18 Jun 2013
It was starting to look like battery-swapping was DOA, or at least not going to happen for a while, but Tesla seems to want to revive the idea.
18 Jun 2013 7:55pm GMT
GooseWatch NYC volunteers hope to stop goose killing in the city's parks.
18 Jun 2013 7:33pm GMT
They will stay in the city until June 20th. After that, they continue their journey which will end in Norway.
18 Jun 2013 7:05pm GMT
While Project Better Place has met its end, the EV company Tesla Motors is gaining momentum. The company, which is gearing up to have its Model X join the Model S on the market in 2014, recently made a triumphant announcement: it has repaid its Department of Energy loan in full.
Tesla finally made a profit during the first quarter of 2013, $11.2 million from $561.8 million in revenue. But it was the nearly $1 billion raised in a stock and note sale, not profits, that the company used to pay this federal debt nine years early. The outstanding balance of Tesla's 2009 Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan was $451.8 million, profiting US taxpayers just a bit with roughly $12 million in interest. This massive final payment on Tesla's startup loan makes it the first motor vehicle company to pay back its loan from the ATVM loan program.
via: The Atlantic Wire
18 Jun 2013 3:31pm GMT
17 Jun 2013
Most of the new power technology we learn about these days falls on one side or the other of the power-generation/power-storage divide. But a power cell developed by researcher Zhong Lin Wang at Georgia Tech both produces and stores power in the same tiny unit.
The self-charging cell uses a "piezoelectric membrane that drives lithium ions from one side of the cell to the other when the membrane is deformed by mechanical stress. The lithium ions driven through the polarized membrane by the piezoelectric potential are directly stored as chemical energy using an electrochemical process."
According to the researchers, the direct transfer of physical energy (such as a shoe hitting pavement) to chemical energy is as much as five times as efficient as separate generation and storage systems.
The self-charging power cell is only a device the size of a coin, and only provides enough power to operate a small calculator. But the potential for use in wearable computing (as well as the everpresent "military applications," given DARPA sponsorship of the research) make this technology an interesting one to watch for further development.
images: Gary Meek/GT Research News
17 Jun 2013 7:16pm GMT
14 Jun 2013
Scaling up solar energy collection means addressing a critical problem. While additions like anti-reflective coatings can boost efficiency on solar panels, the more solar energy a collector gathers, the hotter it gets--and if temperatures rise too high the heat could damage the device.
A group at IBM Research - Zurich is addressing this problem and announced on Earth Day 2013 that they are developing a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system. IBM says the collector will be able to generate significantly more electrical power from the sun's rays than comparable systems while staying cool enough to function.
According to IBM, the proposed HCPVT system's dish contains hundreds of photovoltaic chips, and the rate at which it can generate electrical power is about 25kW. With the help of a microchannel water cooling system, the system is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns, on average, and converting 80 percent of the radiation collected.
In a video, a research scientist at Zurich explains the solar radiation concentration methods that will be used in the proposed system.
The design offers other efficiency boosts: the hot water produced in the microchannels can be used for air conditioning or filtered for drinking. More electrical power and a useful hot water byproduct aren't the only boons; as with many systems designed to increase efficiency, it promises to be more cost effective as well. Although IBM's press release on the proposed system doesn't mention any market plans, it does claim that the design is suitable for mass production. If they do go beyond prototype stages, IBM states these systems could be built at a cost three times lower than comparable systems, and may help deliver electricity, fresh water, and cool air to remote locations.
screencaptured image via IBM Social Media
14 Jun 2013 3:15pm GMT
12 Jun 2013
As I discussed here a couple years ago, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was significantly overallocated. In its first three-year compliance period (2009-11), the power plants regulated by the program emitted 377 million tons, a mere two-thirds of the...
12 Jun 2013 8:10pm GMT
Elizabeth Lucas, Center for Public Integrity, and Robert Benincasa, NPR, have analyzed Environmental Protection Agency databases to come up with this highly informative, interactive map of sites that release hazardous pollutants into the air. These sites are "high priority violators"...
12 Jun 2013 2:51am GMT
10 Jun 2013
Recently the New York Times, echoing some earlier local media coverage, ran an article about an ongoing regulatory initiative from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to close open fire pits on public beaches in Southern California because...
10 Jun 2013 3:47pm GMT