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News:Archive:2007:June

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PESWiki News -- June 2007 Archive

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2007

June

June 29, 2007

  • Solar > Wakonda Technologies - Developing solar electric technology that is more efficient than crystalline silicon and lower in cost than thin film alternatives by combining the most efficient photovoltaic materials with a flexible substrate that enables high volume manufacturing. The projected result: costs competitive with conventional electricity and elimination of rare and toxic raw materials.

June 28, 2007

  • Solar > Quantum Dots > Harnessing quantum dots for solar panels - Stion plans to make thin-film solar cells that can compare in performance with silicon solar cells but cost less. Sources say the company is probably working with quantum dots, tiny particles measuring a few nanometers, or tens of atoms, in diameter. Quantum dots in theory could work well in solar panels, however, they remain highly experimental. (CNET News; Jun. 26)

June 27, 2007

  • Plasma / Butanol > Biobutanol from Syngas - W2 Energy, the developer of a GAT (Gliding Arc Tornado) plasma reactor for biomass gasification for power and fuels generation, is working to manufacture biobutanol from the GAT syngas. A GAT is a non-thermal plasma system that uses a reverse vortex flow (i.e., tornado) to preserve the main advantages of traditional gliding arc systems and overcome their main drawbacks. (Green Car Congress; Jun. 26, 2007)
  • Solar > Concentrated > Maxxun - Development of luminescent solar energy concentrators with special coatings to enhance the light output of these concentrators by 2-3 times. The concentrators are combined with highly efficient photovoltaic cells and it is anticipated that these systems will provide solar energy at a cost which is competitive with the grid.

June 26, 2007

  • Electric Vehicles > Lightning Car electric cars - Lightning Car Company is planning on releasing a 700HP, electric sports car, called Lightning GT sometime in 2008. They estimate to deliver top speed of more than 130mph and accelerate from 0-60 in under four seconds.
  • Solar > Vehicles > New World Record at Solar Drag Race - The South Whidbey Team dragster set a new world record of 29.5 seconds for the quarter-kilometer distance at the third annual Solar Drag Race in Wenatchee, Washington this past weekend. Vehicles participating in the Solar Drag Race can only use solar panels for power—no batteries or pre-charged devices are allowed. (Green Car Congress; Jun. 25, 2007)
  • Flywheels / Hybrids > Flywheel Energy Store Hybrid Light Railcars - Parry People Movers hybrid light railcars are equipped with a flywheel energy store to capture braking energy for use in acceleration. The railcars can be powered by an on board LPG-fueled automotive engine, diesel- or hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines, or hydrogen fuel cells. (Green Car Congress; Jun. 24, 2007)

June 25, 2007

  • Fuel Efficiency > Engines / Transmissions > Top 4 Ways Automakers Can Meet New MPG Standards - New CAFE standards will jump to 35 mpg for all cars and SUVs by 2020, up from 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.5 mpg for trucks. Here are four keys for automakers to bolster their fuel economy: Reduce weight, use diesel engines (30% more efficient than gas), low rolling resistance tires and continuously variable transmissions. (Popular Mechanics; Jun. 21, 2007)
  • Solar > Solar Helium Balloons - Researchers have developed helium balloons coated with solar cells to generate energy. The balloons are expected to overcome surface area issues in cities where large solar cell panels are not feasible. The same cable that brings the helium to the balloon will also carry the electricity to the ground, and your home may require only one or two balloons. (TreeHugger; Jun. 25, 2007)
  • Alt Fuels > Butanol > Cellulosic Biobutanol from Wheat Straw - Scientists are exploring the production of cellulosic biobutanol from wheat straw using Clostridium Beijerinckii. They achieved a rate of production of wheat straw hydrolysate to butanol of 214% over that from glucose. Clostridium beijerinckii P260 can utilize five and six carbon sugars present in cellulosic biomass and convert them to butanol. (Green Car Congress; Jun. 25, 2007)

