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bioWAVE is a wave power system, inspired by the swaying motions of kelp plants

Anyone who has ever been scuba diving in a bull kelp forest will tell you - the stuff does not stand still. The marine aquatic plant consists of a long skinny-but-tough stem (or stipe) that is anchored to the sea floor and topped with a hollow float, from which a number of "leaves" (or blades) extend to the surface. The result is a seaweed that extends vertically up through the water column, continuously swaying back and forth with the surging waves. The researchers at Australia's BioPower Systems evidently looked at that kelp, and thought, "what if we could use that swaying action to generate power?" The result was their envisioned bioWAVE system, which could soon become a reality, thanks to a just-announced AUD$5 million (US$5.1 million) grant from the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources.  Read More

Renewable Energy Solutions Australia recently unveiled the first working installation of w...

Brisbane's Renewable Energy Solutions Australia (RESA) recently unveiled the first working installation of what is claimed to be the world's quietest wind turbine. The Eco Whisper Turbine is capable of producing 20kW of electricity despite being about half the height and having half the blade diameter of more familiar three-bladed solutions, and is able to automatically adjust the position of the blades to maximize wind capture.  Read More

The Tokai University Team has taken out the 2011 World Solar Challenge (Photo: Gizmag.com)

Team Tokai has just reached the finish line in Adelaide, Australia, to become the winner of the 2011 World Solar Challenge. The victory makes it back-to-back wins for the Japanese team which took out the previous event in 2009.  Read More

Nuon Solar during the 2011 World Solar Challenge (Photo: Hans Peter van Velthoven via Nuon...

Four days into the 2011 World Solar Challenge and things have proven even more challenging than usual for the participants. Teams have had to contend with huge road-hogging trucks, cars catching alight and bushfires that saw the race route closed by police, leaving the top three teams cooling their heels at an unscheduled stop at the end of day two while both the vehicles and the participants recharged their batteries.  Read More

The 2011 World Solar Challenge kicked-off today in Darwin, Australia

The 11th World Solar Challenge got underway on Sunday with participants starting out from Darwin, Northern Territory, on a 3,000-kilometer (1,864 mile) solar-powered car race across the red center of Australia. The start follows three days of scrutineering and a day of qualifying that saw Solar Team Twente from the Netherlands take pole position in a field of 37 teams from 20 countries. But the margin was tight, with the team’s 21Connect solar car coming in just 0.00.3 seconds ahead of fellow compatriots and four time winners, the Nuon Solar Team.  Read More

Telstra has launched a USB 4G mobile broadband modem in Australia

Australians are getting their first taste of LTE (long-term evolution) mobile network speed. Telecommunications provider Telstra launched its USB 4G mobile broadband modem today with the promise of coverage in capital city CBDs and 30 regional and metropolitan centers with download speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps to 10Mbps.  Read More

Diamond Planets, good headlines, public opinion and the carbon lobby

Matthew Bailes is Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) of the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and was one of the scientists responsible for the discovery of the diamond planet which received widespread news coverage over the last few weeks. In a well-penned article, Bailes discusses the reaction to the discovery and raises some very interesting questions about the way the scientific method is used and abused by the media.  Read More

Young Aussie designers talk us through the designs that got them to the Australian finals ...

The James Dyson Awards for young inventors are always a treasure trove of fresh ideas and up-and-coming innovators - so we caught up with 8 of the Australian finalists and got them each to deliver us a 2-minute 'elevator pitch' explaining their designs and the inspiration behind them. The videos after the jump highlight some of our favourite entries for this year's prize, including the winners. See if you can guess which of these young contestants took the prizes!  Read More

Kogan Agora - world’s first Chromium OS laptop ships June 7

Australian manufacturer Kogan says it will ship the world's first notebook running on the open source Chromium OS from June 7. The release date for the 11.6'' Agora Chromium Laptop means that Kogan has pipped Samsung and Acer, whose Google-sanctioned Chromebooks are due out in a week.  Read More

The Wind Explorer under kite power

A television host and an engineer from Germany have completed an almost 5,000 km (3,107 mile) journey across Australia in their Wind Explorer, a lightweight electric vehicle powered by the wind – not only through electricity-generating wind turbines but also using kites. The pioneering 18-day trip by Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer set three world records – the first time a continent has been crossed be a wind-powered vehicle, the longest overall distance covered by an exclusively wind-powered land vehicle, and the longest distance covered by such a vehicle in 36 hours.  Read More

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