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FEB 20

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New Database to Help Increase Environmental Responsibility of Ocean Power
Written by Sarah Rich on 20/02/13   

In collaboration with the International Energy Agency, the United States Department of viagra price online Energy (DOE) recently launched a new database that brings together environmental monitoring and tramadol no prescription overnight worldwide ocean energy development efforts. Called Tethys, the database will show the levitra 20 interrelationship between processes in nature and ocean power technology, and will function as a resource to help keep environmental responsibility at the forefront of ocean-based energy production projects.

Named after the Greek titaness of the ocean, Tethys will help industry regulators and energy project developers alike identify possible environmental effects of the efforts to gain sustainable, clean energy from the world’s oceans. Tethys offers real-world data that accounts for the interconnectedness of oceanic ecosystems and technology, and offers insight on the interactions between energy-producing machines, marine wildlife, and the physical processes of the ocean. Having all of this data compiled together-- from tidal current turbines projects to published studies on offshore wind farms and marine mammals--will allow for a safer expansion of click now buy levitra 50 mg ocean power. According to the best viagra price DOE’s announcement, the database also has an accompanying report that highlights research on ways to monitor ocean energy projects and possible environmental effects.

The world’s oceans offer immense potential for alternative energy development. As with any alternative energy resource, however, ocean power developers must taken into account any negative environmental impacts from the technology in order for ocean power to be a truly renewable source of energy. As a living document, Thethys will constantly increase our global understanding of the ocean as new projects and new research data arise. In order to expand Tethys’s usefulness for current and future ocean power projects, the DOE encourages researchers to submit their studies to the database.

You can view an interactive map of Tethys here, and check out the technological developments in and viagra professional no prescription environmental research on oceans around the world.

image: CC by 2.0 by Phil Manker

via: US Department of Energy


FEB 15

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USDOE Offers Over $50 Million for Innovations in Vehicle Energy Efficiency
Written by Sarah Rich on 15/02/13   

If you have an idea on how to make motor vehicles greener, and you’re looking for funding for your research, you may be in luck. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing a funding opportunity for new research projects that will make motor vehicles have less of a negative impact on the environment and an improved fuel efficiency. The Department will invest over $50 million in these new research projects. In addition, the US Army plans to contribute $3.5 million where joint development opportunities arise, as part of the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the Energy Department.

While the solicitation for these new projects is currently in draft form, the DOE seeks public comment on the draft before beginning to accept applications for groundbreaking new motor vehicle technologies. Members of i recommend cheap viagra without prescription the public may review the draft of the solicitation on vehicle performance and fuel economy and offer thoughts on how to improve the solicitation before the final version is released. As the draft currently stands, project proposals can focus on any of five areas in which motor vehicles can become more energy efficient: advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials, advanced battery development, power electronics, advanced HVAC systems, and fuels and lubricants.

The DOE will accept comments on the draft until Friday February, 15. Those interested in commenting can find more information here, and comments on the Funding Opportunity Announcement may be submitted to the Energy Department at their designated email address. Inventors should wait until the cialis online in usa final draft is published as an amendment to the current draft before submitting their research proposals.

image: CC BY 2.0 by Kevin Krejci

via: US Department of Energy


FEB 14

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2012 Strongest Year Ever for US Wind Energy Industry
Written by Sarah Rich on 14/02/13   

The American Wind Energy Association announced that 2012 marked the wind energy industry’s strongest year ever. This past year wind energy accounted for over 40 percent of new generating capacity in the United States, surpassing all other energy-producing industries in new capacity, including those dependent on fossil fuels. The wind-powered generators currently installed will reduce US carbon emissions by 1.8 percent, preventing 95.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Although faced with government policy-related challenges, including the threat of the Production Tax Credit expiration (extended at the last minute by the “fiscal cliff package,” the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) the wind energy industry has much to celebrate. Rob Gramlich, AWEA Interim CEO, expressed his excitement over the industry’s triumphs, stating, “It is a real testament to American innovation and hard work that for the first time ever a renewable energy source was number one in new capacity. We are thrilled to mark this major milestone in the nation's progress toward a cleaner energy system.”

