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New technology may reduce wind energy costs

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London, The efficiency of wind turbines can be increased and repair costs reduced through a new technique developed by engineers from the University of Sheffield.

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The novel technique can predict when bearings inside wind turbines fail which could make wind energy cheaper.

Unexpected bearing failures are a common problem in wind turbines.
“By removing the risk of a loss of production and the need for unplanned maintenance, it can help to reduce the cost of wind energy and make it much more economically competitive,” said co-author of the paper professor Rob Dwyer-Joyce.
The method, developed by mechanical engineering research student Wenqu Chen, uses ultrasonic waves to measure the load transmitted through a ball bearing in a wind turbine.
The stress on wind turbine is recorded and then engineers can forecast its remaining service life.
When a bearing is subjected to a load, its thickness is reduced by a very small amount due to elastic deformation, and the speed of sound is affected by the stress level in the material. Both these effects change the time of flight of an ultrasound wave through a bearing.
The new method is the only way to directly measure the transmitted load through the rolling bearing components.
It uses a custom-built piezoelectric sensor mounted in the bearing to measure the time of flight and determine the load.
This sensor is less expensive and significantly smaller than currently available, making it suitable for smaller turbines.
It can also provide a better prediction of the maintenance needed, saving money in servicing, researchers said.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.

(IANS)

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A New Tool May Aid Patients To Detect Urine Blockage

Surgeons are developing a new smartphone-based tool that can detect urethral or urine blockage, potentially making it easier for patients to test themselves for the condition from the comfort of their own homes.

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Americans have been oberved being online almost everytime.
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Surgeons are developing a new smartphone-based tool that can detect urethral or urine blockage, potentially making it easier for patients to test themselves for the condition from the comfort of their own homes.

The novel technique could take high-speed photography which could capture subtle differences between a normal steady stream of liquid and a stream of liquid with an obstruction.

Urethral strictures are a slowing or blocking of the natural flow of urine due to an injury or infection. It is normally diagnosed by uroflowmetry, a test administered at a physician’s office.

“The problem is that patient follow-up after we treat this condition is very poor,” said Matthew Gretzer, Associate Professor at the University of Arizona in the US.

“But we need patients to come back to our clinic for a uroflow test to determine if the obstruction is still present,” he added.

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In order to test Gretzer’s hypothesis on high-speed photography, the team created a model of a urethral structure using tubing hooked to a saline bag that could drain through.

Saline fluid was passed through the tubing with and without blockages, created using 3D printed strictures, placed within the tubing. High-speed photography captured both the regular and blocked stream of liquid exiting the tube.

Gretzer contended that photos can be a medium to diagnose blockages and he hopes that patients could send him these images to analyse and make the diagnosis. He plans to create a mobile app which can be downloaded by the patients.

“All patients would need to do is take high-speed images of their urine flow using a strobe light,” Gretzer said.

“Strobe light apps are readily available right now for people to use on their phones”.

Also Read: Astronauts from Clemson University in US Believe Human Urine Can Help Safer Space Travel

According to the researchers, as fluid exits an opening, a natural breakpoint occurs where the liquid stream forms droplets, but with obstructions in place, it changes.

The results showed that by analysing photos, they could measure the length to this point of droplet formation. This length then directly related to the presence of an obstruction in the tube. (IANS)

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Moon to Meet Trump to Ensure the Success of US-North Korea Nuclear Summit

Next Tuesday, Moon will meet Trump to simply the complications that were generated or might arise in future between North Korea and the US.

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Moon will meet Donald Trump for North Korea. Wikimedia commons