Energy Inventions News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Energy Inventions News Articles in Media
Imagine being able to convert water into a boundless source of cheap energy. That's what BlackLight Power, a 25-employee firm in Cranbury, N.J., says it can do. The only problem: Most scientists say that company's technology violates the basic laws of physics. Such skepticism doesn't daunt Dr. Randell Mills, a Harvard-trained physician and founder of BlackLight, who recently claimed that he has created a working fuel cell using the world's most pervasive element: the hydrogen found in water. Mills says he has a market-ready product: a fuel cell that produces a chemical reaction to alter hydrogen atoms. The fuel cell releases heat that turns water into steam, which drives electric turbines. The working models in his lab generate 50 kilowatts of electricity - enough to power six or seven houses. But these, Mills says, can be scaled [up] to drive a large, electric power plant. The inventor claims this electricity will cost less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which compares to a national average of 8.9 cents. Mills developed the patented cocktail that enables the reaction - a solid fuel made of hydrogen and a sodium hydride catalyst - only a year ago. (He recently posted instructions on the company's Web site, blacklightpower.com). Now that the device is ready for commercialization, he says, BlackLight is negotiating with several utilities and architecture and engineering firms. The business, Mills says, has attracted $60 million in funding from wealthy individuals, investment firms ... and it is no longer seeking money. BlackLight's board of directors reads like a Who's Who of finance and energy leaders.
Note: For two New York Times articles showing the viability of this amazing technology, click here and here. And for the latest on this exciting technology, click here. For many other exciting major media news articles on new energy inventions, click here.
Italian physicist and inventor Andrea Rossi has conducted a public demonstration of his "cold fusion" machine, the E-Cat, at the University of Bologna, showing that a small amount of input energy drives an unexplained reaction between atoms of hydrogen and nickel that leads to a large outpouring of energy, more than 10 times what was put in. The first seemingly successful cold fusion experiment was reported two decades ago. Two types of atoms, typically a light element and a heavier metal, seem to fuse together, releasing pure heat that can be converted into electricity. The process is an attractive energy solution for two reasons: Unlike in nuclear fission, the reaction doesn't give off dangerous radiation. Unlike the fusion processes that take place in the sun, cold fusion doesn't require extremely high temperatures. In April ... Rossi and fellow physicist Sergio Focardi successfully demonstrated the device for a group of Swedish physicists. At the demo in October, after an initial energy input of 400 watts into each module, each one then produced a sustained, continuous output of 10 kilowatts (470 kW altogether) for three to four hours. Peter Hagelstein, an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science and one of the most mainstream proponents of cold fusion research, thinks the process may involve vibrational energy in the metal's lattice driving nuclear transitions that lead to fusion.
Note: For lots more on this exciting development, click here. And for a CBS video segment and another excellent documentary showing top researchers who continue to be very excited about results of ongoing cold fusion experiments, click here. For media reports on other suppressed new energy inventions, click here.
Twenty years ago it appeared, for a moment, that all our energy problems could be solved. It was the announcement of cold fusion - nuclear energy like that which powers the sun - but at room temperature on a table top. It promised to be cheap, limitless and clean. Cold fusion would end our dependence on the Middle East and stop those greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. It would change everything. But then, just as quickly as it was announced, it was discredited. So thoroughly, that cold fusion became a catch phrase for junk science. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to oblivion - for many scientists today, cold fusion is hot again. "We can yield the power of nuclear physics on a tabletop. The potential is unlimited. That is the most powerful energy source known to man," researcher Michael McKubre told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. McKubre says he has seen that energy more than 50 times in cold fusion experiments he's doing at SRI International, a respected California lab that does extensive work for the government. McKubre is an electro-chemist who imagines, in 20 years, the creation of a clean nuclear battery. "For example, a laptop would come pre-charged with all of the energy that you would ever intend to use. You're now decoupled from your charger and the wall socket," he explained. The same would go for cars. "The potential is for an energy source that would run your car for three, four years, for example. And you'd take it in for service every four years and they'd give you a new power supply," McKubre told Pelley.
Note: To watch the full, revealing 12-minute video clip of this segment, click here.
Distance, not speed, was the goal this weekend on the track at the 2009 Shell Eco-marathon Americas(R), a challenge for students to design, build and test fuel-efficient vehicles that travel the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. This year, more than 500 students from North and South America were on hand to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency. So who came out on top? The student team from Laval University, with an astonishing 2,757.1 miles per gallon, equivalent to 1,172.2 kilometres per liter, won the grand prize in the "Prototype" category. And in the "UrbanConcept" category - new to the Americas event this year - the team from Mater Dei High School took the grand prize by achieving 433.3 mpg, equivalent to 184.2 km/l. With 44 participating teams at track competition was steep. This year's challenge brought together a number of returning teams determined to beat the 2,843 mpg (1,208 km/l) record set by Mater Dei High School (Evansville, Ind.) in 2008, combined with a number of new teams adding fresh innovation and vehicle designs to the competition. "The Shell Eco-marathon is a platform for students to let their imaginations run wild," said Mark Singer, global project manager for the Shell Eco-marathon. "By encouraging these students to build vehicles with greater energy efficiency, we hope this will help inspire others; and together we can find solutions that will help meet the global energy challenge."
Note: CNBC removed this article for some reason. It was still available on the Shell website at this link for a while, but then strangely removed. Using the Internet Archive, you can still view the article at this link. Why so little media attention to this most exciting race for top gas mileage? And if high school students can build a car that gets over 2,500 mpg, what's up with Detroit? Could big business be suppressing, or at the very least ignoring these inspiring inventions?
Johnathan Goodwin walks to the back of his auto conversion shop in Wichita, Kan., and lifts up a gas nozzle connected to a huge cube-shaped container. The orange stuff he's pumping is the key to his company's mission: converting the worst gas-gulping SUVs into cleaner, meaner machines. "This is 100 percent canola oil, refined to biodiesel," Goodwin said. His well-maintained shop is a bit like a showroom for that much-maligned symbol of environmental ruin: the Hummer. The silver H-1 – which Goodwin says gets 60 miles per gallon – has already been modified to run on biodiesel, diesel, vegetable oil, gasoline, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas and propane. On a standard gasoline-to-biodiesel conversion, Goodwin starts by taking a new nine-mile-per-gallon Hummer and removing the original gas engine. In goes an off-the-shelf GM Duramax engine that runs on diesel fuel. A few extra modifications and a tank full of biodiesel later, the Hummer – now boasting 500 horsepower and getting about 20 miles per gallon – is ready for the road. He offers a couple of lower-cost options, including a fuel vaporizer for $1,000 that he says boosts fuel economy by 30 percent, and a $500 software download that reprograms diesel engines to get up to an additional seven miles per gallon. His work has many wondering why the big automakers can't simply reconfigure their assembly lines to make their own cars run as efficiently as Goodwin does. "I don't know why GM hasn't done it," says Goodwin. "But I can tell you that all the parts that I use for the conversion – 95 percent – are all GM parts. I'm not reinventing anything."
Note: For lots more powerful and inspiring information on this breakthrough technology and kits you can order, click here. For many other revealing major media articles showing new energy inventions and breakthroughs which should be making headlines, click here.
Last winter, inventor John Kanzius was already attempting one seemingly impossible feat -- building a machine to cure cancer with radio waves -- when his device inadvertently succeeded in another: He made saltwater catch fire. TV footage of his bizarre discovery has been burning up the blogosphere ever since, drawing crackpots and Ph.D.s alike into a raging debate. Can water burn? And if so, what good can come of it? Some people gush over the invention's potential for desalinization or cheap energy. Briny seawater, after all, sloshes over most of the planet's surface, and harnessing its heat energy could power all sorts of things. Skeptics say Kanzius's radio generator is sucking up far more energy than it's creating, making it a carnival trick at best. For now, Kanzius is tuning out the hubbub. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, he began building his radio-wave blaster the next year, soon after a relapse. If he could seed a person's cancerous cells with nanoscopic metal particles and blast them with radio waves, perhaps he could kill off the cancer while sparing healthy tissue. The saltwater phenomenon happened by accident when an assistant was bombarding a saline-filled test tube with radio waves and bumped the tube, causing a small flash. Curious, Kanzius struck a match. "The water lit like a propane flame," he recalls. "People said, 'It's a crock. Look for hidden electrodes in the water,' " says Penn State University materials scientist Rustum Roy, who visited [Kanzius] in his lab in August after seeing the feat on Google Video. A demo made Roy a believer. "This is discovery science in the best tradition," he says. Meanwhile, researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have made progress using Kanzius's technology to fight cancer in animals. They published their findings last month in the journal Cancer.
Note: For other compelling articles on this fascinating invention, see recent articles in the Los Angeles Times, ABC News, and especially Medical News Today. And for dozens of astounding major media articles showing clear suppression of potential cancer cures, click here.
The Plasma Converter ... can consume nearly any type of waste—from dirty diapers to chemical weapons—by annihilating toxic materials in a process ... called plasma gasification. A 650-volt current passing between two electrodes rips electrons from the air, converting the gas into plasma. The plasma arc is so powerful, it disintegrates trash into its constituent elements by tearing apart molecular bonds. The system is capable of breaking down pretty much anything except nuclear waste. The only by-products are an obsidian-like glass [and] a mixture of primarily hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be converted into a variety of marketable fuels, including ethanol, natural gas and hydrogen. Perhaps the most amazing part of the process is that it’s self-sustaining. Once the cycle is under way, the 2,200°F syngas is fed into a cooling system, generating steam that drives turbines to produce electricity. About two thirds of the power is siphoned off to run the converter; the rest can be used on-site for heating or electricity, or sold back to the utility grid. Even a blackout would not stop the operation of the facility. New York City is already paying an astronomical $90 a ton to get rid of its trash. According to Startech, a few 2,000-ton-per-day plasma-gasification plants could do it for $36. Sell the syngas and surplus electricity, and you’d actually net $15 a ton. But the decision-making bureaucracy can be slow, and it is hamstrung by the politically well-connected waste-disposal industry. Startech isn’t the only company using plasma to turn waste into a source of clean energy. A handful of start-ups—Geoplasma, Recovered Energy, PyroGenesis, EnviroArc and Plasco Energy, among others—have entered the market in the past decade.
Note: Why isn't this amazing, proven machine and technology making front page headlines? Read this exciting article to find how it is already being used. For why you don't know about it, click here. And for another amazing new energy source not yet reported in the major media, click here.
Brazil's new generation of cars and trucks adapted to run on alcohol has just hit the two-million mark. "Flex-fuel" vehicles, which run on any combination of ethanol and petrol, now make up 77% of the Brazilian market. Brazil has pioneered the use of ethanol derived from sugar-cane as motor fuel. Ethanol-driven cars have been on sale there for 25 years, but they have been enjoying a revival since flex-fuel models first appeared in March 2003. Just 48,200 flex-fuel cars were sold in Brazil in 2003, but the total had reached 1.2 million by the end of last year and had since topped two million, the Brazilian motor manufacturers' association Anfavea said.
Note: With sky-high gasoline prices and the fear of depletion of global oil supplies, why don't such cars exist in the U.S.? Why are the trains of almost every other developed nation far advanced from trains in the U.S.? And why isn't the U.S. media reporting on this important development? For possible answers, click here. The excellent movie Who Killed the Electric Car is also incredibly revealing.
A car driven by a 10-year-old and built at a French school has set a new world record for fuel efficiency. The Microjoule team managed the equivalent of 9,845 miles per gallon while driving for 10 miles around Silverstone race track in the UK. More than 100 teams competed in the Shell Eco-Marathon. Their one goal was to see how far they can get these amazing machines to travel on a minuscule amount of fuel. While we might be delirious if we managed 40 miles (64 kilometres) to the gallon (4.5 litres) pottering about town in our super minis, these people are not happy until they have seen the mileometer click through the thousands. The teams have a choice of petrol or diesel, with solar assistance permitted for the first time this year. A car is allowed three 40-minute runs. It must average at least 15 mph (24 kph) after which the stewards at the meeting calculate the machine's fuel efficiency. "The top fuel teams do about 10 miles, which is six laps on the club circuit at Silverstone," says the event's fuel manager Geoff Houlbrook. "They do that on less than 10 millilitres which is just two teaspoons of fuel." The entries come from all over Europe. Some teams use advanced materials like titanium and carbon fibre. Some of the machines built by schoolchildren are made from parts of old sewing and washing machines. "It's fun but it's also science," says BBC Top Gear presenter and racing driver Tiff Needell. "It's like an experiment with people learning how to save energy."
Note: Some of these amazing vehicles built in 1999 were "built by schoolchildren," yet the auto industry still can't come up with a car that get's 100 mpg? Granted these cars are slow and small, but if they can get almost 10,000 mpg, don't you think similar technology could be used to get at least several hundred mpg in regular cars? For why car mileage hasn't increased much since the 1908 Model T got 25 mpg, click here and here.
Weren't we taught that radio was invented by an Italian named Guglielmo Marconi? And that the legendary Thomas Alva Edison devised today's electrical power system? "We were taught wrong," said Toby Grotz, president of the International Tesla Society. Two years before Marconi demonstrated his wireless radio transmission, [Nikola Tesla] performed an identical feat at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. On June 21, 1943, in the case of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. vs. the United States, the Supreme Court ruled that that Tesla's radio patents had predated those of the Italian genius. To be sure, Edison invented the incandesent light bulb. But he powered it and all of his other projects with inefficient direct current (DC) electricity. It was Tesla who discovered how to use the far more powerful phased form of alternating current (AC) electricity that is virtually the universal type of electricity employed by modern civilization. There are indications that Tesla also discovered many of the devices ... for the Pentagon's controversial Star Wars antimissile defense system. "Tesla dreamed of supplying limitless amounts of power freely and equally available to all persons on Earth," said Grotz. And he was convinced he could do so by broadcasting electrical power across large distances just as radio transmits far smaller amounts of energy. [Tesla's] tests ... caused lights to burn as much as 26 miles away, according to news reports of the time.
Note: Tesla was written out of history texts likely because he advocated providing methods for extremely cheap electricity available to everyone. He successfully transmitted electricity through the air to lights 26 miles away. Yet the rich energy power brokers of his time could not stand for this. Only the little known Supreme Court ruling mentioned above restored his claim as original inventor of the radio. For lots more on this most fascinating genius, click on the article link above and click here and here. For revealing major media articles showing the suppression of other energy inventions which could transform our world, click here.
Membranes based on the "miracle material" graphene can be used to distil alcohol, according to a new study in Science [magazine]. An international team created the membrane from graphene oxide - a chemical derivative of graphene. They have shown that the membrane blocks the passage of several gases and liquids, but lets water through. This joins a long list of fascinating and unusual properties associated with graphene and its derivatives. Graphene ... is a flat layer of carbon atoms tightly packed into a two-dimensional honeycomb arrangement. Because it is so thin, it is also practically transparent. As a conductor of electricity, it performs as well as copper; and as a conductor of heat, it outperforms all other known materials. The unusual electronic, mechanical and chemical properties of graphene at the molecular scale promise numerous applications. Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester were awarded 2010's Nobel Prize in physics for their discovery [of graphene]. Geim and others have now developed a laminate made from thin sheets of graphene oxide. These films were hundreds of times thinner than a human hair but remained strong, flexible and easy to handle. In another study in Science journal, a different team reports the development of a membrane based on diamond-like carbon. This membrane has unique pore sizes that allow for the ultra-fast passage of oil through it. One expert said it could potentially be used for filtering toxic contaminants out of water or for purifying industrial chemicals.
Note: To read about the exciting potential of this miracle material to create fresh water from salt water, click here. For revealing media articles on amazing energy inventions, most of which are not getting nearly the attention they deserve, click here.
A long-sought solar milestone was eclipsed on Tuesday, when Tempe, Ariz.–based First Solar Inc. announced that the manufacturing costs for its thin-film photovoltaic panels had dipped below $1 per watt for the first time. With comparable costs for standard silicon panels still hovering in the $3 range, it's tempting to conclude that First Solar's cadmium telluride (CdTe) technology has won the race. But if we're concerned about the big picture (scaling up solar until it's a cheap and ubiquitous antidote to global warming and foreign oil) a forthcoming study from the University of California–Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that neither material has what it takes compared to lesser-known alternatives such as—we're not kidding—fool's gold. Even if the solar cell market were to grow at 56 percent a year for the next 10 years—slightly higher than the rapid growth of the past year—photovoltaics would still only account for about 2.5 percent of global electricity, LBNL researcher Cyrus Wadia says. "First Solar is great, as long as we're talking megawatts or gigawatts," he says. "But as soon as they have to start rolling out terawatts, that's where I believe they will reach some limitations." Even the current rate of growth won't be easy to sustain. Despite the buck-per-watt announcement, First Solar's share price plummeted more than 20 percent on Wednesday, thanks to warnings from CEO Mike Ahearn about the effect of the credit crisis on potential solar customers—as much as 10 to 15 percent of current orders might default.
Note: Solar energy costs have dropped consistently and steadily over the past 30 years. In the late 1970s solar energy cost $100 per watt. The price will almost certainly continue to drop. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2005 that "the electricity currently provided by utilities ... averages $1 per watt." Why isn't it being trumpeted loudly worldwide in the media that solar energy is reaching parity with traditional energy sources? Could it be that powerful interests don't want solar energy to be competitive with oil and nuclear?
Ask nearly any physicist if it’s possible for a hydrogen atom to enter a lower energy state than the ground, or resting, state they hold in nature, and you’re likely to get an unequivocal “no”. But a tiny company in New Jersey called Blacklight Power has been disputing that assumption for over a decade, and of late, making gad-fly claims that its founder says will overturn the accepted scientific order. Blacklight’s claims have a special significance: If they’re true, there’s a source of cheap, clean energy that can be easily tapped anywhere in the world. Blacklight is now saying that it has physical proof of its energy generator, verified by an independent university lab. Its “hydrino” theory isn’t put forth by a single crackpot; instead, the company employs a good handful of high-level scientists who would presumably rebel if the idea was totally false. It has also taken over $60 million in venture funding. Despite a hearty rejection by the scientific mainstream, and being ignored for years on end, its founder, Randell Mills, has plugged on. Now an engineering team at Rowan University ...has come forward with results from its own tests of the Blacklight process. Tests conducted in sealed chambers, and measured with a device called a calorimeter, show a heat reaction from a substance provided by Blacklight far beyond anything anticipated. “We’ve been able to regularly reproduce these results and we believe any research lab could do the same,” Peter Jansson, the faculty member heading the experiments, [said].
BlackLight Power, the company that has pulled in $60 million for its seemingly physics-defying fuel cell, is back with an announcement about an independent validation of its technology. A team of engineers, headed by Dr. Peter Jansson at Rowan University, have tested BlackLight’s prototypes and found that the devices perform as BlackLight claims, ambiguously concluding that “there is a novel reaction of some type causing the large exotherm which is consistently produced.” To translate: There’s definitely lots of energy being produced. They’re just not sure why. BlackLight says its technology can push an electron closer to the nucleus by way of a catalytic reaction, resulting in a huge amount of clean energy. The company describes the reaction as “somewhere between a nuclear and a chemical reaction,” but without any of the messy fallout. The team at Rowan tested BlackLight’s 1,000- and 50,000-watt reactors over three months and were able to replicate BlackLight’s energy claims, saying that the energy produced “cannot be explained by other known sources like combustion or nuclear energy.” The company says a complete verification of the whole process will likely happen within a year. BlackLight tells us it is now in the process of licensing its technology to power producers. The company says it has enough capital to get through commercialization and plans to have its reactors in a power plant in the next two years.
The idea is deceptively simple. Forget about fancy batteries, regenerative braking, and alternative fuels. Instead, make a car that's elegant in its minimalism and efficiency. The Loremo's German designers revisited the basics — engine efficiency, low weight, and minimal drag — to create a car that offers fuel-efficiency in the neighborhood of 130 to 150 miles per gallon. The Loremo is likely to dazzle drivers not with its acceleration, but with its ability to drive from New York to L.A. with only three stops at the pump. Loremo stands for low resistance mobile, and its engineers have stuck obsessively to this idea. By building the car around a 2-cylinder turbodiesel engine, and cutting back on weight, drag, and other excess fat such as side-opening doors, the Loremo puffs out a mere 50 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. This is about 40 grams less per kilometer than the tiny diesel smart. According to its creators, this will make the Loremo the most efficient production car ever sold. If the Loremo showed up as a concept on an auto show pedestal, it would certainly garner some attention. But the Loremo is not a car for dreamers; not only will it enter mass production next year, it will sport a base price attainable by mortal motorists: 15,000 euros (about U.S. $22,000). After its 2009 release in Europe, the Loremo will be redesigned to reach the North American market the following year. A $30,000, 3-cylinder GT model will also become available, offering better acceleration (0-60 in roughly 10 seconds, vs. 16 for the base model). Both hybrid and fully electric versions are also in the works.
Note: For many exciting, reliable reports on new energy and automobile technologies, click here.
Imagine a solar panel without the panel. Just a coating, thin as a layer of paint, that takes light and converts it to electricity. From there, you can picture roof shingles with solar cells built inside and window coatings that seem to suck power from the air. Consider solar-powered buildings stretching not just across sunny Southern California, but through China and India and Kenya as well, because even in those countries, going solar will be cheaper than burning coal. That’s the promise of thin-film solar cells: solar power that’s ubiquitous because it’s cheap. The basic technology has been around for decades, but this year, Silicon Valley–based Nanosolar created the manufacturing technology that could make that promise a reality. The company produces its PowerSheet solar cells with printing-press-style machines that set down a layer of solar-absorbing nano-ink onto metal sheets as thin as aluminum foil, so the panels can be made for about a tenth of what current panels cost and at a rate of several hundred feet per minute. Nanosolar’s first commercial cells rolled off the presses this year. Cost has always been one of solar’s biggest problems. Traditional solar cells require silicon, and silicon is an expensive commodity. That means even the cheapest solar panels cost about $3 per watt of energy they go on to produce. To compete with coal, that figure has to shrink to just $1 per watt. Nanosolar’s cells use no silicon, and the company’s manufacturing process allows it to create cells that are as efficient as most commercial cells for as little as 30 cents a watt. "It really is quite a big deal in terms of altering the way we think about solar and in inherently altering the economics of solar," says Dan Kammen, founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley.
Note: For exciting reports of other new energy technologies, click here.
The star at last week's Philadelphia Auto Show wasn't a sports car or an economy car. It was a sports-economy car — one that combines performance and practicality under one hood. But as CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports in this week's Assignment America, the car that buyers have been waiting decades [for] comes from an unexpected source and runs on soybean bio-diesel fuel to boot. A car that can go from zero to 60 in four seconds and get more than 50 miles to the gallon would be enough to pique any driver's interest. So who do we have to thank for it. Ford? GM? Toyota? No — just Victor, David, Cheeseborough, Bruce, and Kosi, five kids from the auto shop program at West Philadelphia High School. The five kids ... built the soybean-fueled car as an after-school project. It took them more than a year — rummaging for parts, configuring wires and learning as they went. As teacher Simon Hauger notes, these kids weren't exactly the cream of the academic crop. "If you give kids that have been stereotyped as not being able to do anything an opportunity to do something great, they'll step up," he says. Stepping up is something the big automakers have yet to do. They're still in the early stages of marketing hybrid cars while playing catch-up to the Bad News Bears of auto shop. "We made this work," says Hauger. "We're not geniuses. So why aren't they doing it?" Kosi thinks he knows why. The answer, he says, is the big oil companies.
Note: So why isn't this remarkable engine design breakthrough making front page headlines in all major media? Why aren't the many other major energy breakthroughs that have been reported given the headlines they deserve? Could it be that those who are reaping huge profits from oil sales have much more political and media influence than you might imagine? For lots more reliable information on this, click here.
that can travel the world using a fraction of the electricity it takes to power
a light bulb has been unveiled by its British creators. The hydrogen-powered
Ech2o needs just 25 Watts -- the equivalent of less than two gallons of petrol
-- to complete the 25,000-mile global trip, while emitting nothing more hazardous
than water. But with a top speed of 30mph, the journey would take more than
a month to complete. Ech2o, built by British gas firm BOC, will
bid to smash the world fuel efficiency record of over 10,000 miles per gallon
at the Shell Eco Marathon. The record is currently ... 5,385 km/per liter [12,900
mpg!]. John Carolin, BOC global director sustainable energy: "It sounds
unbelievable how little power is used to keep the BOC Ech2o moving, but it demonstrates
the impact of careful design and is a valuable lesson for car makers in the
Note: If these small test cars get over 10,000 miles per gallon, why aren't new cars getting at least 100 mpg?
Tucked away on the Toyota stand you will find a cheeky little coupé that looks sporty but whose raison d’ętre is fuel economy, the lowest exhaust emissions and ease of recycling. The ES3 — the initials stand for Eco Spirit — achieves 104mpg in the official European fuel consumption tests, a record for a four-seat car. Some months ago I drove this prototype and not only is it even more economical than the special “3 litre” (three litres of fuel for every 100km travelled, or 94mpg) versions of the Audi A2 and VW Lupo that sell in Germany, but the Toyota is more lively and responsive and would be very acceptable as an everyday car. The ES3 has a 1.4 litre turbocharged diesel engine and CVT (continuously variable transmission).
Note: So what happened to this amazing car? Why haven't we heard anything about it since the article was published in 2002? Read the revealing WantToKnow.info article at this link to learn how this amazing car, which was the talk of the fuel economy car industry in 2002, eventually disappeared. And for an excellent essay which provides key information on this topic, including a detailed list of suppressed inventions which greatly improve gasoline mileage reported over the years in respected magazines, click here.
Troy, Mich., in the belly of the automobile industry, is an odd place to spark a revolution against the internal-combustion engine. But, then, Stanford Ovshinsky is no ordinary gearhead. Although he never went to college, he founded a new field of physics based on the superconductivity of certain alloys. The company he formed in 1960, Energy Conversion Devices, makes the photovoltaic cells used on the Mir space station to generate electricity from sunlight. In the '80s the Japanese licensed his patents to produce digital video discs. But what really revs him up these days is a car battery. How dull is that? Not at all, if it can "change the world," as he claims with a subversive glint in his eye. When Ovshinsky talked of scaling up his battery to run a car, he was ridiculed. "The auto companies said it wouldn't work," he recalls. "Then, after one car got 200 miles on a single charge, they said it couldn't be manufactured. Now that we are making them, they say it is too costly. But that is a red herring too." Ovshinsky's team of engineers and electrochemists has slashed the cost 40% in two years, they claim. If automakers would commit to buying tens of thousands, Ovshinsky says, the batteries would make electric cars as cheap as gasoline models.
Note: Ovshinsky, who has over 200 patents to his name, was censured for publicizing his amazing battery. GM refused to use his superior battery in the GM's EV-1 when it first came out. The inferior battery they used instead ensured the car would not be successful. Once Ovshinsky's battery became even more effective and looked sure to overtake conventional gasoline as the more effective way to run a car, his company was then sold by GM to Chevron Texaco, who shelved the project entirely. To see a three-minute clip from the excellent movie "Who Killed the Electric Car" on this, click here. For more on this remarkable man, click here.
