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PESWiki News -- July 2007 Archive

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July 31, 2007

  • Solar / Tesla > Tesla's Solar Ideas : 1916 Reprint - According to The Electrical Experimenter, in addition to his prolific electrical work, Tesla patented a sun motor. The article also discusses the Shuman-boy's engine and sun boiler installed in Egypt with output of 100 horsepower.
  • Fuel Cells > Aluminum high energy fuel cells - Altek Fuel Group's breakthroughs in chemistry and technology have provided the opportunity for aluminum to be used as a fuel to generate electricity in fuel cells, both efficiently and economically. While not widely thought of as a fuel, aluminum is high in energy, plentiful, fully recyclable and safe to transport and store. (Inside Greentech)
  • Solar > Solar Cell Efficiency Record of 42.8%; - A consortium has achieved a record-breaking combined solar cell efficiency of 42.8% from sunlight at standard terrestrial conditions. The Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) uses a stationary lateral optical concentrating system that splits solar light into three different energy bins, and eliminates the need for complicated tracking devices. (Green Car Congress; Jul. 28, 2007)

July 30, 2007

  • Movies / Water Fuel > Hollywood Producer Talks About Water Fuel Filming - Chris Patton, of Dark Horse Entertainment and Zero Point Films, describes his experiences over the past ten years documenting various water fuel technologies, including GEET and Brown's Gas, leading up to his present feature documentary film now in production. (PESN; March 11, 2007)
  • Wind > MagLev > Colossal Magnetic Levitation Wind Turbine Proposed - MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies claims that it can deliver clean power for less than one cent per kilowatt hour using a magnetically levitated wind turbine that can generate one gigawatt of power, by reducing frictional losses. A single huge turbine would require only a fraction of the land space of conventional turbines. (TreeHugger; Jul. 27, 2007)
  • Fuel Efficiency > Vehicles / Flight > Blended-Wing Boeing completes first test flight - Boeing flew its first prototype of a Blended Wing Body aircraft last week. A BWB design allows the entire body of the plane to generate lift and reduces drag in comparison to a tube-shaped fuselage - both of which are key factors in reducing fuel usage. The BWB design also provides a much greater cargo and passenger capacity. (GizMag; Jul. 30, 2007)

July 27, 2007

  • Solar > Space > Public Discussion Opened on Space Solar - The U.S. National Security Space Office (NSSO), an office of the Department of Defense, has taken a novel approach to a study they are doing on space based solar power. They've opened a public forum to garner public ideas on the best means to harvest energy in space. (Slashdot; July 25, 2007) (See also

July 26, 2007

  • Solar > Concentrated > Mojave Solar Park planned - Solel plans to build a 553 megawatt solar thermal plant in 6,000 acres of the Mojave Desert by 2011. The plant will use Solel's solar thermal parabolic trough technology that has powered nine operating solar power plants in the Mojave Desert and is currently generating 354 MW of annual electricity. (Renewable Energy Access; Jul. 26, 2007)

July 25, 2007

  • EV / Batteries > New long range EV battery - Device Conduit Technologies says its DCT RackPack™ Massively Intermoduled Battery (MIB) pack can finally deliver 100 to 300 mile range to electric and hybrid vehicles at affordable prices. Their solution combines off the shelf systems in a novel manner combined with a new technology. (Inside Greentech; Jul. 20, 2007)
  • Fuel Efficiency > Retrofits > Capturing CO2 to Make Biodiesel - Fitted to a car instead of an exhaust, the Greenbox device traps carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. The captured gases from the box would be fed to algae, which would then be crushed to produce a bio-oil that can be converted to biodiesel. The box needs to be replaced about every full tank of fuel. (TreeHugger; Jul. 20, 2007)

July 24, 2007

  • Fuel Efficiency > Engines > DiesOtto - the “future of the gasoline engine�? - Mercedes-Benz unveiled a new gasoline engine offering the high torque and fuel economy of a diesel (40 US mpg) together with extremely clean emissions. The DiesOtto features direct gasoline injection, turbocharging, variable valve timing and variable compression, a hybrid integrated starter/generator module and controlled auto ignition. (GizMag; Jul. 25, 2007)
  • Biodiesel from Algae Oil > DOE Grant for Research on Algae to Biodiesel - Community Fuels has been awarded a Research Grant from the Department of Energy SBIR/STTR Program to evaluate two processes to use agricultural waste as a resource for commercial-scale algal oils development and production into biodiesel. The results will potentially unlock a low-cost feedstock for the biodiesel industry. (Renewable Energy Access; Jul. 24, 2007)

