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World's First


— Environment

World's first solar-powered Christmas tree lot

By - December 9, 2010 1 Picture
San Diego residents can feel particularly warm and fuzzy this festive season as their Purdy Farm Christmas trees have been lovingly trimmed and lit up via solar power. In what is believed to be a world first, Stellar Solar's Mobile Solar Station has been contracted to power the Purdy Farm Christmas tree lots in Del Mar, Carlsbad, and San Diego. The Mobile Solar Station is being used to power the compact fluorescent lights (CFL) on the lot perimeter and the electric chain saws used to trim customer's trees. Read More
— Marine

World's first hydrogen powered hybrid ferry combines hydrogen, solar, wind and diesel power

By - December 7, 2010 4 Pictures
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
— Aircraft

Lufthansa launches world's first regular passenger biofuel flights

By - December 1, 2010 1 Picture
Starting next April, a Lufthansa Airbus A321 aircraft making the daily flight between Hamburg and Frankfurt will be running partially on biofuel. The airline will trial the biofuel blend, made of a 50/50 mixture of kerosene and hydrotreated vegetable oil, in one of the plane’s engines for six months. It’s part of the Lufthansa-led burnFAIR project, which is studying the long term effects of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance. Although the Brazilian airline TAM performed a test flight of a biofuel-powered Airbus A320 last month, Lufthansa claims to be the first airline to conduct a long-term trial using biofuel during flight operations. Read More
— Environment

Boeing to mass-produce record-breaking 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell

By - November 24, 2010 1 Picture
When it comes to solar cells, everyone is chasing the highest conversion efficiency. Although we’ve seen conversion efficiencies of over 40 percent achieved with multi-junction solar cells in lab environments, Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab is bringing this kind of efficiency to mass production with the announcement of its C3MJ+ solar cells which boast an average conversion efficiency of 39.2 percent. Read More
— Good Thinking

Top ten technology firsts of 2010

By - November 23, 2010 12 Pictures
Nanotechnology, electric vehicles, renewable energy, quantum computing and slicker, smarter consumer electronics – just some of the fields in which the rollercoaster of human technological development continues to gather pace each year ... and 2010 was no exception. As the calendar flips towards December, it's time for a look back at some of the key breakthroughs that have caught our attention over the past 12 months. Read More
— Electronics

Nokia researchers build huge touchscreen display made of ice

By - November 22, 2010 2 Pictures
Researchers from the Nokia Research Center in Tampere, Finland, have turned a wall of ice into a huge interactive touchscreen display. Using infrared emitters and detectors to determine hand location and movement, the team projected images onto the blocks of ice so that users could see flames behind their hands. Happily, users didn't need to worry about catching a chill from icy fingers as the setup managed to keep track of gloved as well as ungloved hands. Read More
— Automotive

Infiniti M35h first hybrid to get an audible pedestrian warning system as standard

By - November 18, 2010 2 Pictures
Those looking forward to quieter city streets as a result of near-silent electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids replacing internal combustion engine vehicles on our roads may have to think again. To ensure that cyclists and pedestrians, including the visually impaired, are aware of stealthy oncoming vehicles, researchers have been looking at different noises that can be applied to EVs. Toyota has also already announced plans to sell an onboard audio alert system for its Prius but it looks like such systems are set to become more widespread with the Infiniti M35h to be the world’s first hybrid to get an audible pedestrian warning system as standard. Read More
— Electronics

500 Hz remote eye tracker watches what you watch

By - November 16, 2010 2 Pictures
SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) of Germany has launched its latest gaze and eye tracking system called the RED500. Eye tracking is a key research technique for many types of scientific, marketing, and design studies. Billed as the world’s first high-performance and high-speed remote eye tracker, the RED500 features a “scientific grade” 500 Hz sampling rate, binocular tracking, and a portable all-in-one design. Read More
— Aircraft

Jetman goes loop-the-loop

By - November 8, 2010 10 Pictures
Switzerland’s Yves Rossy, better known as Jetman or Fusionman, has achieved another aviation first by performing two aerial loops using his unique jet-powered strap-on wing. Rossy made headlines in 2004, when he first achieved horizontal flight with his original carbon fiber wing, flying 12 kilometers (7.46 miles) over the Alps. He created an even bigger fuss in 2008, when he used his wing to fly across the English Channel. Then, just last year, he got a bit wet when he unsuccessfully tried to fly from Morocco to Spain. Now, however, he can add another success to his growing list. Read More
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