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News:Archive:2006:September

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PESWiki News -- Sept. 2006 Archive

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2006

September

Click here for current September news

September 30, 2006

  • Tide > Interview with Martin Burger of Blue Energy - CEO of company now implementing its technology commercially, will be interviewed live on Sept. 30, from 3:00 to 3:55 Pacific. Turbine design could product energy for as cheaply as two cents per kilowatt hour, well below commercial grid energy wholesale prices today. (PESN; Sept. 30, 2006)

September 29, 2006

  • Solar > MSC Power - The MSC Solar Pyramid Power Plant has continuous 24/7 generation of electricity by hot air rising through a wind turbine, by a gas turbine and from solar panels. Glass walls transmit solar energy heating a solar absorber, causing warm air to rise through the turbine. An underground water reservoir is used to store daytime solar heat energy, which is extracted for night time power generation.
  • Human-Powered > Rhoades Car - 4 wheel bikes that drive like a car! Easier to pedal than a regular bike. The Rhoades Car can be geared down much lower than a regular bike while climbing hills. Independent freewheels let the bike coast without the pedals turning. On 2 seat models, either person can pedal independently of the other person! Comfort unlike any bike you have ever ridden. It's legal to drive on any road that an ordinary bike travels.
  • Suppression > Oil Barons Dominate the Emerging North American Union - Traditional combustion-energy paradigm is over-represented at secret high-level negotiations under North American Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Scheduled to begin to exercise power authority by 2007, it is likely to be resistant to clean energy trends. (PESN; Sept. 29, 2006)

September 28, 2006

  • Fuel Efficiency Retrofits > Turbo Shield - Race cars control undercarriage turbulence by controlling the distance to the pavement, plus the width of the nose piece. This allows the car to be more stable, increase power, and reduces fuel consumption. Attached in front of the axle, the polypropylene Turbo Shield greatly reduces undercarriage turbulence. With significantly less drag, operators of semi-tractors, dump trucks, step vans, motor homes and pickup trucks can see improved mileage of 10-15%.

September 27, 2006

  • Events > REPORT: Conference on Future Energy (COFE II), 2006 - Sept. 22 - 24 conference featured scholarly coverage of a wide array of new-energy technologies, including cold fusion and zero-point energy, along with more conventional – and presently attainable – tidal and solar power. (PESN; Sept. 26, 2006)
  • Electromagnetic > WaveCrest Laboratories - WaveCrest motors enhance dynamic performance and control of vehicles by providing high levels of both positive and negative torque at the wheel. They independently power the wheels on one or more of a vehicle’s axles, and occupy less interior space. The low-speed torque and fast response time replaces costly systems such as anti-lock braking and traction control. Regenerative braking reduces brake wear and extends electric range.
  • Hybrid Vehicles > Enova will Utilize Post Transmission Parallel Hybrid Drive Systems - The Electric Drive System is integrated behind the Transmission and is designed to be installed as a "drop in," into an OEM production line, or retrofitted into existing vehicles. It is a non-invasive system that requires few modifications to the vehicle. Fuel economy improvement is from 30% to 55% for a Charge Sustaining System (no overnight plug-in), and 70-100% for Charge Depleting Systems (requires overnight plug-in). (Enova Systems; September 11, 2006)
  • Human-Powered > Textronics - Electronic textiles can collect, transmit, and receive energy. Circuitry, sensors or functional components embedded in the structure of the fiber or fabric enable a garment to become an electronic medium. These materials can warm, illuminate, conduct, and sense, using the stretch and recovery properties of elastomeric fibers to "power" this medium, creating stretchable interactive electronic systems.
  • Batteries > Zinc Matrix Power - High-performance rechargeable silver-zinc batteries offer an extremely high ratio of energy to volume (Wh/l) in applications such as notebook computers, cell phones, and on-body power for military electronics. They provide up to 2X the runtime of lithium-ion battery packs of the same size, are based on intrinsically safe water-based chemistry, and are free from the problems of fire and danger of explosion.
  • Thin Film Solar > Miasolé - Manufactures a thin-film photovoltaic cell consisting of an ultra-thin layer of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) on a stainless steel foil only 50 microns thick. It can easily be used in PV modules or incorporated into building materials like membrane roofing, and can weigh between 80 and 90 percent less than glass plate modules. Its power output is greater than crystalline silicon's in both low light and low-angle light.

