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.
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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