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(ITV)   Cambridge scientists develop technology which could simultaneously revolutionize the power industry, the communications industry, and the meth fundraising industry   (itv.com) divider line 23
    More: Interesting, Cambridge, energy industry, Cambridge scientists, fundraising, glass  
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2717 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Jun 2013 at 5:02 PM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-27 05:09:32 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-06-27 05:17:14 PM
wearscience.com
 
2013-06-27 05:56:00 PM
If this is real, it's a pretty big deal.
 
2013-06-27 06:16:26 PM
Crackstarter?
 
2013-06-27 06:19:32 PM
cool. strip mining metals slows down. carbon gets sequestered.
 
2013-06-27 06:26:42 PM
Thank you for including none of the material's physical properties.
How conductive is it? Better or worst than copper? How well does it behave at high and low temperatures? How solid is it? How much current can it handle?
 
2013-06-27 06:34:10 PM

talkertopc: Thank you for including none of the material's physical properties.
How conductive is it? Better or worst than copper? How well does it behave at high and low temperatures? How solid is it? How much current can it handle?


ductility?
 
2013-06-27 06:38:30 PM

dionysusaur: cool. strip mining metals slows down. carbon gets sequestered.


would certainly be easier for cities to deal with biodegradable garbage.
 
2013-06-27 06:49:58 PM
A lot more information:

http://www.nanowerk.com/news2/newsid=31062.php">http://www.nanowerk. com/news2/newsid=31062.php

The conductivity is still lower than Copper.  However, that's only because of the contact resistance between nanowires.  The nanowires themselves have much much higher conductivity than Copper or even Silver.  So if they can make them longer, or otherwise reduce the contact resistance between them, there is a huge upside.  Not there yet, but sounds pretty sweet.
 
2013-06-27 07:44:36 PM

Hollie Maea: A lot more information:

http://www.nanowerk.com/news2/newsid=31062.php">http://www.nanowerk. com/news2/newsid=31062.php

The conductivity is still lower than Copper.  However, that's only because of the contact resistance between nanowires.  The nanowires themselves have much much higher conductivity than Copper or even Silver.  So if they can make them longer, or otherwise reduce the contact resistance between them, there is a huge upside.  Not there yet, but sounds pretty sweet.


Hrm! ... My current work, while admittedly more with gold nanospehres, aims to add another tool to the nanotech/nanophysics toolbox-namely, directed self-assembly.

I have to wonder, if we can get it to work, if that could be applied here.... Wait bah that requires using organic molcules to coat the things. That'd fark up the resistivity.Though I suppose you could run a high enough current to burn it off and melt the gold once everything was in place...
 
2013-06-27 07:54:10 PM
Wow. It's an exciting time to be alive. Materials science, health, and physics are all wicked hot lately.
 
2013-06-27 10:11:18 PM

StopLurkListen: Wow. It's an exciting time to be alive. Materials science, health, and physics are all wicked hot lately.


The concept covered by moore's law doesnt just apply to electronics... its technology and knowledge in general.  Advancements get exponentially faster, because past discoveries compound to allow for more rapid advancement.

If you look at a timeline of human history and technological advancements, you will see that this is true.  The time gap from stone tools to harnessing fire to bronze to steel to international trade to mechanics to industrial revolution to electronic revolution to internet revolution to nanotech revolution... its all happening exponentially faster and faster as you ride the timeline.
 
2013-06-27 10:12:24 PM
Oops hit submit too soon.  But yeah, just wanted to agree with you and say that the next 50-100 years are going to be a wild ride.
 
2013-06-27 10:57:42 PM
Awesome!, a new technology that my power company will be sure to charge me a premium for.  Already paying for upgrades to a natural gas system that only exists in the next county over.
 
2013-06-27 11:24:14 PM
I worked with nanotubes, so I'm kinda missing that last part of the joke.

/Haven't caught the last two seasons of Breaking Bad
 
2013-06-28 01:37:57 AM
I wonder if metallic 'sputtering'  like what is used in semiconductors toattach the leads would help with the splicing issues...

\needs to send e-mail now
\\maybe when less full of beer
 
2013-06-28 02:15:11 AM
This process, once a bit better refined, is precisely what is needed for building a space elevator. One of the biggest obstacles has been making kilometers-long nano-carbon fibers and strands for the tether. And since it allows for power transmission, there's no need to weave any metal fibers into the strands so that it will carry current, thereby allowing the transport modules to draw direct from the tether, while still making sure that the tether is light enough for the job.

Also, if you make the tether into a ribbon 3 meters wide, rather than a cable, it would have to be no thicker than a couple thicknesses of construction paper. This way, transport modules can get better constant traction, and in the event of the tether needing to be detached for emergency, it would do little or no damage in falling back to Earth. The upper part would merely burn up in the atmosphere, and the lower would flutter and twist it's way down to earth in much the same manner as a big paper ribbon.

The first government, person, or entity to build a space elevator will effectively control access to space afterward.
 
2013-06-28 02:37:50 AM

Swiftstone2012: This process, once a bit better refined, is precisely what is needed for building a space elevator. One of the biggest obstacles has been making kilometers-long nano-carbon fibers and strands for the tether. And since it allows for power transmission, there's no need to weave any metal fibers into the strands so that it will carry current, thereby allowing the transport modules to draw direct from the tether, while still making sure that the tether is light enough for the job.

