16 April 2014

What if U.S. Power Generation Could Be Many Times Cleaner...Safer...Cheaper?

   It stretches the imagination to understand the notion of building more coal fired plants. And yet this discussion comes up in the news with such polarizing vengeance. Makes one wonder what's behind it, what with all the cleaner technology available in America today. Coal-fired power generation is widely known to be scientifically backward, environmentally insane, and a major cause of respiratory disease around the world. In tandem with certain vested interests pressing for increased coal production, anti-nuclear advocates are fueling a campaign to all but dissolve the light-water nuclear reactor. This movement has been particularly driven by the Fukushima meltdown caused by the 2011 tsunami.
   But what if...? What if nuclear energy could be a hundred times safer, and its waste product required a containment period one thousand times shorter than present uranium byproduct?
   Historically speaking, liquid thorium fuel reactors using molten salt coolants enjoy a reputation for safe and efficient means of powering turbines than uranium based plants that have become the norm. This begs the question of why hasn't reactor technology that draws upon a much more abundant element been more aggressively developed? In whose best interest has it been to rely on elements many times harder to come by?  How is it that America and the rest of the modern world (except India) can march along blindly with nuclear technology that is based essentially on warmed over efficiency standards founded in the 1960s?
   Around the world an incredible resource of clean and efficient energy can be found in shallow deposits that are so abundant that digging for it would cost a fraction of what is spent to extract uranium or mine oil deposits. Thorium is an abundant metal that is packed with energy. It has been used in early versions of reactors yet by no accident has taken a backseat to what we harness today.  Decades ago when the United States committed to uranium fuel and pressurized-water reactors for its nuclear energy program, other viable technologies were set aside. Now there is a growing re-emergence of the liquid thorium fuel reactor for its potentially low cost to produce, and a near absence of toxic fission product, compared to that of uranium-based reactions.
   Developed further, thorium has the potential to offer additional forms of energy, including transportation applications. Kirk Sorensen is the founder of The Energy From Thorium Foundation, which seeks to educate members of the energy community through online forums. A graduate of Georgia Tech, Sorensen co-founded Flibe Energy Inc. with the intent of developing the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR), which he believes can someday replace old-school uranium reactors as well as outdated coal-fired power generation.
   Much more on this remarkably clean and abundant energy resource can be found at: Energy from Thorium. Truth is, advocates for outmoded, obsolete energy sources have less of a technical or political leg to stand on, thanks to innovative individuals like Kirk Sorensen.  PKB

18 March 2014

Cadillac's Ad a Win for Clean Energy!

Carefully crafted to raise your eyebrows...and mine, Poolside's arrogant millionaire confronts Americans with the notion of grappling for a lofty station in life through hard work, and (if you can imagine it) common sense choices about energy consuming vehicles.

For me, Mr. new green's branded attempts at snubbing sanctioned holidays abroad need not put the average joe off while a suggestive wink says Americans are of more grit than our European counterparts. This bit of Hollywood smear hardly needs to imply right-wing innuendos screaming "sit and spin," you liberal leftist fools!  Not when we factor in the implications of a bigger picture here.

Setting politics aside, the fact Cadillac is marketing to the rich with a cleaner more efficient "hybrid" for a Romney or a Rockefeller need not be a slap in the face to the driver of a Prius or other glorified golf cart engineered to save gas and protect our atmosphere. No, let us basque in the glory of atonement, as the blinders of nay-sayers shall peel back. Indulge thou whims in the opulence of clean, silent travel as real-time stock trades, hastened by the scent of elegant cigars in the privacy of luxury hybrids, may be transacted with pride...and a little less prejudice.

Fret not you commoner! GM's clever ad campaign can be viewed a timely accord to the high & mighty, crafted to bridge the ideological gulf that so relentlessly divides America today. Is that "compromise" I smell in the air? Next time you plug in at the local Walmart or Costco, there's no telling what sort of company might pull up along side you to share the grid. Like Plug-ins, wallets too come in all motivations and persuasions.

So, I say to those of us towing the line to bring clean alternatives fully into the 21st century, despite destructive politics and collapsing alliances across the aisle, rise up and breathe easier! Mega corporations are now rolling up their sleeves and spending millions to perform marketing miracles.  PKB

23 January 2014

Green Giant on Our Horizon!

