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News:Archive:2006:March-August

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2006

August

  • Plasma-assisted engines run more efficiently, cleaner - Voltage applied to the atomized fuel stream prior to combustion generates a plasma in the fuel that breaks down the long chains of hydrocarbons into smaller molecules, allowing a more complete burn. (PESN; Aug. 31)
  • Off-shore 5M Wind Turbine Premier - REpower Systems' five-megawatt turbine, the largest ever off-shore, is piled to the seabed at a record depth of 44 meters. (PESN; Aug. 30)
  • Concentrated Solar Power > Pyron Solar - Developed in cooperation with Boeing-Spectrolab a low-profile floating system with short-focal-length lenses concentrating direct sunlight by 400X onto photovoltaic cells. These advanced multi-junction cells produce 800 times more electricity than conventional non-concentrating cells the same size. High efficiency and low material requirements make the new system competitive with conventional power plants.
  • Biodiesel from Algae Oil > Biofuel Developer to Join US Research Hot-House - Marlborough-based biofuel developer, Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, has made another breakthrough as the first New Zealand company to be invited to join the prestigious Girvan Institute of Technology in the United States. Aquaflow recently announced it was the first in the world to commercially produce bio-diesel fuel from algae sourced from Marlborough sewerage ponds. The Girvan Institute is a non-profit, public benefit corporation established to speed up the development of cutting edge technologies into useful products and services. (Scoop; August 30, 2006)
  • Biodiesel from Algae Oil > Plankton to Provide Clean New Oil - A system for producing energy from marine algae, to replace fossil fuels and reduce pollution, has been developed by Spanish researchers and will be operational in late 2007, according to its backers. Bernard Stroiazzo-Mougin, president of Biofuel Systems SL (BFS), the Spanish company developing the project, told IPS that "the system will produce massive amounts of biopetroleum from phytoplankton, in a limited space and at a very moderate cost." (Inter Press Service News Agency; August 4, 2006)
  • Fuel Cells > General Hydrogen - General Hydrogen is field-testing complete hydrogen fuel cell solutions for electrically powered industrial vehicles. Products include Hydricity® Pack fuel cell systems to replace lead acid batteries in industrial vehicles, making them run longer and faster than trucks with batteries and refuel in a fraction of the time, resulting in significant increases in productivity and paybacks on investment of less than 4 years for many operators.
  • Solar > NanoHorizons™ Signs Licensing Agreement with Solarity for Breakthrough Solar Cell Technology - The design utilizes a nanoscale-engineered structure to perform both absorption and collection. This enables photovoltaic device builders to use an optimally thick layer of absorption material while simultaneously requiring a collection distance of only tens of nanometers vs. tens of microns in today’s best two-layer cells. “Our nanotechnology-based approach offers terrific potential in manufacturing higher-efficiency cells using less expensive materials and high-throughput production lines.? (NanoHorizons; August 1, 2006)
  • Hydrogen from Water > Proton Energy Systems - Manufactures PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrochemical systems to make hydrogen from water with its HOGEN® hydrogen generation systems. PEM electrolysis allows Proton Energy's HOGEN hydrogen generation systems to produce 99.999+% pure hydrogen at process pressure without mechanical compression and without caustic electrolytes.
  • Fuel Efficiency Retrofits > Gates Electro-Mechanical Drive (EMD) System - EMD starter-generator belt drive systems allow the engine to stop when the vehicle is stationary, then restarts the engine almost instantaneously. Studies have shown fuel savings of 6 to 10%, depending on the application, and even more than 20% savings in urban traffic.
  • Hydrogen from Water > Cheap Hydrogen Fuel - Researchers at GE say they've come up with an easy-to-manufacture apparatus that could produce hydrogen via electrolysis for about $3 per kilogram -- a quantity roughly comparable to a gallon of gasoline -- down from today's $8 per kilogram. They used a GE plastic called Noryl that is extremely resistant to the highly alkaline potassium hydroxide, and because the plastic is easy to form and join, manufacturing an electrolyzer is relatively cheap. (Technology Review; March 09, 2006)
  • Thin Film Solar > VHF-Technologies - Flexcell manufactures light, thin and flexible PV cells, using a proprietary thin film coating technology developed to deposit a single amorphous silicon layer on low cost plastic substrates using roll-to-roll manufacturing. Key characteristics: highly flexible, customised & integratable, thin & lightweight, unbreakable, environmentally friendly. The energy payback is 3-5 times faster than products based on conventional PV technologies.
  • Hydrogen > Alchemix - The HydroMax process uses low cost and waste carbon as its feedstock to produce both hydrogen and electricity. First, steam contacts molten iron to form iron oxide and release hydrogen. In the second step, iron oxide is reduced back to pure metal by adding carbon, a typical metal smelting method. The outputs are hydrogen, steam, electricity and carbon dioxide. When co-products are sold at wholesale prices, hydrogen can be produced at a negative net cost.
  • Thin Film Solar > High-Performance Multijunction Thin Films - Researchers test the voltage output of their award-winning gallium indium phosphide/gallium arsenide tandem solar cell, which has achieved record efficiencies in converting sunlight to electricity. By producing a concentrator cell with efficiency greater than 30%, NREL scientists passed an important milestone of the PV program. (U.S. DOE EERE Solar Energy Technologies Program)
  • Electric Vehicles > OBVIO! to Introduce Electric Cars to North America - Brazilian automotive company OBVIO! will develop and introduce lithium-ion-powered electric cars based on its 828 and 012 microsport car designs for export to North America. OBVIO! has a strategic partnership with California automobile distributor ZAP, which has agreed to be the exclusive North American distributor and has pre-purchased 50,000 OBVIO! units. (Green Car Congress; July 20, 2006)