June 22, 2007

  • Fuel Efficiency > Retrofits > Pre-Ignition Catalytic Converter Coming Soon - Better World Technologies presents a catalytic converter replacement that legally pre-treats the fuel for complete combustion, rather than burning what is left over after incomplete combustion. Pre-heating the fuel along a rod turns the fuel into plasma, to burn a wide varieties of fuel efficiently and cleanly.
  • Fuel Cells > Powerzinc Electric - Dynamic Quick-refuel Fuel Cells (DQFC) are high power, high energy, long-lasting, low cost and environment-friendly zinc-air fuel cells for electric vehicles. The company is developing an all-Electric passenger car with a range of 400 km and a fast refuel service platform.
  • Lighting > Never Ending Lightbulb - Ceravion has developed a bulb that is more than 3 times as efficient as CFL bulbs, will burn brightly for decades and doesn't contain mercury. Traditional bulbs convert only 5% of energy to light, CFLs make use of around 15%, but this new design converts over 50%. (TreeHugger; Jun. 22, 2007)
  • Fuel Efficiency > Engines > EA Technical Services - Technology eliminates throttling or pumping losses by using a turbine for variable pressure boosting of the intake air at any engine speed. This brings the gasoline engine energy efficiency to near that of the diesel engine, improving fuel economy. The weight of the package is about 6 kg and costs about $100.
  • Nuclear > Fusion > Startup Chases Nuclear Fusion - Tri Alpha Energy is developing “hot", or plasma, fusion, in which atomic nuclei are fused, releasing huge amounts of energy. The company is working with fusion reactions that produce fewer neutrons and less radiation, with a different method for containing and controlling reactions. They estimate it will take less than 15 years to get to the power generation stage. (Red Herring; Jun. 14, 2007)

June 21, 2007

  • Solar > Concentrated > Intermediate band solar cell up to 63% efficient - While still largely theoretical, intermediate band solar cells could promise efficiencies up to 63.2%, higher than today's highest performing multijunction cells (40%). To be cost effective, the design will only be applicable in highly concentrated sunlight applications, suited to utility-grade solar power. (Inside Greentech; Jun. 21, 2007)
  • Engines > Stirling > Stirling Cycles - Innovative product design provides sturdy mechanical construction with reliable power at a fraction of the cost of other Stirling competitors. It is equally favorable over internal combustion designs for its stealthy operation, variety of usable fuels, and efficiency. It offers low vibration, reliablility, no odor, quiet fuel efficient operation.
  • TE / AC > Peltier Effect > Herman Miller C2 : Peltier Coolers on Your Desk - The C2 acts as an air filter, uses only 1.5 amps of power, yet can allow users to adjust the surrounding temperature up to a 40 degree increase, and an 8 degree decrease. It uses Amerigon's thermoelectric (TE) technology used in high end car seats. It can solve the temperature issue, for each individual, in an energy-efficient way. (TreeHugger; Jun. 12, 2007)

June 20, 2007

  • Magnet Motors > Kedron Discovers Inexpensive New Energy Source - Kedron Corporation has discovered a new extremely inexpensive, pollution-free source of electricity. Two permanent magnets of a particular shape can be pulled apart along a prescribed path using less work than the amount produced when the magnets come together along a different path.
  • Heating / AC > Clean Heat - EA Technical Services developed an ultra-efficient heating pump that will produce one and a half times more heat than other heat pumps for the same amount of power. Combining a unique automotive air management system with a new form of heat pump, Clean Heat will heat in winter and cool in the summer with minimal electric power. Video (Shell Springboard)
  • Wind > Vertical Axis > New Turbine Design Wins Sustainability Award - BSI gave first prize in its Sustainability Awards 2007 to Ben Storan for his "afforable personal wind turbine suited to the urban environment." The unique design uses vertical rotation, which allows the turbine to capture 3x more energy than current models, from turbulent urban air flow. (TreeHugger; Jun. 20, 2007)
  • Batteries > Ergenics - The Hy-Stor® Segmented Battery is a rechargeable battery being developed for hybrid electric vehicle energy storage. It combines the remarkable energy storage capability of metal hydride alloys with the extraordinary cycle life and discharge rate capabilities of nickel-hydrogen cells. The Hy-Stor battery offers superior performance, economic and safety advantages.

