temp differenceBy taking wasted heat produced by power plants and industrial sources, researchers at Yale’s Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, have established a new technology that can turn this heat into a powerful energy.

There are currently various technologies that are able to reuse high-temperature heat or convert it into electricity. However, the problem lies in successfully and efficiently extracting energy from heat waste that is low-temperature. This is the result of a difference in temperature between the plant’s heat discharge and the environment surrounding it. These conventional systems are also designed to targeting a certain difference in temperature— creating a less effective strategy when there are shifts in the waste heat output.

The key to this new technology is a “nanobubble membrane.” When submerged in water, it traps tiny air bubbles within the pores. When one side of the membrane is heated, this results in water evaporation, traveling across the air gap, and condensing on the other side of the membrane. With this temperature-driven current of water across this membrane, it is directed to a turbine, generating electricity.

Published in the Nature Energy journal online, the research team went on to test this concept. By building a small-scale system, the researchers demonstrated that even with the heat fluctuations and temperature differences as low as 20 degrees Celsius, these nanobubble membranes are able to produce pressurized flows of water and in turn, generate power. This makes it possible to use with the industrial source’s wasted heat.

By also using nanostructure membranes with a surface chemistry, helping to trap the air bubbles, this helped to keep the bubbles contained within pores, especially when large pressure was generated. These membranes are made from “highly hydrophobic (water-repelling) polymer nanofibers.” 

The first author of this study, Anthony Straub said with the important factor of using only water, this technology can exceed others, given its low cost and “environmentally friendly” aspect. 

These researchers are continuing the work on this technology in order to further develop the membranes ability to trap air bubbles and continuing their investigation of large-scale future systems and how these will perform.

CT Based Company Provides Mental Health Technology

Mindyra, a technology based company located in Darien, CT, recently announced a new online platform aimed at reducing the cost of mental health in the workplace. 

This new platform is designed for family doctor assistance and helps to encourage them to better diagnose and treat patients with behavioral and mental health issues. Using either a mobile device or iPad, the system, patent pending, screens the user for dozens of mental health and learning disability conditions. This will then help primary care providers come up with a diagnosis and correct patient treatment plan. It provides ongoing tests for the clinicians and family members to help the patient track how well the treatment is working for them, as well as guidance and test results to guide the physicians in better understanding the patient’s condition and treatment regimens. 

New Haven Parking Upgrades To Second Parking App

The city of New Haven has recently launched its second parking app for city residents. GoNewHaven, available on the iPhone App Store and Android Google Play, helps customers pay for parking quickly, extend a parking session at no charge and keep track of parking history.

The company that designed the app, Passport, is based on Delaware and focuses on transportation industry software. 

This is the second app New Haven has introduced to residents, the first one being Parkmobile. However, the newest app GoNewHaven is specifically for the residents of the city, whereas Parkmobile works in multiple cities across the country. Residents can choose either app and are able to do their parking transactions virtually.

Businesses in the city can also set up their own Passport account, handing out coupons based on the amount of parking spaces they would like to provide. They retain the validation codes, that will either subside some or all of the parking costs.