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Environment


— Environment

GE sheds light on 40W replacement LED bulb

With many countries planning or having already implemented the phase out of incandescent bulbs, lighting company GE has unveiled a 40W equivalent Energy Smart LED bulb that consumes 9W, hence providing a 77 percent energy saving over its old-fashioned technological incandescent cousin. GE says the Energy Smart LED will produce nearly the same light output as a 40W bulb but will last 25 times longer. It is expected to be available to consumers later this year or early 2011. Read More
— Environment

IBM's solar-powered desalination plant to hydrate the Saudi desert

In spite of the technological age we live in it is reported that one-in-five people on this planet still don’t have access to clean drinking water. To help correct this imbalance, a new, energy-efficient desalination plant with an expected production capacity of 30,000 cubic meters per day will be built in the city of Al Khafji, Saudi Arabia, to serve its 100,000 people. Known more for its computers, IBM has joined forces with KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology) to build the plant that will be powered by ultra-high concentrator photovoltaic (UHCPV) technology - a system with a concentration greater than 1,500 suns. Read More
— Environment

Breakthrough in low-cost efficient solar cells

The Earth receives more solar energy in one hour than the human race currently consumes in a year. At least, that’s what the scientists at Canada’s Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) tell us. That’s a lot of energy, and it’s going mostly untapped. Why? Because, we are told, solar collection cells are too inefficient and expensive to be more widely used. A researcher at UQAM, however, has come up with new technology that addresses these problems - for the first time in 20 years, according to Professor Benoît Marsan, there is an effective, low-cost solar cell. Read More
— Environment

Versatile solar Pebble looks to replace dependence on kerosene

Kerosene can be nasty stuff. Kerosene lanterns in particular can lead to fires, explosions, asphyxiation, and toxic fumes. In some of the world’s poorest regions, unfortunately, kerosene lanterns are the standard form of nighttime lighting. The folks over at England’s Plus Minus Solar tell us that every 20 seconds, someone is killed by such a device. That’s why Plus Minus has developed a solar-powered light called the Solar Pebble, that is targeted for humanitarian use in sub-Saharan Africa... or for patio use in suburban London. Read More
— Environment

New reverse-osmosis membrane to improve desalination

Increasing numbers of countries turning to desalination plants to bolster dwindling water supplies with most new facilities making use of reverse osmosis technology. Unfortunately these systems are susceptible to clogging and membrane damage, which places higher energy demands on the pumping system and necessitates costly cleanup and membrane replacement. Now researchers have unveiled a new class of reverse-osmosis membrane that resists the clogging that typically occurs when seawater, brackish water and waste-water are purified. Read More
— Environment

One of the world's greenest skyscrapers approaches completion

The 71-story Pearl River Tower, described as one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world, has reached its topping out milestone on the way to its planned completion later this year. (For those not in the architectural know, topping out or topping off is a ceremony held when the last beam is placed at the top of a building.) With a height of 309.6 meters the 2.3-million square-foot Pearl River Tower incorporates the latest green technology and engineering advancements, the most immediately obvious of which will be a pair of openings in the tower’s facade which feed wind turbines to generate energy for the building. Read More
— Environment

Improving the fuel economy of heavy vehicles

While there are fuel consumption standards for passenger cars, there is no such regulation of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. With such vehicles accounting for about 26 percent of the transportation fuel used in the U.S. regulators are looking to establish fuel economy standards for these vehicles in the next few years. Now a new U.S. report has been released recommending the best ways to measure and regulate fuel economy for these vehicles, and assess technologies that could improve it. Amongst its findings, the report says that some vehicles could cut their fuel use by about 50 percent through the use of a combination of technologies. Read More
— Environment

Renewable biofuel oozes from reprogrammed microbes

It seems like every day, a new way of producing biofuel is being discovered. Within the past few years, we’ve reported on technology that harvests biofuel from garbage, booze, crop waste, carbon dioxide and wood-munching marine isopods. Now, Arizona State University has announced a new development in the harvesting of biofuel from cyanobacteria microbes - ASU researchers Xinyao Liu and Roy Curtiss have genetically engineered bacteria that literally ooze the stuff out of their skins. Read More
— Environment

BunBun eco light - a flashlight with a twist

Japanese manufacturer Landport has created an ingenious variation on the wind-up flashlight with the BunBun - a compact torch that can be charged simply by swinging it about in front of you. Once you extend the handle and bend it at the hinge, you can charge the built-in rechargeable battery by cranking the BunBun for 30 seconds. Just this short amount of charging will give you about 5 minutes of juice. Read More
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