June 19, 2007

  • Tidal > Tidal Power Options in SF Bay - A comprehensive study will assess the possibilities for harnessing the tides in San Francisco Bay to create a new source of zero-emissions, renewable electric power for California. Future plans could ultimately lead to the development of a full-scale commercial project. Tidal power offers the advantage of being highly predictable and reliable. (Green Car Congress; Jun. 19, 2007)
  • Air Conditioning > Ergenics - Electrically powered hydride air conditioner prototype is a possible replacement for traditional mobile air conditioners. It does not contain materials with global warming potential and operates with more than twice the efficiency of today's automotive air conditioners.
  • Electric Vehicles > Superconductor electric airplanes - Scientists have unveiled research that would enable high-powered, ultra-reliable electromagnetic engines to be built for airplanes using lightweight superconductors and emission-free hydrogen fuel cells. These electric planes would be eco-friendly, exceptionally quiet, highly energy efficient and low maintenance. (Gizmag; Jun. 19, 2007)
  • EV > Electric Cars > Le BlueCar electric car from France - Batscap's BlueCar prototype electric city car technology has been sold to Valeo and PSA (Citroën-Peugeot). Powered by lithium metal polymer batteries, the car has a range of more than 200 km (120 miles) and 125 km/h maximum speed (80 miles/hr). The battery can be fully recharged in 6 hours. (AutoblogGreen; Jun. 17, 2007)

June 18, 2007

  • Electromagnetic > Magna Coaster Motor Co - Magnetic motor and generator produces electric power without using fuel. A home unit is planned for production in fall of 2008. Several demonstration videos have been posted.
  • Water as Fuel > Hypower Fuel > HyPower Releases First Video of H2 Reactor - This first video is a short commercial piece about the Company and the H2 Reactor. Video productions 2 to 4 will be released in the coming weeks and will provide more detailed information. The longest will discuss the technical and scientific specifics of the H2 Reactor and will provide the opinions of scientific and business advisors. (Yahoo! Finance; Jun. 18, 2007)
  • EV > Electric Scooters > Zap! ZAPINO electric scooter - Not only economical and non-polluting, the ZAPINO is also powerful with an advanced 3000-watt brushless DC hub motor, perfect for city commuting. Able to reach speeds of about 30 mph with a range up to 30 miles, you will be able to keep up with city traffic without contributing to city pollution.

June 17, 2007

  • Solar > Ultraefficient Photovoltaics - A solar cell more than twice as efficient as typical rooftop solar panels has been developed by Spectrolab. It makes use of a highly customizable and virtually unexplored class of materials that could lead to further jumps in efficiency over the next decade, making solar power less expensive than grid electricity in much of the country. (MIT Technology Review; June 15, 2007)
  • Solar > Silicon > Stretchable Silicon May Inspire a New Wave of Electronics - Scientists have created a form of nanoscale silicon that is stretchable. The new material may help pave the way for a class of stretchable electronic devices, such as “smart" surgical gloves and personal health monitors, that are not possible to create using current technology and materials. (PhysOrg; June 14, 2007)

June 16, 2007

  • Electromagnetic > Millennial Motors - The Magnetronic Motor is said to use a small amount of magnetic force to control a large amount of magnetic force. Motor concept is tested and the final prototype is being developed, with debut for distributors scheduled for July 2007. Company is planning to retrofit cars to produce pollution free vehicles.

June 15, 2007

  • Alternative Fuels > Kicking the Oil Habit with Sugar - Scientists have discovered a way to convert glucose into HFM (hydroxymethylfurfural), a chemical that is broken down into components used to manufacture products now made from oil. It may lead to a method of replacing crude oil with an environmentally friendly, cheap renewable plant matter as the base component for fuel and plastics. (TreeHugger; Jun. 15, 2007)
  • Water Heaters > Howard Harris Builders - H. H2O® thermo-conductive water heaters heat only the water you use, to save hundreds of dollars per year. Cold water enters a coiled water line, passing through a plastic tank of pre-heated water and exits as hot water. The tank is not under pressure and there is no sediment build-up.