July 23, 2007

July 22, 2007

  • Pyramid Power > Pyramidal Power by Thomas Trawoger - Austrian inventor demonstrates that a fairly simple set-up of a home-made capacitor and two home-made coils, stimulated by a magnet, positioned at the geometric center of a metallic pyramid will produce appreciable amounts of current, enough to run a small fan.
  • Batteries / EV > Lithium-Ion Motorcycles - Better batteries are making electric motorcycles possible, providing a cleaner alternative to pollution-spewing gas-powered bikes. (MIT Technology Review; July 19, 2007)

July 21, 2007

  • Nanotech / Batteries > Self-Assembling Biological Nanobattery - The iron-containing protein, ferritin, can hold either a positive or negative charge, and it self-assembles relatively easily into a uniform nanolayer. NASA has filed a patent to create one layer of one charge, then cover it with another layer of the opposite charge. NASA reckons its battery is not only stable and robust, but can be produced easily and quickly too. (New Scientist Tech; July 16, 2007)

July 20, 2007

  • Ocean Current > Taiwan planning development of ocean current power - A 25-square mile region under the sea off Taiwan's east coast, fitted with 1,000 turbines, has the potential to supply 1.68 trillion kw-h/year, more than all of Taiwan's present power needs. The first step is likely to be the deployment of a 5 MW test turbine, hopefully to be completed in the next three years. (Taiwan Headlines; July 2, 2007)

July 19, 2007

  • Alt Fuels > Butanol > Gevo to make biobutanol - Gevo intends to produce biobutanol from different types of biomass, including sugar cane, corn byproducts and grasses. Its bioprocessing technology uses fermentation to convert plants to alcohol-based fuels. The company intends to make butanol for automobiles, trucks and jets using the same basic technologies. (Biopact; Jul. 19, 2007)
  • Solar > Plastic / Nanotech > Inexpensive, Easy To Produce Solar Panels - Researchers at NJIT have developed an inexpensive solar cell that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets. Someday homeowners may be able to print sheets of them with inexpensive home-based inkjet printers. Consumers could then slap the finished product on a wall, roof or billboard to create their own power stations. (The Energy Blog; Jul. 19, 2007)

July 18, 2007

  • Waste to Energy > Whaste Technology - The REFLOW process accepts a stream containing organic materials, such as municipal liquid waste or industrial and agricultural streams and converts it into a renewable energy source. It can be used as a solid fuel or, with additional processing converted into a synthetic gas or liquid fuel. Only 20% to 30% of the energy produced is required to drive the process.
  • Alternative Fuels > EcoEnergy Solutions - Features emulsified fuels containing various percentages of water to reduce both oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) pollution created during the combustion process. This technology extends to mobile and stationary diesel engines, industrial fuel oil boilers and residual oil for power generation.

July 17, 2007

  • Events > New Energy to Culminate Gnomedex Conference - The organizers of an annual Internet media conference have asked a new energy proponent to conclude the conference with a presentation on Top 100 Energy Technologies and open sourcing of exotic energy technologies. (PESN; July 17, 2007)
  • AC > Ice Chiller Cooling > System Relies on Ice to Chill Buildings - Some office towers have found a way to stay cool while keeping the AC to a minimum - by using an energy-saving system that relies on blocks of ice to pump chilly air through buildings. Water is frozen at night when power demands are low, and the cool air emanating from the ice cools the building during the day. (PhysOrg; Jul. 15, 2007)
  • Fuel Efficiency > Retrofits > Cerma Technology - Cermax utilizes ceramic technology to form a micro-ceramic seal on all metal engine parts, for superior lubrication of hot parts. It reduces emissions by as much as 92%, reduces oil consumption and blow by, and increases horsepower, compression and fuel economy.

July 16, 2007

  • Fuel Efficiency > World fuel consumption champion gets 10,517 mpg - Microjoule won the 31st annual Shell Eco-marathon UK with 10,517 mpg. The best Alternative vehicle was ESSTIN (solar), at 10,197 mpg. For the second year, schools gathered from all over the UK to compete in the ‘Schools Initiative’, with children as young as 11 pushing the boundaries of vehicle design. (GizMag; Jul. 16, 2007)

July 15, 2007

  • Magnet Motors / Electromagnetic? / Electric Vehicles > Fuelless "Surge" Motor Technology - In around 1994, Troy Reed claimed to have a fuelless, pollution-free motor with around 7 kilowatts of output, powerful enough to run a house or a car. The technology received a flurry of high-level interest, including major media. Actor Dennis Weaver organized a cross-country demonstration. What happened to the technology?
  • Solar > Plastic > Record Efficiency for Plastic Solar Cells - Researchers at UCSB along with counterparts in South Korea have discovered a new way to make cheap and flexible photovoltaic cells that involves a process for printing plastic solar cells. They have achieved an efficiency of 6.5 percent--a new record plastic PVs. (MIT Technology Review; July 13, 2007)

July 13, 2007

  • Capacitors > batScap - Supercapacitors meet applications requiring high power values for short periods (ten seconds) and defined by a very high number of charge / discharge cycles (millions). This technology could replace batteries and fly-wheels and open new prospects for electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Solar > Thin Film > ePOD - has developed a new solar panel assembly-manufacturing process that reduces costs to manufacture a Thin Film Amorphous Silicon solar panel by 40%. The process uses 50% less glass and at a cost up to 30% lower than competing thin-film panels. Further benefits result from reduced shipping and installation costs.

