Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Wind

The Aeolus Acoustic Wind Pavilion

Aeolus, a fascinating acoustic wind sculpture made by prolific Bristol artist Luke Jerram, is as much a feast for the ears as it is for the eyes. Named after the mythical Greek ruler of the four winds and built in conjunction with the University of Southampton's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and the University of Salford's Acoustics Research Center, the giant aeolian wind harp is intended to inspire the public to learn more about the amazing things that can happen when engineering, acoustics and aerodynamics are blended together.  Read More

The Sailing GPS

One of the problems of using GPS chartplotters on a sailboat is that it is extremely difficult to calculate accurate arrival times given the amount of tacking often involved. Now there's a purpose-built Sailing GPS that not only accounts for the tacking that sailboats do, but can can tell you the optimal tacking angles and your Tacking Time to Destination (TTD).  Read More

Artist's impression of stellar-mass black hole IGR J17091 (Image: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has recorded ultra-fast 20 million-mph (32 million km/h) winds roaring from a gas disk around the stellar-mass black hole IGR J17091-3624. The wind speeds are a record, a factor of ten greater than any previously recorded, for a black hole of this kind. It is hoped the surprise discovery will shed new light on the behavior of stellar-mass black holes.  Read More

With 102 turbines, the Walney offshore wind farm, which opened yesterday, has become with ...

Walney wind farm off the coast of Cumbria in the UK yesterday became the world's largest offshore wind facility. One hundred and two turbines over 73 sq km (28 sq miles) provide a maximum output of 367.2 MW. It's claimed the facility will provide enough power for about 320,000 homes - half as many again as the total number in Cumbria.  Read More

The wind-inducing anabatic office concept from architectural practice Betillin/Dorval-Bory...

By embracing wind "as an architectural element", architectural practice Betillon/Dorval-Bory believes its anabatic office concept is ideally suited to hot and humid climes. But rather than relying on natural air movement, the anabatic office seeks to create its own wind, so that energy-efficient cooling can occur where little natural wind occurs. Anabatic is a word that describes an uphill wind generated by a localized heat source.  Read More

The NIST Dragon is a device that creates burning embers, to test how well building materia...

Thousands of people were left homeless this May, when over 40 percent of the town of Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada was destroyed by a wildfire that started in the adjacent forest. This is just one example of the devastation that can result when fires occur in what is known as the wildland-urban interface. While some buildings are destroyed when the wildfire itself reaches them, others can catch fire due to wind-borne embers from that fire. In an effort to test how well wooden decks are able to resist such embers, America's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created something known as the Dragon - it's a device that sucks in tree mulch, and "breathes" it out as firebrands.  Read More

Rendering of the New York Hornblower Hybrid (Image: Statue Cruises)

Hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more commonplace on our roads and now the world's first hydrogen powered hybrid ferry is set to take to the water off New York. Following on from the 2008 launch of the San Francisco Hornblower Hybrid that runs on a combination of solar, wind and diesel power, the new 1,400-hp New York Hornblower Hybrid adds another energy source to the mix with hydrogen fuel cells to complement its clean Tier 2 diesel engines, solar panels and wind turbines.  Read More

The Unbreakable Umbrella is a peculiar mix of genteel elegance and chilling weaponry

Looking like an unassuming weapon from Oddjob's arsenal, the Unbreakable Umbrella is the weapon of choice for well-heeled bowler-hatted gentlemen cum ninja assassins everywhere. It's also a good buy for anyone who has some cash to splash on a nifty umbrella that not only keeps the rain off but can carve up a watermelon with one well-placed chop.  Read More

Zero Race Tour Director and first man to circumnavigate the globe in a solar car, Louis Pa...

While technological innovations of the 19th Century opened up the possibility of rapid circumnavigation of the globe and inspired Jules Verne to pen his famous novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, Louis Palmer is hoping a race to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days in zero emission, electric powered cars will harness public interest and inspire new ways of thinking about mobility, cars and renewable energy solutions. When the starting flag drops on August 15, 2010 in Geneva, contestants in the Zero Race will set off eastwards on a 30,000 km (18,641 mile) route that will take them through 20 countries, with stops in around 150 major cities along the way... and not only must the race teams drive zero emissions vehicles, they must also produce their own electricity back home using renewable sources.  Read More

Renault's compact WIND is a combination coupe and roadster

Renault took the wraps off a ripping pocket rocket at the Geneva Motor Show - just 3.83 meters long, the WIND transforms from coupé to roadster in 12 seconds, offering a sports car that’s practical enough for everyday use as it has a generous 270 dm3 VDA of boot space that is unaffected by the position of the roof. The Renault Wind will go on sale in Europe this summer with a choice of a 133 horsepower 16-valve 1.6 liter or a 100-horsepower 1.2-liter turbocharged engine.  Read More

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