Happy Birthday Thomas Edison-February 11th

Happy Birthday Thomas Edison-February 11th

It’s time to celebrate the birthday of the world’s greatest inventor, a man who gave us many presents-recorded sound, motion pictures, the light bulb and electric power system, and R&D labs.

“I love apple pie – If not apple, how about some rhubarb pie?”

“I love apple pie – If not apple, how about some rhubarb pie?”

Edison taught us about electric vehicles 100 years ago and would be cheering us on right now as we learn how to plug our cars in at night – helping to clean the air too. Tom was a big environmentalist, as was his lovely wife Mina.

Mina Edison driving her Tom [“dearie” as she called him] around in her 1911 electric vehicle.

Mina Edison driving her Tom [“dearie” as she called him] around in her 1911 electric vehicle.

He had a family too … here they are … Madeleine, Charles and Theodore, in order.

“Life's most soothing things are a child's goodnight and sweet music...”

“Life’s most soothing things are a child’s goodnight and sweet music…”

The Edison family on the back porch of their lovely, Victorian style home at Glenmont

The Edison family on the back porch of their lovely, Victorian style home at Glenmont

Below, Tom and Mina shortly after their marriage in 1886–she 19, he 38– a lasting marriage. Mina was a devoted mother, home executive, philanthropist, environmentalist/horticulturist, and public relations asset to Tom and his business. Tom proposed to her in Morse code, tapped out on her hand; she accepting, also in Morse code, tapped out on his hand! He wrote her many love letters.

“A man’s best friend is a good wife.”

“A man’s best friend is a good wife.”

Happy Birthday Tom! We will never forget you.

“I never did a day’s work in my life, it was all fun.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

 

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Thomas Edison Admires Transparent Solar Panels

What is it? Michigan State University scientists have developed a transparent solar panel that can be used as a window.

A transparent solar panel

A transparent solar panel

Why does it matter? Clear solar panels could be used to tap the sun’s power in buildings, cars and even tech devices. There are 5 to 7 billion square meters of glass surfaces in the United States, according to the researchers, who say these clear panels have the potential to provide approximately 40 percent of the country’s current energy demands. Besides making new power-generating window panels, the technology could be also used to retrofit existing windows.

How does it work? The MSU team used organic molecules as their secret sauce to create a thin material similar to plastic that captures the sun’s ultraviolet and near-infrared light. Once collected that energy moves to the edge of the window panel, where solar cells converts it to electrical energy.

Dr. Richard Lunt at MSU

Dr. Richard Lunt at MSU

“Highly transparent solar cells represent the wave of the future for new solar applications,” said lead engineering researcher Richard Lunt. While the transparent panels are far less efficient than normal solar panels, buildings have a lot more surface area where they could be deployed. “Ultimately, this technology offers a promising route to inexpensive, widespread solar adoption on small and large surfaces that were previously inaccessible,” Lunt said.

Check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH04P2fXVgs

Widespread use of highly transparent solar applications, together with the conventional roof-top solar systems we see today, could nearly meet U.S. electricity demand, drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels. Today, only about 1.5 percent of electricity demand in the United States and globally is produced by solar power. Moving global energy consumption away from fossil fuels will require innovative and cost-effective renewable energy technologies like this. The work at MSU is funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Edison on solar energy – “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Thomas Edison Admires Tesla Electric Semi Truck

Better keep an eye on that rear view mirror. Something very new and different could be gaining on you. Tesla is not just about cars. Say hello to the Tesla electric semi truck, a vehicle with attitude, speed and range.

Sleek, futuristic and fast this Tesla semi truck

Sleek, futuristic and fast this Tesla semi truck

Think you could handle it? Aerodynamics that rival some of the fastest automobiles; zero to 60 mph in 20 seconds–with an 80,000 pound pull; and capable of 65 mph on a 5% grade. This baby can go 500 miles on a single charge; with Tesla talking about introducing “megachargers” at truck stops that in 30 minutes can give you another 400 miles of range. This streamlined beauty also can operate in a semiautonomous mode, so it and other trucks can “convoy” their way across the landscape.

Inside the cab. No gears or shifting necessary….one speed…rapid!

Inside the cab. No gears or shifting necessary….one speed…rapid!

Big name companies are putting down $5,000 deposits for first dibs on the production models to become available in 2019. Names like Ryder, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, J.B. Hunt Transport Systems, Anheuser-Busch, and Sysco top the list of first buyers. Expected base price for the futuristic semi is $180,000-$200,000. Various press reports suggest Musk may be sitting on as many as 1200 orders for the new truck-with big name companies ordering over 100 trucks at a time each.

Initial expectations are the trucks will be cheaper to operate than diesel machines and possible less costly than rail transport. And of course there will be no emissions, a big standards concern for traditional trucks and locomotives. Tesla is also offering a one million mile breakdown-free promise.

All in all, Tesla is projecting a $200,000+ savings in fuel costs over conventional trucks, and a 2 year payback. That certainly will get some serious attention from companies operating big truck fleets. Experts believe Tesla will have some interesting competition in the near future as electric fever grips the trucking industry.

Are you hearing this Tom Edison? Look what your ideas back in the early 1900s for battery powered transportation have become.

Thomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves …”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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