By October 2007, a second-generation superconducting cable will be conduiting electrons along a 30-meter stretch connecting hydroelectric stations on the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers to the Grid at National Grid’s North Albany, NY Service Center.
Superconducting cables present negligible electrical resistance compared to copper wire when transmitting alternating current (AC). Small resistance allows transport of Grid electrons over long distances with low line losses. Direct Current (DC) can be transmitted through superconducting wire with virtually zero line loss, but would require a complete paradigm shift in the Grid (from AC to DC) for large-scale implementation.
Operating at 77 Kelvin (liquid nitrogen temperature), this new cable replaces an existing first-generation superconducting conduit whose composition is almost 2/3 silver, making it prohibitively expensive for commercial use. The second-generation wire uses much less silver and is also less brittle than its precursor. The wire’s manufacturer, Superpower, Inc., estimates that by 2011 their superconducting cable products will be equal in price to conventional copper wire. Details of the New York installation were revealed in a recent press release, “Shipment of Completed 30-Meter HTS Cable for Installation Into Albany HTS Cable Project Announced”, and further technical coverage of this installation appeared in a recent Transmission & Distribution World article, “Superconducting Cable Connects the Grid”.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.