This is the second of my August posts that review some interesting and unusual tech news items about various subjects I’ve blogged about before.
Recently, there have been frequent announcements about developments in new and alternative, yet sustainable, energy.
Among other developments in more efficient batteries than the traditional lithium ion battery, there is the Ryden battery, whose producer says it is both environmentally sustainable (carbon, not rare earths), supports an electric car with 300 mile range and charges 20 times faster than lithium ion batteries. Their May announcement adds:
“Power Japan Plus today launched a new battery technology – the Ryden dual carbon battery. … The Ryden battery makes use of a completely unique chemistry, with both the anode and the cathode made of carbon. … [It is the] first ever high performance battery that meets consumer lifecycle demand, rated for more than 3,000 charge/discharge cycles.”
There’s a video explaining this more at http://youtu.be/mWPgnbRYNRM
And Modern Farmer magazine had a story this month about the use of store-bought spinach as fuel for cars. But before kids tell mom that spinach is too valuable to be used as food, read on:
In a recent study, an international team of chemists and physicists have taken the first “snapshots” of photosynthesis in action—the process plants use to convert light into chemical energy. … In experiments recently documented in Nature, the scientists shield spinach leaves they buy at the market in a cool, protected room where a sun-like laser activates photosynthesis. …
Using lasers, X-rays, and some spinach, the team has created the first-ever images of the water-splitting process that leads to plant energy. … Once scientists get a handle on exactly how photosynthesis happens, they’ll recreate it using other technology to create what’s called an “artificial leaf” which could convert solar rays into cheap, renewable fuel.
Finally, for situations that don’t require mobile power, there’s a new kind of wind turbine unveiled a couple of months ago by some Dutch engineers. Unlike the blades we see in wind farms, this turbine uses a screw-pump design, originally conceived of by the ancient Archimedes – which is also the name of the firm that makes this product.
For under US $6,000, the company says its Liam Urban Wind Turbine is as much as three times more efficient than traditional wind energy, perhaps the most efficient wind turbine yet. And it does all this without the also traditional whining noise. It kind of looks like a big pinwheel.
There’s a good video — recorded from a drone — of one of these in operating at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5t77JwkjUY
© 2014 Norman Jacknis