Wednesday September 20, 2006 1:53 pm
MEMS Turbine Power Source
Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are everywhere in today’s world. Air bag sensors, G-Tech vehicle performance systems, inkjet printers and DLP TV’s are just some of the mainstream uses of MEMS technology. The concept is, take something you know works well on a large scale, and shrink it down as much as possible. Well, MIT researchers are trying to use this technique to replace today’s concepts of personal power sources such as batteries, and more recently fuel cells, a MEMS device.
This new device is a miniature turbine engine. As with most MEMS projects, this idea is based on current “real size” technology. One of the methods employed by power plants is using large turbines to generate power for its customers. These MEMS devices will accomplish the same task, but on a much smaller scale. It will be a “Personal Power Plant” if you will. The turbines will spin at speeds of around 1.2 Million RPM (20kHz) and it has been estimated that due to the quality of the device and materials used, they should be able to achieve better efficiency numbers than the current turbines used in power plants. What does all this mean? Well, for now, not much, but for the future, this may be a step in the right direction to creating cheaper safe power for millions across the globe.
Read More | MIT