A new type of soft and stretchable sensor could find uses in applications ranging from athletics and health monitoring to prosthetics and virtual reality.
Under a technology 2 market R&D contract with the DOE, CEO Hank Price of Solar Dynamics did the math on operating a tower CSP project in Arizona or California as a solar version of a typical gas peaker plant, by storing all of its solar energy thermally to be delivered in the evening just for 5 or 6-hours as dispatchable CSP (D-CSP). (see how CSP thermal solar storage works).
UW and UCLA engineers have developed a flexible sensor 'skin' that can be stretched over any part of a robot's body or prosthetic to accurately convey information about shear forces and vibration, which are critical to tasks ranging from cooking an egg to dismantling a bomb.
One of the biggest operational challenges for desalination plants is the fouling of membranes by microbes. New research from MIT suggests a novel approach to reducing the rate of fouling, and thus improving desalination plant efficiency.
Engineers at the University of Illinois have taken a step forward in developing a saltwater desalination process that is potentially cheaper than reverse osmosis and borrows from battery technology. In their study, the researchers are focusing on new materials that could make desalination of brackish waters economically desirable and energy efficient.
An algorithm that helps engineers design better helicopters may help astronomers more precisely envision the formation of planets and galaxies. Yale researchers Darryl Seligman and Greg Laughlin have created a new model for understanding how black holes, planets, and galaxies emerge from the vortex-rich environments of space.
Engineers at MIT have developed a new model to simulate dynamic soaring, and have used it to identify the optimal flight pattern that an albatross should take in order to harvest the most wind and energy. They found that as an albatross banks or turns to dive down and soar up, it should do so in shallow arcs, keeping almost to a straight, forward trajectory.
We have come a long way from leaky sulfur-acid automobile batteries, but modern lithium batteries still have some down sides. Now a team of Penn State engineers have a different type of lithium sulfur battery that could be more efficient, less expensive and safer.
A ceramic-based mechanical pump able to operate at record temperatures of more than 1,400 degrees Celsius (1,673 Kelvin) can transfer high temperature liquids such as molten tin, enabling a new generation of energy conversion and storage systems.
A recent study by researchers at NASA and Binghamton University, State University of New York, could lead to a drastic decrease in flight times. The study, funded in part by the U.S. Air Force, is one of the first steps toward the creation of planes able to move at hypersonic speeds, five to 10 times the speed of sound.