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SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS DISTINCT hy_posts.*, IF (hy_posts.post_type = 'tribe_events', hy_postmeta.meta_value, hy_posts.post_date) AS post_date FROM hy_posts LEFT JOIN hy_term_relationships ON (hy_posts.ID = hy_term_relationships.object_id) LEFT JOIN hy_term_relationships AS tt1 ON (hy_posts.ID = tt1.object_id) LEFT JOIN hy_postmeta as hy_postmeta on hy_posts.ID = hy_postmeta.post_id AND hy_postmeta.meta_key = '_EventStartDate' WHERE 1=1 AND ( hy_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (2) AND tt1.term_taxonomy_id IN (75) ) AND ((hy_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (hy_posts.post_status = 'publish' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'acf-disabled' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-success' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-failed' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-schedule' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-pending' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-draft')) OR (hy_posts.post_type = 'tribe_events' AND (hy_posts.post_status = 'publish' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'acf-disabled' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-success' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-failed' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-schedule' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-pending' OR hy_posts.post_status = 'tribe-ea-draft'))) GROUP BY hy_posts.ID ORDER BY post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 9 " ["posts"]=> &array(8) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#10943 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(923) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "547" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-06-16 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-06-16 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(5883) "Ever since 3D printers were invented, we have seen many new ways in which this technology can improve our lives. We have even managed to print pizza, so printing a nice and cosy home in which to enjoy our pizza seems like the next logical step. So far, several companies have managed to print whole houses or house segments using different materials. Their results are far from modest and we might be looking at the rise of an entirely new era of architecture.

Quick Deployment

Whenever this topic is discussed, the first question in everyone's mind is, "Aren't 3D printers incredibly slow?" Well, the printers have advanced a lot over the years and the latest models have truly remarkable speeds. The Chinese company WinSun, recently showed that their 3D printers can build ten complete houses in just one day. These 10 by 6.6 metre houses were constructed using one giant 3D printer and minimal human workforce. In the the future, it may be possible for a single machine to make entire neighbourhoods pop up overnight.

From Standalone One-Story Structures to Skyscrapers

So far, the 3D printing technology has been used to build mostly one to two storey structures, but no one is setting the bar there. Eastern China already has a six storey building made with the use of a 3D printer and, if we work out a way to introduce new materials into the printing process, building a skyscraper with a 3D printer may become a reality.

Environmentally Friendly and Cost-Effective Homes

One of the best selling points of 3D printed housing is their environmental friendliness. The Chinese used industrial rubble as their main building material, while the Dutch opted for a reusable oil-based material. Printing houses might save us from producing tons of debris. The materials used for printing are also easier to transport than regular construction materials and this can be regarded as both an ecological and economic advantage.

Aiming to Provide Cheap Housing

The most shocking part about the WinSun houses is that their buildings cost about $5000 each. Their low price makes them a possible solution to housing problems worldwide. Other 3D printers which are used to build houses can also provide a price that is far below the standard construction price. Further development of this technology can provide a roof for everyone without a shelter in the world.

3D House PrinterHouses made out of Mud and Wool

3D printer demonstrations have shown that even mud and wool can be used to make a shelter. The Italian 3D printer company, WASP Project, demonstrated that easily found resources such as mud and fibre can provide shelters in the impoverished regions. Their six metre high, three-armed printer can be assembled in just two hours and can print out an almost complete house. Machines of this type can be used to rapidly deploy a refugee camp or to create shelters in disaster struck regions.

Building a LEGO Tower

Another technique that might provide fast deployment in the future is stacking. A 3D printer can produce large pieces that stack together like LEGO's. This might not seem that safe, but with the right locking mechanism the structural integrity will not be compromised.

Prospects of Adding Armature

Adding armature in the prints is one of the main game changers that can make this technology a serious competitor in the construction industry. With armature in the mix, architects can create larger gravity-defying structures without worrying that they might collapse. In addition, armature will also make the structures safer and more durable in extreme situations such as earthquakes.

Designing the Future

As this technology advances, we may be looking at a time when everyone will become a designer of their own home. An intelligent 3D modelling software can make designing a house as easy as starting a new game in Sims. This futuristic software platform may also offer an option to purchase or import house plans and even improve them by adding your own creative touch.

Conclusion

So far, we have proved that building a house with a 3D printer is possible and that it can be done for a very low price. There are many limitations as to what we may construct, but if we are looking to shelter the homeless it is a viable option. Further development of this technology may provide us with ways to construct larger homes at an even lower price.

