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Clean Energy

Environment

Scientists develop catalyst that cleans diesel emissions without platinum

Diesel engines are a classic example of good news and bad news. The good news is that diesel engines are much more fuel efficient than petrol engines. The bad news is that they belch out some pretty nasty emissions like nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. The good news is that catalytic converters can scrub those out. The bad news is that last Friday the platinum needed by the converters is selling for US$1,473.10 an ounce. Now the good news is that a team at Nanostellar in Redwood, California, has developed a mineral catalyst that outperforms platinum at a fraction of the cost.Read More

Environment

Google builds on green credentials with new data center in Finland

Google says its data centers use half the energy of typical data centers, and its efficiency report for the first quarter of 2012 points to an even greener future. The company's impressive statistics are achieved through simple energy saving methods including efficient temperature management, reductions in residual energy loss and actually constructing its own sites. As the use of cloud computing services become more and more prevalent the data center industry is set to boom and Google is pushing to give keep this expansion green with facilities like its new data center in Hamina, Finland, which achieves chiller-less cooling through the use of sea-water. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Green Heart outdoor gym turns people power into electricity

Many of today's deskbound workers regularly head to the gym to try and keep the fat from clinging to their waistlines. For those who are also fond of the great outdoors, a UK company has developed and installed over 250 open air exercise areas across the country. The latest addition to a product catalog featuring robust, weather-proof versions of exercise machines you might find in any modern indoor gym is the world's first energy-harvesting outdoor gym called the TGO Green Heart. As users burn off the calories on the free-to-use cross trainer, hand bike, fitness bike and recumbent bike, the company's proprietary technology harvests all that people power and converts it into useable electricity.Read More

Environment

Research unveils extensive U.S. geothermal resources

As a green energy source, geothermal heat is tough to beat, but until recently, it was believed to be economically feasible only in areas with shallow tectonic (volcanic) activity. Now, with a generous grant from Google.org, the search engine giant's philanthropic arm, two scientists from Southern Methodist University (SMU) have pooled together the results from more than 35,000 data sites to paint a very different, almost rosy, energy picture for the United States and, indeed, the world. Read More

Science

Nanotech to boost solid state hydrogen storage

Hydrogen has great potential as a clean fuel source for powering our cars and airplanes, but it also poses some big hurdles – in particular, how to store it. Making practical use of hydrogen in gas or liquid form raises difficulties in terms of volume and pressurization – a hydrogen gas tank for a car would need to be around four times larger than current petroleum tanks. Another possible solution is the use of solid state hydrogen and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), along with the University of Glasgow, hope to boost this approach by developing a new storage system using materials modified at the nanoscale that receive and release the hydrogen at a faster rate.Read More

Environment

New study says world can be completely powered by clean energy in 20-40 years

Here at Gizmag we cover a seemingly endless stream of renewable energy technologies designed to wean us off our reliance on fossil fuels and improve the health of the planet. As important as such developments are, for these technologies to have an impact they must of course be implemented – and on a large scale. What has been sorely lacking is a plan to accomplish such a Herculean feat. Now researchers from the University of California-Davis and Stanford University have published a study that details one scenario to completely convert the world to clean, renewable energy sources – and they say it could be done in 20 to 40 years using technology available today at costs comparable to fossil fuel-based energy.Read More

Environment

Windstalk concept is a wind farm without the turbines

Wind turbines are an increasingly popular way to generate clean energy with large-scale wind farms springing up all over the world. However, many residents near proposed wind farm sites have raised concerns over the aesthetics and the low frequency vibrations they claim are generated by wind turbines. An interesting Windstalk concept devised by New York design firm Atelier DNA could overcome both these problems while still allowing a comparable amount of electricity to be generated by the wind. Read More
Good Thinking

Going where the four winds blow with the mobile wind turbine concept

Despite numerous refinements and improvements to the technology used to harness the power of the wind, windmills of old share an obvious characteristic with their gigantic modern counterparts. They're static. A network of designers coming together under the banner of Pope Designs has come up with a mobile wind turbine concept that could just change all that. Able to generate and store enough power to meet its own needs, the turbine could also be erected anywhere the wind blows to provide a source of clean energy to those who need it.Read More

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