June 14, 2007

  • Fuel Efficiency > Engines > NEVIS Engine - The NEVIS (New Exhaust Valve & Intake System) engine is estimated to nearly double fuel efficiency. Engine weight and size are reduced with its doughnut-shaped piston but power is increased by using the engine’s exhaust vacuum energy and having 6x more power strokes per revolution than a four-stroke engine. It can be fuelled by gasoline, diesel, hydrogen and bio-fuels.
  • Solar > Thin Film > Honda's Silcion-Free Solar Cells - Honda has begun selling new thin-film solar cells in Japan made with a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS), rather than silicon. The CIGS solar cells have a maximum output of 125 watts and will sell for approximately 60,375 yen ($495) in Japan. (MetaEfficient)
  • High Altitude Wind Power > Fuel Efficiency > Vehicles / Flight > Windream One project - The Windream One project to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a sail balloon driven by natural and renewable energy sources is progressing. Test flights got underway last Saturday with a small prototype balloon designed to test the curved carbon foil which will run under the water’s surface and guide the 900m3 helium balloon’s flight path. (Gizmag; Jun. 14, 2007)

June 13, 2007

  • Magnet Motors > Nigerian Claim of self-sustaining Motor - Nigerian inventor Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu has designed a self-sustaining electric motor built on two laws of Emagnetodynamics. "a suspended composite magnetic pole will rotate in a certain direction, if placed in the vicinity of an array of like poles of magnets" and "the direction of rotation is that of the composite similar to the array." (allAfrica.com; Jun. 11, 2007) (Thanks KeelyNet)
    • Comment: Sure does sound like nonsense, especially with the caveat of having to obtain magnetic shielding. It is like saying he has a nuclear power solution, but he has to overcome radiation problems. (Ken Rauen)
    • Comment: This is nonesense...I am suprised it wasnt attached with one of those letters stating that they have $4o million in the bank and they need your help to release the funds. (Mark Dansie)
  • EV > Electric Cars > New Electric Sports Car - Lightning Car Company will produce a new electrically driven sports car powered by Altairnano's Nanosafe batteries and Hi-Pa Drive wheel motors from PML Flightlink. A three model lineup is planned that includes a luxury model, a lightweight sport version and an extended range model that can run 250 miles on a charge, starting in 2008. (AutoblogGreen; Jun. 12, 2007)

June 12, 2007

  • Waste to Energy / Ethanol > Biofuels from Wood Chips - Three University of California campuses and West Biofuels LLC, will develop a prototype research reactor to make biofuels without food crops or microbial fermentation. It will use steam, sand and catalysts to efficiently convert forest, urban, and agricultural “cellulosic" wastes into alcohol that can be used as a gasoline additive. (PhysOrg; Jun. 12, 2007)
  • EV > Phoenix Motorcars > Rapid-Charging Electric SUV - Phoenix Motorcars recently demonstrated their plug-in electric SUV that will go on sale in 2008, based on the Korean Ssangyong Actyon. The SUV uses AltairNano's fast-charge lithium-ion battery technology, with possible future "rapid charge stations." The vehicle has a top speed of about 100 miles per hour, and its range is about 250 miles. (MetaEfficient)

June 11, 2007

  • Alt Fuels > Butanol > Butanol via Gasification - Energy Quest announced plans to produce butanol via gasification and catalytic conversion of coal and waste biomass, using its fluidized bed gasifier and PyStR (Pyrolysis Steam Reforming) process. Butanol is an alcohol with advantages over ethanol, that can be used in unmodified gas engines. (Green Car Congress; Jun. 11, 2007)

June 10, 2007

  • Tidal / River > Verdant Leads River/Tide Energy Pursuit - Verdant Power is a world leader in commercializing low-impact kinetic hydropower solutions, harnessing the energy from river, tide, and man-made channels. Prototype array is presently producing power for customers.