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Want more? Don't be sad that the article is over! We got plenty of other exciting stuff to share with you. Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter and we'll keep you up to date with our latest news!" ["post_title"]=> string(47) "Printing an Affordable Home - 3D House Printing" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(17) "3d-house-printing" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-07-17 09:29:44" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-17 09:29:44" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/3d-house-printing/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#10944 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(969) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "547" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-08-28 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-08-28 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(10230) "The concept of "smart dust" emerged in 1992 from a RAND workshop and it defined something that was not quite possible at that time. A system of tiny microelectromechanical systems works as a swarm and measures just about everything. Of course, as with any other technological marvel, one of the first instincts was to weaponise it, so by the mid-1990s there were already a series of DARPA ISAT studies performed, to determine its military value. However, over the years, it proved that it has greater commercial worth.

What it actually does

Discussing the potential of the smart dust sounds as unreal as explaining magic pixie dust. This system of tiny sensors, robots or other devices can measure light, temperature, vibration, magnetism and chemicals. Of course, these tiny systems usually perform just one task, but they do it in a unique way. Their small size gives them a great strategic advantage and sometimes this offers a peculiar perspective on things.

More like gravel than dust

Smart dustThese miniature marvels are still a bit too big to be called dust. Current models measure around 5 millimetres per side, says Kristofer Pister, Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of California Berkeley, who has been working with smart dust since 1997. That is still amazing considering the fact that they have sensors and the ability to communicate wirelessly. Efforts are being made to reduce their size to one millimetre and less, and this is expected to happen within this decade. A collection of tiny microelectromechanical systems that individually measure less than a millimetre will surely look like dust to the naked eye.

Power as a main challenge

When you already have a tiny robot that does a complicated task, one of the biggest challenges will be to provide it with sufficient power. Currently, smart dust relies on miniature batteries as a main power source and this provides a decent amount of operational time. The battery size is a big obstacle in the efforts made to shrink the tiny smart dust particles. Scientists are working on tackling this problem with the use of several different approaches.

Wiring Them to a Power Source Defeats the Purpose

Smart dust particles are amazing regardless of whether or not they are connected to a power source. Each particle sends an individual read and they can be used to monitor all sorts of processes. Still, connecting the particles to a power source will take away the key advantage given by their size. Dependence can prevent them from reaching their maximum potential as autonomous sensors and that is what the smart dust concept is all about.

Becoming More Efficient

A possible solution lies in making the smart dust particles more energy efficient. As most of the energy is used on their wireless communication, researchers from UC Berkeley, MIT and the University of California have started to work on devising a more efficient wireless protocol that will require less energy. This so-called low-power ad hoc routing protocol will find ways to send a message from one mote to another using the least amount of energy necessary. Communications that drain less battery life can even allow the particles to send out larger data streams.

Recycling Energy

Smart dust can become more energy efficient if scientists can find a way to make it use of its surroundings. The first ideas explored in this direction involved using low level light and vibrations as a power source. Considering the size of the dust particles, this task will be especially challenging.

A Vision for the Future

Smart dust definitely has a place in the future. Current trends imply that in the near future particles will become smaller and less expensive to produce. With a more affordable price and increased performance, this technology will be attractive to many different businesses. It is not just about the data they can gather; it is how that data can be used.

The Magic They Can Deliver

The possibilities of smart dust are virtually limitless. So far, people have suggested many different ways to put smart dust to good use and better our lives. Even more innovative ideas are expected, as the smart dust slowly becomes part of our everyday life:
  • Cheaper smart dust can take quality control to a completely new level. Sticking a dust mote here and there on appliances, electronics, vehicles and other products can deliver an incredible amount of useful data that can help manufacturers create safer and more durable products.
  • On the same note, smart dust can improve workers’ safety. Catching out of range vibrations and excessive temperature levels can serve as an early warning system for possible equipment malfunction.  
  • Accelerometers on our fingers make a pretty neat virtual keyboard; tracking the movement of our fingers on a flat surface and transferring the data through wireless is one of the best ways to create a virtual keyboard.
  • Smart dust can even create smart inventories. Having a mite on every box that communicates with a mite on every palette which, in turn, communicates with a mite on a truck will eliminate a lot of problems with shipping and inventories.
  • Sprinkling roads and intersections with smart dust can provide a lot of useful data that can help to avoid traffic congestion. If motes become sophisticated enough to communicate efficiently with traffic lights, smart dust can be the future system used for traffic control.
  • Smart dust can lead to the easy creation of a smart room. Just as the smart motes communicate with each other they can also communicate with sensors embedded in electronic appliances within your home. Your room experience can be adjusted by your preferences and different automated processes can be activated depending on the current time of day.

The Dark Side of the Future

Discussing the future will be unrealistic if we do not mention the gloomier side of things. Dust mites are excellent for surveillance. You can use them for monitoring, tracking and even scud hunting. Defendec is just one of the companies that offer surveillance solutions based on the smart dust concept. Motes will surely be used for military and domestic intelligence purposes. It will be very hard to convince some people that big brother is not watching if a surveillance device becomes as small as a grain of sand.

Conclusion

We will soon have a chance to see a new generation of smart dust that offers more for the price of less. This opens the door to a world of unlimited opportunities. It is too early to say how this technology will be used, but the ideas so far are very promising. Regardless of the possible misuses we can currently imagine, smart dust represents a huge technological leap that should be embraced and celebrated.

