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Monthly Archive: April 2012

Upstage Those Tesla Braggarts

Written by , on April 28, 2012

The Croatian-built Rimac Concept One electric sports car has been exhibited at the Top Marques Monaco motor show. The manufacturers claim that it could do 500 kilometres an hour but they have limited to 300 kilometres an hour for safety reasons. It will do 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 2.8 seconds and has […]  Read more »

Liquid Fuel from Electricity and CO2

Written by , on April 27, 2012

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have reported inthe journal Science that they have "genetically engineered a lithoautotrophic microorganism known as Ralstonia eutropha H16 to produce isobutanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol in an electro-bioreactor using carbon dioxide as the sole carbon source and electricity as the sole energy input." Or, in […]  Read more »

Desalination Using Waste Heat

Written by , on April 23, 2012

Scientists at Victoria University in Australia have shown the viability of a new desalination technology that uses almost no electricity and has the potential to save huge amounts of water. The membrane distillation technology uses waste heat to evaporate waste water through a fine membrane. The evaporated water condenses on the other side of the […]  Read more »

Electricity from Sea, or Waste, Water

Written by , on April 23, 2012

A recent article in the American Chemical Society journal examined the potential for generating electricity from the difference in saltiness between freshwater and seawater. In the process, called “pressure retarded osmosis”, freshwater flows naturally by osmosis through a special membrane to dilute seawater on the other side. The pressure from the flow spins a turbine […]  Read more »

Wind Turbine Flies

Written by , on April 21, 2012

A few months ago, we wrote about the flying wind turbine being developed by Altaeros Energies. The company has now carried out test flights of its prototype and begun work on a larger, more powerful commercial model.  Read more »

Fly for Free

Written by , on April 20, 2012

The Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer, Pipistrel, has delivered the first of what it claims is the only commercially available “electric 2-seat aeroplane in serial production”. An optional trailer, which houses the aircraft, is equipped with solar panels for charging its batteries. The aircraft is actually a self-launching glider with a retractable electric engine and propellor. […]  Read more »

“Smart Mirrors” Lower Concentrated Solar Costs

Written by , on April 18, 2012

A Californian company,Thermata, has developed a high-tech mirror which it says can cut the cost of sun-tracking mirrors, or heliostats, in half. The system uses small heliostats, each with a camera to detect the angle of the sun and the heliostat, together with a mesh network of microprocessors to position each mirror with the ideal […]  Read more »

Corkscrew Turbine

Written by , on April 18, 2012

Cleveland State University mechanical engineering professor Dr. Majid Rashidi has developed a  “corkscrew” wind amplification turbine which is being tested at tthe Cleveland Indians’ Stadium in Ohio. Dr. Rashidi said that “The easiest way to explain it is this: there are two wind turbines hanging on both sides of the spiral. When air passes by […]  Read more »

Study: Operating Wind Farms Don’t Harm Birds But …

Written by , on April 13, 2012

The results of one of the most comprehensive, independent studies of the effects of wind farms on birds has been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study, carried out by naturalists and ornithologists from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Scottish Natural Heritage and the British Trust for Ornithology, […]  Read more »

Smart EV Charging Trial

Written by , on April 12, 2012

IBM, together with Honda and the California utility Pacific Gas & Electric, is about to start trialling a smart-charging system to charge a fleet of electric vehicles without disrupting the grid. The electricity grid already has the capacity to accommodate millions of plug-in vehicles. The problem arises if there is a concentration of electric vehicles […]  Read more »