Introducing the Gizmag Store

Wind

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

Risoe DTU's wind turbine blade section being tested in a wind tunnel

If you’ve ever seen a commercial-scale wind turbine in real life, then you’ll know that they’re huge – a single blade can be as long as 60 meters (197 feet). Researchers from Denmark’s Risoe DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy tell us that such blades can flex by up to six meters (20 feet) when subjected to strong wind gusts. Worse yet, the gust load is often not evenly distributed along the length of the blade, so it doesn’t flex evenly. Fortunately, the researchers are working on addressing this problem, by attaching flexible flaps to the trailing edges of the blades. These flaps come in the form of silicone rubber strips, which run the length of the blade. The result, we’re told, will be quieter, higher-output turbines.  Read More

The Sway wind turbines bob in the water like partially filled bottles

The world’s biggest wind turbine will be constructed in Norway. The prototype turbine will stand 162 meters (533 feet) tall and feature a rotor diameter of 145 meters (475 feet). It is expected to be capable of generating 10-megawatts – enough to power 2,000 homes. The turbine will be tested on land in Øygarden in Hordaland County, Norway, for two years but is intended for offshore placement, where the winds are stronger and more consistent, and the concerns of ruined views and vibrations are removed.  Read More

Catch the Wind's Racer's Edge laser wind sensor tool.

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

Ecomodder.com's Darin Cosgrove recently added this 1.37 tailpeice to his Pontiac Firefly t...

While windtunnels have long been employed in aerospace and all forms of race engineering, we’re likely to see them employed more frequently in future in the quest for improved fuel efficiency from our automobiles. Ecomodder.com’s Darin Cosgrove recently added this 1.37 tailpiece to his Pontiac Firefly to improve its drag coefficient from 0.34 to 0.23 and its fuel efficiency by 15.1 percent at 90kmh (56mph).  Read More

The Blunt Umbrella boasts improved strength, durability, stability and is safer than tradi...

Umbrellas have been around for thousands of years but, aside from the introduction of the collapsible umbrella in 1935, their design has remained largely unchanged - despite the well known design flaws that see them flip inside out in strong winds or threaten to take out an eye with their pointy rib tips. It was this threat to his eyeballs as he negotiated busy London streets in wet weather that set 1.9 m tall New Zealand designer Greig Brebner on a mission to design a better umbrella – a goal he believes he has achieved with the Blunt Umbrella.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,496 articles