Friday, June 27, 2008

Site News

Information for all 144 feed subscribers: There'll be no new articles for the next 4 weeks. After that, regular daily posting will resume, better than ever.

Expect to see new writers and even a new site, after we come back.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mercedes Will Eliminate Petroleum From Its Lineup by 2015

Mercedes HQ (TGW) – Mercedes plans to eliminate petroleum powered vehicles from its lineup in the next 7 years - by 2015.

Mercedes wants to save the industry by making cars independent of oil – to improve costs, become more eco-friendly and because the oil supply will eventually run out.

The company is developing electric, fuel cells, and biofuel powered cars, including the electric Smart car and the efficient F700.

The company has already invested $4 million in its “Sustainable Mobility” plan and plans to invest up to $14 billion by 2014.

Via :: EcoGeek :: The Sun

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

World's Largest Thin Film Solar Farm Goes Online

East Germany (TGW) – The world’s largest thin film solar farm, built by Juwi, has begun operation in Germany at the Waldponez Solar Park.

The power plant was built on the site of a former East German air base and has the surface area equivalent to 200 soccer fields.

Though the farm is not yet fully operational, it will be by 2009, when it will be able to produce 40 megawatts of electricity.

The facility will use 550,000 thin film modules, of which 350,000 have already been installed.

Via :: Deutsche Welle

Saturday, June 21, 2008

$2000 "Wind Turbine in a Box" for Homeowners Unveiled

Your roof (TGW) – The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center today unveiled its first commercial product, a $2000 wind “wind turbine in a box”.

Source: EarthTronics

The 36-inch turbines are planned to be sold at home improvement centers for homeowners to provide from 10 to 20% of their electricity.

The genius is in the design (patent pending) of the turbine; it is gearless and therefore there is less friction.

The company Earthtronics will develop, manufacture, and market the turbine under the name WindTronics, which could be put into production by the first quarter of 2009.

The company is also looking at developing a smaller, cheaper version for developing countries that need very little power.

Via :: World of Renewables

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sleek, 137 MPG, Solar Powered Car Unveiled

Hungary (TGW) – The three-seating, 137 mpg Antro Solo was unveiled today in Hungary by Antro.

The lightweight car weighs only 600 pounds and can go as fast as to 87 mph; the car is made mostly of carbon fiber composite materials.

The Antro Solo is powered by three sources: solar power, human power, and a standard gas-electric hybrid engine. The small combustion engine can run on gas or ethanol, is designed purely for long trips. The solar panels on the roof of the car charge the battery to extend the electric battery for short trips. Pedals in the car allow for human powered travel at night or when it is cloudy.

Antro plans to sell the car for $18,000 after mass production begins in four years.

The company is also thinking of producing an Antro Duo, which would seat six. The car in fact could just be two Antro Solos joined together.

Via :: AutoblogGreen :: EcoFriend

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nanosolar Unveils Machine That Can Ink 100 Feet of Solar Cells a Minute

Nanosolar HQ (TGW) – Nanosolar unveiled Wednesday its thin film coater that it says can coat 1 gigawatt worth of solar cells a year, the solar industry’s largest coater.

Credit: Nanosolar

The tool, which cost $1.65 million, can ink 100 feet of solar cells a minute. The ink used is Nanosolar’s trademark nanoparticle ink.

The machine delivers solar cell with efficiencies of up 14.5% efficiency.

Company CEO Martin Roscheisen said the speed can be increased to up to 2000 feet per minute.

“At the 100 feet-per-minute speed shown in the video, that’s an astonishing two orders of magnitude more capital efficient than a high-vacuum process: a twenty times slower high-vacuum tool would have cost about ten times as much per tool,” he also said, in a press release.

Via :: Press Release

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Those Crazy Japanese: Car Unveiled That Supposedly Runs on Nothing but Water

Genepax HQ (TGW) – Japanese company Genepax today unveiled its car that, they claim, runs on nothing but water.

Water is poured into the tank, and an energy generator in the car takes hydrogen from the water releasing electrons, that power the car. “No external input is needed,” said a company representative.