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Intruder alert! What about our privacy? Want to find out in what way privacy impacts our quality of life? We got you covered! Find out more about privacy and feeling at ease." ["post_title"]=> string(52) "Smart Dust: The Smart Equivalent of Magic Pixie Dust" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(10) "smart-dust" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-05-20 15:05:43" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-05-20 13:05:43" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(47) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/smart-dust/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#10945 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(968) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "547" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-08-25 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-08-25 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(6678) "Air conditioners have been around long enough for all of us to get used to spending huge amounts of electricity on them. Regardless of their energy efficiency rating, air conditioners are responsible for a huge portion of our electricity bill. Those who use them in the winter spend even more, as heating is a more demanding process. Temperature control accounts for a large portion of our energy use, so it was about time that someone invented a more efficient device.

Meet the Salt Water Air Conditioners

Salt water air conditioners aim to reduce energy consumption by half with the introduction of a liquid desiccant. Air conditioning units of this type are a bit different, although many of the operational concepts remain the same.

No Changes in Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling remain unchanged in salt water air conditioners. You can even find the same components for heating and cooling being used in both traditional and salt water air conditioners. This brings us to the question, "What change makes salt water air conditioners special and how can they reduce the energy bill?"

A New Way of Drying Air

The air that comes through your air conditioner needs to be dried first. Traditionally, this meant that air should be overcooled in the condenser to remove the water and then brought back to the desired temperature. Creating condensation is an energy-demanding process and it is one of the main reasons why air conditioners use so much electricity.

The Use of Desiccant

This is where the desiccant becomes useful. A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that induces or sustains a state of dryness in its vicinity. Salt water is a prime candidate for desiccation, as it is widely accessible, free of charge, and highly effective. The whole idea is to remove the condenser and let a salt water system do the same thing. Companies such as Advantix Systems have already implemented and patented designs that use liquid desiccant instead of a condenser.

How it All Works

The air conditioning system is constructed by a series of plates with water flowing through them. These multi-layered plates are covered with a special membrane and a salt-based solution is sprayed over them. The salt-based solution takes care of most of the water in the air and it is then recycled. To reuse the same salt-based solution, all you need to do is to heat it up and remove some of the water in it. Salt water Air Conditioner

How much Better Are They?

Salt water air conditioners offer improvements in the air drying procedure, so their effectiveness will depend on the humidity. Best results can be expected in a high humidity environment, but keep in mind that the concentration of water in the air does not only depend on the weather. The human factor has a big influence, as our bodies let out a lot of water in the air through breathing, sweating and evaporation.

A Best Fit for Commercial Buildings

Businesses, schools and other locations with a high human presence stand to gain the most by installing salt water air conditioners. This is why the models created so far are strictly aimed for commercial use. Any commercial building with a flat rooftop can install this type of air conditioner. The equipment requires a little more space, but hopefully, newer generations will be become smaller.

Saving Round 50% on Energy Use

Current models use between 50 and 75 percent less electricity during the summer and around 50% in the winter. These numbers are nothing to be sneezed at, as the savings can be reinvested in the company and help it to grow at a faster rate.

Possible Residential Use

The demand for air conditioning systems in the residential sector should not be ignored. These current solutions might be too big for residential use, but as technology progresses, salt water air conditioners can find their way into our houses as well. Their energy efficiency can be boosted even further if they are combined with solar power as an alternative source of energy. This was avoided in the commercial models as adding solar power was considered unattractive to clientele. However, residential users may find this idea more appealing.

Conclusion

Salt water air conditioners have been around for some time now, yet we still do not see them installed on every corner. This is due to the fact that they are not a product that is intended for the general public. To achieve greater levels of success, this air conditioning concept will have to make its name in the commercial market. Although salt water air conditioners may have a bright future ahead, business owners firstly need to become aware of the saving potential presented by these devices.

Want more?

Want to find out in what way sustaining our environment impacts our quality of life? We got you covered! Find out more about sustainability and letting go." ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Salt Water Air Conditioners are Going Commercial!" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(27) "salt-water-air-conditioners" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 12:13:23" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 12:13:23" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(64) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/salt-water-air-conditioners/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#10946 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(957) ["post_author"]=> string(2) "43" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-05-05 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-05-05 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(5657) "  The windmill is back. It is probably one of the oldest ways of harvesting energy from wind. The first time windmills were used to produce electricity was in 1891 in Askov, Denmark by Poul la Cour. We had to wait until 1930 until someone came up with the idea of locating wind turbines offshore. But it wasn’t until 1972 that Dr. William E Heronemus, professor at University of Massachusetts, introduced the concept of using floating wind turbines. The first real offshore wind farm was constructed in Denmark in 1991. And the first floating wind turbine became operational in 2009.  So it took more than a hundred years to deploy them.

