[tt] advanced nanotechnology - 3 new articles

Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> on Sat Dec 1 21:34:30 UTC 2007

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Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2007 02:40:39 -0500
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Subject: advanced nanotechnology - 3 new articles
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"[2]advanced nanotechnology" - 3 new articles

    1. [3]A review my favorite space launch and propulsion systems
    2. [4]Thermoelectronic advances
    3. [5]Update on the nuclear "battery"
    4. [6]More Recent Articles
    5. [7]Search advanced nanotechnology

[8]A review my favorite space launch and propulsion systems

   [9]Accelerating future had reviewed systems for getting into space in
   I had covered the [10]EM drive but is definitely one of the long shots
   with a lot of unknowns in the science (ie. I seriously doubt that it
   will work).
   My preferences are for:
   Bussard IEC fusion earth to orbit spaceship. Credit: Tom Ligon and
   [11]Fusion propulsion if Bussard IEC fusion or [12]Trialpha energy
   colliding beam fusion or laser fusion or Z pinch fusion work. The
   fusion systems would have a superior version for getting from ground
   to orbit. However, as we have experienced fusion technology could
   disappoint and take longer than we would like to develop.
   Laser launch concept
   Laser mirror concept for station keeping. For laser mirror propulsion,
   there would be an array of large (100+ kw solid state) lasers firing
   at one of the mirrors and the other non-moving mirror would be on the
   moon or the earth.
   [13]Mirror Laser array launches Solid state high power lasers are
   progressing far faster in power and efficiency than many people
   realize. I think convergence of technology could make this happen far
   quicker than many would expect. It would bring the cost of launches
   down to about the cost of electricity (even better with mirror
   [14]I would really like it if people would become rational and allow
   nuclear rocket launches. The liberty ship is one that could luanch
   1000 tons at a go and would not release radiation into the atmosphere
   I think nuclear rocket systems would be safer than chemical and space
   planes because there is so much safety margin to play with.
   [15]Project Orion definitely made sense. It would be cheaper than the
   space elevator. [16]The launch cost for the largest Orions was 5 cents
   per pound (11 cent/kg) to Earth orbit in 1958 dollars. In 2005
   dollars, the cost would be 32 cents/lb or 70 cents.
   [17]Minimag Orion and other external nuclear pulse propulsion systems
   One thing to note is the pussy footing around with sub-critical
   explosions is stupid if we have technology for achieving 10+% of the
   speed of light and have 20+GW laser arrays. 10 kiloton TNT equivalent
   bombs would be like hand grenades.
   [18]What seems like a cheap system for bringing the cost of gravity
   hardened systems and cargo into space for less than 25% of current
   costs is ram accelerators (big guns)
   nuclear electric rocket
   A nuclear powered vasimr might look more like this nuclear electric
   vehicle. Replace the MPD thrusters with vasimr engines, replace the
   Brayton units with advanced thermoelectric devices.
   Image of a vasimr rocket
   [19]Nuclear powered Vasimr for getting around from orbit to other
   My issues with the space elevator is that it will take longer than I
   would like to make it happen. It brings the goal of bringing the cost
   of getting to space to approach the cost of the electricity to lift
   mass to the right height. The mirror laser array system seems like
   something that could come together faster than the space elevator. I
   also prefer a longer space pier over the space elevator. However, I
   still support the space elevator project because other approaches
   might have development delays as well. Capturing mind share and
   imagination are useful things for making something happen.
   high altitude winds
   [20]I am also concerned about the performance of the recent contest
   climbers when they could not climb because of wind. The actual
   climbers will have to go through high winds at higher altitudes.
   [21][advancednano?i=YiUvepB] [22][advancednano?i=yx7LcgB]
   [23][advancednano?i=GRJFrwb] [24][advancednano?i=RPAvyub]
   [25][advancednano?i=q5O5krb] [26][advancednano?i=dpXujuB]
   [27][advancednano?i=3hBUQIb] [28][advancednano?i=1saBbgB] 
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[34]Thermoelectronic advances

