Energian tuotanto, kenttägeneraattorit ja muut

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One such innovation uses commonly available, filtered windshield washer fluid — which contains the key ingredient methanol — to recharge Soldiers’ mission-critical electronic devices – such as radios and situational awareness aides – while on the go.

The tool, referred to as the Soldier Wearable Power Generator (SWPG), is a small and mobile fuel cell capable of rendering power through innovative thermal energy technology. Developed in partnership with UltraCell, the SWPG weighs 5 pounds, is designed to be soldier-worn on a backplate or carried in a backpack, and can run off either filtered windshield washer fluid or a commercial methanol/water mix.

When filtered properly, 1 pound of windshield washer fluid can provide enough energy to charge the equivalent of three Conformable Wearable Batteries that weigh 7.8 pounds; the SWPG’s refillable cartridges can be as small as 1 pound or as large as 24 pounds, depending on charging needs.

Beyond charging individual batteries, the SWPG is equipped to directly support tactical, software-based systems such as Nett Warrior. It can also feed battery-charging power scavengers, such as the Universal Battery Charger-Lite and hubs like the Integrated Soldier Power and Data System-Core. While the SWPG provides a 50-watt base load on its own, it can be paired with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to help fuel hybrid charging systems that offer increased power surges.

The apparatus, which does not get excessively hot or cause ventilation issues for the Soldiers wearing it, seeks to address the Army’s small unit power requirement of providing on-the-move recharging capabilities that extend battery life and minimize the need for frequent battery exchange or reliance on heavy generators.

The Army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center leads the service’s applied research and development in energy storage and power generation component technologies. “Army researchers are continually working on solutions to meet Soldiers' anticipated needs during this time of rapid modernization,” said Marnie Bailey, C5ISR Center’s Power Division Chief. “The SWPG is the latest example of using our in-house expertise to enable greater Soldier lethality.”

In addition to being compact, lightweight and more efficient than traditional recharging methods, the SWPG is also significantly quieter than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered generators — an important consideration in combat settings. The reception to the device has been positive, with Soldiers saying that the system does not interfere with their ability to conduct their operations.
 

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By taking advantage of the temperature difference between a solar panel and ambient air, engineers have made solar cells that can produce electricity at night.

Compared to the 100 to 200 watts per square meter that solar cells produce when the sun is shining, the nighttime production is a trickle at 50 mW/m2. “But it is already financially interesting for low-power-density applications like LED lights, charging a cellphone, or trying to power small sensors,” says Shanhui Fan, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University who published the work along with coauthors in Applied Physics Letters.

Fan and his colleagues harnessed the concept of radiative cooling, the phenomenon by which materials radiate heat into the sky at night after absorbing solar energy all day and that others have tapped before to make cooling paint and energy-efficient air-conditioning. Because of this effect, the temperature of a standard solar cell pointing at the sky at night falls below ambient air temperature. This generates a heat flow from the ambient air to the solar cell. “That heat flow can be harvested to generate power,” Fan says.
The team tested their prototype TEG-integrated solar cell for three days in October 2021 on a rooftop in Stanford, Calif. The demonstration showed a nighttime power production of 50 mW/m2. The team estimates that in a hotter, drier climate, the same setup could generate up to 100 mW/m2.
“In principle, it could be possible to engineer the thermal-emission property of the solar cell to optimize its radiative cooling performance without affecting solar performance,” Fan says. “Our theoretical calculations point to the possibility of a few hundred milliwatts or maybe even 1 watt.”
 

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In generations past, infantry officers’ primary needs were ammunition, an extra pair of dry socks and enough water in the field.

But soldiers today need vast stores of power just to manage daily operations, from the batteries that power the Samsung-based Nett Warrior system that connects soldiers to the electricity that keeps command posts and operations centers running.

Those needs are set to grow within the next decade as the Army moves toward using electric vehicles on the battlefield and weighs a variety of power sources for its facilities and bases. After all, the Army’s new climate strategy imagines a battlefield that depends less on fuel and more on electricity.

It envisions the service fielding hybrid electric tactical vehicles by 2035 and moving to all-electric tactical vehicles by 2050.

To get there, the Army is preparing its first-ever operational energy strategy, which is expected by the end of the year.

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That energy storage is a hot topic is hardly a surprise to anyone these days. Even so, energy storage can take a lot of different forms, some of which are more relevant to the utility provider (like grid-level storage), while others are relevant to business and home owners (e.g. whole-house storage), and yet other technologies live in this tense zone between utility and personal interest, such as (electric) vehicle-to-grid.