Why?

We need more and more energy and our traditional sources of energy are not sustainable. As this becomes more and more a pressing matter, wind energy is gaining in popularity. But you need to make sure you capture the wind in the best places. Offshore wind turbines have the advantage that wind and space is abundant. Bottom-fixed offshore turbines can be deployed in shallow coastal areas. But these are often densely populated. Floating turbines allow harvesting wind energy further away from the coast. This has several advantages: the wind is stronger and more constant, they reduce visual pollution and they accommodate fishing and shipping lanes better.

How?

There are four ways a floating wind turbine can be conceived: Spar-type, tension leg platform (TLP) type, pontoon (barge) type and semi-submersible type. They distinguish themselves on the amount and position of the floating elements as well as the way they are anchored to the seabed. The spar-type you have to envisage as a windmill with a floating element at the bottom. It’s anchored to the seabed with several lines. The TLP looks more like a oil drilling platform with a windmill on top of it. The pontoon type looks more like a boat with several windmills on it to keep it balanced. And the semi-submersible is similar to the TLP but it has a system to keep it level in the waves. Floating Wind Turbines

What are the main challenges?

The main challenge is an economical one. Unlike onshore wind farms, the main cost is not the turbine (only about one third). The support structure accounts for about one fourth of the cost and operation and maintenance another fourth. Each type of wind turbine mentioned above is suited for different conditions. This depends on sensitivity to waves and bottom soil conditions (to attach the windmill). This also influences the mooring line system and anchor cost. Also water depth independence is key. Since 2009 several systems have been deployed and their financial viability still needs to be evaluated. The power the turbines can generate is similar to the fixed wind turbines as the designs are the same. The only limitation is the size, as you need to be able to keep it stable in the waves. Turbines up to 6MW are currently being deployed.

Where?

The countries that have deployed floating wind turbines are Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Japan is also planning to install a wind farm off the coast of Fukushima. Europe clearly has a leading role and this is also the case for the non-floating offshore wind farms.

What does the future hold?

A lot of projects are still planned. As mentioned, Japan is deploying a big wind farm that could have 80 turbines by 2020. All of the examples above are still in the pilot phase. The State of Maine plans to build the first commercial floating wind farm. So far the concept of floating wind turbines seems technically viable. If we want to rely less on traditional energy resources, we will need this extra energy capacity. Time will tell whether this is also a commercial option.

Want more?

Want to find out in what way sustaining our environment impacts our quality of life? We got you covered! Find out more about sustainability and letting go." ["post_title"]=> string(54) "Floating Windmills - changing the future of wind power" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(19) "floating-wind-mills" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:49:46" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:49:46" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(56) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/floating-wind-mills/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#10947 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(943) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "547" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-03-06 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-03-06 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(7173) "While pop culture has repeatedly tried to present the solar mirror as a weapon of mass destruction, every use found for it so far has been quite peaceful. The Mythbusters team even managed to disprove that Archimedes used this concept long ago to torch Roman ships, even though there is no doubt that he dabbled with the concept of focused solar rays. We might not have solar towers shooting death rays nowadays, but we do have a bunch of solar mirror inventions that come in handy.

Build

When we talk about solar mirrors, we refer to a simple combination of substrate and a reflective layer. The substrate is what shapes the mirror and provides structural integrity. Glass, though brittle, is commonly used as a substrate material. The following advantages make it a highly desirable choice:
  • The glass being highly transparent
  • UV resistance
  • Easiness to clean
  • Being chemically inert
Metal can also be used to provide mechanical support. There are several options here with aluminium being the most popular. Aluminium can also be used as the reflective layer, but silver is still unmatched in its reflective capabilities. The two layers combined form a solar mirror capable of redirecting the solar rays from one place to another. Fine tuning of the reflection abilities can be achieved by adding a third interference layer between the two.

How Can We Use It?

The solar mirror is very useful if you wish to gather a bunch of solar rays in one spot. Some of the mirrors even have a curb that allows them to focus the reflected light in a single spot. Once you have the solar rays where you want them, you can do one of two things with the solar radiation. You can either produce heat or induce a photovoltaic effect.

Giving Everything a Name

When you are just using the rays for heat, you are looking at a solar thermal application of the mirror. The concentrated solar power or CSP is directed to a heat engine and it uses it to produce electrical energy. On the other hand, you need a powerful photovoltaic cell if you want to use the sun's radiation to directly produce electricity. Exposing any photovoltaic to light induces electrical current and adding CSP into the mix can only amplify the effect. Of course, to use CSP, you will need a special photovoltaic and an advanced cooling method.