According to Genepax, a liter of water will keep the car going at 80 kilometers per hour for an hour. The company hopes to go in to mass production with a Japanese manufacturer soon.

However, the car appears to violate the First Law of Thermodynamics. Energy must be supplied to break the water into hydrogen and oxygen to produce the hydrogen fuel for the fuel cell. Oxidizing the hydrogen within the fuel cell can at best produce only as much energy as it took to break apart the water in the first place, leaving no energy left to power the car. Yet the company claims that water is all that is needed to make the car go. (Wikipedia)

Via :: Reuters

Monday, June 16, 2008

Honda Begins Commercial Production of First Commercial Hydrogen Car

Honda HQ (TGW) – Honda’s hydrogen fuel cell powered “FCX Clarity” began commercial production today, the first commercial production of a zero-emission, hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle.

The four-seater emits only water, is twice as efficient as a hybrid and three times as efficient as regular gasoline powered car, can go 270 miles on one tank, and can reach speeds up to 100 miles per hour.

The company will start by leasing out the car at a rate of $600 a month for three years. Only those who live by hydrogen stations will be able to lease the car.

Via :: Press Release

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Next Generation Wind Turbine Unveiled Which Supposedly Breaks $1 a Watt Barrier

Houston (TGW) – BroadStar Wind Systems has unveiled its “next generation” wind turbine in Houston.

According to BroadStar, the turbine produces 250kW for $250,000, which would break the $1 a watt barrier.

The company spent four years researching and patenting the product, and is in talks to place the product with two different Fortune 100 companies.

The parallel rotor blades of the AeroCam wind turbine make it look significantly different from conventional turbines, and according to BroadStar, significantly cheaper. The design is also more 30% smaller than conventional turbines, and therefore can be discretely enclosed in a less obtrusive way.

The AeroCam has a horizontal axis with multiple blades, giving it the appearance of a water wheel.

The major innovation in the design, however, is the ability to automatically and interactively adjust the pitch or angle of attack of the aerodynamic blades as the turbine rotates, thereby optimizing its performance for much the same reasons a bird changes the shape of its wing in flight.

Also, because AeroCam is smaller and sits on the ground, it takes up much less space than would a conventional turbine.

The company says that they are probably 6 months away from production.

Via :: Press Release :: PESwiki

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Second Tallest Building in the World to be Chicago Spire - Will be Green!

Chicago (TGW) – Foundation work has begun on the Chicago Spire, a rotating residential building that is likely to achieve an LEED Gold Rating.

Upon completion, the spire will be the world’s second tallest building.

The building will have many green elements, including a fluid facade shrouded in high performance glass, a rainwater recycling system, high energy efficiency, a intelligent building and management systems, waste storage and recycling management, monitored outdoor air delivery, and a geothermal power system.

The building’s design is based on nature, the architect of the building said.

Via :: Inhabitat :: Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Waste Heat Engine Can Run On Solar Panel Waste Heat

Your car (TGW) - Cyclone Power Technologies has developed an engine which runs on waste heat, even in fairly low temperatures and pressures.

The Waste Heat Engine (WHE) is capable of running on heat from any heat producing source including exhaust emissions from an internal combustion engine, waste heat from solar panels, or even the waste heat from another WHE.

When installed with to the exhaust system of a regular engine, the WHE could increase horsepower and reduce fuel consumption.

Via :: EcoGeek

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oil Windfall Tax: A Good Idea

Reuters: Obama backs oil profits tax

After gas prices skyrocketed pass $4 last week, and as they continue to head up this week, some may have been hoping for a quick fix in the style of the (completely useless) economic stimulus some weeks ago. In response to those concerns today, Obama pledged to raise taxes on windfall oil profits if elected. This position would be politically unsustainable for the simple reason that nobody wants new taxes in a time of an economic downturn, so Obama appended to his position that he would "use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills."

Several weeks ago, a bill was blocked by Republican opposition that would have repealed tax cuts for oil companies and instead used the 10-billion-something-dollars to pay for tax rebates for renewable energy.

