A low-cost technology introduced by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has substantially increased the output of an Australian combustion-turbine power plant. Using the EPRI technology, air passing through compressors at the Ecogen Jeeralong Power Station in Victoria is sprayed with a fine mist of demineralized water. This cools the inlet temperatures, increasing flow through the combustion turbine. In all, 2,500 fine nozzle sprays per unit are fitted to the turbine inlet air duct. The result: a 10% increase in power output during peak summer demand. Moreover, on hot, dry summer days, when industries and households switch on their air conditioners, the station can be brought to its peak load capacity of 465 MW within a half hour. In another installation in Missouri, the Utilicorp Energy Group estimates a similar system will save the utility more than $3 million through the year 2010. "With EPRI's aid, we identified ways of raising our plant capacity at a fraction of the cost of building a new plant or buying expensive power," notes Mike Jonagon, superintendent of gas turbines at Utilicorp. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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