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Bockris, John O’M. Last Updated on 2013-10-31 01:06:04   John O’M. Bockris, an Australian electrochemist, coined the term “hydrogen economy” in the 1970s. Bockris’ hydrogen economy describes a system in which hydrogen would be used to transport energy from renewable sources over large distances and store it in large amounts. In 1962, Bockris first proposed a plan to supply US cities with solar-derived energy via hydrogen. In 1971, he published the first article on hydrogen in a referred journal. Bockris published Energy: The Solar-Hydrogen Alternative in 1975, one of the first detailed description of what a solar-hydrogen economy would look like. Further Reading History of Hydrogen Timeline (National Hydrogen Association) More »
Lovins, Amory B. Last Updated on 2013-09-12 20:08:35   Amory B. Lovins (1947-), an American physicist noted for his advocacy of renewable energy and energy efficiency. His book, Soft Energy Paths (1977), was among the first to articulate the social and environmental imperatives of shifting from the “hard” (fossil and nuclear fuels) to “soft” (renewable) energy sources. Lovins formed the Rocky Mountain Institute in Snowmass, Colorado, a leading think tank and advocacy group aimed at shifting the hydrocarbon, automobile, real estate, electricity, water, semiconductor, and other industries toward advanced resource productivity. Lovins had a particular interest in automotive technology. He led the design of the Hypercar®, a vehicle designed to capture the synergies of ultralight construction, low-drag design, hybrid-electric drive, fuel cells running on compressed gaseous hydrogen fuel, and efficient... More »
Mouchout, Auguste Last Updated on 2013-09-12 20:00:16   Auguste Mouchout, French inventor of the first known device that directly converted solar energy into mechanical power (1865). Mouchout began his work with solar energy in 1860 after expressing grave concerns about his country’s dependence on coal. His initial experiments involved a glass-enclosed, water-filled iron cauldron, in which sunlight passed through a glass cover, heating the water. This simple arrangement boiled water, but it also produced small quantities of steam. Mouchout added a reflector to concentrate additional radiation onto the cauldron, thus increasing the steam output. He succeeded in using his apparatus to operate a small, conventional steam engine. Impressed by Mouchout’s device, Emperor Napoleon III offered financial assistance, which Mouchout used to produce refinements to the energy system. Mouchout’s work help lay the foundation for... More »
Betz, Albert Last Updated on 2013-09-12 19:55:58   Albert Betz (1885-1968), a German physicist noted for his path-breaking theoretical studies of wind turbines. Betz' Law (1919) states that a wind turbine can convert 16/27 (or 59%) of the kinetic energy in the wind to mechanical energy. However, in practice, wind turbine rotors convert much less than this theoretical maximum. This is caused by energy losses in transmission, generation, and power conditioning. Energy loss is also caused by changes in wind speed, changes in wind direction, and changes in temperature. Using early wind tunnels, Betz also tested swept wing models for the German airplane manufacturer Messerschmitt, demonstrating that this wing design would allow airplanes to reach higher speeds. Betz's theoretical contributions are still the foundation for today's rotor theory. Further Reading Betz's Law (Danish Wind Industry Association) More »
Glaser, Peter C. Last Updated on 2013-09-12 19:54:15   Peter C. Glaser, an American space scientist, is best known for promoting his idea of generating electricity in space for use on Earth using solar-powered satellites (1968). His idea was that satellites in geosynchronous orbit would collect energy from the Sun. The energy would be converted to radio waves and beamed to a receiving site on the ground. The ground antenna would then reconvert the radio waves to electricity for consumption. Though technically feasible, cost considerations have prevented the implementation of this system. Glaser was project manager for the Apollo 11 Laser Ranging Retroreflecter Array installed on the lunar surface of July 20, 1969, as well as for two other arrays installed on subsequent missions—the only science experiments still in operation on Earth's moon. More »