The Google Power Meter app proved to be so popular that Google announced its retirement Friday. Is it because people don't care about watching their watts, or because they trust Google about as far as they can throw an NFL lineman? Put in your two-cents-worth on our home-page poll question or on our Facebook page.
-- Leland Teschler, Editor
Some have been calling it the Chevy Volt of the sky. The modified HK36 Dimona features a drivetrain which, like the Volt, uses an internal combustion engine to drive a generator which, in turn, powers a Siemens electric motor spinning the prop. However, unlike the Volt, there is no controversy about whether the electric motor runs the prop full time: It does. READ MORE
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You'll soon add a new technical term to your vocabulary if researchers are right about semi-solid flow cells. These devices work a little like a fuel cell but also resemble a rechargable lithium-ion battery. The best part may be their promise of an inexpensive manufacturing process akin to that of ordinary storage batteries. READ MORE
Miniature Inertial Sensor Combines AHRS with Onboard GPS
MicroStrain's 3DM-GX3® -35 is a miniature, lightweight sensor (23 grams) featuring a high quality attitude heading reference system (AHRS) with an onboard GPS receiver, providing a cost effective, high precision solution for navigation applications. Click here for more details
A ferrous alloy recently created in the laboratory could eventually convert small temperature differences into usable energy. The effect is unlike the Seebeck effect in a thermoelectric material, which requires a much higher temperature difference to generate useful amounts of electrical energy. READ MORE
Forget everything you know about manufacturing LEDs if a group of researchers writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are right. They have come up with ways of devising LEDs so small they can't be cut from a wafer with a dicing saw; they have to be chemically etched apart. One use for them: To make flexible blankets of light. READ MORE
Solar cell economics equal that of conventional generators -- maybe
TH!NK City, we hardly knew ya
Next big thing in piezoelectrics: thin films
New way to evaluate energy harvesting
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Line of wind-turbine couplings withstand high misalignment while remaining torsionally stiff. Designed with composite disk packs (flex elements) at both ends of a center spacer, the packs provide high strength and flexibility.
The center spacers can be machined out of steel, composite glass fiber, or 6061-T6 aluminum engineered to withstand in excess of 100,000-Nm torque.
The flex elements electrically insulate the turbine’s generator from the gearbox, eliminating stray electrical current that can leak across the coupling and damage bearings. The coupling transfers lower reaction loads to the generator bearings. The composite material withstands temperature extremes from –40 to 70°C, moisture, and chemicals native to wind-turbine nacelles.
Ameriloc HLD (hydraulic locking devices) and Ameriloc MLD (mechanical locking devices) are wind-turbine shaft-locking devices for secure shaft/hub connections.
With larger diameters, such as 20.8 in., the HLD can be tensioned in a few minutes, compared to several hours required for a mechanical locking device. The hydraulic pump required for assembly can be a stationary unit, but a hydraulic hand pump can also be used for tensioning at difficult-to-reach places, such as wind-turbine turrets.
MLD units eliminate the need for keyways or splines, provide unlimited shaft positioning, and feature zero backlash, reduced shaft stress, and high contact pressure for greater torque. They also fit into smaller installations with standard assembly tools. Features include a torque range to 4,425,372 lb-ft, outer diameters to 57.1 in., and shaft diameters to 29.5 in.