Tech Exchange

Time-Based Tracker Boosts Solar Energy Production

Solar panels are normally positioned at a fixed position. If a panel uses a tracking system to follow the movement of the Sun, however, more solar energy can be collected. Instead of having light sensors that are often disturbed in cloudy environments, a new time-signal-based system uses a programmable logic controller (PLC) to give a start signal at the end of a fixed time.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Zeolite Production Method Removes Soil Pollutants

X-type zeolites use an ion-exchange mechanism to capture and retain heavy metals for soil and water remediation. Zeolites are hydrated aluminosilicate minerals characterized by a three-dimensional open structure. Their cation exchange capacity (CEC), large surface area, and porosity allow the absorption and encapsulation of pollutants. The geopolymer product, containing the zeolites in formation, can be applied directly to contaminated soil, thus immobilizing toxic heavy metals within the zeolite structure during growth and formation.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Low-Loss Dielectric Materials Improve PC Boards

Low-loss dielectric materials are available. The hydrocarbon- based, fiber-reinforced composite sheets can be applied to printed circuit boards and IC chip packaging. The material has a very low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor up to GHz range frequencies, and is advantageous for emerging high-frequency electronics applications as a printed circuit dielectric sheet.

Posted in: Techs for License, Semiconductors & ICs

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Insect Processing Technologies for Chicken Feed

The growing scarcity of resources to produce increasingly demanded ingredients, such as soybean meal and animal protein meals, has doubled feed costs in the recent years. Thus, alternative protein sources, including insects, are urgently needed. Insects must be introduced in the feed chain, and multiple quality parameters need to be taken into account: quality, availability, and cost. Expectations for new technologies include a processing method for the insect, nutritional evaluation, identification of microbiological problems, and financial evaluation to understand the viability of the business.

Posted in: Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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New Synthetic Nematicides

Nematodes are among the most damaging crop pests. Very few available chemical nematicides can affect control, and some options are restricted by the Environmental Protection Agency and similar bodies. Nematodes damage plant roots, and reduce the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients. The need is great to discover less toxic, and more environmentally acceptable, chemical substitutes for the current suite of commercial nematicides. Successful technologies must demonstrate efficacy against nematodes or nematode damage to plants, provide at least benchtop data to support efficacy claims, and display new and/or multiple modes of action.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs

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Floorboard Locking Technology Features A/A Splicing

A locking technology can be widely used in the hardwood and laminate floor installation process. After being spliced, the two-locking structure has bearing capacity similar to that of a whole single material. The technology can be reversely disassembled, and both sides of the locking device are tightly sealed. The glue-free structure has multiple applications, including use in laminated boards, composite floorboards, furniture, and a new separable spliced process, other than welding, for metal boards with thickness over 5 mm.

Posted in: Tech Exchange, Techs for License

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Reseatable Pressure Relief Valve Fixes Leaks

Reclosable pressure-relief devices that employ a frusto-conical valve assembly or spherical valve assembly have been found to leak under vacuum. A new technology fixes leaks in low-pressure (less than 50 psi) relief valves. The invention adds a ring inside the valve. Both the valve seat and the sealing surface of the valve head are annular planar confronting surfaces oriented substantially perpendicular to the valve axis, and the resilient valve seal is an annular O-ring. To form a vacuum- tight seal, the O-ring is compressed between two planar mating surfaces by the valve spring. Pressure relief capacity is maintained, while providing a vacuum-tight seal during normal operation.

Posted in: Tech Exchange, Techs for License

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