Future Energy eNews

When we are talking about high voltage demonstrations of wireless power transmission, a Wardenclyffe Tower experiment attempting to reproduce Nikola Tesla’s 100-year old setup on Long Island is an exciting event to witness. Here is a short video with a high power mega Tesla Coil (8 minute video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdZIuB9K6zE from the LightningonDemand team. What a powerful show. Maybe we will have to invite them to next year’s TeslaTech conference in New Mexico www.teslatech.info
Our Story #1 is a real breakthrough with a demonstration of the first room temperature superconductor at 59°F. Though it works only at high pressure still makes this a landmark discovery by the University of Rochester, as reported in Nature magazine https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2801-z .
Story #2 shows us that better Lithium-ion batteries are on their way. Mercedes has 25% higher density with new solid-state batteries mounted on the roof of their busses. It is still using lithium but a more complex molecule called a “sulfide superionic conductor”, which reaches supercapacitor rates as reported also in Nature Energy magazine http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/NENERGY.2016.30 .
Story #3 could have been the lead story this month since it also has a breakthrough which, in my mind, offers even more potential benefit for long-term electrical energy production with a compact, solid-state circuit. Using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), the University of Arkansas has harvested the energy demonstrated by free-standing graphene as it demonstrates constant out-of-plane random movement. Surprisingly, they propose that using a single diode in the circuit to rectify the current would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics but having TWO diodes back to back somehow overcomes that objection since it allows the energy to go in both directions as seen in their February 2020 Physical Review E article However, this is just what Nikola Tesla did to bring AC (alternating current) to the market and it shows how to double the output of such a system in a practical way. While the February publication is a nice short one, their October 2020 Phys. Rev. E “Fluctuation-induced current from freestanding graphene” is a larger, more complete discussion of the experiment https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.102.042101 with lots of intriguing suggestions like “the rate of change of diode resistance significantly boosts the output power.”
Story #4 offers an interesting bioenergetics treatment for type 2 diabetes with electrotherapy. Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that static magnetic and electric fields are beneficial for such treatment by promoting a healthier systemic redox environment that is reducing instead of oxidizing and rapidly ameliorates insulin resistance and glucose tolerance, as reported in Cell Metabolism https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2020.09.012.
Story #5 gives us an insight into the politics of wind power. Cornwall England apparently has been a barrier against wind power with no recent subsidies for it and planning restrictions that make it difficult, even though it is one of the windiest regions in the UK. Now a single wind turbine may prove that wind power can still help with a clean energy portfolio, which will power 1500 homes. We look forward to more stories breaking on this topic.

Onward and Upward!

Tom Valone, PhD
1) Physicist Discover First Room Temperature Superconductor
Quanta Magazine October 2020

A team of physicists in New York has discovered a material that conducts electricity with perfect efficiency at room temperature — a long-sought scientific milestone. The hydrogen, carbon and sulfur compound operates as a superconductor at up to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, the team reported today in Nature. That’s more than 50 degrees hotter than the previous high-temperature superconductivity record set last year. “This is the first time we can really claim that room-temperature superconductivity has been found,” said Ion Errea, a condensed matter theorist at the University of the Basque Country in Spain who was not involved in the work.

2) Mercedes Benz New Electric City Bus Runs on Solid State Batteries

Mercedes-Benz just announced that its new eCitaro and eCitaro G city buses will be available with roof-mounted solid-state battery packs, developed in conjunction with the Canadian power company Hydro Quebec.
Although details are still rather limited right now, Mercedes-Benz says that the solid-state pack has a 25-percent higher energy density than even the most advanced lithium-ion chemistry. It also says that the solid-state battery has a much better service life than lithium-ion and is warrantying these batteries for 10 years or an energy throughput of 280MWh. When configured with a total of 441kWh onboard (composed of seven 63kWh packs), an eCitaro G has a range of up to 137 miles (220km) under favorable conditions, or 105 miles (170km) in the depth of winter with the bus's heaters running.
3) Physicists Build a Circuit from Graphene that Generates Limitless Power
An energy-harvesting circuit based on graphene could be incorporated into a chip to provide clean, limitless, low-voltage power for small devices or sensors," said Paul Thibado, professor of physics and lead researcher in the discovery. The findings, published in the journal Physical Review E, are proof of a theory the physicists developed at the U of A three years ago that freestanding graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms—ripples and buckles in a way that holds promise for energy harvesting.
4) Exposure to Electricity & Magnetism Treat Diabetes Type 2
ZME Science October 2020

Exposure to magnetic and static electric fields for a few hours can keep blood sugar levels in check without the need for medication or direct intervention, the paper explains. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by unsafe levels of sugars in the blood, and as such, the methods described in this study can help manage the condition.
For now, the findings have only been confirmed in lab mice, so we still don’t know if they hold true for humans as well. However, the team is hopeful that they do, which will provide us with a new, non-invasive means of managing the disease, especially for patients who are having trouble with current treatment options.


5) How a Single Turbine could Prove Wind Power in UK
GTM Power October 2020

In a trial to test the concept of using a wind turbine to help smooth peaks and troughs in electricity supply and demand on the grid began earlier this month. Located in Cornwall in the southwest of England, the 2.3-megawatt turbine will generate enough electricity to power around 1,500 homes each year. But it will also test a solution to an issue that is increasingly affecting the U.K.’s clean energy transition: grid constraint. Cornwall is one of the sunniest and windiest regions of the U.K., and its high levels of renewable energy capacity have resulted in severe grid constraints. It is one of the reasons why no wind turbines have been installed there since 2016, alongside planning restrictions and the removal of government subsidies to the sector.
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