The invention described herein was made in the course of, or under, a contract with the U. S. ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION. It relates ... to a method and apparatus for drilling, tunneling and shaft-sinking in rock with particular advantage at hitherto inaccessible depths. The present invention uses the basic apparatus and method disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,357,505 and in Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory of the University of California Report No. LA-3243 (1965) entitled "Rock Melting as a Drilling Technique." In the existing rock melting devices of the prior art, a major difficulty which limited performance was that of delivering a sufficiently large heat flux to the melting face of the drill or penetrator. The development of the heat pipe alleviates this problem in that the use of heat pipes enables the transfer of heat energy from a compact heat source to the extended melting surface of the penetrator at rates high enough to maintain the surface above the melting temperature of the rock. The extrapolation of a mechanism useful for forming large holes in the earth in accordance with the present invention uses the combination of a refractory rock-melting tool, an in situ heat source preferably a small nuclear reactor and an exceedingly efficient heat transfer mechanism such as a system of heat pipes to convey heat from the source to the walls of the drilling tool.
Note: This patent shows that government scientists at Los Alamos were using a "small nuclear reactor" to drill underground tunnels. Several of the inventors listed on the patent worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, including: McInteer, Berthus B.; Mills, Robert L.; Potter, Robert M.; Robinson, Eugene S.; Rowley, John C.; and Smith, Morton C.. For photos and more fascinating information on this most intriguing patent, click here.
Do you think a 13-year-old could change the world? Max Loughan could be the one to do it. When we interviewed him, Max was wearing his lab coat ... in his parent's old boiler room, which has been converted into a lab. He ponders the future often. "The future that I imagine is the future, frankly we all imagine." He wants to make the world a better place, and to do that, Max believes you need one single thing: "If you got energy, you have power, you have everything." So to solve this problem, a few months ago, Max took the matter into his own hands. He created an electromagnetic harvester out of a coffee can, some wire, two coils, and a spoon. "This cost me 14 bucks," Max said. The harvester conducts radio waves, thermal, and static energy, and turns it into electricity. "This wire takes energy from the air." And the inside the coffee can, "We turn it from AC to DC." We took the device outside, and wrapped Max's twin brother, Jack, in a string of L.E.D. lights. Max connects the lights to the harvester, and sure enough, they turned on. His device clearly works. A $14.00 invention was able to do that. So imagine this same harvester on a scale 20 times larger. "As cheesy as this sounds, from day one, on this planet that I knew I was put here for a reason," said Max. "And that reason is to invent, to bring the future."
Note: Don't miss this video of the most amazing 13-year-old who just may have solved the energy problems of our world!!! For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing new energy technology news articles from reliable major media sources.
Sports cars may not have the best reputation for being environmentally-friendly, but this sleek machine has been designed to reach 217.5 mph (350 km/h) – using nothing but saltwater. Its radical drive system allows the 5,070lbs (2,300kg) Quant e-Sportlimousine to reach 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, making it as fast as the McLaren P1. After making its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March, the saltwater technology has now been certified for use on European roads. The 920 horsepower (680 kW) Quant e-Sportlimousine uses something known as an electrolyte flow cell power system to power four electric motors within the car. It works in a similar way to a hydrogen fuel cell, however, the liquid used for storing energy is saltwater. The liquid passes through a membrane in between the two tanks, creating an electric charge. This electricity is then stored and distributed by super capacitors. The car carries the water in two 200-litre tanks, which in one sitting will allow drivers to travel up to 373 miles (600km). NanoFlowcell AG, a Lichtenstein-based company behind the drive, is now planning to test the car on public roads in Germany and elsewhere in Europe as the company prepares for series production. It claims the technology offers five times the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries of the same weight. 'We've got major plans, and not just within the automobile industry,' says NanoFlowcell AG Chairman of the Board Professor Jens-Peter Ellermann. 'The potential of the NanoFlowcell is much greater, especially in terms of domestic energy supplies as well as in maritime, rail and aviation technology.'
Note: See the link above for photos and videos of this sleek masterpiece. Why isn't this car and it's unique technology getting more press? For more on this amazing car, see its website and read a gizmag article with more on how the car has received approval to run on European roads. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Back in October 2011 I first wrote about Italian engineer, Andrea Rossi, and his E-Cat project, a device that produces heat through a process called a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR). Very briefly, LENR, otherwise called cold fusion, is a technique that generates energy through low temperature (far lower than hot fusion temperatures which are in the range of tens off thousands of degrees) reactions that are not chemical. Most importantly, LENR is, theoretically, much safer, much simpler, and many orders of magnitude cheaper than hot fusion. What everyone wanted was something that Rossi has been promising was about to happen for months: An independent test by third parties who were credible. A report by credible, independent third parties is exactly what we got. Published on May 16, the paper [is] titled “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device”, [by] serious academics with reputations to lose and the paper is detailed and thorough. The authors [conclude,] "if we consider the whole volume of the reactor core and the most conservative figures on energy production, we still get a value ... that is one order of magnitude higher than any conventional source." This is not, of course, the last word or even one anywhere near the end of this story but unless this is one of the most elaborate hoaxes in scientific history it looks like the world may well be about to change. How quick will depend solely on Rossi.
Note: For another point of view on this breakthrough testing, see the well written article at this link. For dozens of other major media articles reporting spectacular breakthroughs in new energy technology that strangely were neither debunked nor followed up on, click here.
Tesla Motors Inc.’s electric Model S, Motor Trend’s 2013 “Car of the Year,” received the highest rating from Consumer Reports in an evaluation of the luxury sedan that led first-quarter North American plug-in car sales. The Model S from Palo Alto, California-based Tesla scored 99 out of 100 points, the non-profit magazine said in an e-mailed statement. The $89,650 car bought by Consumer Reports “performed better, or just as well overall” as any vehicle it’s ever tested, the ... magazine said. “It accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. No rechargeable car has won a score as high as the Model S. The magazine last gave a vehicle 99 points in 2007, when Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus LS460L ranked that high. Model S shortcomings include limited range, long charge times and “coupe-like styling that impairs rear visibility and impedes access,” Consumer Reports said. Along with reliability that isn’t yet determined, Tesla still has a limited service network, the magazine said. The test vehicle had an 85-kilowatt/hour lithium-ion battery pack and averaged about 200 miles (322 kilometers) per charge in real-world driving, the magazine said. The Tesla “is easily the most practical electric car that has been tested to date,” Consumer Reports said.
Note: After undeniable suppression of the electric car by car manufacturers, independent upstart Tesla Motors has done it! Expect to see more breakthroughs from this great new company. For more on the company's amazing namesake and how his inventions were suppressed, click here.
In the new crop of electric cars, the Rav4 may be the best you've never heard of. It comes from one of the world's largest automakers and sports a drivetrain built by Tesla Motors, rock star of the plug-in world. And yet, outside the circle of electric enthusiasts, few drivers know it exists. You can buy it only in California. Toyota doesn't advertise it on TV. So far, the company has committed to building just 2,600. Critics, including some people who love the Rav4 EV, say Toyota made it only to comply with California regulations that force automakers to sell zero-pollution cars. "Everyone agrees it's a wonderful car," said Felix Kramer, founder of CalCars, a plug-in vehicle advocacy group. "Too bad there's not enough." That suspicion comes from experience. Toyota made an electric version of the Rav4 once before, building 1,484 of the small SUVs between 1997 and 2003. Then the company killed the program, after California changed its zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) rules. The new Rav4 EV ... boasts ferocious acceleration, plenty of power and a low center of gravity thanks to the big battery pack hidden in the floor. It's not a luxury car, but the interior is comfortable and plush, tricked out with a touch-screen and heated seats. Those so inclined can take the Rav4 EV from a standstill to 60 mph in 7 seconds. The car gets a solid 125 miles on a fully charged battery pack, and an easy-to-read number on the dash constantly reminds you how many miles you have left.
Note: Once again a major car manufacturer produces a great electric vehicle only to suppress it. Remember "Who Killed the Electric Car", the movie on GM's EV1 which was killed despite major consumer interest? Then there was Toyota's 100 mpg Eco Spirit which was also killed. For lots more reliable information on this suggesting industry suppression of energy breakthroughs, click here.
[Video transcript] Narrator: While the world is drastically dependent on fossil fuel, researchers at NASA Langley Research Center are working on another way of producing energy-efficient nuclear power. Senior Resarch Scientist Dr Zawodny: This other form of nuclear power releases energy by adding neutrons. Eventually [the nuclei] gain a sufficient number of neutrons that they spontaneously decay into something of the same mass but a different element. It has the demonstrated ability to produce excess amounts of energy, cleanly, without hazardous ionizing radiation, without producing nasty waste. Narrator: This clean form of energy is ... able to support everything from transportation systems to infrastructure. Dr. Zawodny: The easiest implementation of this would be for the home. It would be ... dual use. It would [produce] heat; and you’d derive electricity from it to run your electronics, power the house, power the building, power the light industry. And then the waste heat would be used for environmental control [i.e. heating, air conditioning, etc.] and warm water.” Narrator: NASA’s method for enhancement of surface plasmon polaritons to initiate and sustain LENR in Metal Hydride Systems, a clean nuclear energy for your power-operated technology.
Note: LENR stands for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, aka cold fusion. So NASA is now acknowledging cold fusion is real! And their research provides major hope for the future. To see Dr. Zawodny's patent for this revolutionary technology, click here. For more on NASA's involvement in this, click here. For lots more reliable information on the suppression of cold fusion/LENR by the media and the scientific mainstream, click here. For more inspiring news on amazing new energy inventions, click here.
A physicist in Italy claims to have demonstrated a new type of power plant that provides safe, cheap and virtually unlimited nuclear power to the world, without fossil fuels or radiation concerns. The only hitch: Scientists say the method -- cold fusion -- is patently impossible. They say it defies the laws of physics. Andrea Rossi doesn't seem to care. He told FoxNews.com that his new device takes in nickel and hydrogen and fuses them in a low-grade nuclear reaction that essentially spits out sheer power, validating the strange science. “With low energy, it's possible to give a heater a certain amount of energy and to get from the same heater a superior amount of energy,” Rossi explained. He claims he demonstrated the device, called an E-Cat, at the University of Bologna in Italy on Oct. 28. Nearly a century ago, in the 1920s, Austrian scientists Friedrich Paneth and Kurt Peters hypothesized a form of nuclear reaction that doesn’t produce radiation. And since then, the theory of cold fusion -- or "low-energy nuclear reaction," as its champions now call it -- has popped in and out the public's eyes, notably hitting the cover of Time magazine in 1989. Sterling Allan, CEO of the alternative energy news agency Pure Energy Systems, told FoxNews.com he attended Rossi’s demonstration and the E-Cat is self sustaining.
Note: For lots more on this exciting development, click here. And for a CBS video segment and another excellent documentary showing top researchers who continue to be very excited about results of ongoing cold fusion experiments, click here. For media reports on other suppressed new energy inventions, click here.
Water out of air? A Texas man has invented a machine that does just that. The drought doesn't worry [inventor Terry LeBleu] because he has invented and patented a new machine. It's called the "Drought Master" and makes drinkable water out of air. "It pulls the air through it, pulls out the moisture, and exhausts the air," LeBleu says. Depending on humidity, the machine can make between five to seven gallons of pure water in one day. All you have to do is plug it in, and one gallon costs only 4 cents in electrical charges. An independent lab took samples of LeBleu's water and found it had no bacteria and is free of metals. Lab techs say it's similar to distilled water. Willie Nelson owns 50 of these machines, including an indoor version. Even Texas Governor Rick Perry owns one. But LeBleu wants his invention to benefit local farmers and ranchers. The machine is quieter than a refrigerator, and you only have to wash the filter every few years. Building one takes only two hours. The oldest model made is still up and running. It's been functioning for a decade.
Note: For a more detailed article, click here.
Solar power may be cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear reactors in three to five years because of innovations, said Mark M. Little, global research director for General Electric Co. “If we can get solar at 15 cents a kilowatt-hour or lower, which I’m hopeful that we will do, you’re going to have a lot of people that are going to want to have solar at home,’’ Little said. The 2009 average US retail rate per kilowatt-hour for electricity ranged from 6.1 cents in Wyoming to 18.1 cents in Connecticut, according to federal data. GE said in April that it had boosted the efficiency of thin-film solar panels to a record 12.8 percent. Improving efficiency, or the amount of sunlight converted to electricity, helps reduce costs. The panels will be made at a plant GE intends to open in 2013. Most solar panels use silicon-based photovoltaic cells. The thin-film versions, made of glass or other material coated with cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium selenide alloys, account for about 15 percent of the $28 billion in worldwide solar-panel sales. First Solar Inc. is the world’s largest producer of thin-film panels, with $2.6 billion in yearly revenue.
Note: For reliable reports on promising new energy technologies, click here.
A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium. China’s Academy of Sciences said it had chosen a “thorium-based molten salt reactor system”. The liquid fuel idea was pioneered by US physicists at Oak Ridge National Lab in the 1960s. Chinese scientists claim that hazardous waste will be a thousand times less than with uranium. The system is inherently less prone to disaster. “The reactor has an amazing safety feature,” said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA engineer at Teledyne Brown and a thorium expert. “If it begins to overheat, a little plug melts and the salts drain into a pan. There is no need for computers, or the sort of electrical pumps that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor saves itself,” he said. US physicists in the late 1940s explored thorium fuel for power. It has a higher neutron yield than uranium, a better fission rating, longer fuel cycles, and does not require the extra cost of isotope separation. The plans were shelved because thorium does not produce plutonium for bombs. As a happy bonus, it can burn up plutonium and toxic waste from old reactors, reducing radio-toxicity and acting as an eco-cleaner.
This week, scientists gathered at the American Chemical Society's spring meeting in San Francisco to turn the spotlight on a highly unorthodox path: the effect known as cold fusion. This year's session featured nearly 50 presentations - including reports on batteries and bacteria that appear to exhibit the cold-fusion effect. Back in 1989, cold fusion was heralded as a simple, inexpensive way to get a power-generating fusion reaction on a desktop. But when the experimental results couldn't be reproduced, the researchers were driven into obscurity [and] the term "cold fusion" became synonymous with quackery. Chemists, however, have kept up their interest in the effect. Rick Nebel [has headed] up a handful of researchers following the less-traveled path to fusion at EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. EMC2 recently created a buzz in the fusion underground by reporting on its Web site that it successfully completed a series of experiments to "validate and extend" earlier results. The company is now using a $7.9 million contract from the U.S. Navy to build a bigger test machine. Nebel and his colleagues are now seeking contributions to fund the development of what they say would be a 100-megawatt fusion plant - a "Phase 3" effort projected to cost $200 million and take four years. "Successful Phase 3 marks the end of fossil fuels," the Web site proclaims.
Note: For a powerful, reliable documentary showing how promising results from cold fusion were strongly suppressed, click here. For lots of reports from reliable sources of new energy developments, click here.
In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it. One of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power-plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard. You'll generate your own electricity with the box and it'll be wireless. The idea is to one day replace the big power plants and transmission line grid. K.R. Sridhar ... says he knows it works because he originally invented a similar device for NASA. He really is a rocket scientist. He invented a new kind of fuel cell, which is like a very skinny battery that always runs. Sridhar feeds oxygen to it on one side, and fuel on the other. The two combine within the cell to create a chemical reaction that produces electricity. There's no need for burning or combustion, and no need for power lines from an outside source. "It's cheaper than the grid, it's cleaner than the grid." Twenty large, well-known companies have quietly bought and are testing Bloom boxes in California. The first customer was Google. Four units have been powering a Google datacenter for 18 months. They use natural gas, but half as much as would be required for a traditional power plant. John Donahoe, eBay's CEO, says its five boxes were installed nine months ago and have already saved the company more than $100,000 in electricity costs. eBay's boxes run on bio-gas made from landfill waste, so they're carbon neutral. "In five to ten years, we would like to be in every home." [Sridhar] said a unit should cost an average person less than $3,000.
Note: To watch the fascinating 60 Minutes video clip of this amazing invention, click here. For other CBS videos clips on the Bloom Box, click here. For astounding news on other new energy sources and inventions, click here and here.
MIT professor Daniel G. Nocera has long been jealous of plants. He desperately wanted to do what they do--split water into hydrogen and oxygen and use the products to do work. That, he figures, is the only way we humans can solve our energy problems; enough energy pours down from the sun in one hour to power the planet's energy needs for a year. Nocera's discovery [is] a cheap and easy way to store energy that he thinks will be used to change solar power into a mainstream energy source. Plants catch light and turn it into an electric current, then use that energy to excite catalysts that split water into hydrogen and oxygen during what is called photosynthesis' light cycle. The energy is then used during the dark cycle to allow the plant to build sugars used for growth and energy storage. Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera's lab, focused on the water-splitting part of photosynthesis. They found cheap and simple catalysts that did a remarkably good job. They dissolved cobalt and phosphate in water and then zapped it with electricity through an electrode. The cobalt and phosphate form a thin-film catalyst around the electrode that then use electrons from the electrode to split the oxygen from water. The oxygen bubbles to the surface, leaving a proton behind. A few inches away, another catalyst, platinum, helps that bare proton become hydrogen. The hydrogen and oxygen, separated and on-hand, can be used to power a fuel cell whenever energy is needed.
On a recent run from Boston to Cape Cod, I test drove the 2008 Honda Accord, the latest version of this family favorite. The new Accord boasts an environmental first: a six-cylinder gasoline engine that's cleaner than many hybrid systems. There's only one catch: You can't actually buy this ultra-green Accord, or the four-cylinder version that also produces near-zero pollution. That is, unless you live in California, New York or six other northeast states that follow California's tougher pollution rules. Only there can you buy this Accord, or the roughly two dozen other models that meet so-called Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle standards, PZEV for short. Not only can't you buy one, but the government says it's currently illegal for automakers to sell these green cars outside of the special states. Under terms of the Clean Air Act — in the kind of delicious irony only our government can pull off — anyone (dealer, consumer, automaker) involved in an out-of-bounds PZEV sale could be subject to civil fines of up to $27,500. Volvo sent its dealers a memo alerting them to this fact, noting that its greenest S40 and V50 models were only for the special states. So, just how green is a PZEV machine? Well, if you just cut your lawn with a gas mower, congratulations, you just put out more pollution in one hour than these cars do in 2,000 miles of driving. Grill a single juicy burger, and you've cooked up the same hydrocarbon emissions as a three-hour drive in a Ford Focus PZEV. As the California Air Resources Board has noted, the tailpipe emissions of these cars can be cleaner than the outside air in smoggy cities. PZEV models are already available from Toyota, Ford, Honda, GM, Subaru, Volvo and VW. But chances are, you've never heard of them.
Note: For many exciting articles about new, efficient and clean energy inventions, click here.
Toyota Prius owners tend to be a proud lot since they drive the fuel-efficient hybrid gas-electric car that's ... one of the hottest-selling vehicles in America. A few, however, felt that good was not good enough. They've made "improvements" even though the modifications voided parts of their warranties. Why? Five words: one hundred miles per gallon. "We took the hybrid car to its logical conclusion," [Felix] Kramer says, by adding more batteries and the ability to recharge by plugging into a regular electrical socket at night. Compared with the Prius' fuel efficiency of 50 mpg, plug-in hybrids use half as much gasoline by running more on cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity. These trendsetters monkeyed with the car ... to make a point: If they could make a plug-in hybrid, the major car companies could, too. Kramer ... and a cadre of volunteers formed the California Cars Initiative (online at calcars.org). They added inexpensive lead-acid batteries ... giving the car over 100 mpg in local driving and 50 to 80 mpg on the highway. The cost of conversion is about $5,000 for a do-it-yourselfer. Several small companies like EnergyCS ... started doing small numbers of conversions for fleets and government agencies using longer-lasting, more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries. Kramer hired EnergyCS to convert his Prius and reported on a typical day of driving. Compared with driving his Prius before the conversion, he ... spewed out two-thirds less greenhouse gases at a total cost of $1.76 for electricity and gasoline, instead of the $3.17 it would have required on gasoline alone. People want plug-in hybrids but can't get them. Dealers don't sell them yet, and the few conversion services cater to fleets.
Note: For a video and educational package to guide those who want to build a 100 mpg car, see www.eaa-phev.org. For why the car companies with their massive budgets haven't developed cars like this, click here.
Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half. Anil Sethi, the chief executive of the Swiss start-up company Flisom, says he looks forward to the day - not so far off - when entire cities in America and Europe generate their heating, lighting and air-conditioning needs from solar films on buildings with enough left over to feed a surplus back into the grid. The secret? A piece of dark polymer foil, as thin a sheet of paper. It is so light it can be stuck to the sides of buildings. It can be mass-produced in cheap rolls like packaging - in any colour. The "tipping point" will arrive when the capital cost of solar power falls below $1 (51p) per watt, roughly the cost of carbon power. The best options today vary from $3 to $4 per watt - down from $100 in the late 1970s. Mr Sethi believes his product will cut the cost to 80 cents per watt within five years, and 50 cents in a decade. "We don't need subsidies, we just need governments to get out of the way and do no harm," he said. Solar use [has] increased dramatically in Japan and above all Germany, where Berlin's green energy law passed in 2004 forces the grid to buy surplus electricity from households at a fat premium. The tipping point in Germany and Japan came once households [understood] that they could undercut their unloved utilities. Credit Lyonnais believes the rest of the world will soon join the stampede. Needless to say, electricity utilities are watching the solar revolution with horror.
Note: Why is this inspiring, important news getting so little press coverage? And why not more solar subsidies? For a possible answer, click here. And for an amazing new energy source not yet reported in the major media which could make even solar energy obsolete, click here.
A very reputable, very careful group of scientists at the University of Los Angeles ... has initiated a fusion reaction using a laboratory device that's not much bigger than a breadbox, and works at roughly room temperature. This time, it looks like the real thing. The whole trick with fusion is you've got to get protons close enough together for the strong force to overcome their electrical repulsion and merge them together into a nucleus. Instead of using high temperatures and incredible densities to ram protons together, the scientists at UCLA cleverly used the structure of an unusual crystal. Crystals are fascinating things; the atoms inside are all lined up in a tightly ordered lattice, which creates the beautiful structure we associate with crystals. Stressing the bonds between the atoms of some crystals causes electrons to build up on one side, creating a charge difference over the body of the crystal. Instead of using intense heat or pressure to get nuclei close enough together to fuse, this new experiment used a very powerful electric field to slam atoms together. This experiment has been repeated successfully and other scientists have reviewed the results. For the time being, don't expect fusion to become a readily available energy option. The current cold fusion apparatus still takes much more energy to start up than you get back out. But it really may not be long until we have the first nuclear fusion-powered devices in common use.
What's at stake, they say, is no less than the future of automotive technology, a practical solution for driving fast and fun with no direct pollution whatsoever. GM agrees that the car in question, called the EV1, was a rousing feat of engineering that could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under eight seconds with no harmful emissions. The market just wasn't big enough, the company says, for a car that traveled 140 miles or less on a charge before you had to plug it in like a toaster. Some 800 drivers once leased EV1s, mostly in California. After the last lease ran out in August, GM reclaimed every one of the cars, donating a few to universities and car museums but crushing many of the rest. Enthusiasts discovered a stash of about 77 surviving EV1s behind a GM training center in Burbank and last month decided to take a stand. Mobilized through Internet sites and word of mouth, nearly 100 people pledged $24,000 each for a chance to buy the cars from GM. On Feb. 16 the group set up a street-side outpost of folding chairs that they have staffed ever since in rotating shifts, through long nights and torrential rains, trying to draw attention to their cause. GM refuses to budge. Toyota is aware of a growing fad among do-it-yourselfers who put a new battery in their Prius so it can be plugged in at home and then travel about 20 miles on electric power alone.
Note: Why would GM simply crush cars for which people are willing to pay $24,000? For a possible answer to this important question, click here. To learn how to convert a Toyota Prius to get 100 mpg, click here.
The U.S. Air Force is quietly spending millions of dollars investigating ways to use a radical power source -- antimatter, the eerie "mirror" of ordinary matter -- in future weapons. The most powerful potential energy source presently thought to be available to humanity, antimatter is a term normally heard in science-fiction films. But antimatter itself isn't fiction. During the Cold War, the Air Force funded numerous scientific studies of the basic physics of antimatter. Following an initial inquiry from The Chronicle this summer, the Air Force forbade its employees from publicly discussing the antimatter research program. Still, details on the program appear in numerous Air Force documents distributed over the Internet prior to the ban. It almost defies belief, the amount of explosive force available in a speck of antimatter. One millionth of a gram of positrons contain as much energy as 37.8 kilograms (83 pounds) of TNT. A simple calculation, then, shows that about 50-millionths of a gram could generate a blast equal to the explosion ... in Oklahoma City in 1995. Officials at Eglin Air Force Base initially agreed enthusiastically to try to arrange an interview with ... Kenneth Edwards, director of the "revolutionary munitions" team at the Munitions Directorate at Eglin. "We're all very excited about this technology," spokesman Rex Swenson [said] in late July. But Swenson backed out in August after he was overruled by higher officials in the Air Force and Pentagon. Reached by phone in late September, Edwards repeatedly declined to be interviewed. His superiors gave him "strict instructions not to give any interviews personally. "I'm sorry about that -- this (antimatter) project is sort of my grandchild."
It’s often smarter to borrow from nature than reinvent the wheel. That was the approach of researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, and convert it into an efficient, inexpensive fuel. The result: an artificial leaf that turns CO2 into fuel, "at a cost comparable to a gallon of gasoline" could render fossil fuel obsolete, according to the researchers. The “leaf” is one of a growing number of inventions that mimic photosynthesis to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere, and convert it into new, sustainable forms of energy to power our world. “The new solar cell is not photovoltaic - it’s photosynthetic,” said [the study’s lead author] Amin Salehi-Khojin. “Instead of producing energy in an unsustainable one-way route from fossil fuels to greenhouse gas, we can now reverse the process and recycle atmospheric carbon into fuel using sunlight." The concept of reduction reaction - converting CO2 into a burnable form of carbon - isn’t new. But scientists previously relied on silver and other expensive precious metals to break gas into storable energy. UIC researchers took a different approach. When light strikes the "leaf," hydrogen and carbon monoxide bubble from the cathode, while free oxygen and hydrogen ions are released from the anode. Leafs could be spread throughout a solar farm, or used in smaller applications, the researchers said.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Entrepreneurs and established companies alike depend on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Newly released documents reveal that the office, tasked with evaluating and protecting the rights to intellectual property, has a covert system for delaying controversial or inconvenient patents. It’s a system that ... could function as a way to limit or stomp out emerging companies. Before today, the program — named the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) — has been mentioned only anecdotally by examiners who work in or with the office, and in a government memo that was leaked in March 2006. However, a new 50-page document obtained by a law firm’s Freedom of Information Act request shows the sweeping scope and conflicting interests of this particular set of rules. The law firm behind the request, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, frequently represents major tech companies, including Apple, Google, Twitter, and Oracle. For Thomas Franklin, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend, applications that he prosecutes typically issue as patents 22 months after filing. Any application that is categorized in SAWS, however ... can be delayed for years. There is no official channel to notify an applicant once her patent is placed in the system. Franklin told Yahoo Tech., “That’s what piqued my interest as a constitutional issue. There’s a secret program that they’re not supposed to talk about.”
Note: When the government has a "property interest" in any patent application, it may be rejected, stolen, or classified according to secret criteria. Among new energy technology researchers, it is well known that the patent office can block patents of amazing inventions that could cost oil and energy companies billions of dollars. Read this excellent summary for more on this.
