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May 8th, 2008
Skyrocketing energy costs. Carbon footprints. Global warming. We're consumed with the concerns about consumption of energy. And well we should be. Our industries, our economy, our lifestyles and our environment are on the line. Some of the best minds on the planet are pursuing solutions -- and a number of them, I'm proud to say, are nanotechnology based.
This month, I'll be part of a panel discussing Thermal Nanotechnology Solutions at NanoBusiness 2008, a gathering of some of the best scientific and business minds in nanotech. As excited as I am to share information about work on a nanofilm for windows to lower energy needed for heating and cooling, I'm more excited to hear about the work others are doing. I've been investigating some of the technology on the agenda, and it's pretty hot stuff. Let me give you a preview.
Here's one. We recycle paper and metal. What if we could recycle "waste heat" from other processes to generate electricity? That's the plan for Nextreme Thermal Solutions. The idea is a thermoelectric generator so small it can be embedded into a thin film. Imagine a device smaller than a contact lens that could generate 300 milliwatts of electricity in a high-heat environment. Imagine the energy output if it's built into large arrays. No smokestacks, no fuel rods, no power plants. Here's a bonus, even at low-levels of heat, it could generate enough power to run medical implants. No batteries to manufacture, charge, dispose.
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