ITM Power plc, a U.K. company, has introduced a hydrogen home refueling electrolyser that promises to produce enough hydrogen overnight to take a duel fuel Ford Focus 25 miles. Eight years in development, the electrolyser uses a polymer membrane (also known as PEM which stands for both Polymer Electrolyte Membrane or Photon Exchange Membrane) intsead the more expensive platinum-plated membrane. Electrolysers and fuel cells traditionaly employ a platinum-plated membranes which are considered a cost impediment to wide adoption of hydrogen powered vehicles.
Company CEO Jim Healthcote said that the system has moved out "research and feasibility" so the company can begin talking with manufacturers. The company is also using the hydrogen for heating, cooking and refrigeration at a "hydrogen apartment" in its Sheffield facility. As well, the hydrogen powers a generator to provide electricity.
For all hydrogen’s doubters who I hear from regularly, the momentum behind hydrogen is really hitting the gas (pun intended). I can imagine the doubters also believed in 1979 that there could never be a personal computer or in 1993, something like the Internet. What ITC appears to have done is create a technology that can be refined over time to produce more hydrogen over time at a lower cost. I have pinged them to get specific cost and production figures.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.