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Alternative Energy

Environment

Terra-Gen Power secures $1.2 billion for largest wind farm in U.S.

New York-based alternative energy supplier Terra-Gen Power has secured $1.2 billion in financing for the construction of what it says will be the largest wind farm in the U.S. The funds will deliver four projects at the company's Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County, California, with a capacity of 570 megawatts. A total of 190 3.0 MW Vestas-American Wind Technology turbines will be used in the new initiative. These will be added to the already underway 150 MW Alta Project I which uses GE turbines. Eventually it's envisioned that the Alta Wind Energy Center will deliver 3,000 MW of wind power.Read More

Science

'Never-before-seen material' can store vast amounts of energy

Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth or on a giant planet, researchers from Washington State University (WSU) have created a compact, never-before-seen material capable of storing vast amounts of energy. Described by one of the researchers as “the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy,” the material holds potential for creating a new class of energetic materials or fuels, an energy storage device, super-oxidizing materials for destroying chemical and biological agents, and high temperature superconductors. Read More

Science

Improving the power production of fuel cells using thin-film materials

Rechargeable batteries and fuel cells are seen as the two contenders to serve as a power source for the next generation of environmentally friendly vehicles. A significant barrier to achieving greater efficiency in the latter is the slow rate of oxygen production from the cathode, which limits the power output of the device. Now an unexpected find by MIT researchers regarding the behavior of incredibly thin sheets of material could lead to major improvements .Read More
Science

New process for storing and generating hydrogen to run fuel cell cars

Fuel cell cars have come one step closer to practicality with researchers from Indiana’s Purdue University announcing a new process for the generation and storage of hydrogen. The process is called hydrothermolysis, and is a combination of hydrolysis and thermolysis – the two prevalent methods of hydrogen generation that some scientists consider impractical for use in automobiles. The new process utilizes powdered ammonia borane, a chemical that has one of the highest hydrogen yields of any solid substance. Read More
Environment

Solar light bulb to brighten the lives of those in developing nations

As public consultation starts on ways to reduce and replace fuel-burning lighting around the globe, Nokero has announced a solar-powered LED solution aimed squarely at disaster areas and the developing world. The rugged, rainproof N100 is about the same size as a standard lightbulb but requires no electricity and offers users around two hours of bright light in exchange for a day's worth of sun.Read More

Mobile Technology

At last! An affordable, portable, pocket-sized Personal Fuel Cell

Today is a day that you will probably tell your grandchildren about – the day they released the first affordable, pocket-sized fuel cell for personal usage. As with flying cars, personal jet packs and a usable voice recognition computer interface, the promise of a safe, affordable, personal power plant was entering the realm of perpetual vaporware. Now it's finally here! Whatsmore, at US$100, the Horizon MiniPak might well prove to be the “disruptive” technology the press release claims it to be. By producing electricity from hydrogen at the point of use and offering effectively unlimited run-time for personal electronics, it will almost certainly be the public's first experience of the coming Hydrogen Economy. Read More

Environment

Hotel guests pedal for their supper

If you find yourself in an expensive hotel without the funds to cover that three-course seafood buffet you've just demolished, you may not be led to the back of the kitchen to scrub pots and pans after all... you could be off to the gym instead. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed two electricity-producing bicycles which are connected to the hotel's main electricity supply. Guests who pedal hard enough not only get a dose of environmental feel-goodness, but can also score a complimentary meal. Read More

Environment

Lower cost solar panels using plastic electronics

It seems that half the world’s R&D is involved in solar energy, which isn’t a bad thing considering the mess our reliance on traditional energy generation has got us into. Interestingly, engineers at Princeton University have developed a new technique for producing electricity-conducting plastics that could dramatically lower the cost of manufacturing solar panels, making alternative power within reach of more consumers and industry.Read More

Architecture

Technosphere: eco-friendly Earth in miniature proposed for Dubai

It's been a while since we've taken a look at the weird and wonderful canvas that is Dubai's skyline of the future, and this proposal from James Law Cybertecture would slot neatly in among radical designs like the Almeisan Tower and the spiraling ZPO. Shaped like a giant disco ball, the Technosphere is conceived as a self-sustaining model of the Earth in miniature incorporating a range of active and passive systems to meet these goals.Read More

Environment

Japanese solar car wins 2009 Global Green Challenge

Japan's Tokai Challenger solar vehicle has taken victory against a strong international field in the 2009 Global Green Challenge. After covering almost 1860 miles (3000km) in four days across Australia's baking red center, the entry from Japan's Tokai University crossed the finish line at 3.39pm local time. The team's run was nearly flawless, reporting only a single flat tire with just over 100 miles of the course to race and the win breaks a string of four consecutive victories by the Dutch Nuon team, which is currently battling it out for second place against University of Michigan Solar Car Team. Read More

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