From:                              Integrity Research Institute <>

Sent:                               Saturday, January 30, 2016 8:09 PM


Subject:                          Future Energy eNews for January 2016




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Future Energy eNews










We are finalizing our speaker list for the upcoming Conference on Future Energy section ( ) of the ExtraOrdinary Tech Conference in July, 2016 and still can accept abstract submissions from potential speakers on energy, propulsion, or bioenergetics at .


Another relevant topic to IRI is the annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference  which will be held here in DC on Feb. 2-3, 2016 where the FAA, DARPA and SpaceX are contributing speakers . For those wondering about how a homopolar motor could ever produce a self-propelled device, check out the latest "Magnet Car with AA Battery" on the K&J Magnetics website, which includes a How-To video . It may revive interest in my book, The Homopolar Handbook, which is still in print from IRI. Thanks to Ron Kita for the Magnet Car info.


How about global warming effects? Well, I attended "Arctic Matters" at the National Academy of Science here in DC and got an eye-opener regarding the arctic climate events. Alaska, for example, has more renewable energy power plants than any other state in the nation and I have invited the presenter to come to our COFE8 as well. If you would like to get an Arctic Matters poster, suitable for framing, visit  and you can print one out or have it mailed to you. Also, another big concern lately has been the California methane leak at 50 megagrams/hour for six months. Doing the math, including a rough estimate of about 20x more potent than CO2, the total effect that the leak will contribute to the atmosphere is equivalent to about 5 million tons of CO2. However, when we look at the several billion tons of CO2 every major country is emitting each year (see PDF poster ), the methane leak is sadly about a thousand times less significant!


This month we start off with Story #1 as a summary article of Energy Transformation of 2015, which amazingly, shows a trend away from fossil fuels last year in what is called a "decisive shift" comparable to 1973 during the oil embargo. The adoption of renewable, clean energy hit record rates which were not diminished by cheap oil.  


Story #2 is a similar trend with the Faraday car emerging as competition to the Tesla car but in a new class of sports car, with four electric motors, one for each wheel, embedded smartphone, and top speed of 200 mph.


Ever wonder how to create your own "Energy Harvester"? Well, Mark Dansie has the answer with Story #3, complete with diagrams and photos. Time to start on "zero-power" electronics for your projects and our projects too, here at IRI.


We always like big power output from new energy concepts. Our Story #4 delivers such a breakthrough with 7 kW from a bunch of plastic grass strips that sway in the wind on a 300 sq. m. rooftop, which is not that big (maybe 30 meters by 10 meters for example). The triboelectric effect from the indium tin oxide coating seems to be a long lasting product, not dependent on certain wind speeds but even wind gusts that turbines often miss. Full article "Lawn Structured Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Scavenging Sweeping Wind Energy on Rooftops" from Wiley Advanced Materials is at .


Lastly, for those wondering about commercial plants, the largest fuel cell plant has just been approved for 63 megawatts from a hydrogen fuel source in our Story #5. In a related story, the update on clean nuclear reactors for hundreds of megawatts that are designed to be safe and emission-free, such as the molten-salt reactors, includes one that finally has been approved for construction by private investors. A Canadian startup pursuing an advanced molten-salt nuclear reactor just received significant outside backing. .



Thomas Valone, Editor











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1) Energy Transformation in 2015



By Richard Martin,  MIT Technology Review


Like 1973, the year 2015 marked a decisive shift in the world's energy economy.


The ongoing decline in oil prices, which began as early as 2012, accelerated noticeably in 2015. The benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil price fell to $34.53 a barrel on December 18, lower than it's been since before the financial crash of 2008, with no floor in sight. Goldman Sachs has predicted that oil could fall as low as $20 a barrel, a development that would cripple most oil-producing economies and have geopolitical ripple effects for years to come. At the same time, the price of natural gas remains near historic lows. Cheap oil and natural gas are conventionally thought to be negative influences on the adoption of renewable energy, lessening the incentives of businesses and consumers to give up fossil fuels. But that doesn't seem to have slowed the shift away from fossil fuels in 2015.

Electricity generation from fossil fuels through the first nine months of 2015 barely climbed from the same period in 2014, while power from solar PV increased 48 percent. And oil consumption in the United States, the world's largest oil market, is on a long-term downward trend: between now and 2040, according to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook, U.S. oil consumption will fall by nearly four million barrels per day, returning to the levels of the 1960s.

Indeed, the adoption of clean energy hit record rates in 2015. Analysts at GTM Research, in their report "The Future of U.S. Solar," noted that total solar power installations to date in the United States reached 26 gigawatts at the end of 2015-and forecast that they'll reach nearly 10 times that by 2030. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for 140 gigawatts of installed solar capacity by 2020, a goal that would entail adding as much capacity each year for the next five years as had been installed, in history, in the U.S. up until the end of 2014. Because solar power is intermittent, its capacity factor-the percentage of generation capacity that is actually used-is low compared to, for instance, coal or nuclear plants. And solar will remain in the low single digits as a source of electricity. But it is by any measure the fastest growing segment of the electricity industry. As the International Energy Agency put it, "An energy sector transition is underway in many parts of the world."

