New 3D Printing Technique

Out of North Carolina University comes a high resolution 3 d printer with game changing speeds.
Game-Changing Speed
While speed is dependent on various factors, traditional 3D printing takes hours or even days to finish. CLIP is 25 to 100 times fas…

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Asteroid Mining - Becoming Reality

Asteroid Mining is getting closer
Amid the good news that the new Orion spacecraft will make its inaugural maiden flight coming December, as well as news that US astronauts won’t be exclusively dependent any longer on foreign countries to get into L…

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Airlight Energy Solar Electricity & Heat

We covered this last year and it appears to have been further developed with many engineering systems coming together. It is estimated to cost up to three times less than comparable systems by 2017.
Airlight Energy, a Swiss-based supplier of solar p…

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World Solar Challenge Car Race Update

A worthy update on the race. 
Solar Team Eindhoven,  from the Netherlands for the first time in the history of the competition, drove with four persons on board an average speed of 120 km/h during two hours. At the end of the day they achiev…

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Mainstream media covers the results and progress of scientists and engineers from institutions and industry. Here we like to bring attention to the hard working , inspirational  experimenters often working with limited resource an…

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Quanta Magnetics Pulse Motor 2

   I ran across a guy on Youtube about a year ago and was amazed at the work he was doing with Pulse Motor technology. I’m currently establishing contact with him for more information. Through his company Quanta Magnetics he has developed a pulse mot…

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First Pictures of Hydrogen Bonds Unveiled

Researchers in China report the visualisation of a hydrogen bond using atomic force microscopy (AFM).

The remarkable images showed the formation of covalent bonds in a cyclisation reaction. In the latest study to visualise molecules, Xiaohui Q…

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Greening the electric grid with gas turbines

In a study funded by Bill Gates it was argued that massive deployment of storage not needed for renewable sources to play large ‘decarbonization’ role.  I agree.

wind 200It may be some years before we have an economically effective storage solution for electric cars and the grid. In the case of the grid load balancing is still needed.  However using cleaner and responsive generation methods like gas turbines rather than coal makes a lot of sense. It is really a hybrid or compromise solution , but if it enables a greater portion of our electricity needs to be generated by renewables it is an important step.

I great example of this is in my home state in South Australia . The renewables now provide over 30% of the electric grid needs. They have both gas fired powered stations and coal. They have decided to retire the coal. On some days they are already achieving up to 1005 of the grid needs by renewables and only have to idle the generators.


Cambridge, Mass. – September 21, 2015 – Much of the nation’s energy policy is premised on the assumption that clean renewable sources like wind and solar will require huge quantities of storage before they can make a significant dent in the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. A new Harvard study pokes holes in that conventional wisdom. The analysis published today in the journal Energy & Environmental Science finds that the supply of wind and solar power could be increased tenfold without additional storage.

“There’s no question that it would be better to have more and better storage and a sensible long-term strategy for the grid will have much more storage than today,” said coauthor David Keith, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard John and Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. “But you don’t have to wait for that before deploying more variable renewables.”

The parametric study conducted by Keith and SEAS graduate student Hossein Safaei asked: In order to drastically reduce planet-warming carbon emissions from electricity generation, what amount of “bulk electricity storage” – technologies that can store electricity for hours at a time, such as pumped hydroelectric facilities or flow batteries – is economically efficient?

Since the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine at the time that energy is needed, many assume that bulk storage technologies are essential in order for wind turbines and solar farms to contribute a larger share of the nation’s electricity demand.

But storage “is not the only strategy to achieve a low-carbon electricity grid,” according to Safaei. “Low capital cost in addition to good emissions performance make gas turbines cost-effective carbon mitigation candidates. Moreover, dispatchable zero-carbon generation technologies such as hydropower, nuclear, and biomass can be deployed instead of, or in conjunction with, the intermittent renewables.”

The finding that widespread deployment of batteries for grid-scale storage is not a prerequisite for dramatically increasing the amount of renewable energy we use is “good news,” said Sally M. Benson, professor of energy resources engineering and executive director of Stanford University’s Global Climate and Energy Project. That’s because “more time and R&D is needed to decrease the cost of [bulk electricity story] and to scale-up production,” said Benson, who was not involved with the research.

Another independent observer, Jay Apt, professor of engineering and public policy and co-director of the Electricity Industry Center at Carnegie Mellon University, added that the Harvard study makes clear that “the cost of removing pollution from electric generation is lowest when an all-of-the-above strategy is used.”

Keith and Safaei hope that their analysis will inform both R&D investment decisions and government policy directions.

“We’re trying to knock out a salient policy meme that says that you can’t grow variable renewables without a proportionate increase in storage,” Keith said. “We could cut electric-sector carbon emissions to less than a third their current levels using variable renewables with natural gas to manage the intermittency, but this will requires us to keep growing the electricity transmission infrastructure.” Keith added, “There is a saw-off between transmission and storage, if siting battles stop new transmission then we must increase storage.”


The study was funded by Bill Gates through the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research.

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Global Poverty Decline Yields Increased Energy Consumption

Global Poverty reduced by 50% – Energy Consumption up

Often one hears politicians of mostly self-proclaimed “progressive” signature claim that the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. I always have considered such statements hig…

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SolidEnergy teams up with A123 for New Long Range Battery

The proposed partnership combines SolidEnergy’s novel battery technology called Solid Polymer Ionic Liquid (SPIL) electrolyte originally developed at MIT with the mature cell design and prototyping capabilities of A123. It is eventually inten…

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Resonance! – We Have it Tesla Style

Resonance! – We Have it Tesla Style

Those who know me are aware that I have a passion for paleolithic electronics: the older the better. I am fascinated by old computers, old radios – you know, the really old stuff. Typical old geezer stuff. Old transistors, old vacuum tubes, big transformers. Just... read more
EESD: Robert Murray-Smith

EESD: Robert Murray-Smith

This is our last story on the work of Robert Murray-Smith. It follows on from his Super Capacitor. If this performs as claimed and holds up to thousands of discharges, this is a real breakthrough. Super Capacitor EESD update – 2,000 Farads in a credit card... read more
Some energy basics

Some energy basics

  In a lot of the FE blogs and claims you’ll see some “interesting” ideas about “where the energy comes from”. Some people of course avoid that little theoretical bit and purely say “this works” and “give me some... read more


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