Including projects from 32 states and viagra now online Puerto Rico, the wind energy industry installed turbines capable of generating over 13,000 MW in 2012. (2010 holds the previous record for new wind power at 10,000 MW.) Texas and California top the viagra united kingdom list of states with new capacity installations, providing 1,826 MW and 1,656 MW respectively. The collective wind power in the US reached a whopping 60,000 MW (60 gigawatts) in January, enough power to provide electricity to every home in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio combined - the equivalent of powering nearly 15 million homes.

“Despite a considerable amount of policy uncertainty, the US wind power sector proved to be remarkably resilient in 2012, reaching a record level of installations while global wind investment fell 13%," US Director of The Climate Group, Amy Davidsen said. "But for the sector to continue... to grow, we must provide a more stable investment climate through clear, long-term policy signals.”

via: American Wind Energy Association


FEB 01

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​Is an 'Urban' SUV Greener?
Written by Philip Proefrock on 01/02/13   

'Urban' SUVs (decidedly intended for city rather than off-road use) were a trend we noticed at this year's Detroit Auto Show. Several manufacturers have vehicles that could be identified as part of this segment, and it could be indicative of a new trend if these vehicles are well received by consumers.

In addition to the diesel-electric hybrid CrossBlue from Volkswagen, there was also a Honda comcept called the Urban SUV. And, more recently, we've also come across discussion of brand cialis for sale a Chevy Volt crossover vehicle.  There's definitely a trend here.

The possible Chevy Volt-inspired crossover was being discussed at Autoguide, where they recently reported that Chevrolet has extended trademark on the name CrossVolt. GM has previously showed a concept Volt MPV5.

The trend toward smaller cars that are better suited to a more city-dwelling lifestyle appears to be increasing. Small vehicles like the Fiat 500, smart, Chevy Spark, Honda Fit, Scion iQ, and others are being sold to a market for which small, nimble vehicles are desirable. While small SUV may seem to be an oxymoron like 'jumbo shrimp,' the move toward smaller, lighter vehicles helps with overall fuel economy and efficiency.

Not all 'urban' SUVs will be hybrids. Honda has not announced much in the way of definite information about the Urban SUV (although it is scheduled for a 2014 North American debut), but some of the discussion about its features would indicate that it will be conventionally fueled, rather than a hybrid. But the trend toward smaller, more efficient and appropriately-scaled conventional vehicles can have as great an imapct on improving overall fleet efficiency as the flashier hybrids and EVs. It's a trend we will continue to keep an eye on.


JAN 28

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Four African Teenagers Create Generator that Runs on Pee
Written by Sarah Rich on 28/01/13   

What if human waste, what’s left after our bodies extract energy-producing nutrients from our food and drink, could itself be transformed into energy? Four African teenagers went beyond asking this question: they created a generator powered by human urine. The machine, built by 14-year-olds Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola,was presented in Lagos, Nigeria at the fourth annual Maker Faire Africa this November. The pan-African Maker Faire features and supports inventions that work to address problems like the worldwide need for energy production.

According to the Maker Faire Africa website, the machine turns 1 liter of urine into 6 hours of electricity and works like this: urine goes into an electrolytic cell, which extracts the hydrogen from the pee (specifically from the urea, one of the main compounds of the best site viagra brand name urine). This hydrogen is purified in a water filter, and then pushed into a gas cylinder. There, the gas cylinder pushes the hydrogen into a liquid borax cylinder, where moisture is removed from the hydrogen gas. Finally, the purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator to power it.

As with all new inventions in alternative energy, this generator isn’t a panacea for our global energy problems. NBC’s John Roach offers a “reality check” concerning the pee-powered generator, pointing out that the Maker Faire Africa website does not list the wattage produced, so we don’t know just how much the generator could power. While Roach’s article tempers excitement about the pee generator, it does point to where this technology could be used effectively: wastewater treatment facilities where the the best site discount generic cialis online pee already flows, ready to be put to use.

