Thursday, March 21, 2019

Linking the One Belt One Road Initiative to a Eurasian/African Supergrid

Supergrids are by definition continental scale DC grids. The largest landmass on earth that could be covered by such such a supergrid is clearly Eurasia + Africa. If one thinks out of the box it is absolutely clear that linking the entire area of all three continents will achieve the absolute maximum value possible for any Continental scale supergrid. This land mass covers 14 time zones and both hemispheres of the Earth. That makes solar energy a lot more reliable and also wind energy. There are vast opportunities for hydroelectric energy storage in Siberia and Norway, and in Africa. There's also enormous hydroelectric potential capabilities in Africa and Siberia.

I am convinced that unless there is some breakthrough in a new energy technology such as cold fusion (now called low energy nuclear reactions) or some breakthrough that might be related to the zero point energy, renewable energy makes a great deal of sense as the basis for the worlds energy, economy.

Renewable energy benefits greatly from geographical spread of the risk of being becalmed or having the clouds cover the sun. It also benefits greatly from having access to remote hydroelectric energy storage sites.

I am calling on world leaders especially those interested in the one belt one road initiative to consider just how powerful it would be to install a tri-continental supergrid at the same time. Everyone could benefit from this. Poor countries like Namibia for example could develop solar energy facilities.

  • Some sort of a guarantee to every country that the one belt one road one  grid initiative goes through, that that country obtains subsidies or rights to build a certain fraction of the solar and/or wind capacity of the system.
  • It is necessary to prevent a few countries from controlling most of the power output capability.
  • These rights should be transferable among various countries by means of bilateral  agreements.
  • could be coupled with regulations that guarantee people putting solar cells on the roof to be compensated for that as long as they are linked electrically to the supergrid.

It would create a boost in the wealth of many poor countries if it is done right. If pure capitalism prevails unfortunately we may get huge solar energy farms and huge wind energy farms that will not really help the common person. It could also be the case that vast new nuclear power facilities would be built along the northern tier of the super grid so that the cooling of the Arctic ocean could be used. One never knows about what kinds of technological results may occur once one creates a tri-continental supergrid.

I think it is important to distribute the energy-producing capabilities widely and rooftop solar is a great way to achieve that.

Even in the future scenario in which low-energy nuclear reactions provide a lot of energy and can be done in a distributed manner, one still needs to deal with the waste heat and putting the waste heat from those processes into cities would definitely be a problem. There are best places to put that waste heat especially if one arranges to cause an upwelling in the ocean that increases fertility in a particular region of the ocean that is important for fishing by using the waste heat to create the upwelling.

Suppose you are wanting to build a school in Africa and there is a way to get income from the roof? And then the roof provides some of the energy you need and some to export? Wouldn't that be a lovely way to handle it?

Friday, March 15, 2019

This is a recent conversation I had online with an electrical utility industry insider. I suggested moving major HVDC powerlines from Quebec to Boston underground and here's what he said:

It's simple math, underground is 5 to 10 times more expensive depending on location and terrain. It's hard enough to spend billions on overhead let alone underground.

This is a theory that many electrical utility industry insiders believe and here's why I disagree.

There are several hidden assumptions in what you say. The cost of underground must also include the loss in real estate value in land that overhead lines cause versus the lack of impact of underground lines. There are many areas where the value of the land itself is something on the order of $40,000 per acre. When you put an overhead power line through such an area, one reduces the value around the line, not just under the line, but around the line. This economic impact is not counted for but it should be. Furthermore, another hidden assumption is that you are comparing overhead lines to cables. Since the potential capacity of an overhead line is higher than overhead lines given current technology have an advantage if they're going to carry more than two gigawatts. My invention the elpipe will enable underground transmission to carry more than ten gigawatts per line. Of course, one must deal with redundancy, but that is well documented in my writings. In particular, you could notice that an HVDC loop has self-redundancy as long as there are circuit breakers between all the major power taps in the line.

Monday, February 18, 2019

re–launch of rethink technologies

I have reformed Rethink Technologies as a North Carolina Corporation. I envision it as primarily being a vehicle for my inventions.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I am now looking for a regular job

I had a great run with Rethink Technologies Inc., but I am now preparing to "pack it in" and go to work for an established company. I now have a baby to support, and I must have a regular income. I have a very unusual assortment of talents, that I can deliver for an employer. I am a great formulator, with really diverse experience.

In addition, I have pre-existing inventions I am willing to bring into employment, and if employed, I will assign an idea that I've been paid to develop further over to my employer, under certain conditions. I have posted a list of available inventions elsewhere on this blog. I want to specifically call attention to these polymer-related inventions:

  • If you make floatation modules or radomes from syntactic foam, my reaction wave polymerization invention is especially important, because the reaction wave can penetrate clear through a thick buoyancy module or radome, curing the matrix-phase polymer as it propagates. This is lower cost than placing the modules into an autoclave or an oven, as in the prior art. Since the shrinkage is localized in the narrow reaction wave, the volume change due to polymerization shrinkage can be relieved, which allows less expensive monomers to be used.
  • If you are interested in thermoplastic elastomers, I have several inventions of interest to you, starting with an important invention I created in my time at West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (then The West Company). I learned only much later (after these three patents had expired) that West filed for three patents on my work that do not list me as an inventor; the best one of these describes butyl rubber based dynamic vulcanizate thermoplastic elastomers that have been dynamically cured in an SEBS (Kraton G) matrix phase. This patent should list me as the sole inventor but instead it is in the name of Malcolm Smook, our consultant at the time. This is still the best way to make TPE-based vial stoppers, and the patent is long since expired. I could help a company manufacture these TPEs.
  • I have a second TPE that I developed during my time at Rethink Technologies, a classical dynamic vulcanizate thermoplastic elastomer, or "thermoplastic vulcanizate" (TPV). I originally proposed the development of an ETFE fluoroplastic matrix TPV, with FKM as the curing elastomer phase to Daikin's Dai-Act program in 2001; they chose not to back it. But three years later, I was asked to consult on the project, started long before (but not, I think, before 2001): Daikin's ETFE/FKM dynamic vulcanizate! I was flabbergasted, but I made a deal to work on the project. There were two teams, one in Osaka, the other in the Rethink lab, in New York. We got dramatically better results than the Osaka team, but I fell out of favor when I refused to let them file a patent without my name on it. I did file the patent as assigned to Daikin (no problem), but they had a problem with an American inventor. Daikin abandoned the patent in mid-prosecution, but it was still published. I created an ETFE-matrix TPV (30% ETFE) with crosslinked FKM particles. The product passed many fuel swelling and permeation specifications, with elongation 230% and 2200 psi tensile strength...ideal for O-ring cord and peristaltic tubing for chemicals.
  • Reactive polymer processing: I have experience with  elastomer graft modification, including a method to economically make maleic anhydride grafted butyl rubber (IIR). The dual ionomeric/conventional vulcanizate from this material combines high strength with low durometer to an unprecedented extent for a butyl elastomer. I called this material maleated butyl rubber (MIIR), and tried to raise money to manufacture it after I left Monsanto Rubber Chemicals, where I developed it (I got an official release of the technology from Monsanto). MIIR was reported in part in an ACS Rubber Division paper in 1989, with David Russell of ARDL (Akron Rubber Development Lab). 
  • Rubber grinding to particle sizes below 40 microns: I understand wet grinding of rubber inside out. As Technical Director of Erickson Materials, I learned this from the true inventor: Jim Rine, who was our consultant. He taught others hiow to do it as well, including Michael Rouse, founder of Rouse Rubber. This technology had a bright future, but was set back in a big way by an explosion of rubber dust and a fire that killed several people at Rouse Rubber's Vicksburg factory. Mike Rouse's daughter still wet grinds FKM scrap, and I stand ready (either as a consultant or an employee) to help you implement this elegant and effective technology.
  • Incorporation of graphene and graphene precursors into polymers for reduced permeability: I showed in a Phase 1 SBIR for the Navy in 2008 that I could reduce the sea water permeability of butyl rubber by more than an order of magnitude by using expanded graphite (a graphene precursor). I even got that compound to stick to NBR. Later, I showed that the same trick can also be used to reduce solvent permeation in HNBR.

I am a real expert, but more important, I am a proven problem solver. If you want to hire me as a consultant, hurry up because my job will likely interfere with my ability to consult or write a patent for someone.

I can help you with patents

Rethink Technologies was previously a polymer development lab and a "C" corporation, but since 2011, I have been consulting using the name only (DBA). I can write a great patent application for you, but only under specific conditions. I have several US Patents and patent applications you could read to test my skill. Since I am neither an attorney nor a patent agent, I cannot legally do this as a service; however, if I am a co-inventor, I can write and file the patent and be paid for that; this is the nature of my service.

If you are interested in my services for patent writing, I will sign an NDA with you before we discuss your idea/invention. If I can think of some patentable tweak to your invention, then we can make a deal. In this case, I'll offer to write the patent (including my patentable contribution) & assign my co-inventor rights to you for a fee that I will quote at that time. I will only reveal the patentable tweak that makes it a co-invention if you agree to my proposal. As part of the proposal, I'll assign my co-invention rights to you (as long as you pay the bill). It is much less expensive to have a patent attorney review a patent than it is to have him draft it, and I do recommend that you have such a review before filing a full patent. In the case of a provisional patent (the normal first step), I do not usually recommend having an attorney review it prior to filing.

You can check my recent patent filings by going to this website and search for "IN:(Faulkner, Roger W.)"

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR)

I find that Professor Yeong Kim of Perdue has a credible theory to explain the mechanism of low energy nuclear reactions (LENR). Such reactions are absolutely not a violation of thermodynamics, but for them to work at low temperatures, some alternative to brute force for squishing the nuclei together (which implies high velocity to overcome coulombic repulsion) must be found. I find Professor Kim's concept that hydrogen dissolved in a metal may form Bose-Einstein condensates (which are delocalized and can in effect allow a proton or deuteron to tunnel through the coulombic barrier) to be compelling. I am posting Professor Kim's presentation to an LENR workshop in Siena for those who find this intriguing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Inventions which are for sale

Examples of technologies in which I hold proprietary and/or patentable information:
  • Pressure-certified microballoons to enable stronger syntactic foam
  • Advanced syntactics with higher strength/density ratio
  • wood-like composites with good nail-ability and low creep rate
  • advanced VIP (vacuum insulated panel) cores
  • Dynamic vulcanizates (DVs), including thermoplastic elastomers 
  • rubber-rubber dynamic vulcanizates with low die-swell, and high green strength which vulcanize to low fatigue elastomers suitable for peristaltic tubing
  • elastomer cure system components
  • Reactive polymer processing, including elastomer graft modification 
    • Specifically, I know how to economically make maleic anhydride grafted butyl rubber (IIR)
  • carpet recycling
  • Rubber grinding to particle sizes below 40 microns
  • nanocomposites, especially for electrical insulation, permeation resistance, or electrical conductivity.
I would be willing to discuss any of these inventions under NDA.