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The Good News
2016 April/May
Pg 4 - The Sunshine Express
Catching the wave
Strano says ¡°it¡¯s actually remarkable that this
[phenomenon] hasn¡¯t been studied before.¡± Much
of his team¡¯s work on the project has focused on
not just improving the efficiency of the process
but also ¡°developing the theory of how these
things work.¡± And the latest experiments, he says,
show good agreement between theory and experi-
mental results, providing strong confirmation of
the underlying mechanism.
Basically, the effect arises as a pulse of heat
pushes electrons through the bundle of carbon
nanotubes, carrying the electrons with it like a
bunch of surfers riding a wave.
One key finding that helped to verify the theory
is that sometimes the wave of heat produces a
single voltage, but sometimes it produces two
different voltage regions at the same time. ¡°Our
mathematical model can describe why that oc-
curs,¡± Strano says, whereas alternative theories
cannot account for this. According to the team¡¯s
theory, the thermopower wave ¡°divides into two
different components,¡± which sometimes reinforce
one another and sometimes counter each other.
The improvements in efficiency, he says, ¡°brings
[the technology] from a laboratory curiosity to
being within striking distance of other portable
energy technologies,¡± such as lithium-ion batter-
ies or fuel cells. In their latest version, the device
is more than 1 percent efficient in converting heat
energy to electrical energy, the team reports ¡ª
which is ¡°orders of magnitude more efficient than
what¡¯s been reported before.¡± In fact, the energy
efficiency is about 10,000 times greater than that
reported in the original discovery paper.
¡°It took lithium-ion technology 25 years to get
where they are¡± in terms of efficiency, Strano
points out, whereas this technology has had
only about a fifth of that development time. And
lithium is extremely flammable if the material
ever gets exposed to the open air - unlike the fuel
used in the new device, which is much safer and
also a renewable resource.
A spoonful of sugar
While the initial experiments had used potentially
explosive materials to generate the pulse of heat
that drives the reaction, the new work uses a
much more benign fuel: sucrose, otherwise known
as ordinary table sugar. But the team believes
that other combustion materials have the poten-
Non-profit tech association CompTIA just re-
leased in March its 2016 Cyberstates report,
which provides a state-by-state analysis of the
U.S. technology job market.
So, why is the tech industry so important to
Colorado? It means:
3,088 net jobs added between 2014 and 2015
- a number that¡¯s expected to continue to rise in
11.5% of the state¡¯s economy is from the tech
A tech payroll of $19.9 billion in 2015, ac-
counting for 9% of all private sector payroll in
According to CompTIA¡¯s report, Colorado¡¯s tech
industry employment ranked 13th in the country
and employed 187,242 workers in 2015.
On top of this, these workers also had an annual
average salary of $106,350, which was 99%
more than the average private sector wage in
the entire state.
New Approach (continued from pg3)
SMPA Donation Benefits Silverton
San Juan Fire & Rescue
And Surrounding Communities
For 123 years, the Silverton San Juan Fire and
Rescue Authority has been a vigilant protec-
tor of the residents of San Juan County. The
community-supported organization is com-
pletely made of volunteers and it responds to
emergencies of all kinds in the rugged moun-
tain areas.
Although the Fire Department is primarily an
emergency services organization, it also sup-
ports the local community in other ways. Their
mission is to sustain the health and wellness of
their community by providing excellence in fire
protection, safety, rescue events and support
for neighborhood programs. They are involved
with numerous community events that happen
in Silverton and San Juan County.
In 2015, the Fire & Rescue completed a new
fire station on Greene Street in Silverton.
The new facility replaces a cramped old sta-
tion house located just to the south. ¡°We had
just outgrown the old station,¡± said Fire Chief,
Gilbert Archuleta, a 39 year veteran of the Fire
and Rescue and namesake of the new build-
ing. ¡°This new station gives us room to house
all of our fire equipment.¡± The new facility will
also allow the department to save on the cost
operations. ¡°We¡¯re bringing our vehicle main-
tenance in-house,¡± said Archuleta. ¡°We¡¯ve got
two new tool boxes; now we just need to get
the tools.¡±
As a member-owned cooperative, San Miguel
Power Association (SMPA) is always looking
for opportunities to support worthy commu-
nity causes like this. A $400 donation will go
toward the purchase of new tools that can fill
those boxes, and allow the fire crews to make
full use of their new building by performing
emergency vehicle maintenance themselves.
¡°I know what this department does for the
Supporting Community Causes
High Pay Hi-Tech Jobs Grow
tial to generate even
higher efficiencies.
Unlike other tech-
nologies that are
specific to a particu-
lar chemical formu-
lation, the carbon
power system works
just on heat, so as
better heat sources
are developed they
could simply be
swapped into a sys-
tem to improve its
performance, Strano
Already, the device
is powerful enough
to show that it can
power simple elec-
tronic devices such
as an LED light. And
unlike batteries that
New fishing regulations at Blue Mesa,
Crawford State Park
GUNNISON: Colorado Parks and Wildlife has an-
nounced some new fishing regulations that will
affect anglers in Western Colorado.
At Blue Mesa Reservoir, new rules for lake trout
and kokanee are in place. There are no bag or
possession limits for lake trout, however, an-
glers can now only keep one fish longer than 32
inches each day. For kokanee salmon, the daily
bag limit has been reduced by half, from 10 fish
to five fish, and the possession limit is 10. Blue
Mesa Reservoir is located just west of Gunnison.
At the reservoir at Crawford State Park there is
no bag or possession limit for yellow perch. The
bag and possession limit for largemouth bass
is one fish 18 inches or longer. Crawford State
Park is located near the town of Crawford in
Delta County.
For all waters west of the Continental Divide,
there are no bag or possession limits for small-
mouth bass, unless otherwise specified by
water-specific regulations.
Anglers should pick up a Colorado fishing bro-
chure and check the regulations for the waters
where they¡¯ll be fishing. The regulations can
also be found on line at:
Anglers are also reminded that they need a
new annual fishing license starting April 1. The
license will be valid through March 31, 2017.
Time To Renew Your Licenses
community and the surrounding areas,¡± said
SMPA Director, Terry Rhoades. ¡°I¡¯m glad to be
able to make this donation on behalf of SMPA
because I know it will be paying back the com-
munity for years to come.¡±
San Miguel Power Association, Inc. is a mem-
ber-owned, locally-controlled rural electric coop-
erative with offices in Nucla and Ridgway, Colo.
It is the mission of San Miguel Power Associa-
tion to demonstrate corporate responsibility and
community service while providing our members
safe, reliable, cost effective and environmentally
responsible electrical service. SMPA serves ap-
proximately 9,600 members and 14,000 meters
and supports local communities with $300,000
annually in property taxes and $400,000 in
energy efficiency and renewable energy rebates.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider
and employer.
can gradually lose power if they are stored for
long periods, the new system should have a
virtually indefinite shelf life, Liu says. That could
make it suitable for uses such as a deep-space
probe that remains dormant for many years as
it travels to a distant planet and then needs a
quick burst of power to send back data when it
reaches its destination. (source: