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Started by Jasper, February 07, 2008, 11:25:19 PM

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chaotic neutral observer

This type of generator is interesting at a theoretical level, but I don't see it being very practical.
The researchers currently report 25 mW/m2, and think they can improve to 0.5 W/m2.  In comparison, a solar panel can give you 200 W/m2.

And, as with solar panels, this technology requires a clear sky. If it is overcast, the sky temperature will be higher, and reduce the available temperature difference. This approach requires the ground to be warmer than the sky to work.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

Brother Mythos

True, the power generation is not impressive. But, I do find the technology interesting.

This article caught my eye because I remember well the big industrial search, of years ago, for energy to be harvested from waste heat.
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.


Solar Panels require some rare materials. If this is just simple LED diode it could have applications in power scavenging or when doing it over long empty distances like empty highway regions
Sleepless nights at the chateau

chaotic neutral observer

Quote from: Faust on September 13, 2019, 02:42:36 PM
Solar Panels require some rare materials. If this is just simple LED diode it could have applications in power scavenging or when doing it over long empty distances like empty highway regions
Today, you can get a 25 mW (rated) solar cell that measures under 2 cm2 for $2.57 (in quantity).
500 mW brings that up to ~$10.

Even if you consider that the actual power out of these solar cells is likely to be below the rating, I would say the cold sky thermoelectric approach is optimistically a couple of orders of magnitude behind the point where it would be competitive.

RTG's are only viable because there is a huge temperature difference involved.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.


This is ridiculous. I have no idea how it can possibly work. I fucking love it.
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

Brother Mythos

"Lockheed Martin Selected to Develop Nuclear-Powered Spacecraft"

As per the article:

"Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has won a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and demonstrate a nuclear-powered spacecraft under a project called Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO). The project will represent a rapid advancement in propulsion technology to benefit exploration and national defense.

DARPA partnered with NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate on the DRACO project, as both agencies will benefit from this leading edge technology. The in-space flight demonstration of a nuclear thermal rocket engine vehicle will take place no later than 2027."

Faster, Farther, More Agile
Chemical propulsion engines have long been the standard for spaceflight, but for humans to travel to Mars, they will need much more powerful and efficient propulsion. Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engines offer thrust as high as conventional chemical propulsion with two-to-five times higher efficiency, which means the spacecraft can travel faster and farther and can significantly reduce propellant needs. They also enable abort scenarios on journeys to Mars that are not possible with chemical propulsion systems."

I haven't hear much about NTP in recent years. So, it will be interesting to see the rocket engine this R&D project manages to build.

Here's the link:
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.

Brother Mythos

"Old EV Batteries Get a Second Life Storing Solar Energy"

"We're at a point where we really can scale this."

As per the article:

"To make renewable energy from intermittent sources like solar and wind available when it is most needed, it's becoming more common to use batteries to store the power as it's generated and transmit it later. But one thing about the Cuyama facility, which began operations this week, is less common: The batteries sending energy to the grid once powered electric vehicles."

And, further along in the article:

"The facilities are meant to prove the feasibility of giving EV batteries a second life as stationary storage before they are recycled. Doing so could increase the sustainability of the technology's supply chain and reduce the need to mine critical minerals, while providing a cheaper way of building out grid-scale storage.

"This is what's needed at massive scale," said Freeman Hall, CEO of the Los Angeles-based large-scale storage system company."

This sounds like a potential win-win reuse of old tech hardware to me.

Here's the link:   Second Life for Old EV Batteries
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.

Brother Mythos

"New technology installed beneath Detroit street can charge electric vehicles as they drive"

As per the article:

"Crews have installed what's billed as the nation's first wireless-charging public roadway for electric vehicles beneath a street just west of downtown Detroit.

Copper inductive charging coils allow vehicles equipped with receivers to charge up their batteries while driving, idling or parking above the coils.