Also, if you make the tether into a ribbon 3 meters wide, rather than a cable, it would have to be no thicker than a couple thicknesses of construction paper. This way, transport modules can get better constant traction, and in the event of the tether needing to be detached for emergency, it would do little or no damage in falling back to Earth. The upper part would merely burn up in the atmosphere, and the lower would flutter and twist it's way down to earth in much the same manner as a big paper ribbon.

The first government, person, or entity to build a space elevator will effectively control access to space afterward.


You are looking at some high voltages to avoid significant voltage drop to get up there even if they can get it to have conductance similar to copper. Since you want to use it for power transmission to the pod climbing up, you would have to use AC too so that it wouldn't need direct contact to the conductor. This brings up the issue of inductive reactance of the conductor too. (effectively, it will have a higher resistance with AC running through it and as such, more voltage drop)

\you can't leave the space elevator's power conductor's unprotected because of lightning
\\it is going to be struck be a lot of lightning

/and for the citation on distance:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary_orbit
 
2013-06-28 08:29:59 AM
Professor Smalley used to say that if you made a wire like this of the "chair configuration" of carbon nanotube, you had a low temperature (liquid nitrogen cooled) superconductor.  The electrons can move from one nanotube to another by "quantum tunnelling".  He proposed using it for the wiring around substations, which is where most of the power loss is for high voltage lines.

/Don't ask me, he was the Nobel Laureate
//Heard his lecture about a year before he died.  EXCELLENT speaker!
 
2013-06-28 09:12:18 AM

talkertopc: Thank you for including none of the material's physical properties.
How conductive is it? Better or worst than copper? How well does it behave at high and low temperatures? How solid is it? How much current can it handle?


How much is it worth at the scrapyard?
 
2013-06-28 09:17:14 AM

Felgraf: I have to wonder, if we can get it to work, if that could be applied here.... Wait bah that requires using organic molcules to coat the things. That'd fark up the resistivity.Though I suppose you could run a high enough current to burn it off and melt the gold once everything was in place...


I'm off to the Patent Office, brb.
 
2013-06-28 10:11:45 AM
If I recall correctly, carbon nanotubes are highly flammable.  One good lightning strike, and your entire national grid would go up in smoke.

Want a couple of patents?  Here you go - free to the Universe:

1) Create a form of insulation that contains a flame retardant.  When heated, the insulation melts, releasing the flame retardant and extinguishing the flames.
2) Create a "firewall coupler" which would be used periodically to join segments of carbon nanotube wire.  The coupler would be consist of a metallic junction box and two flame resistant sleeves which would extend back over the two segments to prevent the flame from "jumping" across the junction box.
3) Create thermal sensors with explosive charges or other methods of cutting a segment of carbon nanotube wiring.  If an overheat condition is detected, the segment is cut at both ends (both transmission towers or in some similar location) so that dangling wires do not endanger persons or property below the transmission path.

These would obviously best apply to overhead power transmission, but might find application in other areas as well.
 
2013-06-28 12:35:11 PM

gozar_the_destroyer: Swiftstone2012: This process, once a bit better refined, is precisely what is needed for building a space elevator. One of the biggest obstacles has been making kilometers-long nano-carbon fibers and strands for the tether. And since it allows for power transmission, there's no need to weave any metal fibers into the strands so that it will carry current, thereby allowing the transport modules to draw direct from the tether, while still making sure that the tether is light enough for the job.

Also, if you make the tether into a ribbon 3 meters wide, rather than a cable, it would have to be no thicker than a couple thicknesses of construction paper. This way, transport modules can get better constant traction, and in the event of the tether needing to be detached for emergency, it would do little or no damage in falling back to Earth. The upper part would merely burn up in the atmosphere, and the lower would flutter and twist it's way down to earth in much the same manner as a big paper ribbon.

The first government, person, or entity to build a space elevator will effectively control access to space afterward.

You are looking at some high voltages to avoid significant voltage drop to get up there even if they can get it to have conductance similar to copper. Since you want to use it for power transmission to the pod climbing up, you would have to use AC too so that it wouldn't need direct contact to the conductor. This brings up the issue of inductive reactance of the conductor too. (effectively, it will have a higher resistance with AC running through it and as such, more voltage drop)

\you can't leave the space elevator's power conductor's unprotected because of lightning
\\it is going to be struck be a lot of lightning

/and for the citation on distance:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary_orbit


I'm not as familiar with the technical details as I would like, but if I remember correctly, it might be possible to use the tether itself, or portions of it, for power generation. If the nano-tube conduits won't do it, portions of the tether can be impregnated with wire. and as the Earth's geomagnetic field passes over it, generate a good deal of current.

If that will not suffice, simply use it for conduit to deliver current from a space-based solar array down to Earth. The array/station can act as counterweight, and you can sell whatever power the system doesn't use.

As for lightning strikes, well...we have learned a great deal about protecting utility-grade power systems from lightning strikes. I'm sure there's some way to insulate the tether where it is subject to strikes, or otherwise divert the lightning.
 
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