Biomimetic file 168: super efficient microturbines that run on carbon dioxide

How turning inconveniences into assets can lead to strategic advantage

3D-Print-Rotor-DesalImage Source: GE Global Research. GE. In nuclear physics, nuclear fusion* is a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei come close enough to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles (neutrons or protons). The difference in mass between the products and reactants is manifested as the release of large amounts of energy.

Highlight: “General Electric (GE) Global Research has announced that it’s developing a prototype turbine that could fit onto a desk. Using “supercritical carbon dioxide,” just one of these devices could power a small town of 10,000 homes…A supercritical fluid is any substance at such high temperatures and/or pressures that the boundaries between what is liquid and what is gaseous vanish. They can move through solids like gases…Steam turbines, which are normally 10 times bigger than this prototype, convert around 45 percent of their heat into electrical energy; GE believe their new, far smaller turbine would be around 50 percent efficient…”

Insight: Plasma’s (basically super heated gases) are omnipresent in the universe from our own Sun to interstellar gases. There is a lot to learn from natural systems containing plasma’s and many applications are yet to be exploited. One of them is energy generation and the efficiency gains through the unique properties of how they flow around. Perhaps an even greater potential is exploring the application of plasma’s for nuclear fusion which still has a long way to go…

Nuclear fusion* is considered as the holly grail of energy as it would provide unlimited energy with only water as a fuel (there is plenty of sea water) and no harmful side products unlike with nuclear fission and its rather troublesome radioactive wastes. While significant developments are under way, the main problems remain to sustain the reactions and to contain the extreme heat generated using electromagnetic fields. Experts predict that it would take a few more decades to reach a desired outcome…

There is an interesting philosophy in this carbon dioxide energy development case study: Quite often when faced with an inconvenience businesses tend to either avoid it or get rid of it, which rarely really solves the problem. Perhaps a better alternative is  to find ways  to utilize the inconvenience as an asset and to incorporate it within the development strategy.

Are you facing an obstacle holding you from moving ahead? If so perhaps consider looking at this inconvenience as a challenge for improvement and try to find ways to turn it into an asset; you may be surprised of the outcomes…

More information: here 

What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species or natural systems on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…

bluestrike logo

www.bluestrike-group.com

Advertisements