Hydrogen refueling stations and the idea of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are taking root in New England, which surprisingly, given the region’s technology and innovation prowess, has lagged behind the leaders, California and the Mid-Atlantic states. The Public Works Dept. in Hampden, Conn., has one now to fuel public transit vehicles and Nuvera, a fuel cell company, opened a PowerTap station in Billerica, Mass. What’s more, a DOT-backed 31-stop/18-state tour of FCVs from nine manufacturers just kicked off in Portland, Maine.
So hydrogen doubters, take note: the momentum is building. It’s too early for FCVs to put a dent in gasoline consumption, but they will. Crude is falling (it’s up $3 today to $116), and in a lasting sense, the decline is driven by consumers abandoning SUVs, pickup and gas-guzzling sedans for more fuel efficient vehicles (a point which seems to have been overlooked).
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
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.
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