September 26, 2006

  • Electromagnetic > UQM Technologies - Permanent magnet electric motor system achieves a 10 to 1 constant power speed ratio (CPSR), providing both high torque and high speed capability in the same machine at levels greater than that of other motor technology. Peak power is increased by 33 percent and continuous power output by nearly 100 percent, and system efficiency from 2 to 8 percent. Suitable for electric vehicles and distributed power generation.
  • Solar > Innovalight - By harnessing the powerful quantum properties of solvent-based nanosized silicon particles, Innovalight is developing an alternative to light-activated power generating products that rely on expensive, rigid, and often toxic materials. Key attributes: Tunable (absorption and emission wavelengths); Non toxic; Solution process capable; Stable and reliable; Low cost manufacturing.
  • Concentrated Solar > Energy Innovations - Standing over five feet square and five feet high, the Sunflower™ has 25 mirrors that track the sun, reflecting light onto the receiver. The solarcell array turns concentrated light into electricity while fans keep operating tempuratures low. When commercial distribution begins in 2006, it is anticipated that it will be priced at about two-thirds that of comparably rated PV-based systems.

September 25, 2006

  • Fuel Cells > Voller Energy - The Automatic Battery Charger (ABC) is a 100W portable fuel cell system that is easy to carry and use anywhere, to power small portable devices such as mobile phones, laptop computers, cordless power tools, or to simply recharge any battery. It offers an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel or gasoline electric generators.
  • Hybrid Vehicles > Integral Powertrain - SuperGen i-Hybrid delivers the performance and economy of high power full hybrid systems with a less complex system requiring significantly less electrical storage and power. Bringing together engine downsizing through pressure-charging, stop-start for city driving, torque assist and regenerative braking, in a single integrated unit, allows outstanding fuel economy improvement with low investment.
  • Ocean Wave > Seapower Pacific - CETO is the first wave power converter to sit on the seabed, where it is invisible, safe from storms and ocean forces, and self contained. Unlike other wave energy technologies that require undersea grids and costly marine qualified plant, CETO requires only a small diameter pipe to carry high pressure seawater ashore to either a turbine to produce electricity, or to a reverse osmosis filter to produce fresh water.
  • Solar > Ray-O-Max - Power Glass transmits solar energy while reflecting up to 90% of the radiant heat back to the source - inside the room in winter, back outside in summer. Able to transmit and retain 2-3 times more energy during the day than they lose at night, Window Powered Homes systems provide a lasting source of free energy in winter and reduce the radiant heat gain during the hot summer months.
  • Azeev Inc. - A startup company doing research for the production of Zero Emission Electric Vehicles is planned to be 100% electric, not hybrid. Both Two Wheel and Four wheel drive (in-wheel motors) is contemplated. Planned range is about 500 Miles per charge. Self-funded company debuted the prototype on September 20, 2006 in Edison, NJ.

September 24, 2006

  • Dennis Lee > A Word of Caution from Former Dennis Lee Dealer - D.G. cashed in his IRA in 1993 to purchase a BWT dealership to sell, among other things, a revolutionary free energy device, expecting a return on his investment in a few months. Thirteen years later, after a long string of excuses and changed promises, he tells his story. (FreeEnergyNews; Sept. 21, 2006)

