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Wind Power

— 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
— Automotive

Racetrack success for Williams Hybrid Power brings further F1 investment

Williams F1 has increased its existing 40% shareholding in Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) to 78% on the back of some very favorable results on the racetrack in conjunction with Porsche and ever growing confidence that the company's magnetically loaded composite flywheel (MLC) technology will find wide application in hybrid passenger vehicles, hybrid buses, electric trains, diesel-electric ships and wind power generation. Read More
— Aircraft

Unfair advantage? Team BMW Oracle Racing takes 'wind mapping' technology to the America's Cup

Imagine you're a competitive sailboat racer, about to go into the richest and most storied of all sailing races with a squillion-dollar boat and a razor-sharp crew. Now imagine somebody hands you a device that can quite literally map out the wind activity up to a kilometre out in front of you, showing wind speed, direction and turbulence - and giving you the almost superatural ability to adjust your sails and take maximal advantage of a wind pattern before you even reach it. It's almost an unfair advantage, isn't it? Well, this is the situation that BMW Oracle Racing's Russell Coutts finds himself in as the team gears up to take on defending champions Alinghi in the 2010 America's Cup. The device is called a Racer's Edge laser wind sensor, and it's built around a technology base that's being used to optimise wind power generators. We caught up with Phil Rogers, CEO of Catch the Wind, Inc, to find out more. Read More
— Environment

Helix looking to use mobile phone towers for wind energy generation

Later this month, Helix Wind Corporation will deliver its first test wind turbines to Eltek Network Solutions Group for installation at two test sites in Nigeria. Sites in the US are also set to take delivery of test modules. The turbines will provide a clean energy solution for mobile phone towers and if tests prove successful, could see wind power being rolled out to hundreds of sites over the next few years. Read More
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