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PESWiki News -- January 2007 Archive
News:Archive:2007:February - moving forward in time
January 31, 2007
- Geothermal > "Hot Rocks" for Home Energy - Geothermal power, a renewable energy source that has been largely ignored in the United States, can supply a significant share of the country’s future energy needs, according to a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study. The study notes that by investing some $1 billion over 15 years—less than the cost of building a single clean-coal power plant—geothermal energy could power about 25 million U.S. homes by 2050. (WorldChanging; Jan. 31, 2007)
- Buyer Beware > N-Motion The Perpetual Motion Vehicle Company - A "perpetual motion" company with no "perpetual motion" working technology. More than that, the technology has zero potential, it is flawed thermodynamically and cannot function, period. The owner obviously has good intentions, but is lacking scientific feasibility.
- Tidal > N.S. Power to test new tidal power generator - Nova Scotia Power is looking at in-stream tidal power as an alternative to its 20 MW tidal dam. An Irish partner, OpenHydro, will build a 1 MW test turbine in the Bay of Fundy, site of the world’s highest tides. The installation won't be operational before 2009, and it will require a turbine "farm" to produce significant amounts of power. (CBC News; January 12, 2007)
- Mixing Sea and River Water > KEMA - ‘Blue energy’ is electricity produced by harnessing the difference in salt concentration between fresh water and salt water. Thanks to advances in the electrical modification of plastics, the special membranes needed for blue energy can now be made very cheaply, which means blue energy has become affordable for countries with river deltas.
- Batteries > Tritium Batteries - The BetaBatt Direct Energy Conversion battery is not based on chemical reaction. Instead, it relies on the decay of the hydrogen isotope tritium. This continuous emission of electrons is the key to the ever-present charge in BetaBatteries. Tritium has a half-life of 12.3 years, so after 12.3 years, its output is half its original charge. (PC Magazine)
January 30, 2007
- Fuel Efficiency > Retrofits > Tectane: H20 Injector and Aquahol - H2O Injector is an inexpensive add-on device for car engines which reduces emissions and increases mileage up to 40%, and can allow cars to run on 75-octane gasoline or ethanol fuels. Aquahol is the separate injection of 80% ethanol and 20% water, which is the cleanest-burning fuel. Drawbacks?
- Solar > Concentrated > Pacific SolarTech - Concentrator photovoltaic modules for utility-scale, remote and grid-connected systems use dome-shaped lenses to concentrate sunlight 10x onto small solar cells (1/10 of the lens size). This reduces the requisite amount of silicone, making solar power affordable. Dome-shaped lenses can catch diffuse light and redirect it to the solar cells with a fixed, non-tracking mount for rooftop applications.
- Electric Vehicles > Mullen Motor L1X-75 GT electric sports car available soon - The all-electric, 120 mph L1X-75 GT from Mullen Motor Company and Hybrid Technologies will be available in about eight weeks. Compared to the Tesla Roadster, the L1X-75 GT costs more ($125,000 vs. $92,000-100,000), has less range (100 miles vs. 250) but it has one thing the Roadster doesn't have: availability. (AutoblogGreen; January 30, 2007)
- Electric Vehicles > ZAP and Lotus to Use APX for High-Performance Electric ZAP-X - ZAP and Lotus Engineering are beginning a project to use the APX for a production-ready electric crossover vehicle in the US market. Aluminum architecture, a new efficient drive and advanced battery management should enable a range up to 350 miles, with a rapid 10-minute recharging time. An auxiliary power unit is planned to support longer distance journeys. (Green Car Congress; January 30, 2007)
- Alternative Fuels > Could USSEC Revolutionize Biofuel? - U.S. Sustainable Energy Corp. biofuel reactor can produce 5 gallons of fuel from 1 bushel of soybeans -- 3x higher than biodiesel -- for less than $1 per gallon. The biofuel has a thermal value similar to petroleum diesel, remains liquid down to -90 degrees Fahrenheit, can be used at 100 percent in diesel engines and a 50/50 blend for gasoline engines without modifications. (The Energy Blog; January 30, 2007)
- Wind > Offshore > Gulf Coast oil equipment repurposed to build first US offshore wind farm - Wind Energy Systems Technology (WEST) is building the first offshore wind farm in the US off the coast of Galveston, Texas, using wind turbines mounted on oil drilling platforms. A test turbine is scheduled to be in operation this summer; the other 50 will produce 150 megawatts by late 2008. (Wired; February 2007)
- Alternative Fuels > Cheaper Natural Gas from Coal - Great Point Energy compresses the coal-to-methane process into one single, efficient reactor by moving the catalysts into the gasifier itself. At less than $3 per million BTUs, its process is cheaper and more reliable than drilling for new natural gas or importing liquefied natural gas. Byproduct CO2 is sold to aging oil fields to enhance recovery. (MIT Technology Review; January 30, 2007)
January 29, 2007
- Global Warming > Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years - Physical evidence found in ice cores, seabed sediment, cave stalagmites, and tree rings suggests that global warming is a natural 1500 year cycle and that man cannot stop it. We have already had two cycles in recorded history, and the good news is that humans and most other species tend to do better during the warm periods.
