Shape changing rotor blades to make helicopters more efficient, quieter, better, by NASA.
Fuel cell powered UAVs developed by the Naval Research Labs (NRL) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).And for the grand finale, Cold Fusion 2.0 via Navy Space and Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego. Unlike Cold Fusion 1.0, which no one could replicate and ultimately became a punch line, this breakthrough is holding up in labs around the world.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The traditional process uses carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen as the ingredients in the molecular soup that gets turned into hydrocarbons. The process uses just CO2 and hydrogen. Glasser's new production method allows them to set a lower limit on the amount of energy that would be needed to transform solid coal into fuel. The very best possible CTL process would require 350 megawatts of input to make 80,000 gallons of fuel; the current process uses more than 1,000 megawatts.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) and Protected Patrol Vehicles (PPVs) are already power-hungry machines with advanced computer systems and communication equipment, but future battlefield vehicles will be equipped with even more electronics, such as situational-awareness technology, sensors and vehicle cooling systems. All of this will place an increasing burden on existing 28V generating systems.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Currently, the lightest load carried, the "fighting load" for situations where the troops were sneaking up on the enemy and might be involved in hand-to-hand combat, is 63 pounds. The "approach march load," for when infantry were moving up to a position where they would shed some weight to achieve their "fighting load", is 101 pounds. The heaviest load, 132 pounds, was the emergency approach march load, where troops had to move through terrain too difficult for vehicles.Could you carry that much for 10 minutes in your back yard? What about in the desert heat? How about for 2 hours up and down hills? Here's what this means for troops in Afghanistan in particular:
In Afghanistan, the problem is made worse by the high altitudes (up to 5,000 meters) the troops often operate at. The researchers found that in Afghanistan, even though the infantry were in excellent physical shape, troops would sweat nearly 20 ounces of fluid an hour while marching at high altitudes in bright sunlight in moderate temperatures. That meant more weight, in water, had to be found to keep these guys going.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Experts said that once in the system, a hacker could gain control of thousands, even millions, of meters and shut them off simultaneously. A hacker also might be able to dramatically increase or decrease the demand for power, disrupting the load balance on the local power grid and causing a blackout. These experts said such a localized power outage would cascade to other parts of the grid, expanding the blackout. No one knows how big it could get.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
It was a blunt message that came a little more than a year ago from an influential Pentagon task force. Charged with looking into the strategy for saving energy, the Defense Science Board concluded that the DOD didn't seem to have one. The report further noted that the department was rather too nonchalant about its "unnecessarily high, and growing" fuel use.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
After the presentation, I sat down with the Executive Director, Brett KenCairns to discuss the program. As their website describes it:
Veterans Green Jobs provides exemplary green jobs education and career development opportunities for military veterans, empowering and supporting them to lead America’s transition to energy independence, ecological restoration, community renewal, and economic prosperity.
The intent is to provide training and education to veterans and bring them into the Green workforce. The concept is new and the first graduates of the Veterans Green Jobs Academy will graduate and deploy in June of this year. I encourage all employers to visit the website and tap into this resource. If you want a workforce that emulates the values that have made our military one of the most esteemed institutions in the world, Veterans Green Jobs can help you achieve that goal. This program focuses on getting the best that America offers into the industry that has the potential to return us to the economic prominence we once enjoyed and can again.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Fuel supplies intended for U.S. troops in Afghanistan ... are creating a security risk. More than 90 percent of the fuel and materiel destined to U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan go through Pakistan. The Taliban and other Islamist forces in Pakistan have been attacking supply convoys in transit.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Inevitably, the [oil] market doesn't react; it overreacts and shoots itself in the foot.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The CIA wouldn't have changed its policy on disclosure if it wasn't important. Donahue wouldn't have said it publicly if he didn't think the threat was very large and that companies needed to fix things right now.
