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From the hybrid car to the hybrid airplane?

Monday, 25 January 2021 08:27

Aircraft exhaust gases. (Photo: NASA / Lori Losey) 

 

At cruising altitude, airplanes emit a steady stream of nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, where chemicals can persist to produce ozone and fine particulate matter. Nitrogen oxides, or NOx, are a major source of air pollution and have been associated with asthma, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular disorders. Previous research has shown that the generation of these chemicals by global aviation results in 16,000 premature deaths each year.

 

Now, Steven Barrett's team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, has come up with a new concept for aircraft propulsion that, according to their estimates, would eliminate 95 percent of NOx emissions from the aviation and, as a result, would reduce the number of associated premature deaths by 92 percent.

 

The concept is inspired by the emission limitation systems used in land transport vehicles. Many heavy diesel trucks today house afterburner emission control systems to reduce the NOx generated by the engines. Barrett and his colleagues propose a similar design for aviation, but with an important additional detail, of the electrical type ...

 

Today's airplanes are powered by jet engines anchored under each wing. Each engine houses a gas turbine that drives a propeller to move the aircraft through the air while the exhaust from the turbine exits the rear. Due to this configuration, it has not been possible to use emission control devices, as they would interfere with the thrust produced by the engines.

 

In the new hybrid-electric, or "turboelectric" design, an aircraft's power source would still be a conventional gas turbine, but would be integrated into the aircraft's cargo hold. Instead of directly powering the propellers, the gas turbine would power a generator, also in the cellar, to produce electricity. This electricity would be the one that would feed the propellers of the airplane located in the wings.

 

The emissions produced by the gas turbine would be fed into an emissions control system, very similar to that of diesel vehicles, which would clean the exhaust gases before expelling them into the atmosphere.

 

In their study, entitled “Post-combustion emissions control in aero-gas turbine engines” and published in the academic journal Energy & Environmental Science, the researchers calculate that if such a hybrid-electric system were implemented in an aircraft such as a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320, the extra weight would require just 0.6 percent more fuel to fly the plane. (Source: NCYT from Amazings) 

 

 

Source: Redacción, N., 2021. ¿Del Automóvil Híbrido Al Avión Híbrido?. [online] Noticias de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (Amazings® / NCYT®). Available at: <https://noticiasdelaciencia.com/art/40852/del-automovil-hibrido-al-avion-hibrido> [Accessed 25 January 2021].


At Ineltec we offer tailored made solutions to perform any kind of test, doing a strong analysis of all the details so we can provide a tailored answer, that is also the most efficient and affordable solution to our client. If you need more information, don't hesitate to contact us by sending your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Towards the invisible solar panels

Monday, 18 January 2021 08:42

The solar cell created by the team is transparent, allowing it to be used in a wide range of applications. (Photo: Joondong Kim / Incheon National University)

 

Five years after the Paris climate agreement, all eyes are on the world's progress on the path to a carbon-free future. A crucial part of this goal involves the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources, such as sun, water, wind, and wave energy. Among them, solar energy has always been the one that has placed the most hope in the scientific community, as it is the most reliable and abundant source of energy on Earth.

 

In the last few decades, solar cells have become cheaper, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. However, today's solar cells tend to be opaque, preventing their wider use and integration into everyday materials, limiting themselves to being lined up on rooftops and in remote solar farms.

 

But what if next-generation solar panels could be integrated into windows, buildings, or even mobile phone screens? That is the hope of Professor Joondong Kim from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Incheon National University, Korea. In a recent study published in the Journal of Power Sources, he and his colleagues detail his latest invention: a completely transparent solar cell. "The unique characteristics of transparent photovoltaic cells could have several applications in human technology," says Professor Kim.

 

The idea of ​​transparent solar cells is well known, but this novel application in which scientists have been able to put this idea into practice is a crucial new finding. Currently, the materials that make the solar cell opaque are the semiconductor layers, responsible for capturing light and translating it into an electric current. Therefore, Professor Kim and his colleagues examined two potential semiconductor materials, identified by previous researchers for their desirable properties.

 

The first is titanium dioxide (TiO2), a well-known semiconductor already widely used to make solar cells. In addition to its excellent electrical properties, TiO2 is also an environmentally friendly and non-toxic material. This material absorbs UV light (a part of the spectrum of light invisible to the naked eye) while letting most of the range of visible light pass through. The second material investigated to make this junction was nickel oxide (NiO), another semiconductor known for its high optical transparency. Since nickel is one of the abundant elements on Earth, and its oxide can be easily manufactured at low industrial temperatures, NiO is also a great material for making green cells. 