- Alternative Fuels > ReFuel America - Premium biofuels utilizing technology that allows more complete combustion, resulting in improved miles per gallon, decreased emissions and improved lubricity. The technology eliminates performance problems with E85, including loss of fuel efficiency vs. gasoline and cold start reliability issues. The B20 does not increase NOx like other biodiesel blends.
- Electric Vehicles > MotivNation will introduce 'light electric vehicles' - MotivNation, a company based in Orange County, California, will introduce a light electric vehicle through its Damon's division. MotivNation CEO George Lefevre says the product will feature an innovative motor, controller, battery and manufacturing techniques. Damon's is best known for its painting and graphics on cars and motorcycles. (AutoblogGreen; January 29, 2007)
January 28, 2007
- ZPE > Zero-Point Energy Extraction from the Quantum Vacuum - Video of U.S. patent officer, Tom Valone, Ph.D.'s lecture at the 2004 (July) ExtraOrdinary Technology conference in Salt Lake City provides an overview of the theory and proposed methods for extracting useful energy directly from the quantum vacuum. (ZPEnergy; Jan. 28, 2007) [Introduced by Michael Riversong, NEC]
- Wind > Wind Farms - Wind farms resent an economy of scale, enabling them to produce electricity in the price range of grid power.
January 27, 2007
- New Energy Video > Priming the Pump for a Major Motion Picture on New Energy - New movie being produced about the myriad of affordable, safe, and practical, clean energy solutions. Co-producers seek seed donations to help launch the project. (PESN; Jan. 27, 2007)
January 26, 2007
- Electromagnetic / ZPE > China - A New Magnetic Conversion of Zero Point Energy - The Wang Shum Ho Prototype Electricity Generator was reportedly demonstrated to five Chinese Officials on Jan 15, 2007. Four 5kW working units are planned for academic validation, then 200 more will be produced. Mass production may begin in 2008. “The World Energy Crisis is effectively over.‿ (ZPEnergy; January 24, 2007)
- AC > Ice-chiller Cooling > Trinity Thermal - IceCycle captures and stores inexpensive off-peak cooling energy and utilizes it to provide air conditioning during expensive on-peak periods. IceCycle works with the smaller air conditioning systems in homes and businesses and reduces air conditioning operating costs up to 20%.
- Biodiesel from Algae Oil > Making Biofuel from Pond Scum - Algae could produce 100 times more biodiesel per hectare than either canola or soy. It can grow on desert land and doesn't require much rain. Solix Biofuels has a strain that produces up to 50 percent of its body weight in fat and over half a batch can be harvested for oil production every day. (Renewable Energy Access; January 26, 2007)
- Solar > Thin Film > DrexelSolar - Drexel standing seam metal roof systems combine a structural roofing product with the solar electric capabilities of thin film photovoltaics. The energy savings of a cool metal roof using reflective pigments are combined with the energy generation of a PV laminate to reduce a homeowner’s energy bill.
January 25, 2007
- Obituaries > Walt Rosenthal Departs - New energy researcher who tested a wide range of devices, encouraging with due diligence, will be missed. Memorial services to be held Jan. 27 in Santa Maria, California.
- Geothermal > Oil Wells > Electricity Generation from Oilfield Heat - Ormat Technologies and the US DOE will try to validate using geothermal technology to produce electricity from hot water in oilfield production. Presently there are two large unutilized sources of hot water at the RMOTC Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3, and 8,000 similar wells were identified in Texas. (Green Car Congress; January 25, 2007)
- Sorganol Biofuel > ICRISAT harnesses ethanol from drought tolerant sweet sorghum - The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), presented its first batch of ethanol made from sweet sorghum as an alternative source of biofuel. The plant's main advantage is the efficiency with which it uses water, its capacity to survive in saline soils and its stalks are very rich in sugar. (Biopact; January 25, 2007)
- Electric Scooters and Bikes > Cleverchimp - Stokemonkey Human Electric Hybrid Drive is an electric motor assist kit for Xtracycle® Sport Utility Bicycles. Xtracycle gives almost any bike amazing cargo capacity, and Stokemonkey gives you the power to haul it over mountains or swiftly across town. Stokemonkey is for riders who want to become independent of cars in their daily lives.
- Fuel Efficiency > Hydrogen Injection > Water4Gas - Simplified device uses a little electricity out of your car's battery to separate water into Hydrogen + Oxygen gas that is 3 times more potent than gasoline. It is added to the air intake of your car engine to improve gas mileage up to 37% by improving combustion. Unique spiraled electrodes produce more gas for less electricity than flat plates.
January 24, 2007
- Waste-to-Energy / Alternative Fuels > QuestAir Makes First Sale into European Biogas Market - QuestAir Technologies has received an order for a pressure swing adsorption system to recover pipeline grade methane from biogas generated by the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes. There is growing interest across the EU in the use of renewable methane to replace imported natural gas and CNG transport fuel. (Green Car Congress; January 24, 2007)
- Wind > Mag-Wind Vertical Axis Turbine for your Home - The Magnetically-Levitated Vertical Axis Wind Turbine solves 11 different problems of VAWTs. It is designed for home installation in urban settings, is only 4 feet high, is inaudible, doesn't mind a little turbulence, and gets a 200% increase in energy due to the 'roof effect'. It works in wind speeds from 5 to 100 mph and produces electricity for 3.5 cents per kW. (TreeHugger; January 22, 2007)
- Waste-to-Energy / Plasma > Solena Group - Plasma Gasification Vitrification process produces clean, renewable energy while addressing waste management needs, at temperatures upwards of 5,000° C, yet no combustion is involved. Solena technology can be applied on land and at sea for disposing of contaminated sludge, cleaning up coal fines, and developing sources of localized, "distributed" power.