For utilities a lot of noise is being made about shiny new technologies, such as hydrogen-based storage, while home- and business owners are pondering on the benefits of relying solely on the utility’s generosity with feed-in tariffs, versus charging a big battery from the solar panels on the roof and using the produced power themselves. Ultimately the questions here are which technologies will indeed live up to their promises, and which a home owner may want to invest in.
 

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How do you bottle renewable energy for when the Sun doesn’t shine and the wind won’t blow? That’s one of the most vexing questions standing in the way of a greener electrical grid. Massive battery banks are one answer. But they’re expensive and best at storing energy for a few hours, not for days long stretches of cloudy weather or calm. Another strategy is to use surplus energy to heat a large mass of material to ultrahigh temperatures, then tap the energy as needed. This week, researchers report a major improvement in a key part of that scheme: a device for turning the stored heat back into electricity.

A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory achieved a nearly 30% jump in the efficiency of a thermophotovoltaic (TPV), a semiconductor structure that converts photons emitted from a heat source to electricity, just as a solar cell transforms sunlight into power. “This is very exciting stuff,” says Andrej Lenert, a materials engineer at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “This is the first time [TPVs have] gotten into really promising efficiency ranges, which is ultimately what matters for a lot of applications.” Together with related advances, he and others say, the new work gives a major boost to efforts to roll out thermal batteries on a large scale, as cheap backup for renewable power systems.

The idea is to feed surplus wind or solar electricity to a heating element, which boosts the temperature of a liquid metal bath or a graphite block to several thousand degrees. The heat can be turned back into electricity by making steam that drives a turbine, but there are trade-offs. High temperatures raise the conversion efficiency, but turbine materials begin to break down at about 1500°C. TPVs offer an alternative: Funnel the stored heat to a metal film or filament, setting it aglow like the tungsten wire in an incandescent light bulb, then use TPVs to absorb the emitted light and turn it to electricity.
For the new device, Asegun Henry, an MIT mechanical engineer, tinkered with both the emitter and the TPV itself. Previous TPV setups heated the emitters to about 1400°C, which maximized their brightness in the wavelength range for which TPVs were optimized. Henry aimed to push the temperature 1000°C higher, where tungsten emits more photons at higher energies, which could improve the energy conversion. But that meant reworking the TPVs as well.

With researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Henry’s team laid down more than two dozen thin layers of different semiconductors to create two separate cells stacked one on top of another. The top cell absorbs mostly visible and ultraviolet photons, whereas the lower cell absorbs mostly infrared. A thin gold sheet under the bottom cell reflects low-energy photons the TPVs couldn’t harvest. The tungsten reabsorbs that energy, preventing it from being lost. The result, the group reports today in Nature, is a TPV tandem that converts 41.1% of the energy emitted from a 2400°C tungsten filament to electricity.

Henry’s team sees ways to do even better. In the 8 October 2020 issue of Nature, Lenert and his colleagues reported a mirror able to reflect nearly 99% of unabsorbed infrared photons back into the heat source. Coupling the mirror with the MIT group’s improved TPVs could yield another big boost. “We think we have a clear path to 50% efficiency,” Henry says.
 

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Wires have a lot going for them when it comes to moving electric power around, but they have their drawbacks too. Who, after all, hasn’t tired of having to plug in and unplug their phone and other rechargeable gizmos? It’s a nuisance.

Wires also challenge electric utilities: These companies must take pains to boost the voltage they apply to their transmission cables to very high values to avoid dissipating most of the power along the way. And when it comes to powering public transportation, including electric trains and trams, wires need to be used in tandem with rolling or sliding contacts, which are troublesome to maintain, can spark, and in some settings will generate problematic contaminants.

Many people are hungry for solutions to these issues—witness the widespread adoption over the past decade of wireless charging, mostly for portable consumer electronics but also for vehicles. While a wireless charger saves you from having to connect and disconnect cables repeatedly, the distance over which energy can be delivered this way is quite short. Indeed, it’s hard to recharge or power a device when the air gap is just a few centimeters, much less a few meters. Is there really no practical way to send power over greater distances without wires?
 

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Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have uncovered critical new details about fusion facilities that use lasers to compress the fuel that produces fusion energy. The new data could help lead to the improved design of future laser facilities that harness the fusion process that drives the sun and stars.

Fusion combines light elements in the form of plasma - the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei - that generates massive amounts of energy. Scientists are seeking to replicate fusion on Earth for a virtually inexhaustible supply of power to generate electricity.

Major experimental facilities include tokamaks, the magnetic fusion devices that PPPL studies; stellarators, the magnetic fusion machines that PPPL also studies and have recently become more widespread around the world; and laser devices used in what are called inertial confinement experiments.