   Recent quantum dots are three times better than thermoelectric devices
   from the mid-1990's. There are quantum wells that get 4.5ZT.
   Vehicle efficiency technology gets about [35]176 million per year The
   new thermoelectronics are not magic technology. They are part of one
   of the highest value US government research programs. The advanced
   versions should be ready in 2014. (Actually the first versions will be
   in BMW car in 2010. Crude versions are already used for beer
   refridgerators and are used for car seat warmers).
   It can be seen on this chart that 4.5 ZT gets 38% efficiency for 500
   degrees and 54% efficiency for 1000 degrees
   Recent quantum well samples have achieved 4.5 ZT.
   The 4.5 ZT would have 17-25% efficiency under more common temperature
   Nanostructured material could achieve ZT of 10-15.
   The 2014 target is a ZT of 10 which would make thermoelectric
   conversion of 35% for temperature ranges typically found in cars. The
   goal is raise diesel engine efficiency from 38% now to 60%. More than
   50% better without adjust the weight of the vehicle.
   [36]Powerchips claim 70-80% carnot efficiency.
   [37]Quantum well thermoelectronics 28 page presentation
   [38]A 55 page presentation on using thermoelectronics for cars and
   other applications. It also discusses scaling up the production
   [39]Another set of slides on making diesels more efficiency
   [40]Freedomcar website
   [41]A presentation on a near term target of 10% efficient
   thermoelectric system.
   [42]2006 advanced engine project status review.

     The target for engine efficiency increase was 10%- 13% which was
     met by achieving 10.5% efficiency improvement when the engine was
     operating over a steady-state cycle. However, the achievement in
     the road cycle was 8.2% increase in efficiency. When the engine was
     coupled to a CVT the efficiency increase was only 5%.
     A comprehensive study showed that with a 5% increased efficiency
     and the fuel price of $2.50/gal, it takes a little less than 1.5
     years to compensate the initial charges added to the engine due to
     the efficiency recovery units. This study has been done for a
     10,000unit production volume per year. With increase in annual
     production numbers and considering a learning factor of 0.87 the
     pay back time will reduce significantly.

   thermoelectric addon to freight trucks payback
   A thermoelectric addon device costing a few thousand dollars would pay
   for itself in 9-18 months. Better systems will perform even better,
   cost less and would become economic as add-ons for smaller trucks and
   [43][advancednano?i=32seOOB] [44][advancednano?i=t3h1cvB]
   [45][advancednano?i=E7heaEb] [46][advancednano?i=7cXDQHb]
   [47][advancednano?i=BfwEiyb] [48][advancednano?i=Y5xx4LB]
   [49][advancednano?i=73k09xb] [50][advancednano?i=V4zCK3B] 
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   [55]Rate 'Thermoelectronic advances'

[56]Update on the nuclear "battery"

   I exchanged email with [57]Hyperion Power Generation (the maker of the
   new power generator. They indicate that the Sante Fe reporter made a
   mistake. The output is about 25-17 MW ELECTRIC [This statement was
   also consistent with the patent which talked about tens of MW in
   electricity. They also said that the containment vessel will be dense
   enough that no radiation will escape even if it is not buried in the
   [58]Hyperion does not have a detailed diagram of the heat piping but
   there does not seem like there should be anything special about the
   heat piping system. In this presentation on slide 34 and 35 they have
   the density of heat pipes which seems appropriate About 1/9th of the
   volume taken up with heat pipes
   [59]The electric power generation is based on standard turbines which
   are about 40% efficient. There is new thermoelectronics which could
   double that efficiency.
   [60]For space vehicles, one could replace the heavy radiation
   shielding with lighter alternatives like electrostatic shielding.
   [61]I talked about using the simplified solid core nuclear reactor for
   enhanced recovery of shale oil to help resolve peak oil.
   [62]I examined using the nuclear power in combination with the Vasimr
   plasma rocket engine for 39 day trips to Mars
   [63]I also discuss using this technology as one of several
   technologies that would make civilization more resistant to disasters.
   [64][advancednano?i=nac4gnB] [65][advancednano?i=X5vhK7B]
   [66][advancednano?i=jB8IU2b] [67][advancednano?i=8CJyjEb]
   [68][advancednano?i=fGC7xbb] [69][advancednano?i=hs8AfMB]
   [70][advancednano?i=RvrveGb] [71][advancednano?i=vNeAgoB] 
   o [72]Email to a friend o [73]Article Search o [74]Related o
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   [76]Rate 'Update on the nuclear "battery"'

More Recent Articles

     * [77]Other advances in enhanced oil recovery
     * [78]China yuan update: China allowing more market forces
     * [79]Carnival of Space week 31
     * [80]Stabilizing Iraq using In depth understanding and connection
       with the local people
     * [81]Molecular map for aging created for Mice


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