Wireless power transfer achieved at 5-meter distance – Can you hear Tesla now?

This is a simulation result of magnetic flux lines of DCRS coil configuration. Credit: KAIST

“With DCRS,” Professor Rim said, “a large LED TV as well as three 40 W-fans can be powered from a 5-meter distance.”

With a maximum output power of 209 W at 20 kHz, the Dipole Coil Resonant System can charge 40 smart phones simultaneously, even if the power source is 5 meters away

The way electronic devices receive their power has changed tremendously over the past few decades, from wired to non-wired. Users today enjoy all kinds of wireless electronic gadgets including cell phones, mobile displays, tablet PCs, and even batteries. The Internet has also shifted from wired to wireless. Now, researchers and engineers are trying to remove the last remaining wires altogether by developing wireless power transfer technology.

Chun T. Rim, a professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering at KAIST, and his team showcased, on April 16, 2014 at the KAIST campus, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, a great improvement in the distance that electric power can travel wirelessly. They developed the “Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS)” for an extended range of inductive power transfer, up to 5 meters between transmitter and receiver coils.

Since MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) introduction of the Coupled Magnetic Resonance System (CMRS) in 2007, which used a magnetic field to transfer energy for a distance of 2.1 meters, the development of long-distance wireless power transfer has attracted much attention for further research.

However, in terms of extending the distance of wireless power, CMRS, for example, has revealed technical limitations to commercialization that are yet to be solved: a rather complicated coil structure (composed of four coils for input, transmission, reception, and load); bulky-size resonant coils; high frequency (in a range of 10 MHz) required to resonate the transmitter and receiver coils, which results in low transfer efficiency; and a high Q factor of 2,000 that makes the resonant coils very sensitive to surroundings such as temperature, humidity, and human proximity.

Professor Rim proposed a meaningful solution to these problems through DCRS, an optimally designed coil structure that has two magnetic dipole coils, a primary one to induce a magnetic field and a secondary to receive electric power. Unlike the large and thick loop-shaped air coils built in CMRS, the KAIST research team used compact ferrite core rods with windings at their centers. The high frequency AC current of the primary winding generates a magnetic field, and then the linkage magnetic flux induces the voltage at the secondary winding.

Scalable and slim with a size of 3 m in length, 10 cm in width, and 20 cm in height, DCRS is significantly smaller than CMRS. The system has a low Q factor of 100, showing 20 times stronger against the environment changes, and works well at a low frequency of 100 kHz. The team conducted several experiments and achieved promising results: for instance, under the operation of 20 kHz, the maximum output power was 1,403 W at a 3-meter distance, 471 W at 4-meter, and 209 W at 5-meter. For 100 W of electric power transfer, the overall system power efficiency was 36.9% at 3 meters, 18.7% at 4 meters, and 9.2% at 5 meters.

“With DCRS,” Professor Rim said, “a large LED TV as well as three 40 W-fans can be powered from a 5-meter distance.”

“Our technology proved the possibility of a new remote power delivery mechanism that has never been tried at such a long distance. Although the long-range wireless power transfer is still in an early stage of commercialization and quite costly to implement, we believe that this is the right direction for electric power to be supplied in the future. Just like we see Wi-Fi zones everywhere today, we will eventually have many Wi-Power zones at such places as restaurants and streets that provide electric power wirelessly to electronic devices. We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries.”

Professor Rim’s team completed a research project with the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd in March this year to remotely supply electric power to essential instrumentation and control equipment at a nuclear power plant in order to properly respond to an emergency like the one happened at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. They succeeded to transfer 10 W of electricity to the plant that was located 7 meters away from the power base.

Read more . . .

The Latest on: Wireless power

via  Bing News

 

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

This illustration shows a possible configuration of a floating offshore nuclear plant, based on design work by Jacopo Buongiorno and others at MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Like offshore oil drilling platforms, the structure would include living quarters and a helipad for transportation to the site. Illustration courtesy of Jake Jurewicz/MIT-NSE

New power plant design could provide enhanced safety, easier siting, and centralized construction.

