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PESWiki News -- May 2008 Archive

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going forward in time


Saturday, May 31, 2008

  • Current Events / EVs / Hybrids >
    Power of DC May 31 - June 1 - The 8th Annual Power of DC Electric Vehicle and hybrid competition will be held in Hagerstown, Maryland, featuring intense EV racing, including an EV AutoCross, drag racing and a Show-n-Shine event.

Friday, May 30, 2008

  • Featured / Top 100: Air Conditioning > Zeolite >
    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. (PESWiki)
  • Ethanol >
    Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Opens - A 1.4 million gallon demonstration-scale plant in Jennings, LA will make biofuel from agricultural waste left over from processing sugarcane. (MIT Technology Review; May 28, 2008)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

  • Radio >
    Vortex Network News - William Alek presents Progressive Technology Hour each Saturdays at 10am Pacific. Not very rigorous in requirement for proof.
  • Biomass >
    Rice in your gas tank: Boosting biofuel production from rice straw - A research group at Beijing University of Chemical Technology treated rice straw with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) before allowing bacteria to ferment and increased biogas production by making more cellulose and other compositions in straw available for digestion by the bacteria. (Physorg; May 26, 2008)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

  • Waste to Energy >
    Modern-Day Alchemy: Turning Trash Into Power - GE, which aims to make $25 billion in annual sales from green businesses by 2010, is working to adapt its gasification technology, used to burn coal more cleanly, to turn municipal waste into a relatively clean-burning gas. They are about five to ten years away from making garbage gasification a paying business. (Planet Ark; May 22, 2008)
  • Solar >
    Tips for Green Lawn Care - That's right, you can take your lawn mowing completely off the grid. For a slightly less cool, but still extremely green option, there are battery-powered hand mowers like a model from Solaris available with solar charging stations. (Wired How-To Wiki; May 2008)
  • Nanotechnology >
    Some Nanotubes Could Cause Cancer - New studies suggest that some, not all long carbon nanotubes behave like cancer-causing asbestos. Short nanotubes (those less than 15 micrometers long) and long nanotubes that have become very tangled do not cause inflammation and lesions. (MIT Technology review; May 22, 2008)

Monday, May 26, 2008

  • Batteries / Hybrids >
    Toyota To Build Green-Car Battery Plants - Joining a growing parade of Japanese automakers ramping up production of batteries, Toyota is teaming with Matsushita Electric to invest nearly $700 million to expand production of nickel metal hydride batteries and to begin production of more advanced lithium-ion batteries. (Edmunds; May 23, 2008)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

  • Fuel Efficiency Vehicles > Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility - For the second consecutive year, Mississippi State University wins General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Challenge X student engineering competition, producing a vehicle that has improved fuel economy and lower emissions, while maintaining driver comfort and vehicle performance. The next challenge will be the EcoCar. MediaSeed Video(Press Release; May 23, 2008)
  • Methane Hydrates / Fuel Cells > More-Powerful Fuel Cells - A cheap polymer material increases the power output of methanol fuel cells by 50 percent. Paula Hammond, a chemical engineer at MIT, has made a fuel-cell membrane out of layers of polymers whose electrochemical properties can be precisely tuned to prevent fuel waste. (MIT Technology Review; May 22, 2008)

May 24, 2008

  • Wind > Cost Of Wind Power Turbines Is SkyRocketing - The price of offshore turbines rose 48 percent to 2.23 million euros ($3.45 million) per megawatt in the past three years, according to a Danish wind power consultant. By comparison, land-based rotors cost 1.38 million euros per megawatt after rising 74 percent in the same period. (TreeHugger; May 21, 2008)

May 23, 2008

May 22, 2008

  • Featured:
    Humor > Rube Goldberg Samples - Examples of cause-effect, transfer of energy from one form into another. Some of the effects might at first seem magical, but upon closer inspection, each can be explained. So it is with "free energy". In addition to gravitational pull and kinetic induction, transference methods illustrated also include wind, flywheels, and magnets. (PESWiki; May 20, 2008)
  • Geothermal > A Groundswell for Geothermal - Though the US is the world’s largest producer of geothermal electricity, generating an average of 16-billion kWh of energy per year, this is still only a fraction of what it could be producing. There is virtually no area of the country where geothermal cannot be used. (Distributed Energy; May/June 2008)
  • Contests > ConocoPhillips Energy Prize entry deadline looms - May 30, 2008 is the deadline for applying to be considered by the joint initiative by ConocoPhillips and Penn State, which is "designed to recognize new ideas and original, actionable solutions that can help improve the way the United States develops and uses energy."

