Posts Tagged ‘green energy’

Tomatoes the new biofuel?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

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This sounds like a sci-fi movie, instead – they use tomatoes other than humans! Thank god, we’re safe! We all know tomatoes pack a powerful acidic punch, but we never thought we’d see one lighting up a room! Cygalle Shapiro of Israel-based d-VISION has created an incredible LED lamp that is completely powered by real, edible tomatoes. Currently exhibited at the Milan Furniture Fair, the design collects energy from a chemical reaction between tomato acids, zinc, and copper. This design doesn’t only explore advances in lighting technology – its also an art piece that sends clear and powerful social-conscience messages about where and how we receive energy.

courtesy: inhabitat

Tiny supercharger is like 10 wind turbines in one

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

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It’s tough work to find a small scale wind energy charger that works. While we’ve seeninnovative designs pop up over the last few years, it’s simply difficult to get enough wind coming through such a little device to charge devices. However, thanks to a company called Humdinger Wind Energy LLC, that might change with their new device called the microBelt. It is a piezoelectric turbine-based system that is purportedly 10 times more effective at gathering energy than other systems of the same size.

Humdinger is a start-up of of just 6 people, and they’ve developed a new method of gathering wind energy on a small scale. The system uses aeroelastic flutter and vibration of a membrane – rather than a spinning turbine – is at the core of the Microbelt, which is intended to replace the batteries used in wireless sensor networks (WSN). It can be used in applications such as HVAC systems, using the airflow to power the device and therefore skipping the need for more expensive batteries. And because the system doesn’t mess with spinning turbines that can break more easily, it expects a long lifespan – as much as 20 years.

It’s inexpensive as well as efficient. Ecofriend writes “Power is produced in air flows from as little as 3 m/s. At 5.5 m/s of wind flow the power output is 2mW. Apart from efficiency, another advantage of the system is that it is cheap to produce, as the materials are very simple. Humdinger is progressing applications such as building monitoring and transit monitoring that will rely on such wind turbines.”

Courtesy: TreehuggerEcofriend

Assemble your own solar panel

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Since there’s almost any size and shape of solar panel available for purchase from a myriad of vendors across the Internet why would anybody want to go through the hassle of tabbing together their own cells to build a solar panel? Because you can, obviously. This DIY video will run through the basics of chaining together polycrystalline cells and leaves the details like enclosure and such to the user.

courtesy: Make

Hydrogen-Powered Yacht for 21st Century Pharaohs

Friday, January 15th, 2010

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Egyptian naval architecture and design studio Pharos Marine has unveiled plans for a sleek new 60 metre eco-friendly superyacht dubbed the Orcageno, driven by an innovative hydrogen diesel-electric system that could theoretically deliver an incredible-sounding range of up to 13,000 nautical miles. Hydrogen fuel contains three times the energy of diesel fuel and produces no carbon monoxide or dioxide in the exhaust. The yacht is based around an advanced slender hull form with an axe bow, offering lower resistance due to low angle of entrance, inspired by Orca the killer whale and the gentler sperm whale (don’t ask us).

The interior features are just as stunning, with a spa and health centre positioned within the curved glass superstructure. A sun deck with Jacuzzi is surrounded by a leather-covered lounging area. The dining room is positioned forward with a fabulous view of the dual-level swimming pool and its hydraulically-operated glass sunroof. There are accommodations for 12 guests and 14 crew in total with the owner’s quarters being of course the most luxurious. The 13,000 nautical mile range is based on a cruising speed of 10 knots, while at the maximum speed of 18 knots the figure drops to a still impressive 7,100 NM.

Courtesy: James Spotting

Speed Bumps Harvest Electricity from Moving Cars

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

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Fast food lovers may finally feel a little less guilty about getting greasy burgers. One New Jersey Burger King recently equipped its drive-thru with a speed bump that harvests electricity from cars that pass by. The speed bump is part of a pilot project from New Energy Technologies, and if all goes well, drivers could see energy-harvesting speed bumps at drive-thrus, toll plazas and even shopping centers.

The speed bumps, or “MotionPower Energy Harvesters,” look much different from your typical concrete humps. The “bump” is actually flat, with long, skinny pedals running across the top. As cars drive over the speed bump, it pushes the pedals down and turns the gears inside. The spinning creates about 2,000 watts of electricity from a car moving at five miles per hour.