July 12, 2007

  • Tidal > Oceana Energy Co. - Developing tidal power generation technology that operates on principles far different from that of under water windmills, to improve manufacturability, ease of operation and cost. The Tidal Defense and Energy System (TIDES)™ power generation platform is being developed in cooperation with the U.S. Navy.
  • Solar > Vehicles > Convert A Golf Cart To Solar Power - Cruise Car has a new product called the Sunray Solar Roof Kit, which will allow most golf carts to become solar powered vehicles. It increases the distance the cart can go on a single charge by 30%. Cruise Car also sells solar-powered small vehicles. (MetaEfficient)

July 11, 2007

  • Magnet Motors > Center Magnet Shielding - "A device of this sort was given as an extra credit homework problem by an MIT professor back in 1985. Chris Cheng, a high school student from Sydney, Australia, sent us a simple version, from which this one evolved through a process of tinkering." (Museum of Unworkable Devices)
  • Solar > Silicon > PV Solar Grade Silicon - 6N Silicon will develop and commercialize a process for purifying inexpensive, readily available metallurgical grade silicon into solar grade silicon for the photovoltaic (PV) industry. This process has the potential to clear the bottleneck for photovoltaic manufacturers. (Renewable Energy Access; Jul. 11, 2007)
  • Zeolite / Ethanol > Zeolite Membrane for Ethanol Dehydration - Mitsui Engineering will use a zeolite membrane in dehydration systems for bioethanol plants, to remove water from the ethanol produced. Only water passes through the membrane, thereby helping to reduce process fuel consumption by around 10% compared to other methods. (Green Car Congress; Jul. 11, 2007)

July 10, 2007

  • Batteries > Utility Scale > ZBB gets contract for renewable energy storage - ZBB Energy announced a contract to accelerate development of the company's zinc-bromine storage system, to store and supply renewable energy generated from photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbines. It will smooth the delivery of renewable power to the grid as well as deliver power at times of peak demand. (Inside Greentech; Jul. 9, 2007)
  • Tidal > E3, Inc. - Natural Currents is prototyping a 3 Meter version of an eventual 1 MW Ocean Energy System, that provides simplicity and effectiveness. Its design allows it to rotate in one direction regardless of the direction of the water flow. The system is particularly effective in regions that experience ice cover for part of the year.

July 9, 2007

  • Storage > Air Conditioning > Zeolite-Water Heating and Cooling System - Zeo-Tech has developed a new energy conversion process for the efficient generation and storage of heat and/or cooling power. Driven by a heat source, this process is solely based on the material zeolite and water and is therefore fully compatible with the most stringent environmental regulations.
  • Storage > The Importance of Energy Storage - Basic overview. Energy storage involves methods and apparatus used to store heating, cooling, or power. In district energy applications these encompass a wide variety of applications, but all are designed to be recharged on a cyclical basis (usually daily, occasionally seasonally). (Energy Business Reports; July 27, 2007)
  • Solar > Thin Film > Global Solar modules get U.S. military approval - Global Solar Energy, maker of flexible thin-film Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) solar cells, has passed U.S. military tests and received a coveted rating. The company's folding solar module was subjected to immersion, vibration, high temperature storage, low temperature storage, temperature shock, altitude, sand & dust and transit drop testing. (Inside Greentech; Jul. 9, 2007)

July 7, 2007

  • Nanotech / Lighting > Nanoflex can increase all lighting efficiencies - The nano optical coating on Nanoflex™ provides ideal diffusive and reflective surface to capture light rays from any light source including fluorescent lamps to enhance illumination by 50% on average, both for retrofits as well as new fixtures, enabling the reduction of the number of fixtures.

July 6, 2007

  • Solid State > Tiny Generator Runs Off Vibrations - Researchers at the University of Southampton, UK, have developed an efficient, sugar-cube-sized electric generator that feeds on environmental vibrations, via the wobbling of several magnets attached to a millimeter-sized cantilever. The device could power small, low-power devices such as wireless sensors or medical implants.
  • Solar > Going Solar in Space - India is building a series of solar power stations that it plans on sending into space with reusable launch vehicles. Although the technology isn't quite there yet, the sun's intensity in space is almost twice that on Earth, and the energy could be continually harnessed 24 hours a day. (TreeHugger; Jul. 6, 2007)
  • Air Conditioning > Smart Breeze Systems - The Smart Breeze house fan provides a practical, affordable alternative to air conditioning. It is designed to cool and ventilate your entire home by bringing in fresh air from the outside. It costs an average of four cents per hour to operate, versus $1.80 per hour to run a five ton air conditioning unit.