After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel. The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel could one day relieve the military’s dependence on oil-based fuels and is being heralded as a “game changer” because it could allow military ships to develop their own fuel and stay operational 100 percent of the time, rather than having to refuel at sea. The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it. The Navy’s 289 vessels all rely on oil-based fuel, with the exception of some aircraft carriers and 72 submarines that rely on nuclear propulsion. The breakthrough came after scientists developed a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater. The gasses are then turned into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process with the help of catalytic converters. The next challenge for the Navy is to produce the fuel in industrial quantities. It will also partner with universities to maximize the amount of CO2 and carbon they can recapture. ”For the first time we've been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously. That's a big breakthrough," said Dr. Heather Willauer, a research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, adding that the fuel "doesn't look or smell very different."
Note: Strangely, the major media networks appear to be largely silent on this important breakthrough, except for Forbes, which downplays the whole thing, as you can see at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
BlackLight Power, Inc. [has] achieved sustained electricity production from a primary new energy source by using photovoltaic technology to transform brilliant plasma, with power comprising millions of watts of light, directly into electricity. By applying a very high current through its proprietary water-based solid fuel in BlackLight Power’s breakthrough Solid Fuel-Catalyst-Induced-Hydrino-Transition (SF-CIHT) technology, water ignites into brilliant plasma, a ... bright flash of extraordinary optical power that has a power density of over 1,000,000 times that of any prior controllable reaction. BlackLight Power has now successfully converted the brilliant plasma directly into electricity using photovoltaic cells (solar cells). Simply replacing the consumed H2O regenerated the fuel, and the fuel can be continuously fed into the electrodes to continuously output optical power that can be converted into electricity. [This] safe, non-polluting power-producing system catalytically converts the hydrogen of the H2O-based solid fuel into a non-polluting ... lower-energy state hydrogen called “Hydrino,” by allowing the electrons to fall to smaller radii around the nucleus. The energy release is 200 times that of burning the equivalent amount of hydrogen with oxygen. Using readily-available components, BlackLight has developed a system engineering design of an electric generator that is closed, except for the addition of H2O fuel, and generates ten million watts of electricity, enough to power ten thousand homes. Remarkably, the device is less than a cubic foot in volume.
Note: How strange that the major media are not picking up on this story of major proportions. For a 2008 CNN article showing Blacklight had attracted $60 million and was no longer seeking funding, click here. For more on Blacklight Power, click here. For more evaluation of this development, click here.
Waiting hours for a cellphone to charge may become a thing of the past, thanks to an 18-year-old high-school student's invention. She won a $50,000 prize ... at an international science fair for creating an energy storage device that can be fully juiced in 20 to 30 seconds. The fast-charging device is a [type of] so-called supercapacitor, a gizmo that can pack a lot of energy into a tiny space, charges quickly and holds its charge for a long time. What's more, it can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries, according to [the inventor] Eesha Khare of Saratoga, Calif. Supercapacitors also allowed her to focus on her interest in nanochemistry — "really working at the nanoscale to make significant advances in many different fields." To date, she has used [her] supercapacitor to power a light-emitting diode, or LED. The invention's future is even brighter. She sees it fitting inside cellphones and the other portable electronic devices that are proliferating in today's world, freeing people and their gadgets for a longer time from reliance on electrical outlets. "It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric," Khare added. "It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense." Khare's invention won her the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, conducted ... in Phoenix, Ariz.
Note: Now let's see if it actually makes it to market or is blocked by the companies that profit from selling many chargers. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
A University of Missouri professor has resurrected his two-decade-old work in the contested field of cold fusion. In 1991, Mark Prelas was part of a research team that conducted a fusion experiment that emitted a burst of millions of neutrons. The work stopped when funding was cut off. At the time, cold fusion claims had been dismissed as junk science. Prelas shifted to other work. But his neutron-producing experiment resumed this year, and he presented his findings at a cold fusion conference in August in South Korea. Prelas, now a professor in the university's Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute, received funding from the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance at MU. In the original experiment, the team created an emitted neutron-recording device and expected to count about 10 neutrons a second. They reached a million neutrons in a second. With SKINR funding, [Prelas] re-created the experiment. More technologically advanced equipment has allowed for a better counting system, and in one run, his research team saw neutron emissions at similar levels to the 1991 observation. Rob Duncan, MU's vice chancellor of research, said ... "We've got to understand what this is. The focus clearly has to be on an opportunity to discover new physics and to understand new science. That really is our aim here at SKINR.”
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on new energy inventions, click here.
Hybrid vehicles are still tethered to the gas pump via a fuel-thirsty 100-year-old invention: the internal combustion engine. However, researchers at Michigan State University have built a prototype gasoline engine that requires no transmission, crankshaft, pistons, valves, fuel compression, cooling systems or fluids. Their so-called Wave Disk Generator could greatly improve the efficiency of gas-electric hybrid automobiles and potentially decrease auto emissions up to 90 percent when compared with conventional combustion engines. The engine has a rotor that's equipped with wave-like channels that trap and mix oxygen and fuel as the rotor spins. These central inlets are blocked off, building pressure within the chamber, causing a shock wave that ignites the compressed air and fuel to transmit energy. The Wave Disk Generator uses 60 percent of its fuel for propulsion; standard car engines use just 15 percent. As a result, the generator is 3.5 times more fuel efficient than typical combustion engines. Researchers estimate the new model could shave almost 1,000 pounds off a car's weight currently taken up by conventional engine systems. Last week, the prototype was presented to the energy division of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is backing the Michigan State University Engine Research Laboratory with $2.5 million in funding. Michigan State's team of engineers hope to have a car-sized 25-kilowatt version of the prototype ready by the end of the year.
Note: For many inspiring new developments on automotive technology, click here.
A Massachusetts biotechnology company says it can produce the fuel that runs Jaguars and jet engines using the same ingredients that make grass grow. Joule Unlimited has invented a genetically-engineered organism that it says simply secretes diesel fuel or ethanol wherever it finds sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. [The] company says it can manipulate the organism to produce the renewable fuels on demand at unprecedented rates, and can do it in facilities large and small at costs comparable to the cheapest fossil fuels. What can it mean? No less than "energy independence," Joule's web site tells the world, even if the world's not quite convinced. "We make some lofty claims, all of which we believe, all which we've validated," said Joule chief executive Bill Sims. Joule was founded in 2007. In the last year, it's roughly doubled its employees to 70, closed a $30 million second round of private funding in April and added John Podesta, former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, to its board of directors. The company worked in "stealth mode" for a couple years before it recently began revealing more about what it was doing. This month, it released a peer-reviewed paper it says backs its claims. Joule says its organisms secrete a completed product, already identical to ethanol and the components of diesel fuel, then live on to keep producing it at remarkable rates. Joule claims, for instance, that its cyanobacterium can produce 15,000 gallons of diesel full per acre annually, over four times more than the most efficient algal process for making fuel. And they say they can do it at $30 a barrel. The company plans to break ground on a 10-acre demonstration facility this year, and Sims says they could be operating commercially in less than two years.
Note: For many other fascinating new energy inventions reported in the major media which should be making news headlines, click here. For a powerful two-page summary showing why these amazing inventions get so little attention and are sometimes even suppressed, click here.
Two Italian scientists claim to have successfully developed a cold fusion reactor that produces 12,400 watts of heat power per 400 watts of input. Not only that, but they’ll be commercially available in just three months. Cold fusion is a tricky business -- some say a theoretically implausible business. Hypothetically (and broadly) speaking, the process involves fusing two smaller atomic nuclei together into a larger nucleus, a process that releases massive amounts of energy. If harnessed, cold fusion could provide cheap and nearly limitless energy with no radioactive byproduct or massive carbon emissions. Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi claim [their reactor] fuses atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen using about 1,000 watts of electricity which, after a few minutes, is reduced to an input of just 400 watts. This reaction purportedly can turn 292 grams of 68 degree water into turbine-turning steam -- a process that would normally require 12,400 watts of electricity, netting them a power gain of about 12,000 watts. They say that commercially scaled, their process could generate eight units of output per unit of input and would cost roughly one penny per kilowatt-hour, drastically cheaper than your average coal plant.
Note: For a balanced and informative article on this, see the Technology News article available here. Sadly, the only other media report on this fascinating news was a Washington Times article available here. For lots more useful information and videos on this exciting discovery, click here.
A Navy-funded thermal engine bobbing off the coast of Hawaii is accomplishing a rare feat -- it produces more energy than it consumes. Though it's not quite a perpetual motion machine, it could provide scientists or the Navy with a perpetual presence on the seas. The engine is attached to an unmanned underwater vessel, called SOLO-TREC, and uses the energy of the ocean to derive a practically limitless energy supply. SOLO-TREC is outfitted with a series of tubes full of waxy phase-change materials. As the float encounters warm temperatures near the ocean's surface, the materials expand; when it dives and the waters grow cooler, the materials contract. The expansion and contraction pressurizes oil, which drives a hydraulic motor. The motor generates electricity and recharges the batteries, which power a pump. The pump can change the float's buoyancy, allowing it to move up and down the water column. "In theory what you have now is unlimited endurance for something that has this type of engine," said Thomas Swean Jr., team leader for ocean engineering and marine systems at the Office of Naval Research, which funded the project. "Other things can break, but as far as the energy source, it will only stop working if the ocean ran out of energy, which is unlikely to happen."
Note: For lots more from major media sources on promising new energy inventions, click here.
Is the economic, social and physical deterioration that has caused so much misery in the Motor City a sign of what’s in store for larger and larger segments of the United States? I found real reason to hope when a gentleman named Stan Ovshinsky took me on a tour of a remarkably quiet and pristine manufacturing plant ... about 30 miles north of Detroit. What is being produced in the plant is potentially revolutionary. A machine about the length of a football field runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, turning out mile after mile after mile of thin, flexible solar energy material, from which solar panels can be sliced and shaped. Mr. Ovshinsky ... developed the technology and designed the production method that made it possible to produce solar material “by the mile.” He invented the nickel metal hydride battery that is in virtually all hybrid vehicles on the road today. When I pulled into the parking lot outside his office ... he promptly installed me in the driver’s seat of a hydrogen hybrid prototype — a car in which the gasoline tank had been replaced with a safe solid-state hydrogen storage system invented by Mr. Ovshinsky. What’s weird is that this man, with such a stellar track record of innovation on products and processes crucial to the economic and environmental health of the U.S., gets such little attention and so little support from American policy makers. In addition to his work with batteries, photovoltaics and hydrogen fuel cells, his inventions have helped open the door to flat-screen televisions, new forms of computer memory and on and on.
Note: Ovshinsky has been at the forefront of new energy breakthroughs for years, yet has received very little press, likely because his inventions threaten the established oil industry. For a powerful, three-minute video showing how some of his key inventions have been shelved because they threatened profits, click here.
Volkswagen has a new car in pre-production that, the automaker estimates, could get up to 282 mpg. That's not a misprint. Autoblog explains, "A few years back, Volkswagen introduced a concept vehicle," known as the VW 1L, "which derived its name from its stated goal of using just one liter of fuel per one-hundred kilometers traveled." The concept "actually beat its lofty goal rather handily as it managed to achieve a miserly 282 miles per gallon in testing. Much of its amazing fuel-saving capability stemmed from its 660 pounds (300 kilograms) curb weight. The concept also featured a single cylinder engine and a 1+1 seating arrangement down the center of the car." The U.K.'s Car Magazine reports, "At the time the chairman of VW's supervisory board predicted that the super-economical two-seater would go into production…in 2012. Now the VW 1L will hit the market two years ahead of schedule, in 2010." Whether the 1L would be sold in the U.S. market isn't yet clear.
Note: Any bets on whether this car will actually go into production and be promoted? Check out what happened to the Eco Spirit, which got over 100 mpg at this link.
What we drive in the future may not be designed in Detroit, or Tokyo or Stuttgart, but on the college campuses of North America. Teams of students from 17 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada have spent the last three years taking apart models of a Chevrolet Equinox, and re-designing and re-fitting the crossover SUV to get better fuel efficiency than the engineers and designers at General Motors have been able to achieve. It's called Challenge X. So what did these college teams come up with? They came up with bio-diesel, ethanol, hydrogen, hybrid electric, plug-in electric - with most of the teams using two of these energy sources together. The team from Penn State created an Equinox that runs on three fuels: bio-diesel, hydrogen and electric hybrid power. "The way it's designed, it's always burning hydrogen and bio-diesel together, and the hybrid motor turns on and off," explained Nate Simmons. The team from San Diego State created a bio-diesel electric hybrid, and transformed the transmission from automatic to manual for even better gas mileage. They were able to boost the EPA rating for the conventional Equinox from a rating of 23 miles per gallon highway up into the low 30s. "We set out to produce the most powerful vehicle in the competition," said faculty advisor James Burns. This year's winner was Mississippi State University, for its bio-diesel hybrid electric design. The MSU vehicle is powered by a 1.9-liter GM direct injection turbo-diesel engine, fueled by bio-diesel (B20). It won for achieving a whopping 38 percent increase in fuel economy over the production-model Equinox.
As countries and cities around the world move to ban plastic bags, a Canadian teenager is tackling the problem of what to do with them. High school student Daniel Burd successfully isolated microorganisms from soil and used them to help degrade 43 percent of his polyethylene sample within a few weeks in a science project that recently won him the C$10,000 ($9,800) top prize at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. "The purpose of my project was to first of all prove that it's possible to do the degradation, and I just wanted to develop a beginning procedure that could be used," said the 17-year-old Grade 11 student, who also walked away with nearly C$35,000 in university scholarship offers. "We know that after 40 to 100,000 years, the plastic bags will be degraded naturally. Some type of microbe must be responsible for this. So the first step was to isolate this microbe and that's what I did," said Burd, who began his research in December 2006. To isolate the microorganism, he turned the plastic bags into a powder -- an important step, Burd said, because it increases the surface area and helps the microorganisms that can use the plastic to grow. Once he had the powder, he collected soil samples from a landfill, and combined the two with a home-made solution that would encourage microorganism growth. After months of experimenting, he isolated two microbial strains from the genuses sphingomonas and pseudomonas. Burd worked with the microbes to find the combination that would degrade strips of plastic bags best, and optimized the process by factoring in elements such as temperature and concentration of microbes. "In the end I was able to find that after six weeks incubation 43 percent of my plastic bag is degraded."
Note: Why wasn't this all over the news? Very few media outlets covered this highly inspiring story. For a more recent article on this fascinating topic, click here.
Thane Heins is nervous and hopeful. In four days the Ottawa-area native will travel to Boston where he'll demonstrate an invention that appears ... to operate as a perpetual motion machine. The audience, esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Markus Zahn, could either deflate Heins' heretical claims or add momentum to a 20-year obsession. Zahn is a leading expert on electromagnetic and electronic systems. In a rare move for any reputable academic, he has agreed to give Heins' creation an open-minded look rather than greet it with outright dismissal. The invention ... could moderately improve the efficiency of induction motors, used in everything from electric cars to ceiling fans. At best it means a way of tapping the mysterious powers of electromagnetic fields to produce more work out of less effort, seemingly creating electricity from nothing. Heins has modified his test so the effects observed are difficult to deny. He holds a permanent magnet a few centimetres away from the driveshaft of an electric motor, and the magnetic field it creates causes the motor to accelerate. Contacted by phone a few hours after the test, Zahn is genuinely stumped – and surprised. He said the magnet shouldn't cause acceleration. "It's an unusual phenomenon I wouldn't have predicted in advance. But I saw it. It's real. To my mind this is unexpected and new," he [said]. "There are an infinite number of induction machines in people's homes and everywhere around the world. If you could make them more efficient, cumulatively, it could make a big difference."
Note: For a treasure trove of reports on new energy breakthroughs from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.
In 2000 Jonathan Goodwin, a self-described "gearhead", bought his first Hummer, an old H1, in Denver, Colorado. "The thing did eight miles to the gallon and nought to 60 in about two days," he recalls. On his drive home to Wichita, Kansas, it broke down three times. The engine died. Rather than fix the engine, he replaced it with a new Duramax diesel and doubled the fuel economy to 20 miles per US gallon (equivalent to 24 miles per Imperial gallon), tripled the horsepower to 600 and quadrupled the torque to 1,200ft lbs. Driven by his quest for more power and less consumption he had inadvertently stumbled across a solution for America's SUV-loving masses. The byproduct of the system he installed is lower emissions - a greener output for these thirsty beasts. "Now we can have our cake and eat it," he says. "It's difficult for these huge companies. The technology is there to make cars that have vastly improved consumption figures already, but they're driven by the need to sell all the cars they currently make," Goodwin says. "If they announced they were bringing out a 100mpg car then no-one would buy the old line." Goodwin sees three stages to a process of change: converting all autos to diesel which can then run on biofuel, making the step to bio-electric and finally to hydroelectric, meaning cars will run on water.
Note: For more on this amazing man and his cool inventions, click here.
Everything that goes into Frank Pringle’s recycling machine — a piece of tire, a rock, a plastic cup — turns to oil and natural gas seconds later. “I’ve been told the oil companies might try to assassinate me,” Pringle says without sarcasm. The machine is a microwave emitter that extracts the petroleum and gas hidden inside everyday objects. Every hour, the first commercial version will turn 10 tons of auto waste — tires, plastic, vinyl — into enough natural gas to produce 17 million BTUs of energy (it will use 956,000 of those BTUs to keep itself running). Pringle created the machine about 10 years ago after he drove by a massive tire fire and thought about the energy being released. He went home and threw bits of a tire in a microwave emitter he’d been working with for another project. It turned to what looked like ash, but a few hours later, he returned and found a black puddle on the floor of the unheated workshop. Somehow, he’d struck oil. Or rather, he had extracted it. Petroleum is composed of strings of hydrocarbon molecules. When microwaves hit the tire, they crack the molecular chains and break it into its component parts: carbon black (an ash-like raw material) and hydrocarbon gases, which can be burned or condensed into liquid fuel. If the process worked on tires, he thought, it should work on anything with hydrocarbons. The trick was in finding the optimum microwave frequency for each material. In 2004 he teamed up with engineer pal Hawk Hogan to take the machine commercial. Their first order is under construction in Rockford, Illinois. It’s a $5.1-million microwave machine the size of small bus called the Hawk, bound for an auto-recycler in Long Island, New York. Oil companies are looking to the machines to gasify petroleum trapped in shale.
Note: For many exciting breakthroughs in new energy technologies, click here.
Gerald Rowley keeps his dreams in his garage. There ... he stores an aging Mazda 626 sedan [specially outfitted with a] one-gallon steel box in the trunk connected to fuel lines leading to a gasoline vaporizing device under the hood. The steel box holds one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. The device beneath the hood is called the VFS, Vaporizing Fuel System. I came here to drive Rowley's VFS-equipped car. For years, I had spurned the invitations of homespun inventors worldwide to travel to distant points to witness first-hand machines that could deliver 100 miles per gallon or 200 miles per gallon. The claims sounded too incredible to believe -- ridiculous, in fact. If such devices really worked, really did what their inventors said they did, why would they still be sitting on shelves in anonymous workshops -- ignored by the driving public and all of the vehicle manufacturers who serve them? What automobile manufacturer in its right mind, especially with rising concerns about future oil availability and with gasoline prices escalating worldwide, would not jump at the opportunity to acquire a device that delivered 100 miles per gallon? Rowley's patented device is nothing new. It's just the latest iteration of an idea already developed by others -- the notion that you could get more miles per gallon out of a traditional gasoline engine if you pre-heated the fuel to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, thus turning it into a vapor before it enters the combustion chamber. Vaporized fuel, when properly mixed with air, burns more efficiently, saves fuel and emits fewer tailpipe pollutants than traditional fuel-air mixtures in which gasoline is sprayed into a combustion chamber in tiny droplets and then mixed with air before burning. All car companies know this.
Carmakers such as Toyota and Honda can't seem to make hybrid vehicles fast enough to keep up with public interest. Interest in this new technology is growing, and one group is highlighting these technical marvels in a yearly event called the Tour de Sol. Top prize for the Monte-Carlo Rally went to a modified Honda Insight driven by Brian Hardegen, of Pepperell, who broke the 100-mile-per-gallon barrier over a 150-mile range. The car actually got 107 miles-per gallon. St. Mark's High School in Southboro, and North Haven Community School, North Haven, ME, demonstrated true zero-oil consumption and true zero climate-change emissions with their modified electric Ford pick-up and Volkswagen bus. More than 60 hybrid, electric and biofueled vehicles from throughout the US and Canada demonstrated that we have the technology today to power our transportation system with zero-oil consumption and zero climate-change emissions.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. If high school students can do it, why aren't the car companies seriously developing these technologies? And why are car manufacturers not able to keep up with demand on hybrid vehicles? For more, click here.
Peter Hagelstein is trying to revive hope for a future of clean, inexhaustible, inexpensive energy. Fifteen years after the scientific embarrassment of the century ... a panel of scientists gathered. The panel's charge was simple: to determine whether [cold fusion] had even a prayer of a chance at working. The Department of Energy went to great lengths to cloak the meeting from public view. No announcement, no reporters. None of the names of the people attending that day was disclosed. Since 1989, hundreds of scientists working in dozens of labs around the world have claimed ... results. Supporters point to the written literature -- more than 3,000 papers -- as proof of the effect. But the most credible cold fusion advocates concede that the vast majority of those papers are of poor quality. "Brilliant," "genius" and "reclusive" were words used to describe [SRI scientist Peter] Hagelstein 20 years ago, when he rose to prominence as one of the young scientists behind President Ronald Reagan's plans to build a missile shield in outer space. Hagelstein [now] describes the mainstream scientific community as "mafias" that promote and publish their friends' work, unwilling to accept new ideas. As Hagelstein explains it, leading physicists came out swiftly and prematurely against cold fusion. Hagelstein says his acceptance of cold fusion was by no means immediate. It took several years before he was convinced. [Now] Hagelstein says, he has seen enough cold fusion data to convince him that the science is clearly real. The field's acceptance, he maintains, will be simply a matter of the scientific community's looking at the improved experimental results in the future and coming to understand them.
Inventors who are mixing water with fuel to power engines say they're onto something big. German-born inventor Rudolf Gunnerman [believes] that one of the world's most common compounds - good old tap water - can be blended with fuel to power your car, truck or lawn mower. Gunnerman claims to have devised a means to blend water with naphtha in order to power engines in a cleaner, cheaper, more efficient way. "New ideas and better ideas are not necessarily found by universities or by large companies. New ideas and better ideas are found by people who look for them," says Gunnerman, 68. "Caterpillar" is the single word that brings a degree of credibility to Gunnerman's claims. The Peoria, Ill.-based heavy- equipment manufacturer entered a joint venture with Gunnerman in July 1994. Together, under the name Advanced Fuels, they've conducted experimental uses of the A-21 fuel - made up of 70 percent naphtha, a crude-oil byproduct, and 30 percent water. And now, Paccar Inc. is throwing its trucking weight in Gunnerman's corner. The Bellevue-based manufacturer of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks recently sent a truck to Peoria for testing with the A-21 fuel. Paccar changed out the engine to add a Caterpillar engine and modified the cylinders and fuel injectors to handle more fluid volume. They also did a series of baseline tests of noise, cooling, drivability and fuel economy, said Jim Reichman, Paccar's technology-development manager. Back at Paccar's Mount Vernon technical center, Reichman is enthused. "We're pretty pleased with it," he said.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on new energy developments, click here.
It seems too good to be true, but rigorous tests under way in Nevada, California and Illinois show a breakthrough fuel that is more than half tap water could power the nation's vehicles, trains and gas-powered aircraft by century's end. The milky fuel was developed by Reno inventor Rudolf Gunnerman and is being pushed through the federal fuels-testing labyrinth by Gunnerman and diesel giant Caterpillar Inc. It has passed every test thrown at it. In virtually all categories, it tops conventional gasoline and diesel as a clean, cheap and safe fuel that can be used in almost any combustion engine. If it works -- and disinterested outsiders who have tested it say it may -- drivers could see the price of gasoline cut more than half. "Everybody said it cannot work, that I'm a fraud,'' the German-born inventor said. No one's laughing now: Nevada last November certified the water-based fuel as a "clean alternative fuel,'' meaning it can be used to meet federal mandates requiring clean fuels in fleets and other vehicles. The Energy Department is awaiting test data from trials run by Caterpillar before passing judgment. If DOE reaches the same conclusion as Nevada, Gunnerman's concoction could be used as a clean fuel in all states.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Why didn't this exciting development make headline news? For lots more showing very promising results on this most intriguing invention, click here. For exciting reports from reliable sources on highly promising new energy developments and technologies, click here and here.
Nikola Tesla, one of the truly great inventors [says] that he stands ready to divulge to the United States government the secret of his "teleforce," of which he said, "airplane motors would be melted at a distance of 250 miles, so that an invisible 'Chinese Wall of Defense' would be built around the country against any enemy attack by an enemy air force, no matter how large." This "teleforce" ... would operate through a beam one-hundred-millionth of a square centimeter in diameter, and could be generated from special plant that would cost no more then $2,000,000 and would take only about three months to construct. A dozen such plants, located at strategic points along the coast, according to Mr. Tesla, would be enough to defend the country against all aerial attack. The beam would melt any engine, whether diesel or gasoline driven, and would also ignite the explosives aboard any bomber. No possible defense against it could be devised, he asserts, as the beam would be all-penetrating. The beam [would involve] a new method for producing "a tremendous repelling electrical force." This would be the projector, or the gun of the system. The voltage for propelling the beam to its objective, according to the inventor, will attain a potential of 80,000,000 volts. With this enormous voltage, he said, microscopic electrical particles of matter will be catapulted on their mission of defensive destruction.
Note: If you are unable to access this article at the link above, you can also find it at this link. The technology Tesla was exploring here may well have been used in the currently functioning HAARP facilities, which some researchers believe are being used to manipulate weather and more. For an abundance of reliable information on HAARP, click here. For an amazing 35-page autobiography by Tesla himself, click here.
Nikola Tesla (pronounced Teshlah) [invented] the Tesla induction motor which made alternating current practical, and the Tesla transformer which steps up oscillating currents to high potentials. Last week was Dr. Tesla's 75th birthday. To Nikola Tesla, all the world's a power house. For 40 years he has been reasoning, calculating and arguing that the earth has a definite electrical resonance. All that men need do to have unlimited power at their command, and that power without the necessity of transmission wires, would be to generate electricity in tune with the earth's. Only possible drawbacks would be the vast expense of installation ... and anyone could tap the current. There could be no financial control of electricity. In Colorado in 1899, Tesla built a huge induction coil by which he generated and, he says, sent out wireless waves the same year Marconi established wireless communication. Tesla claims priority, because he conceived his system six years earlier, in 1893. The theoretical path of Tesla's waves were through the earth, not through the air as Hertzian waves go. [Tesla has commented] "I think that nothing can be more important than interplanetary communication. It will certainly come some day, and the certitude that there are other human beings in the universe, working, suffering, struggling, like ourselves, will produce a magic effect on mankind and will form the foundation of a universal brotherhood that will last as long as humanity itself." Dr. Tesla migrated to the U. S. in 1884 to work for Thomas Alva Edison, whom he soon quit. His naturalization papers he keeps in a safety box, his scientific medals and degrees in old trunks and cupboards.
