Making Waves: GE Unveils Plans To Build An Offshore Wind Turbine The Size Of A Skyscraper, The World’s Most Powerful
By Tomas Kellner – These turbines come with a 12-megawatt generator sitting 150 meters above the waves. Each will be capable of powering 16,000 homes and producing 67 gigawatt-hours per year, based on wind conditions on a typical German North Sea site — that’s 45 percent more energy than any other offshore wind turbine available today.
“We asked ourselves ‘What is the biggest rotor we would still feel comfortable with?’ and then we pushed ourselves some more,” Vincent Schellings recalls. “From a technology perspective, it seems like a stretch. But we know it’s doable. The beauty of the turbine is that it gives an edge over the competition. There’s nothing like this. Not even close.”
The size matters. The huge rotor allows the engineers to catch a lot more wind and ramp up what the industry calls “capacity factor.” This number describes the amount of power the turbine can produce per year at a given site, versus the energy it could have generated had it run full power all the time.
GE’s Haliade-X clocks in at 63 percent, “five to seven points higher than the competition,” Schellings says. “Basically, every point of capacity factor is worth $7 million per 100 megawatts for our customers. That’s a nice upside.” more>
Posted in Business, Economy, Energy, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, GE, Renewable energy, Technology, Turbine
Robot Monitors Chicken Houses and Retrieves Eggs
By John Toon – “Today’s challenge is to teach a robot how to move in environments that have dynamic, unpredictable obstacles, such as chickens,” said Colin Usher, a research scientist in GTRI’s Food Processing Technology Division.
“When busy farmers must spend time in chicken houses, they are losing money and opportunities elsewhere on the farm. In addition, there is a labor shortage when it comes to finding workers to carry out manual tasks such as picking up floor eggs and simply monitoring the flocks. If a robot could successfully operate autonomously in a chicken house 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it could then pick up floor eggs, monitor machinery, and check on birds, among other things. By assigning one robot to each chicken house, we could also greatly reduce the potential for introductions of disease or cross-contamination from one house to other houses.”
The autonomous robot is outfitted with an ultrasonic localization system similar to GPS but more suited to an indoor environment where GPS might not be available. This system uses low-cost, ultrasonic beacons indicating the robot’s orientation and its location in a chicken house. The robot also carries a commercially available time-of-flight camera, which provides three-dimensional (3D) depth data by emitting light signals and then measuring how long they take to return. The localization and 3D data together allow the robot’s software to devise navigation plans around chickens to perform tasks. more>
- Real-Time Captcha Technique Improves Biometric Authentication, John Toon
- Data Detectives Shift Suspicions in Alzheimer’s from Usual Suspect to Inside Villain, Ben Brumfield
- Why Bees Soared and Slime Flopped as Inspirations for Systems Engineering, Ben Brumfield
- Asteroid “Time Capsules” May Help Explain How Life Started on Earth, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Trio Selected to National Academy of Engineering, Jason Maderer/Kay Kinard
- Successful SpaceX Launch Clears Way for Historic Georgia Tech Spacecraft, Jason Maderer
- Hatchet Enzyme, Enabler of Sickness and of Health, Exposed by Neutron Beams, Ben Brumfield
- Neurons Get the Beat and Keep It Going in Drumrolls, Ben Brumfield
- Yeast Assay Helps Reveal Genesis of Amyloids and Prions, A. Maureen Rouhi
- Self-assembled “Hairy” Nanoparticles Could Give a Double Punch to Cancer, John Toon
- Manufacturing Disaster Assistance Program to help Georgia companies prepare for natural disasters, Ben Cheeks
- Disclosing Weaknesses Can Undermine Some Workplace Relationships, Josh Brown
- Maelstroms in the Heart Confirmed
- The Next Frontier in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Parmelee
- Air Force Grant Enables Quantum Simulation Using Cold Atoms, A. Maureen Rouhi
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Nature, Net, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Health, Industrial economy, Physics, Productivity, Technology
By Joseph E. Stiglitz – I’ve been attending the World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Davos, Switzerland – where the so-called global elite convenes to discuss the world’s problems – since 1995. Never have I come away more dispirited than I have this year.
The world is plagued by almost intractable problems. Inequality is surging, especially in the advanced economies. The digital revolution, despite its potential, also carries serious risks for privacy, security, jobs, and democracy – challenges that are compounded by the rising monopoly power of a few American and Chinese data giants, including Facebook and Google. Climate change amounts to an existential threat to the entire global economy as we know it.
Perhaps more disheartening than such problems, however, are the responses.
But, by the end of their speeches this year, any remaining illusion about the values motivating Davos CEOs was shattered. The risk that these CEOs seemed most concerned about is the populist backlash against the kind of globalization that they have shaped – and from which they have benefited immensely.
They may lack the candor of Michael Douglas’s character in the 1987 movie Wall Street, but the message hasn’t changed: “Greed is good.” What depresses me is that, though the message is obviously false, so many in power believe it to be true. more>
Posted in Banking, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Media, Nature, Net, Regulations, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Climate change, Financial crisis, Inequality, Internet, Leadership, World Economic Forum
Researchers Boost Efficiency and Stability of Optical Rectennas
By John Toon – The research team that announced the first optical rectenna in 2015 is now reporting a two-fold efficiency improvement in the devices — and a switch to air-stable diode materials. The improvements could allow the rectennas – which convert electromagnetic fields at optical frequencies directly to electrical current – to operate low-power devices such as temperature sensors.
