Sunday, October 19, 2008

Green Printing - Recyled Paper vs. E-Paper

One kind of industry rarely discussed among environmental movements is the paper business.

It seems like such an obvious industry – paper is made from trees, after all.

The consensus seems to be that there are two options facing the future of paper: make recycled paper or make it electronic. Recycled paper, obviously, is paper made from paper that has already been used and recycled. This can be extremely efficient; the first recorded instance of making recycled paper in the United States was 1690 and has only been improved since then. Most paper today is actually used for packaging, so using recycled paper only makes more sense.
Electronic paper (e-paper) is a little more interesting. This has been most visible the past few years in e-book readers (notably the Amazon Kindle) and electronic billboards. The debate is still up on whether or not it is green. It saves trees – but what about the chemicals? For example, most plastic used in computers is made from petroleum. That leaves me at least to conclude that recycled paper is much more efficient than e-paper.

How can recycled paper be made more efficient?
• Paper waste must be recycled
• Printing facilities can be closer to where you live (this one’s arguable; building another facility arguably creates more emissions that it saves – it depends)
• Use soy based inks rather than petroleum based ones

One printing company I’ve found to have truly green printing is PsPrint. It does everything I’ve bulleted above.

Of course there are plenty of other green companies, but none are as local for me as PsPrint. It does brochure printing and everything, which is especially good for the business I’m in. They are also involved with or members of several eco-friendly organizations! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Accidentally Discovered Material, Black Silicon, Twice as Efficient As Regular Silicon

Harvard (TGW) – SiOnyx is using a material, “black silicon”, Harvard scientists accidentally discovered almost 10 years ago that is 100 to 500 times more sensitive to light than traditional silicon.

The silicon is produced by placing ordinary silicon into a vacuum chamber together with sulfur hexafluoride gas and exposing it to ultra-intense laser pulses equivalent to the collective strength of the total sunlight hitting Earth concentrated on a surface area that's about the size of a human fingernail.

The treated silicon can absorb twice as much visible light as regular silicon and unlike standard silicon is sensitive to invisible infrared light. It can absorb approximately 96 to 98 percent of visible light.

SiOnyx, a three year old startup with $11 million in the bank, has licensed the material.

Black silicon could radically change the solar industry. Furthermore, black silicon can be manufactured using the same equipment used today.

Via :: Good Clean Tech

Monday, October 13, 2008

Carnival of the Green (Links Fixed!)

Hello, and welcome to Carnival of the Green #149!

I’d just like to quickly thank Treehugger for sponsoring this, and remind everybody that last week’s Carnival of the Green was at Sustainablog and next week’s will be over at The Good Human!

Your ready to go?

This week around the green blogosphere:

Katrina Cain presents What is a Dual Flush Toilet? posted at Were You Wondering....

Mike presents The 104 Most Fuel Efficient Cars for 2009 posted at Hybrid Car Review.

Woman Tribune presents Good for Your Vagina, Good for the Environment posted at Woman Tribune.

In the eco-spiritual genre, Betsy presents A Brachah for Letting Go of Stuff posted at To Till and to Tend.

Steve Faber presents Why is Diesel More Expensive Than Gas? posted at super gas saver.

Tiffany Washko presents Celebrate Green! posted at Natural Family Living Blog.

Nimic presents 8 Products You Didn’t Know Were Made From Oil posted at The Green Routine.

Beth Terry presents Information Overload posted at Fake Plastic Fish.

Jamie McIntosh presents Save Money with Organic Gardening posted at Jamie's Blog.

Sally Kneidel presents Ecotourism can buffer the effects of poverty posted at Veggie Revolution.

Squawkfox presents 10 Reasons the Diva Cup Can Change Your Life posted at Squawkfox.

Grace presents What does your garbage say about you? posted at Face to the Sun.

The Digerati Life presents Will Green Food Saver Bags Make Food Last Longer? posted at The Digerati Life.

Kate presents Mestew, our New Friend posted at Green Thinking Blog.

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg presents Urban Farmer in Milwaukee, Founder of Nonprofit, Receives MacArthur Genius Grant : Sustainablog posted at Sustainablog.

Indian presents 2009 Horoscope - Astrology posted at DecisionCare.

