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2013
06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

2012
12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

2011
12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

2010
12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

2009
12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

2008
12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

2007
12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

2006
08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs


Vol. 1, No. 6. October 30, 2006
ISSN 1932-3018

Magnetic levitation
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
  Output
Matter
(M)
Energy
(E)
Information
(I)
A
C
T
I
O
N
Process
Transport
Storage
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on magnetic levitation, i.e. using mutually repelling magnets to minimize friction by avoiding direct material contact. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends , it deals with the functionality of energy transmission.
Magnetic levitation is achieved with
  • Electro-magnets
  • Permanent magnets
Magnetic levitation devices are used in many applications, including
  • Large scale applications such as magnetically levitated trains
  • Medium scale applications, such as electric motors and wind driven generators using magnetic bearings
Laboratory stage applications are also being developed at the micro and nano scale.

The inherent advantages of magnetic levitation include (i) no lubrication, (ii) no wear, and (iii) no vibration. In the case of magnetic bearings, magnetic levitation also avoids single point failure. Disadvantages include (i) bulkiness, (ii) constrained reliability.

Generally speaking magnetic levitation is at an early stage of evolution. Further advances in electro-magnets will be fed by improved sensors and controls. Advances in permanent magnets will follow the development of more powerful magnets - a strong trend.
Magnetic levitation should be seen as part of the green-tech and clean-tech initiatives. Technology executives and investment professionals should seek business opportunities emphasizing this aspect.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.