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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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Compact IR cameras with industrial accessories

Optris Compact Line with water cooled housing, air purge unit and shutter

The infrared cameras from the Optris Compact Line, the Xi 80 and Xi 400, have been supplemented with new industrial accessories for use in rough conditions.

08.04.2019 | nachricht Read more

Improving 3D-printed prosthetics and integrating electronic sensors

With the growth of 3D printing, it's entirely possible to 3D print your own prosthetic from models found in open-source databases.

But those models lack personalized electronic user interfaces like those found in costly, state-of-the-art prosthetics.

05.04.2019 | nachricht Read more

Laser Goes Green: Efficiently Recycling Valuable Materials from Electronic Devices

Since 2015, nine project partners from four countries have been researching how to disassemble electronics and reclaim valuable materials in the EU project "ADIR – Next Generation Urban Mining – Automated Disassembly, Separation and Recovery of Valuable Materials from Electronic Equipment". On May 17, 2019, the project partners will present important results in theory and practice at the ADIR Demo Day in Goslar. The ADIR project is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany.

A magic word is making the rounds: "Urban Mining". This new form of mining recovers secondary raw materials from buildings, infrastructure or products. If put...

04.04.2019 | nachricht Read more

Amplifier for terahertz lattice vibrations in a semiconductor crystal

In analogy to the amplification of light in a laser, vibrations of a semiconductor crystal, so called phonons, were enhanced by interaction with an electron current. Excitation of a metal-semiconductor nanostructure by intense terahertz (THz) pulses results in a ten-fold amplification of longitudinal optical (LO) phonons at a frequency of 9 THz. Coupling such lattice motions to propagating sound waves holds potential for ultrasound imaging with a sub-nanometer spatial resolution.

The laser is based on a fundamental principle in physics, the (L)ight (A)mplification by (S)timulated (E)mission of (R)adiation. This concept theoretically...

03.04.2019 | nachricht Read more

Digitalisation of electricity grids

How can digitalisation help to improve the efficiency of the electricity grid, whilst making it more stable at the same time? These are the questions being considered by ‘InnoSys 2030’, a joint project involving Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) funded with approximately 10 million euros by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Within the framework of the funding initiative ‘Research for an environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply’ of the Federal Ministry for...

02.04.2019 | nachricht Read more

OU engineers discover novel role of water in production of renewable fuels

University of Oklahoma engineers in collaboration with the University of Tulsa have discovered a novel approach for the water-assisted upgrading of the renewable chemical, furfural, doubling or tripling the rate of conversion.

"Energy and water are interconnected in the production of renewable fuels. On the one hand, energy is needed to extract, purify and distribute water. On the...

01.04.2019 | nachricht Read more

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
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

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Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

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Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

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A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

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