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Wind Power

Environment

Less is more for cost-efficient wind farms

While there are increasing numbers of wind farms being built around the world, many of these projects are underperforming and not producing as much power as expected. New research suggests the reason could be that the wind turbines are being placed too close together. The researchers say that spreading the turbines out will result in a more cost-efficient for wind farms and they’ve come up with a formula through which the optimal spacing for a large array of turbines can be obtained.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
Environment

Oregon's 845 megawatt wind farm receives U.S. government support

A large scale wind farm to be built in central Oregon has received "a conditional commitment to provide a partial guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan" from the U.S. Department of Energy. Made up of 338 GE wind turbines, the Caithness Shepherds Flat 845 megawatt project will create 400 construction jobs (plus 35 permanent jobs once up and running) and promises a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that produced by more than 200,000 cars.Read More

Environment

Wind farms can cause change in local temperatures

The benefits of wind farms in terms of global climate change are well recognized but according to researchers at the University of Illinois they can also affect local climates as well. The researchers observed that the area immediately surrounding a wind farm is slightly warmer at night and slightly cooler during the day compared to the rest of the region. The discovery could allow for strategies to mitigate those effects in areas where they are undesirable, or take advantage of them in others. Read More

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

Marine

Solar Sailing in Shanghai

A couple of years ago, we told you about an eco-friendly resort in the U.S. that was planning on using solar-diesel hybrid houseboats designed by Solarsailor. The boats would feature large, moving photovoltaic “wings” that would not only track the sun to gather energy, but also serve as rigid sails – so the boats could move via solar, diesel or wind power. When docked, the boats’ panels would still gather solar energy, which they would feed into the resort’s power grid. The technology has now been implemented on a passenger ferry, the Suntech-Guosheng, that will take up to 180 sightseers on cruises of the Huangpu River as part of the Shanghai World Expo. Read More

Automotive

UPDATED: SAIC YeZ Concept Car inhales C02, emits oxygen

General Motor's Joint-Venture partner in China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) rolled out a concept alongside GM's EN-V at Expo 2010 which in many ways is more ground-breaking than the EN-V. The idea behind the YeZ Concept is that it will photosynthesize, absorbing carbon dioxide from surrounding air and emitting oxygen back into the atmosphere. Among the many futuristic aspects of the YeZ (Chinese for “leaf” as Nissan already uses the name for a clever green concept that is heading for production) is a roof that incorporates solar panels and wheels that incorporate small wind turbines to harvest energy from the environment. And if you think this is not within reach by 2030, think again – artificial photosynthesis has proven elusive, but there's every indication it will be a commercial reality within two decades.Read More

Good Thinking

Schooling fish inspire new approach to wind farming

Schooling fish, it turns out, have a lot to teach us about setting up wind farms. That’s the conclusion reached by John Dabiri, a fluid dynamics expert from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). One of the biggest current problems with wind farms is the large land area that they require - if you place the turbines too close to one another, they will be adversely effected by each other’s turbulence. By applying principles learned from observing fish, however, Dabiri thinks he might have found a solution.Read More

Environment

Storing surplus green energy as natural gas

The use of environmentally friendly wind and solar energy is on the rise throughout the world, but the problem with such energy sources is their unreliability. Depending on the weather or time of day (or more specifically, night) the amount of electricity generated may be deficient or surplus to current requirements. Storing surplus energy in batteries for later use is one solution, but now researchers are developing a way to store surplus renewable electricity as natural gas. Read More

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