Note: The above link requires a small payment. To view the full article free, click here. Though Marconi gets major mention in the history books while Tesla is given but a footnote, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943 "ruled that that Tesla's radio patents had predated those of [Marconi]," as stated in this Chicago Tribune article. There are many intriguing secrets about this mysterious genius. To learn how the government seized his work immediately after his death and lots more, click here. For other verifiable information on incredible new energy inventions based on Tesla technology and more, click here.
Nikola Tesla, the inventor, winner of the 1915 Nobel Physics Prize, has filed patent applications on the essential parts of a machine ... which he says will render fruitless any military expedition against a country which possesses it. The destructive invention will go through space with a speed of 300 miles a second, [a] manless airship without propelling engine or wings, sent by electricity to any desired point on the globe on its errand of destruction, if destruction its manipulator wishes to effect. Ten miles or a thousand miles, it will be all the same to the machine, the inventor says. Straight to the point, on land or on sea, it will be able to go with precision, delivering a blow that will paralyze or kill, as is desired. A man in a tower on Long Island could shield New York against ships or army by working a lever, if the inventor's anticipations become realizations. "It is perfectly practicable to transmit electrical energy without wires and produce destructive effects at a distance. I have already constructed a wireless transmitter which makes this possible, and have described it in my technical publications. With transmitters of this kind we are enabled to project electrical energy in any amount to any distance and apply it for innumerable purposes, both in peace and war. The art is already so far developed that great destructive effects can be produced at any point on the globe, determined beforehand and with great accuracy." Dr. Tesla then said that it would be possible with his wireless mechanism to direct an ordinary aeroplane, manless, to any point over a ship or an army, and to discharge explosives of great strength from the base of operations.
Note: If you are unable to access this article at the link above, you can also find it at this link or this one. Some believe that this amazing technology was developed and then kept secret for reasons of national security. The technology Tesla was exploring here could have played a part in the secretive HAARP facilities, which some researchers believe are being used to manipulate weather and more. For an abundance of reliable information on HAARP, click here. For an amazing 35-page autobiography by Tesla himself, click here.
Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Department of Energy lab in Tennessee, have discovered a mechanism for converting carbon dioxide into ethanol. Their method takes advantage of nanotechnology, creating a catalyst that produces ethanol from a solution of carbon dioxide in water. “We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said Adam Rondinone, the lead author of a new study in the journal ChemistrySelect. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.” The discovery may change the way we think about carbon dioxide. If it could be captured and turned into a fuel, then carbon dioxide – the earth-polluting byproduct of global dependence on fossil fuels – could help high-energy societies work toward energy independence. Repurposing carbon dioxide could be invaluable for the environment, the researchers say. Converting it into ethanol can turn a greenhouse gas into a gasoline-like fuel source. Ethanol contains one-third less energy than gasoline but produces far fewer byproducts when burned in engines, which can limit further carbon emissions. “Closing the carbon cycle by utilizing CO2 as a feedstock for currently used commodities, in order to displace a fossil feedstock, is an appropriate intermediate step towards a carbon-free future,” the researchers wrote in the study.
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A revolution of sorts is brewing in the clean energy field, with the emergence of fusion and "low energy nuclear reaction" (LENR) energy. These processes, unlike fission reactions used in conventional nuclear reactors, need not emit dangerous radiation, nor do they produce radioactive byproducts. The fuel is plentiful and free. One pioneer in LENR is Andrea Rossi, an Italian-American inventor-entrepreneur ... who recently formed a venture to commercially market systems based on an LENR process he has developed. Many are understandably skeptical of Rossi's claims; yet he reports that he has a full-scale working prototype, delivering 1 MWatt continuous net output power, which is already seven months into a one-year acceptance test at a commercial client's site. Several observers have seen the system in operation, and have reported that it is working as claimed. On 25 August 2015, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Rossi a patent for his process. Given the potential importance of these developments, scientifically, economically and environmentally, we have been following progress in this area in earlier Huffington Post articles (HP#1) and (HP#2). "We foresee applications for central heating of commercial buildings, heat production for industrial processes and electric power generation. My dream is for domestic heat and power generation," [said Rossi]. "We have already obtained safety certification for our industrial plants. Domestic systems are still on course in the certification process."
Note: You can explore this patent on the US Patent office website on this webpage. And read an intriguing article from a local newspaper about the new energy invention of Randall Mills, who has raised over $100 million to fund development of his work. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing new energy technology news articles from reliable major media sources.
Your next commuter car could have two seats, three wheels and get 84 miles to the gallon. Elio Motors wants to revolutionize U.S. roads with its tiny car, which is the same length as a Honda Fit but half the weight. With a starting price of $6,800, it's also less than half the cost. Phoenix-based Elio plans to start making the cars next fall at a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. Already, more than 27,000 people have reserved one. Elio hopes to make 250,000 cars a year by 2016. Because it has three wheels — two in front and one in the rear — the Elio is actually classified as a motorcycle by the U.S. government. But Elio Motors founder Paul Elio says the vehicle has all the safety features of a car, like anti-lock brakes, front and side air bags and a steel cage that surrounds the occupants. Drivers won't be required to wear helmets or have motorcycle licenses. The Elio's two seats sit front and back instead of side by side, so the driver is positioned in the center with the passenger directly behind. The Elio has a three-cylinder, 0.9-liter engine and a top speed of more than 100 miles per hour. It gets an estimated 84 mpg on the highway and 49 mpg in city driving. Elio keeps the costs down in several ways. The car only has one door, on the left side, which shaves a few hundred dollars off the manufacturing costs. Having three wheels also makes it cheaper. It will be offered in just two configurations — with a manual or automatic transmission — and it has standard air conditioning, power windows and door locks and an AM/FM radio. More features, such as navigation or blind-spot detection, can be ordered.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing alternative automotive technology news articles from reliable major media sources.
In a quiet announcement that has sent shockwaves through the scientific world, NASA has cautiously given its seal of approval to a new type of “impossible” engine that could revolutionize space travel. In a paper published by the agency’s experimental Eagleworks Laboratories, NASA engineers confirmed that they had produced tiny amounts of thrust from an engine without propellant – an apparent violation of the conservation of momentum; the law of physics that states that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction. NASA’s engineers have tested an engine known as a ‘Cannae Drive’, a machine [that] uses electricity to generate microwaves, bouncing them around inside a specially designed container that theoretically creates a difference in radiation pressure and so results in directional thrust. In an ordinary engine the rocket moves forward as fuel is flung backwards - the momentum of the rocket (a measure of both its mass and velocity combined) is 'conserved' because it is moved from the rocket to the fuel. However, with the Cannae Drive there is no fuel - the microwaves aren't expelled from the engine. NASA’s scientists tested a version of the drive designed by US scientist Guido Fetta and found that the propellantless engine was able to produce between 30 and 50 micronewtons of thrust – a tiny amount (0.00003 to 0.00005 per cent of the force of an iPhone pressing down when held in the hand) but still a great deal more than nothing.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing new energy technologies news articles from reliable major media sources.
In an almond orchard outside Turlock in the Central Valley, two large tanks hold water, minerals - and more importantly, energy. The tanks ... are part of a "flow battery" that stores energy from nearby solar panels. It's the largest battery of its kind in the world. And it could play a role in California's push to develop bigger and better ways to store large quantities of energy. This particular flow battery ... was built by EnerVault of Sunnyvale, part of the Bay Area's fast growing energy-storage industry. Like most of its competitors, EnerVault is young, founded in 2008, with about $30 million in venture funding to date. Some companies try to perfect the lithium-ion batteries found in laptops and electric cars. Others, including EnerVault and Primus Power of Hayward, specialize in flow batteries, which store energy in tanks of electrolytes. The fluid is then pumped through the battery's cells when power is needed. In contrast, the batteries found at a grocery store contain the electrolyte, cathode and anode all in one package. "Flow batteries are batteries turned inside out," said Jim Pape, EnerVault's chief executive officer. His company's flow batteries use iron and chromium, blended into the water inside its tanks. Both materials are safe to handle. Iron and chromium also have the benefit of being cheap. "That's our special sauce," Pape said. "Iron and chromium are very, very abundant, and abundance equals low cost."
While the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that installing solar panels on every home in America would produce 3.75 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, ... photovoltaics still account for no more than 1.13 percent of America’s power production. [What] can municipalities do? It’s not like they can pave the streets with solar panels. That’s where the husband and wife team of Scott and Julie Brusaw would beg to differ. Since the mid-2000's, Scott, an electrical engineer, and Julie, a psychotherapist, have been developing special solar cells encased in rugged, hexagonal-shaped glass. Lay enough of these mechanical cobblestones together and you’ve built yourself a kind of hybrid driveway/solar array. For the Brusaws, the prototype, while impressive, makes up but a tiny chunk of a much more ambitious vision. According to their calculations, covering the nation’s nearly 28,000 square miles worth of roads, highways and parking spaces with these special panels would produce three times the nation’s total energy consumption. [In their vision], the panels would serve as the foundation for a do-it-all “smart” roadway system that’s capable of not only harvesting energy, but also making roads safer by using heat to remove surface ice and lighting up dark pathways with embedded LEDs. The “Solar Roadway” project, which the Brusaws proposed, was promising enough that, in 2009, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration awarded them a series of contracts to further their concept.
[Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a] solar-powered aircraft making a landmark cross-country flight [piloted by Bertrand Piccard], successfully completed its first leg [on May 4], and will rest about a week in [Phoenix] Arizona before taking to the skies again. "It's a little bit like being in a dream," Piccard told the Associated Press. The aircraft, running off solar cells and electric batteries rather than fossil fuels, ... travels at a leisurely 43 mph and cruises at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet. Spokeswoman Alenka Zibetto [said] that the exact length of the stay would depend on weather. It is proving to be a popular attraction. Online registration for the Sunday slots -- with space for 150 people per hour -- filled up within a day, Zibetto said. The solar company SunPower [manufactured] the solar cells lining the 208-foot wingspan of Solar Impulse.
Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area have become the first motorists in the nation to fill up their gas tanks with an algae-based biofuel. Biodiesel B20 is made from 20 percent algae and 80 percent petroleum, and can be used by any vehicle that runs on diesel. Advocates say it is the first in a wave of clean fuel to hit the marketplace. "We are putting a stake in the ground," said Matt Horton, chief executive officer of Propel Fuels, as he prepared to fill the first tank with the algae-based product at a Valero station in Redwood City. The fuel's algae was grown by South San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. and already has been used in trials by the military and industrial companies. It was sold for about $4.25 a gallon at the Redwood City station, about the same as the average price for diesel fuel in California. Horton said most diesel vehicles could run on 100 percent algae fuel, but doing so would result in higher costs for consumers. He added that many automakers oppose allowing a mix higher than 20 percent.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on new energy developments, click here.
A word of caution about the Model S, Tesla Motors' new electric sedan: The S stays smooth and silent, even when it's flying down the highway. Absent gears, engine noise or any vibration that doesn't originate with a pothole, it's absurdly easy for Model S drivers to shred speed limits without the slightest clue. Depending on the range of the battery pack and other options, Model S prices range all the way from $57,400 to $105,400 before state and federal incentives. The Model S functions much like a typical, automatic transmission sedan. But it's not quite the same. Put the car in drive and take your foot off the brake pedal, for example, and the S doesn't go anywhere. It just sits there until you touch the accelerator. Push the accelerator, and the car responds instantly. There's no sense of an engine laboring to pick up speed. Like other electric vehicles, the Model S uses regenerative braking. The brakes capture some of the moving car's kinetic energy, convert it to electricity and use it to recharge the battery while you drive. It's one of the ways a Model S with the most expensive battery pack option can drive more than 300 miles without plugging in. With the Model S, the regenerative braking starts the moment you ease off the accelerator pedal. The drop in speed is so pronounced that the car's brake lights will go on, even before you touch the brake pedal itself. It feels almost like having two separate braking systems working at the same time.
Note: For lots more inspiring reports from reliable major media sources on new automotive and alternative energy technologies, click here.
Wind turbines have long produced renewable energy. A French engineering firm has discovered another [application] for the towering structures. Eole Water claims to have successfully modified the traditional wind turbine design to create the WMS1000, an appliance that can manufacture drinking water from humid air. The technology works by first generating electricity in the traditional manner of a wind turbine. This power enables the entire water generating system to function. The next stage sees air sucked in through the nose of the turbine via a device known as an "air blower". All air trapped during this procedure is then directed through an electric cooling compressor situated behind the propellers. This contraption extracts humidity from the air, creating moisture which is condensed and collected. The water gathered at this stage is then transferred down a series of stainless steel pipes, which have been specially modified to aid the water production process, to a storage tank in the base of the turbine. Once there, the water is filtered and purified before it is ready for use and consumption. One turbine can produce up to 1,000 liters of water every day, depending on the level of humidity, temperature and wind speeds, ... enough to provide water for a village or town of 2,000 to 3,000 people.
Volkswagen's amazing 300mpg-plus XL1 two-seater diesel/electric hybrid is a supercar where mpg matters more than mph. Imagine a different sort of supercar; small, lightweight, with the ... most parsimonious engine. That’s VW’s 21st-century streamliner, the XL1, honed not for speed but to achieve an astonishing 313mpg. VW has been messing about with these cigar-thin eco cars since the 1980 ARVW concept. In 1999, it developed a Lupo capable of three litres per 100km (94mpg), but Ferdinand Piëch, VW’s chairman, was more ambitious and had already ordered his R&D team to build him a “one-litre” (282mpg) car. In normal operation, the car stays in electric drive until full throttle is used, speeds exceed 62mph or the battery charge is down to 20 per cent. In e-mode, the car remains on battery power until 10 per cent of its charge remains (about 22 miles), whereupon the motor starts to charge it and power the vehicle. The 2.2-gallon fuel tank gives a range of about 340 miles. As might be expected, the body style is all about wind cheating. With a frontal area of 16.15sq ft and a drag coefficient of 0.186, the XL1 will be the world’s most aerodynamic production car.
Note: For many exciting reports from reliable sources on breakthroughs in automotive technology, click here.
When I meet [Edward] Moses [at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory], the 60-year-old scientist ... shows me a tiny pellet ... and swears it will provide an endless supply of safe, clean energy. The pellet Moses holds is a model, but the real version will contain a few milligrams of deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen that can be extracted from water. If you blast the pellet with a powerful laser, you can create a reaction like the one that takes place at the center of the sun. Harness that reaction, and you've created a star on earth, and with the heat from that star you can generate electricity without creating any pollution. Forget about nuke plants, coal, oil, or wind and solar. "This is the real solar power," says Moses. What Moses is talking about is controlled nuclear fusion. Instead of splitting the nucleus of an atom, you're trying to force a deuterium nucleus to merge, or fuse, with a tritium nucleus. When that happens, you produce helium and throw off energy. Scientists have been trying to produce energy with fusion for decades. So far, they keep failing. The joke is that fusion energy is only 40 years away, and will always be only 40 years away. Moses believes, however, that his lab, which is called the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, has cracked the problem. The big challenge fusion has faced is lack of power. NIF's laser ... can produce 60 times more energy than any other laser ever built. Right now it's still being tested. But next year Moses and his scientists will fire it up with a full load of deuterium-tritium fuel, and Moses feels confident it will achieve "ignition," meaning a controlled burn in which you get out more energy than you put in.
A U.S. Navy researcher announced today that her lab has produced “significant” new results that indicate cold fusion-like reactions. If the work by analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss and her colleagues is confirmed, it could open the door to a cheap, near-limitless reservoir of energy. Devising a fusion-based source of energy on Earth has long been a “clean-energy” holy grail of physicists. A small group of scientists has [tried] to produce fusion reactions at low temperatures. If such experiments did produce fusion reactions, they would generate highly energetic neutrons as a byproduct. These are what Mosier-Boss says her San Diego-based group has found. “If you have fusion going on, then you have to have neutrons,” she said. “But we do not know if fusion is actually occurring. It could be some other nuclear reaction.” Today’s announcement is based partly on research published by Mosier-Boss’ group last year in the journal Naturwissenschaften. The announcement may turn heads, given its stage at the American Chemical Society’s big meeting and the fact that the organization promoted it to science journalists in advance. “It’s big,” said Steven Krivit, founder of the New Energy Times publication, which has tracked cold fusion developments for two decades. “What we’re talking about may be more than anybody actually expected,” he said. “We’re talking about a new field of science that’s a hybrid between chemistry and physics.”
Note: For a powerful documentary showing a major cover-up around cold fusion, click here. Many highly esteemed scientists have repeatedly demonstrated the reality of cold fusion, only to have their research sometimes ruthlessly shut down. For many hopeful reports from reliable sources on the array of new energy developments currently underway, click here.
In the world of higher education, summer is usually the off-season. But for some students, this summer was the culmination of years of hard work in a 2,400-mile solar car race from Plano, Texas to Calgary, Alberta. Fifteen teams of students drove photovoltaic-powered cars across the North American Solar Challenge finish line in Calgary Tuesday, led by the University of Michigan Solar Car Team and its vehicle, Continuum. Michigan's victory, which took about 51 hours and 42 minutes on the road, is its fifth NASC championship. The school also won the last NASC, in 2005. Jeff Ferman, the race manager for Michigan, talked about how rewarding it was to enter Calgary and be greeted by 40,000 people."The streets were lined with people," he said. "There were people on overpasses with tripods taking pictures." The Michigan team led almost the entire race from Texas, trailing only on the first day of driving when it had to stop to fix a minor electrical problem. But that 20-minute stop was the only time it had to pull over to make repairs, which team members said was one reason they did so well.
Note: If you do the math, this amazing solar powered car built by college students averaged 46.5 mph over a 2,400 mile course! Why didn't this make news headlines? Try doing a Google search on "Solar Challenge" (the annual solar car race). You will find that almost no major media cover this amazing event at all. The few who have (including this CNN article) usually fail to mention anything about the speeds attained by these cars. Why is the media not giving better coverage to these incredible breakthroughs? For a possible answer, click here.
“Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But ... this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.” He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil. Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”. Mr Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have ... embarked ... on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil (Ł70) from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says. What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.
Note: For a treasure trove of exciting reports on new energy inventions, click here.
Tired of petrol prices rising daily at the pump? A Japanese company has invented an electric-powered, and environmentally friendly, car that it says runs solely on water. Genepax unveiled the car in the western city of Osaka, saying that a liter (2.1 pints) of any kind of water -- rain, river or sea -- was all you needed to get the engine going for about an hour at a speed of 80 km (50 miles). "The car will continue to run as long as you have a bottle of water to top up from time to time," Genepax CEO Kiyoshi Hirasawa told local broadcaster TV Tokyo. "It does not require you to build up an infrastructure to recharge your batteries, which is usually the case for most electric cars," he added. Once the water is poured into the tank at the back of the car, the a generator breaks it down and uses it to create electrical power, TV Tokyo said. Whether the car makes it into showrooms remains to be seen. Genepax said it had just applied for a patent and is hoping to collaborate with Japanese auto manufacturers in the future. Most big automakers, meanwhile, are working on fuel-cell cars that run on hydrogen and emit -- not consume -- water.
Note: To watch a Reuters video clip on this amazing car, click here.
Texas may be best known for "Big Oil." But the oil that could some day make a dent in the country's use of fossil fuels is small. Microscopic, in fact: algae. Literally and figuratively, this is green fuel. "Algae is the ultimate in renewable energy," Glen Kertz, president and CEO of Valcent Products, told CNN while conducting a tour of his algae greenhouse on the outskirts of El Paso. "We are a giant solar collecting system. We get the bulk of our energy from the sunshine," said Kertz. Algae are among the fastest growing plants in the world, and about 50 percent of their weight is oil. That lipid oil can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes. Most people know algae as "pond scum." And until recently, most energy research and development projects used ponds to grow it. But instead of ponds, Valcent uses a closed, vertical system, growing the algae in long rows of moving plastic bags. The patented system is called Vertigro, a joint venture with Canadian alternative energy company Global Green Solutions. The companies have invested about $5 million in the Texas facility. "A pond has a limited amount of surface area for solar absorption," said Kertz. "By going vertical, you can get a lot more surface area to expose cells to the sunlight. It keeps the algae hanging in the sunlight just long enough to pick up the solar energy they need to produce, to go through photosynthesis," he said. Kertz said he can produce about 100,000 gallons of algae oil a year per acre, compared to about 30 gallons per acre from corn; 50 gallons from soybeans. Valcent research scientist Aga Pinowska said there are about 65,000 known algae species, with perhaps hundreds of thousands more still to be identified. A big part of the research at the west Texas facility involves determining what type of algae produces what type of fuel.
Note: For many exciting reports of new energy inventions, click here.
A Florida man may have accidentally invented a machine that could solve the gasoline and energy crisis plaguing the U.S.. [John] Kanzius, 63, invented a machine that emits radio waves in an attempt to kill cancerous cells while leaving normal cells intact. While testing his machine, he noticed that his invention had other unexpected abilities. Filling a test tube with salt water from a canal in his back yard, Kanzius placed the tube and a paper towel in the machine and turned it on. Suddenly, the paper towel ignited. Kanzius performed the experiment without the paper towel and got the same result -- the saltwater was actually burning. [He] said he showed the experiment to a handful of scientists across the country who claim they are baffled at watching salt water ignite. Kanzius said the flame created from his machine reaches a temperature of around 3,000 [°F]. He said a chemist told him that the immense heat created from the machine breaks down the hydrogen-oxygen bond in the water, igniting the hydrogen. "You could take plain salt water out of the sea, put it in containers and produce a violent flame that could heat generators that make electricity, or provide other forms of energy," Kanzius said. He said engineers are currently experimenting with him in Erie, Pa. in an attempt to harness the energy. They've built an engine that, when placed on top of the flame, chugged along for two minutes. Kanzius admits all the excitement surrounding a new possible energy source was a stroke of luck. Someone who witnessed his work on the cancer front asked him if perhaps the machine could be used for desalinization. "This was an experiment to see if I could heat salt water, and instead of heat, I got fire," Kanzius said.
Note: Why aren't millions of dollars being channeled to explore this exciting field further? To watch a video clip of this exciting machine igniting sea water, click here.
We couldn't pass up mention of the winner of last week's Eco-marathon Americas, a fuel-economy challenge sponsored by Shell Oil Co. A team from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo won the $10,000 grand prize by achieving the equivalent of 1,902.7 miles per gallon on regular gasoline in a student-built vehicle. Granted, the students didn't win in someone's mom's Dodge minivan. Their "car" is a one-occupant streamliner built of carbon fiber composite. At a measly 98 pounds, it weighed less than the driver. And that was 98 pounds including the car's 50-cubic-centimeter Honda engine. "The main reason we do this is because it's a way to encourage students to focus on technical innovation for potential future careers," said David Sexton, president of Shell Oil Products. But there is a practical side to the competition, said Cal Poly team manager Tom Heckel, a junior mechanical engineering major. "Any publicity we can get makes people aware that the 20 mpg or so they're averaging in their cars can be improved on — a lot." The event, held April 14 at the California Speedway in Fontana, was the first time that Shell had brought its 25-year-old Eco-marathon competition to the U.S. The event drew 20 university, college and high school teams from around the U.S. and Canada. Rules called for each vehicle to complete seven 1.45-mile laps around the speedway's inner track, averaging at least 15 mph. Fuel consumption was measured after each attempt and adjusted for ambient temperature and other factors in a complex formula that ends up giving an extrapolation of miles per gallon.
Note: Why would the president of Shell Oil Products state the main reason for this competition is about careers and not finding ways to improve gas mileage? The world record is over 10,000 mpg. How is it that the average car gets only 22 mpg when the Ford Model T got 25 mpg almost 100 years ago? For more, click here.
The planet's most pressing environmental problems ... may seem just too big to be solved with today's technology. But don't despair: A lot of bright minds are working on futuristic projects that promise to make the world greener. It's save-the-world stuff like toxic-waste-eating trees, smart electricity grids, oceangoing robots, and floating environmental sensors. This technology may seem far out - but it will probably be here a lot sooner than you think. 1. Try a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station in your garage. It's about the size of a filing cabinet and runs on electricity generated by standard-issue rooftop solar panels. The first version of the home fueling station is expected to produce enough hydrogen to give your runabout a range of some 100 miles without emitting a molecule of planet-warming greenhouse gas. 2. Environmental sensor networks [provide] real-time data on a variety of phenomena that affect the economy and society - climate change, hurricanes, air and water pollution. 3. Toxin-eating trees ... a technology that uses vegetation to absorb hazardous waste from industrial plants and other polluters. 4. Nuclear waste neutralizer ... a chemical technology called Urex+ that extracts reusable uranium and separates out cesium, allowing four times as much waste to be packed into nuclear burial grounds. 5. Autonomous ocean robots. 6. Sonic water purifier ... a sci-fi solution for an age-old problem that leaves 1.1 billion people without access to clean water: 7. Endangered-species tracker. 8. The interactive, renewable smart power grid ... the electricity grid of the future ... will look more like the Internet - distributed, interactive, open-source - than the dumb, one-way network of today.
Note: For many other exciting discoveries of new energy sources, click here.
Though the 100 mpg car sounds like a myth, it turns out that such vehicles do exist -- only they're built in your neighbor's garage, not a giant production plant. Known as plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles ... they’re basically Priuses or similar hybrids that have been equipped with extra batteries, so that they rarely use their gasoline engines at all. "People are salivating for plug-ins," says Bradley Berman, editor of the site HybridCars.com. A hybrid vehicle today like a Prius has both a gasoline engine and a battery, which is fed by the braking energy produced by the car. It can’t be plugged in. A plug-in hybrid keeps those components, but essentially gets an extra fuel tank, in the form of an added battery bank ... that allows the car to run exclusively off battery power for most driving. Felix Kramer, founder of the California Cars Initiative, a nonprofit group that promotes the use of high-efficiency, low-emission cars, owns the first consumer plug-in in North America. Not surprisingly, he loves it. "Many days I use no gasoline, because I go at neighborhood speeds for under 30 miles, and I’m just all-electric all day," he says. And the mileage? "At highway speeds, you can easily get over 100 mpg." Other plug-in owners offer up similar results. "I used to fill up every 400 miles or so," he says ... "and now I fill up every 800 miles or so." Advocates estimate that it costs less than $1 per gallon to replenish a plug-in hybrid. "Our goal is to have a $3,000 kit," CalCars' Kramer says. (That number, coincidentally, is also what many plug-in evangelists think that the technology would cost for Toyota to add to its hybrids.)
Note: If people are doing this in their garage, why aren't the auto makers already producing them? In fact, a similar vehicle was produced to be marketed in 2002, but then pulled off the market. To find why average car mileage has remained virtually unchanged for 100 years, click here.
One of the more controversial topics involving Nikola Tesla is what became of many of his technical and scientific papers after he died in 1943. Just before his death at the height of World War II, he claimed that he had perfected his so-called "death beam." So it was natural that the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies would be interested in any scientific ideas involving weaponry. The morning after the inventor's death, his nephew Sava Kosanovic hurried to his uncle's room at the Hotel New Yorker. By the time he arrived, Tesla's body had already been removed, and Kosanovic suspected that someone had already gone through his uncle's effects. Technical papers were missing as well as a black notebook he knew Tesla kept — a notebook with several hundred pages, some of which were marked "Government." Just after World War II, there was a renewed interest in beam weapons. Copies of Tesla's papers on particle beam weaponry were sent to Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. An operation code-named "Project Nick" was heavily funded and placed under the command of Brigadier General L. C. Craigie to test the feasibility of Tesla's concept. Details of the experiments were never published, and the project was apparently discontinued. But something peculiar happened. The copies of Tesla's papers disappeared and nobody knows what happened to them.