- Engines > Larsen RADAX - Radial and Axial hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE) was invented by Mel Larsen and has been reviewed by the American Hydrogen Association Northwest. Mel claimed his engine set the word record for thermal efficiency for an engine. It is an 8-cylinder, 2-stroke, 300 hp ICE that has an efficiency range of 45 - 54 percent. Video (Thanks Mark Dansie)
January 23, 2007
- Venturi Automobiles - Features three electric models, including the Eclectic -- an urban 3-seater electro-solar or wind vehicle is the first production energy-autonomous vehicle in history. Eclectic takes advantage of moments of immobilisation to store energy in its NiMH batteries. It offers a range up to 50 km at a speed of 50 km/hr and can also be recharged from the grid in 5 hours. Production of 20 vehicles has commenced and 200 will be launched in June 2007.
- Fuel Efficiency > BioPerformance > Fuel Additive Vindicated - Federal Test Procedure and Highway Fuel Economy Test protocols of the Environmental Protection Agency show that BioPerformance fuel additive increases mileage and decreases emissions, contrary to Texas Attorney General accusations that shut down the company last May. (PESN; Jan. 23, 2007)
- Waste-to-Energy / Plasma > Plasco Energy Group - Uses plasma gasification to convert municipal solid waste into an energy-rich “syngas‿ fuel used to generate electricity. It can process virtually any waste materials with no pollution, including those with high moisture or carbon content. Plasma Gasification has been used to safely dispose of hazardous waste for the last twenty years.
- Solar > Silicon > Solaicx - Has a silicon wafer production system specifically for the photovoltaic industry, which is 5 times more productive than those designed to service the semiconductor industry. Silicon utilization - one of the most significant cost factors - will be greatly improved through Solaicx's manufacturing process, able to slice thinner wafers while reducing nearly all excess waste.
- Engines > Agile Turbine - The ICR 225 (pdf) multi fuel gas turbine vehicle engine is light weight, reliable, has low emissions, gives high efficiency at high power and even higher efficiency at low power when the vehicle is in traffic. Efficiency is achieved using an intercooler and ceramic turbine wheel turbocharger. It can use mechanical output or an electric drive system.
- Fuel Efficiency > Retrofits > PPG Industries - The Sungate metal oxide coated windshield reduces infrared energy by 50 percent, outperforming tinted windshields by 400 percent. While the air conditioning is operating, the Sungate windshield improves fuel efficiency by as much as 3 to 4 percent.
- Hydrogen Boost > Hy-Drive raises $21 million for fuel enhancement technology - The company is a Canadian based operation involved with electrolytic hydrogen based automotive systems for commercial trucking. Their technology is by far not unique, but the company is pushing ahead of the pack with its well grounded marketing strategies. (Hy-Drive; Jan. 18, 2007)
- Hydrogen Boost > GetHydroPower Emissions Test Results (pdf) - GetHydroPower has recently conducted an exhaust gas analysis on a commercial scale garbage truck before and after fuel enhancement with electrolytic hydrogen gas. Results show a significant reduction in carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions. (GetHydroPower; Jan. 15, 2007)
January 22, 2007
- Geothermal > MIT Releases Major Report on Geothermal Energy (Sat., Jan. 27, 6:00 - 6:55 pm Eastern, live) - A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact. (PESN; Jan. 22, 2007)
- Batteries > EEStor > "Game-Changing" Energy Storage - According to patent documents, EEStore's ultracapacitor power system will "replace the electrochemical battery" in almost every application, from hybrid-electric and pure-electric vehicles to laptop computers to utility-scale electricity storage. (MIT Technology Review; Jan. 22, 2007)
- Alternative Fuels > Butanol > Green Biologics to boost biobutanol fuel development - Green Biologics has received funding to develop its Butafuel™ cellulosic biobutanol product, identified as a superior 'next generation' biofuel for transport, which will slash the cost of production by up to a third. GBL has isolated a cocktail of thermophiles for rapid enzymatic hydrolysis and release of fermentable sugars from biomass. (Biopact; January 22, 2007)
- EV > Tesla Motors > Tesla Sports Sedan in 2009? - Tesla Motors dropped hints about an electric sports sedan for the 2009 time frame that will boast the equivalent of 110 miles per gallon and use off-the-shelf lithium ion batteries. It will have room for five adults and a full-sized trunk, with 10,000-20,000 units per year sold for between $50,000 and $75,000. (The Energy Blog; January 18, 2007)
- Fuel Additives > Envirofuels - Diesel Fuel Catalyzer is an EPA verified fuel borne catalyst that optimizes the heat release rate, which leads to increased power, reduced emissions, and increased fuel efficiency of 5 to 10% for heavy duty diesel engines. It positively impacts the combustion process and metal surfaces but does not alter the characteristics of the fuel.
