Tech Exchange

Smart Grid Technology for Monitoring Power Generation of Each Solar Panel

The National Institute of AIST in Japan has developed a communication technology that uses the direct current (DC) power line of a solar panel as a communication line. The technology helps monitor the power generation in each solar panel, which is useful for the maintenance of the panel and the prompt detection of malfunctions. The monitoring unit of the developed communication system is small and can be placed in the terminal box of a solar panel. The system does not require additional wiring work because the existing DC power lines from the solar panels are used for communication.

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Naturally Derived Chemicals Exhibiting Pesticidal Effects

A company seeks biorational approaches to new pesticides. “Biorational” approaches include processes, organisms, or chemistries that occur spontaneously in nature. By isolating these substances, a biorational pesticide may be created. These naturally derived (or synthesized products resembling parent molecules of a natural origin) will have unique modes of action, are environmentally benign, and have commercially acceptable levels of control on specific target species such as weeds, insects, fungi, nematodes, and other crop pests.

Posted in: Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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Natural Ingredients for Foods That Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Healthy people and pre-diabetic individuals may have a reduced sensitivity (or resistance) to insulin. A company seeks natural ingredients that can be added to foods that will enhance the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and help maintain post-absorptive blood glucose control at a healthy level. The company is looking for ways to decrease the incidence of risk factors for diabetes (such as impaired fasting glucose) by locating natural edible compounds or extracts that improve insulin sensitivity.

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Biodegradable Silica Gel Fiber Regenerates Cell Tissue

An inorganic, biodegradable silica gel fiber (SGF) acts as a physical scaffold to aid the growth of new cells and the collagen structure that supports them. As a scaffold, it can also be used to deliver drugs over a wide area to aid in healing. The material is integrated into the tissues and resorbed by the body. Unlike collagen, the SGF scaffold stays in the wound for 1–2 weeks before resorption. Dimension as well as degradation speed can be adjusted from millimeters up to several hundred square centimeters.

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Nozzle Produces Ultrafine Droplets

Energy-saving nozzles offer droplet sizes down to 25 microns, at operating pressures as low as 100 psi. Nozzle passages, including metering slots, spin chambers, and exit orifices, are designed to minimize pressure drop, resulting in conservation of pump energy up to the exit orifice.

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Indoor Air Quality Improvements

A company wants to decrease the frequency and severity of respiratory illness in homes with adults, teens, and children. Affordable indoor air quality improvement solutions must be provided to consumers via an air purification device. The client seeks a third-party partner who can offer a currently commercialized/ available air purifier. The pollutants that must be removed from indoor air include particulates, sulfuric acid, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds.

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Air and Moisture Removal Within Closed Containers

Many types of food spoilage are slowed when air and moisture are removed from around the food. Current removal solutions, however, are expensive, take up too much space, and require complicated processes. A new technology must remove air and moisture with the single push of a button. Any proposed device should be incorporated into the container. A previously attempted solution included a countertop appliance that, using a vacuum, sealed a bag with heat.

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