By Campbell Simpson – Tesla is building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in South Australia — an installation 60 per cent larger than any other large-scale battery energy storage system on the planet.
The battery pack’s 100MW/129MWh capacity will top the world in terms of its size, solidly beating out the world’s current largest installation — a 80 megawatt-hour substation at Mira Loma in Ontario, California also built using Tesla batteries. The 129MWh project in SA will also use Tesla’s PowerPack 2 commercial/utility-grade battery systems, and will be 60 per cent larger than the California installation, with the capacity to power 4000 homes in the region for an entire day in case of blackout.
It will be installed at the Hornsdale Wind Farm, a string of wind turbines stretching 8km and 24km north of Jamestown in South Australia. more> https://goo.gl/A5v5aV
Laser Focus: See How One 3D-Printing Pioneer Is Heating Up Industry
By Tomas Kellner – Frank Herzog is the founder and CEO of Concept Laser, a pioneering maker of 3D printing machines. Concept Laser’s printers can produce precise hip joint replacements and surgical tools as well entire engine blocks. Last fall, GE acquired a majority stake in Herzog’s company, and Concept Laser is now part of GE Additive, a new GE business dedicated to supplying 3D printers, materials and engineering consulting services.
In 2016, Concept Laser sold more than 150 , and Hund says 750 Concept Laser machines are in service worldwide. With GE Additive, these numbers will grow even faster. In fact, Herzog and his colleagues are now helping GE design the world’s largest 3D printer for metals.
Researchers Create 3-D Printed Tensegrity Objects Capable of Dramatic Shape Change
By Ke Liu, Jiangtao Wu, Glaucio H. Paulino, and H. Jerry Qi – A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a way to use 3-D printers to create objects capable of expanding dramatically that could someday be used in applications ranging from space missions to biomedical devices.
The new objects use tensegrity, a structural system of floating rods in compression and cables in continuous tension. The researchers fabricated the struts from shape memory polymers that unfold when heated.
“Tensegrity structures are extremely lightweight while also being very strong,” said Glaucio Paulino, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “That’s the reason there’s a heavy amount of interest right now in researching the use of tensegrity structures for outer space exploration. The goal is to find a way to deploy a large object that initially takes up little space.” more> https://goo.gl/bVJHjf
- Boeing, Georgia Tech Unveil New Research Center, Laura Diamond
- Selfies: We Love How We Look and We’re Here to Show You, Jason Maderer
- Drug Design Strategy Boosts the Odds Against Resistance Development, John Toon
- Wildfires Pollute Much More Than Previously Thought, Ben Brumfield
- Robot Uses Deep Learning and Big Data to Write and Play its Own Music, Jason Maderer
- Mind Over Muscles: How the Brain Hinders Individual Muscle Control, Jason Maderer
- Rattling DNA Hustles Transcribers to Targets, Ben Brumfield
- New Computing System Takes Its Cues from Human Brain, Josh Brown
- Researchers Uncover New Instruction Manual to Repair Broken DNA, Drexel University
- New Transplant Technology Could Benefit Patients with Type 1 Diabetes, John Toon
- Social Media Study Identifies Mental Health Culture at Top-Ranked Campuses, Jason Maderer
- Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirmed for Third Time, Jason Maderer
- Startups Have a New Way to ‘Engage’ With Companies, Georgia Tech, Laura Diamond
Posted in Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged 3-D printing, Drug design, drug resistance, Georgia Tech, Research, Selfie, Tensegrity structures, Wildfire
By Vanessa Bates Ramirez – “Our assumptions about how economies function no longer seem to hold true entirely because of exponential technology.”
This claim came from entrepreneur and Singularity University faculty member, Amin Toufani.
In what he calls exponential economics or “exonomics,” Toufani breaks the tech-driven changes happening in the modern economy into seven pillars: people, property, production, price, power, policy, and prosperity.
Toufani pointed out that exonomics’ ultimate goal is to connect people and prosperity.
“Technology is empowering all of us, and people seem to be doing what companies used to do and companies seem to be doing what governments used to do,” Toufani said.
The democratizing effect of information technology is enabling small teams to have an outsized impact. He showed a graph of collaboration app Slack’s user growth, and it’s practically a vertical line. A few years old, Slack reaches millions of users, many of whom pay for the service, and was recently valued upwards of $9 billion.
The kicker? Slack was created by a team of 12 software developers. And it’s far from the only such example. more> https://goo.gl/wpBRPz
Posted in Banking, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy, Net, Technology
Tagged Exonomics, Gig Economy, Inequality, Price, Production, Productivity, Prosperity
By Zeeya Merali – There’s an established principle in quantum theory that pairs of particles can spontaneously, momentarily pop out of empty space. Alex Vilenkin took this notion a step further, arguing that quantum rules could also enable a minuscule bubble of space itself to burst into being from nothing, with the impetus to then inflate to astronomical scales.
