MIT claims that clean, limitless nuclear fusion energy is just 15 years away

March 9, 2018 by  
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You’ve probably heard about the promise of nuclear fusion before… many times. But when MIT is involved, it’s best to listen up. The university has teamed up with Commonwealth Fusion Systems , and they believe that clean, limitless power could be just around the corner. Thanks to the development of a new superconductor, the team believes that they can have a working fusion power plant on-grid within the next 15 years. Scientists have been trying to make nuclear fusion happen for decades, and for a good reason – it could provide nearly endless clean energy without the risks associated with nuclear energy. In the 1950s, scientists theorized that nuclear fusion was just a few decades away. Then, after that failed to materialize, scientists in the 1970s said that it was just a few more decades away. Cut to today, and it seems like we are no closer to nuclear fusion power… until now. Related: ‘We were blown away’ – researchers eliminate obstacle to fusion energy So what makes this time different, I hear you ask? The team says that a new type of superconductor that just became available is the breakthrough they were looking for. Part of the problem with making nuclear fusion happen is that you have to be able to heat things up to a mind-boggling 150 million degrees, which turns most containers into plasma. MIT and Commonwealth plan to use this new superconductor – made of steel tape coated with yttrium-barium-copper oxide – to make magnets that will help make nuclear fusion a reality. “This is an important historical moment: Advances in superconducting magnets have put fusion energy potentially within reach, offering the prospect of a safe, carbon-free energy future,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. + MIT Via Fast Company Images via MIT

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MIT claims that clean, limitless nuclear fusion energy is just 15 years away

Ford to unveil new driverless Fusion Hybrid at CES

January 2, 2017 by  
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Ford is revving up the future of autonomous vehicles with its new Fusion Hybrid . The second-generation Fusion is a departure from previous self-driving cars we’ve seen in testing. Ford opted to disguise the sensors and cameras that aid the Fusion in its operation, resulting in a sleeker body that looks more like a “regular car” than a car of the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI1kf-a-pVo With just a few teaser images released so far, Ford is intentionally building up suspense for the full unveiling, which is planned for CES 2017 in Las Vegas later this month. Ford’s chief engineer for the autonomous vehicle program, Chris Brewer, elaborated on the technological advances in a post on Medium . The second-generation driverless Ford Fusion, he says, can “see” two football fields of distance in every direction, and its advanced field of vision means it requires fewer sensors than previous models. Related: Ford’s self-driving car will have no steering wheel, gas pedal, or brakes Ford also announced that it will expand its self-driving test fleet from 30 cars to around 90 in 2017, a big leap forward after just three years of development. The car maker is currently testing autonomous vehicles in California, Arizona, and Michigan, and will soon roll out pilot programs in the United Kingdom and Germany as well. Via The Verge Images via Ford

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Ford to unveil new driverless Fusion Hybrid at CES

Self-inflating HEXA raft automatically deploys upon contact with water

January 2, 2017 by  
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At sea, situations often emerge where crew and passengers have to quickly evacuate the vessel, causing panic, and jeopardizing safety and organization. To help simplify such scenarios, designers Yoo JiIn and Lee Ji Sang created HEXA, a six-sided life raft that automatically activates upon contact with water. In order to be deployed, HEXA requires only that it be dropped in the water where it automatically self-inflates into a life-saving device. Six inflatable sections allow people to climb onto the raft. In addition to the efficiency of its design, the device also sends a RFID signal that can help rescue teams pin point its location. Related: The SeaKettle is a Raft + Water Purifier That Could Save Your Life Various survival supplies like food, drinkable water, flares and lifejackets are available inside the center of the pod, providing survivors with all the essential things which will allow them to survive while waiting to be rescued. Via Yanko Design

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Self-inflating HEXA raft automatically deploys upon contact with water

Princeton experimental fusion reactor breaks after $94 million upgrade

October 3, 2016 by  
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After a $94 million upgrade that took around four years to complete, a Princeton experimental fusion reactor recently broke. Scientists shut down the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) after they discovered a malfunctioning coil. Since the NSTX-U shut down, only one fusion reactor is currently working in the United States. Fusion power could be a source of clean energy that ” could power the world indefinitely .” But US fusion researchers are struggling after the upgraded reactor at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) broke. As one other Department of Energy-funded fusion reactor at MIT was scheduled for safe shutdown at the end of September, as of now only a San Diego facility is operating. Related: Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X stellarator passes new test, bringing us closer to nuclear fusion energy NSTX-U began operating last December at low power, and provided ” high quality data ” for 10 weeks before scientists realized they’d need to shut the reactor down. At first PPPL told Nature they were investigating the faulty coil, but later said even as the coil was being made there were questions “about the strength of the copper ” in the coil. They said they investigated those questions at that time. Non-profit research foundation Fusion Power Associates President Stephen Dean told Nature , “Mistakes like this do sometimes get made, but with all of the experience the fusion program has, it should not have happened this way.” He says it’s possible the problem could have been prevented through more analysis when questions over the copper’s strength were first raised. Although scientists shut down the fusion reactor in July, the fact of the shutdown became known the end of September after the resignation of PPPL director Stewart Prager, who said he had considered leaving before the shutdown and will now step down so new leadership can fix the fusion reactor. Jonathan Menard, program director of NSTX-U, said the faulty coil satisfied specifications of the laboratory and that a similar coil made with copper of the same grade functioned properly. The faulty coil could have malfunctioned through a flaw in the design or manufacturing process, but the scientists don’t yet know which explanation led to the malfunction. It’s not yet known how much it will cost to fix the fusion reactor but it will likely be around a year before it will work again. Via Nature Images via PPPL Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Princeton experimental fusion reactor breaks after $94 million upgrade