May 21, 2008

  • Waste to Energy / Oil > Making Sour Gas Into Sweet Energy - Microturbines can be used to capture the energy from the 27% of gas consumption that is presently lost to flaring at refineries. The small engines boast a higher sulfur tolerance than do reciprocating engines and reduced total emissions from flaring operations at the field by an average of 75%. (Distributed Energy; May/June 2008)
  • Current events > Virtual Energy Forum - A first of its kind, online only event will connect thousands of corporate executives with sustainability experts in energy efficiency and conservation, as well as providers of alternative energy products and services. Access the free event from your computer June 10th and 11th - online - from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM, Eastern US.
  • Tools > The Ten Biggest Hurdles to Innovation - Today's innovators need to be highly intelligent, motivated and creative to come up with solutions to some of the biggest technological problems. But adding to these difficulties is a whole host of hurdles that can make it tough for even the best and most innovative technologies to survive. (Ziff Davis Enterprise; May 20, 2008)

May 20, 2008

  • Featured / Top 100:
    Ocean Wave > Interview with SDE Energy about Wave Power - Sterling Allan conducts a 1-hour, live interview with the inventor, Shmuel Ovadia, and three other executives from SDE Wave Power, a Tel Aviv, manufacturer and marketer of Sea Wave Power Plants, which are ready for commercial rollout at a cost of 2 cents per kWh -- half of conventional power. (PESWiki; May 19, 2008)
  • Waste to Energy / Biomass > Powering Villages from Rice Husks - Charles "Chip" Ransler and Manoj Sinha, two students from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, recently started Husk Power Systems, a business that supplies electricity to rural villages in India by gasifying the rice husks that are a waste product of rice milling. (Renewable Energy World; May 19, 2008)
  • Lighting / Solar PV > LED > GREENPIX Zero Energy Media Wall Lights up Beijing - Skyscraper wall has the world’s largest color LED display, and has a self sustaining energy life-cycle. Harvesting sunlight collected during the day via photovoltaic solar cells, the wall uses stored solar energy to light up the LED’s for a spectacular nighttime show. (Inhabitat; May 19, 2008)

May 19 2008

  • Nanotechnology / Solar > Harvesting the sun's energy with antennas - Nanoantennas absorb energy in the infrared part of the spectrum and can take in energy from both sunlight and the earth's heat, with higher efficiency than conventional solar cells. Individual nanoantennas can absorb close to 80 percent of the available energy. (Idaho National Lab; Jan. 2008)

May 18, 2008

  • Flight / Solar > Power Generating Blimp for Disasters - When disaster strikes, why not fly in your power, which can float overhead. These 20 m airships hold about 120 square meters of CIGS solar cells, which produce enough energy to power 25 shallow water pumps, providing clean water for up to 12,000 people. (EcoGeek; May 14, 2008)

May 17, 2008

  • Featured:
    Hydro > River > Energy Barge Hawks Hydrogen and Distilled Water - Slow Moving Water, Inc presents a floating barge with turbines around the perimeter to harness the energy of the water flowing by. Rather than try to enter the electricity utility business, they produce electricity by-products, such as hydrogen and distilled water. (PESWiki; May 16, 2008)
  • Recycling / Waste to Energy > Junk Computers Could Fuel Cars - Scientists in Romania and Turkey employ a special combination of catalysts, high temperatures and chemical filtration to destroy flame-retardant additives, so these electronic scrap materials can be safely recycled, resulting in oils that could be safely used as fuel and also recycling rare metals. (Live Science; May 14, 2008)
  • Liquid Metals / Solar > A Cool Trick for Solar Cells - IBM researchers have shown that it is possible to increase the concentration of light on photovoltaic cells by about ten times without causing them to melt by using an ultrathin layer of liquid metal, a compound of gallium and indium, between two surfaces. (MIT Technology Review; May 16, 2008)

May 16, 2008

  • Thin Film Solar > Nanostructures Will Raise Thin-Film Solar Cell Efficiency - Thanks to nanostructures that scatter and channel light, University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are working toward thin-film “single junction" solar cells with the potential for nearly 45 percent sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiencies. (NewsWise; May 15, 2008)
  • Hydrogen Production > Hydrogen Fuel from Formic Acid - Formic acid could be used as a safe, easy-to-transport source of hydrogen for fuel cells. Tekion, based in Burnaby, Canada, is working with Germany-based chemical giant BASF, the largest producer of formic acid, to commercialize a fuel cell that uses formic acid directly. (MIT Technology Review; May 15, 2008)

May 15, 2008

  • Featured:
    Solar Videos - Compilation of videos related to Solar technology, including collectors, heaters, photovoltaics, flight, etc. (Thanks RLP)
  • Recycling > The Promise and Pitfalls of E-Waste Takeback - The challenges of funding, developing and ingraining extended producer responsibility (EPR) into a corporate structure are daunting. And in the U.S. especially, states have addressed a failure to map an e-waste solution on the federal level with a patchwork of varying laws, making the process all the more difficult. (Greener Computing; May 14, 2008)
  • Biomass > PNNL & WSU Open Biomass Research Lab - At the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL), WSU and PNNL plan to work together to develop new solutions to commercialize new technology and provide students with a hands-on educational experience. The new US $24.8 million facility is located on the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland, WA. (Renewable Energy World; May 12, 2008)