Thank God almighty, free at last!  Those famous words could be echoed by millions if one man gets his way. The free energy world is buzzing again...and will excite more energy thinkers than electrons around the sun January 28, 2014.  That is the date Dr. Randall Mills has set to demonstrate the impact of his Blacklight Power system, expected to become a huge game changer in the field of large scale electricity production.

The firm located in New Jersey has been developing and testing a new method of extracting electrons from hydrogen atoms for over two decades. Now it appears the moment has come to share some amazing results.

For many years physicists have postulated that water contains an enormous power density. Yet until now nobody has known how to tap into it in a way that yields significant energy output.

This may be no longer be the case if Randall Mills can show his audience of top scientists how the energy stored in and around hydrogen (a element of water) is cracked.  Hydrinos are the key elements in this process, according to Mills.  Several years ago he discovered hydrogen atoms can be reduced into smaller forms, while each phase of this dwarfing transformation produces a greater energy burst of electrons.

Eventually (later this year) Dr. Mills hopes to harness the power density of hydrogen through the use of a conversion device the size of a household microwave oven to produce a constant flow of electricity, said to have the capacity to supply 10 megawatts of electricity at a cost of about $10/kw. That would provide power to about 10,000 homes at a mere fraction of the capital cost of power generation via any energy source in operation today!

The company's presentation (Tuesday) aims to demonstrate how a high proportion of electrical output is possible by drawing hydrodynamic energy from a minute volume of water.  In fact, in one interview, Mills estimates that one liter of water packs enough energy to supply the entire power grid in the U.S.A. Within a few years he expects this energy to be routinely extracted from water using the technology he is about to unveil.

The company has received $80 million in funding support from sources around the world. It will attempt to revolutionize domestic energy production by "localizing" electricity supplies. In doing so, the system puts out DC current and eliminates the need for alternating current, which makes long distant power transmission possible under the current century-long model.

You can learn more about Randall Mills and his research by visiting the company at Blacklight.Power.com.
Thanks to Pure Energy System Network (PESN), news such as this is made available to the public. Special thanks to New Energy Systems Trust (NEST) for hosting related articles and coverage on behalf of Dr. Randall Mills.    PKB

17 January 2014

Is Gasoline Now Obsolete?

They've done it!  NASA, with a little help from a young mineralogist in Seattle, has created the ultimate fuel, many times cheaper than gasoline. The breakthrough came a midst the murder of a Pakistani man laboring to crack the coding inside a dusty lab disguised as a seismic monitoring station in Seattle's old Underground.

 For decades we've anticipated the arrival of a water-based fuel formula that could power the nation's thirst for combustible energy.  Though highly complex as an amalgam of earth and lunar minerals, remarkably simple when mixed with saltwater in exponentially large volumes, Aqualene is proven to burn clean with incredible flame speed.

Meanwhile gasoline has peaked and sustainable reserves are in serious question. Price is another matter all together. Aqualene expects to sell for pennies on the dollar, leaving it a vulnerable mark for a heavily vested petroleum industry.

For all of us Energy Junkies, a deluge of breakthroughs in the "green" sector pour into our inboxes daily. We satisfy our insatiable appetite for solar, wind, hydrogen, and other clean-running schemes to cut global warming; gallantly hurling ourselves toward a smarter tomorrow.  But how often do we put down the e-news and indulge in a good energy novel?  The fact is that few novels in the clean energy arena even exist.

Aqualene: High Adventure to Clean Energy delivers the action and intrigue most energy enthusiasts need to balance out the stresses of life: A real-world scenario of shifting energy supplies, coupled with international espionage, scandal, and danger. Often dubbed a David & Goliath story, Aqualene faces off with a corrupt energy sector that is struggling to survive in a time when the prize goes to the blockbuster to replace outmoded fuels.

Aqualene's digital e-book version has just gone live and can be downloaded for a few dollars... if one misses the FREE promotion that is expected to run on Amazon Kindle this weekend. Either way, the story is a well-deserved break from the daily grind of work at the office. Visit Amazon or Barnes & Nobles for two highly popular e-book formats to download.  Be sure to take time to review Aqualene for the benefit of other e-junkies needing a break out there! Jan. 18, 19 download Aqualene FREE at Amazon's Kindle Store. PKB

11 January 2014

Get a Charge out of Organic Energy Storage!

A host of new concepts have emerged on the battery scene to enhance electrical "storage". Some are boldly moving away from chemicals and precious metals that have traditionally made batteries work.

    Since the "pile" was invented in Europe in the 1800s engineers have developed and built batteries on the principle that metals and chemicals must be employed to store electrical energy. 

