Saturday, May 04, 2002

Integrated Systems for Power Generation VIII -- After researchers at Oak Ridge Nuclear got greedy for funding and fudged some of their data, Integral Fast Reactors got put on the back burner. But really, what's not to like about a nuke that eats radioacive waste for breakfast and generates hydrocarbon-free power? Seems a much better bet than the Pebble Bed reactors that are being pushed for next generation nuclear.
Integrated Systems for Power Generation VII -- Instead of trying to GM food, how about doing a number on these critters? Research is already in full swing.
Integrated Systems for Power Generation VI -- The next generation of solar cells is here. Want to mass produce them?
Integrated Systems for Power Generation V -- Got waste fly ash and carbon? Pharoah-crete and other geo-polymers allow for the creation of novel materials from waste products.
Integrated Systems for Power Generation IV -- Got waste heat? Eneco's solid-state heat to energy conversion technology can help.
Integrated Systems for Power Generation III -- A seemingly forgotten technology in the West, Russian reseachers have been pluggin away at Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) for some time as have the Japanese. One wonders if magnetic advances such as the Halbach array, originally designed for Maglev, will drastically cut the costs eliminating the need for exotic materials.
Integrated Systems for Power Generation II -- From the semiconductor manufacturing industry comes Cathode Vapour Deposition, a means of breaking molecular bonds via plasma and depositing materials on thin films. Clever Aussies have adapted the method as a means of breaking apart the bonds between hydrocarbon pollutants such as CO2, NO2 and SO2. Just nuke it!
This blog is devoted to systems approaches to technology, finding out what the new paradigms are and what their societal impact will be. This is not an end point but a jumping off point. Here we still believe in the future. Welcome to New Earth.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Integrated Systems for Power Generation I -- Coal is (unfortunately) the new oil. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal, possessing vast reserves that incur little geopolitical cost. California alone is planning to build four new coal plants in the near future. Instead of the groteque Dickensian hellstacks of our forefathers, here is a new foundation for clean coal energy: if they're going to build them anyway, let them build one of these.