Business Venture – Laurel & Hardy style !

Laurel and hardy Big Business__#1_

It’s that time of year for a little light hearted fun.

Please find link below to one of my favourite Laurel & Hardy short films on one of their many business ventures – selling Christmas trees !

A perfect 18 minute break from the frantic season over a cuppa !

Hope you have a good, peaceful & restful holiday

All the best,

Mike

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWdKYiewpVY

 

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in business, Car, Comedy Sketch, humor, humour, Selling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Metamaterials – world changer

MetaMatreial_#1_

In 2006 Sir John Pendry a physicist invented an ‘invisible cloak’, a nano-engineered material that could bend light waves. This heralded the the beginning of a new class of material that could manipulate the properties of light and do things previously thought impossible – metamaterials. This new material owes it’s properties more to structure than chemical composition, this structure is at a scale less than the wavelength of any waves going through it.

Since 2006 the cost to produce metamaterials was prohibitive and therefore non commercial, but now a Canadian company MTI has begun manufacturing metamaterial products. One is a transparent material that can manipulate electro-magnetic fields for real world applications. It is called metaAIR an optical filter that protects pilots from laser attacks. This is achieved through holographic exposure where lasers create hundreds of nanometre scale layers, each of which reflects a different frequency of light. In the last 4 years there has been 40,000 laser strikes which can lead to burnt retinas. It is a transparent film that can be applied to glasses or cockpit glass blocking 99.999% of harmful laser radiation.

Other applications of metamaterials are: transparent heaters, foldable mobile phone screens, transparent 5G antennas, higher efficiency solar cells and augmented reality glasses, metaboards that are part of the furniture that can charge mobile devices wirelessly.

Below are a couple of videos explaining further this new technology – enjoy !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpSGiJcVECw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH3YbgzUL-U

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

Mark Twain

“Worry – a God, invisible but omnipotent. It steals the bloom from the cheek and lightness from the pulse; it takes away the appetite, and turns the hair grey.”

Benjamin Disraeli

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

 

Posted in Engineering, humor, humour, manufacturing, material science, Physics, quotations, quotes, research science, technology, Uncategorized, university | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The WaveFlyer – Electric Hydrofoil Jet-Ski

Wave Flyer Jet Ski__#2_        Wave Flyer Jet Ski__#1_

The WaveFlyer is the world’s first electric hydrofoil jet-ski, developed by an Australian company Electro.Aero, in collaboration with University of Western Australia. Essentially it is a personal craft that ‘flies’ serenely one foot above the water, powered by lithium batteries. It is similar to a jet-ski when stationary in the water but when it gets going it rises up using it’s actively stabilised hydrofoil propulsion system.

It can run for 30 minutes with 2 riders, whereas a conventional petrol jet-ski can run for 2 hours. The foils are most likely inverted T shapes rather than a V which are more efficient but can be prone to being more unstable, which may explain a slight instability in the video below. I should think like all these things it takes time to perfect it’s operation. The height above water is dynamically controlled using height sensors.

Major advantages of the new craft are: low pollution, quiet and smooth operation, and energy efficiency.

It could possibly be used in recreational lakes that prohibit fossil fuel powered crafts. This product has great potential and could really fly – excuse the pun !

Please see link below for YouTube video of the new WaveFlyer – enjoy !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHzUtA0eSKA

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

” I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Douglas Adams

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Sir Winston Churchill

“Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.“

Groucho Marx

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in business, carbon fibre, design, electric vehicle, electrical engineering, Energy, engine, Engineering, green power, humor, humour, hydrofoil, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, Propulsion, quotations, quotes, transport, Uncategorized, university, Vehicle, water craft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The WaveFlyer – Electric Hydrofoil Jet-Ski

Wave Flyer Jet Ski__#2_        Wave Flyer Jet Ski__#1_

The WaveFlyer is the world’s first electric hydrofoil jet-ski, developed by an Australian company Electro.Aero, in collaboration with University of Western Australia. Essentially it is a personal craft that ‘flies’ serenely one foot above the water, powered by lithium batteries. It is similar to a jet-ski when stationary in the water but when it gets going it rises up using it’s actively stabilised hydrofoil propulsion system.

It can run for 30 minutes with 2 riders, whereas a conventional petrol jet-ski can run for 2 hours. The foils are most likely inverted T shapes rather than a V which are more efficient but can be prone to being more unstable, which may explain a slight instability in the video below. I should think like all these things it takes time to perfect it’s operation. The height above water is dynamically controlled using height sensors.

Major advantages of the new craft are: low pollution, quiet and smooth operation, and energy efficiency.

It could possibly be used in recreational lakes that prohibit fossil fuel powered crafts. This product has great potential and could really fly – excuse the pun !