May 14, 2008

  • Brown's Gas > Brown's Gas in Political Blog - There is no need for HHO to be used only as a mileage booster, or even only as a single-fuel for vehicle. It could be used to power home generators feeding banks of batteries and inverters (perhaps along with Wind and Solar), allowing the homeowner to "move off the grid" and gain energy independence. (OEN; April 18, 2008)
  • Biofuels > Sweet sorghum, clean miracle crop for feed and fuel - The hardy sweet sorghum plant could be the miracle crop that provides cheap animal feed and fuel without straining the world's food supply or harming the environment, said scientists working on a pilot farming project in India. (Physorg; May 13, 2008)

May 13, 2008

  • Featured:
    Ethanol > Make Ethanol in Your Own Backyard - E-Fuel Corporation's EFuel100 MicroFueler™ is the world's first portable ethanol micro-refinery system. It replaces the traditional ethanol reflux column system with a solid state distillation technology, making it possible for homeowners and small businesses to safely and cost-effectively create their own fuel, on-site. Available 4th Quarter, 2008. (PESWiki; May 12) (Thanks RLP)
  • How to Make Super-Strong, Super-Flexible Metals - Researchers at Caltech are pioneering new ways to make superstrong metals that are twice as tough as titanium, and twice as elastic. These "metallic glass" composites are so strong a 3mm rod can support a 2-ton truck and they bend instead of snapping like most other metals of their kind, which are called "glass metals." (Wired; May 12, 2008) (Thanks RLP)
    • Comment: There is a company, Liquid Metal, which already has these types of alloys in the market. They have been around for years. (Daniel Bowers)
  • Communities > Building the Zero-Emissions City - Recently, in the harsh desert climate of Abu Dhabi, construction started on a city that will house 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses but use extremely little energy, and what it does use will come from renewable sources. (MIT Technology Review; May 08, 2008)

May 12, 2008

  • Solar PV > Lumeta Makes Peel-and-Stick Solar Panel Installations a Breeze - DRI Solar rooftop installations just got a lot easier: Lumeta, a subsidiary of construction heavyweight DRI, has developed a solar panel sticker -- the Power-Ply 380. The company says its convenient peel-and-stick solar technology allows it to be installed almost twice as fast as regular rack-mounted pane. (YouTube) (Treehugger; May 11, 2008)
  • Biofuels > Grease Bandits Strike As Biofuel Demand Rises - Grease is a traded commodity like gold or pork bellies, and its price has tripled in the past two years – leading to increased theft. The reason: Grease can be used to make bio-diesel and has seen the same price spike as corn and other biofuel inputs. (Christian Science Monitor; May 6, 2008)
  • Communities > South Korean Solar System Community on Jeju Island a Brilliant Idea - On the roof of each of the 40 houses in Donggwang lies a large beds of solar panels. Even the small, local elementary school runs on free electric energy from the sun. The photovoltaic panels produce enough energy to power the entire area. Amidst cattle and fields, Donggwang is a state-of-the-art renewable energy village. (EcoWorld; May 9, 2008)

May 11, 2008

  • Featured: Biomass / Alternative Fuels / Non-Fossil Oil / Plastic >
    Bacteria Make Oil from Biomass - A Georgia company has announced that they have devised a simple, natural way to convert anything that grows out of the Earth into oil. The inventor's formula is simple. Basically, biomass (such as grass clippings or wood chips) plus the right bacteria equals hydrocarbons, which make not just fuel but plastics and other petroleum products. (PESWiki; May 10, 2008)
  • Batteries / EV > Plug-in Hybrids >
    'Plugless' Plug-In Hybrid Car - A British automotive design, development and certification consultancy, has come up with removable battery packs that can be swapped for full batteries that have been charged from the grid. The prototype achieve 53 mpg (4.4 L/100km), with a charge time of 30 minutes, and range of 15 miles (25 kilometers) in electric-only mode. (TreeHugger; Apr. 24, 2008)

May 10, 2008

  • Featured:
    UFOs / Plasma > Magnetohydrodynamics:Plasma-Powered Flying Saucers - With a span of less than 15 centimetres, Subrata Roy's aircraft qualifies as a micro air vehicle (MAV), but it has an unconventional design to say the least. It is a saucer shape covered with electrodes that ionise air to create a plasma. (PESWiki; May 10, 2008)