Thermal vs. Photovoltaic

The solar thermal application is something that we can already see in many countries. Spain and the United States have several big fields covered in solar mirrors that are used to farm CSP. Solar Power Tower Ensemble producing 11MW near Seville in Spain The solar thermal application offers a renewable source of energy that is even recommended by the US Department of Energy. If you examine the thermal applications in place, it is easy to conclude that there are several variations of the concept. These variations mainly differ in how the mirrors achieve maximum CSP. There is a great deal of science involved in getting the right mirror shape and adjusting its angle according to the Sun's movement. The same mathematics will be helpful when the photovoltaic cells are finally used in large scale projects. So far, price has been a huge issue, but photovoltaic cells have become a lot cheaper in recent years.

Are the Mirrors Safe?

Concentrating radiation or heat does not sound to be that safe at all, especially considering that the whole process happens out in the open. However, the existing solar applications have proved that they are less harmful than our current sources of energy. Insects can fall victim to the alluring brightness of the concentrated light, but that is a small price to pay for an energy source that creates zero waste. Some scientists have voiced their concerns about the impact factor these ensembles have to the wildlife. Biologist Ed LaRue, when asked by National Geographic about his thoughts regarding the Mojave mirrors, stated, "Solar, especially at the level that it's being proposed in the Mojave Desert, is a new threat." However, later in the interview even he agrees that if placed in the right location, solar plants are one of the best choices we have.

Future of the Solar Mirror

Discussing the future of the solar mirror entails a certain amount of speculation. Its future is closely tied to how it is likely to be used, and it is hard to make a long term prediction. So far, solar thermal application has been the way to go, but we are now beginning to see some major players like Google backing the photovoltaics. Depending on which one of these technologies prevails, the solar mirror can develop in different directions.

Reasonable expectations

What we can say for certain is that when we wake up tomorrow, the sun will still be shining. As long as we have this giant never-ending source of energy dangling in front of our noses, we will continue to invent new and better ways to harness it. CSP ensembles may have a small negative impact on the local environment, but on a global scale, they represent one of our best weapons in the fight against global warming. Tackling a huge issue like global warming will require a lot more solar mirrors than we have at this moment. In conclusion, the science behind the solar mirror might be easy to explain, but creating a mirror ensemble for a large scale project is more complex. As we burn off the last reserves of our fossil fuels, we will be compelled to research for the solar alternative. With more time and money spent on harvesting solar energy, seeing new and improved solar mirrors and innovative mirror ensembles will come as no surprise.

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Want to find out in what way sustaining our environment impacts our quality of life? We got you covered! Find out more about sustainability and letting go." ["post_title"]=> string(60) "The Solar Mirror: Not just a go-to choice for a Bond Villain" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(13) "solar-mirrors" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:25:41" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:25:41" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(50) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/solar-mirrors/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#10948 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(942) ["post_author"]=> string(2) "39" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-03-03 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-03-03 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(5548) "In September 2008, a new night club in Rotterdam opened their doors. Their novelty to attract customers was a sustainable, energy-generating dance floor. Unlike normal floors, an energy-generating dance floor collects the energy generated by the dancers’ jumps and turns, and transforms it into electricity. This electricity can then be used for other purposes, such as lighting, amplification and all other things that make a dance club what it is. The physics behind this is called piezoelectricity. In short, piezoelectricity is mechanical energy transformed into electricity by means of squeezing. Some materials, usually specific classes of crystals or ceramics, have piezoelectric properties. When they are deformed - for example, by night-clubbers performing their dance moves on it - they create electrical potential. This charge can then be harvested and stored in a rechargeable battery. This phenomenon is not new. It was discovered in 1880 by the Curie brothers, and is already widely used in gas lighters, inkjet printers, ultrasound equipment, quartz watches and not to forget, perhaps the most expressive example: the tiny little crystal on the bottom of a record player’s cartridge. For example, when many of these crystals are put into a dance floor, they can produce sufficient electricity to power up the DJ’s equipment, provided, of course, that the music is good and enough people are willing to dance. The club owner must certainly have seen the effect in his energy bill, although back in 2008, this technology was very expensive and the cost of the floor far exceeded its yield. However, the floor certainly attracted a lot of media attention and subsequent visitors.

However, piezoelectric technology has evolved dramatically since then and is now much more cost efficient.

PiezoelectricityNowadays, there are energy-generating sidewalks, subway stairs and platforms, highways, fitness centres, playgrounds and even buildings. These places aren’t chosen randomly, of course. The beauty of piezoelectric harvesting lies in the fact that it collects energy that has already been wasted. Let people drive, walk, play, run and dance as they always do, and turn the energy produced by these everyday activities into a renewable product. The amount of energy produced by a single piezoelectical cell is small, so large scale energy harvesting in places with high density traffic seems to be the most cost efficient application of the principle. However, this certainly isn’t the end of it; increasingly more technology no longer requires a lot of power any longer, such as sensors and LED lights. Sensors fed by batteries produce waste when the battery is replaced. A self-sustaining piezoelectical sensor does not. Less power-hungry technology combined with the idea of “just keep on doing what you’re doing” opens up new horizons for small scale piezoelectric applications. In the medical field for example, cardiac pacemakers can be powered by energy harvested from the carrier’s own pulsating arteries, essentially turning a person into their own power source.

