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Sent:                               Friday, November 30, 2012 12:06 AM

To:                                   Valone, Thomas

Subject:                          Future Energy eNews


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                                              November 2012toc










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In This Issue









Dear Future Energy Enthusiast:


   We are pleased to continue to provide quality, cutting-edge future energy news to thousands of folks like you in order to accelerate our human advancement toward carbon-free energy and propulsion technology. In return for our continued all-volunteer service, we ask once a year for your support. This may be in a charitable, tax-deductible donation form (see link) to help us raise $10,000 (we are past $2000 so far in fund-raising). You may also choose to buy any one of our quality products (books, DVDs, bioenergy devices) for the holiday season from our IRI website instead which also helps us directly fund our work. Thank you for your continued interest in our nonprofit mission.

  To start this month off, I decided to present a new format for this Editorial to bring you more news! For the person who has everything, introduce him to the advancements in propulsion energy sources with the "Remote-Controlled Hydrogen Car" for only $129 USD It also includes a Solar-Powered Hydrogen Generating Station for the hydrogen, which is currently the state of the art for hydrogen powered vehicles. Great student demonstration which was almost included in the Breakthrough Energy Movement conference in Holland upon my recommendation since the organizers continued to request working models.

   One of the memorable zero point energy breakthroughs this year published in Physical Review Letters was the "Observation of Quantum Motion of a Nanomechanical Resonator" which for the first time provided "a direct measure of the displacement noise power associated with quantum zero-point fluctuations of the nanomechanical resonator." Another notable breakthrough is the "Cavitating Electrolyzers and the Zero-Point Energy" by Moray King published in the current issue of Infinite Energy magazine, based on the seminal cavitation fusion work of Mark LeClair which is very robust but hard to control. As a result of these developments, my book "Zero Point Energy: The Fuel of the Future" will have a companion book on the quantum vacuum coming out probably by next year. Regarding the developments in quantum vacuum energy usage, my tutorial on "Zero Point Energy Extraction" is still current and valuable for its timeless content and humor. The  ZPE lecture online video (part 1 of 5) with ZPE lecture part 2 of 5ZPE lecture part 3 of 5ZPE lecture part 4 of 5, and ZPE lecture part 5 of 5 (all fourteen minutes each), together is a popular introduction to the subject of "zero point energy" and how it can be used. The free video tutorial also has a good audience reception too. Just this year, one of these ZPE ideas presented in this lecture has just been used by Dr. Moddel from U of Colorado to demonstrate energy from the vacuum with noble gasses in a Casimir cavity (his lecture is on the IRI website from SPESIF 2012 ). So the material in this video is slowly making its way into the mainstream.

  Lately, the Stoern company has been making waves, after its Orbo demonstration of a magnetic machine failed. The latest seems to be a wall-current induction heater that is an improvement in efficiency. However, based on their track record, it does not appear that a calorimetry measurement of heat has been included in their energy calculations of "over-unity" output from the tricky AC electricity measurement of input energy. The report from NEST is online .

  This month we have the best future energy articles such as how hamsters are going to provide most of the energy in the future (Story #1) or else we can with the friction of our travels. Story #2 tells the amazing information about how molecules transfer energy to make PV more efficient. Story #3 also has a surprise about how noise can be used to create mechanical energy, which also is a method for zero point energy extraction, as referenced in my above-mentioned book. In Story #4, we find that even a electrical power disaster in India can be the impetus for decentralized renewable energy, which is a lesson the US needs to learn as well. With the last Story #5 another breakthrough is being reported in energy conversion. The military has hoped to put explosions to better use and now they can as fuel cnsumption is reduced.


Onward and upward!

Thomas Valone, PhD, Editor                

1) How Friction May Someday Charge Personal Electronics

 By Katherine Bourzac on November 19, 2012. Technology Review.


The phenomenon that causes a painful shock when you touch metal after dragging your shoes on the carpet could someday be harnessed to charge personal electronics. 

Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a device that takes advantage of static electricity to convert movement-like a phone bouncing around in your pocket-into enough power to charge a cell phone battery. It is the first demonstration that these kinds of materials have enough oomph to power personal electronics.

Excess energy produced when you walk, fidget, or even breathe can, in theory, be scavenged to power medical implants and other electronics. However, taking advantage of the energy in these small motions is challenging. 

Hamster wearing a jacket affixed to a nanogenerator that harvests biomechanical energy as it runs on an exercise wheel.

Zhong Lin Wang, a professor of materials science at Georgia Tech, has been working on the problem for several years, mostly focusing on piezoelectric materials that generate an electrical voltage under mechanical stress (see "
Harnessing Hamster Power with a Nanogenerator"). Wang and others have amplified the piezoelectric effect by making materials structured at the nanoscale. So far, though, piezoelectric nanogenerators have not had very impressive power output.

Now Wang's group has demonstrated that a different approach may be more promising: static electricity and friction. This is the effect at work when you run a plastic comb through your hair on a dry day, and it stands on end. The Georgia Tech researchers demonstrated that this static charge phenomenon, called the triboelectric effect, can be harnessed to produce power using a type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, and a metal. When thin films of these materials come into contact with one another, they become charged. And when the two films are flexed, a current flows between them, which can be harnessed to charge a battery. When the two surfaces are patterned with nanoscale structures, their surface area is much greater, and so is the friction between the materials-and the power they can produce.

The Georgia Tech nanogenerator can convert 10 to 15 percent of the energy in mechanical motions into electricity, and thinner materials should be able to convert as much as 40 percent, Wang says. A fingernail-sized square of the triboelectric nanomaterial can produce eight milliwatts when flexed, enough power to run a pacemaker. A patch that's five by five centimeters can light up 600 LEDs at once, or charge a lithium-ion battery that can then power a commercial cell phone. Wang's group described these results online in the journal Nano Letters.

"The choice of materials is wide, and fabricating the device is easy," says Wang. Any of about 50 common plastics, metals, and other materials can be paired to make this type of device.

"I'm impressed with the power density here," says Shashank Priya, director of the Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems at Virginia Tech. Other smart materials haven't produced enough power for practical applications, he says.

Whether the new nanogenerator will work outside the lab remains to be seen. "They need to demonstrate that this can generate power from mechanical vibrations in real life," says Jiangyu Li, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. To work in the real world, an energy scavenger will have to be able to pick up on vibrational frequencies that provide the most energy. A nanogenerator that can only pick up on low-energy mechanical vibrations would take way too long to charge a cell phone, Priya notes. Wang says he is in talks with companies about developing the energy scavenger for particular applications, and envisions it being worn on an armband.







2) Energy Transfer Between Molecules Could Transform Photovoltaics November 2012


In this study, the nanoscale energy transfer system consists of two molecules separated by 6.8 nm at opposite ends of a short, rigid DNA strand, positioned at a controlled distance from a mirror.


Image credit: Christian Blum, et al.
( transfer of energy between two molecules spaced just nanometers apart plays a key role in many technologies, including photovoltaics, quantum information systems, lighting, and sensors, as well as in biophysics to measure nanometer distances and in photosynthesis. But an open question in this area is what effect, if any, the surrounding photonic environment has on this nanoscale energy transfer. By designing and performing a carefully controlled experiment to answer this question, scientists have settled the debate and found clues to improving the efficiency of many of the technologies that rely on this process.


The scientists, Christian Blum, Niels Zijlstra, Ad Lagendijk, Allard P. Mosk, and Willem L. Vos from the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands (Lagendijk is also with the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam), along with Martijn Wubs of the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby and Vinod Subramaniam of the MIRA Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Technical Medicine in Enschede and the MESA+ Institute, have written a paper on the influence of the environment of energy transfer that will be published in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.