Perhaps machines like these could eventually become features of wastewater treatment facilities. Such a resourceful new invention that turns waste into electricity could turn wastewater treatment facilities into places where wastewater is not only treated, but where pee turns into power.

via: Grist

image: CC BY 2.0 by Erik (HASH) Hersman


JAN 24

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Volkswagen Introduces a Diesel Hybrid SUV
Written by Philip Proefrock on 24/01/13   

Perhaps the most interesting of the new vehicles unveiled at this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is a new midsize SUV from Volkswagen that merges VW diesel with electric hybrid drive called the Cross Blue.

The Cross Blue SUV is especially designed for the American market. It is a midsize SUV with 6- or 7-seat options. The Cross Blue has a diesel TDI engine along with 2 electric motors and enter site viagra uk has an EPA rating of 89 MPGe. With a 9.8 kWh lithium ion battery pack it has an all-electric driving range of 21 miles (33 km).

Volkswagen has been working on diesel hybrid concepts for a while, and Mercedes had a diesel hybrid concept SUV a few years back that had a number of similarities to the VW Cross Blue. In 2010, Peugeot introduced the first diesel hybrid production car, although it was only available in Europe. But this still seems like a mainstream breakthrough for the idea of a clean diesel hybrid vehicle in an appropriate package.

The Cross Blue SUV is expected to begin production at VW's plant in Tennessee in 2015.

image: EcoGeek


JAN 14

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Finding the Green Cars at NAIAS 2013
Written by Philip Proefrock on 14/01/13   

The environmental focus from the past few years of 5mg cialis car design and marketing has largely evaporated in this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Even more than last year's show, green cars are comparatively few and far between in the displays at Detroit.

This is not to say that green technology is absent from this year's show. While the cutaway vehicles that showed how hybrids work are mostly gone, the hybrids and other green vehicles are still a part of many manufacturers' lineups. For a visitor who has seen several of these shows, the increase in fuel efficiency requirements is apparent with more cars that get over 30 MPG, but it is disappointing to find that there are also still many cars with performance under 20 MPG.

Some automakers that have previously had notably green cars as part of their mix in previous years have nothing highlighted in this year's show, including Volvo and Audi. And the technological angle has taken a backseat, overall, to presenting cars as part of a lifestyle. The theme park aspect of last year's show is also far less of a presence, with only a few interactive ride-style displays.

For other builders, green cars have become significantly mainstream. The Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF, Toyota Prius and other green cars are simply integrated into the overall manufacturers' displays, and prominent 'eco' badging and side decal identification of green cars is largely absent. The emphasis is no longer on these cars as special offerings that are somehow significantly different from the rest of the line. They now sit as just another car in the manufacturers' range of offerings.

Despite this general trend, there are some interesting new concepts being unveiled this year, as well as green technology arising in some unexpected places. We'll have more specific reports on some of these forthcoming.

And, for the most overused graphic of the year, we'll nominate the car driving on a computer-generated ribbon that then dives and twists like a roller-coaster. Only partway through the viagra without prescription first day of the show, and we've already seen this too many times.


JAN 12

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Temperature Extremes In Both Hemispheres
Written by Philip Proefrock on 12/01/13   

Recently, there have been a couple of buy levitra pill extreme climate effects noted. Record high temperatures have made the news on two continents in the northern and southern hemispheres.

In the United States, to the surprise of no one who experienced it, 2012 was the hottest year on record by more than a degree, with hundreds of new temperature records set throughout the year. The average national temperature was a full degree higher than the previous record. A degree of temperature may not seem like much, but when talking about an average over a year, that's a huge spike. "Normally, records are broken by a tenth of a degree or so."

And, in Australia, recent temperatures have gotten so hot that the Bureau of Meteorology has had to add new colors to those it uses on its interactive weather forecasting chart. Until now, the temperature maps have gone up to 50 degrees C (122 F), but that hasn't been enough for recent high temperatures. Now, the new scale extends to 54 C (129 F).

via: @drgrist and NPR


JAN 05

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​FIPEL Lights May Offer Alternative to LED
Written by Philip Proefrock on 05/01/13   

LEDs may seem to be the peak of efficient lighting technology, but they aren't perfect, and that doesn't mean that other technologies aren't being explored. Recently, scientists from Wake Forest University announced a new kind of 100mg levitra light called FIPEL, which stands for "field-induced polymer electroluminescent." If it performs as promised, it offers several advantages over LED and compact fluorescent lights. With commercial development already under way, lights using this technology are reportedly going to be available to consumers in 2013.

