Graphene – an allotrope of carbon which is strong, transparent and a good conductor of heat and electricity. An obvious use for this material is in the manufacture of light emitting diode bulbs. Currently LED’s have a light output limited by the heat they generate which adversely affects the semiconductor. Hitherto this material is held between metal electrode – the downside being that metals are opaque and light is absorbed and turned into heat. Graphene electrodes do not suffer this disadvantage yet can be made smaller since they are stronger and can still conduct the heat away. Hence a probable saving of 20% in power wastage over current LED bulbs.
I predict a similar improvement by the adoption of graphene in the electrodes of solar panels ……. for the same reasons.
Natural energy from the wind, sun and tides is intermittent and although it is becoming a significant contributor to our energy needs, carbon based energy production is needed to smooth out the difference between supply and demand. There are at present very few means of storing the energy so that it can be released to satisfy peak demands. Please bear with me whilst I digress slightly.
Some customers have commented that electric vehicles will put too much strain on the electrical grid and this will limit the uptake of electric cars. My view is that electric cars will be essential if natural energy is to become more useful to us.
Electric cars store energy and therefore need to be charged when not in use. Algorithms can be generated so that they are charged when power demand is low yet can release their power during peak periods. The owners of electric cars will be rewarded by a feed in tariff as their cars contribute to the grid during peak demand periods – such as during commercial breaks in a popular television program when viewers plug in kettles to make a hot drink.
Lewis Hamilton had an easy win today at the first Formula 1 race of the 2015 season at Melbourne. Perhaps other teams might consider my contribution to help them win that illusive ‘first past the chequered flag.’
As you know, the inlet manifold tracts of race tuned engines are given a matt finish in order to smooth the airflow. Golf balls are given a dimpled surface to make them fly further.
Now Formula 1 cars seem to be rather glossy. My suggestion? Get some really coarse sand paper and scour all that lovely glossy carbon fiber in the direction taken by the air flow. The advertisers may at first be a little miffed that their beautiful decals lose their crispness but all will be forgiven if the car wins.
Please could the winning team which adopts my suggestion reward me with a carbon fiber sheet of pre-preg. for the sail of my yacht project?
Today 11 March, the car manufacturers struck back against the uninformed anti-diesel car lobby. I too was alarmed when listening to the anti-diesel arguments broadcast on Radio 4 this morning during a discussion involving an anti-diesel oponent. Perhaps driving a diesel car will become a badge of honour -“I am technically informed so I drive a diesel car”. Clearly the chap dissing diesel vehicles had little knowledge of the latest Euro 6 standards.
It seems that ozone and NOx emissions are the alleged problems ‘solely’ caused by diesel cars. How times have changed! London Underground use to install ozonisers on the platforms to disinfect the air and I remember being taken to the sea-side as a child to enjoy the cleansing effects of the ozone. I suffered no adverse side effects despite the seaside trips sometimes involving a ride on a tube train.
Nitrogenous compounds were considered rather helpful when I was a school boy. My Science teacher once mounted his Nitrogen Cycle and drew copious arrows on his blackboard showing how natural events such as NOx producing lightning lead to plants producing protein. You could say that he had a ‘nitrogen fixation’.
Perhaps the Gaya Principle will make things better. The increase in man made gases will stimulate plant growth and these gasses will be taken up by vegetation and re-balance nature. Woops! I forgot. We are chopping back the green belt to build more houses.
Every animal produces greenhouse gases. Even baby rabbits. The trouble is that Humans now breed like rabbits. Unfortunately their life-style causes the release of carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming. There will be trouble ahead!