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Thermal

A land based OTEC facility at Keahole Point on the Kona coast of Hawaii

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) involves placing a heat engine between warm water collected at the ocean’s surface and cold water pumped from the deep ocean. Like a ball rolling downhill, heat flows from the warm reservoir to the cool one. The greater the temperature difference, the stronger the flow of heat that can be used to do useful work such as spinning a turbine and generating electricity. Researchers say that the temperature differential is around one degree Celcius greater on the leeward side of Hawaiian islands it is better suited for future ocean-based OTEC energy plants.  Read More

Multiple layers of graphene are being advanced as a new solution to fight overheating in e...

Overheating in laptops and electronic gadgets isn't just an annoyance to the end user — it's a major technological hurdle that puts a hard limit to the speed and energy efficiency of electronics. In a paper recently published on the journal Nature Materials, a team of scientists from the University of California found that multiple layers of graphene show strong heat conducting properties that can be harnessed in removing dissipated heat from electronic devices.  Read More

The SOLO-TREC autonomous underwater vehicle is deployed off the coast of Hawaii on an ocea...

We’ve covered a few underwater autonomous robots designed to make exploring the murky depths easier here on Gizmag, such as Snookie and the Talisman, but none that can generate its own power – until now. NASA, US Navy and university researchers have successfully demonstrated the first underwater vehicle to be powered entirely by natural, renewable, ocean thermal energy. Scalable for use on most robotic oceanographic vehicles, this technological breakthrough could usher in a new generation of autonomous underwater vehicles capable of virtually indefinite ocean monitoring for climate and marine animal studies, exploration and surveillance.  Read More

Johns Hopkins researchers are testing an infrared scanning system to detect melanoma (Imag...

Although melanoma is one of the less common types of skin cancer, it is responsible for the majority (around 75 percent) of skin cancer related deaths. Part of the problem is that current diagnoses rely on subjective clues such as size, shape and coloring of a mole. With the aim of providing an objective measurement as to whether a lesion may be malignant, researchers at John Hopkins University have developed a prototype non-invasive infrared scanning system that works by looking for the tiny temperature difference between healthy tissue and a growing tumor.  Read More

A laptop generating a little too much waste heat (Photo: secumem via Wikipedia Commons)

That heat emanating from your computer as you sit reading this article amounts to nothing more than wasted energy. And your computer is not alone. More than half of the energy consumed worldwide is wasted, most of it in the form of excess heat. But new research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates it might be possible to harvest much of the wasted heat produced by everything from computer processors to car engines and electric powerplants, and convert it into usable electricity. This kind of waste-energy harvesting might lead to mobile phones with double the talk time, laptop computers that can operate twice as long before needing to be plugged in to mains power, or energy plants that produce more electricity for a given amount of fuel.  Read More

The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response rifle or PHaSR is the predecessor to the Th...

Non-lethal weapons are intended to have reversible effects on personnel and material. They provide soldiers with another option when lethal force isn’t considered to be the best first response to a situation. One non-lethal weapon prototype that is being evaluated by U.S. military is the Thermal Laser System, which attaches to a rifle and uses a laser to create a heating sensation to repel adversaries. Unfortunately, current trials indicate that clothing nullifies the weapon's effectiveness.  Read More

Suncatcher technology has recently achieved the highest sun-to-grid conversion efficiency

Tessera Solar and Salt River Project have just announced that they'll partner to construct a 1.5 megawatt solar generation installation in Peoria, Arizona. The proposed output from the Maricopa Solar LLC project might not sound too impressive, but when combined with the news that the 60 dish installation represents a template for much bigger operations to come and will be the first commercial plant to use Suncatcher technology - things just got interesting.  Read More

SEM micrograph of Multi Walled Carbon Nanotube bundles at about 7220x magnification (Photo...

Current heat treatments for human tumors, such as radiofrequency, have shown promising results over the last couple of decades, even though they apply only a single-point of heat to the tumor. However, a new technique could prove much more effective by using nanotubes to apply heat throughout the tumor. Scientists found that by injecting the man-made, microscopic carbon tubes into tumors and heating them with a quick, 30-second zap of a laser, they were able to effectively kill kidney tumors in nearly 80 percent of mice.  Read More

A Metal-Organic Heat Carrier (MOHC) molecule that may help improve thermodynamic efficienc...

Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly, but it has previously been limited to geographic areas near tectonic plate boundaries. New technologies, such as that employed in the Raser low-temperature binary geothermal plant, promise to expand the opportunities for geothermal plants. Now scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have devised a method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources to further boost the possibility of virtually pollution-free electricity.  Read More

First-ever flexible ceramic heat shield material

Take note of the name ZircoFlex, because it will most likely, in our not-so-humble opinion, immediately become part of the lexicon and bag of tricks of every automotive, marine, aerospace and industrial manufacturer, fabricator, constructor, inventor and race engineer on the planet. We've previously written about Zircotec’s plasma sprayed ThermoHold coatings, which when applied to the surface of metallic and composite components can reduce surface temperatures by up to 33 percent. Until now, the process has had two major limitations being the need to treat parts directly using 14000ºK plasma sprays and the natural brittleness of ceramic coatings which has limited their use up to rigid substrates. Patent-pending ZircoFlex™ is a flexible ceramic heat shield material that will be available in a roll, offering a low-cost, easy-to-apply solution to the thermal protection of vital engine components. The product is set to revolutionise the use of ceramic materials for heat protection in a wide range of applications.  Read More

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