Helping to make such forecasts plausible was the move by Congress, at the end of the year, to extend the tax credits for solar and wind power projects for another five years (see "Congress Extends Tax Credits for Renewables"). That piece of legislation alone will lead to $40 billion in new investment between now and 2020, according to GTM Research, resulting in 25 gigawatts of additional solar capacity over the next five years.


Clean energy progress in the U.S., though, is dwarfed by the ambitions of India and China. India alone intends to add 160 gigawatts of new renewable capacity by 2022, including 100 gigawatts of solar, which would represent by far the largest addition of new renewable power generation in history (see "India's Energy Crisis"). The plans laid out in 2015 by India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, and his minister of energy, Piyush Goyal, could mark a new path to development for poor countries that lack oil reserves. China and India both have huge ambitions for nuclear power as well. Beijing plans to build six to eight nuclear reactors a year through 2020, and by 2030, if its hopes materialize, should have the 110 reactors, the largest nuclear power fleet in the world.

The year also marked the first time in history that carbon emissions fell even as the world economy grew. U.S. coal consumption fell by 10.5 percent from 2013 to 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and while coal use in growing economies like India (now the fastest growing emitter of greenhouse gases) and China is expected to keep climbing for some years, the rate of growth is already slowing. Indeed, coal demand in China plateaued in 2015, indicating that the burning of coal by the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide could level off well before analysts expected it to.

The biggest signpost on the energy highway was the signing of the Paris accord on climate change (see "Paris Climate Agreement Rests on Shaky Technological Foundations"). While the agreement failed to achieve what most climate activists hoped for-legally binding targets for emissions cuts, curbs on the production of fossil fuels, and a price on carbon-it nevertheless marked the first time that world leaders agreed to specific measures to reduce greenhouse gases and limit the rise of global temperatures. It was not the end of the fossil fuel era, but it may well have been the beginning of the end.





2) There's Way More To Faraday Future Than a Crazy Concept Car


Wired,  January 2016


FARADAY FUTURE, THE long secretive electric car startup, has come out of stealth mode. It's been hiding something crazy.

In Las Vegas tonight, Tesla's newest competitor unveiled the FFZERO1, a wild-eyed, single-seat concept that combines elements of the Batmobile, a Le Mans racer, some switchblades, and a fighter jet. 


The four electric motors (one at each wheel) combined deliver more than 1,000 horsepower, enough to send the car from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds and to a top speed of 200 mph. The driver sits at a 45-degree angle, the steering wheel seems nicked from an F1 car, and has an embedded smartphone.


But the concept-as brain-swirling and nonsensical as it is-isn't the most interesting thing about Faraday. The Los Angeles-based company insists it's more than another automotive startup with a crazy-looking, over-powered car. It says it's here to fundamentally rethink how cars are made, and what they're made for.


"We must anticipate the future and act upon it with speed," says Nick Sampson, Faraday's head of R&D.


The startup promises a subscription model, which, paired with the car's ability to drive itself, will let you order the car up to your door whenever you want it. Faraday says it will build cars on a "variable platform architecture," allowing it to produce a variety of models with different battery packs and motor configurations. The idea is to move much faster than the auto industry's traditionally pokey pace, and building everything off one platform helps that along.


Faraday is backed by Chinese Internet billionaire Jia Yueting-the founder of "China's Netflix," LeTV. It has already signed a $1 billion deal to build a factory in North Las Vegas, and plans to break ground in a few weeks. It has more than 500 employees, and expects that to double this year. They include design head Richard Kim, who designed BMW's striking i8 and funky i3 electric cars.


That's a good start, but the auto industry is notoriously unwelcoming to newcomers. Faraday promises a lot-Sampson compares it to Apple at the launch of the iPhone-but it hasn't done anything just yet. Now it's got to deliver.





3) Practical Free Energy



By Mark Dansie,  Revolution Green,  Dec, 2015


Mark found a good analysis of what free energy flows are around and how they can be harvested, and we thought this would be useful as a reference for people who want to make real devices that actually work. The download link is; here, and it's around 3.8Mbyte.


It covers what sort of energy you might expect to find in the environment and how efficiently you can convert it to usable power, and so rather than spend a long time talking about what it says I'll quote some bits and pieces here and leave you to read the original document and make your own decisions.