June 8, 2007

  • Electromagnetic > Chas Campbell Generator - Austrialian inventor demonstrates a prototype generator with input of 800 W, able to self-run off the 3500 W output, with energy left over to run a drill, a saw, and other appliances. Claims he can scale it up to 1 megawatt output.
  • Wireless Transmission > MIT Wirelessly Powers a Lightbulb - A team from MIT has experimentally demonstrated lighting a 60W light bulb from a power source seven feet (more than two meters) away; there was no physical connection between the source and the appliance. The MIT team refers to its concept as “WiTricity" (as in wireless electricity). (PhysOrg; June 7, 2007) (See Slashdot discussion)
  • Tidal > Tidal Energy System to Demo in August - Marine Current Turbines will begin in August installing its 1.2 MW SeaGen commercial tidal energy system, the world's largest, in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough marine nature reserve. The company plans to develop a commercial tidal farm of up to 10 MW in UK waters within the next three years, and up to 500 MW by 2015. (Renewable Energy Access; Jun. 8, 2007)
  • Fuel Efficiency > Vehicles > 52 mpg for next Honda Accord - Honda's next Accord will use a new clean diesel engine based on the current 2.2 i-CTDi, enabling Honda to sell diesels in the US. A European-market Accord fitted with a sophisticated version of the 2.2 diesel, and capable of 62.8 mpg UK (52 mpg US), was recently shown at a diesel technology convention in California. (Autocar; Jun. 6, 2007)
  • AC / Heating > Horizon Energy Systems - Thermal Control Membrane is a multi-layered, thin film material that is very effective at controlling heat flow. It can be rolled out over your existing insulation and is impervious to gravity, dust or settling. It holds heat in during winter, keeps heat out during the summer and cuts energy costs. (Thanks Ken Stoneburg)

June 7, 2007

  • Alternative Fuels > Building Better Biofuels - LS9 is using synthetic biology to engineer bacteria that can make hydrocarbons for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Hydrocarbon fuels are better suited than ethanol to existing delivery infrastructure and engines, and their manufacture would require less energy. Amyris and SunEthanol are also trying to use synthetic biology to produce biofuels. (MIT Technology Review; Jun. 6, 2007)
  • Solar > Concentrated > Solar thermal energy making a comeback - Nevada Solar One, the first solar thermal power plant built in the world in 16 years, has begun to supply electric power to the Nevada grid. Similar and larger plants are being constructed in California's Mojave Desert, where an existing solar thermal plant has been cranking out electricity for over 20 years. (CNET News; Jun. 7, 2007)
  • Fuel Efficiency > Challenge X 2007 Competition Winner - Mississippi State University won the third annual Challenge X with a hybrid electric 1.9-liter GM direct injection turbodiesel engine fueled by B20 biodiesel, a 330V NiMH battery pack from Johnson Controls, and a 45 kW Ballard Integrated Power Transaxle. The vehicle achieved a 48% increase in fuel economy over the production 2005 Chevrolet Equinox that served as the basis for all the entries. (Green Car Congress; Jun. 7, 2007)

June 6, 2007

  • Transmissions / Hybrids > F1 tech for road cars - Xtrac will exploit Torotrak’s full-toroidal traction drive to develop highly efficient CVTs for use in the new kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) proposed for F1 motor racing. The system holds promise for use in road cars, storing kinetic energy in a flywheel, boosting fuel economy without complex electrical-battery hybrid architectures. (Gizmag; Jun. 6, 2007)
  • Fuel Cells / CHP > UTC Fuel Cell Power Systems - UTC Power commercial fuel cell power systems are being used by Hilton hotels for combined heat and power (CHP) applications. The PureCell™ is fueled by natural gas to produce 200 kW of electric power, plus about 900,000 Btu/hr of heat, and is nearly 3x more energy efficient than the electric grid when used in CHP applications, the company claims. (Inside Greentech; Jun. 6, 2007)
  • Biodiesel from Algae Oil > Solazyme to supply algae oil - Solazyme is to start supplying oil derived from algae feedstock to biodiesel maker Imperium Renewables. Solazyme does not feel it is at commercialization economics with the technology yet, but said the company is a lot closer than many people believe algae is currently. "We'll be delivering agreed-upon quantities [to Imperium] this year." (Inside Greentech; Jun. 6, 2007)