- Solar > Solmetric - SunEye™ is a hand held electronic device that allows users to instantly assess total potential solar energy given the shading of a particular site. This allows the solar installer to optimize new systems for maximum production and analyze existing installations to solve problems of under production. (Thanks Daniel Weinreb)
January 19, 2007
- Wind > Vertical Axis > V.A.W.T. Industries - The V.A.W.T. Wind Turbine increases the wind speed and kinetic energy at the rotor with curved deflection blades, which allow the turbine to react to the slightest breeze and provide it with a much higher power output per given wind speed. The venturi effect eliminates backpressure on the return side of the rotor, which increases the overall torque.
- Waste to Energy > Plasma > Creating Ethanol from Trash - A new system by Integrated Environmental Technologies for converting trash into ethanol using Plasma, could reduce the amount of waste in landfills while displacing fossil fuels used to power vehicles. The technology vaporizes organic materials to synthesize a variety of fuels at costs of between 10 and 95 cents per gallon. (MIT Technology Review; January 19, 2007)
- Human-Powered > Body Rite - HyperBike uses legs, torso, arms and body weight for propulsion, while large wheels make it stable and safe, but fast. The gearing will produce speeds upwards of 50 mph and it will move effectively on all grades. Its center of gravity is below the wheels’ spinning axes, and the lightweight roll cage frame and wheels make it maneuverable and easy to get started.
- Conservation > Kilowatt Ours - Documentary film advocates energy conservation and renewable energy. Energy saving tips show how you can save up to $600 a year on your energy bill.
January 18, 2007
- Electric Vehicles > High Speed Electric Car Promised - At the National Auto Dealers Association convention in February, Miles Automotive expects to unveil its latest Chinese electric car, the "high speed" XS500. A lithium-ion battery pack will enable a speed up to 80 miles per hour and a range of 150 miles. It will go on sale in late 2008, priced from around $30,000. (Inside Line; January 17, 2007)
- Home Generation > ECO-Block - Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are simpler and easier to install than wood-frame methods, and are vastly more energy-efficient. EPS (expanded polystyrene) panels snap together, to create walls which are filled with concrete. ECO-Block eliminates air infiltration through the wall assembly, so there are no drafts or cold spots, greatly reducing the amount of fuel needed for heating and cooling.
- Biodiesel from Algae Oil > An in-depth look at biofuels from algae - Several companies have issued press releases about technologies using closed photobioreactors to produce biofuels from algae, claiming 'enormous' amounts of biomass that can be turned into liquid fuels at low cost. Sadly, after decades of development, none of those projects have worked on a large scale or time period. It is time to have a look at the possible reasons. (Biopact; January 18, 2007)
- Human-Powered > Pedal Powered Generator - DIY Plans - Every morning, I pedal to generate electricity. The Pedal Generator I ride charges batteries, that run an inverter, that produces 110v AC, that powers LED lights, the monitor on my computer, and many other small battery-powered things. It is the most inspiring workout you can imagine. (David Butcher)
- Electric Scooters > The Green-powered bicycle from Yamaha - Yamaha is releasing a bicycle with an electric motor and a rechargeable lithium battery that can help up the hills and through the wind. Sensors and a computer continually monitor pedal force and speed and calculate the amount of extra power to provide to the bicycle's rear wheel. (Mobile Magazine; January 18, 2007)
January 17, 2007
- Batteries / EV > EEStor > EEStor Announces Production Milestones - The first EEStor production line has been proven to meet quality control requirements and its key production chemicals have been certified. EEStor will begin shipping 15 kilowatt-hour Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU) to ZENN Motor Company in 2007 for use in their electric vehicles. (PESN; January 17, 2007)
- Magnets > Organic Magnets Open Vast Possibilities - Researchers at the University of Victoria have discovered new lightweight magnets that could be used in making everything from extra-thin magnetic computer memory to ultra-light spacecraft parts. "Suppose you want to make a particular shape of magnet — these magnets could be dissolved in solution and shaped into a different form." (PESN; Jan. 17, 2007)
- Hybrid Vehicles > AFS Trinity - The Extreme Hybrid™ drive train for a Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle is expected to enable cars to achieve 250 MPG by combining a Lithium-ion battery pack with a bank of ultracapacitors. Fast Energy Storage™ enables high top speeds and rapid acceleration in electric-only mode, as well as greater regenerative braking capability.
- Alternative Fuels > Biomass > Biofuel from Saltwater Plants - A NASA scientist is confident that within five years commercial aircraft could be powered by biofuel derived from saltwater plants, or halophytes, grown in desert areas and irrigated using sea water. Suitable areas for cultivating halophytes include the Sahara desert, Western Australia, south-west USA, and parts of the Middle East. (TreeHugger; January 17, 2007)
- Fuel Efficiency > Engines > Piezo injection in 10 Best Engine List - For the first time an engine equipped with piezo direct injection gasoline (DIG) technology was featured in Ward's 10 Best Engine List of 2007. The piezo technology delivers higher torque and improved vehicle fuel economy. Direct injection fuel delivery, which is widely used in diesel engines, injects gasoline directly into the engine's combustion chamber. (AutoblogGreen; January 17, 2007)
January 16, 2007
- Waste-to-Energy / Plasma >
StarTech Environmental Corp Plasma Tech - Startech is a publicly traded waste-to-energy plasma arc technology company. They presently have three 5 ton/day installations in operation, with a number of other plants in various stages of implementation. A 200 ton/day plant being scheduled for Panama will be the largest such plant in the world.