September 22, 2006

  • Ocean Wave > Wave Dragon - Floating slack moored wave energy converter allows ocean waves to overtop a ramp which elevates water to a reservoir above sea level. This creates a ‘head’ of water which is subsequently released through a number of turbines and in this way transformed into electricity. A demonstrator project is constructing a 7 MW device to be deployed off the coast of Wales.
  • Fuel Cells > Tekion - The Formira™ Power Pack will be capable of fitting inside your mobile device. With a simple, safe fuel cartridge, which snaps in and out in one motion, you will be able to stay connected for as long as you need it. It uses Formira™ as a fuel (as opposed to methanol which is used by most other micro fuel cell developers). Formira™ is purified and modified formic acid. Formic acid is abundant in nature.
  • Human-Powered > Applied Motion - The SpringWalker body amplifier is a new breed of vehicles with legs and an energy recovery system to enhance the human running gait. Leg force is increased and body weight distributed by means of a leveraged exoskeleton and a single spring is coupled to both legs. It will have you trotting four-minute miles without tiring and scrambling up a mountain like an ATV.
  • Human-Powered > Pumpabike - Human-powered hydrofoil that can travel up to 18 mph on water captures the essense of portability, exercise, sport and fun. The hydrofoil is used for lift and thrust via an oscillating motion produced while the rider bounces up and down. Unlike most watersports, it has the ability to be used in a wide variety of water conditions.
  • Model Homes > miniHome - The miniHome is the world's greenest mobile dwelling, using 1/10th the resources of a site built structure. It produces all the energy required from solar panels and a small wind turbine, has tanks for freshwater and wastewater, and an onboard propane system for space heating, hot water, cooking and refrigeration. The miniHome is well insulated, has a passive cooling system, and is suitable for remote properties or vacation/cottage country.
  • Hydrogen > Hydrogen Engine Center - The Oxx Power™ industrial engine is capable of running on many fuels, including hydrogen, making the decision to design ammonia-fueled engines the next logical step. Ammonia (NH3), which the agricultural industry has relied on as a fertilizer for many years, contains no carbon, stores like propane and is the second most prevalent chemical in the world. Ammonia contains more hydrogen per cubic foot than liquid H2 and already has a distribution network in place.
  • Al Gore: Will Carbon Freeze be Enough? - Leading US politician proposes carbon-emissions freeze and other practical tactics for averting climate disaster. Though political, legal and financial challenges stand in the way of a shift to cleaner energy, his expression of faith in his fellow humans and examples of companies making positive change can inspire more people to take up the cause. (PESN; Sept. 23, 2006)
  • Brown engineers build a better battery -- with plastic - It's thin, light, flexible -- and plastic. Brown University engineers have created a prototype polymer-based battery that packs more power than a standard alkaline battery and more storage capacity than a double-layered capacitor. (PESN; Sept. 14, 2006)

September 21, 2006

  • Human-Powered > Freeplay Energy - Self-Sufficient products give you freedom from traditional power sources, combining wind-up and rechargeable power into portable radios, flashlights, lanterns and mobile phone chargers. The FreeCharge Portable Energy Source, powered by human step action, wind, solar or plug power, is able to jump start a vehicle battery or power a variety of accessories.
  • Human-Powered > Windstream Power - Human power generators are based on transforming movement of the human body into electricity. The Human Power Generator MkIII and the Bike Power generator are the solution to energy education in the classroom, failsafe backup power, and productive exercise. Check out the Portable Power Pack and make your HPG even more useful!
  • Fuel Cells > Medis Technologies - The "24/7" Power Pack disposable charger for portable electronic devices is a Direct Liquid Fuel Cell (DLFC). It allows immediate use of the device while recharging the battery, is safe to use (not flammable, not toxic) and environmentally friendly: no mercury or other harmful metals. At a suggested retail price of $20-$25, it provides up to 30 hours of talk time for your cell phone or 60-80 hours of iPod time.
  • Solar > Greatcell Solar - Advantages of DSC (dye sensitized solar cell) include: Can be used in any solar conditions--haze, shade, cloud, glare and smog, when silicon cells progressively fail in these conditions. Out performs all other solar cells for indoor and low light applications. Can come in a wide range of colours and transparencies. Can utilise any shape or form--flexible or rigid--metal, polymer or ceramic substrate. Has the lowest embodied energy of all PV technologies.

