Rocket Crafters creates safer, greener hybrid rocket engine technology

July 10, 2020 by  
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Rocket Crafters, an aerospace company based in Florida, is patenting its hybrid rocket engine technology . The engine, which the company described as throttle-able, affordable, reliable and 3D-printed, is said to be a milestone in the world of rocket science. For many years, rocket scientists have been trying to develop a hybrid engine — unsuccessfully. All of these attempts failed along the way due to fuel combustion issues. However, thanks to 3D-printing technology, Rocket Crafters has managed to develop a hybrid engine known as the STAR-3D. The engine has completed over 40 subscale engine tests and is now poised to engage in large-scale tests. What is a hybrid rocket engine? If you are not a fan of rockets or rocket science, you may not have a clue about the impact of developing a hybrid engine . In simple terms, a hybrid engine means that the rocket will be fueled by a combination of solid and liquid or gas fuel. This is a big achievement for the world, considering that the hybrid engine will be much greener. The combustion of rocket fuels has negative impacts on the environment, but this new technology tries to address these issues. Related: Studio Roosegaarde’s laser light art tracks floating space waste in the sky Rockets that are strictly solid-fueled cannot be throttled or restarted, while hybrid rockets can. This is one of the reasons why many scientists have been working on hybrid rocket technology. The hybrid engine is much faster and safer as compared to solid- or liquid-fueled counterparts. According to Rocket Crafters, the company can also scale rocket engines from 125lbf all the way to 5000lbf. Compared to the liquid-fueled rocket engines, the hybrid is much easier to develop and less expensive, too. Liquid-fueled rockets have been favored in the past for being environmentally safer than solid-fueled rockets; however, the cost of developing liquid-fueled rockets has proved to be the problem. Most aerospace companies have been striving to find a balance between the cost and sustainability of the rockets . Hybrid engines are less expensive in terms of maintenance. The engines by Rocket Crafters only have two movable parts, which means that they are less mechanical. They separately store fuel in two different states (solid and liquid), which helps safeguard against accidental detonation. But the attempt to shift to hybrid engines has been met by many challenges. According to a report in 3DPrint, both governments and industries have been unable to develop a safe hybrid engine for years. In previous attempts, the rockets were met with issues such as excessive thrust and unpredictable vibrations. Purpose of the hybrid engine In the initial stages of developing the engine, it was used to send small rockets into the Earth’s orbit. The company now plans to work with private businesses and governments that send small satellites to outer space. The 3D-printed hybrid engine makes launching rockets into space much easier and safer. Just as many other companies that have been using 3D-printing to make the world a better place, Rocket Crafters have managed to change the future of rockets completely. This means that rocket travel will be much more accessible. The new technology now seeks to bring the cost of more sustainable rocketing to a record low. Hybrid engines are greener The most impressive aspect of the new hybrid engines is that they are better for the environment. Traditionally, solid-fueled engines would emit heavy carbon waste into the atmosphere . Due to such effects of solid-fueled engines, there has been pressure for more rocket manufacturers to turn to liquid-fueled engines, which are greener. Liquid-fueled engines are propelled by liquid hydrogen, which produces water vapor exhaust. But the production of hydrogen itself can also cause significant pollution. The end game for rocket manufactures turns out to be hybrid engines — something that Rocket Crafters hopes to make as safe and sustainable as possible. + Rocket Crafters Image via Unsplash

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Rocket Crafters creates safer, greener hybrid rocket engine technology

The E-Fan X jet heralds an electric passenger plane revolution

December 28, 2017 by  
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The E-Fan X is a hybrid-electric jet plane that may herald a new era of electric power in transportation . Designed by a consortium that includes Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, the E-Fan X will offer partially electric powered flights that are cheaper, quieter, and more sustainable. “Aviation has been the last frontier in the electrification of transport, and slow to catch up,” said Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Paul Stein, according to the Guardian.  “This will be a new era of aviation.” This breakthrough in energy-transportation technology, which may encourage the growth of short-distance, small-to-medium passenger capacity aircraft, could change how airports are structured and incorporated into urban design . While the E-Fan X will be a major step forward for electric planes , it will fly on a hybrid engine because purely electric passenger flight is beyond current technological limits. “Aviation has always eluded electrification largely because of the size and weight of components involved,” said Stein, according to the Guardian . “But technology has moved on apace. Electrification is now poised to make a significant impact.” In light of these advances in the field, there is likely to be growth in three kinds of electric planes. Related: Boeing to reveal mysterious space plane of the future The first group includes air taxis, such as Uber Elevate , which are capable of transporting small numbers of people over relatively short distances. These would most likely be used to avoid urban congestion on the ground if one needs to cross a city . The second group includes regional jets, such as the E-Fan X. “Our target end game is a fixed wing, regional hybrid design,” said Stein. The third group includes long-distance commercial jets, which are much less developed under current technology. However, battery technology has made great leaps and bounds in recent years, so perhaps it may not be as faraway as we think. Via the Guardian Images via Airbus

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The E-Fan X jet heralds an electric passenger plane revolution

New 1 km solar road opens in Jinan, China

December 28, 2017 by  
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China is getting in on the solar road -building action. A one-kilometer stretch of solar highway developed by Qilu Transportation Development Group just opened for testing near Jinan, the capital city of China’s Shandong Province. According to Quartz the expressway has three layers: the solar panels rest in the middle, with insulation below and transparent concrete on top. Solar panels sprawl across 5,875 square meters, or around 63,238 square feet, covering two lanes and one emergency lane in China’s new solar road now open for traffic. These panels can generate one million kilowatt-hours of clean power every year – that’s enough to meet the daily needs of roughly 800 households, according to Xinhua . Project designer Zhang Hongchao, in an interview with CCTV cited by Quartz, said the road can handle 10 times more pressure than normal asphalt roads. Related: France officially opens world’s first solar panel road Qilu Transportation Development Group chairman Xu Chunfu told Xinhua, “The project will save the space for building solar farms and shorten the transmission distance.” The electricity generated by the solar road could go towards powering street lights, a snow-melting system, surveillance cameras, signboards, and toll gate facilities, with excess energy sent to the state grid. The plan is for the clean power to one day also charge electric vehicles . Xu did not disclose the project’s cost to Xinhua, but did claim it was half of similar projects in other countries, saying, “With the development of solar power in China, the cost can be further reduced.” Zhang said the road cost about 3,000 yuan, or $458, per square meter, and as that is more than regular streets, it may take some time for the project to expand. The Qilu Transportation Development Group described the road as the “world’s first freeway photovoltaic pavement experiment section.” There are other solar roadways throughout the world – around a year ago France opened a one kilometer-long solar panel road in Tourouvre-au-Perche. Via Xinhua , Quartz , and Qilu Transportation Development Group Images via Qilu Transportation Development Group

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New 1 km solar road opens in Jinan, China

Silhouette hybrid trike harvests energy from road bumps

July 17, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission pedal/electricity powered concept trike. Silhouette by vehicle designer Jake Loniak is a three-wheeled vehicle designed to transport you to your office in the future. The zero-emission vehicle is powered by a hybrid engine that runs on electric motors and pedal power

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Silhouette hybrid trike harvests energy from road bumps

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