Rudolf W. Gunnerman has a tiger by the tail--the Exxon tiger. If the technology that the 66-year-old inventor has spent $6 million and the past seven years developing lives up to his claims, cars and trucks could one day be running on a fraction of the gasoline and diesel fuel they now use. Ditto for buses, planes, trains, and anything else powered by an internal-combustion engine--from lawn mowers to huge electrical generators. Gunnerman claims to have a technology that enables engines to burn a mixture of half fuel, half water. Yes, water. What's more, he says, the mixture gets 40% better mileage from the gasoline it contains and emits significantly less pollution because engines run cooler. In particular, tailpipes emit virtually no nitrogen oxides--the principal source of smog. Caterpillar Inc. is so intrigued that in early July it formed a joint venture with A-55 LP, Gunnerman's tiny, nine-person company in Reno, Nev. A-55 is short for aqueous 55%, the amount of water by weight in the patented fuels. But the key ingredient is 0.5% of a secret emulsifier that enables fuel and water to mix--and stay mixed. Gunnerman financed his work with royalties from other patents, especially those covering the making of pellets for woodstoves.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Why didn't this exciting development make headline news? For lots more showing very promising results on this most intriguing invention, click here. For exciting reports from reliable sources on highly promising new energy developments and technologies, click here and here.
Is Steorn’s Orbo technology a non-polluting, supercheap source of power? Steorn emerged at the turn of the century and to date it claims to have attracted €23 million in private investment. Put at its simplest, the “Orbo” technology is a non-polluting, almost cost-free source of power. It is not a battery but offers the same function. At the Steorn premises a table displays rows of heavy crimson skull-shaped boxes, known as power cubes. Each, according to the claims, holds numerous small “batteries” which recharge themselves allowing for a permanent supply of energy. Cube units retail at €1,200 and the first orders are due to arrive with buyers this month. However, the cube is not seen by the company as a mass-market product. They are simply a showcase for the technology. The real focus is on the mobile phone that never needs to be recharged. Explaining his own technology, [company founder Sean] McCarthy dismisses previous suggestions they are claiming to have developed a perpetual motion machine (a hypothetical device that works indefinitely without an apparent energy source) as there [are] no moving parts. “Technically it isn’t a battery at all; you’d call it a battery substitute technology. It’s something that replaces the function of the battery. It is really a generator rather than a storage device,” he says.
Note: Steorn placed a full-page ad in The Economist in 2006 calling for scientists to test its new technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing new energy technology news articles from reliable major media sources.
Imagine making the 19-hour, 1,800-kilometre drive from Toronto to Halifax in an electric car without having to stop for a recharge. That's theoretically possible with a special kind of battery being demonstrated this week in Montreal. The battery ... consists of panels made mostly of aluminum. The battery can extend the range of an electric car by 1,600 kilometres when used in conjunction with the vehicle's regular lithium-ion battery. "We hope that this will increase the penetration of electric cars with zero emissions," said Aviv Tzidon, CEO of Phinergy, ... adding that it should put an end to "range anxiety." That kind of anxiety about how far an electric car can go before needing a recharge has often been cited as a reason the market for electric cars is still relatively small. The regular battery range of electric cars now on the market is a few hundred kilometres at most — 135 kilometres for the Nissan Leaf and 480 kilometres for the more expensive version of the Tesla Model S. That makes those cars unsuitable for extended road trips, unless high-voltage fast-charging stations, which are still relatively uncommon, are available along the way.
Note: See a five-minute video presentation of this exciting development. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
PSA Peugeot Citroen [has] unveiled a pioneering hybrid vehicle concept combining a conventional engine with compressed nitrogen propulsion which it said would halve the cost of cutting emissions compared with current gasoline-electric hybrids. The French carmaker said the so-called "Hybrid Air" system developed with auto parts supplier Robert Bosch would be lighter than a hybrid running on petrol and battery power. Peugeot, which is cutting more than 10,000 jobs as it struggles to stem losses and expand overseas, said the technology would be launched around 2016, with vehicles priced below 20,000 euros ($26,600). Unlike Toyota's Prius hybrid, which supplements a conventional engine with an electric motor, the new Peugeot will use a separate hydraulic motor driven by nitrogen compressed by energy from braking and deceleration. In city driving conditions, the vehicles can travel on the compressed gas power as much as 80 percent of the time with the 3-cylinder gasoline engine cut. Peugeot said a prototype Hybrid Air subcompact emitted 72 grams of CO2 per km, compared with 104 grams for a Peugeot 208 model with the same combustion engine.
Note: For a video and more on this exciting development, click here. Let's hope this doesn't go the way of Toyota's Eco Spirit in 2002, which strangely never made it to market. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on exciting new energy and automotive technology developments, click here.
Four teenage African girls have come up with a urine-powered generator ... which they claim generates one hour of electricity from one liter (about a quart) of urine. The pee-powered product made its debut at Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen. The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas. This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator. The girls will probably be famous chemists one day, in any case, but they aren't the first to propose urine (or more solid human and animal waste) as a possible alternative fuel. Last year, in one example, researchers from Ohio University came up with their own technology for extracting hydrogen from urine. Doing so, they say, requires less power than plucking it from water, as hydrogen can be separated more easily from the ammonia and urea chemical compounds present in pee. The four African teens likely are the youngest researchers yet to dabble in pee as power. Skepticism aside, can we all just agree that the foursome should be lauded for their efforts to find alternative power sources on a continent that could really use them?
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled a solar-powered charging station ... that it said will make refueling electric vehicles on long trips about as fast as stopping for gas and a bathroom break in a conventional car. CEO Elon Musk said ... that the companyâ€™s roadside Supercharger has been installed at six highway rest stops in California. The free stations are designed to fully charge Teslaâ€™s new Model S sedan in about an hour, and a half-hour-long charge can produce enough energy for a 150-mile trip, he said. The first six, which were developed and deployed in secret, are in Barstow, Hawthorne, Lebec, Coalinga, Gilroy and Folsom. Tesla spokeswoman Christina Ra said they are open only to company employees, but would be available to the public in early October. Musk said his Palo Alto-based company planned to have more stations running throughout California and in parts of Nevada and Oregon by the end of the year, and expected to blanket â€â€almost the entire United Statesâ€™â€™ within two years. Tesla unveiled the Model S, its first mass-market vehicle, in June. The base model costs sells for $49,900 after a federal tax credit. Along with persuading consumers that electric vehicles are practical, the charging stations were developed with an eye toward alleviating doubts about their environmental effects. Musk said the solar-powered stations in California would produce more clean energy than is needed to keep cars running.
Note: For inspiring reports from reliable major media sources on new developments in automotive and energy technologies, click here.
An electric sportscar finished a remarkable road trip [on November 16] on the Panamerican Highway, traveling from near the Arctic Circle in Alaska to the world's southernmost city without a single blast of carbon dioxide emissions. Developed by engineers from Imperial College London, the SRZero sportscar ran on lithium iron phosphate batteries powering two electric motors with a peak output of 400 horsepower during its 16,000-mile (26,000-kilometer) journey. Powering up was a joy at times, the team said — such as in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska, where they started their trip July 3 after charging the batteries using geothermal energy. "The SRZero was literally being charged from energy taken straight out of the earth with absolutely zero CO2 emissions," Alex Schey, a mechanical engineer who organized the trip, wrote in his blog that day. Finding places to plug in along the way became a major challenge as the team passed through 14 countries in 70 days of driving. But every time the driver hit the brakes — and there was plenty of that as the team made its way through the Rocky Mountains, Mexico and Central America and then through South America — the car recovered kinetic energy, extending its capacity to drive as much as six hours and more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) on a single charge. This was no clunky science project — all that horsepower enabled the car to reach 60 mph (96 kph) in just seven seconds and reach top controlled speeds of 124 mph (200 kph), the team said.
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An electric car made of hemp is being developed by a group of Canadian companies in collaboration with [the Alberta provincial government]. The Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later in August by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc. The compact car, which will hold a driver and up to three passengers, will have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour and a range of 40 to 160 kilometres before needing to be recharged, depending on the type of battery. The car's body will be made of an impact-resistant composite material produced from mats of hemp, a plant from the cannabis family. The material is being supplied by Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, a provincial Crown corporation that provides technical services and funding to help commercialize new technologies. The Kestrel is one of five electric vehicles being developed by Project Eve, an automotive industry collaboration founded by Motive and Toronto Electric, an Ontario material handling and electric motor company, to boost the production of electric vehicles and electric vehicle components in Canada. The Kestrel cars will be built with the help of polytechnic schools in Alberta, Quebec and Toronto, and the first 20 cars are scheduled to be delivered next year to EnMax, a Calgary-based energy distribution, supply and service company that is taking part in Project Eve. Automotive pioneer Henry Ford first built a car made of hemp fibre and resin more than half a century ago.
Note: The U.S. continues to have laws against growing hemp. Is it time for change? For more on exciting new automotive technologies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The man who drove his 20-year-old Mustang from Napoleon, Ohio, to Las Vegas and back last year on 39 gallons of fuel will open his first manufacturing facility Monday to allow others to get 110 miles per gallon. Doug Pelmear, owner of Horse Power Sales.net Inc. and Hp2G LLC, will hold an open house ... in Wauseon to begin manufacturing his revolutionary engine. The factory ... will be tooled to initially turn out 20 of Mr. Pelmear's custom engines per day with one shift of 25 workers. A Decatur, Ind., specialty car company, Revenge Designs Inc., has contracted with Mr. Pelmear to purchase 2,000 engines for use in a new vehicle it plans to unveil at the end of this year at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The vehicle is to be called the Revenge Verde Super Car, which will use Mr. Pelmear's 400-horsepower engine and its 500 foot-pounds of torque to travel up to 200 mph and get 110 mpg - though admittedly not at the same time. "The engine is going to be a really great partnership with the car," explained Emily Levault, a spokesman for Revenge Design. "The idea behind this was to give people what they want while putting people back in their jobs." Ms. Levault said the Verde will be introduced as both a left and right-hand drive, so that it can be marketed around the world. Mr. Pelmear has said that he employs more precise tolerances and manufacturing techniques to decrease heat and energy loss and increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. He said he has more than quadrupled the industry average engine efficiency of about 8 percent.
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Thane Heins ... has invented a technology that he says will put out more energy than it consumes. His invention, he boldly claims, offers a way to make electric cars that can travel hundreds of kilometres from the energy in a small, inexpensive battery. The Star first profiled Heins and his controversial invention a year ago. In a nutshell, he had figured out a way to eliminate the electromagnetic friction that typically limits the performance of an electrical generator – an effect known as “Back EMF.” Not only that, but he also learned how to redirect that magnetic energy so that, instead of causing resistance, it gave an electrical motor connected to the generator a significant boost. The result, as far as Heins was concerned, violated Lenz’s law or what’s often called the law of diminishing returns. For many, that equates to a perpetual motion machine, an impossible claim in the conventional field of physics. Within no time the story spread globally across the Internet, became chatter on blogs, and triggered a flood of email to this reporter’s inbox – some praising Heins for his determination, others calling the Star irresponsible for giving credibility to his claim. The story, love it or hate it, was the second-most read article on TheStar.com in 2008. Much has happened over the past 12 months. Through his Ottawa-based company Potential Difference Inc., Heins has been in serious talks with a designer of small wind turbines in Montreal, a senior engineer from a large utility in Turkey, and a small manufacturer of electrical equipment in Toronto.
Note: Read how an esteemed MIT professor was baffled by this invention in the original Star article available here. For lots more on promising new energy inventions and technologies from major media sources, click here.
Chances are you've heard of hybrids and biofuels, but what about oil-producing yeast and turbinelike buoys that transform ocean waves into electricity? Those are just a couple of the alternative-energy sources that may power the future according to Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund and coauthor, with Miriam Horn, of the new book Earth: The Sequel (Norton). "Everyone knows the current story of melting glaciers, rising sea levels, worsening hurricanes, dying coral reefs," said Krupp. "'The Sequel' is the story of what happens next." Newsweek's Katie Paul talked with Krupp about ... the next industrial revolution. Newsweek: You seem to be a big fan of solar energy. Why do you think there's so much promise to it? Fred Krupp: We have two chapters on solar energy at the beginning of the book because we think there's tremendous potential there. Every hour, the sun provides the earth with as much energy as all of human civilization uses in an entire year. So, if you could capture just 10 percent of it on a ... 100-mile square piece of land, you could power the entire United States. With solar thermal energy, capturing heat instead of immediately going to electricity, one advantage is that you can store hot water much more cheaply than you can store electricity. There is tremendous potential there, even before advanced batteries are developed, and reason to think solar energy can compete. [Newsweek:] And besides solar? How are they addressing some of the negatives associated with biofuels? [Krupp:] I think we've come to understand that the current generation of biofuels has problems and that we need a whole new generation.
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Three hundred miles per gallon and a Jetsons-style look are enough to get anyone excited. But ever since the word got out on it last month, Aptera’s innovative Typ-1 three-wheeler has been the target of relentless theorizing and conjecture across the Web. Is it real? Does it have what it takes to be a practical vehicle for daily transport? Is it stable enough to drive? Does it even actually drive? Well we wondered some of those things, too, so we scouted out if a drivable prototype really exists. It does. This week we visited Aptera’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., and became the very first outside of the company to hit the street in the Typ-1 e. And, as you can see from the video of our 20-mile test drive above, we’re impressed. Aptera has two innovative models that are almost production-ready at $30,000 and below: for next year, the all-electric, 120-mile-range Typ-1 e that we drove; and, by 2009, the range-extended series gasoline Typ-1 h, which Aptera says will hit 300 mpg. A more conventional third model, called “Project X” or perhaps Typ-2, is now in the design phase, with plans for a four-wheeled chassis and seating up for to five passengers. For now, though, the Typ-1 will certainly do. Check out a full gallery for the inside scoop on all the specs from the shop and the street.
Note: To watch the video of the test drive of this exciting new vehicle, click on the article link above. For many exciting reports on new energy technologies and innovative vehicle designs, click here.
The [Panasonic World Solar] Challenge is the world's premier long-distance race for solar-powered vehicles, with competitors traveling 3000 kms [1,800 miles] along the Stuart Highway from Darwin in the far north of Australia to Adelaide in the south in cars powered solely by sunlight. In the process they ... send out a strong environmental message, pushing forward the boundaries of green technology and promoting the benefits of solar power as an alternative energy source. "It's a great adventure," the race director Chris Selwood told CNN, "One that allows the bright young people of the globe to come up with creative solutions to the problem of sustainable transport, while at the same time drawing attention to the importance of lightening the environmental footprint of our personal transport needs." First run in 1987, the race was the brainchild of Danish adventurer and environmental campaigner Hans Thostrup, who in 1982 designed and built "Quiet Achiever," the world's first ever solar-powered car. The inaugural competition featured 23 teams, with the winning vehicle -- the General Motors-sponsored Sunraycer -- completing the distance at an average speed of 67 kilometers per hour (42 miles per hour). The average speed has shot up to 103 kph (64 mph) ... while the competition has expanded to incorporate several different classes of vehicle: the Challenge and Adventure Classes for exclusively solar cars, and the Greenfleet Technology Class for other types of environmentally friendly, low-emission vehicles.
Note: Cars running on nothing but solar power averaging more than 60 mph over 1,800 miles? Why isn't this front page news? For lots more from reliable, verifiable sources on promising new energy and auto designs, click here.
Venture capitalists are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into [Silicon] Valley solar startups pursuing technological breakthroughs to make sun power as cheap as fossil fuel. Three of the largest tech IPOs of 2005 were for solar companies. The world's largest chip-equipment maker will begin producing machines to manufacture solar wafers, laying the groundwork for an industrial infrastructure that should lower the cost of producing solar cells. Solar energy has just the sort of oversize potential that the titans of tech saw in computing: a free and practically inexhaustible power source. California is also committing $3.2 billion to fund a drive to install solar panels on a million rooftops by 2018, and a November ballot initiative ... would tax Big Oil to provide $4 billion in funding for alternative-energy research, programs, and startups. Perhaps no startup has benefited more from the solar gold rush than Nanosolar. The Palo Alto company ... has racked up more than $100 million in funding so far. Nanosolar is pursuing a technology that produces solar cells on a film that's a 100th the thickness of conventional silicon wafers. Its ultimate goal: integrating thin-film cells directly into building materials. A skyscraper's glass windows, for instance, could be embedded with thin-film cells, giving them energy-producing capabilities. Nanosolar plans to build a manufacturing facility next year ... that will eventually produce 430 megawatts' worth of solar cells per year. That would nearly triple the nation's manufacturing capacity and make Nanosolar one of the world's largest solar producers. Thanks to aggressive government subsidies, Germany and Japan are currently the global leaders in solar production.
Note: With all of its talk about energy independence, why isn't the U.S. aggressively supporting research into solar power like Japan and Germany? For reliable, verifiable information which answers this question, click here.
From a plug-in hybrid car to the sexy electric Tesla Roadster, celebrities wanting to make a green statement on the way to the red carpet of the Oscars will have plenty of environment-friendly rides. Global Green USA has lined up 30 cars to shuttle the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Davis Guggenheim, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary on global warming "An Inconvenient Truth," to the star-studded ceremony in Hollywood. The environmental group began the green limousine campaign five years ago at the Oscars to raise awareness among the tens of millions of viewers worldwide about alternative fuel cars, energy independence and solutions to global warming. On a Hollywood parking lot ahead of Wednesday's Global Green USA celebrity party, Steve Schneider showed off his tiny $10,000 ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) cars made in California. One was a mini pick-up and the other a three-wheeler. "It is the first time that common people can be introduced to this type of technology," said Schneider. "We are trying to have mass appeal. This vehicle operates at a cost of a penny a mile." But it is the two-seat, scarlet-colored prototype of the Tesla Roadster, invented and financed in Silicon Valley, that will be the coveted car pulling up to the red carpet. Already 330 celebrities, including George Clooney, have signed up to buy the electric car that goes from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 kph) in four seconds. Production will begin later this year and the base price is $92,000, although the company also is working on a sedan that will cost between $50,000 and $65,000.
Thirty years after it was founded by President Jimmy Carter, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the edge of the Rockies here still does not have a cafeteria. The hopes for this neglected lab brightened a bit just over a year ago when President George W. Bush made the first presidential call on the lab since Carter. But one year after the presidential visit, the money flowing into the primary national laboratory for developing renewable fuels is actually less than it was when the Bush Administration took office. "Our budget is nothing compared to the price of a B-2 bomber or an aircraft carrier," said Rob Farrington, manager of advanced vehicle systems at the lab. The problem is that, despite a lot of promises, no one so far has wanted to pay the extra costs to make wind and solar more than a trivial energy source. Most of the money and attention is still focused on the dirty, but cheaper energy standbys: offshore oil, oil sands and coal. Companies can still deduct purchases of sport utility vehicles and utility bills. Meanwhile, fuel efficiency standards for automobiles have changed only slightly over the decades. Renewable energy today supplies only 6 percent of America's energy needs. Under current policies [renewables] would supply 7 percent of U.S. energy supplies by 2030 while coal would increase over the same period from 23 percent to 26 percent. While top energy companies are ... beginning to invest significant amounts of money in wind, solar and biomass, those investments pale in comparison with the resources they are pouring into making synthetic fuels out of oil sands, which emit significantly more carbon than conventional oil.
Note: With all the talk about oil dependence and energy crisis, why wouldn't the government and industry want to put serious money into development of new energy sources? For a startlingly clear answer, click here.
A poignant new documentary asks who killed GM's promising electric car project? A new documentary released June 28 in New York and Los Angeles, appropriately titled Who Killed The Electric Car? tries in Clue-like fashion to figure out why GM pulled the plug on its EV1 electric vehicle program, which by most accounts was approaching success when the first prototype was introduced in the mid-1990s. "It was a revolutionary, modern car, requiring no gas, no oil changes, no mufflers, and rare brake maintenance," according to a synopsis of the film. In the 1990s a strict clean-air mandate introduced in California that called for zero-emission vehicles was what led GM to introduce the EV1. Eventually that California mandate got watered down from "zero" to "low" emissions, and the automakers decided to literally blow up their EV programs. GM, which leased out the EV1 cars it produced, called them all back after California changed its policy. The cars were crushed and shredded. Who were the people leasing these vehicles? Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson and Ted Danson, among others, many of whom appear in the movie and talk favourably about their electric cars. If the implications of an advance means loss of future business to a paradigm, the key players of that paradigm will lobby to kill it. The paradigm? Big oil. Similarly, the auto industry has an interest in perpetuating the manufacture of vehicles that require routine, costly maintenance.
Note: For more information and showing times on the highly revealing Who Killed The Electric Car, visit www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com. For even deeper information www.WantToKnow.info/newenergysources
The son of [a] rocket scientist thinks he is close to perfecting...a machine that might make cheap, clean electricity from the ocean. "I believe it'll change the world," said second-generation inventor Tom Woodbridge, a NASA engineer. In theory, the idea is simple. Spinning copper wires through a stable magnetic field makes electricity — lots of electrons jumping off the magnetic field and zooming through a conductive metal. And since the ocean waves are already moving, why not cobble together a machine to harness that energy? Think Pogo Stick inside a floating drum. The rocking motion of the waves pushes a long cylinder of magnets up and down a copper coil. His small model generates 10 watts of power in a 6-inch wave chop. A full-scale version could generate 160 kilowatts. That one buoy is enough to power 160 houses, following the rule of thumb that the average U.S. home uses about 1,000 kilowatts of electricity each month.
Note: The Houston Chronicle actually cut off part of the original article, including the last three sentences above. To read the entire article, click here. For lots more on new energy inventions, see click here.
and regulators are putting more pressure on the auto industry to enhance fuel
economy, which was stagnant at an average 20.8 miles per gallon among all
2004 models and below the 1988 high of 22.1 mpg." --
"The Prius is the first significant departure from the combustion engine to make any major inroads in the auto industry since Henry Ford invented the Model T in 1908." -- Newsweek, 9/20/04
"Ford's Model T, which went 25 miles on a gallon of gasoline, was more fuel efficient than the current Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle -- which manages just 16 miles per gallon."
-- Detroit News, 6/4/03
Genius inventors for the past 100 years have made remarkable discoveries of new, more efficient energy sources, only to find their inventions either suppressed or not given the attention and funding needed to break us free of our dependence on archaic oil-based technologies. Read this article for more reliable information on this vital topic.
To gather in the latent electricity in the clouds and with the globe itself as a medium of transmission to convey telegraphic messages, power for commercial purposes, or even the sound of the human voice to the utmost confines of the earth is the latest dream of Nikola Tesla. The transmitting station is an octagonal tower, pyramidal in shape, and some 187 feet in height. J. Pierpont Morgan [was] interested in his odd enterprise and furnished him with financial assistance. Tesla's transmitting tower as it stands in lonely grandeur and boldly silhouetted against the sky ... is a source or great satisfaction and of some mystification. No instruments have been installed as yet in the transmitter, nor has Mr. Tesla given any description of what they will be like. But in his article he announces that he will transmit from the tower an electric wave of a total maximum activity of ten million horse power. This, he says, will be possible with a plant of but 100 horse power, by the use of a magnifying transmitter of his own invention. What he expects to accomplish is summed up in the closing paragraph as follows: "When the great truth, accidentally revealed and experimentally confirmed, is fully recognized, that this planet ... is to electric currents virtually no more than a small metal ball and that by virtue of this fact many possibilities ... are rendered absolutely sure of accomplishment; when the first plant is inaugurated and it is shown that a telegraphic message ... can be transmitted to any terrestrial distance, ... the energy of a waterfall made available for supplying light, heat or motive power, anywhere ... humanity will be like an ant heap stirred up with a stick."
Note: If the above link fails, click here Claimed by some to be greater than Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla was a brilliant inventor whose name and inventions were long suppressed after J.P. Morgan and others realized Tesla's inventions could give the public free energy, thereby taking away a major source of income for the elite. For a PBS tribute to Tesla, click here. For lots more on this energy genius, click here. For more on the energy cover-up, click here.
Researchers at Japan's Tohoku University are making a bold claim: an entirely new state of matter. The team, led by Kosmas Prassides, says they've created what's called a Jahn-Teller metal by inserting rubidium, a strange alkali metal element, into buckyballs, a pure carbon structure which has a spherical shape from a series of interlocking polygons (think of the Epcot Center, but in microscopic size.) The researchers created a complex crystalline structure that seemed to conduct, insulate, and magnetize while acting as a metal. It goes far beyond what ordinary matter can do. So what's the big deal? Applying pressure to the compound when it's in the conductor/insulator phase turns it into the weird state of matter, and also makes it superconductive at (relatively) high temperatures. Most superconductors that we know of need to be barely above absolute zero. Understanding and then mastering high-temperature superconductors, which this weird state of matter could help researchers to do, could make all sorts of new things possible in computing, transportation, infrastructure ... sort of everything. Discoveries of superinsulators in 2008 sort of hinted that this state of matter was possible, but confirmation would be a game changer for materials science.
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Chemical engineers at UC Berkeley have created a new, cleaner fuel out of an old concoction that was once used to make explosives. The fuel, which uses a century-old fermentation process to transform plant material into a propellant, could eventually replace gasoline and drastically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, according to the team of Berkeley scientists. The discovery, published in the journal Nature, means corn, sugar cane, grasses and other fast-growing plants or trees, like eucalyptus, could be used to make the propellant, replacing oil. The research into creating a diesel substitute is part of a 10-year development program by the Energy Biosciences Institute, a collaboration among UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The research, paid for using $50 million a year from the British oil company BP, has been going on for five years. [The researchers] extracted the acetone and butanol from the fermentation mixture [and] then created a catalyst that converted the brew into a mix of hydrocarbons similar to those in diesel fuel. The resulting substance burns as well as petroleum-based fuel and contains more energy per gallon than ethanol, according to the study. It can be produced using a variety of renewable starches and sugars that can be grown in crops. The expectation in California is that it will be used initially for niche markets, like the military, and eventually in trucks, trains and other vehicles that need more oomph than hybrid or battery power can provide.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on promising new energy developments, click here.
A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as to help curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour. The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral. "We've taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol," said Peter Harrison, the company's chief executive. "There's nobody else doing it in this country or indeed overseas as far as we know. It looks and smells like petrol but it's a much cleaner and clearer product than petrol derived from fossil oil," Mr Harrison told The Independent. Being able to capture carbon dioxide from the air, and effectively remove the principal industrial greenhouse gas resulting from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, has been the holy grail of the emerging green economy. Using the extracted carbon dioxide to make petrol that can be stored, transported and used as fuel for existing engines takes the idea one step further.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on new energy technologies, click here.
Egyptian Aisha Mustafa, 19, has dazzled the physics world with a new invention that could launch spacecraft off the Earth's surface and soaring through space without any fuel. Space is filled with a billowing sea of quantum particles that jump in and out of existence, and Aisha Mustafa proposes using thin silicon panels, spaced closely together, to trap these particles and then move against them, creating a propelling force. This innovation would make space exploration lighter, safer and cheaper. Mustafa still has some design work to do, but unfortunately her research is currently limited by lack of state funding for space science departments at the university level, though her school's science club did help fund her application for a patent.