Monday, September 22, 2008

10 Northeast States to Participate in First U.S. Carbon Auction This Thursday as Part of Cap and Trade Program (RGGI)

Northeast (TGW) – A group of 10 northeastern states will conduct the first carbon action in the United States, in an attempt to reduce humanity’s contribution to global warming.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will be selling carbon credits Thursday in the first of a series of quarterly online auctions.

The cap and trade aims to steady carbon emissions by 2014. This would be followed by a 10% reduction in emissions between 2015 and 2020.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont are participating in the auction. Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Quebec in Canada are participating as observers.

The starting minimum will be $1.86 per ton of carbon dioxide.

RGGI, at least for now, only caps the emissions of power plants.

Via :: AP

Friday, September 19, 2008

How are the Candidates Going to Clean America?

The method in which America creates energy has been a hot topic during the 2008 presidential election. For most, a primary concern deals with how we can keep prices down at the pump while eliminating our need for foreign oil. This desire has lead to the “drill here, drill now” crowd calling for domestic offshore drilling (among other things). While everyone agrees that energy independent principles are vital to revving up the American economy, there are big differences in how to accomplish this task. Notably, when it comes to the energy resources and environmental protection standards, there are fundamental differences in Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s interests. Additionally, when it comes to bills in congress addressing consumer protection, manufacturing standards, and other topics not talked about enough, the future will heavily depend upon which candidate prevails. The following include a few you may not have known about, and some you may have, but they are all liable to affect the lives of everyday Americans.

One fact to note when looking for the candidates policies on their respective websites is that Barack Obama has a category named “Energy and Environment” under the “Issues” section. On the other hand, John McCain has “American Energy” and “Climate Change” listed as separate categories under the “Issues” section. This seemingly subtle difference represents some conflicting policies between the two candidates. While McCain believes in global warming, he is resistant to associate the call for more oil with his global warming concerns because supporting the two issues is a sheer contradiction. In sum, Obama wants to rid our dependence on all oil (not just foreign) and McCain wants to use every available resource needed to end our dependence on foreign oil.

McCain calls his energy plan “The Lexington Project,” which is an all of the above energy solution according to his website. Included is expansion of domestic oil and natural oil exploration, tax credits for automakers and consumers who buy cars with low carbon emissions, $2 billion annually reserved for clean coal technology, 45 new nuclear power plants and he will “encourage” the market for alternative fuels such as wind, hydro, and solar power. He has greenhouse gas emissions targets listed in the climate change section that includes dropping it 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 66 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

Obama calls his plan “comprehensive” and puts added emphasis on new forms of energy. He wants to provide $1,000 to American families through a windfall profits tax, calling it an “Emergency Energy Rebate.” He will invest $150 billion over the next 10 years to build a clean energy future, and in that same allotted time, rid American dependency of foreign oil. He wants to put one million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015 and ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012 and 25 percent by 2025. In addition, Obama wants to implement an economy –wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Interestingly, by 2050 many of those reading this article still won’t be as old as John McCain is now. Moving on, there are other issues that you may not hear about quite as much.

The use of asbestos in products and the manufacturing industry could come to a close in 2009. Senator Patty Murray introduced the “Ban Asbestos in America Act” that has been introduced and passed by the entire U.S. Senate. However, the bill does contain a harmful pro-industry amendment eliminating coverage for workers exposed to products containing one percent or less of asbestos. CWA and the AFL-CIO will work to have this language omitted in the final Senate-House legislation.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum has introduced the “Bruce Vento Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act of 2008.” This legislation is not expected to be passed by the full house during 2008, so this is basically groundwork in order to get the bill passed in 2009. Right now there are now mesothelioma treatments that result in a cure.

Another bill is the “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008.” These are all supported by the Blue-Green Labor/Environmental Coalition.

With Barack Obama as president and a Congress dominated by democrats, the above legislation should all pass. With John McCain as president, the bills could be vetoed.

In paying for all of these plans, Barack Obama pledges to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans (annual income of $250,000) and raise taxes on oil companies. While John McCain will actually lower taxes for oil companies, he pledges to cut small business taxes and promote fiscal responsibility within the government. He says that with bi-partisan efforts, he can bring the budget to balance by 2013. Until then, expect a dirty fight in efforts toward a cleaner America.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bill Gates Invests in Algae Fuel Company

Sapphire Energy HQ (TGW) – Bill Gates’ investment firm is investing in algae energy firm Sapphire Energy, part of a group of financiers that invested over $100 million in the company.