- PAC > Support H.R.6 Today -- U.S. Clean Energy Act of 2007 - One of the top agenda items of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is to cut Big Oil tax breaks and recover billions in unpaid royalties -- money that the industry owes the federal government for drilling on our public lands. These funds will be invested in efficiency and renewable energy. A vote is scheduled to take place Thurs., Jan. 18. (Defenders of Wildlife; Jan. 17, 2007)
- Solar / EV > Electric Scooters > SolarVehicles.org - Free plans for building a solar powered electric vehicle with a top speed of 25 to 40 km/h, made possible by recent advances in solar modules, batteries and magnetic drives. Parts source list included. See also UprightSolar.
- Geothermal > Geodynamics - Exploring Hot Dry Rock geothermal energy using heat extracted from buried hot granite by circulating water through an artificial underground heat exchange reservoir. A 40 MW power station is planned following reservoir testing.
- Engines > Advanced Propulsion Technologies - The Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder (opoc™) two-cycle engine is comprised of two cylinders with two pistons per cylinder moving in opposite directions. It is compact, lightweight and efficient, has low noise/vibration, low cost, and can use a variety of fuels.
January 15, 2007
- Storage > Iowa to Combine Wind Energy & CAES Technology - Municipal utilities in Iowa are planning a new energy park that would integrate a wind farm with Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) technology. The Iowa Stored Energy Park (IESP) will use low-cost, off-peak electricity and wind energy to store air underground in porous rock. As demand rises, the stored air will be used to drive generators. (Renewable Energy Access; January 12, 2007)
- Electromagnetic > Trinity Motors - Multiple Field™ motor technology with high performance armature configuration achieves 30% improvement in energy efficiency, while magnetic suspension greatly reduces bearing friction. PowerMax™ motor/generator features chargeback capabilities that can recharge batteries while the motor is running.
- Electric Vehicles > Cities rediscover allure of streetcars - The once mass utilized street car is making a comeback. Streetcar lines are a lot cheaper than subways, carry more people than buses, and use less fuel per passenger mile. Depending on the source of electricity, they can be carbon free. (USA Today; Jan. 10, 2007)
- Hybrid Vehicles > Freightliner diesel electric hybrid - A medium-duty walk-in van with diesel-electric hybrid technology from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. was developed along with Eaton and Detroit Diesel. It shows a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy and a significant reduction in emissions. (AutoblogGreen; January 13, 2007)
- Brown's gas > Water Fuel Converters Project Charges Ahead - On-demand electrolysis information website by Noah Seidman breaks the much coveted Alexa top 100,000 barrier, taking the ~55,000 spot, becoming a worldwide leader in electrolysis information.
January 14, 2007
- Engines > Libralato Ruggero's Atkinson-Cycle Rotary Engine - Rotary engine design by Italian inventor uses the Atkinson cycle to combine the best attributes of wankel rotaries and piston engines. Half the size of a conventional engine, it produces 30% more power and uses 10% less fuel.
January 12, 2007
- Magnet Motors > Steorn > Steorn announces plans for widespread deployment of its free energy technology post-validation - Following the scientific validation of the technology presently under way by the academic jury, Steorn will be making its intellectual property available concurrently via the Internet to facilitate rapid development. (PESN; Jan. 12, 2007)
- Biomass / Hydrogen > Biomass gasification technology obtains record hydrogen yield - ZSW has developed a CO2 absorption-enhanced water vapour gasification technology for the production of an energy rich gas from biomass and also for the production of biohydrogen, biomethane and synthetic liquid biofuels. Tests showed yields of up to 70% hydrogen, an unprecedented level. (Biopact; January 12, 2007)
- Oil > Microhole Drilling Rig Could Tap Bypassed Oil - Hybrid microhole coiled tubing rig penetrates intractable formations to deliver cost savings of 25-35% per well drilled, making bypassed oil and gas resources economic. The Energy Department estimates bypassed oil in the US at 218 billion barrels. Recovering just 10 percent equates to 10 years of OPEC oil imports. (Green Car Congress; January 12, 2007)
- Flywheels > Beacon Power flywheels certified in California - Beacon utility-grade mechanical flywheel systems are now certified to help smooth power grid supply and demand, a task currently performed by coal or natural gas power plants. "As the amount of wind generation and other intermittent renewables increase in the next ten years, the need for high-speed regulation services will clearly increase." said the California ISO. (Inside Greentech; January 12, 2007)
- Human-Powered > Convergence Tech - The Pedal-a-Watt stationary bike power generator is an easy to build stand that will accept any bicycle, creates 150 to 200 watts at 12 to 20 volts DC, easily disengages for immediate road use and folds for transport.
January 11, 2007
- Solar > Concentrated > Solucar Energia - Spanish company is building an 11-megawatt concentrated solar power tower called PS10, that will be the first tower-based solar power system to generate electricity commercially. It consists of a field of large mirrors mounted on computer-controlled pedestals (heliostats) to focus sunlight onto the top of a 330-foot tower, generating steam to turn a turbine and produce electricity.