Please see link below for YouTube video of the new WaveFlyer – enjoy !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHzUtA0eSKA

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

” I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Douglas Adams

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Sir Winston Churchill

“Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.“

Groucho Marx

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in business, carbon fibre, design, electric vehicle, electrical engineering, Energy, engine, Engineering, green power, humor, humour, hydrofoil, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, Propulsion, quotations, quotes, transport, Uncategorized, university, Vehicle, water craft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Biodiversity from Old Oil Rigs

Biodiversity_fish_old oil rig_

There are some things left in the sea that actually add to the environment! Old oil rigs and other artificial installations are typically present for 20-30 years in the sea. Through this period the tubes, bars, concrete bricks and other materials turn into beneficial substrate for adhering plants and animals. This rich environment attracts fish and mammals. “In the North Sea an old oil rig will have the same function as a natural stone reef”, explains Jonas Teilmann, senior researcher from Aarhus University. He also says stone reefs are in short supply as stones have been removed and used for pier construction or spread due to heavy trawling.

The cost to decommission the world’s 7,500 oil and gas rigs, and 20,000 wind turbines at the end of their useful lives will be around £100bn, which has been mandated by international convention. Jonas and 30 other international researchers are making a case to review this, because biodiversity is increasing by leaving them in situ. These structures on the seabed are naturally protected from trawling too, which can turn a seabed into a uniform desert. They are calling politicians and officials to put a halt on mandatory decommissioning, and to carry out case by case environmental assessments as to which structures to leave.

It’s amazing how sometimes nature adapts man made objects over time whilst they return to their original default material state, and on the way help the environment !

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”
Abraham Lincoln
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs”
Henry Ford

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘V’ Plane

Flying V Plane_#3_ Flying V Plane_#2_

The simple ‘V’ shape still has power to shock us as a plane design, but Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has been developing the concept design recently, backed by Dutch Airline KLM. The design is partially based on a ‘V’ shaped Airbus patent. The blended wing-body integrates the passenger cabin, cargo hold, and fuel tanks in the wings. Two efficient turbofan engines are mounted towards the back on the same structure as the landing gear strut to minimise the number of heavy duty elements.

The aircraft’s spec matches the Airbus A350 in wingspan, seating, and cargo hold capacity. The key predicted difference is the 20% lower fuel consumption due to it’s improved aerodynamic shape, reduced weight, and decreased size of the ‘V’ shape design.

Flying V Plane_#1_

Why hasn’t this been done before? Because a wing design would need to accommodate a passenger cabin/cargo hold and yet be aerodynamic to create lift. Dr Roelof Vos believes he has the answer and explains that at high altitude a plane’s passenger cabin is under pressure and naturally tends towards a spheroidal shape. The V shaped plane has an ‘oval fuselage’ instead of circular one that accommodates this phenomenon. The design consists of tangentially connected circular arcs, with a trapezoidal substructure to take the compressive and tensional loads.

The V plane design is at the concept stage and undergoing wind tunnel testing and simulations. The initial results are very positive. The project team will present a flying scale model, and full scale interior section at KLM’s 100th anniversary celebration in October.

The question is will this ‘V’ shape plane become a commercial reality and really fly? I really hope so as the design is striking.

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“The innovation point is the pivotal moment when talented and motivated people seek the opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams.”

W. Arthur Porter

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Groucho Marx

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in aerodynamics, AIRCRAFT, business, design, quotations, quotes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Electric Super Car Race !

Aston Martin EV Super Car_#1_ Lotus EV Super Car_#1_

>>>>>  Aston Martin                                          >>>>>>  Lotus

When we think of fast electric cars we primarily think of Elon Musk’s Tesla cars, newest one being the Roadster – a direct threat to gasoline super cars. He now has stiff competition from main stream manufacturers but also from a most unlikely corner of the world – Croatia. A small company called Rimac is building one of the world’s most exciting cars an electric beast that can reach over 250mph !

Tesla Roadster EV Super Car_#1_  Rimac EV Super Car_#1_

>>>>>  Tesla                                                          >>>>>  Rimac

What are the main players doing? In Italy Pininfarina a car manufacturer established before the second world war is building – a £1.5 million electric hyper car promoted as ‘a beautiful dream car’. In Britain, Lotus are developing a £1.7 million muscle car with an electric heart, Ariel is developing radical engineering on it’s HIPERCAR model, Aston Martin has just announced it’s first electric Rapide.

Pininfarina EV Super Car_#2_

>>>>>> Pininfarina

Development of electric engines is going a pace – a Tesla model S can hit 60mph in 2.4 secs the sacred realm of Ferraris and Lamborghinis ! Electric cars have an advantage in that continuous high torque can be delivered with improved traction through 4 wheels, without also accommodating gear changes and power bands. Software controls power delivery efficiently in real time for maximum performance.

The one question that begs to be asked, is how do you ever replace that amazing V12 engine sound that puts hairs on the back of your neck?