The specific type of energy transfer the scientists investigated is called Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), which is the dominant energy transfer mechanism on the nanoscale. In FRET, a quantum of excitation energy is transferred from one optical emitter (the donor) to another (the acceptor) in nanometer proximity. Scientists know that the Förster transfer rate can be controlled by three criteria: the spectral properties of the optical emitters, the distance between the optical emitters, and the relative orientations of the emitters' dipole moments (a measure corresponding to their electromagnetic properties). But the role of the environment's photonic properties on Förster transfer has been much less clear.


The photonic properties of the environment are characterized by the number of states that can potentially be occupied by a photon, which is referred to as the local density of optical states (LDOS). Scientists know that an environment's LDOS has a definite impact on some molecular processes; for example, a higher LDOS corresponds to a higher spontaneaous emission rate. Using a more familiar analogy, the researchers explain that the question is similar to asking how our surroundings influence our personal lives in a romantic way. "When you fancy someone, inviting him or her out for dinner is a great idea," Blum told "The romantic environment may help to fall in love. One may wonder if the romantic environment is the reason for falling in love or if it only helps the affection to show. These matters of the heart are notoriously difficult to disentangle and measure."

Read more at:


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3)  Transforming "Noise" Into Mechanical Energy at Nanometric Level 

ScienceDaily (Nov. 22, 2012)


 - A team of researchers at the Freie Universität Berlin, co-ordinated by José Ignacio Pascual*, have developed a method that enables efficiently using the random movement of a molecule in order to make a macroscopic-scale lever oscillate.


Image courtesy of Basque Research.

The research was published inScience.

In nature, processes such as the movement of fluids, the intensity of electromagnetic signals, chemical compositions, etc., are subject to random fluctuations which normally are called 'noise'. This noise is a source of energy and its utilisation for undertaking a task is a paradigm that nature has shown to be possible in certain cases.


The research led by José Ignacio Pascual and published in Science, focused on a molecule of hydrogen (H2). The researchers placed the molecule within a very small space between a flat surface and the sharp point of an ultra-sensitive atomic force microscope.


This microscope used the periodic movement of the point located at the end of a highly sensitive mechanical oscillator in order to 'feel' the forces that exist at a nanoscale level. The molecule of hydrogen moves randomly and chaotically and, when the point of the microscope approaches it, the point hits the molecule, making the oscillator or lever move. But this lever, at the same time, modulates the movement of the molecule, resulting in an orchestrated 'dance' between the point and the 'noisy' molecule. "The result is that the smallest molecule that exists, a molecule of hydrogen, 'pushes' the lever, that has a mass 1019greater; ten trillion time greater!," explained José Ignacio Pascual.


The underlying principle is a mathematical theory known as Stocastic Resonance which describes how random movements of energy are channelled into periodic movements and, thus, can be harnessed. With this research, it has been shown that this principle is fulfilled at a nanometric scale.

"In our experiment, the 'noise' of the molecule is made by injecting electric current, and not temperature, through the molecule and, thus, functions like an engine converting electric energy into mechanical," stated José Ignacio Pascual. Thus, one of the most promising aspects of this result is that it can be applied to the design of artificial molecules, which are complex molecules designed to be able to oscillate or rotate in only one direction. The authors do not discard, moreover, that this molecular fluctuation can be produced by other sources, such as light, or be carried out with a greater number of molecules, even with different chemical compositions.

*current leader of the Nanoimagen team at CIC nanoGUNE


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4) India's Epic Blackout Launching MicroGrids Solar Power  

Chris Turner, Mother Nature Network 2012

As India emerges from the darkness of the largest blackout the world's ever seen, it should look for a more stable energy future not in a larger grid but in decentralized solar power.


I was never more acutely aware of the value of electricity than I was during the year I spent living in India. I should be more specific: I was never more acutely aware of the value of electricity than I was on those nights when my wife and I were staying at a cheap little guest house in Delhi at the height of the swampy monsoon heat, lying in bed on the verge of sleep, when a sudden sci-fi sound of motors winding down en masse indicated that the hotel had been hit by one of the city's routine rolling blackouts. There went the A/C we'd paid extra for.


