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Monthly Archive: August 2009

Fuel from Watermelon and Onion Waste

Written by , on August 31, 2009

Researchers at the Lane Ag Center in Oklahoma have published a paper which recommends using waste watermelons as feedstock for biofuels. About 20% of watermelons are not sent to market because of blemishes or unusual shapes. The researchers concluded that watermelon juice would have to be concentrated 2.5 to 3 times if it was to […]  Read more »

Moss Replaces Chlorine as Pool Cleaner

Written by , on August 31, 2009

Creative Water Solutions, a company in Minnesota, says that it has developed a system for keeping swimming pools clean while drastically reducing the use of chlorine and other harsh chemicals. The patented treatment system uses sphagnum moss to inhibit the formation of bacterial colonies called biofilms. Chlorine kills free-floating bacteria but biofilms absorb the chemical, […]  Read more »

Solar Roadways

Written by , on August 29, 2009

Solar Roadways, an Idaho company, has been given a $100,000 grant by the US Department of Transport to develop a prototype "solar roadway" panel. The company is proposing to develop a 12′ (3.6 metre) square panel covered with super-tough solar cells whcih would be laid on top of a roadway. The solar roadway panels would […]  Read more »

Ultracapacitors Could Cut the Cost of Hybrids

Written by , on August 27, 2009

Researchers at two institutions have proposed different ways in which the use of ultracapacitors could boost the efficiency and reduce the cost of hybrid vehicles. According to estimates by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory in Illonois, ultracapacitors could lower the cost of the battery packs in plug-in hybrid vehicles by hundreds, or even thousands of […]  Read more »

Aussies Break Another Solar Efficiency Record

Written by , on August 26, 2009

A team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Green, Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at  the University of New South Wales, have claimed the highest efficiency for solar power ever recorded. The team has achieved 43% of sunlight converted into electricity at the research stage. The UNSW team combined a cell […]  Read more »

More Productive Algae for Fuel

Written by , on August 25, 2009

Aurora Biofuels, a California company, says it has cultivated a strain of algae that doubles the production of biodiesel by absorbing more than twice as much carbon dioxide as conventional strains. Normally, algae absorb more carbon dioxide in low light and decrease the amount absorbed as the light gets brighter during the day. By a […]  Read more »

Combined Solar PV and Thermal Panels

Written by , on August 21, 2009

Entech Solar, a Texas company with solar projects in more than twenty countries, has has completed a preliminary design review and prototype of its next-generation concentrating solar panel, the ThermaVolt II, which combines concentrating photovoltaic and thermal technologies. The company says its product delivers four to five times the amount of energy of traditional photovoltaic […]  Read more »

Sodium-sulphur Battery Breakthrough

Written by , on August 18, 2009

Researchers at Ceramatec Inc, a Utah company, have created a small ceramic disk battery which they say will deliver a continuous flow of five kilowatts of electricity over four hours and can be recharged daily for more than ten years. The new battery runs on sodium-sulphur – a composition that normally operates as a battery […]  Read more »

Tesla Planning a Low-cost SUV

Written by , on August 17, 2009

In an interview on the American Charlie Rose television show, Elon Musk, head of Tesla Motors, has described the company’s plans following the success of its Roadster sports car. Tesla has already previewed its Model S, an electric sedan that Tesla says will carry seven passengers and provide more cargo space than any other sedan […]  Read more »

Lower Cost Nuclear Fusion

Written by , on August 12, 2009

A Canadian company, General Fusion, claims that it can build a relatively low-tech prototype nuclear fusion power plant within the next decade for less than a billion dollars. For decades, billions of dollars have been spent on research into ways of building a practical fusion reactor for electricity production. The major problem is creating a […]  Read more »