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Alex Kimani

Alex Kimani

Alex Kimani is a veteran finance writer, investor, engineer and researcher for Safehaven.com. 

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AI-Tech Leads To NASA Energy Breakthrough

  • NASA and energy startup ADC Energy USA, Inc. presented a breakthrough validation of a "new form of energy" that does away with conventional AC/DC power conversion.
  • Scientists have lately been making major breakthroughs that could dramatically lower power transmission losses.
  • The discovery by Dias and his team could lead to power grids that are capable of transmitting power seamlessly, saving up millions of megawatt-hours that are currently lost to resistance during transmission.
Electricity

NASA and energy startup ADC Energy USA, Inc. have jointly published a breakthrough validation of a "new form of energy" that does away with conventional AC/DC power conversion. The two parties have been researching "alternating direct current" (ADC) for 5 years, an AI-enabled, energy technology that makes lossless power transmission possible. 

"ADC is the greatest innovation I've seen in my 50-year career," Terry Boston, advisor to The White House and the United States Congress, and former CEO of PJM, gushed when speaking at a keynote speech at the Energy and Mobility Conference & Expo.

"The results of this extensive multi-year endeavor are profound to say the least. The conclusions confirm that ADC is an historical paradigm shift, and most important, ADC is ready to deploy to provide innovative solutions to our global climate and energy crisis,” said Henry Lee, CEO of ADC Energy. 

“This is a revolution at the levels of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. ADC has solutions ready right now. And there are substantial opportunities in the near term for breakthroughs such as low voltage, quick EV charging, expanded solar panel generation, and off grid indoor agriculture," Lee added. 

The paper notes that the current global energy platform operates on only alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), invented by Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison more than a century ago. The joint research paper has now validated ADC as a new "hybrid" form of energy, where both AC and DC operate on the same, existing wires thus eliminating the need for wasteful and dangerous energy conversion.  Related: Oil Price Rally Meets Resistance Despite Bullish Catalysts

ADC presents unique global energy and climate solutions and is already deploying at lower voltages, with the near-term goal to evolve into high voltage solutions. According to Lee, the ultimate evolution of ADC is a ‘hybrid’ utility grid operating on existing wires. 

Superconductivity At Room Temperature

Scientists have lately been making major breakthroughs that could dramatically lower power transmission losses.

Back in March, scientists made a once-in-a-century breakthrough after researchers created a superconducting material that works at a temperature and pressure low enough that it can not only make our power grids much more efficient but can also be used in everyday applications. 

Professor Ranga Dias and his team at the University of Rochester have published a paper titled ‘Evidence of near-ambient superconductivity in a N-doped lutetium hydride’. The scientists created a new superconducting material by combining a silvery-white, dense metal called lutetium with hydrogen and nitrogen. They discovered the new material behaves like a superconductor at temperatures as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) when heated and compressed at a pressure ~10,000 bar. While that pressure sounds insanely high, it’s actually orders of magnitude lower than the pressure needed for other room-temperature superconductors since the vast majority require pressures in the millions of  bars, or something similar to the pressure in the earth’s core.

If validated, the possibilities here are really exciting, “We could magnetically levitate trains above superconducting rails, change the way electricity is stored and transferred and revolutionize medical imaging,” Dias told the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. grid loses about 5 percent of all the electricity during transmission, translating into consumers paying $6 billion annually in higher energy bills.

Stanley Tozer, a physicist at Florida State University, told the Wall Street Journal that this pressure is within “a range where engineers can jump on and make a commercially viable product.

Electrical Superconductivity was first discovered more than a century ago. Scientists found that mercury that is cooled to nearly absolute zero (or about minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit) exhibited no resistance to the flow of electricity. They also discovered that superconductors expel magnetic fields thus allowing magnets to levitate over them.  Since then, researchers have grappled with the challenge of creating a superconductor that works at temperatures and pressures low enough to be of use in real-life practical situations. The discovery by Dias and his team could lead to power grids that are capable of transmitting power seamlessly, saving up millions of megawatt-hours that are currently lost to resistance during transmission through copper and aluminum cables. 

Another perk: the new material could also contribute to nuclear fusion, with the world in an arms race to make fusion power a reality for the first time ever.

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Dias’ superconductor is not the first to work at room temperatures though. In 2015, scientists created a material that acts as a superconductor that works at a very agreeable 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, it requires a crazy pressure, about half that of Earth’s core.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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