The researchers explored the impact of adding tungsten metal, which is used to make cutting tools and lamp filaments, to the outer layer of plasma fuel pellets in inertial confinement research. They found that tungsten boosts the performance of the implosions that cause fusion reactions in the pellets. The tungsten helps block heat that would prematurely raise the temperature at the center of the pellet.

The research team confirmed the findings by making measurements using krypton gas, sometimes used in fluorescent lamps. Once added to the fuel, the gas emitted high-energy light known as X-rays that was captured by an instrument called a high-resolution X-ray spectrometer. The X-rays conveyed clues about what was happening inside the capsule.

"I was excited to see that we could make these unprecedented measurements using the technique we have been developing these past few years. This information helps us evaluate the pellet's implosion and helps researchers calibrate their computer simulations," said PPPL physicist Lan Gao, lead author of the paper reporting the results in Physical Review Letters. "Better simulations and theoretical understanding in general can help researchers design better future experiments."

The scientists performed the experiments at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a DOE user facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The facility shines 192 lasers onto a gold cylinder, or hohlraum, that is one centimeter tall and encases the fuel. The laser beams heat the hohlraum, which radiates X-rays evenly onto the fuel pellet within.

"It's like an X-ray bath," said PPPL physicist Brian Kraus, who contributed to the research. "That's why it's good to use a hohlraum. You could shine lasers directly onto the fuel pellet, but it's difficult to get even coverage."

Researchers want to understand how the pellet is compressed so they can design future facilities to make the heating more efficient. But getting information about the pellet's interior is difficult. "Since the material is very dense, almost nothing can get out," Kraus said. "We want to measure the inside, but it's hard to find something that can go through the fuel pellet's shell."

"The results presented in Lan's paper are of great importance to inertial fusion and provided a new method of characterizing burning plasmas," said Phil Efthimion, head of the Plasma Science and Technology Department at PPPL and leader of the collaboration with NIF.

The researchers used a PPPL-designed high-resolution X-ray spectrometer to collect and measure the radiated X-rays with more detail than had been measured before. By analyzing how the X-rays changed every 25 trillionth of a second, the team was able to track how the plasma changed over time.

"Based on that information, we could estimate the size and density of the pellet core more precisely than before, helping us determine the efficiency of the fusion process," Gao said. "We provided direct evidence that adding tungsten increases both density and temperature and therefore pressure in the compressed pellet. As a result, fusion yield increases."

"We are looking forward to collaborating with theoretical, computational, and experimental teams to take this research further," she said.
 

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This revolutionary electric platform can be configured in multiple ways to include a single axle ATeMM paired with any lead vehicle, two ATeMMs connected in tandem paired to any lead vehicle, or a standalone remote/autonomously controlled tandem ATeMM.

Each ATeMM is an electric platform featuring a 200kW traction motor capable of outputting over than 5700Nm at the axle, a 47 kWh battery pack providing power to the motor and an optional Off-Board Vehicle Power (OBVP). In addition, the ATeMM offers 1,150 kg of payload. When two ATeMMs are connected in tandem, the total battery capacity is 94 kWh and the total payload is 2,300 kg.

Electricity stored in the ATeMM’s high voltage battery can provide power to both on or offboard vehicle systems while stationary or on the move, as well as power and torque to the ATeMM’s steerable drive wheels improving fuel economy and off-road performance of a connected lead vehicle. When in drive/power mode, the ATeMM transforms the vehicle system (leading vehicle + ATeMM) from a 4x4 into a 6x6 vehicle (or 8x8). This allows the ATeMM and its OBVP capability to be taken to remote locations that typical vehicle/trailer combinations cannot approach.

The ATeMM’s off-board vehicle power can provide power for command posts, communication systems, surveillance systems, tethered drones, counter UAS payloads, recharge soldier worn batteries, remote weapon stations, and augment a microgrid to reduce reliance on generators. When paired with a lead vehicle, the ATeMM’s on-board battery can power the electric motor to extend the range of the lead vehicle or propel the paired platform silently using the ATeMM’s electric motors instead of the internal combustion engine.

The ATeMM is the first of its kind, bridging the gap between legacy vehicles and the hybrid-electric technology the future requires. The ATeMM can also pair with Plasan’s Wilder to create a hybrid-electric 6x6 with 2,000 kg of combined payload and all the exportable power capabilities unique to the ATeMM.
 

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Kapteeni
NASA on aloittanut ohjelman avaruuteen sijoitettavan fissiovoimakoneen suunnittelemiseksi. Ensimmäinen sijoituspaikka olisi kuussa.
The contracts, to be awarded through the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, are each valued at approximately $5 million. The contracts fund the development of initial design concepts for a 40-kilowatt class fission power system planned to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment.
 
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