we could effectively harness the energy from the sun, we could meet all of our energy needs without ever burning another drop of oil or coal. The technology that Japan is developing could change our world. The full story is as mind boggling as these photos. Click 4 Full Story
August Magazine Cover Story
The full story is as mind boggling as these photos.
Harnessing the Wind When There Is No Wind
Imagine wind turbines that work even when the air is still.
Until we can beam electricity down from Earth satellites, we need to find other environmentally friendly electricity generating alternatives as soon as possible. The problem with wind generation is that it doesn’t work when the air is still. The two wind technologies that are described in this month’s column can generate electricity even when the air is still.
For the hydrogen economy to blossom we need reasonably cheap Hydrogen production, storage, and also inexpensive fuel cells. A fuel cell can, on the fly, convert hydrogen into electricity which can now power almost everything that now requires a fossil fuel.
Stanford University laboratory breakthroughs in hydrogen production and inexpensive fuel cell manufacturing are here and this column describes them.
Hydrogen: The Ultimate 21st-Century Fuel
The Hydrogen Economy Breakthroughs
The Hybrid Commercial Jet Plane
Hybrid cars are now very common. The question becomes how soon will hybrid technology be adopted for commercial airplanes? Engineers have already proven that the same benefits of hybrid car technology can be transformed so they can save fuel and maintenece costs on commercial airplanes. Before this technology can be fully adopted and find its way into the planes at your local airport they need to be fully tested.
The A320 ATRA (Advanced Technology Research Aircraft), a DLR research airplane (See Photo 1) is now performing the test. The goal is to prove it is safe, efficient, and cost effective. If testing pans out and broad adoption takes place, eventually all new commercial jet planes could be categorized as hybrid vehicles. The full story is fascinating.
The Laser Automobile Ignition System
If we were to compare an automobile to a living organism, we might consider its spark plugs the source of energy that causes the heart of the engine to beat. The exploding air-gasoline mixture in the cylinders, which drives the car, can be compared to the pumping heart muscle that provides the energy needed for movement. Just as exercise can strengthen the heart of a living organism, a laser ignition plug that can simultaneously ignite the air-gas mixture in multiple locations would greatly improve the efficiency of the engine.
Takunori Taira and his associates at Japan’s National Institute of Natural Sciences, working with Toyota Motors, Nippon Sokem Inc., and the Denso Corporation, have successfully built a fully functional laser ignition system. Their laser ignition plug is shown in Photo 1 and the test engine that they built is shown in Photo 2. They demonstrated the world’s first gasoline engine micro laser ignition car in 2013.
Aviation Goes Hypersonic
Fly from New York City to London England in under an hour.
(4,562 Miles Per Hour)
The speed of sound is called Mach 1 and equals 761.2 miles per hour. The fastest plane ever flown so far is the Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. It flew at Mach 3.5. The “Son of Blackbird is now under construction and it will fly at hypersonic speeds of Mach 6. This plane will have the same turbo-jet engine that powered the SR-7 and a ramjet engine to push propulsion up to Mach 6.
At Mach 6 the SR-72 will cover one mile of ground per second of flight time. This is an amazing story of the future of flight and the full story is just one click away.
NASA’s Innovative Advances Concept Program funded research to develop a spacesuit that could deliver some form of gravity directly to the person wearing it. The idea is if you can’t bring gravity to the spaceship, perhaps you can bring the allusion of gravity to the astronaut. Sounds impossible, but collaborative efforts by engineers and technologists at Draper Laboratory Inc., MIT, and the David Clark Company have actually developed a spacesuit system that can provide an astronaut’s muscles and bones a simulated gravity.
A Space Suit
That Simulates Gravity
A Space Suit That Simulates Gravity
The column describes the Energy connection and you will be surprised on type and its safety. Walabot is a new product that works with your smartphone and lets you see the plumbing and wiring that is hidden inside your walls. It works with a Walabot free app.
Wallabot emits radio waves into your concrete or dry wall. It has multiple antennas to receive the information that bounces back from the objects that it finds in your wall. The technology behind this device is already being used by the military, homeland security, and in new medical devices. This column describes it all.