Note: For more on this intriguing innovation, click here.
The founder of an apparel company has given the University of Missouri $5.5 million to study new sources of clean energy. Sidney Kimmel, founder and chairman of The Jones Group — which includes brands such as Anne Klein, Nine West and Gloria Vanderbilt — donated the money through his charitable foundation. The money will be used to create the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance, SKINR, which will involve researchers from the MU Research Reactor and physics, engineering and chemistry departments. Mostly, MU scientists will be trying to figure out why excess heat has been observed when hydrogen or deuterium interacts with materials such as palladium, nickel or platinum under extreme conditions. Researchers don’t know how the heat is created, nor can they duplicate the results on a consistent basis. “It’s a chance to turn cold confusion to real understanding and opportunity,” said Rob Duncan, MU’s vice chancellor for research. Since researchers Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons declared they had observed tabletop energy, scientists have been scrambling to re-create the phenomenon. Once dubbed “cold fusion,” some now refer to the process as a low-energy nuclear reaction. Some companies have even been trying to find marketplace applications for the excess heat, even though it’s not consistent. Duncan has called on the scientific community to stop trying to label the phenomenon before figuring out what causes it. The gift, he said, will let MU’s research team focus on the pure science without being distracted by trying to find uses for it.
Note: The comment about scientists scrambling to reproduce the cold fusion research of Pons and Fleischmann is not quite the reality. The two scientists were slammed and ridiculed in a coordinated effort to suppress their amazing discoveries, which threatened the huge profits of the oil industry. For lots more reliable information on this, click here and here.
In the fight against maternal mortality in the developing world, a rugged, portable “Solar Suitcase” is providing reliable electricity to clinics in 17 countries where healthcare workers previously struggled to provide emergency obstetric care by the light of candles, flashlights and mobile phones. The Solar Suitcase powers medical LED lights, headlamps, mobile phones, computers and medical devices. Healthcare workers using the Solar Suitcase report greater facility and ease in conducting nighttime procedures. Improved lighting allows health workers to identify and treat complications such as obstetric lacerations and hemorrhage, nurses to locate and administer intravenous medication, and emergency Caesarean sections to be performed 24 hours a day. Solar-powered mobile phones allow on-call doctors to be alerted when obstetric emergencies require surgery. With augmentation, the solar suitcase powers blood bank refrigeration, permitting life-saving transfusions to occur without delay. An estimated 358,000 maternal deaths occur worldwide. Reducing childbirth deaths depends, in part, on providing adequate emergency obstetric care. However, a lack of health facility power translates to an inability to perform life-saving care.
Loyd Bryant used to pump manure from his 8,640 hogs into a fetid lagoon, where it raised an unholy stink and released methane and ammonia into the air. The tons of manure excreted daily couldn't be used as fertilizer because of high nitrogen content. The solution to Bryant's hog waste problem was right under his nose - in the manure itself. A new waste-processing system - essentially a small power plant - installed on his 154-acre farm uses bacteria to digest the waste and burns methane to produce electricity. It also converts toxic ammonia into forms of nitrogen that can be used as fertilizer for more profitable crops. Waste-to-energy systems have been around for at least 15 years. But Duke University, which helped develop and pay for Bryant's system, says this one is the cleanest in existence - and virtually the only one that tackles all of the environmental problems created by animal waste. The system was built with off-the-shelf parts and simple design plans that are free for the asking. It's poised to become the standard for a cleaner waste-to-energy model that brings together farmers, utilities and private companies in an environmentally friendly effort. Bryant saves money on electricity and gets a cleaner farm. Improved air quality in his hog barns also means his pigs will have lower mortality rates and convert feed more efficiently, fattening Bryant's profits.
Note: For reports from reliable sources on exciting new energy developments, click here.
New Zealand engineer John Fleming is part of an effort to bypass the hydrogen era and go directly to the nitrogen-hydrogen economy. Texas-based Fleming, 65, is responsible for a string of inventions that produced more efficient, cleaner-burning heating appliances and holds a number of patents. He ... is helping researchers at Texas Tech University look at the potential to power vehicles using liquid ammonia, produced by combining hydrogen and nitrogen. Fleming's most tangible contribution has been a small, cheap processing plant that converts hydrogen and nitrogen into ammonia using a compression and decompression system. It promises on-site production of hydrogen-carrying liquid fuel, solving the problem of storing and distributing (with considerable energy loss) a highly explosive gas from large and expensive centralised plants. "Ammonium can be liquefied, produces no carbon or solid deposits and can burn in internal combustion engines carrying a reasonable amount of hydrogen." Based on an electrolyser he devised for potential use in gas fireplaces, the processor offers huge cost savings in the production of hydrogen using electricity. The processor costs US$200 (compared with around $130,000 using large-scale conventional models) and is predicted to produce fuel for about US27c a litre [about $1.00/gallon] before taxes.
Note: For lots more on new energy inventions, click here.
Trees and algae have been turning CO2 into fuel since the dawn of time, unlocking the chemical energy within this molecule to power metabolic processes. With a little ingenuity, it is already possible to transform CO2 into anything from petrol to natural gas. Any conversion processes will take a lot of energy. The question is, can these processes be refined to ensure that less energy is used to create this fuel than is provided by it? The key challenge is to convert CO2 into carbon monoxide (CO), by removing one of its oxygen atoms. Once you have CO, the process of creating hydrocarbon fuels such as petrol is easy. It's achieved through a reaction known as the Fischer-Tropsch process – most commonly used to synthesise liquid fuel from coal. But getting from CO2 to CO requires ... a lot of energy. The US Government's Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have opted for ... a system that takes its energy source from concentrated solar power. As Green Futures goes to press, researchers from Bristol and Bath Universities in the UK have also announced plans for solar-powered CO2-to-fuel conversion.
Note: If plants are able to convert CO2 to energy and have been doing this for billions of years, why can't scientists figure out a way to do this for human use?
People are looking for ways to trim budgets and cut down on energy use. There's a product heating up in Utah that does just that. It even helps a good cause. Don't underestimate the power of cooking with the sun. LaRue Howells first bought a Global Sun Oven a year ago to be prepared for an emergency, but now she uses it a few times a week, all-year round and shares her knowledge with members of her church. Howells said, "I can grab the solar oven and some food and take off if I needed to, and it's wonderful to have." She baked bread for us. The temperature outside was in the low 40s. "We baked bread when it was 17 degrees outside," she said. "The temperature outside isn't the issue, it's the sun." To control the heat of the oven, you adjust the angle of the oven to the sun. If you want to reduce the heat, you angle it away from the sun. One-third of the Sun Ovens sold in the U.S. are sold in Utah. Joe Crane, with Kitchen Kneads, said, "Just being prepared, self-sufficient brings a lot of peace of mind to people." Crane started to sell them nearly a year ago. "Temperature makes no difference," he said. "I've cooked at 5 below to 90 degrees in the summer time." All you need is sun, and cook times aren't much longer than with a conventional oven. As useful as we might find them, Sun Ovens are life sustaining in developing countries looking for solutions to deforestation and energy deficiency. Domestic sales help pay for ovens in Afghanistan, Nepal and South Africa. They cost around $300. Sun Ovens [use] no electricity and [burn] no fuels, meaning no emissions.
Mater Dei High School finished first and third out of 33 high school and college student teams from North and South America, shattering the miles per gallon record set last year by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Mater Dei's "6th Gen" car won the traditional fuel combustion category in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas with [a] run of 2,843.4 miles per gallon. Mater Dei's other car in competition, "5th Gen" finished third with a Friday run of 2,383.8 miles per gallon. Mater Dei wins $10,000 for first prize, along with an additional $2,400 for internal combustion engine awards. The Eco-Marathon Americas, which began in 2007, is a gathering of college and high school student teams trying to drive the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. Collectively, it's an effort to change the way the world uses energy. Each team uses a hand-built, high-mileage prototype vehicle at the California Speedway from vehicle design to management to financing, the student teams managed their vehicles from start to finish. In addition to being eco-friendly, the competition is also about giving the students an opportunity to gain practical experience in science, math, business and design.
Note: Why wasn't this remarkable news covered by any major media other than this NBC affiliate? For another astonishing, yet little-known engine invention by high school students, click here. For more on the repression of new energy inventions, click here.
A powerful winter storm swept across northeastern Ohio in early January, knocking out power for nearly 60,000 customers. But in an isolated one-story building, tucked among the trees and fields of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the lights stayed on. So did the computers. The power source: two fuel cells, each about the size of a refrigerator. "It worked seamlessly," said Tom Toledo, maintenance operations supervisor at the park. "We didn't even realize there was a power outage." The performance of these fuel cells, a demonstration project for fuel cell maker Acumentrics Corp. of Westwood, is an example of a technology whose time may be approaching. Unlike traditional technologies, which burn fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas to make power, fuel cells rely on chemical reactions to produce electricity and heat. Fuel cells are most frequently imagined as an advanced engine for automobiles. But as Acumentrics' success in Ohio demonstrates, on-site generation represents another application, one that specialists say will make it to market long before fuel cells replace the internal combustion engine. Acumentrics, in fact, is moving toward commercial production of a compact fuel cell system to power and heat homes. Working with the Italian heating products company Merloni TermoSanitari, Acumentrics hopes to get these household units, small enough to hang on a wall, into European markets by 2010. Estimated price: $5,200. "This is a new way of making electricity," said Gary Simon, Acumentrics chief executive. "It's like going from vacuum tubes to microchips." Acumentrics is one of about 40 Massachusetts firms developing fuel cell technology that someday may power everything from military outposts to cellphones.
Note: For many exciting reports of new energy inventions, click here.
An Erie cancer researcher has found a way to burn salt water, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the "most remarkable" water science discovery in a century. John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies it would burn. The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel. Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, has held demonstrations at his State College lab to confirm his own observations. The radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen, Roy said. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies, he said. The discovery is "the most remarkable in water science in 100 years," Roy said. "This is the most abundant element in the world. It is everywhere," Roy said. "Seeing it burn gives me the chills." Roy will meet this week with officials from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to try to obtain research funding. The scientists want to find out whether the energy output from the burning hydrogen - which reached a heat of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit - would be enough to power a car or other heavy machinery. "We will get our ideas together and check this out and see where it leads," Roy said. "The potential is huge."
Note: For an exciting survey of major media reports of new energy inventions, click here.
Millions of inventions pass quietly through the U.S. patent office each year. Patent No. 7,033,406 did, too, until energy insiders spotted six words in the filing that sounded like a death knell for the internal combustion engine. An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline. By contrast, some plug-in hybrids on the horizon would require motorists to charge their cars in a wall outlet overnight and promise only 50 miles of gasoline-free commute. And the popular hybrids on the road today still depend heavily on fossil fuels. "It's a paradigm shift," said Ian Clifford, chief executive of Toronto-based ZENN Motor Co., which has licensed EEStor's invention. "The Achilles' heel to the electric car industry has been energy storage. By all rights, this would make internal combustion engines unnecessary." Clifford's company bought rights to EEStor's technology in August 2005 and expects EEStor to start shipping the battery replacement later this year for use in ZENN Motor's short-range, low-speed vehicles. The technology could also help invigorate the renewable-energy sector by providing efficient, lightning-fast storage for solar power, or, on a small scale, a flash-charge for cell phones and laptops. EEStor's secret ingredient is a material sandwiched between thousands of wafer-thin metal sheets, like a series of foil-and-paper gum wrappers stacked on top of each other. Charged particles stick to the metal sheets and move quickly across EEStor's proprietary material. The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly.
Note: For many exciting articles about new, efficient and clean energy inventions, click here.
Algae seems a strange contender for the mantle of World’s Next Great Fuel, but the green goop has several qualities in its favor. Algae, made up of simple aquatic organisms that capture light energy through photosynthesis, produces vegetable oil. Vegetable oil, in turn, can be transformed into biodiesel, which can be used to power just about any diesel engine. Algae has some important advantages over other oil-producing crops, like canola and soybeans. It can be grown in almost any enclosed space, it multiplies like gangbusters, and it requires very few inputs to flourish—mainly just sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. “Because algae has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, it can absorb nutrients very quickly,” [Jim] Sears says. “Its small size is what makes it mighty.” The proof is in the numbers. About 140 billion gallons of biodiesel would be needed every year to replace all petroleum-based transportation fuel in the U.S. It would take nearly three billion acres of fertile land to produce that amount with soybeans, and more than one billion acres to produce it with canola. Unfortunately, there are only 434 million acres of cropland in the entire country, and we probably want to reserve some of that to grow food. But because of its ability to propagate almost virally in a small space, algae could do the job in just 95 million acres of land. What’s more, it doesn’t need fertile soil to thrive. It grows in ponds, bags or tanks that can be just as easily set up in the desert—or next to a carbon-dioxide-spewing power plant—as in the country’s breadbasket. Sears claims that these efficiencies will allow Solix Biofuels, the company he founded, to create algae-based biodiesel that costs about the same as gasoline.
Note: For many other innovative ideas to develop cheap, renewable energy sources, click here.
Retired TV station owner and broadcast engineer, John Kanzius, wasn't looking for an answer to the energy crisis. He was looking for a cure for cancer. Four years ago, inspiration struck in the middle of the night. Kanzius decided to try using radio waves to kill the cancer cells. His wife Marianne heard the noise and found her husband inventing a radio frequency generator with her pie pans. "I got up immediately, and thought he had lost it." Here are the basics of John's idea: Radio-waves will heat certain metals. Tiny bits of certain metal are injected into a cancer patient. Those nano-particals are attracted to the abnormalities of the cancer cells and ignore the healthy cells. The patient is then exposed to radio waves and only the bad cells heat up and die. But John also came across yet another extrordinary breakthrough. His machine could actually make saltwater burn. John Kanzius discovered that his radio frequency generator could release the oxygen and hydrogen from saltwater and create an incredibly intense flame. "If that was in a car cylinder you could see the amount of fire that would be in the cylinder." The APV Company Laboratory in Akron has checked out John's ... invention. They were amazed. "That could be a steam engine, a steam turbine. That could be a car engine if you wanted it to be." Imagine the possibilities. Saltwater as the ultimate clean fuel. A happy byproduct of one man searching for the cure for cancer.
Note: Though this exciting breakthrough was reported in dozens of local media, not one major news outlet found it worthy of mention. To verify this yourself, click here.
Off the western coast of Scotland, on the Isle of Islay, science teacher Ray Husthwaite turns on the light in his classroom. The electricity comes from a power cable that runs to the mainland. But it also comes from the ocean. A few miles from the school, wave action compresses and decompresses air in a chamber. The moving air powers a turbine, which generates electricity. "It is pleasant ... to sit beside the gray, concrete structure and listen to the rising and falling of the waves, driving air through the turbines like the breath of a great sea monster," Husthwaite said. "It seems insane to me to be investing in nuclear power stations and gas turbines when there are endless, free energy resources in the rivers, oceans and the wind." Ocean power gradually is joining the ranks of wind and solar power as a source of renewable energy. Islay's wave-power converter, the Limpet 500, has been operating since 2000. In Hawaii, the Navy has been churning up electrons with the help of a floating buoy. And in Portugal, engineers are installing snakelike tubes designed to convert the sea's motion into electricity. Some designs, like the Limpet, use waves to push air through a column. Others convert the sea's up-and-down motion into mechanical energy. One wave-power company executive told a congressional committee last year that several hundred square miles off the California coast could supply the electrical needs of all of the homes in the state.
Note: To learn about an abundance of other new energy technologies which could replace oil, click here.
The home and office of Kyle Foggo, who stepped down on Monday as the Central Intelligence Agency's No. 3 official, were searched today. Mr. Foggo resigned after becoming entangled in a widening investigation that has already brought down former Representative Randy Cunningham. Mr. Foggo's workplace in Langley, Va., and his residence in Virginia were searched this morning by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the C.I.A. inspector general's office. April Langwell, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I.'s San Diego office, said Mr. Foggo had been under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Defense Department's inspector general's office, as well as by the C.I.A.'s inspector general and the F.B.I. The inquiry by the C.I.A.'s inspector is examining whether he improperly awarded agency contracts to a longtime friend, Brent R. Wilkes, a military contractor whose companies have received nearly $100 million in government contracts over the years. Mr. Foggo, 51, has admitted attending poker parties throughout the 1990's that Mr. Wilkes held in a suite at the Watergate Hotel in Washington. The parties were primarily attended by C.I.A. officials and congressmen, and Mr. Cunningham, a California Republican, occasionally attended. Several news media accounts have reported that prostitutes frequented the parties.
Note: This article has huge significance. Until just a few years ago, there was a virtual blackout in the media on any negative coverage of the CIA. The fact that the Feds raided the home of the #3 man in the CIA and it was reported in top newspapers is an external manifestation of huge shake-ups going on behind the scenes. Buzzy Krongard, the previous #3 at the CIA has been linked to the millions of dollars in suspicious stock option trades made just prior to 9/11 that were never claimed, though this received little media coverage.
It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste. Randell Mills, a Harvard University medic who also studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims to have built a prototype power source that generates up to 1,000 times more heat than conventional fuel. Independent scientists claim to have verified the experiments and Dr Mills says that his company, Blacklight Power, has tens of millions of dollars in investment lined up to bring the idea to market. What has much of the physics world up in arms is Dr Mills's claim that he has produced a new form of hydrogen, the simplest of all the atoms, with just a single proton circled by one electron. In his "hydrino", the electron sits a little closer to the proton than normal, and the formation of the new atoms from traditional hydrogen releases huge amounts of energy. According to Dr Mills, there can be only one explanation: quantum mechanics must be wrong. "We've done a lot of testing. We've got 50 independent validation reports, we've got 65 peer-reviewed journal articles," he said. "We ran into this theoretical resistance and there are some vested interests here.
Note: Hundreds of respected scientists, including a genius friend of ours with 12 patents to his name, have developed devices which produce energy for a very low price, only to have their inventions either bought and shelved or destroyed systematically by those with vested interests. Our friend's $7 million company was taken over by vested oil interests after first both his home and office were ransacked and than a bullet-hole was put through his office window. For lots more on this, see our New Energy Information Center.
U of Michigan takes prize, finishing the 2500-mile course in 54 hours. Fourteen of the twenty entrants completed the race. The last to cross the finish line (Kansas State U) came in 12.5 hours after the winner. The ten-day solar car race from Austin to Calgary came to a successful finish yesterday. The University of Michigan's Momentum placed first, completing a few seconds under 54 hours. They also set a record by averaging 46.2 mph in this, the world's longest solar car race. The University of Minnesota's Borealis III came in second, trailing by 12 minutes. MIT's Tesseract came in third. Canada's leading team, the University of Waterloo, came in fifth with their Midnight Sun. Fourteen cars went all the way to the finish line, with the last to cross being Kansas State University's Paragon on its maiden race, at 87.5 hours, a little over 12 hours after the winner.
Note: A solar powered car averaged 46.2 mph in over a 2,500 mile course! Why isn't this making mainstream news headlines? I invite you to do a Google news search on "Solar Challenge" (the annual solar car race). You will find that almost no major media cover this event at all. The few who do somehow fail to mention anything about the speeds attained by these cars. Why is the media not covering these incredible breakthroughs?
British scientists have developed an antigravity machine that can float heavy stones, coins and lumps of metal in mid-air. Based around a powerful magnet, the device levitates objects in a similar way to how a maglev train runs above its tracks. The device exploits diamagnetism. Place non-magnetic objects inside a strong enough magnetic field and they are forced to act like weak magnets themselves. Generate a field that is stronger below and weaker above, and the resulting upward magnetic force cancels out gravity. Scientists have used diamagnetism to make wood, strawberries and, famously, a living frog fly. "That force is strong enough to float things with a density similar to water, but not things with the density of rocks."
[Somender Singh] claims that his invention makes an engine cleaner, quieter and colder...while using up to 20 percent less gas. So far, all Singh’s invention has earned him is a few polite rejection letters from presidents, professors and auto manufacturers. “I am...no man with letters after his name or fancy institutions, and what I have invented is really very simple,” he admits. Remember that the internal combustion engine is itself hardly rocket science. The internal combustion engine (ICE) has been with us for about 200 years. The basic concept—the boom that turns a crank—has not really changed at all. The efficiency of that bang had stalled out at around 28 percent. The vast majority of the fuel was dissipated as engine heat or exhaust. Singh knew that ... the combustion chamber [was where] fuel was turned to bang. He modified a motorcycle, then a two-stroke, then a four-stroke, then a car, then 50 cars. Singh applied for a patent in January 1999, and the U.S. Patent Office issued him No. 6237579 in May 2001. Finally he was allowed to bring his engines and hook them to a Benz EC-70 dynamometer with a five-gas analyzer and a Benz gravimetric fuel-measuring device. At between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm, Singh’s modified engine used between 10 and 42 percent less fuel than its unmodified twin, with no appreciable losses in torque or power.
Note: After posting a message on a group of high-school students who achieved dramatic improvements in car engine efficiency two weeks ago, we received emails from more than ten people claiming to have made or know of similar inventions. The above article was sent as evidence in one case. Dozens of other cases that could be real. For Mr. Singh's website, see http://www.somender-singh.com. For lots more, click here.
British researchers believe that they have made a groundbreaking scientific discovery after apparently managing to "create" energy from hydrogen atoms. In results independently verified at Bristol University, a team from Gardner Watts - an environmental technology company - show a "thermal energy cell" which appears to produce hundreds of times more energy than that put into it. If the findings are correct and can be reproduced on a commercial scale, the thermal energy cell could become a feature of every home, heating water for a fraction of the cost and cutting fuel bills by at least 90 per cent. The makers of the cell, which passes an electric current through a liquid between two electrodes, admit that they cannot explain precisely how the invention works. "What we are saying is that the device seems to tap into another, previously unrecognised source of energy." The cell is the product of research into the fundamental properties of hydrogen, the most common element in the universe. Hydrogen can exist in a so-called metastable state that harbours a potential source of extra energy. [Quantum] theory suggests that if electricity were passed into a mixture of water and a chemical catalyst, the extra energy would be released in the form of heat. After some experimentation, the team found that a small amount of electricity passed through a mixture of water and potassium carbonate - potash - released an astonishing amount of energy. "It generates a lot of heat in a very small volume," said Christopher Eccles, the chief scientist at Gardner Watts. The findings of the Gardner Watts team were tested by Dr Jason Riley of Bristol University, who found energy gains of between three and 26 times what had been put in.
Note: For an abundance of reliable reports on amazing new energy developments, click here.
As if the images of this MSV Explorer prototype amphibious vehicle weren’t arresting enough, Cornish inventor Chris Garner claims to have solved the centuries-old conundrum of perpetual motion – which could lead to electric cars that never have to be recharged. Garner ... is utterly convinced that what he’s come up with will work, saying he’s spent “35,000 hours of science” on the project so far. It’s called the “hyper performance gyro generator”, and he doesn’t just want us to take his word for it – instead he’s having it tested ... at the University of Plymouth next week. Garner prefers to call it “self-sustaining energy”. He explained that the “gyro gen” functions on the principle that it can go from 1rpm to 6,000rpm with very little in the way of friction or drag. Once spinning it won’t stop until it wears out. If the resulting ampage ... is higher than that required to power an electric motor then you’ve got free fuel for travel. In the example currently under development, the gyro gen produces 1,600 amps, far more than the 400 amps required to drive a pair of motors. The remaining electrical energy could then be used to power ancilliaries, such as air conditioning, lights and so forth. Whether it all works in reality remains to be seen – we’ll have a better idea after the tests next week – but it could mean a future free from electric vehicle range anxiety for all of us.
Note: To get the full story on this, click on the MSN link above and then click through the 14 slides of the vehicle there. For lots more great information on this exciting new technology, click here.
Think of the pickup truck from Via Motors as an electric generator on wheels. The truck, unveiled [on January 10] at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, runs on electricity. But it also can supply electricity - enough to power whole houses. PG&E has been testing two of the pickups since 2010. The trucks could respond to small power outages, temporarily supplying electricity to blacked-out homes. The trucks can supply a maximum of 15 kilowatts of electricity at any given moment - more than the typical house requires. PG&E field workers also could use the pickups to run their power tools. Many of the electric cars now hitting the market are small passenger vehicles, made for commuters. Via, however, targets the other end of the size spectrum. The company, based in the Detroit suburbs, has focused on electrifying large vehicles: trucks, SUVs and vans. Each Via truck has saved PG&E about $2,700 per year in fuel costs, when compared with a conventional pickup. The utility has about 3,500 similar vehicles in its fleet, and converting all of them would save PG&E about $9.5 million each year.
Note: For exciting reports from reliable sources on promising new automotive and energy inventions, click here.
David Sandalow, the Energy Department's assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, practices what he preaches when it comes to alternative-energy vehicles. Sandalow drives a Toyota Prius converted to a plug-in electric for his 5-mile commute to work every day. He recharges at night in the carport of his Washington home. Sandalow's Prius, which was converted two years ago to allow him to recharge the battery from an electric outlet, gets more than 80 miles per gallon and lets him drive 30 miles on a single charge. He can drive up to 30 miles on a single charge, only has to fill the gas tank about twice a month, and he figures he gets about 80 miles a gallon. Including the six-hour electric plug-in a day, it works out to about 75 cents per gallon of gas. His aftermarket conversion cost about $9,000, on top of the price of the Prius. Sandalow wrote the 2007 book Freedom From Oil, and he thinks that hybrids and plug-ins are the quickest way for the country to lessen its dependence on foreign oil.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on exciting new developments in automotive design and new energy technologies, click here.
Matt Reynolds, an assistant professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at Duke University, wears other hats, too — including that of co-founder of two companies. These days, his interest is in a real hat now in prototype: a hard hat with a tiny microprocessor and beeper that sound a warning when dangerous equipment is nearby on a construction site. What’s unusual, however, is that the hat’s beeper and microprocessor work without batteries. They use so little power that they can harvest all they need from radio waves in the air. The waves come from wireless network transmitters on backhoes and bulldozers, installed to keep track of their locations. The microprocessor monitors the strength and direction of the radio signal from the construction equipment to determine if the hat’s wearer is too close. Dr. Reynolds designed this low-power hat, called the SmartHat, with Jochen Teizer, an assistant professor in the school of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Tech. They are among several people devising devices and systems that consume so little power that it can be drawn from ambient radio waves, reducing or even eliminating the need for batteries. Their work has been funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
Note: For exciting reports on new energy developments, click here.
Don't dismiss the Nano as a small, poor man's car that will cause a mere ripple on the world market. The Nano is a radical innovation, with the potential to revolutionize automobile manufacturing and distribution. The tiny Nano incorporates three innovations, which together make it huge. First, the Nano uses a modular design that enables a knowledgeable mechanic to assemble the car in a workshop. Thus, Tata can outsource assembly to independent workshops that can then assemble the car on buyers' orders. This innovation not only removes costly labor from the manufacturer's side but also allows for distributed entrepreneurship on the dealer's side. Second, the low cost of the Nano comes from a combination of its no-frills design and its use of numerous lighter components, from simple door handles and bulbs to the transmission and engine parts. The lighter vehicle enables a more energy-efficient engine that gets 67 miles to the gallon. Third, at just 122 inches long, the Nano is one of the shortest four-passenger cars on the market, yet it allows for ample interior space. These innovations have enabled Tata to introduce the Nano at a base price of $2,000. The low price has triggered worldwide interest in the car and a surge of orders, even in a struggling auto market. The Nano has the potential of flourishing despite the recession or softening its sting because of its extraordinary low price. It's a radical innovation precisely because it is a poor man's car.
