Double to Triple the Energy Harvesting from Nanoscale Piezoelectrics

Dramatic enhancement in energy harvesting for a narrow range of dimensions in piezoelectric nanostructures around the critical size of 20-23 nanometer thick beams.

Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) material employed in the form of cantilever beams, our results indicate that the total harvested power peak value can increase by 100% around 21 nm beam thickness (under short circuit conditions) and nearly a 200% increase may be achieved for specifically tailored cross-section shapes. The key (hereto undiscovered) insight is that the striking enhancement in energy harvesting is predicted to rapidly diminish (compared to bulk) both below and above a certain nanoscale structural length thus providing a rather stringent condition for the experimentalists.

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w.r.t exponential growth - that arguments have been used wrongly for years - over population, AIDS, potable water, etc, etc. changes in human behavior and technology always avert the geometric disasters.


"Brian, learn to do math before stating 100 billion = 20 years."

Cary, learn to read before criticizing someones math. He said U.S. Canada self sufficient in oil. In other words substitute for imports not provide the entire world with oil.

Cary: "
Factor in just 10% growth in global consumption year over year. . ."

Long term growth in world oil consumption has averaged 1.55 for the last 25 years.



Brian, learn to do math before stating 100 billion = 20 years.

Global consumption is at 30 Billion barrels a year (USGS statistic). Factor in just 10% growth in global consumption year over year. . .

Year 1 - 30 Billion
now multiply that by 1.1 (1 + .10)
Year 2 - 33 Billion
Year 3 - 36.3 Billion
Year 4 - 39.93 Billion.

4 Years and the world has consumed Brian's 20 years worth of 100 Billion barrels.

Keep the math going . . .
Year 5 - 43.923 Billion
Year 6 - 48.31 Billion
Year 7 - 53.1 Billion
Year 8 - 58.46 Billion
Year 9 - 64.3 Billion
Total Barrels used - 407.3 Billion

All dried up. Went quick huh?


No amount of found reserves is ever going to be enough. Why? Mathematics. What most people don't understand is the idea of exponential growth and what that means in time. Exponential growth is what allows you to sock 15,000 a year aside in a 401K earning 10% (exponential growth) to end up with 4 million, not 450,000.

To help those who "buy" the idea of reserves for 20 years . . . let's use this example.

A single bacterium is in a bottle. Every minute it doubles - 50% minute-over-minute growth (instead of year-over-year to speed things up).

Start the clock running at 12:00 AM. By 1:00 AM, the bacterium still have lots of room. No Problem. By 5:00 PM, still, lots of room. But at what time does the bacterium realize that they're in trouble? 11:59 AM, before they do their last doubling and go from 50% full to 100% full.

But hey, one little bacterium builds a spaceship and finds 3 whole empty bottles! Yay, we're saved. But how much time does that REALLY buy them? 2 whole minutes. The first minute they double and fill one new bottle. The next minute, the other two.

We are at 11:59 PM and 58 seconds. With consumption growth as it is, there is no amount of reserve that is going to buy us a whole lot-o-time.


Manpower shortages will drive the economics of energy for the next few decades.

The advantage will eventually go to algal biodiesel/biobutanol and biosynthetis--because those processes are more economically automated than the rough world of producing sweet crude, heavy oils, and oil shale / tar sands. Yes, I know robots are supposed to start running offshore rigs, but my near-term bets are on humans for their ability to adapt to changing circumstances.


Even being to pull 100 billion barrels out of this at 13 million barrels per day would be enough to allow the USA/Canada to be self sufficient in oil for 20 years. It would be enough time for a nice transition to electrification and the synthetic biology enabled biofuels you mentioned. So hopefully this would be the last oil that is needed.

The existing wells should be pulling 1 million barrels per day by the end of this year.


This is what happens when we start to "run out" of oil. More oil is discovered.

We started running out of Pennsylvania crude in the 1920s. Everyone shouted doom and gloom. Then the Texas oil fields were discovered.

Same thing happened in the late 40's to early 50's. Then the middle-eastern oil was discovered.

The "shortage" in the 70's was caused mainly by government regulation of the industry, particularly pricing. When the industry was deregulated, first under Carter and later Reagan, prices started coming down.

The 70's was also when much of the African oil (Nigeria, Angola) was found and the advanced oil recovery technology was developed during this time.

The process repeats itself again in this decade.

Oil reserves oscillate between 10 to 17 years. When the reserves go below 10 years, the oil companies spend more money in exploration and find more oil. When the reserves exceed 17 years, the bean counters who run the oil companies cut back on exploration, because it is not an efficient use of shareholder capital.

Common sense suggests that developing hydrocarbon fuels from a renewable source is a good idea. This is where the recent work in synthetic biology comes in. Synthetic biology will lead first to designer algae for making hydrocarbon fuels, which will be far more efficient than this agricultural bio-fuels stuff being peddled by the liberal-left.

The next step in synthetic biology will be to make the actual hydrocarbon production chemistry without the rest of the cellular processes that make up the algae. This will be even more efficient.