   Not so, says a team at Harvard!

   Using the electro-chemistry of organic molecules, scientists developed a rechargeable battery that can be viewed as a major breakthrough for renewable energy. The Harvard team believes the battery could be applied on par with a city's power-grid. 

   The technology harnesses naturally occurring organic compounds identified as quinones, replacing electro catalysts taken from precious metals such as platinum. Instead, the quinones molecules are taken from green plant matter and capture electrical energy, ideally in a flow type battery.  The use of flow battery technology has arisen in the past decade but has always relied on a chemical substance that passes over metal plates.  Here we are seeing an effective storage device operating at a fraction of the cost per kilowatt hour.

    The cost of metal (flow) batteries can run upwards of $700 per kilowatt/hour as opposed to around $30 per kilowatt/hour for organic flow batteries. Cost to produce a battery is increasingly a game changer as new technologies compete for market recognition. Moreover, the impact (or lack of it) on the earth's ecology can now factor into the equation with resounding resonance.

   Harvard's team claims its technology can replace the vanadium based batteries that are currently used in a few large scale energy storage facilities around the world , often at solar and wind generating plants. The quinone-hydroquinone reaction can recharge 1000 times faster than conventional vanadium based flow batteries, according to the team.  Through a number of tests (up to 100 charge/discharge cycles) the organic storage device shows little or no degradation.

   Despite the optimism, the use of bromine as a quinone can be hazardous if leaked into the environment, prompting further development to replace it with a different quinone. 

   Breakthroughs such as this are often featured on this blog to help spread the wealth of knowledge that is rapidly propelling us toward sustainability. In the process I hope to promote a clear and accurate perspective on real world solutions in at time of deceptive politics and misinformation tossed upon the public.  PKB

24 May 2013

Who was Nikola Tesla?

Ever wonder what life would be like if we were stuck in the 19th Century? 
Inefficient DC power sources for a very limited choice of under-powered electrical devices in the home and business. Without Nikola Tesla, there's a chance much of the world would be living life in the ways of yesterday.  For it was Tesla who explored and developed most energy-based methods of modern convenience we know today. If Edison got his way, AC would have been chucked aside in lieu of conventional status quo.  True, there were other great minds at work in Tesla's time, but few had perpetuated the innovations for which we now credit to him.
The most intriguing example is Tesla's energy transmission tower that roved we could possibly relay electrical energy through the airwaves.  Yes, wireless energy transmission; an innovation we don't even use today...for reasons beyond a mere lack of developed technology that potentially could make efficient energy transmission a reality.  
In 1891, Nikola Tesla  lectured to members of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in New York City, where he held in each hand a gas discharge tube, a pilot version of today's fluorescent bulb. The tubes were not connected to any wires, but could glow brilliantly during the demonstration. Tesla explained to the awestruck members that the electricity was being transmitted through the air by two metal panels situated at opposite ends of the stage. He lectured on how this concept might increase the scale to transmit wireless power and information across the world. Tesla's audience was engrossed but bewildered with such a profound vision.
Tesla worked on an experimental 142 foot tower built atop his lab in Colorado Springs. Highly conductive metals formed a small dome on top and was wired into a huge coil inside the lab.  The experiment's aim would seek to transmit electrical charges on scales with lightning strikes. The night of his attempt to power up the tower, connected to the town's electrical generator, the sky lit up an eerie blue as the township's home went dark, killing the generator.  While the draw had been overwhelming, Tesla realized he had been successful in transmitting electrical energy through the atmosphere. 
News spread quickly and in a few short years the Wardenclyffe Tower (under Tesla's direction) was under construction in Long Island, New York, funded in part by JP Morgan who'd seen the potential for controlling world communications at an enormous profit after reading an article on Tesla's works in Century Magazine.  In 1901 the stock market crashed, slowing the flow of much needed cash down to a trickle.  Meanwhile, other wireless communications breakthroughs (based on Tesla's own patents) were surfacing at simplified levels, though veered away from the promise of generating significant electrical energy through the atmosphere.  Around such time, JP Morgan realized that wireless generation meant free energy available to the public would yield little or no return on his investment; no measurable sales of produced energy thus no profits in a huge untapped energy market. Tesla's tower was suddenly viewed as a threat and a liability to vested interests in mega power distribution (the grid) as we know it today.
Morgan had invested huge amounts in coal and oil and needed to turn those investments into money by turning them into electricity and metering the electricity out to the public through wires. 
More than anyone, Nikola Tesla is often credited as the father of our current civilization. We could not exist as we do without the innovations he discovered and developed: alternating current, induction motors, transformers, florescent lighting, and robotics are only some of the technologies (many incorrectly attributed to others) that we enjoy everyday. For his trouble Tesla was nearly wiped from our history books and died an old man, isolated and frustrated.  
The challenge of bringing clean and efficient energy lives on in such tales as Aqualene: High Adventure to Clean Energy.  The story (much of it set in the Northwest) is a realistic fiction plot that pits a young innovative scientist against powerful vested interests. 