- Ocean Wave > Inventor builds Wave Generator at Home - Inventor has built a working wave generator, right down to the bicycle wheel flywheel and home-made generator. Video demonstrates constant electricity output under simulated and actual conditions. (TreeHugger; January 8, 2007)
- Hybrid Vehicles > Permo-Drive - Parallel hybrid hydraulic Regenerative Drive System (RDS) for medium and heavy vehicles captures and stores braking energy to reduce fuel consumption 15-30%. It provides a superior power to weight ratio and energy flow rate over hybrid electric systems and is cheaper to buy and own.
- Lighting > EGIS - Heliostat reflects sunshine in a constant direction all day using a two-axis-rotor solar-tracker and a big mirror. This allows natural sunlight and heat to enter deep into the north side of a building, reducing energy consumption for lighting and heating.
- Wind > Offshore > Offshore Wind Turbine Farms: Ambitious and Beautiful - Blog entry with several good pictures of an offshore wind farm under construction, as well as some failed turbine structures. (thrillingwonder.blogspot.com; January 4, 2007)
January 10, 2007
- Zeitgeist > TreeHugger Picks: Prototypical Energy Types for the Future - "A gaze into the crystal ball of energy production methods and ideas that have the potential to make the future a much greener place." Links to coverage on Wave, Hydrogen, Wind, Biofuels, Solar, etc. (TreeHugger; Jan. 5, 2007)
- Electric Vehicles > Solar Van - Bedford Rascal van with a blown engine was converted to electric motor with Li-ion batteries. Rooftop solar PV panels provide 10% of the daily energy and a stowable wind turbine could make the vehicle energy independent on a sunny but windy day. Maximum speed is 50 mph and range is 75 miles.
- Home Generation > BuildingWithAwareness.com - Straw bale solar hybrid home is energy efficient, using passive solar design, straw bale insulated construction, thermal mass walls and earth plaster. Rooftop photovoltaic panels generate 100% of the electricity for the home. The interior walls are made of adobe bricks which stabilize the indoor temperature within 3 degrees during a 24 hour period.
- Solar > SinoStar Lighting - The Duxlite small solar system is a portable solar generator that can generate power from 100W to 500W. Applications include remote homes, solar pumps, solar fans/TVs, yards, car parks, and road sign illumination.
- Biodiesel from Algae Oil > Scientists research algae biodiesel production - NMSU is investigating the best ways to grow and harvest certain species of algae, which produce a much higher level of oil than soybeans or canola, as a feedstock for biodiesel production. The tremendous reserves of brackish water, mild climate and abundant sunshine in New Mexico make good conditions for algae farmers. (NMSU News Releases; January 8, 2007)
January 9, 2007
- Bi-Directional Energy Tower > Open Project to Develop Renewable Energy System - "We have been working on a system that combines some existing indirect solar technologies to build a location independent, renewable, reliable and economically feasible indirect solar electrical power generation system." (Slashdot; Jan. 8, 2007)
- Solar / Storage > Drake Landing Solar Community - DLSC is heated by a district borehole thermal energy storage system that supplies 90% of each home’s space heating requirements. The solar thermal energy is captured by flat-plate collectors on garage rooftops during the summer months and stored underground for space heating needs during winter months.
- Wal-Mart > It's Getting Harder to Hate Wal-Mart - TreeHugger did several stories last year about Wal-Mart, including coverage of Green Roofs, Bullfrog Power, Corn based plastics, sustainable fish, buying forests, and most recently, 100 Million Compact Fluorescent Bulbs. They are replacing their trucking fleet to double its fuel efficiency. What's going on? Is this for real or greenwashing? (TreeHugger; May 17, 2006)
- Electric Vehicles > Chevy Volt - GM's plug-in EV concept uses the E-Flex Propulsion System to run 40 miles on electricity alone and charges in 6 hours from plugs on either side of the car. The on-board generator burns gasoline, E85 or biodiesel to recharge the battery, extending the range to 640 miles.
- Electromagnetic / EV > Ultra Motor Company - Permanent magnet DC Hub motors have only five major components, are simple in design, easy to manufacture and suited for narrow, wheel-mounted motor applications such as electric bikes and scooters. Ultra motors offer significant space-saving while delivering higher torque and efficiency - without the need for gears, belts or chains.
- Home Cogeneration > Ranotor - Small scale steam power below 1000 kW is well suited to combined heat and power (CHP) applications, offering fuel flexibility, low NOx emissions, low energy consumption and high power density. Ranotor expects to achieve 32% efficiency at part load, 3 times higher than a conventional ICE at part load, with 60-65% being used for heating and 5% heat losses.
January 8, 2007
- Electrolysis / OS > Boyce Electrolyzer > Bob Boyce's Electrolyzer Plans Available to All - A system for high-efficiency electrolysis that involves the alleged production of monatomic hydrogen, which has highly unusual and effective properties in accentuating mileage. (PESN; Jan. 8, 2007)
- Tidal > Woodshed Technologies - Tidal Delay relies on the seawater restraining feature of natural coastal landforms, such as peninsulas or isthmuses, to create a time delay or “phase difference‿ between the two sides. Connections across the landforms with sea-water carrying pipes incorporating a turbine and generator, enables the stored potential energy to be harnessed.
