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The heat thus captured is then used to evaporate a low boiling liquid such as ammonia, and the pressure

created by the vapourised gas can then be employed to drive turbines for the production of electricity. For this process to work efficiently, the temperature difference between the surface water and that at the ocean depths needs to be at least 20 degrees Celsius. This difference is commonly encountered in tropical oceans. f the temperature difference is greater than the energy, production can increase substantially. ndeed for every additional degree difference, a !" percent increase in energy production is obtained. This interesting technology can provide continuous, stable and reliable energy round the clock, unlike wind or solar energy that depend on the weather. The feasibility of this process has been demonstrated in several pilot plants, and it will soon be commercialised. #ockheed $artin, %anuatu, &enesys, 'acific (tec and some other companies are in the process of developing commercial pro)ects at suitable locations where si*eable temperature differences e+ist between the surface of the oceans and deeper waters. The first plants with a capacity of !0,!" megawatts will be installed by 20!-, and will be followed by plants of !00 megawatts or greater capacity. There have been spectacular advances in solar cell technologies in recent years. (ne substance that holds great promise is .graphene/. This ama*ing substance is one of several crystalline forms of carbon that include diamond, graphite etc. t is tougher than diamond and yet stretches like rubber. t is about 200 times stronger than steel and about !"0 times thinner than a human hair. t is so strong that you could suspend an elephant on a thin strand of this material and it would not break0 t consists of a single layer of carbon atoms 1 one atom thick 1 in a honeycomb lattice structure. 2ndre 3eim and 4onstantin 5ovoselov at the 6niversity of $anchester were awarded the 5obel 'ri*e in 'hysics in 20!0 7for groundbreaking e+periments regarding the two,dimensional material graphene8. 5ormally silicon is used in the manufacture of commercial solar cells. t now turns out that graphene could prove far more efficient in transforming light into energy. This was established in a study carried out at the nstitute of 'hotonic 9ciences : CF(; in 9pain which found that solar cells made with graphene could offer up to <0 percent solar cell efficiency 1 this is about four times the efficiency of the present commercially available solar cells. 3raphene turns out also to be an e+cellent conductor of electricity, even better than copper. This is leading to the development of many applications in the electronics industry. 'aper thin computers and televisions are presently under development based on this .miracle substance/. ndeed 9outh 4orean researchers have created a 2"inch fle+ible touch,screen using graphene. Tomorrow your daily newspaper may be made of it too, which may be instantly updated by pressing a tab on the side. =arold = 4ung at the $cCormick 9chool of >ngineering and 2pplied 9cience at 5orthwestern 6niversity has reported a method to e+tend the battery life of lithium ion batteries by !0 times using a grapheme,based anode.

2 considerable effort is being directed at developing better batteries and other energy storage systems. >+isting batteries often fail because of the damage caused to the electrodes in them over a period of time by the movement of ions. 2 new electrode :made from nano,particles of copper he+acyanoferrate; has been developed by 9tanford researchers and uses nanotechnology to construct an open structure for the electrode. This permits ions to move in and out without damaging it. The electrode seems to be a wonder material for use as a high,voltage cathode. 5ovel ways are also being developed to utilise wind energy. n many parts of the world we find large windmills, each with three huge blades generating electricity. These wind turbines are not very efficient since about half the air does not go through the blades but around them, with a resulting loss in their capacity to generate electricity. Flo?esign, a 69 based company, has now developed a new generation of wind turbines that rely on the design used in )et engines. These turbines have propeller blades that are much smaller but produce more electricity as the air is directed through the turbine by a surrounding shroud. 9mall turbines that will produce !0 kilowatt power will be initially manufactured and they will then be followed by megawatt capacity turbines. 2 problem associated with micro wind turbines is that they must work well in both light and high winds, for instance under stormy conditions when they should not spin too fast. n the case of the larger wind turbines, the design of the blades takes care of this problem, making them stall under very high speed wind. This is done through sensors that send signals to attached computers which in turn ad)ust the turbine speeds. This is too e+pensive a solution. =owever, nature is often the best teacher. The stability of dragonflies even under high wind conditions provided critically important clues. The dragonfly is very stable in its flight, even under high wind speeds. This is due to the special design of its wings which are thin and fle+ible, and have small protrusions on their surfaces. These protrusions create a number of swirling vortices that contribute to the e+traordinary aerodynamic stability of the dragonfly. @ased on this, the 2kira (bata of 5ippon @unri 6niversity in Aapan has invented a micro turbine which is far better than those available previously. 'akistan needs to concentrate on solving its energy problems by utilising its e+isting resources of coal, water, wind, and the recently discovered shale oil and shale gas. 2 reader has rightly pointed out that all the electrical appliances produced in 'akistan are .energy inefficient/. For e+ample our fans, tube,well motors and roadside workshop machines use heavy starting current and also consume much more electricity than 2merican, >uropean, or even Chinese appliances. Bhen one considers the millions of fans, tube,well motors and road side workshop motors in the country, one gets some idea of how much energy is being wasted because of the improper enforcement of quality standards, particularly those relating to energy

efficiency, in those industries that manufacture such motors and appliances. 9imilarly most of our vehicles, especially locally manufactured bodies of trucks and buses, are energy inefficient. Concluded The writer is the president of the 'akistan 2cademy of 9ciences and former chairman of the =>C. >mailC ibneDsinaEhotmail.com

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