BAHAMAS Commemorative Mango Tree Planted at Government House

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 21, 2017 – Nassau – Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling (centre), along with Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis (centre left) and Minister of the Environment and Housing the Hon.  Romauld Ferreira (centre right), planted a Mango Tree in the Gardens of Government House to commemorate the planting of the 10,000th tree by the Ministry of the Environment, as part of a national Tree Planting Initiative, Wednesday, December 20, 2017.(BIS Photo/Derek Smith)last_img

The Velkess Flywheel A more flexible energy storage technology

first_img More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1 … kess-energy-storage#velkess.com/www.google.com/patents/EP2232680A1 (Phys.org) —A new Kickstarter project called Velkess (Very Large Kinetic Energy Storage System) has recently gotten underway to bring an inexpensive flywheel to market. The project is headed by Bill Gray, who has taken a unique approach to flywheel design—a flexible rotor made of “E-glass,” a common fiberglass used in everything from sporting goods to shower doors. Rather than use advanced carbon-fiber composites manufactured to exact tolerances, Gray’s soft rotor flexes in response to destabilizing forces. It is thereby able to adjust to speed transitions that confound other designs. With the memory of other flywheel venture failures, like Beacon, fresh in mind, Gray has cast the issues a little differently. While carbon fiber reinforced polymer is 6 to 8 times stronger than E-glass, he notes that E-glass is 10 to 20 times stronger per dollar. Similarly, E-glass will store 10 to 20 times more energy per dollar. The current prototype floats on a magnetic bearing assembly that can handle 2kW of power, and store 0.5 kWh of energy. Their final device will need storage closer to 15kWh to meet the first projected 48-volt off-grid power backup.This scale up means replacing the 25lb flywheel rotor used for the video footage with a 750lb rotor. Scale-up creates new issues including special production runs for magnets able to support that load, and also equipment to safely handle all that magnetic force floating around. Details of the bearing-motor assembly are still not publicly available. Since the rotor design is essentially cantilevered from the motor in the vertical plane, anything here is possible. For example it appears that the rotor has a low-end speed of 9000 RPM. That would be where it is not even transitioning power. To get to the 15kWh regime, we are probably talking about a max RPM on the order of that of a jet engine. Jet engine speeds are well above even the fastest comparable electric motor speeds. For example, high-speed spindles for machine tools, that might put out anything approaching say 30kW, would probably max out below 10,000 RPM—and these motors can cost over $50,000. Probably some fancy gearing is involved here, and therefore ample opportunity for unique combinations of bearings to be employed throughout the system. Where mechanical bearings are to be used, they can have thermal sensors to detect any rise in temperature that would indicate a failure may be about to occur. The possibility for catastrophe due to fracture in one of the silicon nitride bearings can be therefore be greatly reduced. In an off-grid shutdown, the device would dissipate its energy in the form of exhausted hot air. As the rotor slowed over the course of ten hours, this would be a similar flow as a 1500-watt hair dryer might put out.Gray expects the final units to be comparable in price to lead acid batteries while having a much improved lifetime. Also, the construction materials will be environmentally friendly. The rotor will operate in a vacuum and it is expected that only about 2 percent of its stored power will be lost to friction each day. These numbers make the new flywheel design look like it could be a viable alternative not just to batteries but also to other green schemes like compressed air storage, or pumping water uphill. If the Velkess project can get backing on a scale similar to what these technologies have attracted, flywheels may have finally come of age. Velkess Flywheel © 2013 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Tilting at wind farms Citation: The Velkess Flywheel: A more flexible energy storage technology (2013, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-velkess-flywheel-flexible-energy-storage.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Zooplankton filmed eating bits of plastic trash