- Solar > Tuscon Citizen Pushes the Envelope on Solar Design - Pyramid homes alleged to be energy efficient, much cheaper to build; and the maintenance costs are a lot lower. Typically heat accumulates at the top of the home, but the pyramid shape is said to even the dispersion of temperature. (Tucson Citizen; Jan. 3, 2007)
- Wind > Vertical Axis > Ettridge Wind Turbine - Improved Savonius rotary wind turbine uses a shield to cover the blades on the upwind leg and overhead scoops to direct air into the tunnel created by the rotor and wind shield. The blades are driven for the full 360 degrees, greatly improving low wind speed start up and efficiency.
- Fuel Efficiency > MagneMotion - Maglev (M³) transportation system is based on ElectroMagnetic Suspension using only one set of permanent magnets for propulsion, levitation and guidance. It is a cost effective, low power, and energy efficient system for urban environments that cuts travel time and operating cost in half.
- Air Conditioning > Deep Lake Water Cooling > Enwave - Uses cold energy from Lake Ontario to cool buildings in downtown Toronto, reducing electricity usage by 90%. Deep Lake Water Cooling is sustainable, clean, renewable and can continue to operate during blackouts. Skeptics comment: Tapping Thermal-Gradient Cold: Free Power or Planetary Suicide?
January 6, 2007
- Thermal Electric > Eneco > Eneco is Engineering Low-Heat-to-Electricity Conversion for Market - The science is done, what remains is to engineer for production, with applications such as waste-heat and concentrated solar energy harnessing. (PESN; Jan. 6, 2007)
January 5, 2007
- Electromagnetic > Donald Sitler's Permanent Magnet Motor - Prototype allegedly uses modest electrical input to convert magnetic force into motion. Test rig shown in video runs on about 1.44 watts, turning at about 400 rpm. It uses neodymium permanent magnets in the stator and rotor.
- Waste to Energy > effenergy - Distributed Environmental Power Systems (DEPS) use Thermal Transformation (T2™), a hybrid of pyrolysis and gasification, to re-form solid waste into heat, steam, electricity and synthetic fuels. The system generates its own operating power, producing clean emissions and reliable energy sources.
- Solar > Concentrated > Menova Energy - The Power-Spar® solar concentrator can be configured for electricity, heat, cooling and/or lighting solutions. It consists of a parabolic trough reflector which concentrates the sun's energy onto a modular absorber. Capable of capturing up to 80% of the sun's energy, Power-Spar systems can reduce building energy bills by as much as 70%.
- Directory:Zeitgeist > Clean Energy's Big Year: 2006 - It's been a landmark year for clean energy, as solar and wind power blew past the records, despite supply shortages. A review of investment trends, new IPOs, silicon shortage, ethanol growth, electric car comeback. (Red Herring; Dec. 30, 2006)
- Geothermal > Ground Source Heat Pump > 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.
- Air Conditioning > Superior Products International - Super Therm® Insulating Ceramic Coating is designed to reflect over 95% of solar heat to reduce energy costs 20-70% for air-conditioned buildings during the warmer months. It can be applied to roofing and walls of buildings, refrigerated trucks, freezers, water pipes and oil storage tanks.
January 4, 2007
- Space Heating > Avedon Engineering - The Airius Thermal Equalizer DeStratification Fan will balance floor and ceiling temperatures without drafts, conserve energy, and reduce your heating/cooling expenses by 35% or more. It improves the comfort level inside high ceiling buildings and is more cost effective than oversized ceiling fans.
- Solar > Thin Film > Home > Easy Solar Power - Installing solar power is easy, thanks to ECD Ovonics amorphous silicon thin-film photovoltaic (PV) laminates that can be bonded directly onto metal roofing panels. You just unroll the unbreakable peel-and-stick sheet, lay it faceup on a flat metal roofing panel and press it onto the panel while your assistant pulls the protective sheet off the sticky backing. (Mother Earth News; October/November 2006)
- Lighting > Solar Electric Power Company - SEPCO commercial solar electric lighting products include street lighting, billboards, traffic control, sign lighting, bus shelters, phone booths and warning lights, all powered by the sun.
- Space Heating > Sidel Systems - Natural gas fired equipment such as boilers, water heaters, dryers, and furnaces exhaust 15-20% of the fuel energy in the flue gas. The SRU Condensing Waste Heat Recovery unit is designed to recover almost all of this heat, normally lost to the atmosphere, with fuel savings of 10-15%.
January 3, 2007
- Hydro > Beck Mickle "low head" micro hydro generator - Scottish inventor, Ian Gilmartin, has invented a mini water wheel capable of supplying enough electricity to power a house from as little as an eight-inch water fall. The contraption is designed to be used in small rivers or streams.
- Solar > Orionsolar - Dye cells generate electricity using nano-sized titanium dioxide particles impregnated with dye, work well in a wide range of lighting conditions and are particularly suited to warmer climates. Orionsolar has developed low cost printing and laminating techniques which could reduce the cost of dye cells to 70 cents per peak watt, making solar energy competitive with fossil fuels.
- Biodiesel from Algae Oil > Enhanced Biofuels & Technologies - The EBT algae process combines a bioreactor with an open pond, both using waste CO2 from coal fired power plant flue gases as a fertilizer for the algae. The biodiesel and ethanol produced can be sold, or used as an alternative fuel on site. Emissions are reduced up to 82%.
- Electric Vehicles > Electric Big Wheel - Silence PT2 3-wheeled electric vehicle has 100kW of power, a top speed of 200 km/hr and range of 200-400 km.
- Fuel Efficiency > Taxi 2000 - SkyWeb Express is a system of three-passenger vehicles that travel on a network of elevated guideways. Empty vehicles wait for passengers, who select a destination, purchase a ticket, and travel directly to their destinations without stopping. You don't share your trip with strangers, just with your family or friends.
January 2, 2007
- Fusion > Inertial-Electrodynamic Fusion Device - Dr. Bussard and his team at Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation, after close to 20 years of hard work, have developed a revolutionary radiation-free fusion process that takes boron-11 and fuses a proton to it, producing, in its excited state, a carbon-12 atom. This excited carbon-12 atom decays to beryllium-8 and helium-4. It was developed under a DOD contract and has recently been made public.
- Storage > Energy Storage and Power Corporation - ESPC developed a Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) plant based on Dry Air Injection that reduced plant costs by more than 50%. It is a cost effective way to store hundreds of MW’s of off-peak electric energy from coal, nuclear or wind power plants underground and make it available during peak electric hours.
- Hybrid Vehicles > TNO Hybrid Carlab - This Beetle finished 2nd in the 2005 Rallye Monte Carlo for Hybrid Vehicles using < 4 litres/100km (59 mpg US). A 150kW AC Propulsion electrical system powers the front wheels supplied by a VW 1.2 TDI 3-cylinder diesel engine and UQM generator. Peak power is supplied by a supercapacitor pack consisting of 3500F Nesscap cells.
- Wind > High Efficiency > Stormblade: the first quiet residential wind turbine - Besides being bird and bat friendly, the Stormblade design is very quiet. It has fewer parts and higher generating capacity than other models and can theoretically, operate at any wind speed; and can convert up to 70 per cent of wind power into electricity, double the current average. (TreeHugger; Jan. 2, 2007)
- Zeitgeist / Biomass > Biomass: Year-in-Review - Large VC investments, new leadership, increased acceptance from the environmental community, national security threats and unstable energy markets sparked the country's enthusiasm for biomass. The industry's capacity to ramp up production and the ability of this renewable resource to provide a considerable quantity of power, not just liquid fuel, has made biomass a significant player in the U.S. energy future. (Renewable Energy Access; Jan. 2, 2007)
- Alternative Fuels > Biomass > Mascoma - Cellulosic biomass has a cost per BTU equivalent to oil of about $14/barrel. Recent advancements in enzymes, organisms and production technologies allow cost-effective ethanol production from inexpensive cellulosic biomass (grass, wood, agricultural and forestry wastes).
- Tidal > Video of Underwater Turbines Being Installed - The New York Times has a video of the installation of two turbines near Roosevelt Island in New York City- one is a test device to monitor fish and conditions, the other generating power. Tide-powered underwater turbines look like windmills, but use tidal currents to make electricity. (TreeHugger; January 2, 2007)
- Alternative Fuels > Butanol > Biobutanol - The Other White Meat - David Ramey drove his unmodified 1992 Buick across America fueled by 100% butanol. It can be blended with gasoline in larger concentrations than ethanol, yields 104,800 BTU/gallon vs. 84,250 BTU/gallon for ethanol, burns cleaner than E85, is less corrosive, evaporates slower than ethanol and can be transported through existing pipelines. (AutoblogGreen; December 30, 2006)
- Nanotech > Nano Safety Alert - Decades of research have brought these materials to a stage where they can provide real value to the world, including several energy applications. However, worker safety, consumer health, and the environmental impacts of such materials have to a large degree been ignored. (MIT Technology Review; Jan. 2,. 2007)
January 1, 2007
- Electric Vehicles > Nova Technologies Pursuing Self-Charging Vehicle Technology - Institute claims to be developing a "self-recharging electric vehicle, capable of converting ambient energy sources into usable electrical power efficiently enough to power a 1,500 pound vehicle at highway speeds for unlimited distances without the combustion of any kind of fuel or emission of any exhaust." (PESN; Dec. 30, 2006)
- Cold Fusion > D2Fusion > D2Fusion Proceeds on the Path to Fusion Energy - Solar Energy Limited (SLRE.ob) and D2Fusion, Inc. announce major advances in the development of clean, solid-state fusion heat sources. New detection equipment quantifying Helium isotope production, a safe fusion by-product, enables rapid prototype advancement. (PESN; Dec. 21, 2006)
- Hydrogen / Electrolysis > High Pressure > Accagen Pressurized Electrolyzers - AccaGen has developed special electrolyzers with maximum efficiency (>85%) for energy storage in renewable energy systems applications like Sun, Wind, Hydro. Direct-to-pressure process avoids the necessity of using costly, maintenance intensive and energy consuming gas compressors.
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