First it was the Motor Challenge, then the Compressed Air Challenge, and now comes the Steam Challenge. Like its predecessors, the Steam Challenge is an initiative by the Department of Energy (DOE) to promote efficiency in industrial power systems. This one aims to help industry adopt system approaches to designing, purchasing, installing, and managing boilers, distribution systems, and steam applications. The Alliance to Save Energy and DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies are working with more than 50 steam-related organizations on the venture. Included are the American Boiler Manufacturers Association, the Association of Energy Engineers, Babcock Wilcox, DuPont, and the Energy Center of Wisconsin. Among plans are information campaigns, establishment of a network for training and certifying those who operate steam systems, and expansion of the market for steam efficiency equipment and services. Officials hope for an overall improvement of 20% in steam efficiency by 2010.
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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