Sapphire produces the chemical equivalent of gasoline from algae grown in wastewater, what it calls “Green Crude”. So far, now company has made the fuel commercially.

The funding will allow the company to produce 10,000 barrels of the stuff a day at a commercial scale in three to five years, the company says.

Via :: Press Release

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tesla's Cheap(er) Electric Sedan Model S to be Built in California

See also pictures of a Tesla Roadster crash

San Jose (TGW) – Tesla has announced that it will be building its Model S electric car factory as well as its new headquarters in San Jose, California.

The Tesla Roadster
The $250 million factory will produce the $60,000 Model S electric sedans that Tesla hopes to roll out by 2010. The car is expected to get 240 miles per charge.

This year, Tesla began selling its $100,000 electric sports car the Roadster.

The company wants to develop a $30,000 car within 4 years.

Via :: Press Release

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Electric Car to be Unveiled from Venturi and Michelin

Venturi HQ (TGW) - Venturi has announced that it will unveil a “new-generation” electric car that it has developed in partnership with Michelin at the 2008 Paris Motor show on October 2.

The vehicle was designed by Sacha Lakic.

Venturi has already designed three electric sports cars, including its $422,000 Fetish, which will hopefully begin production in June 2009. It’s Eclectic is its second car, which is covered in solar panels and has a turbine on its top. It’s most recent project is the solar powered Astrolab.

Via :: Press Release :: Earth2Tech

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Space-Based Solar Power Wireless Power Transmission Breakthrough to Be Announced Tomorrow

Space (TGW) – A landmark in space based solar power will be announced Friday, long-distance, solar-powered wireless power transmission.

John C. Mankins, former manager of NASA's Exploration Systems Research and Technology Program, will announce the success of a transmission project in Hawaii. In the test, wireless power transmission between two Hawaiian Islands 148 kilometers apart – more than twice distance from Earth to space – was successful.

The project will be featured in an hour long special on Discovery Project Earth on the Discovery Channel on ambitious geo-engineering ideas to fight global warming.

In space based solar power, large satellites would collect solar energy and beam it down to Earth.

Via :: Press Release

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cylindrical Solar Panels Always Facing the Sun

Solaroad HQ (TGW) – Solaroad Group, LLC has come up with an innovative way to ensure that its solar panels are facing the sun: cylindrical solar panels.

Their cylindrical solar panels, the ElectraWall PV System, can be attached to almost any surface: walls, light polls, rooftops, etc.

However, Electrawall does come with one serious deficiency: never will all of the solar panels be utilized.

Information on efficiency was not available.

Via :: EcoGeek

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

65 MPG Ford Won't be Available in the U.S.

Not the U.S. (TGW) – Ford Motor’s 65 mpg diesel Fiesta ECOnetic will not be available for sale in the United States, Ford has announced.

The five-seater will only be sold in Europe because the vehicle runs only on diesel. In Europe half of cars run on diesel; only 3% of American owned cars do.

Diesel fuel is now as clean as or cleaner than gasoline and is at least 30% more efficient.

The Fiesta would be $25,700 not including a $1,300 tax deductible available for diesel car owners.

Ford will be making a gas powered Fiesta. (Yes, that sentence sounds a little strange)

Via :: Business Week

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chevy Accidentally Publishes Volt Pictures

...And here they are! (via)

Google Files Patent for Wave-Powered Floating Data Centers

Google HQ (TGW) – Google has filed a patent for a system of floating data centers powered by the waves beneath it.

All though the patent was filed over a year ago, the patent was only recently found.

According to the patent, Google wanted to move data centers closer to users, but power generation would be too expensive to make that feasible. To solve that problem, Google came up with this idea: floating data centers holding standard shipping containers housing computers powered by wave-power generators and wind turbines.

Google engineers calculated generators spread over about half of a square mile could produce 30 megawatts of electricity, enough to operate a single system.

A crew and operating staff would live aboard in living quarters, with a helipad for transportation.

