Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business Patent Of The Day: A Borger man has invented a new type of wind turbine for generating electricity.
Dennis P. Caldwell of Borger received U.S. Patent 7,959,404 for “Wind turbine.”
Caldwell filed for the patent on September 18, 2009.
A wind turbine is a device that utilizes the wind to power a machine.
If the turbine is connected directly to the machine, such as a pump or a millstone, the turbine is usually referred to as a windmill. If the turbine is connected to a generator which, in turn, supplies a machine with electrical power the turbine is often referred to as a wind generator.
The most common wind turbine is one that rotates about a horizontal axis. Typical turbines of this type have a rotor shaft and an electrical generator positioned at the top of a tower and pointed into the wind. Small turbines are pointed by a wind vane whereas larger turbines generally use a wind sensor coupled with a motor.
The speed at which a wind turbine rotates must be controlled. Most importantly, speed control permits the aerodynamic efficiency of the turbine to be optimized for use in light winds. Also, speed control keeps a generator within its torque limits.
Of equal importance, speed control allows a wind turbine to be slowed in high winds to prevent it from exceeding its own structural limits and those of its supporting tower. Finally, limiting the rotational speed of a turbine reduces the noise that it emits.
Speed control over a wind turbine is normally exerted by aerodynamic stalling and furling as well as electrical and mechanical braking. Stalling and furling, the preferred methods of slowing wind turbines, work by swiveling the turbine's blades so that either a flat side or an edge of the blades face into the wind.
Electrical braking, however, requires the dumping of energy from a generator into a resistor bank, converting the kinetic energy of the turbine's rotation into heat and causing the turbine to slow down. Mechanical, drum, or disk brakes are often used to hold the turbine motionless for repair. Mechanical brakes are usually applied only after blade furling and electromagnetic braking have reduced turbine speed since mechanical brakes would wear quickly under typical loads.
One major problem in designing wind turbines is getting them to slow quickly enough should a gust of wind cause sudden acceleration to unacceptable rotational speeds.
Because of problems associated with the control the speed of wind turbines, Caldwell’s invention provides a wind turbine whose speed is easily and automatically controlled.
In the event of strong gusts, his wind turbine automatically slows down by feathering its blades in a synchronized manner thereby avoiding potentially damaging, over-speed conditions.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: ClubCorp buys Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas and Plano; Office Depot overcharged Dallas by up to $3.6 million, city auditor finds; Texas power market monitor resigns amid unresolved reform debate; U.S. Supreme Court denies review of Farmers Branch immigration ordinance; Aggie Vanishing Act: Sale of Texas Wesleyan’s law school to A&M leaves alumni out in the cold;ExxonMobil CEO Doesn't Want a Fracking Operation Near His Backyard bDrowned bridge worker’s employer had prior OSHA violations; Gates-led power-unit bankruptcy may revive Texas electric debate;Baylor will return 5,000 unsold Fiesta Bowl tickets; and more.