Our cosmos could thus have been burped into being by the laws of physics alone. Many cosmologists have made peace with the notion of a universe without a prime mover, divine or otherwise.
.. flipping the problem around, I started to wonder: what are the implications of humans even considering the possibility of one day making a universe that could become inhabited by intelligent life? As I discuss in my book A Big Bang in a Little Room (2017), current theory suggests that, once we have created a new universe, we would have little ability to control its evolution or the potential suffering of any of its residents. Wouldn’t that make us irresponsible and reckless deities?
We will not be creating baby universes anytime soon, but scientists in all areas of research must feel able to freely articulate the implications of their work without concern for causing offence. Cosmogenesis is an extreme example that tests the principle.
Parallel ethical issues are at stake in the more near-term prospects of creating artificial intelligence or developing new kinds of weapons, for instance.
As Anders Sandberg put it, although it is understandable that scientists shy away from philosophy, afraid of being thought weird for veering beyond their comfort zone, the unwanted result is that many of them keep quiet on things that really matter. more> https://goo.gl/GjCJpd
Posted in Book review, Education, Energy, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Black hole, Cosmogenesis, Physics, Theology, Universe, Wormhole
The Power Of Data: How Software Is Helping Keep Iceland’s Lights On
By Julie Khoo – There are many reasons to visit Iceland. This former Viking stronghold is now the most peaceful country and home to the happiest and most literate people in the world — one in 10 Icelanders on average reportedly has published a book.
A nation of glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls, Iceland is also, at least metaphorically, one of the greenest places, generating all of its electricity from renewable sources such as hydropower and geothermal energy.
The grid receives electricity from generators that move at a constant frequency, just like the merry-go-round. When a power-hungry load suddenly disconnects from a high-inertia grid with lots of generators, the grid frequency will barely change.
But when a generator or load goes offline in a low-inertia grid like the one in Iceland, Landsnet has to act quickly to return the frequency to its normal level.
This can be a real headache. If the frequency drops or climbs too quickly, it can knock down parts of the grid and cause power failures. It can even cause a geothermal power station to automatically disconnect from the grid to protect the equipment from large stresses. Dramatic changes in frequency can also create “electrical islands” as different areas on the grid react to the changes. This can lead to blackouts. more> https://goo.gl/LyyN60
Posted in Broadband, Economic development, Economy, Energy, Nature, Net, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Ecology, Electrical grid, GE, Geothermal energy, Industrial economy, Technology
By Alwyn Scott – The $4 billion GE has spent on developing digital products – ranging from tiny sensors in jet engines to augmented reality and software that can crunch large volumes of data – is on the scale of investments Google and Facebook Inc (FB.N) made to build their businesses, Bill Ruh, CEO of GE’s digital division, told Reuters.
Now that GE has shed non-essential operations, including most of its large financial unit, its fortunes will rise or fall depending on whether that investment delivers.
GE’s technology – and similar systems by IBM, Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE) and others – is a hot new battleground in manufacturing.
The companies promise they can spot problems before machines break down, yield cost savings of 30 percent or more, and raise labor productivity that has slowed sharply in recent years.
The company has spent $5 billion setting up new U.S. factories in the last five years. As it now adds digital technology to its plants, it needs fewer, and higher skilled, workers than in the past.
“We’re going to have a smarter worker,” Jeff Immelt said in an interview. “We’re not going to have as many workers.” more> https://goo.gl/MDXuzw
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy, How to, Leadership, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Capital, Industrial economy, Internet, Productivity, Technology
Dam Powerful: These Engineers Are Connecting Hydropower To The Internet
By Tomas Kellner – There are many large waterways in North America. Then there’s the Saint Lawrence River, whose lumbering current links the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.
Montreal, Quebec’s business capital with 1.7 million inhabitants, fits on an island sliced off from the mainland by the waterway and its tributaries. Just west of the city, the river’s surface is so wide it could pass for a sea.
This abundance of water is a clue to why Quebec has become one of the world’s leaders in carbon-free energy. Lakes and rivers here pack enough power to supply the 7 million Quebecois with 95 percent of the electricity they need.
“This country and this region really know how to run hydropower well,” says Anne McEntee, vice president for renewable energy services at GE Renewable Energy. “But there’s no reason why you cannot get even better. For decades, advances in hydro have primarily been on the physical side of things, being able to get more out of your physical assets through redesign and engineering. We are now looking at digital applications as the next advance.”
“Our new software allows us to observe how the physical components behave in real time.”
McEntee says the insights allow customers to adapt the turbine’s operations to the specific conditions on-site, rather than strictly follow the manual. “We can take into account the real water and flow conditions versus what it was designed to do,” she says. “This allows us to make use of the error tolerance and get more power when we need it, like when the price is favorable. We are constantly looking for opportunities to squeeze out 1, 2, 3 percent of efficiency.” more> https://goo.gl/PTA8xd
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Energy, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Carbon-free energy, Ecology, GE, Productivity