September 20, 2006

  • Fuel Cells > UltraCell - High power density micro fuel cell for portable electronics uses a micro reformer to generate hydrogen from methanol. It is smaller and less expensive with better runtimes, yields twice the power density and uses approximately ten times less platinum catalyst compared to direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)
  • Fuel Efficiency > Hybrid Vehicles > Hybrids Plus - Converts Toyota Prius HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicles) to PHEVs (Plug-in HEVs). The plug is discrete, safe, convenient and weather-proof. The impact of the conversion is minimal: you may get to keep all of your storage space and the spare tire remains in place. Li-Ion cells from A123 are used: they are leak-proof and flame-proof.
  • Fuel Efficiency > Vehicles > NARO - Fully enclosed, two-seat four-wheel vehicle with the banking action of a motorbike, is one third the weight of a typical European saloon and has half the frontal area. Its power demand is a quarter of today's passenger cars resulting in ultra high efficiency of 100 mpg, with a top speed of 85 mph. The fully enclosed cabin provides passenger-car levels of safety protection (e.g. airbags, ABS, etc).
  • MagneGas Overview Video - High quality production introduces MagneGas technology that is able to produce domestic gas from waste input streams. (YouTube; Sept. 14, 2006)

September 19, 2006

  • NuVinci CVP Transmission by Fallbrook Technologies - Continuously variable gear technology is introduced in a bicycle hub application, from there to then be applied elsewhere. Provides an infinite number of gear ratios. Allows shifting while at a stop, using simple controls.
  • Moonbeam - Homebuilt car costing $2,500 gets 105 mpg at a steady 40 mph and 80-85 mpg around town. Built from two motorscooters, it has a top speed of 53 mph, seats two adults and uses a variable speed transmission. The inventor estimates it could be mass produced for about $5,000.

September 18, 2006

September 17, 2006

  • AKOIL Power Generator - Russian company claims to have a fuel-less generator. Is taking orders for units from 100kW up to 10 MW. Ten kilowatt demo allegedly available for assessment. Previous experience with company/dealers suggests caution.

September 16, 2006

September 15, 2006

  • Currie to build LEVs using Fallbrook’s NuVinci™ CVP - Currie Technologies will expand its IZIP™ product line to include hybrid electric bicycles and electric scooters combining the Currie Electro-Drive™ with the NuVinci CVP continuously variable planetary transmission . As a result, a new vehicle category will be created – a family of light electric vehicles whose enhanced performance makes them a practical alternative to gas-powered vehicles. (Fallbrook Technologies; September 12, 2006)

