Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 143

Oct 5, 2020

Was the moon magnetized by impact plasmas?

Posted by in categories: energy, space

The crusts of the Moon, Mercury, and many meteorite parent bodies are magnetized. Although the magnetizing field is commonly attributed to that of an ancient core dynamo, a longstanding hypothesized alternative is amplification of the interplanetary magnetic field and induced crustal field by plasmas generated by meteoroid impacts. Here, we use magnetohydrodynamic and impact simulations and analytic relationships to demonstrate that although impact plasmas can transiently enhance the field inside the Moon, the resulting fields are at least three orders of magnitude too weak to explain lunar crustal magnetic anomalies. This leaves a core dynamo as the only plausible source of most magnetization on the Moon.

The Moon presently lacks a core dynamo magnetic field. However, it has been known since the Apollo era that the lunar crust contains remanent magnetization, with localized surface fields reaching up to hundreds of nanoteslas or higher and spanning up to hundreds of kilometers (1). Magnetic studies of Apollo samples and the lunar crust indicate that the magnetizing field likely reached tens of microteslas before 3.56 billion years (Ga) ago (1, 2). The origin of the strongest lunar crustal anomalies and the source of the field that magnetized them have been longstanding mysteries.

Although magnetic fields in rocky bodies are commonly explained by convective dynamos in their metallic cores, a convective dynamo on the Moon may not have had sufficient energy to produce the strongest implied surface paleofields (3, 4). This may imply that a fundamentally different nonconvective dynamo mechanism operated in the Moon or that a process other than a core dynamo produced such magnetization.

Oct 5, 2020

World’s first direct observation of the magneto-Thomson effect

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

Applying a temperature gradient and a charge current to an electrical conductor leads to the release and absorbtion of heat. This is called the Thomson effect. In a first, NIMS and AIST have directly observing the magneto-Thomson effect, which is the magnetic-field-induced modulation of the Thomson effect. This success may contribute to the development of new functions and technologies for thermal energy management and to advances in fundamental physics and materials science on magneto-thermoelectric conversion.

The Seebeck effect and the Peltier effect have been extensively investigated for their application to thermoelectric conversion technologies. Along with these effects, the Thomson effect has long been known as a fundamental thermoelectric effect in metals and semiconductors. Although the influence of magnetic fields and magnetism on the Seebeck and Peltier effects has been well understood as a result of many years of research, the influence on the Thomson effect has not been clarified because it is difficult to measure and evaluate.

This NIMS-led research team observed heat release and absorption induced in an electrical conductor by simultaneously creating a temperature gradient across it, passing a charge current through the gradient, and applying a magnetic field. The team precisely measured temperature changes in the conductor associated with the heat release and absorption using a heat detection technique called lock-in thermography. As a result, the amount of heat released and absorbed was found to be proportional to both the magnitude of the temperature gradient and charge current. In addition, the team observed strong enhancement of the resultant temperature change when a magnetic field was applied to the conductor. The systematic measurements performed in this study demonstrated that the heat release and absorption signals detected under a magnetic field were indeed generated by the magneto-Thomson effect.

Oct 2, 2020

Huge Machine Captures Energy From Ocean Waves

Posted by in category: energy

Turbulent Past

Several companies and teams of scientists have tried to make wave energy a reality in the past, but as Greentech notes, many of their projects fell apart or ran out of money. But with renewed interest — and funding — in the industry, more companies are starting to test out their devices.

“We’re in that valley of death, climbing out of there at the moment,” naval architect Christopher Ridgewell, CEO of AW-Energy, a Finnish company working on a wave energy device called the WaveRoller, told Greentech.

Oct 1, 2020

Saudi Arabia Sends Blue Ammonia to Japan in World-First Shipment

Posted by in category: energy

The world’s first shipment of blue ammonia is on its way from Saudi Arabia to Japan, where it will be used in power stations to produce electricity without carbon emissions.

Saudi Aramco, which made the announcement Sunday, produced the fuel, which it does by converting hydrocarbons into hydrogen and then ammonia, and capturing the carbon dioxide byproduct. Japan will receive 40 tons of blue ammonia in the first shipment, Aramco said.

Oct 1, 2020

Lab turns trash into valuable graphene in a flash

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

World hunger is a persistent problem despite all of humanity’s progress in recent years. However, I believe that we have a real shot at defeating world hunge…

Scientists are using high-energy pulses of electricity to turn any source of carbon into turbostratic graphene in an instant. The process promises environmental benefits by turning waste into valuable graphene that can then strengthen concrete and other composite materials.

Sep 29, 2020

Why disordered light-harvesting systems produce ordered outcomes

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology, physics

Scientists typically prefer to work with ordered systems. However, a diverse team of physicists and biophysicists from the University of Groningen found that individual light-harvesting nanotubes with disordered molecular structures still transport light energy in the same way. By combining spectroscopy, molecular dynamics simulations and theoretical physics, they discovered how disorder at the molecular level is effectively averaged out at the microscopic scale. The results were published on 28 September in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The double-walled light-harvesting nanotubes self-assemble from molecular building blocks. They are inspired by the multi-walled tubular antenna network of photosynthetic bacteria found in nature. The nanotubes absorb and transport light energy, although it was not entirely clear how. “The nanotubes have similar sizes but they are all different at the with the molecules arranged in a disordered way,” explains Maxim Pshenichnikov, Professor of Ultrafast Spectroscopy at the University of Groningen.

Sep 29, 2020

Nissan’s Re-Leaf prototype is a mobile power supply for disaster response

Posted by in category: energy

Nissan’s all-electric Re-Leaf is an EV designed to provide a mobile power supply during disaster recovery.

Sep 28, 2020

NASA wants ideas for keeping Moon missions powered in the dark

Posted by in categories: energy, space

NASA is crowdsourcing ideas for energy systems that would keep Moon missions powered, even in the dark.

Sep 26, 2020

HyImpulse hybrid rocket motor roars to life for the first time

Posted by in categories: energy, space

HyImpulse completed the first hot-fire test of the company’s 16,800-pounds-force hybrid rocket motor on Sept. 15. Credit: HyImpulse.

VALLETTA, Malta — Launch startup HyImpulse successfully tested its 16,800-pounds-force hybrid rocket motor this month at German space agency DLR’s Lampoldshausen facility.

Headquartered in Neuenstadt am Kocher, Germany, HyImpulse is developing its three-stage SL1 launch vehicle designed to carry payloads of up to 500 kilogram to Sun-synchronous orbit. The light-lift launch vehicle will be powered by twelve 16,800-pounds-force hybrid rocket motors — eight on its first stage, and four on its second stage — plus four smaller but otherwise identical engines powering its third stage.

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Sep 25, 2020

DARPA: Research advances for near-zero-power sensors

Posted by in categories: electronics, energy

DARPA’s near-zero-power sensors have extended battery lifetimes from four weeks to up to four years, but more work needs to be done.