In the past, if they wanted to go out and read a gauge on a gas well, for example, they would have to send a technician in his vehicle; he would drive 100 miles and physically read the gauge and get back in his truck. Now they can read it from headquarters. But it allows attackers a gateway into the system.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
OUSD(AT&L) and the Joint Staff will soon embark on developing a methodology for implementing the Energy Efficiency key performance parameter (KPP), established in 2007. The study will help inform us of when to apply this energy-related KPP, and how to determine what the metrics should be for a given platform or system type.
The OUSD (AT&L), the Army, and the Marine Corps are in the very early discussions about how best to set energy “productivity” metrics for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program. We expect this to be addressed in the program’s study plan prior to the next milestone decision, currently scheduled for 2011.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
mounting signs that the economic crisis and lower oil prices are shuttering projects around the world. OPEC countries—which meet next week to consider another output cut—have voluntarily slashed production by around three million barrels a day since last fall. But the big and lasting cuts are coming in non-OPEC countries, where companies are postponing or canceling projects in droves. Bernstein Research said this week that non-OPEC oil production could fall by 2.5 million barrels/day over the next year.A drop that steep, analysts say, would more than make up for the steep fall in global oil demand. PFC Energy said in a report this week that it expects non-OPEC supply to continue to droop next year, losing an additional 460,000 barrels a day. Oil gurus at Barclays Capital predict that the fall in demand will become “less precipitous in coming months, while the supply-side contraction starts to bite and the impact spreads out from the physical markets.” Translation: Higher prices.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Honeywell has ... implemented energy conservation measures for the Air Force and Navy. Combined, the company's DOD work will provide around $540 million in guaranteed savings. Typical improvements include replacing and upgrading heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) equipment, installing centralized building automation systems, replacing outdated fixtures with energy-efficient lighting, tightening building envelopes through new windows and doors, and upgrading electrical systems. Renewable energy technology like solar panels and biomass boilers is frequently employed as well.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Chinese security analysts fear that oil import dependency is a potential pressure point that could be exploited by future adversaries of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Approximately 80 percent of China’s 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude oil imports passes through the Straits of Malacca. Such funneling could facilitate interdiction of China’s oil lifeline in times of crisis.
Monday, March 2, 2009
- The DOE reports that in 2009 the average age of a substation transformer on the U.S. power grid is 42 years -- two years more than their expected life span.
- They also observe that "If Alexander Graham Bell were somehow transported to the 21st century, he would not begin to recognize the components of modern telephony – cell phones, texting, cell towers, PDAs, etc. – while Thomas Edison, one of the grid’s key early architects, would be totally familiar with the grid." Jeez.
Military installations are almost completely dependent on a fragile and vulnerable commercial power grid, placing critical military and Homeland defense missions at an unacceptable risk of extended outage.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The author here is absolutely correct: there is a tremendously ironic possibility that the energy efficiency money is going to be frittered away in the most inefficient manner. However, that doesn't HAVE to be the case. Yes, the money is directed to the services and, as such, each service will make it's own expenditure decisions. This is going to increase the number of individuals who have their own agenda and pet projects. This will lead to decentralized and uncoordinated efforts that will not have the power of synergy. However, there are BIG projects, that can be undertaken service-wide, or, with SecDef guidance, DoD wide, which could yield tremendous efficiency gains. They are not sexy and they are not likely to be on any base/post/garrison commander's wish list of projects. But undertaking a coordinated, demand reduction program would create significant and measurable gains in energy efficiency and have the added effect of short payback periods.Maybe a DoD-wide effort to retro-fit every appropriate ceiling/roof/attic with closed cell spray polyurethane foam isn't going to excite anyone. Maybe changing lighting and windows makes us all yawn. And maybe doing so would anger every commander whose pet-project would not get funded. But significant efficiencies can be gained by making a bold decision at the outset.Choose to the right thing even if it's unpopular. The benefits are there for the taking. Such an action would be consistent with the appropriation and avoid the delay that will come in attempting to be responsive to the many and varied voices crying out for congressional dollars. This decision really isn't that hard. But it would require bold, decisive, strong leadership, whether from Secretary Gates or Secretaries Winter, Donley and Green.