September 14, 2006

  • Ferns provide model for tiny motors powered by evaporation - Scientists looked to ferns to create a novel energy scavenging device that uses the power of evaporation to move itself -- materials that could provide a method for powering micro and nano devices with just water or heat. (Sept. 14, 2006)
  • CellTech Power - The Liquid Tin Anode Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (LTA-SOFC) combines the efficiency and reliability of conventional SOFC while simplifying the system and dramatically expanding the range of fuels which can be used. LTA-SOFC stacks produce electricity directly from diesel, coal, natural gas and plastic as well as specialty fuels such as hydrogen.
  • INI Power Systems - Pioneered Direct Methanol Laminar Flow Fuel Cells (LFFC®) for portable power applications like laptops and cell phones. Methanol is a leading candidate to provide the energy necessary to power portable fuel cell devices. Even at a fuel efficiency of 50%, Methanol’s energy density (3,000 Whr/kg) far surpasses that of the next closest battery competitor Lithium ion.
  • Franklin Fuel Cells - Copper-Ceria anode solid oxide fuel cell (SOFCs) can operate directly on every commercially-available liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuel without modifications when changing fuels. Operates directly on heavy hydrocarbon fuels such as diesel or gasoline without fouling. Will be price-competitive while having higher energy efficiency and fuel flexibility.
  • Angstrom Power - Micro-structured hydrogen fuel cells can provide high energy density and fast “recharge�? capability, as well as environmental benefits compared to batteries, for portable devices like cell phones. Fuel storage is designed for tight integration with the fuel cell and features metal hydrides at low pressures and ambient conditions, refuelled in minutes from cartridges or existing hydrogen infrastructures.
  • H2Gen - Onsite hydrogen generation from natural gas and water using two chemical reactions eliminates transportation expenses and reduces utility costs, which are 4X to 6X LESS than electrolysis. Lowest release of climate change gases from any hydrogen generator reliant on a hydrocarbon source, and the least expensive on-site system on a cost per output basis.
  • Electro Energy - EEI's Bipolar Nickel Metal Hydride (BNMH) batteries use a flat wafer cell design that can be made in any shape. Wafer cells are stacked one on top of another to create multi-cell batteries, providing 40% more energy and 50% higher power than same weight NiCad. Applications include the gasoline/electric hybrids, electric scooters and automotive 42 volt starting batteries.
  • PowerGenix - High density, high cycle-life and low-cost environmentally friendly Nickel-zinc (NiZn) rechargeable batteries are specifically designed for DC-powered products that demand high discharge rate performance. The benefits over traditional nickel-cadmium (NiCd), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and lead-acid batteries include: Up to 75% lighter; Up to 10 times more powerful; Up to 30% smaller.
  • Direct Drive Systems - High speed permanent magnet motors & generators above 1.5MW are able to operate at speeds of turbo-machines which are up to 12 times faster. DDS electric machines are smaller (20% the size and weight of conventional electric motors), more reliable, more efficient and more economical in capital and operating costs.
  • Gas Reaction Technologies - GRT is commercializing a new, low-cost, direct process for converting natural gas into liquid fuels and chemicals. Applicable to stranded gas fields and offshore platforms, the technology will appeal to oil & gas companies seeking to convert low value natural gas into higher value products. The environmental benefits of GRT's process include the elimination of gas flaring and the production of no-sulfur fuel (gasoline, jet fuel).
  • Rotating Liner Engine - Unique lubrication concept for traditional internal combustion engines incorporates a rotation liner between the piston and the engine block. The RLE improves efficiency, decreases pollutants, increases durability, and has applications in the heavy-duty diesel market. Fuel consumption savings are estimated to be 3.0-4.5% at full load (stationary engine applications), up to 9% under urban traffic driving conditions (Class 7 or 8 truck), and 27% at idle .

September 13, 2006

  • EnviroScrub - Proprietary process improves the environmental performance of both natural gas and coal as fuels for cleaner, more cost-effective power generation. The Pahlman Process Multi-Pollutant Control System limits NOx and SOx and removes mercury.
  • ENECO - Thermal Chip can efficiently and cost effectively convert heat into electricity using any fuel source. Its energy density is 5 times better than current lithium-ion-batteries, and it is 10 times cheaper on a cost per Watt basis. Reduced weight and size fit the new portable power needs of consumer electronics. Conversion of exhaust heat to electricity could reduce vehicle fuel consumption at least 10%.
  • Concentrated Solar > Infinia > Infinia - 3 kW Solar Stirling product for commercial and residential users will generate electricity more efficiently and economically than Photovoltaic (PV) systems. It concentrates sunlight on a free-piston Stirling engine made from common materials using low-cost manufacturing techniques, delivering a net system efficiency of over 24%. Product available early 2008.
  • ElectraTherm - Waste Heat Generators capture waste heat (190 F+) to generate fuel-free emission-free electricity. If used on a wide scale, recycled energy could generate the equivalent of ninety-two 500 MW gas-fired combined-cycle plants without any fuel consumption.
  • Asemblon - This specialty chemical company has developed a safe and efficient way to store, transport and release hydrogen gas. It uses a liquid chemical carrier that can be stored and transported at normal temperatures and pressures in existing tanker trucks and pipelines. The technology provides an inexpensive replacement or additive for gasoline or diesel.
  • Fifth Light Technology - Dimmable fluorescent lighting ballasts allow dynamic lighting control to achieve maximum energy savings in a building's lighting system. All lights are addressable, individually dimmable and programmable from a single work station. With photo-sensors and a computer system light levels are automatically and imperceptibly adjusted just the right amount. Featured on the Discovery Channel.
  • Magnet Motors > Skateboard Turbo Trucks -- Powered by Magnets - James Morris is introducing his axle power assist magnet technology via the skateboard industry. Makes skateboard go further, faster and longer, unless going backwards, in which case it creates a braking effect. (PESN; Sept. 13, 2006)

