Archive for Video
Google.org – the philanthropic arm of Google – yesterday lauched an exciting project that offers a glimpse of a smarter energy future: cars that plug into an electric grid powered by solar energy. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can quadruple the fuel economy of the average car on the road today. As Google.org demonstrated at yesterday’s event, plug-in hybrids can sell power back to the electric grid when it’s needed most through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology
Google.org’s core missions is to address climate change. In the U.S., transportation contributes about one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions –- with more than 60 percent of those emissions coming from personal vehicles. By accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrids and vehicle-to-grid (“V2G”) technologies, this new project, RechargeIT.org, aims to reduce emissions and dependence on oil while promoting clean energy technologies and increasing consumer choice. Linking the U.S. transportation system to the electricity grid maximizes the efficiency of our energy system. From these efforts, we believe the environment will benefit – and consumers will have more choices to fuel their cars.
We’ve been working with Google engineers and Hymotion/A123Systems to build a small fleet of plug-in hybrids, adding an external plug and additional batteries to a regular hybrid car so that it runs on electricity with gasoline (or even better, biofuels) to extend the driving range for longer trips. Here’s what it looks like:
Residents of Dubai may one day experience a unique and constantly changing skyline thanks to Dynamic Architecture’s wind powered rotating skyscraper. The main idea behind their concept involves a central concrete core surrounded by 59 independently rotating levels. The skyscraper would generate its own electricity from the massive horizontal wind turbines that would be stacked in between each floor. This idea may seem outlandish or impossibly expensive, but the oil price boom in Dubai has already funded many other similarly massive and complex architectural projects. If oil prices continue to increase these rotating wonders may be seen on Dubai’s horizon within the next few years. Thanks Alt-e-news!
Each turbine can produce 0.3 megawatt of electricity, compared to 1-1.5 megawatt generated by a normal vertical turbine (windmill). Considering that Dubai gets 4,000 wind hours annually, the turbines incorporated into the building can generate 1,200,000 kilowatt-hour of energy. As average annual power consumption of a family is estimated to be 24,000 kilowatt-hours, each turbine can supply energy for about 50 families. The Dynamic Architecture tower in Dubai will be having 200 apartments and hence four turbines can take care of their energy needs. The surplus clean energy produced by the remaining 44 turbines can light up the neighborhood of the building. However, taking into consideration that the average wind speed in Dubai is of only 16 km/h the architects may need to double the number of turbines to light up the building to eight. Still there will be 40 free turbines, good enough to supply power for five skyscrapers of the same size. Read the rest of this entry »
Biogas- and water treatment plants are now able to produce electric power from biogas and deliver it directly to consumers over the grid. A revolutionizing micro power plant, the XRGI, has been developed and approved to produce electricity from biogas, and this gives new opportunities for the biogas- and water treatment plants.
With a guarantee for effect and low service expenses Biogas- and water treatment plants now can produce power to cover the plants own consumption and supply the grid with 100 pct. CO2-neutral power.
“The technology is now so mature that power production from Biogas- and water treatment plants is very interesting – both economically and from an environmental point of view. XRGI has been designed to run at least 30.000 hours without any repairs, and service is only to be done every 4.000 hours. This gives extremely low operating costs. ,” says Bjarne Bogner, CEO of EC Power, the company that developed the technology behind the XRGI-systems.
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Spectrolab, has achieved a new world record in terrestrial concentrator solar cell efficiency. Using concentrated sunlight, Spectrolab demonstrated the ability of a photovoltaic cell to convert 40.7 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) verified the milestone. High efficiency multijunction cells have a significant advantage over conventional silicon cells in concentrator systems because fewer solar cells are required to achieve the same power output. This technology will continue to dramatically reduce the cost of generating electricity from solar energy as well as the cost of materials used in high-power space satellites and terrestrial applications.
“This solar cell performance is the highest efficiency level any photovoltaic device has ever achieved,” said Dr. David Lillington, president of Spectrolab. “The terrestrial cell we have developed uses the same technology base as our space-based cells. So, once qualified, they can be manufactured in very high volumes with minimal impact to production flow.”
Researchers have been working toward the “40 percent barrier” for the past two decades. In the 1980s, multi-junction solar cells achieved about 16 percent efficiency, and DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory broke the 30 percent barrier in 1994. Today, most satellites use these multi-junction solar cells, and Spectrolab, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company, recently produced its two millionth solar cell using multi-junction technology. The new Spectrolab cell, developed with DOE funding, could lead to more affordable solar power systems here on Earth, costing as little as $3 per watt to install and producing electricity at a cost of 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Read the rest of this entry »
There are some fuel-efficient, gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles on the consumer market in both US and Europe, ranging from Toyota’s Prius to Ford’s Escape small sport utility vehicle. But choices have been limited for commercial vehicles. A Canadian company is working to change that by turning Ford commercial vans into hybrids. Last month, Azure signed an agreement with Ford to develop a hybrid system for E-350 and E-450 commercial vans. Ford will ship unfinished van chassis to Azure, which will add the electronics, motors and batteries needed for a hybrid vehicle. Steven Glaser, vice president of corporate affairs for Azure Dynamics in Toronto, said hybrid technology makes sense for commercial vehicles in urban environments. Shuttle buses and delivery trucks, for example, are constantly starting and stopping, and hybrids save the most fuel in such conditions. “The worse the drive cycle, the better it is for hybrid technology,” Glaser said.
How it works:
Much like Ford and Toyota hybrids, the commercial vans will use electric power at lower speeds and switch to gasoline engine power at higher speeds. When the vehicle brakes, the electric motor runs backwards, turning it into a generator that recharges the batteries.
Hybrid technology explained
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As much as 16 percent of India’s electricity needs could be supplied by wind power within the next 25 years, the country’s president told a gathering of renewable energy experts this week. India produces 6,053 megawatts of wind power, a tiny chunk of the estimated 130,000 megawatts of electricity it needs, but its installed wind power grew by 47 percent in the last fiscal year, the Indian Wind Energy Association says. “I find that in the moderate scenario 16 percent of (India’s) total energy requirement can be contributed by wind energy by 2030,” President Abdul Kalam said at the start of an annual conference being held this year in New Delhi. “The present potential of wind energy in India has been worked out to be 45,000 megawatts.”
The president also told the energy experts, officials and environmentalists from more than 35 countries at the gathering — organized by the World Wind Energy Association — that India was Asia’s biggest wind power market. “The Asian region alone accounted for 19 percent new installations in 2005, experiencing a growth of over 46 percent. India can justifiably be proud of the fact that the strongest Asian market in 2005 was India.” Source: Tehran Times