June

  • An Alternative to your Alternator - Researchers at MIT are developing new technology for converting heat into light and then into electricity that could eventually save fuel in vehicles by replacing less-efficient alternators and allowing electrical systems to run without the engine idling. (MIT Technology Review; June 1, 2006)

May

  • State of TX vs. BioPerformance Fuel, Inc. - Judge allows hearing to proceed despite "fatal flaws", which he declined to hear until end of the hearing. Judge lets the prosecution spend inordinate time on irrelevant matters regarding charges it dropped at the outset. (PESN; May 31, 2006)
  • How Many Miles to the Bushel? - The May issue of Popular Mechanics compares fuel costs for various types of fuels. Coast-to-coast drive would be $60 for coal (electricity); $110 for natural gas; $213 for gasoline; $231 for biodiesel; $425 for E85/ethanol; $619 for M85/methanol; $804 for hydrogen. (NYTimes; May 27, 2006)
  • Nanotubes Produce Desalination Breakthrough - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is developing a nanotube membrane on a silicon chip the size of a quarter that may offer a cheaper way to remove salt from water, offsetting energy costs of desalination by as much as 75 percent. (LLNL.org; May 19, 2006)
  • How About A 250-MPG Car? - The next X-Prize challenge will focus on producing fuel-efficient low-pollution autos. But the X-Prize isn't the only incentive being offered for energy development. (CBS / Christian Science Monitor; May 13, 2006)

April

  • Hybrid Bus: e-Traction Revolution on Wheel - Whisper™ buses in the Netherlands get 13.9 mpg by using a diesel engine with an electrical generator to produce electricity which runs electric motors that are directly connected to wheels. (Apr. 17, 2006)
  • Directory:Axel Corporation's Hybrid Bike - Tokyo based Axle Corporation has introduced a new electric motorbike with a hybrid plug-in, electromagnetic-permanent magnet motor, and is seven times more cost-efficient than scooters running on petrol. (April 10, 2006)

March

  • Blacklight Power > The Atom Bombshell that is Splitting Opinion - Replications by Professor Gerrit Kroesen at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, Netherlands have confirmed that hydrogen atoms do behave strangely in the presence of certain elements, supporting Randall Mill's revolutionary theory. (Financial Times; Mar. 10, 2006)

2004

(PESWiki was not used for news posting from Oct. 2004 - Feb. 2006)

September

See also

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