Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Wind

John Dabiri has hypothesized and tested counter-rotating arrays of vertical axis wind turb...

Since we first looked at John Dabiri's hypothesis that vertical axis wind turbines should be arrayed like a school of fish to reduce the land area required for wind farm installations, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has continued to work on the idea. Following the latest round of coverage, Gizmag takes a deeper look at his concept, and wonders whether the idea of packing turbines into as tight a space as possible might overlook some wind energy fundamentals.  Read More

The current wing is an inflateable wing specially built by a kitesurfing manufacturer for ...

The University of Delft has a program devoted to kite-based generation systems, with 20 years of research and development under their belt since Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut established it. Now, members of the team are exploring practical niches where the compromises of kite-based power might pay off. One has just completed a trip through Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal discussing opportunities for rural African kite generation with governmental agencies, universities and companies in the renewables space.  Read More

Tel Aviv University's new building, featuring its EcoWall (Image: Axelrod-Grobman Architec...

A new building at Tel Aviv University features a standalone EcoWall that aims to provide vertical garden space and research facilities for its faculty. The university's Porter School of Environmental Studies (PSES) hopes that its new green building design will not only join the small number of LEED certified buildings in the country, but will also highlight sustainable methodologies for future buildings in Israel.  Read More

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, UK (Photo: Harald Pettersen/Statoil)

Squirreled away beneath a recent Telegraph report on the subtleties of badger-culling in the UK was this intriguing morsel of wind energy news, which would seem to challenge the idea that intermittent energy sources such as wind play havoc with grid management. For the 23,700 gigawatt-hours of electrical energy generated by wind in the UK between April 2011 and September 2012, only 22 GWh of electrical energy from fossil fuels "was needed to fill the gaps when the wind didn't blow," it reports. Gizmag contacted the UK National Grid to find out the details.  Read More

Are 'innovative' wind technologies ever a match for three-blade turbines?

Virtually every week there are articles about new and innovative methods for harvesting wind energy. And every week more megawatts of capacity from three-blade horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) becomes operational, despite all of the contenders. Why aren't these innovative new products knocking the iconic HAWT off its perch? Is it possible to tell which are likely to be viable? These eight points are a useful way to assess which technology has potential, and which are likely just hot air.  Read More

The Vaavud wind speed meter has no electronic components of its own

While the average person may not care too much about the current wind speed, it’s very important to the likes of windsurfers, kitesurfers, and sailors. Although official monitoring stations do provide readings, those stations aren’t always particularly close to the locations where these people do their respective things. That’s why Copenhagen-based Vaavud has created its smartphone-paired wind meter, of the same name. Interestingly, the plug-in device itself contains no electronics.  Read More

A retrospective of the best weird and wonderful instruments of 2012

Should you find yourself thinking about supergroups, you'll likely center on the famous names that make up the bands and not the instruments they use. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, for example, rather than the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275, or Cream's Jack Bruce instead of his Gibson EB-3, or Brad Wilk of Audioslave/RATM and not the custom Gretsch drumkits he uses. Being as much fans of the tech behind the hits as the talented folks who create them, we've grouped together a super collection of favorite music-making gadgets from the past year.  Read More

Cat-Ears are bicycle helmet attachments that are claimed to reduce wind noise in the cycli...

Sometimes when you’re cycling, especially if you’re out on the open road, the constant wind noise in your ears can get rather annoying. It can also be potentially dangerous, as it may mask traffic noises. Well, if you’re OK with sporting what at first glance looks like a pair of dark sideburns, Cat-Ears might be the answer.  Read More

FIU's wind engineering team poses in front of the Wall of Wind

Seven years after constructing its initial prototype, Florida International University has lifted the lid from its latest and greatest machine: a 15-foot (4.6-m) tall Wall of Wind capable of generating 157-mph (70-m/s) winds. As such the machine is capable of simulating top-tier category five hurricanes according to the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.  Read More

Shaka is a tiny wind meter that works with the iPhone

If you’re into activities such as windsurfing, sailing or kite-flying, then you’re going to want to know where and how hard the wind is blowing. While weather reports may give average wind speeds for your city as a whole, they’re usually not very specific. That’s where Shaka comes in. It’s a tiny wind meter that works with your iPhone.  Read More

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