Photokina 2014 highlights

Environment

The solar windowpane

July 28, 2008 While rooftop solar panels have understandably been the main focus for household solar energy breakthroughs, Tokyo-based Nihon Telecommunication System Inc. has given householders another option to do their bit to help the planet by developing windowpanes with built-in photovoltaic cells.  Read More

Nature's SUV in its natural habitat. Between 57.1 and 117.9 million metric tonnes of carbo...

A study published in the Institute of Physics’ Environmental Research Letters section today claims that by converting livestock manure to biogas, the United States could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and generate up to 108.8 billion kW h – 2.9% of the country’s total electricity requirement.  Read More

geos sustainable housing rendering

Colorado will be home to the largest net-zero energy, master-planned community in the US after plans were announced for 250 residences to be built. Construction of the Geos Neighborhood will begin this fall and, once complete, will generate enough renewable energy to offset 100% of the annual energy needs of the entire community.  Read More

The Anaconda device could be used in groups of 20 or more

A giant rubber tube known as the “Anaconda” may present an viable solution to the challenge of generating electricity from the power of ocean waves. Under development in the UK, the simple design means it would be cheap to manufacture and maintain, resulting in clean electricity at a lower cost than other types of wave based energy production.  Read More

Solar Collector

Gorbet Design has created a solar installation that cleverly combines modern art with renewable energy technology. The Solar Collector's 12 cylindrical shafts rise up from a grassy hilltop at the Waterloo Regional Operations Centre in Cambridge, Canada.  Read More

The TTxGP - the first clean emissions Grand Prix

June 25, 2008 The world’s oldest racing venue, the Isle of Man, is set to reinvent itself by holding the world’s first clean emissions Grand Prix. This new and very exciting chapter in auto racing history is set to begin next June (2009) when the, the TTxGP, will be held over just one 37.7 mile (60.7 km) lap of the famous Isle of Man TT circuit. The traditional world of motorsport has been slow to grasp the urgency with which the world needs to clean up its petroleum-burning act, so a new group is planning the world’s first Clean Emissions Grand Prix race. Regulations are due in about a fortnight from now, with the intention of showcasing a diverse range of clean emission two and three wheeled vehicles capable of reaching Grand Prix race speeds. The event will be staged during the traditional TT motorcycle races and there are plans to offer the event internationally as part of a series. The world’s oldest racing venue, the Isle of Man, is set to reinvent itself by holding the world’s first clean emissions Grand Prix. This new and very exciting chapter in auto racing history is set to begin next June (2009) when the, the TTxGP, will be held over just one 37.7 mile (60.7 km) lap of the famous Isle of Man TT circuit. The traditional world of motorsport has been slow to grasp the urgency with which the world needs to clean up its petroleum-burning act, so a new group is planning the world’s first Clean Emissions Grand Prix race. Regulations are due in about a fortnight from now, with the intention of showcasing a diverse range of clean emission two and three wheeled vehicles capable of reaching Grand Prix race speeds. The event will be staged during the traditional TT motorcycle races and there are plans to offer the event internationally as part of a series.  Read More

Pedestrian power: the Spinnaker Tower

Peak oil is proving a great motivator for the exploration of radical alternative energy ideas and ongoing developments show that we haven’t even scratched the surface. The latest shining example comes from the UK, where plans to harness the power of pedestrians to generate electricity are underway.  Read More

PEIR system screenshot

A key starting point to helping the environment is determining what impact we personally have on the planet. To assist in this challenge researchers at UCLA have developed a way to generate online Personal Environmental Impact Reports (PEIR) using location data from cell phones.  Read More

New research stirs corn-ethanol debate
 Photo: Noel McKeegan

A team of researchers from the University of Washington researched the impact on soil fertility and effects on food supply when fuels based on crops such as corn and soybeans are mixed with fossil fuels. They discovered that the large amounts of energy required to grow corn and then convert it to produce ethanol had a net energy gain that was modest and that corn-based ethanol was the worst offender amongst the alternative energy fuels.  Read More

Designer fuel offers more mpg, less emissions, less cost

Now here’s an interesting solution to the problem of reducing emissions using the same fleet of cars we have, but by using different fuel. Airplanes need high octane fuel and the octane rating has until now been achieved by adding tetraethyl lead, but that will be outlawed from 2010. Ethanol achieves the same octane rating boost but is unsuitable for use in aircraft. To solve the riddle, the newly announced SwiftFuel© uses ethanol to produce a designer fuel with a 104 octane rating that has no ethanol in it. It runs fine in any existing plane (or car), and is a low emission, alternative made entirely from biomass that has 15-20% more energy per litre than petrol, so your plane (or car) will get better mpg too. And it costs half as much to make as current petroleum manufacturing cost. What’s the catch?  Read More

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