So, what if all of us could turn ourselves into a power source? This is no longer science fiction either.

Traditionally, military applications are a huge driver for academic research into new technologies, and this had led to piezoelectric textiles that collect energy from a soldier’s movements, storing it in wearable batteries. This application immediately reduces the number of batteries soldiers have to carry with them in order to power their electronic devices, giving the soldier an advantage over those who travel a lot less lightly and reducing the risk of running out of power at critical moments. As it happens, these new technologies are currently too costly for the consumer market, although cars and computers were once too. Given the current commercial interest in this technology, it is only a matter of time before the market finds ways of making wearable energy harvesting and storage more cost effective, the batteries more flexible and the fabrics more attractive. When this happens, wearable, stretchable batteries integrated in energy-harvesting textiles or the soles of our shoes can replace the classic battery by producing and storing energy through simply living our daily lives, allowing us to recharge our mobile electronics as we go. A cell phone running out of power will then be a definitive thing of the past, and just imagine all the other things we can do with this reclaimed energy.

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Want more? Don't be sad that the article is over! We got plenty of other exciting stuff to share with you. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and we'll keep you up to date with our latest news!" ["post_title"]=> string(55) "Turn yourself into a power source with piezoelectricity" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(16) "piezoelectricity" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:23:48" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:23:48" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(53) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/piezoelectricity/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#10949 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(941) ["post_author"]=> string(2) "39" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-02-27 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-02-27 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(6321) "As Mikaël Fogelstrom aptly pointed out in his TED Talk, materials have been the ground layer for advances in technology since the beginning of history. We made tools firstly from stone, then bronze, and then iron. Later, we developed technology to break materials down to their atoms and build new tools from there. It gave us silicon and the semiconductor and the interconnected modern world in which we live nowadays. The new and insanely promising material is actually nothing really special and has been around for ages. It is a very interesting structural variety of plain old carbon (also called an allotrope). Carbon has many allotropes, such as diamond, but the most common allotrope of carbon is actually graphite, which is used to make pencils for instance. On an atomic level, graphite is essentially composed of stacked sheets of carbon atoms. A single sheet of graphite is called graphene and it now has a separate name because graphene on its own has completely different electrical, thermal and physical properties than when sheets of it are stacked into graphite.

The creation of graphene

Graphene layersGraphene has been theorised since 1947, but it took until 2004 to actually isolate just a single layer of graphite in a laboratory. At the University of Manchester, Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov used adhesive tape to lift off layers of graphite and put it on-to another material. They repeated this process until they had a layer which was just one atom thick: graphene. Their work was considered ground breaking and the expectations of graphene changing the world were off the charts. Geim and Novoselov won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for their work, although at the time, graphene still had to prove its application potential and the production cost highly outweighed any return on the investment.

So why is graphene so interesting?

For starters, if sheets of graphene contain enough atoms, they become stronger than steel. Secondly, because it is only one atom thick, it is extremely light. These two physical properties make graphene interesting for all sorts of applications in construction. However, perhaps even more promising than its physical properties are its electrical properties; graphene is highly conductive, even at room temperature. Combined with its two-dimensional structure, this electrical property makes graphene extremely interesting as a possible alternative for silicon in microelectronics. Silicon is predicted to have reached its limits when it comes to scale; graphene could go much smaller than silicon ever can. At MIT, graphene is tested as a water filter, desalinating salt water leaving fresh drinkable water. This experiment may open up all sorts of purification applications involving graphene technology. Experiments conducted by Rice University and Moscow State University have shown that graphene oxide can quickly absorb radio active material from contaminated water. Researchers at UCLA have found a technique to use graphene super capacitors that can charge in just a fraction of the time it takes conventional batteries to charge. Although dead phone batteries may be something of the past, the same technology can be used for pace makers and electrical cars. In the consumer market, graphene’s conductive properties could also be applied in touch technology, making plastic touchscreens for mobile phones a serious alternative to the current, very breakable, glass touch screens. In his TEDxBrussels talk in 2014, Jonathan Coleman made graphene on stage from pencils and a kitchen blender and explained applications such as graphene printed light sensors, graphene soaked rubber bands serving as highly sensitive motion sensors that can be used to measure muscle strain and can track the breathing of newborns.

The future of graphene

All in all, graphene is a potential super-material, if it weren't for the high cost of producing it in pure form in large quantities. Fortunately, since the adhesive tape technique that is obviously not suitable for mass production, researchers have continued to work on alternatives and high-quality graphene has proved to be relatively easy to isolate in ever increasing quantities. Lowering the cost of graphene mass production may finally unlock this material’s full potential. Graphene will replace current materials, and in the future, the properties of graphene will enable future applications that we can’t even begin to imagine at the moment.

