Lighter, More Powerful, Cheaper. Can J-CESR Bring Us Better Batteries?

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

$70,000 is a sizable base price for a car.   That sum for the simplest of Tesla S sedans makes a bigger than average debt load for most of us, probably more than most can responsibly assume.   Even the much anticipated model “E” at half that price is more stunning than the average sticker shock these days.  What if, by some act of art or science, that $70,000 could be slashed to $14,000 for an electric vehicle that could travel 265 miles on a charge?  That tall order is the order of the day for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, started two years ago under Dr. Steven Chu, who was then U. S. Secretary of Energy.  He and his …

Biofuels That Avoid Harm to the Food Supply

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Biofuel manufacturers seem to be making great progress in the application of their combustibles to aircraft use, while gaining momentum in the amounts produced.  Whether these will be economically and environmentally viable remains to be seen, but early indicators show hopeful signs. Biofuels have several advantages over the ancient plant life that has been squeezed for millions of years to give us eons-old pollution.  They burn cleaner, can be cheaper to produce, and with distributed growth and refinery centers, could reduce the cost and hazards of distribution. Several issues surround the new fuels, though, including the food-versus-energy debate.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG), for instance, has endorsed two widely disparate politicians for a bi-partisan attempt to mitigate problems associated with …

Measuring Up To Standards

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, develops “international consensus standards” for many industries, using input from its members in many fields and disciplines.  Their D-7566-11 “Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons” governs what can be put into jet and turbo-prop aircraft.  Updated in July 2011, it now allows the use of biologically-derived fuel “without the need for special permissions,” according to SAE International, itself a standards organization, and as reported by Patrick Ponticel. United Airlines was quick to take advantage of the revised standard, using “Solazyme-supplied algae oil that was refined into jet fuel by Honeywell’s UOP division near Houston. The blend used for the November 7, Boeing 737-800 flight was 40-percent …

A Seraph in the Earthly Sphere

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

A Seraph is a six-winged angel in the first sphere of the celestial hierarchy, and while the earthly form in Richard Ike and Ira Munn’s vision may have fewer wings, it is no less inspired. In part, it’s inspired by biomimicry, imitating nature in its forms and even its structure.  The  airfoil-shaped profile of the fuselage “reduce[s] drag and optimize[s] aerodynamic efficiency, the blended-wing-body and lifting body (flying fuselage) maximize lift and produce minimum drag, according to Seraph’s web site. Seraph explains, “Flight with the Seraph will be made possible by two factors, lift generated by airfoil and lift generated by vortex.  The later factor is a return to a principle originally explored by Leonardo Da Vinci.”  Their site further …