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Wind Power

Environment

EWICON bladeless wind turbine generates electricity using charged water droplets

Wind energy may be one of the more sustainable sources of power available, but the spinning blades of conventional wind turbines require regular maintenance and have attracted criticism from bird lovers. That might explain why we've seen wind turbine prototypes that enclose the blades in a chamber or replace them entirely with a disc-like system. But researchers in the Netherlands set out to eliminate the need for a mechanical component entirely and created the EWICON, a bladeless wind turbine with no moving parts that produces electricity using charged water droplets.Read More

Environment

Japanese bank to fund first U.S. offshore wind farm

Not having a section devoted to cures for insomnia, Gizmag tends to pass over press releases about investment agreements. Tuesday's announcement that the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) is to find somewhere in the order of US$ 2 billion for the Cape Wind is extremely interesting, however, as it means the U.S. should finally build its first offshore wind farm, with construction slated to commence before the year's end.Read More

Environment

Analysts say renewable energy now cheaper option than new fossil fuels in Australia

In 2008, the Garnaut Climate Change Review ranked Australia as the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases of any OECD country and amongst the highest in the world. One of the reasons for the country's high carbon footprint is its reliance on coal for electricity generation – 54 percent of it, according to the Australian Coal Association. But a new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) points to a cleaner energy future with the claim that unsubsidized renewable energy is now a cheaper option for electricity generation than new coal- or gas-fired power stations. Read More

Architecture

America's "greenest street" provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development

A streetscape that includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete has earned Cermak road in Chicago the title of “greenest Street in America” according to the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT). Opened in October 2012, the first phase two mile stretch is part of the Blue Island/Cermak Sustainable Streetscape project which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of reducing overall energy usage by 42 percent. Read More

Marine

EnergySails harness wind and solar power to cut ship fuel consumption

In the 400 years or so leading up to the adoption of steam power in the 19th century, sailing ships ruled the waves. In an effort to cut increasing fuel costs and reduce emissions, sails are set to once again prove their worth. But unlike the sails proposed by B9 Shipping and the Wind Challenger Project, Japan-based Eco Marine Power (EMP) is developing sails with an even more modern twist. Rather than just harnessing the power of the wind, EMP’s EnergySail can be fitted with solar panels to also harness solar power.Read More

Environment

Kite power getting off the ground in Germany

Despite offering numerous advantages over its rotating brethren, most notably the ability to reach the high-speed winds found at higher altitudes, kite-based energy systems are yet to really get off the ground in a meaningful way. But things are looking up. Earlier this year, NASA revealed it is investigating ways to improve the aerodynamics and autonomous flight control of kites for power generation applications, and now Berlin-based wind energy developer NTS GmbH has teamed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) to make their own kite energy system concept a reality.Read More

Environment

DARWIND5 wind turbine improves on an old design

Ontario, Canada has carved out a niche for itself as a hub of green technology. One of the latest clean tech innovations to come out of that province is DARWIND5, a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT). Designed by Harvistor, it comes with a promise of more oomph than existing models for small-scale wind power generation. According to the company, recent tests showed that its technology can achieve 35 percent more kilowatt hours per year than current VAWTs for the same sweep area, besides operating at 25 percent lower heights than similarly priced market leaders.Read More

Environment

WWII veteran creates bird-friendly wind turbine

World War II veteran Raymond Green, an 89 year old resident of Jackson, California, has created a working prototype of a "bladeless" wind turbine which is bird and bat-friendly, and very quiet in operation. Though still in development at present, Green intends his design to be produced in various sizes, from smaller personal versions to much larger turbines which could be implemented in wind farms. Read More

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