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).
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
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.