 

The solar cell prepared by the researchers consisted of a glass substrate and a metal oxide electrode, on which they deposited thin layers of semiconductors (first TiO2, then NiO) and a final coating of silver nanowires, which acted as the another electrode of the cell. They ran various tests to assess the device's absorbency and light transmission, as well as its effectiveness as a solar cell.

 

His results were encouraging; With an energy conversion efficiency of 2.1%, the performance of the cell was quite good, considering that it only targets a small part of the light spectrum. The cell was also very sensitive and worked in low light conditions. Furthermore, more than 57% of visible light was transmitted through the cell's layers, giving it this transparent appearance. In the final part of their experiment, the researchers demonstrated how their device could be used to power a small motor. "Although this innovative solar cell is still in its infancy, our results clearly suggest that transparent photovoltaic systems can be further improved by optimizing the optical and electrical properties of the cell," suggests Professor Kim.

 

Now that they have demonstrated the practicality of a transparent solar cell, they hope to further improve its efficiency in the near future. Only further research can tell if they will become a reality, but for all intents and purposes, this new technology opens a window - quite literally - into a clean energy future. (Source: NCYT Amazings)

 

Source: Redacción, N., 2021. Hacia Los Paneles Solares Invisibles. [online] Noticias de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (Amazings® / NCYT®). Available at: <https://noticiasdelaciencia.com/art/40754/hacia-los-paneles-solares-invisibles> [Accessed 18 January 2021].


At Ineltec we offer tailored made solutions to perform any kind of test, doing a strong analysis of all the details so we can provide a tailored answer, that is also the most efficient and affordable solution to our client. If you need more information, don't hesitate to contact us by sending your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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• This is the project called 'Welaser', funded by the EU within the Horizon 2020 program and which has a budget of 5.4 million euros.

 

A project coordinated by researchers from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) will use lasers to eliminate weeds from crops and thus offer a sustainable alternative to the use of chemicals such as pesticides and pesticides.


The prototype will consist of an autonomous vehicle or robot with a vision system with artificial intelligence that will discriminate weeds from crops. Then it will detect the meristems of the weeds (responsible for their growth) and apply a high-power laser to them to kill the plants.


This prototype will be developed by a multidisciplinary team coordinated by researchers from the Center for Automation and Robotics, a joint center of the CSIC and the Polytechnic University of Madrid (CAR-CSIC-UPM). "This technology, by focusing directly on meristems and not using pesticides or pesticides, provides a clean solution to the problem of eliminating weeds and will help significantly reduce chemicals in the environment," explains Pablo González de Santos, scientist of the CSIC in the CAR-CSIC-UPM and coordinator of the project.

 

Tecnología verde, el CSIC utilizará el láser para eliminar malas hierbas de los cultivos sin necesidad de pesticidas

 


Thus, agricultural productivity can be increased while achieving greater environmental sustainability and improving the health of animals and humans, adds the researcher. González Santos' team will be in charge of the intelligent coordination of all the subsystems, including the generation of missions and the autonomous navigation of the mobile robot.

 

The 'Welaser' project is formed by a consortium of 10 partners from Spain, Germany, Denmark, France, Poland, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands and will focus on wheat and corn crops, the most relevant in the European market, as well like beets and carrots.


Weeds that grow in agricultural crops are characterized by their high dispersal capacity, great persistence and by decreasing the yield of plantations. Chemical products are usually used to eliminate them, but they deteriorate the properties of the soil and damage its beneficial organisms. Ending the use of pesticides and pesticides is a key objective of the European Union (EU). In this way, the 'Welaser' project proposes a sustainable alternative to the use of pesticides and pesticides and plans to have a prototype in 2023, which will then have to be commercialized.


Together with the CSIC, Agreenculture SaS (France), the Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Ranchers (Spain), Futonics Laser (Germany), the Institute for the Ecology of Industrial Areas (Poland), Laser Zentrum Hannover (Germany) participate in this project , the University of Bologna (Italy), the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), the University of Ghent (Belgium) and Vanden Borne Projecten BV (Netherlands).

 

 

Source: Verde, T., 2021. Tecnología Verde, El CSIC Utilizará El Láser Para Eliminar Malas Hierbas De Los Cultivos Sin Necesidad De Pesticidas. [online] ECOticias.com. Available at: <https://www.ecoticias.com/tecnologia-verde/206972/CSIC-utilizara-laser-eliminar-malas-hierbas-cultivos-sin-necesidad-pesticidas> [Accessed 11 January 2021].


At Ineltec we offer tailored made solutions to perform any kind of test, doing a strong analysis of all the details so we can provide a tailored answer, that is also the most efficient and affordable solution to our client. If you need more information, don't hesitate to contact us by sending your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

If you have suggestions on our blog or need information from our teams, do not hesitate to contact us.

Commercial, Marketing and Communication Department

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: (+34) 938.605.100