This Fuel Cell Startup Could Spark a Revolution
GE – A fuel cell works like a battery, using a simple chemical reaction to provide energy. In fuel cells, this reaction involves hydrogen molecules abundant in natural gas and oxygen from ordinary air.
It sounds easy enough, but the process is full of pitfalls. Car companies, for example, have tried to make fuel cells work as a replacement for the internal combustion engine for more 20 years without commercial success.
But scientists in GE labs recently cracked an important conundrum involving one iteration of the technology called solid oxide fuel cell, or SOFC.
The fuel cell has no moving parts. The guts of the cell look like a stack of cookies. Each cookie is a metallic plate with a maze of flow channels cut into the bottom and a square of black “icing” on top.
That icing is the core of the breakthrough that makes the solid oxide fuel cell work. It contains three layers made from special ceramic materials: the cathode on top, the anode on the bottom, and a dense layer of solid oxide electrolyte in the middle.
GE is using additive thermal spray technology originally developed to protect parts working inside jet engines to deposit the anode and the electrolyte. more> http://tinyurl.com/pexm6fo
Posted in Business, Economy, Energy & emissions, Science, Technology
Tagged Aviation, Business, Fuel cell, GE, SOFC, Solid-oxide fuel cell, Technology
The Eagle Prepares to Land
NASA – The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia.
Inside the module were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin.
The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine.
Building a Jet-Propelled Train Was Not Rocket Science for Don Wetzel
GE – On a clear day in July 1966, New York Central Railroad engineer Don Wetzel and his team boarded a specially modified Buddliner railcar, No. M-497. Bolted to the roof above them were two GE J47-19 jet engines.
Wetzel throttled up the engines and tore down a length of track from Butler, IN, to Stryker, Ohio, at almost 184 mph, piloting the experimental vehicle into the record books as the world’s fastest jet-powered train. Today, the M-497 is still America’s fastest train and the world’s speediest self-propelled locomotive. more> http://tinyurl.com/putjnok
Posted in Economic development, Energy & emissions, History, Leadership, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Business, GE, Jet engine, Self-propelled locomotive, Technology
Caribbean Sea Viewed From the International Space Station
NASA – From the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, flying some 225 nautical miles above the Caribbean Sea in the early morning hours of July 15, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman photographed this north-looking panorama that includes parts of Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida, and even runs into several other areas in the southeastern U.S. The long stretch of lights to the left of center frame gives the shape of Miami.