Delhi's grid couldn't handle the full demand for power on its hottest days, and so the grid's managers would shed loads neighborhood to neighborhood to keep the system (barely) humming. We'd heard that the poshest districts were never part of the roll; the backpacker ghetto of Paharganj near the railway station was definitely not one of those.


Like many establishments, our little guest house had a contingency plan: a single small diesel generator, which someone started up a few minutes after the rolling blackout hit. It wasn't strong enough to run the A/C, but it would spin the ceiling fans, which did their best to dissipate the stench of diesel smoke from all the generators fired up at establishments the length of the bazaar. The way you tried to fall asleep once the A/C went off was you stood in the shower, soaked yourself with cold water, lay down in bed dripping under the ceiling fan, and hoped you nodded off before all the water condensed away and let the ferocious heat back in. If you didn't, that was when you truly understood the value of reliable electricity.


This is worth bearing in mind as we contemplate the blackout of this young century, maybe the greatest of all time: the wholesale power failure that plunged Indians by the hundreds of millions into darkness, shut down air conditioners, induced traffic chaos and halted trains nationwide. (For the best single-link analysis of the blackout and what it means, Jonathan Shainin has you covered over at The New Yorker.) It's 90 degrees, hazy and thick with humidity in the late evening in Delhi as I write this, and I feel terrible for anyone stuck there still stuck without access to electrically powered cooling technology.


The world press took alarmed notice at those rendered powerless by the blackout, noting breathlessly that 600 million Indians - nearly a tenth of the world's people - were without power. As electricity service is restored, the media spotlight is already shifting elsewhere, and India will carry on as a country where several hundred million people (I've seen figures ranging  from 300 million to 450 million) live in homes with no electricity. Ever.


Which brings us to the enormous cleantech opportunity lurking in the shadows of India's shaky grid. It's one akin to what just happened to Indian telecommunications. When I was living in India in 1999, we heard many stories of multiyear waits for new landlines, which are zealously controlled by the monument to stasis that is India's state-owned telephone company. Mobile phones were nonexistent. For the vast majority of Indians, telecom was a rare and complicated affair that occurred only on public-access phones at retail kiosks. (I can report that in those days you would overhear the most extraordinary things being bellowed down creaky old telephone wires as you passed by.)


And today, barely a decade later? There are more than 900 million mobile phone accounts in India, and there's a whole electricity-biz sideline in providing recharging services to the millions of Indians who have mobile phones but no power outlets. India basically skipped twentieth-century telecom.


While India's grid was down, it was distributed power generation - little diesel generators like the one my old guest house had, as well as the huge generators that Indian businesses routinely include in their office and factory designs - that kept the country from grinding completely to a halt. Gigaom reports that Indian companies pay more than $0.45 per kilowatt hour for that emergency power, more than four times the standard rate.


The conventional wisdom - as expressed over at the New York Times' Dot Earth blog, among other places - is that only coal can possibly fill that gap. I'd suggest, however, that when power's going for rates similar to the steepest of the world's feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, we're looking at the world's most underserved solar market.


This is already well-understood in some corners of India. Reuters reported this week on an entire village powered by solar, and in my forthcoming book The Leap (already out in Canada), I describe similar village-scale efforts by the pioneers at a brilliant Indian solar business called SELCO, which uses microcredit loans to finance small solar arrays for village rooftops and market stalls. Piggybacking on these entrepreneurial efforts, the Indian government has committed to becoming a global solar powerhouse within a decade through its Jawarhalal Nehru National Solar Mission.


