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Energy policies relating to alternative energy

Current energy policies are still based heavily on natural resources. Meanwhile, the trend is increasingly toward alternative resources, such as wind power.

It's only a matter of time before natural resources, such as petroleum, are depleted. Petroleum, a fossil-based energy source deposited across millions of years, is used to produce fuel or electricity. Taking stock of the fact that 260 billion barrels (one barrel = 159 liters) of oil were extracted over the last 11 years, it's evident that the world's petroleum resources will be depleted one day. New developments in solar or wind power are aimed at providing alternative energy sources that will enable us to maintain our current standard of living. Petroleum is also required by the chemical industry to manufacture special plastics.

The advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources

When discussing the subject of petroleum and alternative energy, one must bear the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Our resources are running short . Because we cannot count on petroleum for the future, there will come a time when everyone will rely on the efficiency of wind power and other alternative energy sources . Unlike petroleum, wind power can be managed to ensure that it constantly renews itself. Wind power meanwhile makes it possible to have enough resources to supply entire cities. Petroleum has the additional disadvantage of harming the environment through CO2 emissions. This has resulted in increasing demand for resources such as wind power. Wind power can be classified into different categories. A class 4 wind turbine can meanwhile provide resources in a much more efficient manner than petroleum resources for instance. In addition, unlike petroleum, resources such as wind power offer a decentralized energy supply. This means that in contrast to petroleum, the utilization of wind power does not require a large power plant. Instead, it makes "transporting" the energy easier and faster. Decentralized wind power entails a massive infrastructure change. Resources such as wind power certainly bring disadvantages when it comes to the environment, although they pale in comparison to the disasters that can result from petroleum. The utilization of our resources determines how we continue to maintain our standard of living. This makes it important to continue public discourse on the issues of wind power and petroleum.

Resource shortage

It's only a matter of time before there is no petroleum left. For this reason, from a resource standpoint we should already be moving toward heavy reliance on wind power instead of petroleum. After all, from a pure scientific point of view, new petroleum resources won't be available for millions of years. Unlike petroleum, wind power is a resource that will never run dry. In Germany alone, wind power is serving as a popular alternative resource to petroleum. The demand for wind power will increase in line with the consumption of petroleum. For this reason, it is imperative that we gradually move away from petroleum and make more use of wind power or other alternative energy resources. The environmental pollution caused by petroleum is reason enough for an environmentally-conscious society to use solar or wind power. In contrast to petroleum, wind power is significantly better for the environment and offers a unique resource balance.

Power and Electrical Engineering

This topic covers issues related to energy generation, conversion, transportation and consumption and how the industry is addressing the challenge of energy efficiency in general.

innovations-report provides in-depth and informative reports and articles on subjects ranging from wind energy, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy and energy efficiency to fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

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Researchers measure near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors

Tiny, easy-to-produce particles, called quantum dots, may soon take the place of more expensive single crystal semiconductors in advanced electronics found in solar panels, camera sensors and medical imaging tools. Although quantum dots have begun to break into the consumer market - in the form of quantum dot TVs - they have been hampered by long-standing uncertainties about their quality. Now, a new measurement technique developed by researchers at Stanford University may finally dissolve those doubts.

"Traditional semiconductors are single crystals, grown in vacuum under special conditions. These we can make in large numbers, in flask, in a lab and we've...

18.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Robot arms with the flexibility of an elephant’s trunk

Unlike conventional robot arms with their hinged and swivel joints, the flexible arms being developed by Professor Stefan Seelecke and his research group at Saarland University are constructed using muscles made from shape-memory wires that have the ability to bend in almost any direction and to wind themselves around corners. The flexible arms are powered electrically and so can do without the usual pneumatic equipment or other bulky accessories. As the shape-memory alloy itself has sensor properties, the arms can be controlled without the need for additional sensors.

The new technology can be used to build large robotic arms with the flexibility of an elephant’s trunk or ultrafine tentacles for use in endoscopic operations.

18.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Saarbrücken research team uses artificial muscles to develop an air conditioner for the future

It can be used to cool or heat the air in a room or to cool or heat liquids. And it looks like something that Q – the tech specialist and gadgeteer in the James Bond films – might have come up with. The prototype device, which has been developed by a research team led by Professors Stefan Seelecke and Andreas Schütze at Saarland University, is able to transfer heat using ‘muscles’ made from nickel-titanium. Nickel-titanium or nitinol, as it is often known, is a shape-memory material that releases heat to its surroundings when it is mechanically loaded in its superelastic state and absorbs heat from its surroundings when it is unloaded.

This unusual property is the reason why nitinol is also referred to as a ‘smart alloy’ or as ‘muscle wire’. This effect has been exploited by the Saarbrücken...

12.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

High-powered fuel cell boosts electric-powered submersibles, drones

The transportation industry is one of the largest consumers of energy in the U.S. economy with increasing demand to make it cleaner and more efficient. While more people are using electric cars, designing electric-powered planes, ships and submarines is much harder due to power and energy requirements.

A team of engineers in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a high-power fuel cell that advances technology...

26.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Climbing like ivy

The project “GrowBot” is developing plant-inspired robots

How is it that ivy, Virginia creeper and clematis can climb? How high is their energy consumption? And is it possible to build robots that behave and move like...

26.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

New research initiative will power up Europe’s battery revolution

A world moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy will rely more and more on energy storage and in particular on batteries. Better batteries can reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector, stabilise the power grid, and much more. The Battery 2030+ large-scale research initiative will gather leading scientists in Europe, as well as the industry, to achieve a leap forward in battery science and technology. The first Battery 2030+ project kicks off in March 2019 and will lay the basis for this large-scale research initiative on future battery technologies.

In the Strategic Action Plan on Batteries published in May 2018, the European Commission has highlighted the need to support the European battery industry...

26.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Captured carbon dioxide converts into oxalic acid to process rare earth elements

Until now, carbon dioxide has been dumped in oceans or buried underground. Industry has been reluctant to implement carbon dioxide scrubbers in facilities due to cost and footprint.

What if we could not only capture carbon dioxide, but convert it into something useful? S. Komar Kawatra and his students have tackled that challenge, and...

25.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Magnetization reversal achieved at room temperature using only an electric field

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology achieved magnetization reversal in cobalt-substituted bismuth ferrite by applying only an electric field. Such an effect had been sought after for over a decade in order to make new types of low-power-consumption magnetic memory devices.

In the era of information technology revolution, electronics demand rapid evolution facilitated by greater efforts from materials researchers to pave the way...

22.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

The holy grail of nanowire production

Nanowires have the potential to revolutionize the technology around us. Measuring just 5-100 nanometers in diameter (a nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter), these tiny, needle-shaped crystalline structures can alter how electricity or light passes through them.

They can emit, concentrate and absorb light and could therefore be used to add optical functionalities to electronic chips.

20.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Combining infrared radiation and air management to reduce energy use

Infradry systems from Heraeus Noblelight make printing and coating applications significantly more efficient, as infrared emitters work in conjunction with a specially developed air management system to reduce drying time.

Drying coatings and inks is an energy-intensive process, which is reason enough to put conventional dryers to the test.

19.02.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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