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Environment

Polaris has announced a low emission electric powered Neighborhood Vehicle, the Polaris Breeze, the first product of its new On-Road Vehicle Division. The Breeze is designed for multiple consumer uses such as golfing, comfortably transporting up to four passengers, or easily carrying light cargo loads. The vehicle is targeted towards master planned communities, and will be available in limited quantities in September 2009. Perhaps more importantly, now that electric vehicle manufacture has been added to the company skills base, what other electric capability might be added to other Polaris products? Read More
In the face of legislation being enacted around the world, the future of the trusty incandescent light bulb has been looking dim. Ireland has banned the sale of incandescent bulbs, and the United States is set to phase them out by 2012. And it’s no wonder - the apple of Thomas Edison’s eye is something of an energy hog, especially when compared with modern bulbs such as compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and LED-based lights. But now a new technology from Deposition Sciences Inc of Santa Rosa, California, is promising a brighter future for the venerable incandescent. Read More
A fridge that positively thrives in direct sunlight might seem a bit of a strange idea, but if you find yourself in a baking hot country where keeping your medical supplies cool and fresh could mean the difference between life and death, or you just want to sell some chilled refreshments to passers-by, then you need a portable, stand-alone chill solution. Industrial Insulation Systems (IIS) has developed a solar powered fridge/freezer which can be tailored to meet the needs of these off-the-grid scenarios. Read More
Desalination is a popular source of potable water in Middle Eastern countries, where large energy reserves and the relative scarcity of water suitable for drinking led to desalination in the region accounting for close to 75% of total world capacity in 2007. If that figure hasn’t already dropped it almost certainly will as access to clean water becomes an issue for many places around the globe. And the shortage isn’t just limited to developing countries, with places like California and parts of Australia facing their worst droughts in recorded history. A new mini-mobile-modular (M3) “smart” water desalination and filtration system could help determine the feasibility of desalination in areas that may be considering it for the first time. Read More
The quest for alternative fuels has become one of science’s major pre-occupations and finding ways to cheaply produce energy from the sun is a key battlefront. Researchers at Berkeley, California, have found a way to make cheaper, better solar cells using tiny nanopillar semiconductors measuring just billionths of a meter wide. The underlying theory is that a 3-D solar cell has more surface – and, therefore, will be a much more efficient light-collector – than the usual 2-D solar cell. Read More
The team that won the World Solar Challenge for the last four years running has unveiled its latest solar racer. Like its predecessor, the Nuna5 from Delft University's Nuon Solar Team is covered with six square meters of solar panels but is 30kg lighter at a super low 160kg excluding driver. Read More
One of the greatest wastes of energy in the household is standby power and here to combat this, is the TrickleSaver. With the ability to sense when a TV or PC is off and shut down any connected peripherals like games consoles or printers, TrickleSaver is looking to make “vampire power” a thing of the past. Read More
Dubai conjures up BIG images; not just the tallest structures, although it currently holds that crown, but also big as in flamboyant, lavish and generally larger than life. Amidst the opulence, extravagance and seemingly limitless budgets – or perhaps because of the latter – Dubai is increasingly embracing its green side. The latest building designed for the city to cross our desk has a foot squarely in both camps - the Almeisan Tower combines a delicate, soaring structure with a 600kW solar tower and passive cooling systems claimed to be almost "triple zero", which means it has zero emissions, zero energy requirements and zero waste. Read More
At a time of severe water shortages and ever-hotter summers, conservation of water for gardens is increasingly important. But you can only collect rainwater when it’s raining. What about the rest of the time? The AIR-igator ingeniously solves this problem by collecting condensate from air conditioners, storing it and then automatically drip-watering. So, the hotter it gets, the more water your garden gets. Read More
With the return of Summer comes the now familiar imposition of water restrictions and the unwelcome return of headaches for gardeners and nursery managers alike. Fortunately, pain relief for lovers of all things horticultural is available in the form of clever green tech known as smart irrigation, which plugs in to online weather information to optimize garden watering and minimize waste. Timing being everything in business (as well as comedy), smart sprinkler manufacturer Cyber-Rain has recently upgraded its range to add more independent zone control, better wireless communication, a simple and clear interface and an enhanced software solution. Read More
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