Innovative Ideas

Saline Solution:

The cooling technology firm has sold one of its Neal pumps to the city of Drammen. The heat pump extracts heat from seawater and the waste heat is captured, compressed, boosted and recycled to provide hot water at up to 9000C for heating buildings. The system will supply hot water pumped through a network of underground pipes for heating more than 6000 homes and businesses in the city. The Neal pump will provide up to 15MW of heat for Drammen when the project is completed next January. It will be to world’s largest district wide natural heat pump system and marks the largest export order it had in Star’s 40 year history. Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular across Europe as the heat they deliver far exceeds the energy they consume. District heat pumps already exist in Scandinavia and across eastern and Central Europe, providing higher efficiencies than traditional localized boilers. However, many of these first generation systems rely on hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants which are thousands of times more potent as global warming gases than carbon dioxide when emitted into the atmosphere. Unlike its forerunners Star’s system does not require synthetic global warming gases. It operates using ammonia a naturally occurring refrigerant that has zero ozone depletion potential. The company says that ammonia has never been used in a high temperature heat pump application of this type. Electricity for the Drammen system is provided by hydropower. Dave Person, Star Refrigeration’s director of innovation, says that the Neal pump could also be used to heat factories hospitals office buildings and data centers. A shocking amount of heat generated through cling processes worldwide is simply discarded as waste into the atmosphere he says, Organizations cold now be recycling waste heat from their process air conditioning and IT cooling systems and boosting it for use in their own and neighboring buildings

Tech barrier goes PC chips to shrink further:

Scientists at Rice University and Hewlett Packard say that they can overcome a fundamental barrier to the continued rapid miniaturization of computer memory that has been the basis for the consumer electronics revolution. In recent years the limits of physics and finance faced by chip makers had loomed so large that experts feared a sow down in the pace of miniaturization that would act like a brake on the a brake on the ability to pack ever more power into ever smaller devices like laptops, smart phones and digital cameras. The new announcements along with competing technologies being pursued by companies like IBM and Intel offer hope that the brake will not be applied any time soon. In one of the two new developments, Rice researchers are reporting in Nano Letters, a journal of the American chemical society, that they have succeeded in building reliable small digital switches – an essential part of computer memory that could shrink to significantly smaller sale than is possible using conventional methods. More important the advance is based on silicon oxide one of the basic building blocks of today’s chip industry thus easing a move forward commercialization. The scientists said that PrivaTran a Texas start up company, has made experimental chips using technique that can store and retrieve information. Separately HP researchers are set to announce later on Tuesday that will enter into a commercial partnership with a major semiconductor company to produce a related technology that also has the potential of pushing computer data storage to astronomical densities in the next decade. HP and the Rice researchers are making what are called demisters memory resistors switches that retain information without a source of power.