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”.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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