Apr 30 2008

More Power Generation

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 11:52 am

Following on from the previous post, we have another article from the BBC on innovative ways to harvest power from activities people already carry out. This one is all about utilizing a potentially huge source of energy – children. As mothers everywhere will attest, kids can sometimes seem to run around all day, with no specific aim, and all this energy can now help charge electrical cells (batteries), to power lights etc. into the evening, where villages aren’t on a power grid already. Obviously remote locations in Africa where what the inventor had in mind, but the uses could well spread far and wide – in terms of eco-friendly power, you could create systems to light up childrens play areas in the west, without relying on conventional electricity systems, which involve burning fossil fuels, or nuclear power.

Seesaw Power

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Apr 29 2008

Power Dressing

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 8:16 am

I’ve combined the following two news items into one post, as they are quite closely related. Firstly we have news of a dynamo that harvests the potential power we all generate, whenever we walk somewhere.

Knee Brace Dynamo

The principle involved with hybrid cars, where energy that would otherwise be wasted when you brake is recuperated, has been applied to people transporting themselves. Currently the knee brace and other related parts all come to just over one and half kilos, and generate around 5 watts. The inventors hope to increase the efficiency, but the device can already power a mobile phone for half an hour, from just one minute of walking!

Secondly, we have a new nanowire technology.

Nano Wires

If you integrate these wires into clothing, and move around, small amounts of power are generated, even though the fibres are only 30 to 50 nanometres long. Although the power output is a lot lower than the knee brace dynamo mentioned above, there is no additional energy required by the person wearing fabrics made with these nanowires involved, and some devices require a lot less power than phones.

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Feb 06 2008

Plasma Mountains

Category: BooksChrisM @ 4:18 pm

A recent idea I had for a science fiction book…
Inhabitants on a planet, completely unlike our own. Not being carbon or even silicon based, they view energy in a much closer manner to the way we ourselves conventionally see matter, with their local geography mainly consisting of huge electric lakes and plasma mountains.
OK, so perhaps I should stick to short blog posts, and skip out on fiction writing?


Jun 08 2007

Electricity Without The Wires

Category: In The Media,PersonalChrisM @ 3:09 pm

I remember watching Tomorrows World a long time ago, and seeing a piece on mains sockets that didn’t have any sockets. That is to say, you could attach a ‘plug’ to any part of the wall, and electricity would be supplied (I’m guessing through induction coils or something similar?).

Well, the next step beyond no specific sockets on a wall to supply electricity is no connection at all!

According to this article over at the BBC, the system uses resonance to transmit power through the air…
no wires

1) Power from the mains supply to a copper antenna
2) Antenna resonates at a frequency of around 10MHz, producing EM(electromagnetic) waves
3) Waves of energy from antenna travel up to 2 metres (6.5ft)
4) Electricity picked up by laptop’s antenna, which must also be resonating at 10MHz. Energy used to re-charge device
5) Energy not transferred to laptop re-absorbed by source antenna. People/other objects not affected as they do not resonate at 10MHz

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May 30 2007

Looking for news in the Stans?

Category: Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 2:34 am

Central Asia Now is a relatively new site dedicated to covering current affairs, well, in the Central Asian region.

Central Asia
In the above image, Central Asia is apparently shown as any country that on top the thick red line…

Central Asia now specifically covers Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The site will aggregate news from the region, and once every couple of weeks will feature an original article on matters effecting those who live within Central Asia. Topics that will be covered include democracy, economics, human rights, energy, strategic issues, the military, governance and religious questions.

This post is not sponsored at all, just thought that as this is a Kazakhstan blog, readers might appreciate the heads up on the site…

the site’s address is http://www.centralasianow.org , but I’ve removed the live link for now, as the site is down.

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Apr 30 2007

Kazakhstan Humidity

Category: WeatherChrisM @ 11:32 pm

In the summer, one of the main reasons that temperatures of 40 degrees Centigrade and higher are bearable, compared to occasional low 30s in Britain, is the humidity – in Britain, the amount of water in the air is always higher. This means your body is less able to give off heat, in the form of sweat. If you are in Kazakhstan, as the humidity is lower, when you sweat, the water can evaporate a lot quicker, so you can cool down quicker.

This is great, EXCEPT, the lack of humidity can play havoc with your carefully styled hair (more of a problem for me then my wife LOL) and also with your skin. So whilst in Britain, many people use de-humidifiers in their homes & offices, this country could actually use a bunch of humidifiers. Air conditioning is great in reducing the temperature in a room, but also tends to lead to low humidity.

Some people tend to see a whole house humidifier as the only proper solution, but this does tend to cause issues, such as less control over individual room environments, and also uses more energy; due to the way whole house humidifiers work in conjunction with central heating systems, any room with central heating vents will also be humidified. Not a problem in a small apartment, but in a large house, where a third of the rooms may not be in common usage, you’re still paying the electricity bill to ‘treat them’.

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