German Stellarator Fusion Reactor Testing Deemed a Success

It’s no secret that this is the nuclear age, that is the age where nuclear technology will go its greatest to shaping the world. From its use as a weapon during world war 2 to our future hopes of using it as a power source, the atom is changing the way the world works. Using its Stellarator nuclear fusion machine, Germany has taken the first steps in this change with the creation of hydrogen plasma.

With Germany having one of very few nuclear fusion machines, it was only a matter of time before they changed how close we were to sustainable fusion. Nuclear fusion is the same process that powers the sun, potentially creating a clean source of energy, not to mention nearly limitless.

Back in December, the team at the Max Planck Institute in Germany managed to suspend helium plasma, the new step forward was in using the hydrogen atom, something the team has now managed to do using their experimental reactor, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7X) stellarator. The difficulty alone makes this act an accomplishment, but with hydrogen fusion releasing far more energy than helium fusion, we’re yet another step closer to the ultimate goal of a sustainable reaction, but still have a very long way to go.

John Jelonnek is a physicist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and also one of the people responsible for installing the technology that heats the reactor. In speaking to the Guardian Jelonnek stated, “We’re not doing this for us but for our children and grandchildren”.

Toyota Reveal New Concept For Hydrogen Powered Car

We live in a wonderful age, we’ve begun to create technology that merges both the digital and the real world together in augmented reality and even where people can drive a metal car powered by sunlight. The human imagination has created and continues to create an amazing array of technologies, and Toyota have shown off some ideas they might play with in the future.

At the Tokyo Motor show, they revealed images of two design concepts, which are both futuristic and yet one is also classic in a way. First off, have a look at the present, with the S-FR. Looking similar to modern-day cars now, this model could soon be at your door steps.

Next, however, is the parent of design, with clear inspirations from the days of old we were presented with the Kikai.

Looking like a modern take on a classic hot rod the revealed engine leaves little to the car fanatics imagination. Finally, the last design is one from the future and is quite simply titled the FCV Plus.

Not only does the FCV feature a very futuristic look but it is designed to run some rather interesting technology.

For example, it would powered purely by hydrogen and that power would be diverted to four individual electric motors that are housed in each of the wheels. This means that aside from the fuel tank and cells located either at the front or back of the car, all the rest is freed up for the passengers.

Could you see yourself getting into a FCV within the next ten years? What about the S-FR and Kikai, would you like to own any of these vehicles?

Thank you Engadget for the information and images.

Toyota Hydrogen Car Ready to Compete with Tesla

With all the fuss about electric cars in recent years, it has been tricky to find news on the real future of motoring, hydrogen fuel cells. Tesla haven’t had much in the way of direct competition recently, although it’s safe to say that hybrids have come a long way and have at least offered big improvements in efficiency. Yet even with a Tesla, that electricity you’re putting in your car still needs to come from somewhere, with most power stations still churning out plenty of pollution of their own, even if your car isn’t. Although Tesla are investing in solar powered charging stations to off-set this.

General Motors, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota are all focusing on Hydrogen fuel cells and Toyota have just revealed that their first hydrogen fuel cell car is ready for release in the US and Europe for Summer 2015. The car is expected to be priced at around seven million yet, or around $69,000 (although that’s no reflection on what the EU or US price would actually be).

The refuelling network for hydrogen certainly isn’t as established as electric, but it has to start somewhere and while electric may offer cheaper running cars it’s a far cry from the awesomeness of these new engines. Hydrogen may still be an electric car, but the fuel can be extracted from water cheaply and the only thing to come out of the hydrogen cars exhaust is clean water.

The new car from Toyota is capable of being refueled in around 5 minutes, with a range of around 430 miles. Compared to the over an hour it takes to deliver enough charge from 300 miles using a Tesla Supercharging station the benefits of hydrogen are immediately obvious.

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Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

$199 Hydrogen Fuel Cell For USB Devices Now Available

Astronauts have been using hydrogen fuel cells for decades and the technology is slowly working its way into our daily lives as one possible future for powering electric vehicles. So what about all the other devices in our lives such as smartphones, tablets, handheld gaming devices, wearable tech and all the other stuff we forever seem to be charging on a daily basis?

Intelligent Energy thinks they have one solution to keeping your devices powered on those occasions when your battery life is running low and your not within shouting distance of a usable plug socket. The device known as the “Upp” weighs just 500 grams, costs $199 and packs a hydrogen fuel cell system that can charge your mobile devices just like any other USB charger.

However, instead of plugging it into a wall to replenish the cell you insert a cartridge of hydrogen. The makers say a single cartridge will pack enough punch to charge your average smartphone five times, and that a special app will trigger the delivery of a new cartridge when yours is running low.

This might be a tad excessive for city dwelling use, but having a pack of hydrogen cells with you when you are a very long way from a plug socket, such as up a mountain, in a desert or any kind of wild adventure could a truly life saving thing to have.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.