September 12, 2006

  • Zolo Technologies - Laser-based instruments help optimize combustion efficiency in electric utility coal-fired boilers by allowing operators to make better combustion tuning decisions. As the sensor consists of a beam of light, there are no sensor tips to wear out or replace. The most cost effective way to increase efficiency and reduce emissions is to optimize the combustion process.
  • Redwood Rubber - Has developed a chemical free ultrasonic process that can recycle used tires into devulcanized rubber as a lower cost substitute for virgin rubber. The Redwood recycling and remolding process consumes a fraction of the energy needed to produce synthetic rubber from raw materials and drastically lowers waste disposal needs.
  • Geoplasma LLC to turn dumps in electricity and roads - Company's technology converts landfills into electricity and roads, by vaporizing garbage at temperatures hotter than parts of the sun. Lightning-like plasma arcs turn trash into gas and rock-like material.
  • Mariah Power - The cyclo energy turbine is a consumer-friendly appliance designed for plug-and-produce installation, composed of a rotor, a generator and an inverter. Its’ 30-foot standard height is below the typical residential zoning restrictions. The cyclo mounts with a built-in hinged base so you can simply pull it up yourself, without any special equipment or ugly guy wires.
  • Kelix Heat Transfer Systems - The Spiralex system is 30% more efficient than conventional U-tube loop ground heat exchangers. Material cost is reduced and drilling cost is cut to one third of conventional, while providing a more efficient system.

September 11, 2006

  • Encelium Technologies - The Encelium Energy Control System™ is a lighting control and energy management system for commercial buildings that controls fluorescent lighting loads. Utilizing continuous dimming and network technology, ECS™ independently addresses each fluorescent light fixture, reducing lighting related energy costs by 65 to 80 percent, with a payback period of one to three years.
  • Enhanced Turbine Output - PowerCool™ can increase the output of power station turbines up to 25% by sustaining mass air flow on hot days and at high altitudes when air is less dense. The price of additional power on hot days, when demand and prices are highest, will be about $250 per kW, compared to $600 or more per kW for new combined cycle systems.
  • Enerpulse - PulStar pulse plugs look and fit like traditional spark plugs, but are exponentially more powerful. Spark plugs discharge only 40 watts of power while PulStar discharges 1 million watts! This high power pulse discharge ignites the compressed air/fuel mixture in the cylinder more precisely and completely, producing up to 12% more torque and 20% better fuel economy.

September 10, 2006

  • "Combustible Ice" As New Energy Source - Over the next decade, China plans to invest 800 million RMB (US $100 million) in the development of methane gas hydrate—so-called “combustible ice�?—to meet its rising energy demand and alleviate heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Scientists, however, worry that the move may cause environmental damage due to the unstable nature and high methane content of the energy source. (WorldWatch; Sept. 7, 2006) (Thanks ZPEnergy)
  • The Nanopowers of Spinach - Ohio University physicists have developed a complex nanobiological switch using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to image chlorophyll-a and then inject it with a single electron to manipulate the molecule into four positions. The researchers say this biological switch might be used in future applications for green energy, technology and medicine. (Slashdot; Sept. 9, 2006)

September 9, 2006

  • Race On to Prove Free Energy (video) - Irish engineers say they have built a device that creates free and clean energy. Until now most scientists have dismissed their claims, saying that they break the most basic laws of physics. So the inventors have come up with a unique challenge. (Sky News; UK; Sept. 9, 2006)
  • How Free Energy Works (video) - Steorn has developed all-magnet motor technology which produces free energy. The company's CEO, Sean McCarthy, has explained his theory and how it works. (Sky News; UK; Sept. 9, 2006)

