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285 – Superconductivity



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Superconductivity, the ability of a material to carry electrical current with zero resistance, is a surprising property of nature, which man has been able to exploit in many ways, in particular, for high-performance magnets. Those are used in magnetic resonance imagers, but also in colliders and fusion reactors. In this episode we discuss the basics of superconductivity and its uses with Pierre Bauer, a superconductor engineer at ITER.

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226 – Tidal Power

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(average: 4.39)
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Tidal power refers to extracting electrical energies out of the tide streams in oceans. Various techniques exist. Tocardo is a provider of axial turbines, and our guest, Pieter de Haas, is their CTO. In this episode we talk about tidal power in general, siting, the design and engineering of Tocardo’s turbines as well as the overall economic and technical trade-offs in making the turbines work over the long run.

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157 – Fusion at ITER

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(average: 4.84)
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This episode is about ITER, the international project to build an experimental fusion plant in southern France. While on vacation in that area, I had the opportunity to visit the site and talk to Richard Pitts about many aspects of the project. We focus mostly on the physics and the engineering challenges, but also address some of the organizational aspects of this huge scientific project. Note that this episode is essentially a continuation of omega tau 022 – Nuclear Fusion at MPI für Plasmaphysik; I recommend to listen to this episode first, if you haven’t done so yet.

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098 – Kitepower: Airborne Wind Energy

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(average: 4.65)
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This episode is a conversation about airborne wind energy. In particular, we talk to Roland Schmehl who leads a team of researchers and engineers at TU Delft who develop the Kitepower system. In this system, kites are automatically flown in a pumping pattern to extract energy from wind as an alternative to classical ground-based wind turbines. In the conversation we cover the benefits of airborne wind energy in general and of kites in particular and we cover in some detail how the Delft system works technically.

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081 – Geophysical Modeling in Oil Exploration

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(average: 4.09)
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This episode is a conversation with Michael Commer of the Berkeley Lab about geophyiscal modeling in oil exploration. We start with a brief discussion about how oil gets created and in which geological formations it can be found. We then proceed to talk about various means of finding oil using various means and techniques. The majority of the episode’s conversation revolves around how numerical mathematics can help interpret, refine and work with exploration results.

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