中子技术 轮廓法 数值模拟

【深度科普(2/8)】中子散射技术的应用—能源

发布时间:2017-03-31

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? ? 过去的200年里,人们一直利用化石燃料燃烧产生的能源来支撑现代社会的发展。然而,随着我们越来越关注气候变化和能源供应的安全性,对于太阳能、风能、海洋能、氢气、核能等能源的开发利用显得尤为迫切。中子散射技术可以用于研发安全高效的新型储氢材料,价格便宜的超薄太阳能电池,先进超导材料等。

? ? Energy created from burning fossil fuels has underpinned the major industrialization of the modern world over the last 200 years. As we become more concerned with climate change and the security of our energy supply, the desire to harness other forms of energy from solar, wind, wave, hydrogen and nuclear becomes more pressing. Neutron scattering can be used to study materials that can efficiently and safely store hydrogen, cheap-and-thin solar energy panel, super superconductor, etc.?


一、氢燃料的应用 Hydrogen-fueled society


? ? 汽油和柴油是交通运输的命脉,这些能源的利用为人们上下班及节假日出行提供了便利。但随着化石燃料的枯竭及其所带来的环境污染等问题的出现,人们迫切需要开发利用可再生的清洁能源。

? ? Petrol and diesel are the lifeblood of transport, fueling school runs and family holidays. But the depletion of fossil fuels and the environmental pollution arising from fossil fuels combustion are pushing scientists to explore renewable & sustainable clean energy sources.

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? ? 氢是宇宙中最丰富的元素,是一种完美的燃料。每单位重量的氢燃烧产生的能量是汽油的三倍,而氢燃烧的产物只有水,没有污染性气体排放。当今的科学技术能够利用氢气给汽车供电,但安全地制造和储存氢气仍是一个挑战。汽车工业正致力于寻找安全、高效和低成本的储存和运输氢气的方法。

? ? Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and is a perfect fuel. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight, and when it burns it produces nothing but water. Today’s technology is capable of powering a car using hydrogen, but making and storing hydrogen safely is a challenge. The automotive industry is working to find safe, efficient and low-cost ways to store and transport hydrogen.

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? ? 中子能帮助我们逐步把氢燃料变成现实。在中子散射技术的帮助下,科学家已经发现了用于高效安全地储存氢的新材料并设计了廉价又富含氢气的固体来储存和释放氢气,确保这些氢气可以安全地应用于汽车和家庭。

? ? With neutrons, we are on the road to making hydrogen fuel a reality. Scientists using neutron scattering have designed inexpensive hydrogen-rich solids to store and release hydrogen that can be safely used in cars and homes.



“只需少许额外的费用,就可以将新型储氢材料直接应用于汽车、飞机和其它交通工具,而驾驶者不会感到任何变化。”

——Stephen Bennington教授,Cella能源首席科学家


"Our new hydrogen storage materials offer real potential for running cars, planes and other vehicles with little extra cost and no extra inconvenience to the driver."

—— Professor Stephen Bennington,?chief scientist,?Cella Energy

二、柔性塑料太阳能电池 Flexible plastic solar cells


? ? 太阳光照射地球一个小时产生的能量能满足地球一年所需的能量,但是太阳能的采集应用尚未大规模推广。

? ? In one hour, enough energy from sunlight falls on the Earth to satisfy the energy needs of the planet for a year, but large-scale harvesting of this enormous energy supply is only just starting.?

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? ? 塑料太阳能电池板的生产成本远低于传统的硅太阳能电池板。中子散射实验已经证明,高效能的太阳能电池可以像保鲜膜一样又薄又有弹性。太阳能电池可以通过在大面积上喷薄薄的一层混合聚合物来实现,这种生产方式既简单又便宜。人类可以大批量生产出比人的头发厚度小一千倍以上的太阳能电池薄膜,这些薄膜可用于制造轻便的太阳能电池装置。

? ? Plastic polymer solar cells are much cheaper to produce than conventional silicon solar panels. Neutron scattering experiments have shown that efficient solar cells can be made from very thin films, with a flexibility like cling-film. These can be manufactured using very simple and inexpensive methods, by spreading a mix of polymers thinly over huge areas. High-volume manufacturing could produce films of solar cells that are over a thousand times thinner than the width of a human hair. These films could be used to make light and easily transportable solar cell devices.