July 5, 2007

  • Magnet Motors > Steorn > Orbo Free Energy Demo Has Botched Start - Widely publicized pending demo of Steorn's free energy prototype at the Kinetica Museum in London, promised to be streamed live around the world, opens with the device not working and a no-show on the Orbo demo site for the first 24+ hours. (PESN; July 5, 2007)
  • Engines > FlexEnergy - The Flex-Microturbine power plant runs on very low energy fuel gases at atmospheric pressure: only 15 Btus per cubic foot (1.5% the strength of natural gas). Potential fuels include oilfield, industrial and landfill waste gases. In many cases, these gases must otherwise be flared consuming natural gas or propane. The Flex needs no other fuel.
  • Capacitors > Capacitor research could increase storage by 7x - Researchers have developed a new type of capacitor which allows up to seven times the electrical storage potential as standard capacitors available today. This is good news for the electric and hybrid car industry, as capacitors are a possible alternative to batteries. (AutoblogGreen; Jul. 4, 2007)

July 4, 2007

  • Wave > OWC > First Commercial Wavegen marine energy plant - Wavegen's Oscillating Water Column (OWC) technology, which has been successfully field tested in Scotland for seven years, is to be built on the Spanish Atlantic coast. An opening in the front of the breakwater allows the sea to rise and fall within a chamber, compressing air which drives a turbine and generator to produce electricity. (Inside Greentech; Jul. 3, 2007)
  • Alt Fuels > Biodiesel > Nanospheres could revolutionize biodiesel production - Catilin is developing nanosphere catalysts that could make biodiesel production cheaper, faster and less toxic. The technology replaces sodium methoxide – a toxic, corrosive and flammable catalyst – and that eliminates several production steps. The company’s goal is to move from a lab scale to a pilot-plant scale over the next 18 months. (PhysOrg; Jul. 2, 2007)

July 3, 2007

  • Magnet Motors > Steorn's Ten-Day Orbo Demo Pending - After whetting the world's appetite in August 2006 for their free energy device, then keeping the technology hidden for view only by the jury of scientists who have been reviewing it, Steorn will be demonstrating the device publicly for ten days, coinciding with Al Gore’s Live Earth concert on 7-7-7.
  • River / Vortex > Zotloterer Gravitational Vortex Power Plant - Mini-power plant is simple to construct, has a turbine efficiency of 80% but is safe for fish due to low turbine speed. The gravitational vortex hydro technology can be applied with water drop as little as 0.7 meters. The cost for installation of the prototype was close to $1/watt capacity.
  • Solar > Concentrated > New Kind of Solar Plant - GreenVolts concentrated solar PV plants are being installed in California by PG&E as solar peaker plants designed to produce up to five megawatts during the peak demand at the hottest part of the day. They're composed of small mirrors that concentrate the sun's light on a small, ultra-efficient photovoltaic cell. (EcoGeek; Jul. 3, 2007)
  • Ethanol > Hydrogenolysis Process for Cellulosic Ethanol - ZeaChem combines the output of fermentation and gasification into hydrogenolysis, for the production of ethanol from cellulosic biomass feedstocks. ZeaChem claims that its technology will produce 50% more ethanol per ton of feed and results in an energy output that is more than ten times greater than the input. (Green Car Congress; Jul. 2, 2007)

July 2, 2007

  • Wind > Attey Rooftop Wind Turbine - Graeme Attey of Fremantle, West Australia, designed a modular wind turbine small enough to sit on a the roof of house. Backed by the government, the unit is expected to be released to the market next year, complete with a rebate. (ABC News; June 27, 2007)

July 1, 2007

  • Tidal > Passamaquoddy: JFK's tidal dream that might have been - The story of John F. Kennedy's efforts 43 years ago (just prior to his assassination) to supply 60 million people with clean energy from a free source -- tides -- which can supply electricity 24 hours a day with turbines that run with the in- and out-bound tides.
  • Wind> Offshore > World's first floating wind farm to be built in North Sea - Siemens has teamed up with a Norwegian energy group, Norsk Hydro, to install a wind farm in the middle of the North Sea, beginning with one test unit in under two years, ending with 200 turbines by 2014. The turbines would access the strong off-shore winds, and would not be visible from land. (The Independent; UK; June 27, 2007)


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