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Want more? Don't be sad that the article is over! We got plenty of other exciting stuff to share with you. Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter and we'll keep you up to date with our latest news!" ["post_title"]=> string(61) "Graphene: a promising new material made from plain old carbon" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "graphene" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(98) " http://news.rice.edu/2013/01/08/another-tiny-miracle-graphene-oxide-soaks-up-radioactive-waste-2/" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:22:44" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-16 11:22:44" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(45) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/graphene/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [7]=> object(WP_Post)#10950 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(933) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "547" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-02-18 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-02-18 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(7704) "It is estimated that fossil fuels will be non-existent by 2090. The world as we know it relies heavily on fossil fuels. Without fossil fuels, many things on which we depend in our daily lives – such as transport, electricity and heating – would suffer massively. In fact, we depend on fossil fuels and uranium, the latter of which is another non-renewable energy source, for over 80% of our energy. Uranium also has a short life expectancy. While this predicament is unlikely to seriously affect the current generation to the point where these resources are exhausted completely, the depletion of non-renewable energy properties is beginning to shape the planet as they become scarcer and more expensive. Renewable energy has, to an extent, helped to fill the gap left by the ever-decreasing non-renewable energy sources. However, they can’t be relied on for everything. However, thanks to the rapid development of thorium nuclear power, the dependence on fossil fuels will be lessened further in the not-too-distant future. The early signs also point to the possibility of thorium replacing current nuclear technology, although there is still a long way to go before that has a chance of coming to fruition.

A quick look at the history of thorium

Identified in 1828 by a Swedish chemist, thorium was named after the Norse god, Thor (popularised by the Marvel superhero of the same name). Thorium, which is characterised by its silvery white metallic look when in its pure form, is a basic element of nature. In small amounts, it is found mostly in rocks and soils. Thorium is also estimated to be three to four times more abundant than uranium. However, in nearly two hundred years since its discovery, only now has thorium become a serious candidate in the energy sector. Although it has come into prevalence recently as an energy source, this is not the first time thorium was considered for nuclear power. For approximately twenty years between the 1950’s and 1970’s, the US government researched the radioactive element and how it could be harnessed for its energy properties. Yet in 1973, all research into thorium was ceased by the US government. It opted instead to go with uranium. The reasons behind this choice included that research into uranium was more proven, and that the by-products of the chemical substance were a suitable component for nuclear weapons. Times have changed, however, and thorium is currently in fashion again. Now the safer aspects in relation to uranium are seen as a positive, rather than being undesirable during a time when nuclear weapons were in high demand (during the Cold War).

Thorium nuclear power advantages

Thorium nuclear powerAs touched upon previously, thorium is a safer alternative to uranium. Not only is it clean and green-friendly, it is also safe because a thorium reactor can simply be switched off if it overheats. This, for example, would have prevented the recent nuclear disaster at Fukushima. There is also reportedly more than three times the amount of thorium in comparison to uranium. This abundant quantity would certainly play a factor in the thorium vs uranium debate, especially if recycling nuclear waste and breeder reactors don’t become a regular feature in the mainstream. Perhaps the key factor in thorium’s favour is that it is cheap. It is said that a ball-bearing sized amount of thorium could deliver all the power the average person would require in a lifetime.

Thorium nuclear power disadvantages

With positives, generally come negatives and that is still the case with thorium. Although the positives of thorium have been proven, the nuclear industry still has little experience with thorium in an operational sense. The industry itself is generally conservative and doesn’t like to substantially invest in anything other than the tried and tested method, so thorium is still an unknown quantity to some extent. Touching upon the previous point, arguably the biggest stumbling block to thorium becoming the leader in nuclear technology is through a lack of backing. The positives of this energy source outweigh those delivered by uranium, but a substantial amount of time, resources and funding is necessary for thorium to be integrated as the standard for nuclear power. For that reason, ousting uranium from the position it currently occupies would be tricky.

When will thorium be used as a nuclear power?

Despite being in its infancy when it comes to being consumed for its nuclear power benefits, thorium is quickly becoming the option of choice for the reasons listed above. In both India and China, they are dedicating vast resources in developing a thorium-based nuclear reactor. India has already designed a prototype for the world’s first thorium reactor, and they intend to have it fully operational by 2016. It goes without saying that India’s plans for thorium energy are certainly ambitious. By 2050, they hope that 30% of the country’s electricity requirement will be provided by thorium reactors. "This will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, mostly imported, and will be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change," expressed Dr R K Sinha in an interview with India Today.   The big question is: will nuclear power be revolutionised by thorium energy? At this point, it is too early to say for sure. Yet the early signs are certainly encouraging, and if more countries adopt the enthusiasm and forward-thinking approach that India and China have displayed respectively, then the growth of thorium nuclear power will continue at a rapid rate. Based on the benefits provided, only a lack of time and investment will cause thorium energy to not overtake uranium in the future of nuclear technology.