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

Albert Einstein

“Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life.”

Harvey Firestone

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

 

Posted in business, Car, design, electric vehicle, electrical engineering, engine, Engineering, manufacturing, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, power generation, Propulsion, quotations, quotes, technology, Traction, travel, Uncategorized, Vehicle | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regenerative braking takes another step

Regenerative Braking_#1_

We are all quite familiar now I think with this technology, but there has been a incremental step in technology in it’s use in electric vehicles (EVs). When the battery is fully charged the regenerative braking is effectively turned off and reverts back to mechanical friction braking, where energy is lost through heat to the atmosphere.

If a power resistor is incorporated, regenerative braking could still be employed and the excess energy transferred to heat energy in a liquid. This in turn could heat the inside of a car, saving battery power. Another bonus is mechanical wear of braking system would be reduced along with service costs. The power resistor itself is low to zero maintenance because it has no moving parts. Power harvested should be around 7-10kW.

A downside to the power resistor is a ‘trade off’ between efficient cooling and pressure drop through the cooling channels from inlet to outlet. For the average car an extra pump shouldn’t be necessary but only for larger vehicles. This technology will slightly increase efficiency of EVs and help increase vehicle range – which is always welcome !

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

George Bernard Shaw

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in business, Car, design, electric vehicle, electrical engineering, Electronics, Energy, Energy Storage, engineering development, environment, Heat Energy, Heat Recovery, humor, humour, manufacturing, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, power generation, Propulsion, quotations, quotes, technology, transport, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renewable Energy Storage Options

Wind Turbine Battery Storage_#1_

Hydro Electric Energy_#1_   Gravitricity_#1_

Renewable energy is growing but storage is one of it’s biggest problems. We need to be able to store turbine energy for windless days and solar energy for rainy days otherwise we can never discount dependency on fossil fuels.

Present technologies for storage include: (a)  pumped hydroelectricity schemes where water is pumped back up into a vast reservoir and stored as potential energy then released through turbine generators, but here there is little potential or inclination for new reservoirs, and installation costs are high.

(b) Lithium-ion or Lead-acid batteries are quick to respond to demand but are not seen as long term solutions – cost $154/kW year ($187 for lead-acid)

(c) Compressed air energy storage is another possibility where compressed air is stored underground but has disadvantages of heat generation on compression lowering efficiency to 50% – adiabatic compression raises it to 62% but this is still quite low – advantage high storage capacity – cost unknown

(d) Gravitricity utilises old disused coal or metal mine shafts by suspending weights of 500 to 3000 tonnes which are raised by motors to the top gaining potential energy, then lowered to release energy through generators – cost $141/kW year

(e) Flywheel energy storage whereupon mass flywheels are run up to speed, usually in a vacuum, via motors then energy is released when switched to generator mode that slows them down – cost $312/kW year

The consensus of opinion is to use a combination of all technologies to supply quick energy response along with longer term storage capabilities, whereupon the technologies are also linked and managed.

Option (d) I find personally interesting because it is efficient, has a relatively quick response time and utilises an old and redundant fossil fuel industry, bringing some employment back to potentially deprived area. In a word ‘regeneration’ !

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Henry Ford

“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”

Albert Einstein

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in business, Carbon Dioxide, civil engineering, electrical engineering, Energy, Energy Storage, engineering development, environment, humor, humour, Hydro Electric, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, power generation, project engineering, quotations, quotes, renewable energy, technology, turbine, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reverse Engineering by 3D Scanning

3D Scanner #1__  3D Scanner #2__

3D Scanning machines have been around for 10 years or so and were a niche market and cost around £30 to £40k. Today you can purchase a scanner for as little as £1500 which plugs into your laptop ! To scan – point the scanner at an object and travel 360 degrees around it. The data is created from interference in the light pattern caused by an object’s surface and is captured by one or more cameras on the scanner to a sub-micron accuracy. The data is triangulated in the software to calculate the object’s depth and surface patterns. The data file in the form of point cloud with X,Y,Z co-ordinates can be converted into a polygon file then again into an editable 3D CAD model (Osborn Design Ltd offers this service combined with reverse engineering).

The CAD model can be used for reverse engineering enabling a part/object to be manufactured or 3D printed. Once the file is in a 3D CAD format it can be modified and improved. The 3D Scan file can also be used for quality assurance purposes, and also for legacy parts that are no longer manufactured or in stock.

This technology is quite exciting and opens up all sorts of possibilities not just in engineering, but within healthcare, museums and many more.

Hope you have a good month

All the best

Mike

Quotation corner:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Steve Jobs

“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”

Mark Twain

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

Posted in 3d, 3D CAD, 3D Scanning, additive manufacturing, business, cad, design, Engineering, engineering development, humor, humour, manufacturing, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, project engineering, quotations, quotes, Reverse Engineering, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment