It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
A giant rubber snake could be the future of renewable energy. The rippling "Anaconda" produces electricity as it is squeezed by passing waves. Its developers say it would produce more energy than existing wave-energy devices and be cheaper to maintain.
Retired physicist Francis Farley and Rod Rainey of Atkins Global dreamed up a flexible tube filled with seawater and sealed at both ends like a giant sausage. The structure streams out in the waves like a windsock pushed by the wind.
The passage of each wave squeezes the rubber and produces a bulging pressure wave that travels down its length. When the bulge reaches the end it sets turbines spinning to generate electricity
A material that is able to self-repair even when it is sliced in two has been invented by French researchers.
The as-yet-unnamed material - a form of artificial rubber - is made from vegetable oil and a component of urine.
The substance, described in the journal Nature, produces surfaces when cut that retain a strong chemical attraction to each other.
Pieces of the material join together again as if never parted without the need for glue or a special treatment.
This remarkable property comes from careful engineering of the molecules in the material.
Engineers are building large devices called the Pelamis system. They are massive, red, steel tubes that look like rounded train cars.
"Pelamis is actually the name of a surface swimming sea snake, which is quite an apt description for the machine when you see how it moves," says Max Carcas, who runs business development for the Scottish firm Ocean Power Delivery.
The firm has already deployed a prototype system around the Orkneys off the coast of Scotland.
These train-like tubes will eventually be linked together, four in a row, with the rows deployed in parallel to each other. More rows can be added to create more electricity and the rows of tubes are connected to the power grid via a single cable. Together, the hinged "snake" will be 140m (460ft) long.
"A full-scale device should produce 1 megawatt – enough to power around 2000 houses.
By comparison, each jointed steel cylinder of the Pelamis wave power system which is being trialled in Portugal generates just 0.75 MW."