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Want more? Don't be sad that the article is over! We got plenty of other exciting stuff to share with you. Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter and we'll keep you up to date with our latest news!" ["post_title"]=> string(62) "Thorium Nuclear Power: Is It the Future of Nuclear Technology?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(21) "thorium-nuclear-power" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(50) " https://bravenewclimate.com/2010/04/22/ifr-fad-4/" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-08-26 09:16:20" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-08-26 07:16:20" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(58) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/thorium-nuclear-power/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(8) ["current_post"]=> int(-1) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(false) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#10943 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(923) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "547" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-06-16 00:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-06-16 00:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(5883) "Ever since 3D printers were invented, we have seen many new ways in which this technology can improve our lives. We have even managed to print pizza, so printing a nice and cosy home in which to enjoy our pizza seems like the next logical step. So far, several companies have managed to print whole houses or house segments using different materials. Their results are far from modest and we might be looking at the rise of an entirely new era of architecture.

Quick Deployment

Whenever this topic is discussed, the first question in everyone's mind is, "Aren't 3D printers incredibly slow?" Well, the printers have advanced a lot over the years and the latest models have truly remarkable speeds. The Chinese company WinSun, recently showed that their 3D printers can build ten complete houses in just one day. These 10 by 6.6 metre houses were constructed using one giant 3D printer and minimal human workforce. In the the future, it may be possible for a single machine to make entire neighbourhoods pop up overnight.

From Standalone One-Story Structures to Skyscrapers

So far, the 3D printing technology has been used to build mostly one to two storey structures, but no one is setting the bar there. Eastern China already has a six storey building made with the use of a 3D printer and, if we work out a way to introduce new materials into the printing process, building a skyscraper with a 3D printer may become a reality.

Environmentally Friendly and Cost-Effective Homes

One of the best selling points of 3D printed housing is their environmental friendliness. The Chinese used industrial rubble as their main building material, while the Dutch opted for a reusable oil-based material. Printing houses might save us from producing tons of debris. The materials used for printing are also easier to transport than regular construction materials and this can be regarded as both an ecological and economic advantage.

Aiming to Provide Cheap Housing

The most shocking part about the WinSun houses is that their buildings cost about $5000 each. Their low price makes them a possible solution to housing problems worldwide. Other 3D printers which are used to build houses can also provide a price that is far below the standard construction price. Further development of this technology can provide a roof for everyone without a shelter in the world.

3D House PrinterHouses made out of Mud and Wool

3D printer demonstrations have shown that even mud and wool can be used to make a shelter. The Italian 3D printer company, WASP Project, demonstrated that easily found resources such as mud and fibre can provide shelters in the impoverished regions. Their six metre high, three-armed printer can be assembled in just two hours and can print out an almost complete house. Machines of this type can be used to rapidly deploy a refugee camp or to create shelters in disaster struck regions.

Building a LEGO Tower

Another technique that might provide fast deployment in the future is stacking. A 3D printer can produce large pieces that stack together like LEGO's. This might not seem that safe, but with the right locking mechanism the structural integrity will not be compromised.

Prospects of Adding Armature

Adding armature in the prints is one of the main game changers that can make this technology a serious competitor in the construction industry. With armature in the mix, architects can create larger gravity-defying structures without worrying that they might collapse. In addition, armature will also make the structures safer and more durable in extreme situations such as earthquakes.

Designing the Future

As this technology advances, we may be looking at a time when everyone will become a designer of their own home. An intelligent 3D modelling software can make designing a house as easy as starting a new game in Sims. This futuristic software platform may also offer an option to purchase or import house plans and even improve them by adding your own creative touch.

Conclusion

So far, we have proved that building a house with a 3D printer is possible and that it can be done for a very low price. There are many limitations as to what we may construct, but if we are looking to shelter the homeless it is a viable option. Further development of this technology may provide us with ways to construct larger homes at an even lower price.

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Want more? Don't be sad that the article is over! We got plenty of other exciting stuff to share with you. Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter and we'll keep you up to date with our latest news!" ["post_title"]=> string(47) "Printing an Affordable Home - 3D House Printing" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(17) "3d-house-printing" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-07-17 09:29:44" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-17 09:29:44" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.happonomy.org/creativity/3d-house-printing/" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> int(8) ["max_num_pages"]=> float(1) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(true) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(false) ["is_tag"]=> bool(true) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(false) ["is_privacy_policy"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_favicon"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "8118a4bdee4b7d76914ec135adb1f810" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(true) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } ["tribe_is_event"]=> bool(false) ["tribe_is_multi_posttype"]=> bool(true) ["tribe_is_event_category"]=> bool(false) ["tribe_is_event_venue"]=> bool(false) ["tribe_is_event_organizer"]=> bool(false) ["tribe_is_event_query"]=> bool(false) ["tribe_is_past"]=> bool(false) } string(10) "have posts"
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