A good idea

If the plan Obama has proposed was enacted in coordination with the repeal of tax cuts, it would be a good move for the economy of the U.S., our long term safety, and our long term economic outlook. The windfall tax profit would have help boost the economy through its profits, but, as well, would raise gas prices, as would the repeal of tax cuts. Though that may damage the economy in the short run, in the long run, it would save much time in effort. First, if gas prices were higher, hybrids, all electric cars, and renewable energy would look much more attractive to the average consumer. Second, if some of the pain of fighting global warming is felt now, it won’t be felt later, when it could come in a large burst after the approval of a cap and trade program.

Friday, June 6, 2008

New Toyota Hydrogen Car Goes 516 Miles on a Single Tank

Toyota HQ (TGW) – Toyota has announced that it has developed an advanced fuel cell car that can run for 516 miles on a single tank of hydrogen and in temperatures as low as -22 Fahrenheit.

The FCHV-adv, which only emits water, increased fuel efficiency by 25%, has a slightly bigger storage and a doubling of the maximum storage pressure. The car has a top speed of 97 miles per hour.

The old FCHV could only go 205 miles on a single tank - half as much as the FCHV-adv.

The car will be available to government agencies and other possible users later this year.

The FCHV-adv will be showcased at the G8 Summit this year.

Via :: Reuters

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Crazy Scientist Says We Should Cement Trash into Pyramids Which Would Be Tourist Attractions

Local Dump (TGW) – A Dutch engineer has come up with an idea to solve two of the world’s most pressing environmental problems: solidify waste in a concrete type material and using the resulting slabs to build pyramids that not only deal with waste disposal but could become tourist traps and major landmarks for our cities.

Not actually trash pyramids

Roelof Schuiling of Geochem Research BV says that it is dangerous to simply bury solid toxic waste in lined deposits underground, which is the current best practice.

He says that waste should first be immobilized by mixing with cement and immobilizing additives to reduce the possibility of toxic materials leaching into the earth and ground water.

He goes to suggest that the cement could then be made into slabs, which would be used to build pyramids. These pyramids would act as tourist attractions.

Okay, so past the craziness

Schuiling’s idea could be applied a little more sanely in other ways: use the cement for foundations of homes or to build roads.

Via :: Press Release

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hydrogen Burning Scorpion Sports Car Revealed

The road (TGW) – The Scorpion, a sports car with an onboard hydrogen generator, was revealed today by Ronn Motors.

The car will cost $150,000, and the company hopes to have the first car on the road by October.

The Scorpion burns both hydrogen and gasoline in its engine. It is expected to get over 40 miles per gallon and will have reduced emissions. Regular tap water is split into hydrogen with electricity produced by an oversized alternator. The hydrogen is produced by the G3 unit of Hydrorunner, and a computer will manage the flow of hydrogen, keeping the fuel at around 30-40% hydrogen, with the rest being gasoline.

Development of a four door sedan with the same engine and hydrogen generator will begin the next six months, the company says.

Via :: Earth2Tech :: ecoGizmo

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Carbon Neutral Underwear from Marks & Spencer!

Your pants (TGW) - Marks & Spencer (M&S), the U.K.’s largest clothier, has announced that it is selling carbon neutral underwear and bras.

The undergarments are produced in a carbon neutral factory in Thulhiriya, Thailand.

The factory uses evaporative cooling, carefully designed windows, turf roofs, and renewable energy to be green. The plant uses 40% less energy than a normal plant and 90% of its energy comes from hydropower and the other 10% from onsite solar panels.

The factory cost about 25% more than a normal factory to build, but the extra costs are expected to be offset by energy savings within five years

Via :: The Economist

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ferris Wheel Lit by 160,000 LEDs

Santa Monica, California (TGW) - The Pacific Ferris Wheel at the Santa Monica Pier in California, the world’s first and only solar powered ferris wheel, has been taken apart and outfitted with LED lights.

A total of 160,000 of the energy efficient lights were used on the $1.5 million, 90 foot ride, which can support 800 passengers per hour. The solar panels will still be used.

The old wheel was sold on eBay for $130,000.

Via :: Press Release

Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times