A Merry Christmas to You

A Merry Christmas to You

Let’s just kick political correctness into the weeds today.  No energy no fuels.  Rather a little energy for the soul. Let it be a Merry Christmas for you and your loved ones.  No matter what subscription to religious belief you might have, Christmas is a holiday that can be shared by all.

The ‘why’ is quite simple.  Jesus Christ made one comment that survives and sets the whole of Christendom apart. “Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you.”  For a couple thousand years now, with a lot of forays off path, a lot of the people who’ve lived, live and will live try to follow that guidance.

That small comment is worth a celebration, every year, no matter how or what one might believe.


Author: New Energy and Fuel

OnQ Legrand discontinues ALC/PLC

OnQ Legrand to stop production of ALC and PLC control line switches and products, see announcement below:

Dear Legrand Customer:

Effective today, we are announcing the discontinuance of our ALC and PLC lighting control product lines. For more than a decade, ALC and PLC have been key On-Q product offerings, providing robust, hard-wired lighting control solutions for our customers. However, due to the changing marketplace and our desire to improve the product offering we deliver to our customers, we have decided to discontinue these lines of lighting control products.

This change is effective immediately. In an effort to ensure a smooth transition for our customers, we will take the following actions throughout the next few weeks:

  • All ALC and PLC products will be removed from the standard product section on our website (www.legrand.us/onq). However, you will still have access to product support information in the Discontinued Products section.
  • In addition, for those customers interested in continuing to use our ALC and PLC products, we have formed a partnership with Genesis 13 Lighting to supply the full product lines moving forward. You can learn more about Genesis 13 Lighting and set up an account at www.genesis13lighting.com or by calling 1-864-663-0013.
  • Genesis 13 Lighting will honor the one-year On-Q warranty on all ALC and PLC products.
  • Genesis 13 Lighting will also be providing all future technical support on the ALC and PLC product lines. This includes support for products purchased from Legrand prior to this transition. For technical support assistance, please contact Genesis 13 Lighting at 1-864-663-0011.

In addition, please note that we will begin offering information on a new line of lighting control products in the next few weeks. Scheduled to be available in early 2010, our RF Lighting Control line will provide you with the perfect lighting solution for homes of any size.

If you have any questions regarding this transition, please feel free to contact your local Legrand sales representative or call customer service at 1.800.321.2343, Option 2.

Thank you in advance for your continued support –

Thomas P. Cunningham
tom.cunningham@legrand.us
Lighting Control Product Manager
Home Systems Division
Legrand, North America

ALC Product Availability

On Thursday, December 17 we announced that we were discontinuing our ALC and PLC product lines. For those customers interested in continuing to use these products, we have formed a partnership with Genesis 13 Lighting to supply the full product lines moving forward. You can learn more about Genesis 13 Lighting and set up an account at their website, www.genesis13lighting.com.

Author: Home Controls

Understanding Digital Quantum Capacitors

To start, lets get the digital quantum battery misnomer out of the way.  What’s being discussed here and other places isn’t about battery building; it’s about a theoretical construction of a nano-sized capacitor.  It’s interesting as the storage medium isn’t like a conventional capacitor with the material between the anode and cathode holding the energy.  Rather the power is held in a vacuum.  Quantum science can be wrenching sometimes . . .

Many will recall the vacuum tube has been around for decades and for most uses was made obsolete by transistors.  We tend to think ‘switch’ when vacuum tube comes to mind.  But electrical activity in a vacuum has also led to the fusion field where Bussard’s research is getting close to power production.  Other electrical devices can be made inside a tube holding a vacuum.  Devices can be made filling the tube with gases such as florescent bulbs, or simply installing a filament and burning it with electricity for light and heat.

For better than eighty years it’s been known that a bit of energy can be held in a vacuum when an anode and cathode are present.  Too much energy in and they arc, dumping the energy.  What’s curious but factual is the smaller the distance between the electrodes; proportionally the more energy can be inserted.

Digital Quantum Battery Layout. .

Thus Alfred W. Hübler and Onyeama Osuagwu at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have worked out a theory with supporting math and applied materials science that they believe can be built into a capacitor. Using the math, the assertion is such a capacitor could be two to ten times as great for energy density as the very best lithium-ion battery.  Their idea would use conventional silicon chip manufacturing to build capacitor sets on chips by the billions or trillions.  As the volume for the energy density is a vacuum, the weight will be in the structure, the energy will stay in the tiny vacuum, so the devices could be quite lightweight.

Quantum Capacitor Comparitive Properties Charts. .

Because they are capacitors without a chemical reaction as in a battery the speed of charges and discharges would also be very high.  The two main property requirements for energy storage have good answers.

It sounds almost to good to be true, and for years researchers have recognized that nanoscale capacitors exhibit unusually large electric fields, suggesting that the tiny scale of the devices was responsible for preventing energy loss. Hübler says, “people didn’t realize that a large electric field means a large energy density, and could be used for energy storage that would far surpass anything we have today.”  Realization is the innovation’s first step here.

The materials science needed is compelling.  Hübler says, “If you look at it from a digital electronics perspective–it’s just a flash drive. If you look at it from an electrical engineering perspective, you would say these are miniaturized vacuum tubes like in plasma TVs. If you talk to a physicist, this is a network of capacitors.”  Built on silicon chips, the digital part of the moniker comes from the fact that each nano vacuum tube capacitor would be individually addressable, so the devices might be used for memory as well as storing power.

Hübler hasn’t built anything yet.  But he points out that in 2005 a group of Korean researchers showed that nano capacitors can be fabricated.  Just remember the numbers needed to get to worthwhile scale will be billions and trillions.  Not a threatening number, today’s common processors have transistors in the tens of millions now for a few dollars each.  And if not over heated, last a very, very long time indeed.

Vacuum nano tubes can hold electric energy without any losses for many years, and can be charged and discharged rapidly. The largest charging-discharging rate is proportional to the ratio between the gap size and the speed of light. They’ll be quick.

The key design parameter is the gap size between the anode and cathode.  As noted electrical breakdown in vacuum gaps has been studied or more than 80 years for gap sizes above 200nm.  But little is known for certain about vacuum gaps in the nanometer range.

Hübler and Osuagwu show that in reverse bias, the electric field near nano-tip anodes can be orders of magnitudes larger than the breakdown field of conventional capacitors, varactor diodes, and nano plasma tubes. Their premise is the electrodes are spaced at about 10 nanometers (or 100 atoms) apart so the quantum effects ought to suppress the arcing.

With the current glut of chip fabrication worldwide and the technology at 45nm heading to 28nm, and if the concept can be made to work at such needed scale, small electronic devices like cell phones their could be a path for marketing the technology.

Hübler has applied for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funding to develop a prototype, but the concept presents significant challenges.  The questions about the materials staying together when loaded with power and when working what other phenomena might appear have been raised.  It’s a risk, for sure.

Keep in mind, the silicon chip build would have management and telemetry reports ready almost instantly.  A thermistor could send out information for charges and discharges.  The chips would run with little concern for colder temperatures. It could be a great solution.

But the potential is huge.  Once shown to work, it’s going to be an engineering race.


Original post: New Energy and Fuel

Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs: Care/Facilities/Management/Breed Selection


Practical advice for buying, feeding, and caring for hogs, plus modern breeding and herd management.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs: Care/Facilities/Management/Breed Selection