Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Electric Vehicals - Lithium battery issues

Bolivia Is the Saudi Arabia of Lithium

"You can literally scrape valuable lithium off the ground of many Bolivian salt flats. The country is poised to be the center of world lithium battery production, reaping the benefit of the metal's skyrocketing value. 'The US Geological Survey says 5.4 million tons of lithium could potentially be extracted in Bolivia, compared with 3 million in Chile, 1.1 million in China and just 410,000 in the United States. ... Ailing automakers in the United States are pinning their hopes on lithium. General Motors next year plans to roll out its Volt, a car using a lithium-ion battery along with a gas engine. Nissan, Ford and BMW, among other carmakers, have similar projects.' However, the government fears foreign countries might exploit their natural resources, so for the time being, the salt flats remain untouched."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

3D Computer Interface

3D Computer Interface from Free Flow on Vimeo.

Utilizing the theory of electrostatics, we have designed a low-cost human-computer interface device that has the ability to track the position of a user's hand in three dimensions. Physical contact is not required and the user does not need to hold a controller or attach markers to their body. To control the device, the user simply waves their hand above it in the air.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Space-Based Power Plant

Just think a network of solar death rays, now that's cool. We can burn our enemy's like ants under a magnifying glass.

In 1973 Peter Glaser was granted U.S. patent 3,781,647 on the Solar Power Satellite to supply power from space for use on the Earth.

Good link Solar Power Satellites (SPS)

Hurricane-Killing, Space-Based Power Plant

PG&E makes deal for space solar power
Utility to buy orbit-generated electricity from Solaren in 2016, at no risk

After JAXA's announcement of space-based solar power for Japan, we've been keeping our eyes peeled for some news of similar projects Stateside. Lo and behold, California's largest energy utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, has agreed to do just that, inking a deal with solar power startup Solaren Corp. The agreement calls for the utility to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity once the company starts beaming power down from Earth orbit beginning in 2016. A solar-power satellite would consist of mirror arrays -- perhaps measuring up to several miles wide -- which would focus sunlight onto photoelectric cells. From there, the electrical power is converted into a microwave beam that is directed downward toward Earth, where it's converted back into electricity and then fed into the grid. According to the company, the system could generate roughly 1.2 to 4.8 gigawatts of power, at a price comparable to that of other renewable energy sources. When asked for a comment, legendary sci-fi jazz composer Sun Ra was more than enthusiastic. "Space is the place," he said.