"Zero-power'' self-sustainable standalone electronics


''Green'' self-sustainable operation is one of the most important issues in today's low-power electronics for smart environments (Internet of Things, smart skins, smart cities, etc.). Energy-harvesting technologies harnessing energy from ambient power sources, such as vibration, heat, and electromagnetic waves, have recently attracted significant attention, and numerous energy-harvesting systems, including energy-harvesting devices, topologies, and circuitries, have been developed for ''zero-power'' self-sustainable standalone electronics. Among the multiple ambient energy sources, the wireless energy-harvesting technology has dramatically grown recently due to prevalence of wireless signals, such as TV, radio, cellular, satellite, and WiFi signals, especially after the early 1990s. The concept of wireless energy harvesting has been raised by Nikola Tesla and Heinrich Hertz: radiate wireless power to free space and convert the wireless power to usable direct current (dc) power. This concept of wireless power transfer requires no motion, pressure, or heat flows to generate power.






4) Wind Whips Plastic Grass for Power



TECHNOLOGY NEWS  6 January 2016


THE wind flowing over your roof is packed with energy, if you could only harness it. A new type of wind power generator carpets a surface with plastic strips that sway in the wind like grass, producing renewable energy where traditional windmills would be impractical.


The generator is made by fixing flexible strips of plastic to a board, so they stand upright like rows of dominoes. The strips have nanowires etched on one side and a coating of indium tin oxide (ITO) on the other. When the strips flail in the wind, the nanowires slap against the ITO surface of neighbouring strips. This temporary contact allows electrons to leap from one material to the other, creating a current through a phenomenon known as the triboelectric effect.


Covering a 300-square-metre rooftop with the strips "would be expected to deliver an electrical energy of 7.11 kW, which should mostly power a household," says  Wigang Yang at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China.


Yang worked on the project with Zhong Lin Wang's group at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The goal was to tap energy not just from steady wings, but from the choppy gusts typical of built-up areas too. "Compared with a wind turbine, our triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is effective at harvesting the energy from natural wind blowing in any direction," says Yang. He adds that the harvesting system is simple to make, and easy to scale to larger systems.


So far, the generator has only been tested in the lab, aiming an electric fan at a model rooftop covered with 60 strips. This generated enough electricity to light up 60 LEDs. The strips work at wind speeds as low as 21 kilometres per hour, but the most useful power was generated with direct wind at almost 100 km/h - or storm force 10.

That's neither easily available nor desirable, says Fernando Galembeck, who investigates energy harvesting at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil. "Significant amounts of power are obtained but we are still far from installing these devices on our rooftops and building walls."


Galembeck says that, as with any energy scavenging technique, energy storage  will be crucial for the system's success, allowing the variable amounts of power generated in gentle winds to be stored until needed.


Yang says they are seeking a storage solution, as well as working on integrating the nanogenerator with solar panels to boost output.


Galembeck also points out that indium tin oxide isn't a suitable material, due to its poor mechanical properties, cost and toxicity. "The concept is highly promising but its realisation depends on shifting to other materials," he says.





5) Largest Fuel Cell Plant Approved in Connecticut  January 2016


In news which many FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) shareholders had been waiting for, last night it was reported that the state of Connecticut has approved a massive fuel cell plant in Beacon Hill, which once constructed, will be the world's largest. The Connecticut Council voted 5-0 to approve this project, which FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) will be taking on. It will ultimately be four megawatts larger than the previous record holding plant in South Korea. The new 63-megawatt plant, which will suffciently power 60,000 homes in the Beaon Hill area, is expected to come online sometime in 2019.


The plant will be constructed on 10 acres of land and take approximately 21 months to build once ground is broken at the end of this year. Shares of FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) are trading up $0.83 or 15.6% in the pre-market this morning as investors clearly see this as a massive new contract for the company, which has a market cap of just $139 million. The stock closed at $5.32 during the last trading session. It is down 63.66% since June 4, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 58.97%.


The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.94 in Q2 2015. It's down 0.77, from 1.71 in 2015Q2. The ratio is negative, as 13 funds sold all their FuelCell Energy Inc shares they owned while 35 reduced their positions. 11 funds bought stakes while 34 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 73.96 million shares which is 2.71% more than the previous share count of 72.01 million in 2015Q2.


Morgens Waterfall Vintiadis & Co Inc holds 1.28% of its total portfolio in FuelCell Energy Inc, equating to 3.15 million shares. Loeb Partners Corp owns 1.93 million shares representing 0.52% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Ecofin Ltd has 0.33% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 2.31 million shares. The New York-based Awm Investment Company Inc. has a total of 0.25% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Cna Financial Corp, a Illinois-based fund reported 774,276 shares owned.


FuelCell Energy, Inc. is an integrated fuel cell company. The company has a market cap of $139.38 million. The Firm designs, makes, sells, installs, operates and services ultra-clean, stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed power generation. It currently has negative earnings. It provides turn-key power generation solutions to its customers, including power plant installations, as well as power plant operation and maintenance.






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