In May 2006, Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail brought on-line an exciting hybrid energy generation system that includes solar arrays, fuel cell stacks, and co-generation; all functioning in tandem. Covered in an Energy and Power Management article entitled “Santa Rita’s Fuel Cell Adds Reliability to Solar Installation”, this hybrid energy system provides grid-beating electrical conversion efficiency (49%), low pollutant emissions, and redundancy against grid failures and brownouts.
The twin centerpieces of the Santa Rita Jail instillation are a 1.2 MW photovoltaic array from PowerLight and a 1 MW Direct Fuel Cell® from Fuel Cell Energy. Being a carbonate fuel cell, this power plant runs hot enough to enable internal reformation; so, natural gas can be used as fuel, instead of hydrogen. Overall, this system saves Alameda County (which is in California) over $266,000 per year in electricity costs alone, not to mention offset heating costs and waived air quality permitting requirements.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.