Ford Begins Testing Self-Driving Technology with the Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle

December 13, 2013 by  
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Ford has unveiled the automated Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle that will be used to evaluate future autonomous vehicle technology. The Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle is the next step in Ford’s Blueprint for Mobility , and is the result of a partnership with the University of Michigan and State Farm . Read the rest of Ford Begins Testing Self-Driving Technology with the Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: autonomous vehicle , car safety , car technology , ford , ford fusion , Ford Fusion autonomous vehicle , State Farm , university of michigan , vehicle technology        

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Ford Begins Testing Self-Driving Technology with the Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle

Livermore Scientists Announce Critical Milestone for Nuclear Fusion Power

October 8, 2013 by  
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Researchers at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore , California just made a major breakthrough for nuclear fusion by focusing 192 beams from the worlds most powerful laser on a tiny pellet of hydrogen and actually generating more energy than was absorbed by the fuel. If unlocked, nuclear fusion could supply the entire planet with a virtually unlimited source of clean energy. Scientists have been working towards nuclear fusion for many years. It’s the same process that powers the sun, and if it were replicated on Earth it could massively reduce the planet’s dependency on carbon-based fuels . Unfortunately, it has long been relegated to the realm of science fiction and comic books – but that could change with the National Ignition Facility in Livermore ‘s new findings. Until now, experiments have always used more power than they created – but in the facility’s latest trial the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel. This is the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world. The result was achieved by using 192 beams from the world’s most powerful laser to heat and compress a small pellet of hydrogen fuel until nuclear fusion reactions took place. The amount of energy released marks a huge milestone in the quest to achieve fusion power. However what scientists really want to achieve is ignition, which occurs when the nuclear fusion reaction generates as much energy as the laser’s supply. Currently, there are inefficiencies in the fusion system which mean that not all the energy supplied through the laser is delivered to the fuel, but give it a few years and scientists could make another massive leap towards a fossil fuel-free future. + Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Via BBC News Images via Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility        

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Livermore Scientists Announce Critical Milestone for Nuclear Fusion Power

Team Ontario’s Super Efficient ECHO Solar Decathlon House Could Revolutionize the Housing Market

October 8, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Team Ontario’s Super Efficient ECHO Solar Decathlon House Could Revolutionize the Housing Market Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , 2013 solar decathlon , cradle-to-cradle , ECHO house , energy performance , local materials , modular housing , passive shading , Recycled Materials , smart design , Solar Decathlon , solar panels , stormwater runoff , team ontario , vacuum insulation panels        

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Team Ontario’s Super Efficient ECHO Solar Decathlon House Could Revolutionize the Housing Market

TEST DRIVE: The Ford Fusion Hybrid Joins the 40+ MPG Club

April 23, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of TEST DRIVE: The Ford Fusion Hybrid Joins the 40+ MPG Club Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ford , ford fusion , ford fusion hybrid , green car , green transportation , hybrid car , Laura Cowan , Laura K. Cowan , test drive        

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TEST DRIVE: The Ford Fusion Hybrid Joins the 40+ MPG Club

Ford Teams Up With BASF To Cut Emissions From Ford Fusion Production

December 11, 2012 by  
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Ford is placing a lot of attention on making its new lineup greener than ever before. Ford has already revealed that the 2013 Fusion’s interior is made of recycled bottles and cotton, but now Ford has announced that its found a new plastic that not only reduces emissions, but cuts production costs. Using a new resin from BASF Corporation , Ford has developed a new window switch that cuts both carbon dioxide and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that are normally produced during production. Read the rest of Ford Teams Up With BASF To Cut Emissions From Ford Fusion Production Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: emissions , ford , ford fusion , ford fusion hybrid , Ford green car , ford hybrid , green car , green transportation , hybrid car , voc

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TEST DRIVE: Inhabitat Takes Ford’s Stylish 2013 Fusion Hybrid For a Spin

September 27, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of TEST DRIVE: Inhabitat Takes Ford’s Stylish 2013 Fusion Hybrid For a Spin Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ford , ford fusion , ford fusion energi , ford fusion hybrid , ford hybrid , green car , green transportation , hybrid car , lithium ion battery

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