September 8, 2006

  • Directory:SkyBuilt Power > Commanders in Iraq Urgently Request Renewable Power Options - MNF-W priority 1 request pointing to the hazards inherent in American supply lines, noting that up to 70% of the supply convoys on Iraq's roads are carrying fuel, requests alternative energy solutions to power US forward operating bases; and the US military looks like it will act on the request. (Defense Industry Daily; Aug. 23, 2006)
  • Solar cells go thin and flimsy - The next generation of solar cells made out of plastics and microscopic crystals instead of silicon are taking shape at the University of Queensland. The new methods would produce cells with efficiencies comparable to silicon, but which are cheaper and more flexible. (PhysOrg; Sept. 4, 2006)

September 6, 2006

  • Torotrak - Full toroidal Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) optimises engine efficiency without the torque limitation of a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Tests show a fuel economy improvement of 20% compared to a 4-speed automatic and 10% compared to a 6-speed automatic, with significant emission reductions. When applied to a hybrid the IVT improves efficiency in steady state cruise conditions.
  • Hydristor - Infinitely variable hydrostatic transmission is able to transfer up to 1000 horsepower with 97% efficiency compared to 60% for a standard torque converter. Inventor claims it can be implemented into the basic design of modern automobile drive trains to cut fuel consumption in half and increase performance, or can be inexpensively retrofit into existing automobiles.
  • Two-Mode Hybrid Transmission - Sized similarly to a conventional automatic transmission, this full hybrid can operate in infinitely variable gear ratios or one of four fixed ratios, with existing internal combustion engines. It can use electric motors for power boosting and regenerative braking, and is capable of towing heavy loads. The Two-Mode will boost fuel economy of big SUVs and large luxury cars by at least 25 percent, providing an all-electric launch and drive capability.

September 5, 2006

  • Alternative Fuels > Consumer Reports says mileage takes a hit with ethanol blend - The consumer publication ran tests on the 2007 Chevy Tahoe flexible-fuel vehicle, and found that the SUV's mileage dropped 27% from 14 mpg to 10 mpg on 85% ethanol. The decline could be expected because ethanol has a lower energy content than gasoline. With E85 costing an average of $2.91 in August, the fuel-economy penalty means drivers are essentially paying almost $4 for the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. (ConsumerReports; October, 2006)
  • Humor > Ford Announces Water-Powered Automobile - The prototype vehicle, currently code-named the H-20, runs completely and solely on pure water. The water can't be tap water or even filtered, it has to be pure -- Evian class or better. And it needs to be cooled, 44 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler, but not frozen. The infrastructure is not there yet to have pre-cooled pure-water pumps at filling stations, so to use existing technology H-20 drivers will have to fuel their cars from half-liter bottles. At current prices, filling up an H-20 costs about $52, or about $4.40 a gallon. (The Spoof)
  • Fuel Efficiency Retrofits > Fog Devices for high gasoline mileage - Vaporizes gasoline to the smallest particle size possible. Improves gas mileage 5 to 10 mpg and prevents lower winter mileage.
  • New Silicon Feedstock - Dow Corning Corp. has announced that it has achieved a milestone in solar energy technology: a commercially available, large-scale manufacturable solar-grade (SoG) silicon derived from metallurgical silicon that exhibits good solar cell performance characteristics when blended with traditional polysilicon feedstock. (Renewable Energy Access; Sept. 5, 2006)

September 2, 2006

  • Tesla Motors > One Sleek Beauty: the Tesla Roadster - Two-seat electric vehicle being commercialized by Tesla Motors has become the poster child for electric cars. Their initial run of 100 cars sold out in less than three weeks. (The Energy Blog; Aug. 30, 2006)

September 1, 2006

  • Electromagnetic > Raser Technologies - Symetron™ AC induction motor technology achieves high torque without permanent magnets. A few simple changes to conventional motors yield significant increases in power, performance and efficiency. With up to 3 times the power density, a lower cost per kilowatt, Symetron™ is ideal for use in electric & hybrid vehicles, industrial applications and power generation.

March - August

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