Via :: USPTO :: Greentech Blog

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Polar Bears Going Green Too!

He's flipping of Exxon ... in his mind

This little big green polar bear at the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Japan got some interesting stares from visitors this weekend. The greenness was caused by algae stick to the bears fur.

High temperatures in July and August and less-frequent water changes because of the zoo's conservation efforts have caused an algae growth in the bear pond and safety moat.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Honda Unveils Cheap Insight Hybrid

Honda HQ (TGW) - Honda today unveiled the hybrid Insight, said it will be shown at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, and announced that it will only be sold as a hybrid.

The only car that is on sale currently only as a hybrid is the Toyota Prius.

The Insight will be a five seater, and Honda has introduced a host of new features to improve efficiency: the battery and control unit are located beneath the cargo space for exceptional utility and a light, a highly efficient compact hybrid powerplant, and a new driving support function.

Honda also claims ‘significant’ cost reductions.

The car will be introduced into the market in the spring of 2009, and Honda expects to have annual global sales of 200,000 units. The Prius, America’s most popular car, sold 180,000 units in the U.S. alone last year.

Via :: Press Release

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Giant Floating Generators to Provide Energy and Food to Japan

Japan (TGW) – Scientists at Kyushu University in Japan have come up with a solution to Japan’s energy and food problems: massive floating generators.

200,000 hexagonal photovoltaic generators and wind turbines on the floating “eco-rigs”, which measure 1.2 miles by 0.5 miles, would produce about 300 megawatt hours of power.

Some of that power would be lost in transporting the power back to shore, but by strapping three of the rigs together, the effect would be the same as a standard nuclear power plant.

Some of the energy from the solar cells and wind generators would be diverted to power LEDs on the bottom of the rigs.

The lights would turn the platform into a nursery for a specially selected type of seaweed that absorbs carbon dioxide and feeds fish and plankton.

The eco-rigs will be unmanned and automatic.

The first rigs are expected to be ready three years from now.

Via :: Times Online

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Triple Helix Vertical Home Wind Turbine Generates 6 Kilowatts

Your roof (TGW) - Quiet Revolution, a London based small wind turbine maker, has raised $12.5 million in funding for its 6 kilowatt triple helix wind turbine, the ‘qr5’.

The qr5 uses three S-shaped blades which are designed to work in urban environments where wind speeds are lower and change frequently.

The turbine is just 15 feet high and 9 feet wide. 30 have already been sold and 45 are in the process of being installed.

However, the turbine isn’t cheap at a nice £25,000, plus installation costs of £3,000 to £6,000 per turbine, turbine controls that cost £4,600, and the cost of the mast, £2,950 - £5,150

The company is working on a smaller qr2.5 which would be 7.5 feet high and would generate 3000 to 4500 kwh as well as a qr12 would be 36 feet high and would generate 45,000 and 55,000kWh on a decent wind site.

Quiet Revolution is targeting schools and businesses for its products.

Via :: Press Release (PDF) :: Earth2Tech

Monday, September 1, 2008

Maps Distort Countries by Carbon Emissions, Population, Other Statistics

Earth (TGW) - Online cartographers have taken a different look at how maps are made.

Cartographers Danny Dorling and Anna Barford of the University of Sheffield, UK, have created a series of online maps at that distort countries by statistics such as carbon emissions, population, number of refugees, the proportion of people that will be living in urban areas, and much, much more.

Total Population

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mazda Developing Its Own Electric Car

Mazda HQ (TGW) – Mazda is developing a rival to the Chevrolet Volt – a car which uses a gas engine to charge a battery pack which powers the wheels via an electric motor.

The prototype developed so far uses a Wankel rotary engine to charge a battery pack in the shell of the 5 MPV.

Toyota is also working on an all electric Prius.

Via ::

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Giant Eco-Pyramid That Houses 1 Mil to be Unveiled in Dubai

Dubai – where else?! (TGW) – Timelinks, a Dubai-based environmental design firm, has revealed concept renderings of a giant eco pyramid, named Ziggurat, with the official unveiling set for the Cityscape Dubai event October 6-9 this year.

Ziggurat will be 4000 feet high and would be capable of housing one million people – even better, it will only take up 2.3 square kilometers and will be carbon neutral.