14 February 2013

Strong X Prize Candidate Could be Modified Prius!

The X Prize Foundation headquartered in California inspires and encourages a host of innovative thinkers to develop, test, and submit their ideas for solving world problems.  Energy and fuel efficiency is a rather popular category that attracts a wide range of automotive engineering teams every year.  While an increasing percentage of submissions are vehicles exclusively propelled by electric powertrains, a fair number of entries burn fuels at soaring rates of efficiency.  It is in this arena that my interests persist.  Why?  The fact remains gasoline is going to be around for a while and manufacturers will continue to produce internal combustion engines.  Granted, the efficiency of the ICE is slow to improving, yet its role as a singular power plant, or one coupled with electrics for hybrid applications, will not go away anytime soon, particularly as new oil reserves are sought after beneath U.S. soil.
If you've ever seen the X Prize entries that are deemed "highly" efficient as prospective production vehicles, you'll admit that the general public is not likely to own one for town commuting, let alone a family car on a long road trip.  Feather-weight gas or electric platforms that are radically engineered for mega-mileage figures are often far under-powered and too thin-skinned, making them impractical for safe street use.  Meanwhile, such innovative wonders offer cutting edge technology to listening automakers.
Circumstance takes us to a prime candidate with over a decade of daily commuter use at over 3 million units sold.  Not to be a- plugging for Toyota, but it was their visionaries who brought us the ideal (and most marketable) vehicle platform with which to work, with ample space for radical reform in extending fuel-efficiency. Based on the premise that the internal combustion engine runs most efficiently on vapors and not liquid fuel, let us consider how a Prius is a venerable competitor in the race for 100+ MPG, with a few minor upgrades.
A stock (unmodified) Toyota Prius coming off the assembly line gets anywhere from 40 to 60 MPG on the open road; impressive data against most other compact cars on the road, but still a ways from the coveted X Prize!  What would it take to turn a Prius into a million dollar winner?  Remember, fuel vapors burn completely; a condition that does not exist on any production car in the world!  No poisonous emissions leave the engine when running on one-hundred-percent gasoline vapors.  As for this application, the system I'm speaking about works in concert with the vehicle's existing fuel system.  A vapor induction is added and used almost exclusively at certain engine loads, but not at all the time.  Because of air management issues, we're a ways from the absolute-vapor scenario, but this one is a significant leap in the right direction that would take us into 100+ MPG territory.
Under high loads, both systems are working, the stock system running very lean. Under most driving conditions load conditions are low or medium, leaving numerous opportunities to burn vaporized gasoline instead of liquid gasoline. And so here's where the Prius earns my "Best Candidate" award:  The ICE in these vehicles operates at a narrow RPM band; between 1200 and 2500 RPM in most units.  The electric propulsion system compensates for varying load demands and allows the engine to cruise along under a pretty darn steady load...and with smaller fluctuations in shaft speed than conventional engines.  These are "ideal" conditions for a vapor induction that thrives on steady/stable air pressures.
What about the fuel savings?  Efficiency comes as the car's main fuel system can be electronically leaned out when the vapor system is active, providing ample fuel-energy to propel the engine. That means for most of the vehicle's driving conditions (when the engine is actually running) it is breathing vapors instead of sipping liquid fuel at the injectors.  The physics one must understand at this point is that engine efficiency rises dramatically when gasoline is vaporized before it enters the engine. And that is how vapor induction works.
Admittedly, there is some work to be done to create the right air management system so that the vaporized fuel is available at a steady flow during load fluctuations.  The point here is that while people are out there struggling to develop vapor systems for conventionally powered vehicles, the Prius is an easier candidate and should make it to the finishline ahead of those accommodating idle to full throttle conditions.  As a Prius owner developing a vapor system of my own, I intend to publish more as new details evolve.  I still like to think that Aqualene is a better choice than gasoline.  PKB