Walabot Can See Into Walls
People won't purchase Hydrogen powered cars until they have lots of places to fill their fuel tanks. Definitely a conundrum that parallels the old phrase “which came first the chicken or the egg". Basically car manufacturers can’t put thousands of Hydrogen cars on the road before they have places to fill up their tanks and gas station owners can’t afford to spend millions in hydrogen gas pump infrastructure before they have potential customers.
Hydrogen in my Gas Tank
The US DOE H-Prize was designed to
challenge engineering teams to create a
new hydrogen generating appliance which
would safely generate hydrogen in people’s homes. This column provides the full story!
The Aerospike Engine
Aeronautical engineers have spent 67 years trying to perfect this technology
Aerospike is the world’s first
SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) rocket
The Aerospike SSTO rocket engine, see photos, is a major breakthrough for the future of space travel. It can perform at sea level just as efficiently as it could perform in space on a trip to the moon or Mars.
Many technological breakthroughs only come after repeated laboratory or prototype failures. Seventeen Years ago NASA released a fact sheet about a new type of rocket engine they were trying to develop with Lockheed Martin, which could eliminate the need to use booster rockets to launch satellites and people into space. This engine concept that they then hoped to perfect was first proposed back in the 1960s by Rocketdyne, then a division of Boeing.
Instead of confining the exhaust gases by a conventional bell shaped nozzle an aerospike uses the changing air pressure of our atmosphere, from the ground to space, to partially control the shape of the expanding gases that push the rocket forward.
The Home Hydrogen Car Refueling Station
The DOE Refueling H-Prize Competition - Has Led to a new Technology Breakthrough
A Low Battery for all the items shown in photo 2 could Soon Become aThing of the Past!
WattUp®—Charging from 15' without Wires or Pads
Published September 2018 in TechDirections Magazine
WattUp® by Energous is a new technology that will allow your devices to charge just by being in the same room as the transmitter. The WattUp charging-at-a-distance transmitter fills the area, where it is installed, with low power radio frequency (RF) waves. These RF waves are converted by a proprietary chipset into a low-voltage DC charging current. For this new technology to take off, the chipset shown in photo 1, or one with a similar design, must be installed inside the device it is going to charge. Until that happens the initial rollout will probably be done with special charging cases that have the tiny chipset shown in photo 1 built into the cases.
If manufacturers adopt this technology all the devices that have the tiny chipset shown in photo 1 will always be topping off their charge when they are in range of a transmitter; these transmitters could eventually find their way into every location where you now find free WiFi.
The Energous WattUP youtube video:
A Way to Reverse Global Warming is No Longer a Dream
Converting CO2 from Our Atmosphere into Synthetic Fuels
Bill Gates is one of the private investors who has funded this entire project - Carbon Engineering has built a Factory which is now turning CO2 into synthetic fuels for cars, buses, and even airplanes.
The chart in photo 1 displays the percentage of the different greenhouse gases that entered our atmosphere in the US in 2016. To reverse global warming we need to physically start removing greenhouse gases, especially CO2, from our atmosphere.
This technology has been developed under the combined effort of engineering teams from Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada. The founders created Carbon Engineering to commercialize their process. Since the company was formed, Carbon Engineering has created an industrial life cycle for carbon dioxide that parallels the natural world’s life cycle that provides all living things with oxygen and carbohydrates.
The test facility has proven that their process can create fuels in mega quantities from water and air using electricity that only comes from renewable sources. This is the first time that CO2 has been captured and recycled back into a fuel on an industrial scale.
These photos show a small part of the factory doing its thing. For a full explanation of the process, an image of the full facility, and a video link to the future just click to read the full story.
Just Scroll Down
For More Energy & Power Technology Breakthroughs
To request a free Newsletter
just email us at:
Click the "Select a Link" Below to Explore
our coverage of our tecnological world.
A Copyright © on the date of publication exists for all articles and other material posted on this website. With proper citation you are welcome to use all the materials in your classroom.
Reactive Protection Technology
Providing Resources on New & Emerging Tech for Technology Literacy