The pyramid will utilize natural energy resources including wind power and steam power to achieve this.

The building will also have an extremely efficient public transportation system that goes both horizontally and vertically.

Timelinks has patented the designs for the structure.

Via :: Inhabitat

Monday, August 25, 2008

10 Things You Can Start Doing Today to Minimize Global Warming

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of green shopping . She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Global warming is an issue that affects each and every one of us in one way or another. The fact of the matter is that there is always something more we can do to decrease the amount of energy wasted and greenhouse gases produced every day. What follows is a list of some things we can start doing—today—to do our part in the fight against global warming.

1. Consider alternate sources of transportation. Instead of driving your car each day, think about using public transportation. If this is simply not feasible where you live, try walking, riding a bike, or even carpooling.

2. Monitor your energy consumption. With some household items, the power is always running, even when they appear to be off. If you’re not going to be using electronics, simply unplug them or shut off the power strip they are connected to.

3. Change out your existing light bulbs. Standard incandescent light bulbs are very wasteful and have a very limited lifespan. Start witching out your old bulbs for compact fluorescents and watch your energy bill go down.

4. Reuse and recycle your plastic bags and containers. If you are not doing this already, it is of vital importance that you begin to do this. Plastic bags (if you must take your purchases in them) can be reused for trash, or to carry lunches to and from school or work. Other plastic containers can be useful for storage or putting your leftovers in.

5. Buy recycled products whenever possible. Another thing we often forget about is that many items we buy regularly are available in recycled incarnations. Toilet paper, for example is a product that we all must use, so why not use recycled paper if it is simply going to be flushed away?

6. Look at how your purchases are packaged. Many items we buy at stores have far too much unnecessary packaging. Look for companies that package their products with Mother Earth in mind.

7. Tend your own garden. Maintaining a garden helps put more oxygen into the atmosphere, and is also a great and relaxing activity. If you have enough of a green thumb, try growing your own produce and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

8. Take your own food or drinks with you. Rather than spending money at wasteful restaurants and fast food places, take your own meals with you. It will cave you time, money, and make an indirect difference in the process.

9. Support businesses that are committed to the environment. Many businesses claim to be part of the green movement, but do your homework. Supporting local coops and business is probably far better for everyone involved. If you must support major companies, make sure you are supporting the right ones.

10. Keep your vehicle properly maintained. If you must use your vehicle every day, make sure that it is in good working order. Change your oil with synthetics, monitor your tire pressure and run your heat or air conditioning only when you really need to. Remember, every little bit helps, and if every one does a little bit to change their habits, it adds up to make one big difference.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of green shopping . She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Solar Cell Can Be Made With Nail Polish, Pizza Oven, Injket Printer

Australia (TGW) – The inventor of the innovative iJET solar cell has won two Australian Museum Eureka Prizes - the nation's top science awards.

Nicole Kuepper, 23, has patented the cell, which can be made at low temperatures using an inkjet printer, nail polish, and a pizza oven.

Kuepper hopes the cell will be useful the developing world.

However, it could be five years before the cell will be commercially available.

Via :: The Australian

Thursday, August 21, 2008

All-Electric ZAP Alias Now Taking Reservations

Zap HQ (TGW) – Zero Air Pollution (ZAP) has announced that it is taking reservations for its 2 seat, 3 wheeled electric vehicle: the ZAP Alias.

The car is projected to be ready for sale in 2009 at $32,500, and on line reservations are being taken for a $5000 deposit.

The car can got 0 to 60 in 7.7 seconds, has an EV range of 100+, and get up to 100 mph.

Via :: Ecototality Life

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

$7000 Residential Vertical Wind Turbine Can Power Your Whole Home

Your roof (TGW) – Mariah Power is planning a bigger version of its $5000, 30 foot, 1 kilowatt, residential vertical axis turbine.

The new $7000 (without the $3000 US tax credit) version will be able to produce 3 kilowatts, enough to power the average residential home.

The bad news is that the smaller version has a backlog of a few months, it is so in demand.

Via :: Ecogeek

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Google to Invest $10 Mil in Enhanced Geothermal

Google (TGW) - announced today that it will invest $10 million in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).

