Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Wind Power

Magenn's MARS floating wind generator

Wind power is notoriously flighty, particularly at ground level. Most turbine-on-a-post wind powered generators operate at around 20-40% of their rated generation capacity, simply because wind is intermittent and changes direction. But a generator situated 500-1000 feet above ground level would enjoy much more consistent strong wind - which is why the Magenn MARS system makes so much sense. It's a helium-filled rotating airship that spins in the wind on the end of a variable-length tether that also acts as a power transmitter, and it's expected to operate at more like 50% of its rated capacity. Each MARS system will be cheap and portable, which will make them extremely useful in rural, camping and emergency situations. A prototype has successfully been flown in North Carolina. A great idea that makes economic sense.  Read More

Febot wind charging concept

We're always on the lookout for new, ‘greener’ ways of saving or renewing energy. South Korean designers Ji-yun Kim, Soon-young Yang and Hwan-ju Jeon have developed the Febot, a small, easily-assembled portable battery charger concept that harnesses the power of the wind rather than using electricity. Place a rechargeable battery inside the Febot and stick it on the outside of a window or wall, or any other outdoor surface, using the suction cap at the base of the unit.  Read More

Green Ocean Energy's Wave Treader

Bringing together the benefits of two eco-friendly forms of power generation, Scottish company Green Ocean Energy has developed a wave power machine that attaches to an offshore wind turbine. The system, known as the Wave Treader, comprises two 20 m (66ft) long floats molded from GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) at ocean level attached to a wind turbine tower by 50 m (165 ft) long pivoting beams. As the floats move up and down in response to constant wave action, the arms move hydraulic cylinders attached to the beams by levers, which in turn spins a hydraulic motor connected directly to an electric generator.  Read More

The Windspire

While wind turbines are a clean, green way to generate power, they can be a bit of an eyesore and require quite a bit of room meaning, more often than not, they need to be located in sparsely populated areas far from where the generated power is actually needed. We’ve looked at AeroVironment’s innovative urban solution as well as StatoilHydro’s HyWind. Now a look at another innovative product - Windspire. The Windspire, from Reno, Nevada based Mariah Power, combats the large footprint problem by employing a propeller-free design that makes it ideal for rural, suburban, and even some urban residential environments.  Read More

The project will utilize Vergnet turbines
 Photo: www.vergnet.fr

With its nation in need of additional energy resources, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEEPC) has announced it will build Africa's largest wind farm - a 120MW facility to be based in Ashegoba in the country’s north.  Read More

La Defense is undergoing an architectural transformation

Extensive use of solar and wind power plus a healthy dose of CO2 munching foliage will mark the slim, 318 meter tall Generali Tower when it becomes a fixture of the Parisian skyline from 2012. The design from Valode & Pistre was selected in an international competition and will form a key plank in the nine year plan to revamp the La Défense business district first announced by the Public Body for the development of La Défense (EPAD) in 2005.  Read More

Max Robson with the low-cost turbine

A student from the University of Portsmouth in the UK has created a wind turbine made totally from recycled matter. Aimed at servicing the renewable energy needs of some of the word’s poorest countries, the low cost wind turbine is designed to be built by unskilled workers in less than a day using locally sourced scrap materials.  Read More

Burj Al-Taqa: self-sufficient skyscraper design

This concept eco-skyscraper from German-based architects Gerber Architekten combines traditional building ventilation techniques with the ability to generate 100% of its energy needs using wind and solar power. And the likely location for the "Burj Al-Taqa" or "Energy Tower” - you guessed it - Dubai.  Read More

Plans unveiled for 2.3MW offshore floating wind turbine
 Photo: StatoilHydro

The world desperately needs viable sources of renewable energy and wind power is among the most promising solutions, but one downside is that turbines can be considered a blight on otherwise picturesque landscapes. The solution seems obvious enough - move the towers far out to sea where not only are they out of sight, but where the wind is at its strongest and most consistent. We first encountered this idea back in 2006 when we examined the efforts of MIT researchers to integrate a turbine with a floating platform similar to those used by offshore oil rigs. Now news that Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro plans to invest around US$80 million to build a full scale offshore floating wind turbine.  Read More

Wind farm project

May 15, 2008 Texas based engineering and construction giant Fluor Corporation has been engaged to to design and construct the 500 megawatt (MW) Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm.  Read More

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