Methanol-powered fuel cells are being used to back up a
solar sensing system that gives wind farms data about wind. Wind farms need
information on wind patterns to run their operations. Second Wind markets a
solar-based remote Triton wind sensing system that gives wind farms advanced
data about the wind. To back up the solar system during cloudy periods, Second
Wind partnered with Sirius Integrator to create a backup system of fuel cells
powered by methanol. The backup system can run 60 days or longer with little or
no solar charging. When the sun comes back out, the methanol system shuts off.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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