EGS differs from traditional geothermal in that it does not exploit existing wells of steam, but rather uses hot rocks far below the surface to heat water to generate steam.

Google invested in 3 different companies:

Google posted this video in explanation:

Via :: Dot Earth

Monday, August 18, 2008

NREL Sets New Solar Cell Efficiency World Record at 40.8%

NREL (TGW) – Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have set a world record in solar efficiency, creating a solar cell that is 40.8% efficient at converting light, compared to the previous record of 40.7%.

The scientists used a variety of methods to improve efficiency: “The cell uses compositions of gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide to split the solar spectrum into three equal parts that are absorbed by each of the cell's three junctions for higher potential efficiencies,” the lab said in a press release.

This lets the cell be efficient at different spectrums.

The cell hit the efficiency under the amount of light concentrated on was equal to 326 suns – the amount of sunlight that hits the earth in 326 days.

Via :: Press Release

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Solar Antennas Could Eventually Replace Solar Panels

INL (TGW) - Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory have developed a way to collect more light for power more efficiently: plastic sheets filled with billions of nanoantennas.

The antennas collect mid-infrared rays, which are not only emmited by the Sun, but also by the Earth. The Earth emits these during the day and at night after absorbing energy from the sun.

The nanoantennas are tiny gold squares or spirals set in a specially treated form of polyethylene, a material used in plastic bags. The gold antennas can harvest 92% of the light.

The antennas are also promising cooling devices. Since everything emits the mid-infrared rays, the nanoantennas could be kept in buildings for cooling purposes.

However, there are still serious problems. "The infrared rays create alternating currents in the nanoantennas that oscillate trillions of times per second, requiring a component called a rectifier to convert the alternating current to direct current. Today's rectifiers can't handle such high frequencies," the laboratory said in a press release.

Once an advanced enough rectifier is developed, solar 'skins' could be developed that power everything from cars to iPods.

Via :: Press Release

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Laser Textured Solar Cells Brings Reflective Efficiency to 99%, Are Cheaper

Virginia (TGW) – Researchers at the University of Virginia are creating solar cells with tiny nanoscale surface textures using lasers making the cells cheaper and more efficient.

Current solar cells reflect about 30% of the light that hits them – the tiny nanoscale textures will reduce that number to about 1% over the entire solar spectrum and irrespective of the angle at which sunlight strikes the cell.

The use of lasers could also lower manufacturing costs. Because lasers are already used in the manufacturing of solar cells, the texturing process can be automated, eliminating the need for dangerous chemical treatments currently used to reduce reflectance.

The 30% reflective efficiency gain could lead to a 2 to 3% overall efficiency gain.

Via :: Alternative Energy Info :: Press Release

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New ESL Lightbulbs Cheaper, Cleaner Than CFLs and LEDs

Your light socket (TGW) – A new type of energy-efficient lightbulb, ESL (electron-stimulated luminescence) was patented in June by Vu1, according to new reports.

ESL technology uses accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor to create light, making the surface of the bulb glow.

ESL bulbs do not have harmful mercury, unlike CFLs, and are cheaper than LEDs. As well, it is more efficient than both.

The bulbs are $12, about the cost of a screw in CFL, and will be available by September, 2008.

Via :: CleanTechnica :: Vu1

Green Wikia - The Green Wiki

Just a little link love to Green Wikia, the Green Wiki. The site "is being spearheaded by Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia)", and just passed its 500th article milestone. From its mission statement:

Why Green Wikia?
In light of the climate crisis and other ecological challenges increasingly facing us, people are becoming more aware than ever about environmental problems and taking more actions to lessen their impacts. However, learning about the environment can often be confusing and overwhelming. There are lots of voices talking about the environment -- activists, governments, companies, advisory groups, and non-profits, to name a few -- all of whom have different ways of explaining things and advising people. They also make their points through a variety of different media from articles to blogs to films to white papers to position papers. It can be hard to find what you are looking for! To compound things, information can also be contradictory: are biofuels good or bad? To what degree?

How Green Wikia Helps
Green Wikia strives to become a trusted central place to share our growing and evolving body of knowledge about environmental topics and issues with people who want to inform themselves and live in a more sustainable way.