June 5, 2007

  • Thermal Electric > A Sound Way to Turn Heat into Electricity - University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity via piezoelectric conversion. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers and radars. (PESN; May 5, 2007)
  • Alt Fuels > Ethanol > Brelsford Engineering Inc - BEI is offering a new and efficient dilute-acid chemical process for the conversion of waste cellulose into fermentable sugars and subsequently into bio-ethanol. Capital costs are about 50% of those for comparable dilute concentrated acid, or enzymatic, cellulose hydrolysis processing. Small farm scale fuel ethanol plants can now be economically profitable.
  • Fuel Cells > Akermin - Stabilized enzyme biofuel cells (SEBC™) offer increased performance and lower costs through the use of renewable resources that also provide environmentally friendly disposal. By elimination of metal catalysts they can potentially double the amount of fuel converted into electricity, dramatically increase fuel cell energy density, and at the same time lower cost.

June 4, 2007

  • River / Vortex > Gravitational Vortex Power Plant - Mini-power plant is simple to construct, has a turbine efficiency of 80% but is safe for fish due to low turbine speed. The gravitational vortex hydro technology can be applied with water drop as little as 0.7 meters. The cost for installation of the prototype was close to $1/watt capacity. (TreeHugger; Jun. 2, 2007)
  • Solar > Thin Film > SoloPower - Electrochemistry based CIGS technology will enable production of high efficiency solar cells at a fraction of the cost of traditional CIGS fabrication methods, built on a thin flexible foil substrate. The total thickness of the active layers is in the order of 2 micrometers, resulting in efficient use of materials without negatively impacting the conversion efficiency.
  • Fuel Efficiency > Vehicles / Flight > Ohio Airships - The Dynalifter® “Roadless Trucking" system has transport costs and speeds comparable to trucking without the need of building a sophisticated highway network. It has the ability to fly on low amounts of power at low speeds, much like airships, but without the operational drawbacks of a traditional airship.

June 3, 2007

June 1, 2007

  • River / Wind > Vertical Axis > Neo-AeroDynamic Wind/Water Turbine - The patent-pending turbine for wind and water, invented by Phi Tran, employs lift on the leeward edge, harnessing the turbulence that usually impedes efficiency. The price point is expected to be better than fossil-fuel-generated electricity, even in low wind areas, making it ideal for city/urban roof top and back yard settings.
  • Fuel Cells > Biogas-Powered Fuel Cell System - Acumentrics manufactures solid oxide fuel cell systems (SOFC) for power applications, molded into the shape of a tube, which renders the fuel cells shatter resistant from temperature swings. They are able to run on biogas, natural gas, propane, ethanol, diesel or biodiesel and consume only about half as much fuel as comparable small-engine generators. (TreeHugger; June 1, 2007)
  • Ocean Current / River / Tidal > Vortex Hydro Energy - VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations Aquatic Clean Energy) extracts energy from ocean, river, tidal and other water currents over a wide range of current speeds. It is non-obtrusive, environmentally friendly, and has an extremely high energy density (50x less acreage required than wave power). A working prototype has met expectations, leading to a multi-kilowatt field demonstration.
  • Solar > Space solar power: limitless clean energy - Solar power from both the Moon and from satellites would provide energy for operations in space and could be beamed down to Earth using either lasers or microwaves, with 24 hours production every day of the year. Most of the technologies needed are already being developed by NASA. (The Space Review; May 14, 2007)
  • Fuel Efficiency / Clean Coal > Jupiter Oxygen - Oxy-Fuel Combustion Technology is a method/process in which oxygen is used with fossil fuel [coal, oil, natural gas] while air is excluded, reducing fuel usage up to 73%. NOx emissions are greatly reduced without any back-end emissions control technology and CO2 becomes highly concentrated, making capture easier and more economical.

May

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