May 9, 2008

  • Featured:
    Oil > North American Continent Oil Fields Abound - While our coverage is usually on alternatives to oil, the purpose of this page is to illustrate that there is no non-greed-based reason why the price of oil should be reaching as high as it is in North America, when the continent is awash in petroleum.(PESWiki; May 9, 2008) (Thanks RLP)
  • Flying Cars > It's Not a Flying Car - It's a Drivable Airplane - A team of MIT aero/astro grads are building what could be the first practical airplane that's also certified for highway driving. Terrafugia hopes to have its first full-scale proof-of-concept vehicle ready to show off at July's AirVenture aviation festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (XConomy; May 8, 2008)

May 8, 2008

  • Featured:
    Electromagnetic > Wilt's Clean Energy, Inc - Patented motor allegedly puts out more energy than is required to run it, implying that it is somehow harnessing unseen energy from the environment. Recent measurements showed around 3/4 horsepower being produced via 1/2 HP in. (PESWiki; May 8, 2008) (Thanks RLP)
  • Concentrated Solar > Harnessing sunlight on the cheap- A team of students, led by mechanical engineering graduate student Spencer Ahrens, are assembling a prototype for a concentrating solar power system they think could revolutionize the field. It's a 12-foot-square mirrored dish capable of concentrating sunlight by a factor of 1,000, built from simple, inexpensive industrial materials selected for price, durability and ease of assembly rather than for optimum performance. (Physorg; May 7, 2008)
  • Wind > First Town In US To Become 100% Wind Powered - Rock Port Missouri, population 1,300, is the first 100% wind-powered city in the US. Loess Hill Wind Farm, with four 1.25-MW wind turbines, is estimated to generate 16 gigawatt hours of electricity annually. (KOMU; April 24, 2008)
  • Animal Powered - We have had the Human-Powered page for some time. Now we have established the Animal-Powered page on PESWiki. Farmers and others are rediscovering animal power, as fuel prices continue to increase. (PESWiki; May 8, 2008) (Thanks RLP)

May 7, 2008

  • Top 100:
    Wind / High Altitude > Magenn > Magenn Air Rotor System Finally Floats - Over-budget and two years behind schedule, Magenn has announced: "This is a world's first, there has never been a rotating airship test done before." The prototype will be moved to an outdoor location for further testing, followed by four demonstration projects. (TreeHugger; May 5, 2008)

May 6, 2008

  • GUT > Quantum Resonant Engine Cycles - Alan Cresswell presents A Unified Quantum Resonant Theory of Everything and a Naturally Selected Perpetual Motion Frequency Mechanism. Though error prone, it provides some interesting tidbits that challenge the present laws of physics.
  • Water > METROPOLIS NEXT GENERATION 2008 Winner Announced! - This year’s $10,000 prize was awarded to San Francisco-based architect and CCA professor Eric Olsen for a "Solar Water Disinfecting Tarpaulin" that promises to provide portable and potable water anywhere that it is needed. (Inhabitat; May 5, 2008) (Thanks RLP)

May 5 2008

  • Natural Gas > Natural-gas vehicles hot in Utah, where the fuel is cheap - Troy Anderson was at the gas pump and couldn't have been happier, filling up at a rate of $5 per tank. Anderson was paying 63.8 cents per gallon equivalent for compressed natural gas, making Utah a hot market for vehicles that run on the fuel. (Physorg; April 25, 2008)

May 4, 2008

  • EV > Hybrids > 100 MPG Prius Coming in July (Just 10K Extra) - Hymotion, a division of advanced battery maker A123Systems, is commercializing their plug-in Prius conversion module. The Hymotion L5 battery pack can be installed into any 2004-2008 Prius for just $10,000, giving it a fuel economy of more than 100 miles per gallon while the charge lasts (30 to 40 miles). (Ecogeek; Apr. 27, 2008)
  • Lighting > LEDs > BlueStar Lighting - Utah company is producing an incandescent-replacement bulb that will cost around $50.00. With energy savings, the ROI is around five years. (Deseret News; May 4, 2008)

May 3, 2008

May 2, 2008

May 1, 2008

  • Solar > Silicon > A Price Drop for Solar Panels - Solar electricity is about to get much cheaper, industry analysts predict, because a shortage of the silicon used in solar panels is almost over. Prices for solar panels could drop by as much as 50 percent from 2006 to 2010. (MIT Technology Review; May 1, 2008)
  • Oil > Rockefellers Call for Change at Exxon Mobil - Members of the Rockefeller family are calling on Exxon Mobil Corp to make corporate governance changes and adopt a renewable fuels strategy to help address the soaring cost of energy. Grandaughter calls on Exxon to reconnect with the forward-looking vision of her great grandfather (Reuters; Apr. 30, 2008) (Thanks Tedd St. Rain)


See also


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