The Green Wikia community also believes that the threats to our environment are real and that they require action. However, the wiki also strives to foster a community where respectful debate and informed viewpoints can be heard.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kite Energy Could Power 100,000 Homes

Netherlands (TGW) – Researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have tested using kites tethered to a generator as a new source of renewable energy.

The 10 square meter kite generated 10 kilowatts of power, enough to power 10 homes.

A kite generates power by pulling on a string attached to generators on the ground. When it has reached its maximum height, it is reeled back down to repeat the process.

Kite power requires minimal land use and minimal materials, as well as being more efficient than standard wind turbines.

A full scale commercial model would power 100,000 homes

Via :: Inhabitat

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Fuel Cell Cheaper, Longer Lasting, Just as Effective

Australia (TGW) – Scientists in Australia have revolutionized the design of fuel cells which could make hybrids more reliable and cheaper to build.

In the new design, the fuel cell does not need expensive platinum coating. The team of Monash University scientists have designed and tested an air-electrode, where a fine layer - just 0.4 of a micron thick, or about 100 times thinner than a human hair – of highly conductive plastic is deposited on the breathable fabric. The conductive plastic acts as both the fuel cell electrode and catalyst.

Testing has shown no sign of material degradation or deterioration of performance.

"The important point to stress is that the team has come up with an alternative fuel cell design that is more economical, more easily sourced, outlasts platinum cells and is just as effective,” Professor Doug McFarlane said.

Via :: Gas 2.0

Friday, August 1, 2008

"Nuclear-in-a-Box" Technology to be Commercially Ready by 2013

See also "$2000 Wind Turbine in a Box"
Your backyard (TGW) – Hyperion Power Generation’s “nuclear-in-a-box” technology will be available for commercial deployment in 2013, CEO John “Grizz” Deal said.

Hyperion’s nuclear power reactor units are about the size of a typical backyard hot tub, and are able to generate 70 megawatts of heat energy, or 27 megawatts of electricity from a steam turbine – enough to power 20,000 homes.

The nuclear battery is sealed and buried at the generation site, and taken back to the factory for refueling every five years.

The reactor unit’s size is supposed to bring down capital costs 30% and operating costs 50%.

Via :: Earth2Tech

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Solar Cell Material Is 23% More Efficient, Captures Infrared Light

Spain (TGW) – Researchers in Spain have developed a new material that can absorb infrared light, in contrast to today’s solar cells which only absorb visible light.
Because infrared light makes up half of the sun’s output that reaches the Earth, current solar cells that can only absorb visible light have a theoretical absorption limit of 40%, and only 30% in practice.

The new material, because it can capture both types of light, has a theoretical limit of 63%.

Researchers led by Perla Wahnon added titanium and vanadium into a conventional semiconductor, giving the material its special properties.

Via :: New Scientist

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

World's Largest Wind Farm To Date Approved in Oregon

Oregon (TGW) – The construction of the world’s largest wind farm to date took a big step forward this week when the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council gave its approval of the project.

wind farm, wind power, wind energy, wind, renewable energy
The Shepherd's Flat Wind Farm will have 303 wind turbines and a peak capacity of 909 megawatts.

The current largest wind farm in the world is Horse Hollow in Texas at 736 megawatts and 421 turbines.

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has plans to build a 4000 megawatt farm by 2014.

Via :: Portland Business Journal

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First Driver-Caused Tesla Crash

San Francisco (TGW) – The unnamed owner of Tesla #6 crashed his $98,000 car last Friday, it has been revealed.

The Tesla ended up between a Mercedes and a Toyota Camry, according to pictures taken by eyewitness Alex Volkov.

It was originally believed a Tesla engineer caused the accident, not according to Darryl Siry, Tesla’s Vice President of Marketing: “It was a Tesla customer who got into that accident. We're aware of it because we service our vehicles.”

Volkov said in an interview that those who were around at the time of the accident told police officers that the Tesla was silent, unnoticed, and small. However, Volkov noted, the front car’s “sudden stop ignited it [the accident]”. As well, the Tesla driver was trying to “go bumper to bumper between the cars.”

“The rear-ending caused [the Tesla driver] to go under the car in front of him -- my guess is that's why the airbags didn't deploy,” said Siry.

Via :: Hey! :: EVcast :: Wired

Photos via Alex Volkov