Note: For a treasure trove of inspiring developments in new energy and automotive technologies, click here.
In the garage of his house, Frank Sanns spends nights tinkering with one of his prized possessions: a working nuclear-fusion reactor. Mr. Sanns, 51 years old, is part of a small subculture of gearheads, amateur physicists and science-fiction fans who are trying to build fusion reactors in their basements, backyards and home laboratories. Mr. Sanns ... believes he's on track to make fusion a viable power source. "I'm a dreamer," he says. Many of these hobbyists call themselves "fusioneers," and have formed a loosely knit community that numbers more than 100 world-wide. Getting into their elite "Neutron Club" requires building a tabletop reactor that successfully fuses hydrogen isotopes and glows like a miniature star. Only 42 have qualified; some have T-shirts that read "Fusion -- been there...done that." Called fusors and based on a 1960s design first developed by Philo T. Farnsworth, an inventor of television, the reactors are typically small steel spheres with wires and tubes sticking out and a glass window for looking inside. But they won't be powering homes anytime soon -- for now, fusors use far more energy than they produce. But the allure is strong. A fusion power plant would likely be fueled by deuterium and tritium, both isotopes of hydrogen that are in plentiful supply. Fusion advocates say reactors would be relatively clean, generating virtually no air pollution and little long-lived radioactive waste. Today's nuclear power plants, in contrast, are fission-based, meaning they split atoms and create a highly radioactive waste that can take millennia to decompose.
Note: How strange that this article seems to accept table-top nuclear fusion as a fact, when mainstream science supposedly debunked this possibility two decades ago. For lots more on infinite energy posibilities, click here.
The Tesla Roadster, which recently entered production, is probably the best known electric car in America. The company's president has called it "the only production electric car for sale in the United States." There are several other electric car companies that would differ with him on that point, but those other vehicles are either limited to speeds below 25 miles per hour or have fewer than four wheels, making their status as "cars" somewhat debatable. With a full set of wheels and a claimed top speed of 125 mph, there's no question this two-seat convertible is a real car. Tesla also boasts an amazing 220-mile range on a full charge as measured in EPA fuel economy tests. Meanwhile, the charging time claimed by Tesla is less than half that of other electric vehicles, thanks to advanced lithium-ion batteries -- which do account for much of the car's high cost. But even gasoline-powered two-seat soft-tops are luxury toys, not daily drivers. Tesla promises it is working hard on a more moderately priced four-door model for driving's other half. The GEM car, from Chrysler's Global Electric Motorcars division, is more typical of what's available to today's average consumer. It's a small, lightweight vehicle that can go up to 25 mph. It can go just a little faster on a downhill grade, but the electric motor automatically steps in to slow it down. The 25 mph top speed is a matter of law, not engineering. "Low Speed Vehicles" (LSVs) like the GEM don't have to meet the same safety requirements as faster cars. But 25 mph is still adequate for many daily commutes and around-the-town errands.
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As California utilities scramble to buy more renewable energy, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and a Palo Alto startup will announce plans today to build a solar power plant big enough to light more than 132,000 homes. Ausra Inc. will design and build the plant, which will be located on the Carrizo Plain of eastern San Luis Obispo County and could begin operating as soon as 2010. San Francisco's PG&E has agreed to buy the plant's power for 20 years. Like the rest of California's big utilities, PG&E faces a state-imposed deadline to derive 20 percent of its power from certain renewable sources by the end of 2010. So the company is turning to solar thermal power plants, which can generate large amounts of energy on a reliable basis. In July, the company agreed to buy power from a solar plant planned for the Southern California desert, which will generate 553 megawatts, enough for more than 414,000 homes. PG&E plans to buy 1,000 megawatts of solar thermal energy within the next five years. "Solar works best when it's really hot, and that's when we need a lot of power," said Peter Darbee, the utility's chief executive officer. "So solar is something we're exploring more." Solar thermal plants do not use the solar cells that more Californians are bolting to their rooftops. Instead, they use the sun's energy to heat liquids that turn turbines and generate power. Ausra's technology uses flat mirrors that focus sunlight on tubes carrying water, which then turns to steam. The plants can produce far more electricity than silicon solar cells provide and at a far lower price. Ralph Cavanagh, with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said he's pleased to see the recent attention on solar thermal plants. "They're a very good idea for California, and they're also a really good idea for the world," said Cavanagh, director of the environmental group's energy program. "This is one of the scalable solutions that can make a big difference."
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A Purdue University engineer and National Medal of Technology winner says he's ready and able to start a revolution in clean energy. Professor Jerry Woodall and students have invented a way to use an aluminum alloy to extract hydrogen from water — a process that he thinks could replace gasoline as well as its pollutants and emissions tied to global warming. But Woodall says there's one big hitch: "Egos" at the U.S. Department of Energy, a key funding source for energy research, "are holding up the revolution. The hydrogen is generated on demand, so you only produce as much as you need when you need it," he said in a statement released by Purdue this week. So instead of having to fill up at a station, hydrogen would be made inside vehicles in tanks about the same size as today's gasoline tanks. An internal reaction in those tanks would create hydrogen from water and 350 pounds worth of special pellets. The hydrogen would then power an internal combustion engine or a fuel cell stack. "It's a simple matter to convert ordinary internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen," Woodall said. "All you have to do is replace the gasoline fuel injector with a hydrogen injector." "The egos of program managers at DOE are holding up the revolution," he told MSNBC.com. "Remember that Einstein was a patent examiner and had no funding for his 1905 miracle year," Woodall added. "He did it on his own time. If he had been a professor at a university in the U.S. today and put in a proposal to develop the theory of special relativity it would have been summarily rejected."
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Many respected engineers have been trying for years to bring a compressed air car to market, believing strongly that compressed air can power a viable "zero pollution" car. Now the first commercial compressed air car is on the verge of production and beginning to attract a lot of attention, and with a recently signed partnership with Tata, India's largest automotive manufacturer, the prospects of very cost-effective mass production are now a distinct possibility. The MiniC.A.T is a simple, light urban car. How does it work? 90m3 of compressed air is stored in fibre tanks. The expansion of this air pushes the pistons and creates movement. It is incredibly cost-efficient to run – according to the designers, it costs less than one Euro per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 68 mph. Refilling the car will ... take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately [US$2] the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres. As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can ... refill the tank in 3-4 hours. At the moment, four models have been made: a car, a taxi (5 passengers), a Pick-Up truck and a van. The final selling price will be approximately [US$11,000]. "Moteur Development International" (MDI) ... has researched and developed the Air Car over 10 years.
Note: Why aren't U.S. automakers interested in this breakthrough technology? For abundance of reliable information on the exciting new developments in auto design for super-efficient mileage, click here.
The tangle of cables and plugs needed to recharge today's electronic gadgets could soon be a thing of the past. US researchers have outlined a relatively simple system that could deliver power to devices such as laptop computers or MP3 players without wires. The concept exploits century-old physics and could work over distances of many metres. Although the team has not built and tested a system, computer models and mathematics suggest it will work. "Resonance" [is] a phenomenon that causes an object to vibrate when energy of a certain frequency is applied. "When you have two resonant objects of the same frequency they tend to couple very strongly," Professor Soljacic [explained]. Resonance can be seen in musical instruments. "When you play a tune on one, then another instrument with the same acoustic resonance will pick up that tune, it will visibly vibrate," he said. Instead of using acoustic vibrations, the team's system exploits the resonance of electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic radiation includes radio waves, infrared and X-rays. The team from MIT is not the first group to suggest wireless energy transfer. Nineteenth-century physicist and engineer Nikola Tesla experimented with long-range wireless energy transfer, but his most ambitious attempt - the 29m [it was actually 187 feet] high aerial known as Wardenclyffe Tower, in New York - failed when he ran out of money. A UK company called Splashpower has also designed wireless recharging pads onto which gadget lovers can directly place their phones and MP3 players to recharge them.
Note: What the article fails to mention is that Tesla's experiments previous to the 1903 Wardenclyffe tower were quite successful, so much so that J.P. Morgan was willing to pour huge amounts into the tower. When he learned, however, that Tesla's intention was to make energy available free to the public, he pulled the plug on the project and many of Tesla's amazing inventions were buried and erased from the history books. For verification, click here and here. For lots more on suppressed energy inventions, click here.
Over a period of 30 years, highly qualified Perth-based surgeon Dr John Holt has had some startling successes with a radio-wave therapy treatment for cancer patients. Dr Holt's controversial treatment works, in layperson's terms, by giving the patient an injection of a glucose-blocking agent. He then shines "radio waves" into the body at a specific frequency. Dr Holt doesn't guarantee it will cure every cancer, but it's not expensive and there's no quackery about it. Born in Bristol 80 years ago and a member of the Royal Colleges, Dr Holt has 26 medical letters after his name. For more than a decade he was in charge of Western Australia's main cancer institute, until the late '70s, when he was blacklisted by his medical colleagues and politicians. The polarisation of the medical and scientific community in Perth over Dr Holt's treatment has been evident since the mid-'70s. While the medical community continues to argue the merits of Dr Holt's unorthodox measures, the families of his successes feel they owe everything to this gentle man. After two brain tumours and a tumour on her spine, Sophia Rosa was sent by pre-eminent brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo for the radical treatment. Two years later, the only sign Sophia had cancer are the side-effects from the massive doses of chemotherapy given in Sydney.
Scientists at Michigan State University announced this week the creation of a “transparent luminescent solar concentrator” that could turn windows and even cellphone screens into solar-power generators. The material works by absorbing light in the invisible spectrum (ultraviolet and near infrared) and then re-emitting it in the infrared. The infrared light is then channeled to the edge of the clear surface, where thin strips of photovoltaic cells generate the power. Because we cannot see infrared or ultraviolet light, the material remains transparent even while concentrating sunlight. Previous luminescent solar concentrators have been developed, but they emitted light in the visible spectrum, creating a stained-glass effect. “No one wants to sit behind colored glass,” Richard Lunt, who leads the lab researching this new technology, said. The new technology is promising, but needs to be made more efficient. Researchers say that the solar conversion efficiency is around one percent. Ideally, this could be increased to more than five percent. Luminescent solar concentrators are less efficient than traditional photovoltaics, which absorb a larger range of wavelengths, but they could allow energy harvesting on surfaces that would otherwise never be used to generate power. The transparent technology could be used in a variety of applications, Lunt said, and its affordability means it has the potential for eventual commercial or industrial use. “Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there,” he said. The researchers' findings were published in the journal Advanced Optical Materials in July.
Note: Why isn't the major media reporting this exciting development? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing new energy inventions news articles from reliable major media sources. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
In a nation thirsting for energy, he loomed like a messiah: a small-town engineer who claimed he could run a car on water. The assertion — based on the premise that he had discovered a way to easily split the oxygen and hydrogen atoms in water molecules with almost no energy — would, if proven, represent a stunning breakthrough for physics and a near-magical solution to Pakistan’s desperate power crisis. “By the grace of Allah, I have managed to make a formula that converts less voltage into more energy,” the professed inventor, Agha Waqar Ahmad, said in a telephone interview. “This invention will solve our country’s energy crisis and provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of people.” Established scientists have debunked his spectacular claims, first made one month ago, saying they violate ironclad laws of physics. The quest to harness chemical energy from water is a holy grail of science, offering the tantalizing promise of a world free from dependence on oil. Groups in other countries, including Japan, the United States and Sri Lanka, have previously made similar claims. They have been largely ignored. Not so with Mr. Ahmad, even if he is an unlikely scientific prodigy. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1990 from a small technical college in Khairpur, in southern Sindh Province, he said in the interview. For most of his career he worked in a local police department. He is currently unemployed. But he sprang up at a moment when Pakistan was intensely aware of its power shortcomings.
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A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim. The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot - about one mile an hour - meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe. Existing technologies which use water power, relying on the action of waves, tides or faster currents created by dams, are far more limited in where they can be used, and also cause greater obstructions when they are built in rivers or the sea. Turbines and water mills need an average current of five or six knots to operate efficiently, while most of the earth's currents are slower than three knots. The new device, which has been inspired by the way fish swim, consists of a system of cylinders positioned [horizontally] to the water flow and attached to springs. As water flows past, the cylinder creates vortices, which push and pull the cylinder up and down. The mechanical energy in the vibrations is then converted into electricity. The scientists behind the technology, which has been developed in research funded by the US government, say ... the technology would require up to 50 times less ocean acreage than wave power generation. The system, conceived by scientists at the University of Michigan, is called Vivace, or "vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy".
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An airplane-inspired car that costs $10,000 less than a basic Volvo and gets 300 miles per gallon? Not quite yet, but San Diego robot-builder Steve Fambro may be onto something with the Aptera ("wingless" in Greek) vehicle. Fambro was inspired to build the vehicle when his wife deemed a kit airplane he was building was too dangerous. The vehicle pictured was designed by Jason Hill and his firm "11" for Fambro. The three-wheeled, 1,500-pound prototype has 2 1/2 seats, and when the vehicle goes into production in October, Fambro expects that it will have an acceleration rate of zero to 60 mph in 11 seconds (a second slower than the Prius) and retail for less than $30,000. The Aptera will come in two versions: an all-electric that is expected to go 120 miles on a charge and a hybrid that will have a 600-mile range on a full charge and full tank. Unlike other three-wheeled cars that are technically motorcycles (thus skirting a lot of safety criteria), the Aptera's airplane-wide wheel base makes it stable. The fiberglass shell is reinforced with steel and aluminum, and there will be air bags in the seat belts. What's not to like, unless, of course, you're the passenger in the half seat.
Note: For a fascinating video clip of this car on a local ABC news affiliate, click here. Why aren't other major media picking up this exciting story?
It's a two-hour ferry ride to the Danish island of Samso. To visit Samso is to see the future. Samso is an area about 40 square miles long with a permanent population of about 4,000 — all of them living a green dream. Take farmer Erik Andersen. His tractor runs on oil from rape seed, which he grows. His hot water and power come from his solar panels or wind turbines. There's not a fossil fuel in sight. "It's a very good feeling because the island is a renewable energy island," Anderson says. Ten years ago, Andersen and the people of Samso accepted a challenge from Denmark's government: Could they run their farms; could they power their businesses; could they lead their lives in an entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon-neutral way? Now they have the answer. They can. "Because it's a good idea for the environment," Andersen explains. To harness the wind, of which they have plenty, they built wind turbines. To provide heat, they burn locally grown straw in central plants that produce super hot water and pump it through underground pipes into peoples' homes. It's not only more efficient than running individual furnaces, it's carbon neutral. The net greenhouse gas emissions from these plants? Zero. It's a system that just recycles itself, says Jens Peter Nielson with the Samso Energy Authority. Even after a freezing cold night, the days short and cloudy, the solar-heated hot water is still hot. The Samso scheme has become so successful that the island has installed a string of turbines offshore to make surplus power to sell to the mainland.
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A Florida man with no medical training has invented a machine that he believes may lead to a cure for cancer. John Kanzius ... wondered if his background in physics and radio could come in handy in treating the disease from which he suffers himself. After 24 rounds of chemotherapy, the former broadcaster decided that he did not want to see others suffer trying to cure the disease. Kanzius said it was watching kids being treated that affected him the most. "Particularly, young children walk in with smiles, and then you'd see them three weeks later and their smiles had disappeared. I said to myself, 'We're in a barbaric type of medicine." Kanzius said his machine basically makes cells act like antennae to pick up a signal and self-destruct. Unlike current cancer treatment, Kanzius' machine does not use radiation, and unlike today's radio-frequency treatments, it's noninvasive. Now, some of the nation's most prominent doctors and scientists are using Kanzius' machines in their research. In January, researchers said they performed a breakthrough at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "The complete killing of pancreatic cells in laboratory conditions is encouraging," Dr. Steve Curley said. Kanzius explained that his machine uses a solution filled with nanoparticles, which measure no more than one-billionth of a meter. A test subject would be injected with either gold or carbon nanoparticles, which would make their way through the body and attach to the cancerous cells. The test subject would then enter the machine and receive a dose of radio frequency waves, theoretically heating and killing the cancerous cells in moments and leaving nearby cells untouched.
What could be greener than a hydrogen car in your driveway? Try a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station in your garage. Australian scientists have developed a prototype of such a device. It's about the size of a filing cabinet and runs on electricity generated by rooftop solar panels. The first version is expected to produce enough hydrogen to give your runabout a range of some 100 miles without emitting a molecule of planet-warming greenhouse gas. Road trips are out of the question, but it's enough juice for running errands or powering fleets of delivery trucks. Tests of the home fueling system began early this year with commercial trials two years off.
Solar Energy Cells Made of Everyday Plastic. In research published today in Nature Materials magazine, [several researchers] showcase their work on an innovative new plastic (or polymer) solar cell they hope eventually can be produced at a mere 10 percent to 20 percent of the current cost of traditional cells, making the technology more widely available. The price for quality traditional solar modules typically is around three to four times more expensive than fossil fuel. Independent tests on the UCLA solar cell already have received high marks. The nation's only authoritative certification organization for solar technology, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colo., has helped the UCLA team ensure the accuracy of their efficiency numbers. The plastic solar cell is still a few years away from being available to consumers, but the UCLA team is working diligently to get it to market.
Note: Why is it that ABC was the only one of the mainstream media to pick up this important article, and even ABC's report appears to belittle the development as much as it gives an optimistic outlook. And why isn't the government pouring funding into this most worthy project?
Goldes, 73, is chief executive of a small company called Magnetic Power Inc., which has spent years researching ways to, yes, generate power using magnets. Within a few months, he says, he might just have a breakthrough to report that could revolutionize where people get fuel. "All we know is that we're seeing more energy output than input. Does Goldes realize what's he's saying -- that he's perhaps discovered a clean, inexhaustible energy source? "That's exactly what it appears to be," he answered. What Goldes believes he's done is produce power from what physicists call zero-point energy. In simple terms, zero-point energy results from the infinitesimal motion of molecules even when seemingly at rest. Normally, I dismiss such pie-in-the-sky pronouncements. But Goldes isn't so easy to shrug off. That's because he's also come up with technology called the UltraConductor. The research was funded in part by the Department of Defense, which invested $600,000 in the project. A handful of other companies worldwide are believed also to be pursuing zero-point energy via magnetic systems. One of them, InterStellar Technologies, is run by a former scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. According to Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the Pentagon and at least two large aerospace companies are actively researching zero-point energy as a means of propulsion.
Denny Klein has just patented his process of converting H2O to HHO, producing a gas that combines the atomic power of hydrogen with the chemical stability of water. "It turns right back to water; in fact, you can see the H2O running off the sheet metal." Klein originally designed his water-burning engine for cutting metal. He thought his invention could replace acetylene in welding factories. "No other gas will do this." Then one day as he drove to his laboratory, he thought of another way to burn his HHO gas. "On a 100-mile trip, we use about four ounces of water." Klein says his prototype 1994 Ford Escort can travel exclusively on water -- though he currently has it rigged to run as a water and gasoline hybrid. "Simply speaking, our plan is to end our dependence on fossil fuels." Pete Domeneci is helping Klein take his hydrogen technology patents from a two-room office to consumer markets around the world. The duo is already in negotiations with one U.S. automaker and the U.S. government. Members of Congress recently invited Denny Klein to Washington to demonstrate his technology and his company is currently developing a Hummer for the U.S. military that can run on both water and gasoline. So far, his water-powered engines have passed all performance safety inspections.
Both inventors and investors are betting that flexible sheets of tiny solar cells used to harness the sun's strength will ultimately provide a cheaper, more efficient source of energy than the current smorgasbord of alternative and fossil fuels. Nanosys and Nanosolar in Palo Alto -- along with Konarka in Lowell, Mass. -- say their research will result in thin rolls of highly efficient light-collecting plastics spread across rooftops or built into building materials. These rolls, the companies say, will be able to provide energy for prices as low as the electricity currently provided by utilities, which averages $1 per watt. The companies also say that the printed rolls of solar cells would be lighter, more resilient and flexible than silicon photovoltaics. Solar energy could furnish much of the nation's electricity if available residential and commercial rooftops were fully utilized. According to the Energy Foundation, using available rooftop space could provide 710,000 megawatts across the United States, whose current electrical capacity is 950,000 megawatts. Atluru of Draper Fisher Jurvetson [explains] "Our view is that government can cause big problems, and it is the entrepreneurs who will make the big changes." Current cost of solar energy, per watt: $4-$5. Average cost of energy from traditional fossil fuel sources, per watt: $1. Estimated cost of energy from nanotech solar panels, per watt: $2. Total energy-generating capacity of the United States: 950,000 megawatts. Potential total rooftop solar energy capacity in the United States: 710, 000 megawatts.
The same rooftop solar providers that are threatening utility revenues are more than just occupying customer roofs—they’re inside the home, monitoring usage trends and adapting the systems to meet both the homeowner’s needs and their own bottom lines. SolarCity, Sunrun, SunPower, and Locus Energy are amassing billions of points of data in smart home systems that consumers love and that baffle utilities, many of which have no incentive to help consumers manage their power usage more efficiently. While utilities have installed millions of smart meters in homes, they haven’t made use of the data to engage consumers the same way solar providers have, says Neil Strother, a smart-grid analyst. “Utilities are more focused on cutting their own costs than in helping consumers become more efficient,” he says. “They aren’t motivated to reduce demand.” The solar systems, meanwhile, collect real-time data on hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the country that utilities could use to more efficiently and reliably manage their power grids. Nat Kreamer, chief executive officer of Clean Power Finance, says some utilities don’t see the potential benefits of using smart meters to engage with consumers to improve their service or reduce their utility bills. “I asked an executive at one top 10 utility what he was hoping to get from smart meters, and he basically said just to eliminate the meter readers,” Kraemer says.
Note: For more on new energy developments, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Scientists at Sandia National Labs, seeking a means to create cheap and abundant hydrogen to power a hydrogen economy, realized they could use the same technology to "reverse-combust" CO2 back into fuel. Researchers still have to improve the efficiency of the system, but they recently demonstrated a working prototype of their "Sunshine to Petrol" machine that converts waste CO2 to carbon monoxide, and then syngas, consuming nothing but solar energy. The device, boasting the simple title Counter-Rotating-Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator (we'll go with "CR5") sets off a thermo-chemical reaction by exposing an iron-rich composite to concentrated solar heat. The composite sheds an oxygen molecule when heated and gets one back as it cools, and therein lies the eureka. The cylindrical metal CR5 is divided into hot and cold chambers. Solar energy heats the hot chamber to a scorching 2,700 degrees, hot enough to force the iron oxide composite to lose oxygen atoms. The composite is then thrust into the cool chamber, which is filled with carbon dioxide. As it cools, the iron oxide snatches back its lost oxygen atoms, leaving behind carbon monoxide.
Note: For many inspiring reports on promising new energy developments, click here.
The federal government is behind the times when it comes to making decisions about advancing the solar industry, according to several solar-industry experts. This has led, they argue, to a misplaced emphasis on research into futuristic new technologies, rather than support for scaling up existing ones. That was the prevailing opinion at a symposium last week put together by the National Academies in Washington, DC, on the topic of scaling up the solar industry. The meeting was attended by numerous experts from the photovoltaic industry and academia. And many complained that the emphasis on finding new technologies is misplaced. "This is such a fast-moving field," said Ken Zweibel, director of the Solar Institute at George Washington University. "To some degree, we're fighting the last war. We're answering the questions from 5, 10, 15 years ago in a world where things have really changed." Industry experts at the Washington symposium argued that new technologies will take decades to come to market, judging from how long commercialization of other solar technologies has taken. Meanwhile, says Zweibel, conventional technologies "have made the kind of progress that we were hoping futuristic technologies could make." For example, researchers have sought to bring the cost of solar power to under $1 per watt, and as of the first quarter of this year one company, First Solar, has done this. These cost reductions have made solar power cheaper than the natural-gas-powered plants used to produce extra electricity to meet demand on hot summer days.
Note: Interesting that MIT has reported this story, but none of the major media picked it up. Solar energy will very likely be cheaper than oil-generated energy in under 10 years. For more on the current state of solar, click here.
The world's first commercial power plant converting the energy of sea waves into electricity [has] started working off Portugal's coast ... in a project that should be expanded nearly 10-fold over the next few years. Three articulated steel "sea-snakes" moored to the seabed three miles off Portugal's northern coast, each about the length of a nuclear submarine, generate a total of 2.25 megawatts, enough to supply 1,500 households with electricity. "It's logged into the national grid, which makes it the world's first commercial wave power project," said Anthony Kennaway, a spokesman for Babcock and Brown investment firm which runs the Agucadoura project in northern Portugal. "We hope that in 15 years wave power will be where wind is now, that is extremely competitive. Portugal could be for wave power what Denmark was for wind," Kennaway said. Renewable energy, including water dams, accounts for 40 percent of power consumption in Portugal. Some experts say wave energy could meet up to 20 percent of the country's needs in the future. A total of 25 semi-submerged "sea-snakes" should be installed in the next few years, boosting the ... capacity to 21 MW, Kennaway said. The machines, each 140 meters (yards) long and 3.5 meters in diameter, are positioned head-on towards the waves so that its sections move with the waves. Each joint ... contains a hydraulic pump, which pumps high-pressure liquid through motors that in their turn drive power generators. The energy is then transmitted to a substation on shore via subsea cables.
Note: For lots more on new energy inventions from reliable sources, click here.
Shai Agassi, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, pledges that he can beat the spiraling cost of gasoline with the world's first mass-produced electric car. In January, Israel's government endorsed the Palo Alto businessman's ambitious joint venture between his startup company - Project Better Place - and Renault-Nissan. Agassi says he raised $200 million to get the $500 million dollar project, which will include a network of charging and battery-exchange stations by 2010, off the ground. Project Better Place also has signed an agreement with Denmark to begin a similar operation by 2011. In Denmark, a pioneer in developing wind power, batteries are expected to be recharged using wind-powered turbines. Agassi is banking on his electric-powered sedan revolutionizing life on the roads, cleaning up the environment and reducing dependence on oil. The cars are expected to have a range of up to 140 miles per charge and a top speed of 68 mph - the speed limit in Israel. Last month, he invited reporters to test-drive a prototype that looks a lot like the Renault Megane, a four-door sedan. The car is noticeably quiet and has no exhaust pipe, an electric socket in place of a gas cap and a dashboard gauge that measures the charge of the vehicle's 450-pound lithium-ion battery. In the United States, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has said she is interested in her state becoming the first to embrace the electric-car network. Mayor Gavin Newsom also has reportedly expressed interest in making San Francisco the first U.S. metropolis to place electric cars on city roads.
Note: For reports of many exciting breakthroughs in energy development and automotive design, click here.
