Friday, July 27, 2012

The Less than Exotic Free Energy Technologies of Nanoholdings

Nanoholdings is a company that has developed multiple technologies that incorporate nano-materials. Their CEO, Justin Hall, recently gave a TED talk discussing their discoveries. It seems when it comes to energy technology, they are still thinking too far "inside of the box" -- ignoring more exotic, and more robust solutions.

by Hank Mills
Pure Energy Systems News

TED stands for, "technology, entertainment, and design." The organization holds conferences in which they encourage individuals with "ideas worth spreading" to give talks. The CEO of Nanoholdings, Justin Hall, gave such a talk in which he described his company's research and discoveries, which has created some buzz among free energy connoisseurs since he alluded to energy coming from the surroundings, available wirelessly, anywhere. As we inquired further, though he certainly did revealed some interesting technologies, it seems when it comes to energy, his company is still working with fairly mundane ways of producing power -- such as harnessing energy from the sun.

To start off the talk, Justin describes how six and a half years ago he searched the world for the best and brightest minds in the academic world. He found many researchers who were focused on nanotechnologies. He brought them into Nanoholdings, and now has 180 researchers. They are focused on utilizing the potential of nanotechnology to come up with breakthroughs that could improve the human condition on this planet.

Although his company is developing a number of different technologies (such as concrete from fly ash and nano-composite materials), the focus of this talk was about energy production. More specifically, he described how nanotechnology allows scientists to manipulate the electron, which is a fundamental building block of energy.

The first technology he discusses is a form of transparent carbon. The material is also lightweight, very thin, flexible, and is composed of carbon nanotubes. It was created by vaporizing graphite and allowing it to condense back into a solid. During the condensation process, it changes form into a nano-material. He goes on to say these nano-tubes conduct electricity one thousand times more efficiently than copper.
What is interesting and potentially useful about this material is that when combined with a polymer, a small, brief voltage (two millivolts) can change it from being transparent, to being shaded. This could be useful in either letting light into a home in winter (to warm it up), or keeping light out of a home in summer (to prevent it from heating up). By only letting light into a home or business when it is wanted, energy could be saved. Less electricity would need to be used for heating or cooling. This falls under the category of energy conservation.

The second technology he described was a pretty impressive night vision technology. Instead of bulky, power hungry goggles, his system utilizes a transparent thin film that captures infrared light and transforms it into electricity. The electricity produced by this thin film -- basically a form of solar panel -- then interacts with a second thin film, which is the display. It is supposed to be more sensitive than current night vision systems, much more compact (the overall thickness is just two micrometers), and it uses forty times less power than conventional night vision systems.

This night vision technology is named NIRVision, and is expected to be used in many applications. It could be applied to vehicle windshields, or to ordinary glasses. During the day time when the night vision aspect would not be in use, it would be totally invisible. In fact, the company suggests that with this technology street lighting could be reduced or eliminated, conserving even more energy.

The third technology discussed during the talk is really a combination of the first two. The result would be a thin film of transparent carbon nanotubes that could change color on demand (letting light in or keeping it out), but that would also have the ability to convert infrared light into electricity. Such a technology could allow for electricity to be produced twenty four hours a day, even during night time hours. This is because even when everything seems dark to a human, infrared light is being emitted from every object. We just cannot see light in that part of the spectrum.

Despite the fact combining these two technologies would be useful, the combination of these two technologies does not excite me a lot. One reason I was not impressed, is that there are much more exotic and powerful energy technologies being developed, than a new twist on solar power. Cold fusion technologies such as the E-Cat, magnetic systems such as Steorn's Orbo, the harnessing of electricity from electrets, PlasmERG engines, and other emerging exotic technologies all offer much more potential. Also, other companies have built solar cells that can harness infrared light, and their efficiency may be higher than Nanoholdings.

I am not saying that the combination of these two technologies would not be useful. Having windows you can turn on and off, that also generate electricity would be pretty neat to have. I would not mind having them installed in my home. It's just that it does not really seem like a solution to the energy crisis, in my opinion. It seems more like a stop-gap measure -- like bio-fuels or hydrogen boosters for vehicles.
The fourth technology discussed was the E-Box, which is an energy storage system. It uses nano-materials that store electrons on their surface, hold them, and can then release them when needed. No power density figures or storage capacities were given. I wonder if this is just another super-capacitor technology using nano-tubes for the electrodes. If so, it is really not much different than many other such technologies entering the marketplace. Also, this technology does nothing to generate energy. With technologies like cold fusion that produce huge amounts of energy, storage technologies may not be needed, or not to as great of an extent as with solar power.

One aspect of the technology he did not elaborate on to a great extent, was how the E-Box could beam power from one home to another, in the form of light. He mentioned how this technology would eliminate the need for a power grid. According to him, the grid of the future would be no grid at all. I am all for the elimination of the power grid, but I don't think it is going to happen due to solar technology, and energy conservation.

Near the end of the talk, Justin showed a picture of a little girl dying of thirst in the Sudan. He began to talk about how all humans need eight glasses of water a day to stay alive, and how it will take huge amounts of energy to desalinate all the water humans will need. The answer according to him is nanotechnology, and "free" energy. However, the free energy technology he is talking about is not the same type of energy that we report about on PESN. Instead of promoting cutting edge, exotic energy technologies that are outside of the box, his company's research is focusing on mostly "inside of the box" technologies. Although mainstream alternative energy technologies like solar power could help produce the energy the world needs to desalinate huge amounts water, it will take truly paradigm shifting technologies to get the job done.

Nanoholdings Should Pursue Exotic Free Energy
I would urge Nanoholdings to start pursuing more radical energy technologies. Here is an example of what they could accomplish if they started thinking truly outside of the box. With the money, researchers, and equipment their company has, they could probably produce a cold fusion technology (that might even be competitive with Andrea Rossi's) in a short period of time.

Sterling Allan points out that they could also probably greatly facilitate the hydroxy or water-fuel field. Some models describe zero point energy showing up in the process of creating Brown's gas, and this is why more energy can be produced in some of these set-ups than what is put into the systems. Since these phenomena most likely happen on the nano scale, nano-technology is likely to provide a boon to this industry.

Imagine what they could do with piezoelectric effects if they could manipulate them on the nano or atomic scale -- harvesting the very power of atomic motion which is replenished by the wheelwork of nature.
In only a few hours of browsing PESN, Nanoholdings could probably get many ideas for research topics that could lead to truly game changing technologies. However, my guess is that most of their scientists are probably very "mainstream" and part of the cult of the academic establishment. I would bet most of them would be terrified of having their reputation "tarnished" by conducting a cold fusion experiment.

Personally, unless Nano-holdings is going to start researching more cutting edge energy technologies, I think they should focus on their non-energy related discoveries. For example, making cement from fly ash (the by product of power plants that use coal as fuel).

Now back to investigating some truly exotic technologies..... 

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