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? ? 由于生产成本远低于传统的硅太阳能电池,这样的塑料太阳能电池在未来极有可能大规模生产。

? ? Given that plastic polymer solar cells are much cheaper to produce than conventional silicon solar panels, they have the potential to be produced in large quantities.

“又便宜又有效的聚合物太阳能电池将会带领我们进入一个可再生能源的新时代。”


——Richard Jones教授,谢菲尔德大学


"Ultra-cheap and efficient polymer solar cells that can cover huge areas could help move us into a new age of renewable energy."

——Professor Richard Jones,University of Sheffield


三、超级超导体 Super superconductor



? ? 陶瓷,被称为高温超导体,当其被冷却至-150oC以下时,就失去电阻。陶瓷制成的电线的导电能力比传统铜线强140倍,具有100%的导电率。然而,尽管它们的使用范围从医学成像仪到先进推进器不断扩大,但它们究竟如何工作仍然不得而知。

? ? The ceramics, known as high-temperature superconductors, lose all resistance to the flow of electricity when cooled below -150oC. However, wires made from the ceramics can conduct up to 140 times more power than conventional copper wires of the same dimension, carrying electricity with 100% efficiency. Yet despite their growing use in applications ranging from medical imaging scanners to revolutionary propulsion systems, exactly how they work remains a mystery.

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? ? 中子散射实验所采集的数据,能帮助人们理解先进陶瓷超导材料无损传输电能的机理。借助英国ISIS(英国散裂中子源)和法国ILL(劳厄-朗之万研究所)中子源所提供的灵敏中子仪器,我们可以清晰地看到超导体的内部。这些研究成果指导科学家们研发能在室温条件下实现超导性的新材料。

? ? Striking images collected in neutron scattering experiments may be the clue to understanding how advanced ceramics can transmit electricity without losing energy. Uniquely sensitive neutron instruments available at ISIS(The UK's spallation neutron source near Oxford) and the ILL(Institut Laue-Langevin)?are giving an unmatched clarity of vision into the interior world of superconductors. The unique results are guiding the search for new materials in the quest to make superconductivity take place at room temperature.


“我们发现电流在这些具有原子尺度弱磁相互作用的陶瓷材料中的传输最为有效。”

——Stephen Hayden教授,布里斯托大学


"We are finding that electric current is carried most efficiently in these materials when very weak atomic-scale magnetic interactions permeate the structure of the ceramics."

——Professor Stephen Hayden,?University of Bristol


、核电站延寿 Extending the lifetime of nuclear power stations


? ? 英国两座核电站在中子散射技术的帮助下顺利延长了服役寿命,继续为国家电网供电。

? ? The lifetimes of two UK nuclear power stations have been extended allowing them to continue to supply electricity to the national grid.

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? ? 核电站里有数千个焊接组件,长时间服役容易引起材料老化。EDF能源公司与公开大学材料工程组合作,利用英国散裂中子源ISIS的Engin-X谱仪对四座先进气冷堆的临界焊接组件进行研究,用于满足核电站运行的安全要求。

? ? Nuclear power stations contain thousands of welded joints which over time become vulnerable to material ageing. EDF Energy worked with the Open University Materials Engineering group studying critical welded components using the powerful Engin-X instrument at ISIS to satisfy safety regulators of the integrity of repair welds in four Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors.

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? ? 研究结果证实了焊接件的结构完整性,为这些核电站延长5年的使用寿命提供依据,推迟了两座核电站(每座价值15亿英镑)的退役和更换。

? ? This study helped demonstrate that the welds retained their structural integrity, and supported 5-year life-extensions to be made for these power plants, deferring the need for decommissioning and replacement of two nuclear power stations at a cost of around £1.5 billion each.


“利用中子散射的焊接工艺研究,为四座先进气冷堆核电站延长了5年使用寿命,使得不间断发电成为现实。”

——EDF能源公司


"Neutron scattering studies of welding procedures have enabled uninterrupted electricity generation and allowed 5-year life extensions to be made for four Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors."

——EDF Energy



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