Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 31

May 12, 2023

Canada’s largest oilsands companies being investigated over allegations they made false environmental claims

Posted by in categories: business, energy, government

Canada’s largest oilsands companies under the umbrella of the Pathways Alliance are accused of greenwashing and making false environmental claims. via @torontostar

Greenpeace Canada alleges the consortium’s ad campaign, “Let’s clear the air,” is greenwashing — when a company makes false or misleading claims about the environmental attributes of their business.

“Our request to the Competition Bureau regarding the Pathways Alliance’s misleading ad campaign was accepted and has set off an official inquiry into the dubious advertising practices of the Pathways Alliance,” Greenpeace Canada’s senior researcher and writer, Nola Poirier, said in a statement. “We think the public deserves to be told the truth about the environmental harm caused by fossil fuel production, not fed misleading sound bites by industry.”

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May 12, 2023

Helion Energy will provide Microsoft with fusion power starting in 2028

Posted by in categories: energy, futurism

Helion, the clean energy company with its eye firmly on the fusion prize, announced a couple of years ago that it had secured $2.2 billion of funding to help it develop cleaner, safer energy at a commercial scale in November 2021. Today, it is starting to reap the fruits of its labor, announcing an agreement to provide Microsoft with electricity from its first fusion power plant, with Constellation serving as the power marketer and managing the transmission for the project.

Fusion has been the energy goal for over 60 years, as it produces next to no waste or radioactivity while processing and is far less risky than fission. But achieving the same process that occurs in stars has proved mighty difficult to contain, with it taking more energy to keep the reaction under control than it can generate. Progress has been slow and steady, with the potential rewards keeping companies such as Helion focused on the reaction. Helion has been working on its fusion technology for over a decade. To date, it has built six working prototypes and it expects its seventh prototype to demonstrate the ability to produce energy in 2024.

With this in mind, Helion’s plant is expected to be online by 2028 and has a power generation target of 50MW, or greater, with a one-year ramp-up period. While that might seem a long way into the future still, it’s significantly sooner than the projections had suggested.

May 11, 2023

Interdependent superconducting networks

Posted by in categories: economics, energy, internet, physics

In 2010 Prof. Shlomo Havlin and collaborators published an article in the journal Nature proposing that the abrupt electricity failure causing the famous 2003 Italy blackout was a consequence of the inter-dependency of two networks. According to Havlin’s theory the dependency between the power network and its communication system led to cascading failures and abrupt collapse. Havlin’s seminal work ignited a new field in statistical physics known as “network of networks” or “interdependent networks” and paved the way for understanding and predicting the effects of the interaction between networks.

The main novelty of Havlin’s model is the existence of two types of links that represent two qualitatively different kinds of interactions. Within networks, links between nodes describe connectivity such as or communication connections. Between networks, on the other hand, links describe dependency relationships in which the functionality of a node in one network depends on the functionality of a node in the other. The communication hubs need electricity and the electric power stations depend on communication control. This dependency leads to a cascading effect in which failure of a single node in one of the networks could lead to an abrupt breakdown of both networks.

Over the past decade or so since, Havlin, from the Department of Physics at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and others have applied this concept to a variety of abstract systems, such as the internet, road traffic, the economy, infrastructure, and more. But being a theorist, Havlin was unable to manifest the hypothesis on real experimental physical systems and thus the theory couldn’t be confirmed in controlled experiments, nor could it be implemented for device-type applications.

May 9, 2023

P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

Posted by in category: energy

It’s no secret that electricity bills are on the rise. With the P3 P4400 you can cut your energy costs and find out what appliances are actually worth keeping plugged in by finding power-wasting appliances. Simply connect any appliance to the Kill A Watt EZ, it will then assess how efficient each appliance really is.

May 9, 2023

Metamaterial Concrete: Reinventing the Most Widely Used Construction Material

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, sustainability

Engineers at the University of Pittsburgh are bringing concrete into the 21st century by reimagining its design. Concrete, which has its roots dating back to the Roman Empire, remains the most widely utilized material in the construction industry.

A new study presents a concept for the development of smart civil infrastructure systems with the introduction of metamaterial concrete. The research presents a concept for lightweight and mechanically-tunable concrete systems with integrated energy harvesting and sensing capabilities.

“Modern society has been using concrete in construction for hundreds of years, following its original creation by the ancient Romans,” said Amir Alavi, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt, who is the corresponding author on the study. “Massive use of concrete in our infrastructure projects implies the need for developing a new generation of concrete materials that are more economical and environmentally sustainable, yet offer advanced functionalities. We believe that we can achieve all of these goals by introducing a metamaterial paradigm into the development of construction materials.”

May 8, 2023

Voyager 2 Gets a Life-Extending Power Boost in Deep Space

Posted by in categories: energy, space

The NASA team hopes the iconic spacecraft and its twin can continue taking data beyond the solar system past their 50th birthdays.

May 8, 2023

Streacom’s new PC case can dissipate up to 600W of thermal energy without fans

Posted by in category: energy

Streacom and CALYOS are set to showcase the all-new fanless SG10 PC case at Computex 2023, which can passively cool and dissipate up to 600W.

May 8, 2023

Light Boosts Magnetism in a Crystal

Posted by in category: energy

The current work springs from a 2007 study in which Cavalleri and his team reported using terahertz laser pulses to distort a lattice into favoring a particular ground state [2]. The pulses excited specific, quantized vibrations—phonons—that changed the electronic state of a crystal, yielding a transient drop in electrical resistance of 5 orders of magnitude.

In their new experiment, the researchers selected three laser frequencies that were separately coupled to one of several possible lattice distortions in YTiO3. Using a magneto-optical pump-probe setup, they examined how each of the excitations affected the crystal’s structure and its magnetism. Specifically, they observed whether the polarization of the light reflected by the crystal changed when viewed in opposite directions. A clockwise–counterclockwise shift in the polarization of the reflected light would be a sure sign of time-reversal invariance, which happens only in the presence of magnetic order.

They found that ultrafast laser pulses tuned to a phonon frequency of 9 THz caused the YTiO3 crystal to fully magnetize just above zero K. They then showed that this order, instead of vanishing at 27 K, remained stable up to at least 80 K, the highest temperature that they measured. What’s more, the magnetism persisted for many nanoseconds, 6 orders of magnitude longer than the femtoseconds-long laser pulses. The team attribute this long-lasting state to the stability of the structural distortions induced by energy deposited by the laser.

May 4, 2023

Astronomers witness star devouring a planet: Possible preview of the ultimate fate of Earth

Posted by in categories: energy, space

With the power of the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI) on Gemini South, one half of the International Gemini Observatory, operated by NSF’s NOIRLab, astronomers have observed the first direct evidence of a dying star expanding to engulf one of its . Evidence for this event was found in a telltale “long and low-energy” outburst from a star in the Milky Way about 13,000 light-years from Earth. This event, the devouring of a planet by an engorged star, likely presages the ultimate fate of Mercury, Venus, and Earth when our sun begins its death throes in about five billion years.

“These observations provide a new perspective on finding and studying the billions of stars in our Milky Way that have already consumed their planets,” says Ryan Lau, NOIRLab astronomer and co-author on this study, which is published in the journal Nature.

May 3, 2023

DARPA is making Nikola Tesla’s dream of wireless energy a reality

Posted by in categories: drones, energy, military

“First of all, the environment has changed, and the need for more resilient energy transport methods for military operations is at a premium,” explained Col. Paul “Promo” Calhoun to Popular Mechanics in an exclusive interview. American forces operate globally like the special operations units he resupplied as a C-17 cargo pilot, from outposts in the South China Sea to the Iraqi desert. Since there is no simple way to power them, many forces use their radars, anti-drone microwave weapons, lasers, or other energy-intensive equipment. And with each passing year, the severity of the issue increases.

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