The quarter-mile segment of 14th Street will be used to test and perfect the technology ahead of making it available to the public within a few years, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation."

There have to be convenient ways for EV owners who don't have garages, private driveways, or private parking spaces to charge their vehicles. I believe this technology will make owning and driving an EV a lot more practical for most people. It also opens up the possibility of places like drive-thru restaurants, to install wireless-charging. Other businesses with parking lots could benefit as well, as it eliminates the need for their customers to have do deal with charging cables.   

Here's the link:   Electric Vehicles Charged While Driven
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.

Brother Mythos

"First plasma fired up at world's largest fusion reactor"

"Japan's JT-60SA tokamak will test technologies put to use in ITER"

As per the article:

"The long trek toward practical fusion energy passed a milestone last week when the world's newest and largest fusion reactor fired up. Japan's JT-60SA uses magnetic fields from superconducting coils to contain a blazingly hot cloud of ionized gas, or plasma, within a doughnut-shaped vacuum vessel, in hope of coaxing hydrogen nuclei to fuse and release energy. The four-story-high machine is designed to hold a plasma heated to 200 million degrees Celsius for about 100 seconds, far longer than previous large tokamaks."

And, as per the end of the article:

"By 2050, Japan also hopes to build DEMO, a proposed demonstration power plant that would provide a stepping stone from the research of JT-60SA and ITER to commercial fusion power. Shirai says he is well aware of the competition from alternative approaches to fusion energy, fueled by an influx of private money into the field. But with competition comes opportunities for collaborations among those with new ideas. "Having many people coming into this area is a very good thing," Shirai says." 

Developing fusion power has been a long slog. But, it appears that some progress is being made.

Here's the link:   First Plasma at World's Largest Fusion Reactor
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.

Brother Mythos

"Novel snake-like robot 3D prints its own body to grow longer"

As per this article:

"A trio of soft robotics researchers at Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, in Italy, working with a colleague from the University of Montpellier, in France, has developed a unique type of robot that 3D prints its own body as a means to grow longer. In their paper published in the journal Science Robotics, the group describes how they created their robot and the possible uses for it.

As science and technology continue to mature, scientists find novel ways to combine innovations into new types of technology. In this new effort, the research team combined robotics with 3D printing, resulting in the creation of a new kind of robot that can grow longer at will.

The robot is shaped like a snake and has a head that spins. As the head spins, it creates more body mass behind it using 3D printing, resulting in elongation of the robot. The robot can also be programmed to grow in desired ways, such as toward light, or against gravity. This gives the robot the ability to grow in a vine-like manner. The team has named their robot FiloBot."

Swell. It's only a matter of time before someone intentionally programs a robot to reproduce at will.

Here's the link:   Robot 3D Prints Its Own Body to Grow
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.

Brother Mythos

We have the techmology.

"Poopspotting: How AI and satellites can detect illegal manure spreading in Wisconsin"

As per this article:

"After a fresh February snow, a satellite about the size of a shoebox, busy snapping photographs as it circuited the planet at 17,000 miles per hour, captured something dark in Wisconsin.

About 56 tons of livestock bedding and manure had been spread atop Mark Zinke's frozen alfalfa field.

The image, beamed down to the surface, eventually appeared on the computers of Stanford University researchers, who relayed it to the offices of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

A staff member looked it over. He decided it was noteworthy and passed along the information to another employee in a nearby city.

Zinke, a Brownsville dairy farmer who cares for a herd of more than 1,300 cows, had forgotten about the whole thing until he later heard from the agency."

So, that's what all of those billions of dollars spent on the Space Race, and AI Development was all about! Now we have the techmology to see illegally dumped manure from outer space, clearly identify it, and report it to a meat-based intelligence unit (MBIU) who then reports it to the local authorized manure police department (MPD).

I wonder how long it will be before the MBIU, an obvious weak link, is replaced by AI. 

Here's the link to this article:      AI and Satellites Spot Manure from Space
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.