And here's another factor to consider: the Indian government is notoriously slow, sloppy and graft-ridden, especially when it comes to great big top-down megaprojects - a national grid upgrade, for example, capable of bringing hundreds of gigawatts of new coal power online. This is the landline version of India's energy future. Distributed, small-scale solar energy, on the other hand, looks a lot like a nation that's only ever known mobile phones. Imagine a kiosk recharging mobile phones for a few rupees a pop in a rural village, its awning capped in solar panels and the sky above unblocked by overhead wires of any sort. That would be a bright future indeed - for India and beyond.





Nov 2, 2012 - BEIJING: China today rolled out a red carpet to "Missile man" and ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam on his first visit to the country, proposing a joint collaboration for a space solar power mission with India and inviting him to teach at the prestigious Peking University here






5) Exploding Engine Could Reduce Fuel Consumption

Kevin Bullis,  Technology Review, November 2012


A new kind of engine under development, called a detonation engine, could save the military hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs every year. The technology, which military researchers are working on together with scientists at GE and other companies, could reduce fuel consumption at power plants, in ships, and on airplanes by as much as 25 percent. The Navy alone estimates that retrofitting its ships with the technology would reduce annual fuel costs by $300 to $400 million.


It could be over a decade before such engines are put to practical use. But DARPA, having finished detailed plans, is now in the middle of a $62 million program aimed at building the first full-scale demonstration of one version of the technology. (GE is involved in the project: see "GE's Risky Research.") Meanwhile, Navy researchers are using sophisticated simulations to advance a version of the concept that could make it far more practical.


Detonation engines would replace jet engines in airplanes and the gas turbines that run power plants and Navy ships. A set of rotating blades at the front of those engines compresses air, which is then mixed with fuel and combusted in a steady flame. That produces hot gases that do the work an engine is designed to do, whether it's turning a propeller, propelling a jet, or spinning a generator to produce electricity.


Improving the efficiency of conventional jet engines has involved finding ways to increase air compression. But the cost and complexity of that approach is making it harder to realize improvements. Detonation engines offer another way to achieve high pressures. In a detonation engine, fuel combustion generates a shock wave that raises pressures to levels 10 times those inside a conventional engine. "It's like an explosion or a bomb," says Kazhikathra Kailasanath, a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. "If you burn something in an open flame, the pressure stays the same as the surrounding pressure. The big difference with a detonation engine is going from that to a confined type of combustion, where the pressure goes up and the combustion occurs more rapidly."


The most highly developed form of detonation engine, which has been in the works for many years, is the pulse detonation engine, the type GE is developing. Whereas combustion occurs continuously in a conventional jet engine, pulse detonation involves setting off a series of detonations-say, 60 to  100 per minute.


The Naval Research Laboratory has another idea. It involves the use of a specially designed doughnut-like combustion chamber. One explosion is set off with a spark in one part of the chamber. As the shock wave propagates out from that explosion, the researchers keep it going by feeding in a precise mixture of fuel and air ahead of it. A handful of research groups have tested small versions of the engine that burn hydrogen. And the Navy researchers recently published a paper that shows the idea can work with hydrocarbon fuels like the ones that would be used in a ship, at least in detailed computer simulations. An advantage of this approach is that it produces a constant stream of hot gases, which more closely resembles what's seen in a conventional jet engine. It's also simpler, in that there's no need to engineer a system to create detonations at a high rate.


Kailasanath says that while people had dreamed of making detonation engines for decades, it's only the advent of advanced computer simulations that is making it possible to understand the fast reactions involved. Many challenges still remain, especiallly building engines that are strong enough to withstand the detonations. That's easier to do for stationary application like power plants, where the weight of the engine isn't much of an issue. But detonation engines for airplanes might require new materials. They also require careful engineering, says Narendra Joshi, advanced technology leader for propulsion technologies at GE. "The detonation is like a hammer blow," he says. "You have to be careful where that hammer blow goes." 



Future Energy eNews is provided as a public service from Integrity Research Institute, a Non-Profit dedicated to educating the public on eco-friendly emerging energy technologies.

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