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects — specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station — that caused most of the harm.

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.

The concept is being presented this week at the Small Modular Reactors Symposium, hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, by MIT professors Jacopo Buongiorno, Michael Golay, and Neil Todreas, along with others from MIT, the University of Wisconsin, and Chicago Bridge and Iron, a major nuclear plant and offshore platform construction company.

Such plants, Buongiorno explains, could be built in a shipyard, then towed to their destinations five to seven miles offshore, where they would be moored to the seafloor and connected to land by an underwater electric transmission line. The concept takes advantage of two mature technologies: light-water nuclear reactors and offshore oil and gas drilling platforms. Using established designs minimizes technological risks, says Buongiorno, an associate professor of nuclear science and engineering (NSE) at MIT.

Although the concept of a floating nuclear plant is not unique — Russia is in the process of building one now, on a barge moored at the shore — none have been located far enough offshore to be able to ride out a tsunami, Buongiorno says. For this new design, he says, “the biggest selling point is the enhanced safety.”

A floating platform several miles offshore, moored in about 100 meters of water, would be unaffected by the motions of a tsunami; earthquakes would have no direct effect at all. Meanwhile, the biggest issue that faces most nuclear plants under emergency conditions — overheating and potential meltdown, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island — would be virtually impossible at sea, Buongiorno says: “It’s very close to the ocean, which is essentially an infinite heat sink, so it’s possible to do cooling passively, with no intervention. The reactor containment itself is essentially underwater.”

Buongiorno lists several other advantages. For one thing, it is increasingly difficult and expensive to find suitable sites for new nuclear plants: They usually need to be next to an ocean, lake, or river to provide cooling water, but shorefront properties are highly desirable. By contrast, sites offshore, but out of sight of land, could be located adjacent to the population centers they would serve. “The ocean is inexpensive real estate,” Buongiorno says.

In addition, at the end of a plant’s lifetime, “decommissioning” could be accomplished by simply towing it away to a central facility, as is done now for the Navy’s carrier and submarine reactors. That would rapidly restore the site to pristine conditions.

This design could also help to address practical construction issues that have tended to make new nuclear plants uneconomical: Shipyard construction allows for better standardization, and the all-steel design eliminates the use of concrete, which Buongiorno says is often responsible for construction delays and cost overruns.

There are no particular limits to the size of such plants, he says: They could be anywhere from small, 50-megawatt plants to 1,000-megawatt plants matching today’s largest facilities. “It’s a flexible concept,” Buongiorno says.

Most operations would be similar to those of onshore plants, and the plant would be designed to meet all regulatory security requirements for terrestrial plants. “Project work has confirmed the feasibility of achieving this goal, including satisfaction of the extra concern of protection against underwater attack,” says Todreas, the KEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Buongiorno sees a market for such plants in Asia, which has a combination of high tsunami risks and a rapidly growing need for new power sources. “It would make a lot of sense for Japan,” he says, as well as places such as Indonesia, Chile, and Africa.

This is a “very attractive and promising proposal,” says Toru Obara, a professor at the Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors at the Tokyo Institute of Technology who was not involved in this research. “I think this is technically very feasible. … Of course, further study is needed to realize the concept, but the authors have the answers to each question and the answers are realistic.”

Read more . . .

 

The Latest on: Nuclear plants

via  Bing News

 

CMU’s snake robot explores defunct nuclear power plant

cmu-modular-snake-robot

“Our robot can go places people can’t, particularly in areas of power plants that are radioactively contaminated,”

Several snake-like robots have been developed around the world, and while we keep hearing about their potential applications few have managed to slither outside of their research labs. Earlier this year Carnegie Mellon University’s Biorobotics Lab put its modular snake robot’s practicality to the test in an abandoned nuclear power plant, where it provided clear, well-lit images from the inside of pipes.

Austria’s Zwentendorf nuclear power plant is the perfect testing ground for inspection robots. The plant was built in the 1970s but was never turned on, so there’s no radiation to worry about. That makes it the next best thing to an operational plant, with a multitude of tricky pipes to explore.