Energy created by the cars is instantaneous (like solar and wind power), meaning that speed bump developers must also figure out a way to store power for later use. To that end, developers at New Energy Technologies are currently experimenting with mini-flywheels (a device that stores energy by spinning), and also plan to look into supercapacitors and other energy-storing mechanisms. Eventually, once storage is perfected, the speed bumps could be used to power street lamps or even feed power directly to the grid.

While the pilot project has seen encouraging results, don’t expect to see energy-harvesting speed bumps at your local Mickey D’s anytime soon: The devices won’t be commercially available til sometime next year. Still, it’s intriguing to think that those midnight french fry cravings may help create clean, renewable power.

Source: New Energy Technologies

Via Scientific American

The Next Revolution: Iran Gets its First Electric Car

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Outside of Israel and Shai Agassi’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure company Better Place, the Middle East doesn’t have much of an electric car industry. That might change soon now that a team of Iranian scientists from Tehran’s Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology have developed the country’s first EV, a mini two-seater called “Qasedak-e Nasir”, or the dandelion of Nasir.

Source: Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology Via Ecofriend

First Algae-Powered Car Attempts to Cross US on 25 Gallons

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Powering our cars with algae-based fuel could be the next Apollo mission.” That’s what Rebecca Harrell, co-founder of the Veggie Van Organization and producer of the upcoming film FUEL, told me yesterday in front of San Francisco’s City Hall. Over the next 10 days she’ll be joined by Fuel director and Veggie Van Organization cofounder Josh Tickell as they take the Algaeus, along with a caravan of other green energy vehicles (including the Veggie Van and the biodiesel-powered big green energy bus), on a cross-country road trip. “It hit us that we needed to drive the car across the country,” Harrell said. “People think of algae fuel as this long-term, far off thing. But seeing is believing.

Source: Inhabitat

Brammo Electric Cycles

Friday, May 29th, 2009

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Best Buy has signed on to sponsor Brammo’s electric motorcycle racing team in a deal that could see the consumer electronics retailer sell battery-powered motorcycles alongside laptops and DVD players.

Beyond providing the Oregon motorcycle manufacturer with an outlet for its Enertia street bike, the arrangement gives Brammo the financial support and technical assistance to compete in next month’s zero-emission TTxGP motorcycle grand prix. Brammo is one of 18 teams bringing 23 bikes to the Isle of Man for the June 12 race around one of the most storied courses in motorcycling.

“It’s a great way to show what the future of our product is and to test the technology that will end up in consumers’ hands,” company CEO Craig Bramscher told Wired.com in an exclusive interview.

Best Buy is no stranger to the track, as it already sponsors a NASCAR team. Working with Brammo “is a natural extension of our Best Buy Racing initiatives,” Paul Zindrick, senior manager of event marketing, said in a statement. The company is “thrilled to be part of such an innovative racing endeavor.”

The team goes by the unwieldy name of Team Brammo Enertia Best Buy Racing, and it has assembled two very sweet motorcycles.



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Got Manure? These Trucks Run on It

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

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A California dairy has converted a pair of 18-wheelers to run on biomethane produced from cow manure, creating what is believed to be the nation’s first cow-pie–powered trucks.

Hilarides Dairy will use manure produced by 10,000 cows to generate 226,000 cubic feet of biomethane daily — enough to reduce the Central Valley farm’s diesel fuel consumption by 650 gallons a day.

“For us it made sense to invest in this technology. Now we can utilize the dairy’s potential to power our trucks in addition to generating electricity for our operations,” Rob Hilarides (pictured above), owner of the dairy, said. “This will significantly reduce our energy costs and give us some protection from volatile energy prices.”

Not to mention something to do with all that manure.

Read more on wired>>

Bird Island: Zero Energy Home in Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

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Bird Island is a stunning urban renewal project that is currently being developed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Designed by Graft Lab architects for the YTL Green Home Competition, the project comprises a zero energy home made of sustainably-sourced silicone glass fabric. Its lightness and flexibility will allow it to sway organically with the breeze just like a treetop, and slots in the fabric will give visitors a unique peek into the sky as the wind ebbs and flows.

The YTL Green Homes Competition challenged eight architects and designers from around the world to submit designs for six eco-friendly homes on Bird Island. Graft Lab’s proposal is an airy voluminous structure that utilizes a variety of energy-efficient building practices. The building consists of a lightweight bamboo frame wrapped in a tensile, environmentally-friendly fabric. The material reflects sunlight, keeping the interior cool and reducing the need for AC. Bird Island will also be outfitted with a grey water recycling system that channels water from sinks and showers back into the plumbing.

Source: Inhabitant