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers and Verity White (a noted producer and director of nature films) has captured, for the first time on film, zooplankton feeding on bits of plastic—the type that has made its way into the world’s oceans due to human dumping. The team has published its findings in the journal Environmental Science and Technology and has also released the videos they made of the zooplankton in action. In recent years it has come to the public’s attention that massive amounts of trash are being dumped into the world’s oceans and a lot of that trash is in the form of various types of plastics—some estimate as much as eight million tons of the stuff every year goes into the ocean, helping form in some cases, huge trash islands. Plastics can take ten to twenty years to degrade and besides being unsightly, they can cause problems when marine animals eat them. Even after plastic material starts to break down it can cause problems because as it does so, it degrades into tiny particles (microplastics) which it now appears are consumed by zooplankton—a generic name given to a wide variety of mostly microscopic sized organisms that live near the surface in the sea—from crab and lobster larvae to tiny worms and pteropods. To determine if tiny zooplankton ingest plastic particles as they go about attempting to eat their normal diet of algae, the researchers placed copepod specimens in a tank at their lab in Plymouth Marine Laboratory and filmed them as they fed. Such creatures use their legs to create a current which draws algae to them—to differentiate between plastic and other material in the water, the researchers used fluorescent beads which could be seen in both the water and in the bodies of the copepod after they ate them. The researchers noted that the plastic beads remained in the body of the animals anywhere from a few hours to a week, which suggests that in the natural environment, animals that live off zooplankton are ingesting the plastic when they feed, resulting in plastics bits making their way all the way up the food chain. In other experiments, the team reports that other types of zooplankton were also observed ingesting microplastics and that the creatures that ate the plastic tended to ingest less algae, which suggests they would provide less energy to other creatures that feed on them. Journal information: Environmental Science and Technology Citation: Zooplankton filmed eating bits of plastic trash (2015, July 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-zooplankton-bits-plastic-trash.html © 2015 Phys.org Explore further More information: Microplastic Ingestion by Zooplankton, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (12), pp 6646–6655. DOI: 10.1021/es400663fAbstractSmall plastic detritus, termed “microplastics”, are a widespread and ubiquitous contaminant of marine ecosystems across the globe. Ingestion of microplastics by marine biota, including mussels, worms, fish, and seabirds, has been widely reported, but despite their vital ecological role in marine food-webs, the impact of microplastics on zooplankton remains under-researched. Here, we show that microplastics are ingested by, and may impact upon, zooplankton. We used bioimaging techniques to document ingestion, egestion, and adherence of microplastics in a range of zooplankton common to the northeast Atlantic, and employed feeding rate studies to determine the impact of plastic detritus on algal ingestion rates in copepods. Using fluorescence and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy we identified that thirteen zooplankton taxa had the capacity to ingest 1.7–30.6 μm polystyrene beads, with uptake varying by taxa, life-stage and bead-size. Post-ingestion, copepods egested faecal pellets laden with microplastics. We further observed microplastics adhered to the external carapace and appendages of exposed zooplankton. Exposure of the copepod Centropages typicus to natural assemblages of algae with and without microplastics showed that 7.3 μm microplastics (>4000 mL–1) significantly decreased algal feeding. Our findings imply that marine microplastic debris can negatively impact upon zooplankton function and health. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Microplastics endanger ocean healthlast_img read more

This Little Robot Finds Leaks in Water and Gas Pipes

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Leaky pipes can be a huge problem, and the solution is often complex and costly. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology want to change that.A group of researchers from the school have developed a small robot that can inspect water and gas pipes from the inside to locate leaks before they become disastrous. The rubbery device, which looks like an “oversized badminton birdie” is inserted into a water system via a fire hydrant, MIT says.Once inserted, the device “moves passively with the flow, logging its position as it goes,” according to MIT. “It detects even small variations in pressure by sensing the pull at the edges of its soft rubber skirt, which fills the diameter of the pipe.”The robot can be retrieved with a net at a different hydrant. From there, the data is uploaded for analysis. This system doesn’t require any digging, and won’t interrupt water service.According to MIT, today’s water distribution systems lose 20 percent of their supply, on average, because of leaks.”These leaks not only make shortages worse but also can cause serious structural damage to buildings and roads by undermining foundations,” the school said. Exacerbating the issue is the fact that today’s leak detection systems are “expensive and slow to operate,” and they don’t work well in wood, clay or plastic pipes, which are common in developing countries.That’s where the little robot comes in.MIT professor of mechanical engineering Kamal Youcef-Toumi, graduate student You Wu and two others have been designing and testing this system for the past nine years. They plan to describe the system in detail at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver, Canada, this September.The team also plans to test the system this summer on the city of Monterrey, Mexico’s concrete water distribution pipes. “Monterrey … has a strong incentive to take part in this study, since it loses an estimated 40 percent of its water supply to leaks every year, costing the city about $80 million in lost revenue,” MIT says. “Leaks can also lead to contamination of the water supply when polluted water backs up into the distribution pipes.”The system can also be used to detect leaks in pipes distributing natural gas. In the future, the team plans to build a more flexible version of their robot, which can adapt to pipes of different sizes. Their ultimate goal is to outfit their robot with a special system that can instantly repair leaks it finds. This story originally appeared on PCMag 3 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. July 25, 2017 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more