In my last blog, I mentioned that since working in tech PR, I have discovered many technologies out there (or in development) that I didn’t know existed. Some of these technologies have already been written about because of their world-changing potential but others are much less known, yet still revolutionary in their own right.
My last blog highlighted:
- Liftware – eating utensils/cutlery created specifically for people with hand tremors who have trouble eating.
- CoolSculpting – fat-freezing treatment (a non-surgical, freezing form of lipo suction).
- XStat syringe – the first hemostatic device for the treatment of gunshot and shrapnel wounds that can inject a group of small, rapidly-expanding sponges into a wound cavity using a syringe-like applicator.
- Solar Roof Tiles – resilient and attractive glass tiles that blend with regular roof tiles.
I now present to you, Part II:
Tidal Power: We’ve all heard of renewable energy resources, such as wind power and solar power, but what about tidal power? Harnessing the literal motion of the ocean wasn’t something I had heard of but it makes complete sense and I was almost surprised that it wasn’t a phrase I was used to hearing or reading about.
The Maine Tidal Energy Project is the first commercial, grid-connected tidal power project in the United States and the first ocean energy project in all of the Americas to deliver power to a public grid. It is located in the Bay of Fundy in Maine on the border of the U.S. and Canada. According to the project’s creator, the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), 100 billion tons of water flow in and out of the Bay each day with the force of 8,000 locomotives and tidal ranges of up to 50 feet or more.
A Turbine Generator Unit is used to capture the tidal power and works similarly to a paddle wheel, “with the rotating foils powering a gearless, central permanent magnet generator that converts the rotational energy into grid-compatible electricity.” Electricity is then transmitted through a single underwater power cable to an on-shore substation, the energy of which is then delivered by an electricity transmission company to homes and businesses.
ORPC claims that “the Maine Tidal Energy Project will eventually generate enough electricity to power every home and business in Downeast Maine with clean tidal energy,” – and with tides being more predictable than wind or sun, this doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Oh, and in case you were wondering, river energy can also be harnessed.
Cooled cable – Continuing with the energy theme, this next technology deals with electric vehicle technology. I was lucky enough to work with HUBER+SUHNER on the announcement of its revolutionary cooled cable technology which enables the High Power Charging of electric vehicles.
This development can multiply the power-throughput of a charging cable and keep charging times below 20 minutes (80% State of Charge) even for big battery packs of new electric vehicles and trucks. With the upcoming release of the next generation of long range electric vehicles, fast-charging stations running with a power of 50kW and a current of 120A will deliver charging times of up to one hour. With the new cooled cable system by HUBER+SUHNER, currents of up to 500A or higher are possible while still providing a flexible, small-diameter and low-weight cable solution. This perfectly matches the High Power Charging stations currently under development that are said to provide 350kW with charging currents of 350A or more.
This innovation is one step closer to making electric cars the norm.
LifeStraw – The final technology I’m highlighting in this blog is one that is not only interesting, but inspiring as it saves lives (and prevents future disease) daily. In 1994, the Carter Center approached Lifestraw’s parent company, Vestergaard, to develop a filter that could remove Guinea worm larvae from water it was contaminating. Vestergaard was so inspired by the impact of the LifeStraw Guinea Worm filter that they worked to develop a product that could filter out virtually all of the microbiological contaminants that make water unsafe to drink. The result was LifeStraw technology, introduced in 2005 as a personal “straw-like” filter, designed for people in developing countries who don’t have access to safe water and for emergency settings following natural disasters when water is often contaminated.
According to the website, more than 37 million LifeStraw Guinea Worm filters have contributed to the near-eradication of Guinea worm disease and today LifeStraw is used in water products and projects in more than 64 countries around the world.