Optical rectennas operate by coupling the light’s electromagnetic field to an antenna, in this case an array of multiwall carbon nanotubes whose ends have been opened. The electromagnetic field creates an oscillation in the antenna, producing an alternating flow of electrons. When the electron flow reaches a peak at one end of the antenna, the diode closes, trapping the electrons, then re-opens to capture the next oscillation, creating a current flow.
The switching must occur at terahertz frequencies to match the light. The junction between the antenna and diode must provide minimal resistance to electrons flowing through it while open, yet prevent leakage while closed.
“The name of the game is maximizing the number of electrons that get excited in the carbon nanotube, and then having a switch that is fast enough to capture them at their peak,” Baratunde Cola, explained. “The faster you switch, the more electrons you can catch on one side of the oscillation.” more>
- Four Georgia Tech Faculty Named IEEE Fellows, Jackie Nemeth
- Sticking to the Schedule was Difficult for Apollo Astronauts, Jason Maderer
- Using Data Mining to Make Sense of Climate Change, Jason Maderer
- Nanostructured Gate Dielectric Boosts Stability of Organic Thin-Film Transistors, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Researchers Awarded $7.5 Million from Office of Naval Research for Secure Stack, Tess Malone
- Hide or Get Eaten, Urine Chemicals Tell Mud Crabs, Ben Brumfield
- Want to Beat Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs? Rethink Strep Throat Remedies, Ben Brumfield
- Project Will Provide Reaction Kinetics Data for Deterministic Synthesis of Metallic Nanocrystals, John Toon
- WWII Code-Breaking Techniques Inspire Interpretation of Brain Data, Evan Lerner and Ben Brumfield
- One in Five Materials Chemistry Papers May be Wrong, Study Suggests, John Toon
- Piezoelectric Tiles Light the Way for Kennedy Space Center Visitors, John Tibbetts
- Gecko Adhesion Technology Moves Closer To Industrial Uses, Josh Brown
- Nanotexturing Creates Bacteria-Killing Spikes on Stainless Steel Surfaces, John Toon
- Perking Up and Crimping the ‘Bristles’ of Polyelectrolyte Brushes, Ben Brumfield
- Cold Suns, Warm Exoplanets and Methane Blankets, Ben Brumfield
- The Force is Strong: Amputee Controls Individual Prosthetic Fingers, Jason Maderer
- IMPAX Program Accelerates Technology Transition into the Navy, John Toon
- AAAS Honors Cola, Fox and Weitz as Fellows, Ben Brumfield
- A Startup for Every Student, Georgia Parmelee
- The Next Frontier in Industrial Engineering, Georgia Parmelee
Posted in Broadband, EARTH WATCH, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Nature, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Ecology, Georgia Tech, Manufacturing, Technology
By G. John Ikenberry – No one can be sure how deep the crisis of liberal internationalism runs. In what follows, I argue that, despite its troubles, liberal internationalism still has a future. The American hegemonic organization of liberal order is weakening, but the more general organizing ideas and impulses of liberal internationalism run deep in world politics.
What liberal internationalism offers is a vision of open and loosely rules-based order. It is a tradition of order-building that emerged with the rise and spread of liberal democracy, and its ideas and agendas have been shaped as these countries have confronted and struggled with the grand forces of modernity.
Creating an international ‘space’ for liberal democracy, reconciling the dilemmas of sovereignty and interdependence, seeking protections and preserving rights within and between states—these are the underlying aims that have propelled liberal internationalism through the ‘golden eras’ and ‘global catastrophes’ of the last two centuries.
Despite the upheavals and destruction of world war, economic depression, and the rise and fall of fascism and totalitarianism, the liberal international project survived. It is likely to survive today’s crises as well. But to do so this time, as it has done in the past, liberal internationalism will need to be rethought and reinvented. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Business, Climate change, Government, Internet, Leadership, Super regions, world order
By Samantha Gross – In the United States and around the world, energy production depends on support from local communities, what the industry calls “social license to operate.” Especially in a democracy, public opposition can make life very difficult for energy producers. Public support for energy resource development depends on trust—in the companies doing the development and in the regulatory structure that governs their activities.
When the Trump administration dismantles energy regulation, it runs the risk of undermining the trust that underpins domestic energy development. U.S. oil and gas production has grown dramatically in recent years, but we have also seen a public backlash.
The proposal to open nearly all U.S. offshore waters to drilling is an opening salvo in a battle likely to go on for some time. Many governors, even Republicans, are vehemently opposed to drilling in waters off their states.
But the hard push toward deregulation is likely to have consequences for public trust, not just in companies, but in government itself. If the public feels that the government is being run by and for the energy industry, accomplishing many important societal goals—like modernizing infrastructure and preventing the worst impacts of climate change—become much more difficult. more>
Posted in Business, CONGRESS WATCH, EARTH WATCH, Economy, Energy & emissions, History, Leadership, Media, Nature, Regulations, Science, Technology
Tagged Business, Climate change, Donald Trump, Ecology, Government, Regulations, United States