Updated: 5/16/2006; 10:33:05 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Monday, December 02, 2002

Varmaraf thermoelectric generator: "The Thermator is a device that converts heatflow into electrical power. The heat is carried by hot and cold fluids [typically geothermal hot & cold water]. .. Varmaraf has delivered a small Thermator unit to the Hydrogen lab at the University of Iceland Science Institute, directed by professor Bragi Arnason, a pioneer in hydrogen studies. The unit is connected directly to a small PEM electrolyzer in a small demonstration system that also includes a fuel cell.  "You could say that the water is electrolyzing itself", he says. .. When heat flows through certain semiconducting materials, electrical voltage arises that may be used to drive an electrical load. The advantage of using this effect is that the generator contains no moving parts, just the semiconducting material and channels for routing the heat through it. While efficiencies are low, the cost of thermoelectric devices is falling rapidly and Varmaraf's patent pending technology ensures minimal cost of the generator unit." [picture]  8:45:48 PM  permalink  

At a Minnesota dairy, Holsteins are in the energy business: Renewed interest in manure/biogas digesters:  "Each Holstein on Dennis Haubenschild's dairy farm chomps down 90 pounds of feed, yields eight gallons of milk, and produces 220 pounds of manure (including the shredded newspaper bedding) - daily. It's a pretty standard operation in the dairy industry. But his 750 cows are also in another business with a different product line: Every one of the half-ton beasts generates 4 kilowatt hours of electricity a day... One drawback with cow-to-electricity systems, says Mr. Nelson, is that they operate efficiently only on farms with 400 or more cows. That's six or seven times the average size of a Minnesota dairy herd. "We'd like to see design and engineering that would make these systems feasible on smaller farms," he says."   7:51:41 PM  permalink  

Chemists build body fluid battery: "Our bodies could one day power their own electronic implants. Chemists have developed a miniature battery that could run on bodily fluids to drive sensors to monitor our health. The biofuel cell converts directly into electricity the energy produced when glucose reacts with oxygen during normal metabolism. It could be inserted in contact with glucose-containing body fluids under the skin or in the spinal cord, for example."  Catalyst-covered carbon fibres are used.  The cells are short-lived however, and are a long way from human application.  7:46:45 PM  permalink  


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Last update: 5/16/2006; 10:33:05 AM.