Researchers behind the viagra no prescription canada project are promoting it for its improved color properties, as well as avoiding the use of mercury or the "annoying buzz" in fluorescent lights. Of course, the old style T-12 fluorescent bulbs, and their associated magnetic ballasts (which were the kind that could develop a hum) are already being phased out, and means and methods for warming the light from LEDs have long been available.

This is not to say that there are no benefits from FIPEL lights. One disadvantage that most LEDs present is that they are point sources, so the light is very directional. FIPEL light comes from the entire surface (similar to the ESL light, another alternative to CFL or LED lights).

A review posted in Ars Technica reveals a number of weaknesses in the data available about the FIPEL light. Ars notes that the new light is "based on FIPEL technology," and not necessarily a proper FIPEL light. The article from Ars also dissects the numbers around FIPEL light as compared with other technologies, and finds it seriously wanting.

For instance, the light level of the test FIPEL had a luminance of 100 cd/sq meter, which is only a tiny fraction of the luminance of a light such as a fluorescent tube (27,000 cd/sq meter) or even the Moon (2,500 cd/sq meter). However, the photo attached to the press release and used in other articles about the technology (as well as this one) show something in the researchers' hands that is more than a little bit brighter than the lab space. So the numbers may not add up, but something would appear to be working. Furthermore, glare can be reduced by spreading the light over a wider area, so a larger area, lower luminance light source is not necessarily a bad thing.

via: Buildings


DEC 11

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Road Trains Could Allow Driverless Green Travel
Written by Philip Proefrock on 11/12/12   

The idea of self-driving vehicles has been getting increasing attention on several fronts. Google's self-driving car is perhaps the most widely publicized example, but other options are under development at various stages. Volvo is working on a different approach, with cars that are not completely autonomous, but that can safely follow others in a close formation known as a road train.

In a road train, vehicles equipped with wireless connectivity and control equipment will be able to follow other vehicles in close formation, with a lead vehicle being driven by a human driver. Computers and sensors will monitor the convoy, and automatically follow the lead vehicle with safe clearances. Once a vehicle is part of a road train, the driver can can switch their attention to other things.

Road trains would offer a number of benefits that are beneficial to the environment as well as to drivers.

Fuel mileage will improve, as vehicles stay at the same speed (acceleration reduces efficiency). Cars can safely drive more closely to one another, and will benefit from lowered wind resistance. With groups of cars moving at predictable speeds, congestion will improve. And the stress of the daily commute will be alleviated, with time in the car to read or relax.

The Volvo system has been undergoing testing for the past several years. A video presentation from Volvo shows vehicles operating on a test track to demonstrate the workings of this system.

Hat tip to: Jaymi Heimbuch


DEC 11

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Disassembling Concrete with Lightning
Written by Philip Proefrock on 11/12/12   

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have developed a method to break down old concrete debris into its constituents for better recycling and express cialis delivery re-use of the material. The process, called electrodynamic fragmentation, uses very short pulses (less than 500 nanoseconds) of induced lightning to separate gravel from cement materials in concrete.

Concrete is a material with a mixed environmental pedigree. Although its workability and durability make it extremely useful for a lot of purposes, it also has several drawbacks. There are the environmental impacts from the production of concrete, and it is also a major component of the materials going into landfills, so this makes the idea of recycling concrete a compelling one.

At present, most concrete recycling is merely to crush it and use it for sub-base under roads. This is better than landfilling it, but is a downcycling of the material. With the new lightning process, the aggregates can be more readily salvaged and re-used in new concrete.

Production of new cement from the recovered, separated material would be the ultimate goal of concrete recycling, since the production of cement is one of the single most intensive sources of CO2 emissions at present. While this process does not accomplish that, it does lay the way for that kind of recycling to become a possibility.

image: CC BY-SA 2.0 by brewbooks

via: Gizmag


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