Recently, several robots have been developed to help explore the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. However, most plants contain miles of pipes, which other robots can’t adequately inspect. The snake robot, which has a camera and LEDs on its head, crawled into 15 cm (6 in) wide steam pipes, providing operators with a clear view of what was inside. The robot moves by rolling itself in a corkscrew pattern, so the resulting video feed is automatically corrected in software to align with gravity.

“Our robot can go places people can’t, particularly in areas of power plants that are radioactively contaminated,” explains Robotics Professor Howie Choset. “It can go up and around multiple bends, something you can’t do with a conventional borescope, a flexible tube that can only be pushed through a pipe like a wet noodle.”

Read & See more . . .

via Gizmag – Jason Falconer
 

The Latest Streaming News: Snake robot updated minute-by-minute

Bookmark this page and come back often
 

Latest NEWS

 

Latest VIDEO

 

The Latest from the BLOGOSPHERE

Toshiba unveils four-legged nuclear plant inspection robot

In less radioactive areas, humans may soon enter wearing robotic exoskeletons.

Toshiba has unveiled a four-legged inspection robot, which will carry out work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where people cannot go. The newly developed robot – simply called a Quadruped walking robot – comes equipped with a smaller wheeled robot that can be deployed to navigate hard-to-reach areas. The legged robot can negotiate stairs, uneven terrain, and is able to avoid low-lying obstacles.

The TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was severely damaged in the tsunami that occurred immediately following the the earthquake of March 11, 2011. Parts of the plant have been decommissioned but still contain unspent nuclear fuel which gives off lethal radiation, so robots are being used to check things out. The robots are equipped with cameras and radiation dosimeters.

The larger of the two robots weighs 143 pounds (65 kg) and stands 3 feet, 5 inches (106 cm) tall. It can operate for up to two hours on its battery, and has a walking speed of 1 km/h (0.6 mph). The smaller inspection robot weighs 4.4 pounds (2 kg), and has a battery life of about one hour. Both robots will be operated over a wireless network.

Read more . . .

via Gizmag – Jason Falconer
 

The Latest Streaming News: Nuclear plant inspection robot updated minute-by-minute

Bookmark this page and come back often
 

Latest NEWS

 

Latest VIDEO

 

The Latest from the BLOGOSPHERE

iRobot launches new 710 Warrior robot

Can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg)

 
iRobot, the company behind household helpers, such as the Roomba and Scooba, and military and police robots, such as the PackBot and Negotiator, has released an updated version of its Warrior 700 robot. Like its predecessor, the newly launched 710 Warrior is designed for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), reconnaissance and surveillance missions and can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg) and carry payloads of more than 150 pounds (68 kg) over rough terrain.

Measuring 35-in (89 cm) long, 18-in (46 cm) high (in stowed configuration) and 30.25-in (77 cm) wide (or 21.25-in with its stair-climbing flippers removed), the 710 Warrior weighs 347 lbs (157 kg) with battery and flippers installed and can travel at speeds of up to 8 mph (12.9 km/h) thanks to its electric motor that packs enough grunt to allow the robot to pull a car.

The unmanned robot is controlled via an Operator Control Unit powered by iRobot’s Aware 2 robot intelligence software and can be fitted with optional obstacle avoidance sensors, compass and GPS. The remote operator can monitor views from the robot’s multiple cameras in real time at distances of up to 2,624 ft (800 m).

Designed to be highly configurable to adapt to a range of missions, the robot can be fitted with a variety of payloads, including an APOBS (Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System) and various weapons and accessories, as well as a manipulator arm that can extend 75-in (192 cm) and boasts enough dexterity to open a car door.

iRobot’s vice president of operations for government and industrial robots, Tim Trainer, told Technology Review that two prototype Warrior robots were used to explore damaged buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site following last year’s tsunami.

Read more . . .
 
Bookmark this page for “iRobot” and check back regularly as these articles update on a very frequent basis. The view is set to “news”. Try clicking on “video” and “2” for more articles.