A remote drilling rig high in the Mackenzie Delta has become the site of a breakthrough that could one day revolutionize the world's energy supply. For the first time, Canadian and Japanese researchers have managed to efficiently produce a constant stream of natural gas from ice-like gas hydrates that, worldwide, dwarf all known fossil fuel deposits combined. "We were able to sustain flow," said Scott Dallimore, the Geological Survey of Canada researcher in charge of the remote Mallik drilling program. "It worked." For a decade now, Dallimore and scientists from a half-dozen other countries have been returning to a site on Richards Island on the very northwestern tip of the Northwest Territories to study methane gas hydrates. A hydrate is created when a molecule of gas – in this case, methane or natural gas – is trapped by high pressures and low temperatures inside a cage of water molecules. The result is almost – but not quite – ice. It's more like a dry, white slush suffusing the sand and gravel 1,000 metres beneath the Mallik rig. Heat or unsqueeze the hydrate and gas is released. Hold a core sample to your ear and it hisses. More significant is the fact that gas hydrates concentrate 164 times the energy of the same amount of natural gas. And gas hydrate fields are found in abundance under the coastal waters of every continent. Calculations suggest there's more energy in gas hydrates than in coal, oil and conventional gas combined. Last month, the Mallik team became the first to use that method to get a steady, consistent flow. "That went really well," said Dallimore. "We definitely demonstrated that these hydrates are responsive enough that you can sustain flow. We were able to take conventional technologies, modify them, and produce. That's a big step forward."
Note: For lots more information on new energy developments, click here.
A few small companies and maverick university laboratories, including ... one at U.C.L.A. run by Seth Putterman, a professor of physics, are pursuing quixotic solutions for future energy, trying to tap the power of the Sun — hot nuclear fusion — in devices that fit on a tabletop. Dr. Putterman’s approach is to use sound waves, called sonofusion or bubble fusion, to expand and collapse tiny bubbles, generating ultrahot temperatures. At temperatures hot enough, atoms can literally fuse and release even more energy than when they split in nuclear fission, now used in nuclear power plants and weapons. Furthermore, fusion is clean in that it does not produce long-lived nuclear waste. Dr. Putterman has not achieved fusion in his experiments. He and other scientists form a small but devoted cadre interested in turning small-scale desktop fusion into usable systems. Although success is far away, the principles seem sound. Achieving nuclear fusion, even in a desktop device, is not particularly difficult. But building a fusion reactor that generates more energy than it consumes is far more challenging. Impulse Devices, a small company in the small town of Grass Valley, Calif., is exploring the same sound-driven fusion as Dr. Putterman, pushing forward with venture capital financing. Its president, Ross Tessien, concedes that Impulse is a high-risk investment, but the potential payoffs would be many. “You solve the world’s pollution problems,” Mr. Tessien said. “You eliminate the need for wars. You eliminate scarcity of fuel. And it happens to be a very valuable market. So from a commercial point of view, there’s every incentive. From a moral point of view, there’s every incentive. And it’s fun and it’s exciting work.”
Note: To read about a wide array of revolutionary energy technologies, click here.
There is a
man who fills up his tank once every two months. One tank of gas, literally,
lasts him two months. He is freezing the price of gas by freezing something
else. David Hutchison is a Cryogenics expert. He built this Cryo-Process himself.
A few years ago he began an experiment on his hybrid Honda, freezing the engine
components. The results were a fuel-efficiency dream. A hybrid Honda typically
gets really great gas mileage anyway, around 50 miles to the gallon, but David
Hutchison's cryogenically tempered engine has been known to get close to 120
miles a gallon. Racers have picked up on David's trick of cryogenically
freezing car parts. It is now widely accepted among NASCAR and Indy-car racers.
Note: Why isn't this front-page headlines with rapid development for use by us all?
It might sound surprising, but all-electric vehicles are already on American roads. They just haven't quite made it to the highway yet. A growing cottage industry of Neighborhood Electric Vehicle [NEV] manufacturers is spurring the development of cars like the Zenn, which has reached a state of vehicular enlightenment so advanced it doesn't even need a tail pipe. "We saw this car in May of '06, and all of us were just freaking out: 'Finally, a car!'" said Steve Mayeda, sales manager at Seattle-based MC Electric Vehicles, which sells 30 percent of Zenn's U.S. inventory, in addition to electric vehicles made by Columbia, Canadian EV, E-Ride and Miles. "Zenn was the first neighborhood electric car that actually looked and felt and drove like a real car. Everything else before that was either a converted golf cart or a car that was built from the ground up." NEVs are silent, have no tailpipe emissions (or tailpipes, for that matter) and plug into electrical outlets like vacuum cleaners. They come in two varieties: Low-Speed Electric Vehicles, which have a top speed of about 25 miles per hour and are restricted to roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less; and Medium-Speed Electric Vehicles, which reach 35 mph and are allowed on roads with a posted speed of up to 45 mph. They're exempt from federal safety regulations that mandate impact-absorbing bumpers and airbags. But to be street legal, NEVs must have three-point seat belts, windshields with wipers, headlights, brake lights, rearview mirrors and turn signals.
Note: Note: For a fun, six-minute video demonstration of the Zenn, click here.
Note: We usually limit ourselves to information from sources known and respected by the public. For this message, we're making an exception. Jeff Rense of rense.com is a radio personality and researcher of major cover-ups with no strong credentials other than a large following of people convinced of the quality of his work. His popular website receives millions of visits a month. Below is vital information everyone should know.
Royal Raymond Rife was a brilliant scientist born in 1888 and died in 1971. He received 14 major awards and honors and was given an honorary Doctorate by the University of Heidelberg for his work. By 1933, he had ... constructed the incredibly complex Universal Microscope, which ... was capable of magnifying objects 30,000 times their normal size. With this incredible microscope, Rife became the first human being to actually see a live virus. In 1934, the University of Southern California appointed a Special Medical Research Committee to bring terminal cancer patients ... to Rife's San Diego Laboratory and clinic for treatment. The team included doctors and pathologists assigned to examine the patients - if still alive - in 90 days. After the 90 days of treatment, the Committee concluded that 86.5% of the patients had been completely cured. On November 20, 1931, forty-four of the nation's most respected medical authorities honored Royal Rife with a banquet. But by 1939, almost all of these distinguished doctors and scientists were denying that they had ever met Rife. The last thing in the world that the pharmaceutical industry wanted was ... a painless therapy that cured ... terminal cancer patients and cost nothing to use but a little electricity. It might give people the idea that they didn't need drugs. Medical journals, supported almost entirely by drug company revenues and controlled by the AMA, refused to publish any paper by anyone on Rife's therapy. Rife technology became public knowledge again in 1986 with the publication of The Cancer Cure That Worked, by Barry Lynes, and other material about Royal Rife and his monumental work.
Note: For excellent video documentaries, including interviews with Royal Rife: http://www.rifevideos.com. For an excellent website focused on Rife's work, click here. For more reliable, verifiable information on health cover-ups, click here.
Scientists may have created the very first solar battery. Researchers have succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device, which could be huge in terms of renewable energy capture and storage. "The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy," said Yiying Wu, one of the researchers, in a news release. "We've integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost." The key to the new device is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery. There's also a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode; inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery. "Basically, it's a breathing battery," said Wu. "It breathes in air when it discharges, and breathes out when it charges." The mesh solar panel forms the first electrode. Beneath the mesh is a thin sheet of porous carbon, which acts as the second electrode, and a lithium plate, which acts as the third electrode. Between the electrodes are layers of electrolyte to carry electrons back and forth. During charging, light hits the mesh solar panel and creates electrons. Then inside the battery, electrons are involved in the chemical decomposition of lithium peroxide into lithium ions and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air, and the lithium ions are stored in the battery as lithium metal after capturing the electrons. The findings could be huge in terms of creating sustainable energy for powering a variety of devices. Currently, the researchers are continuing to move forward in improving the efficiency of the battery and the amount of power the panel can absorb and convert. The findings are published in the journal Nature.
Note: For astounding major media articles on new energy inventions which have gotten very little press, explore this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
NASA has tested a microwave thruster that seemingly violates the law of conservation of momentum. Originally reported by Wired, the technology bounces microwaves around to create thrust. British engineer Roger Shawyer designed the original and dubbed it the Emdrive. If the Emdrive actually works, it could be a game changer in the spacecraft business because it doesn't require propellant. Propellant is heavy, and once a spacecraft runs out of it, it loses the ability to change direction. Space historian Amy Shira Teitel makes an interesting point on the website Motherboard: "If a spacecraft, say a deep space probe like New Horizons, which is less than a year from its encounter with Pluto, didn’t need propellant, that extra weight and space could be devoted to scientific instruments, larger solar arrays, or a larger power source." Last year, a Chinese team made an Emdrive and reported that they had created enough thrust to move a small satellite. NASA spent eight days testing an Emdrive that was built by Guido Fetta, an inventor based out of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The lab detected a thrust of 30-50 microNewtons, about 1/20 of what the Chinese team measured. On a side note, the NASA lab doing the testing is the same one that is trying to develop the Alcubierre warp drive, another pie-in-the-sky idea. We'll know more once NASA publishes everything (right now, only the abstract is available) and outside experts weigh in on the experiment and data.
Designed by students, the small blue house wedged onto a corner of the Santa Clara University campus generates all the electricity it needs. And it needs very little. Solar cells blanket most of the roof. A separate solar array heats water. Pipes in the ceiling circulate cold water to keep the house cool. A mobile phone app controls the lights and windows. Dubbed Radiant House, the building is the university's entry in this year's Solar Decathlon, an international student competition to create energy-efficient houses that run their systems and appliances on sunlight. To win, the houses can't just be a collection of technologies. They have to feel inviting and livable. Judges grade them on comfort and curb appeal in addition to innovation. This year's decathlon culminates next month in Orange County, when 20 university teams present their homes to judges drawn from the fields of architecture, development and renewable energy. First held in 2002, the Solar Decathlon runs in two-year cycles, giving teams enough time to design, finance and build their creations. This year, students from two Bay Area schools - Santa Clara and Stanford University - will compete against teams from as far afield as Austria and the Czech Republic. The contest rules require that the houses can't be larger than 1,000 square feet and must produce at least as much energy as they consume over the course of a week. Solar panels donated by Bosch Solar Energy coat the central room's tilted roof and can generate up to 7.14 kilowatts of electricity, more than a typical home array. The panels rest on a new type of rack, made by startup company Sunplanter, that is integrated into the structure of the roof.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
A year ago, hundreds of people flocked to a 100,000-square-foot former factory building in Wauseon's industrial area where a Napoleon, Ohio, inventor promised to begin building engines that would travel more than 110 miles on a gallon of E85 gasoline. But time and the economy have not been kind to Doug Pelmear's plan to revolutionize the American automobile. The factory today is largely dark and empty, Mr. Pelmear's dreams of putting northwest Ohioans back to work are still constrained within two file drawers full of job applications, and his hopes of mass-producing his HP2g engine have fallen victim to a lack of funding. "We can't get the banks to look at us," Mr. Pelmear said yesterday. Mr. Pelmear said he hasn't sought money from more traditional capital sources such as investors, selling stock or bonded indebtedness, because such sources would likely cost him control of HP2g LLC - something he's unwilling to provide. A partnership Mr. Pelmear forged with Revenge Designs Inc., a Decatur, Ind. specialty carmaker that had planned to use his engine in its upcoming "Verde" supercar, dissolved this spring.
Note: For a treasure trove of exciting reports on new automotive and new energy technologies, click here.
If not for the Finnish American Reporter, Steve Lehto would never have eaten barbecued chicken in Jay Leno's garage after taking a ride in a car that sounds like a vacuum cleaner. Also, Lehto wouldn't have finally found an agent for his book [Chrysler's Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit's Coolest Creation] about the Chrysler Turbine. The Chrysler Turbine was essentially a stylish, bronze-colored, four-seat sedan with a jet engine. It could run on gasoline, kerosene, or just about anything else, including Chanel No. 5 and tequila. Of the 55 that Chrysler produced, none were sold to the public, and all but nine were destroyed when the experiment ended. A collector in Indiana owns one. Museums have five. Chrysler had three -- and now one of them is [Jay] Leno's. "He offered to let me drive it if I was ever in town," Lehto says, "which I just happened to be, as soon as I could get tickets." Yelps and cheers from bystanders as they cruised the streets of Burbank. Cuisine from a grill in one of Leno's garages. Another ride in a steam-powered 1907 White. More yelps and cheers. Also, an offer from Leno. If it'll help sell the book, he'll write a [foreword]. It does help; a New York agent has agreed to shop it around. Lehto is still in car-buff heaven. "I was 3 feet across from Jay Leno," he marvels, "having lunch."
Note: This amazing engine could run on vegetable oil and more. Why didn't it get more publicity? For lots more fascinating information on the engine, click here. For why it never got developed, click here.
Norwegian automaker Think Global said Monday it planned to sell low-priced electric cars to the masses and will introduce its first models in the U.S. by the end of next year. The battery-powered Think City will be able to travel up to 110 miles on a single charge, with a top speed of about 65 mph, the company said. It will be priced below $25,000. Oslo-based Think said venture capital firms RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers had made investments to fund its entry into the U.S. under the auspices of Think North America. "This is not a toy," said Wilber James, RockPort managing partner. "This is a serious car that we expect to sell." Although technology for electric cars has been advancing -- and consumer interest has been rising amid growing concern over gasoline prices and greenhouse gases -- few vehicles have come to market. Last month, San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla Motors began production of its Roadster, an electric vehicle that costs $100,000. The Think City "is a mass-market vehicle," said Kleiner managing partner Ray Lane, dismissing comparisons to the Roadster. Tesla's car is being produced in relatively small numbers, with roughly 300 expected by the end of this year. "Our desire is to be selling 30-40-50,000 of these cars in a couple of years." Think Chief Executive Jan-Olaf Willums said the company would bring test vehicles to the U.S. in the coming months. The Think City runs on sodium batteries, but future versions could use lithium ion batteries, Willums said. The Think City, a two-seater that can be fitted with two additional seats for children, has a mostly plastic exterior and is 95% recyclable. Willums said a convertible was in development. "Women want to buy it immediately," he said.
Note: For many exciting reports on new auto and energy developments from major media sources, click here.
Fireworks blossomed on giant video screens, the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme reached its brassy peak, and the world’s most affordable car—the $2500 Tata Nano—rolled out onto the stage. Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, parked and got out as hundreds of camera flashes speckled the darkened convention hall. Here at the 2008 AutoExpo in India, the Nano’s debut was about much more than a car. The Nano, many tradeshow attendees seemed to believe, would transform the country and then, maybe, the world. The Nano looked underwhelming, [like] a golf cart crossed with a jelly bean. Its journey onto the stage and into history was powered by a 2-cylinder, 33-hp engine, and the spec sheet is best given as what the car has not: no air conditioning, no radio, no power steering, no sun visors. But it carries four people, gets 50 mpg, and costs less than a trendy motor scooter. The Nano is no solution to the traffic problem in big [Indian] cities; a prominent Indian environmentalist called the prospect of these ultra-affordable vehicles flooding the roads a “nightmare.” But the Nano represents both national pride about India’s ingenuity and the promise that the benefits of middle-class life will reach more people. “What can you get for $2500 in the U.S.?” a young man ... asked. “You can’t carry your family for $2500 in a [new] car. But in India we have done this.” His friend, Rajesh Relia, agreed. He makes 6000 rupees a month, about $150. He doesn’t own a car, and carries his family of four, dangerously and cumbersomely, on a motor scooter. The Nano is a car he can actually afford, and he said he will buy one as soon as it becomes available in late 2008. “This is my dream,” he said, beaming toward the stage. “I am very happy today.”
It sounds too good to be true - not to mention the fact that it violates almost every known law of physics. But British scientists claim they have invented a revolutionary device that seems to 'create' energy from virtually nothing. Their so-called thermal energy cell could soon be fitted into ordinary homes, halving domestic heating bills and making a major contribution towards cutting carbon emissions. Even the makers of the device are at a loss to explain exactly how it works - but sceptical independent scientists carried out their own tests and discovered that the 12in x 2in tube really does produce far more heat energy than the electrical energy put in. The device seems to break the fundamental physical law that energy cannot be created from nothing - but researchers believe it taps into a previously unrecognised source of energy, stored at a sub-atomic level within the hydrogen atoms in water. The system - developed by scientists at a firm called Ecowatts [a holding of Gardner Watts] - involves passing an electrical current through a mixture of water, potassium carbonate [potash] and a secret liquid catalyst, based on chrome. This creates a reaction that releases an incredible amount of energy compared to that put in. If the reaction takes place in a unit surrounded by water, the liquid heats up, which could form the basis for a household heating system. If the technology can be developed on a domestic scale, it means consumers will need much less energy for heating and hot water - creating smaller bills and fewer greenhouse gases. The device has taken ten years of painstaking work by a small team at Ecowatts' ... laboratory, and bosses predict a household version of their device will be ready to go on sale within the next 18 months.
Note: For an abundance of reliable reports on amazing new energy developments, click here.
Three pinstriped London investors stand outside an electric car factory in the green fields of the Norwegian countryside, waiting their turns to test-drive a stylish two-seater called the Think City. But first, Think CEO Jan-Olaf Willums takes the wheel. [He] turns the ignition, and the stub-nosed coupe silently rolls toward an open stretch of pavement. Suddenly he punches the pedal, and the car takes off like a shot, the AC motor instantaneously transferring power to the wheels. The only sound is the squealing of tires as Willums throws the little car into a tight turn and barrels back toward his startled guests. Did someone kill the electric car? You wouldn't know it on this bright May morning in Scandinavia, where the idea of a mass-produced battery-powered vehicle is being resurrected and actual cars are scheduled to begin rolling off the production line by year's end. Shuttling between Oslo and California, Willums has raised $78 million from Silicon Valley and European investors captivated by [his] vision of a carbon-neutral urban car. Willums's pitch is this: He's not just selling an electric car; he's upending a century-old automotive paradigm, aiming to change the way cars are made, sold, owned, and driven. Taking a cue from Dell, the company will sell cars online, built to order. It will forgo showrooms and seed the market through car-sharing services like Zipcar. Every car will be Internet-and Wi-Fi-enabled, becoming, according to Willums, a rolling computer that can communicate wirelessly with its driver, other Think owners, and the power grid. "The timing is right. We are on a path now toward electric cars, and there is no going back." says Ed Kjaer, an electric vehicle veteran who runs the EV program for Southern California Edison.
Note: To read about the mysterious disappearing Toyota Eco Spirit, a proven car design capable of achieving 100 mpg, click here.
Richard Branson is always reaching for something, whether it's setting records in stratospheric balloon flights or racing across the Atlantic — pursuits that have nearly killed him, more than once. But Branson has never done things the conventional way. He is usually striving for something just beyond his grasp — and, win or lose, he always comes up smiling. But his latest venture may be his most audacious. On July 18 — his and Nelson Mandela's shared birthday — they announced the formation of a Council of Elders, a group of seasoned world leaders who literally will try to solve the world's problems. "You only live once," he said. "You might as well throw yourself into life and enjoy it." These days, at age 57, Branson's preoccupations seem to have more to do with saving the world than conquering it. Being in the airline and train business, Branson says he has helped contribute to environmental degradation. But now he hopes to help repair the world. "For a while, I hoped the skeptics were right. But I read a lot, and met a lot of scientists, and realized the world had a real problem," Branson said. He is offering a $25 million prize for anyone who comes up with an invention that can rid the atmosphere of carbon gases, and he has pledged to spend all the profits from his airlines — that's $3 billion or so — to develop earth-friendly alternative fuels. "What we're hoping to do is actually come up with an alternative fuel that will shake the very foundations of the oil companies and shake the foundations of the coal companies — because if we don’t shake their foundations, the world could potentially be doomed. I certainly don't feel chosen, but I feel extremely grateful," he said. "I feel I'm in a position where I can make a difference, and I'm not going to waste that position I find myself in."
Power cables and even batteries might become a thing of the past using a new technique that can transmit power wirelessly. Scientists lit a 60-watt light bulb from a power source 7 feet (2 meters) away with their new technique, with no physical connection between the source and the appliance. The researchers have dubbed their concept "WiTricity," as in "wireless electricity." MIT physicist Marin Soljacic began thinking years ago about how to transmit power wirelessly so his cell phone could recharge without ever being plugged in. Scientists have pursued wireless power transmission for years — notably, eccentric genius Nikola Tesla, who devoted much energy toward it roughly a century ago. Soljacic and his colleagues devised WiTricity based off the notion of resonance. One well-known example of resonance can be seen when an opera singer hits the right note to cause a champagne glass to resonate and shatter. Two objects resonating at the same frequency tend to exchange energy efficiently, while interacting weakly with objects not resonating at the same frequency. Instead of sound, the MIT physicists focused on magnetic fields. Most common materials interact only very weakly with magnetic fields, so little power would get wasted on unintended targets. In their latest work, the scientists designed two copper coils roughly 20 inches (50 centimeters) in diameter that were specially designed to resonate together. One was attached to the power source, the other to a light bulb. The practical demonstration of their earlier theoretical work managed to power the light bulb even when obstacles blocked direct line of sight between the source and device.
India’s largest automaker is set to start producing the world’s first commercial air-powered vehicle. The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nčgre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine’s pistons. Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets in August of 2008. Barring any last-minute design changes on the way to production, the Air Car should be surprisingly practical. The $12,700 CityCAT, one of a handful of planned Air Car models, can hit 68 mph and has a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units; MDI says it should cost around $2 to fill the car’s carbon-fiber tanks with 340 liters of air at 4350 psi. Drivers also will be able to plug into the electrical grid and use the car’s built-in compressor to refill the tanks in about 4 hours. Of course, the Air Car will likely never hit American shores, especially considering its all-glue construction. But that doesn’t mean the major automakers can write it off as a bizarre Indian experiment — MDI has signed deals to bring its design to 12 more countries, including Germany, Israel and South Africa.
Note: For a cornucopia of exciting articles on new automobile designs and energy inventions, click here.
Israel is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets, an Israeli newspaper reported on Friday. The flying robot, nicknamed the "bionic hornet," would be able to navigate its way down narrow alleyways to target otherwise unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers. It is one of several weapons being developed by scientists to combat militants. Others include super gloves that would give the user the strength of a "bionic man" and miniature sensors to detect suicide bombers. Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres [said] "The war in Lebanon proved that we need smaller weaponry. It's illogical to send a plane worth $100 million against a suicidal terrorist. So we are building futuristic weapons." Prototypes for the new weapons are expected within three years, he said.
Iceland wants to make a full conversion and plans to modify its cars, buses and trucks to run on renewable energy -- with no dependence on oil. Iceland has already started by turning water into fuel -- hydrogen fuel. Here's how it works: Electrodes split the water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Hydrogen electrons pass through a conductor that creates the current to power an electric engine. Hydrogen fuel now costs two to three times as much as gasoline, but gets up to three times the mileage of gas, making the overall cost about the same. As an added benefit, there are no carbon emissions -- only water vapor. By the middle of this century, all Icelanders will be required to run their cars only on hydrogen fuel, meaning no more gasoline. Icelanders say they're committed to showing the world that by making fuel from water, it is possible to kick the oil habit.
Note: This is mind-blowing information! Why isn't this amazing news of economical, non-polluting energy sources making top headlines? A video clip of the above ABC News story is available on the ABC website at the link above. A friend of mine invented a similar device only to have it ruthlessly suppressed. For lots more on all this, click here.
The idea that measuring the properties of one particle could instantaneously change the properties of another one (or a whole bunch) far away is strange to say the least. The team that pulled off the beryllium feat...hailed it as another step toward computers that would use quantum magic to perform calculations. But it also served as another demonstration of how weird the world really is according to the rules, known as quantum mechanics. Nary a week goes by that does not bring news of another feat of quantum trickery once only dreamed of in thought experiments: particles (or at least all their properties) being teleported across the room in a microscopic version of Star Trek beaming; electrical "cat" currents that circle a loop in opposite directions at the same time; more and more particles farther and farther apart bound together in Einstein's spooky embrace now known as "entanglement." At the University of California, Santa Barbara, researchers are planning an experiment in which a small mirror will be in two places at once. Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna said that he thought, "The world is not as real as we think.
Note: Consider also that top secret projects are generally at least 10 years in advance of anything reported in the news or scientific magazines. We can only imagine what these projects might be doing.
Chuck Larue may be the man who drastically cuts your electricity bill. For fourteen years, Chuck and his partner have quietly been inventing a little micro controller called the "Plug Power Saver." He claims it works on all electric motors from your air conditioner to refrigerators, washing machines to whole house fans. He rigged a one-third horsepower motor to show us the savings. Without the controller, “It's drawing 171 to 180 watts." Plug in the Power Saver and, “It's trying to find the most optimum levels of power consumption. It actually has a microprocessor in here." After a few seconds, the motor is running strong but using half the electricity. And if you know anything about electricity, you know this motor running normally should be warm to the touch, it isn’t. That seems to show no extra electricity is being lost as heat. John Lander: This looks already to sell. Chuck Larue: Yeah it is, it's ready to go. John Lander: How much? Chuck Larue: $49.95. So you'd pay for the Power Saver in under a year. Chuck says he has 10,000 of these devices headed here from a manufacturing plant in Korea. Now all he has to do is find a retailer willing to sell it. Chuck says he has tried to interest the Governor and the utilities commission to sponsor his invention, but no one has called him back.
In a bid to harness what backers say could be a nearly limitless source of clean electric power, an international consortium chose France yesterday as the site for an experimental fusion reactor that will aim to replicate how the sun creates energy. The planned $13 billion project is one of the most prestigious and expensive international scientific efforts ever launched. French President Jacques Chirac said in a statement. "[This] unprecedented scientific and technological challenge ... opens great hopes for providing humanity with an energy that has no impact on the environment and is practically inexhaustible." The reactor's main fuel, deuterium, also known as heavy hydrogen, can be obtained from water. The project's website states that Lake Geneva alone contains enough deuterium to meet global energy needs for several thousand years. Existing nuclear reactors use fission, or the splitting of large atoms, to produce power, a process that leaves waste that remains highly radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Fusion reactors, by contrast, would produce minimal waste that would be radioactive for a much shorter period. If the project is successful, long-term plans call for a demonstration fusion power plant to be built in the 2030s and the first commercial fusion plant to be built in midcentury.
These dynamic and personable businessmen from Dublin insist that they have found a way of producing free, clean and limitless energy out of thin air. So, as they prepare to demonstrate this wonder of science to me...I feel all the excitement of Christmas Day. There is a test rig with wheels and cogs and four magnets meticulously aligned so as to create the maximum tension between their fields and one other magnet fixed to a point opposite. A motor rotates the wheel bearing the magnets and a computer takes 28,000 measurements a second. And when it is all over, the computer tells us that almost three times the amount of energy has come out of the system as went in. In fact, this piece of equipment is 285% efficient. "We couldn't believe it at first, either," says McCarthy, chief executive of the company. "We wanted to improve the performance of the wind generators...so we experimented with certain generator configurations and then one day one of our guys...came in and said: 'We have a problem. We appear to be getting out more than we're putting in.'" That was three years ago. Since then, McCarthy says, the company has spent Ł2.7m developing the technology. Until their claims have been assessed by the jury, McCarthy says they won't be accepting any investor offers. So if this is a hoax, it would appear not to be a money-making scheme. The Economist ad alone cost Ł75,000. "We expected stick, and we're getting it already. We've had a lot of abusive emails and telephone calls -people telling us to watch our backs"
Note: To understand how this is possible, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergysources
A man who claims to have developed a free energy technology which could power everything from mobile phones to cars has received more than 400 applications from scientists to test it. Sean McCarthy says that no one was more sceptical than he when Steorn, his small hi-tech firm in Dublin, hit upon a way of generating clean, free and constant energy from the interaction of magnetic fields. 'It wasn't so much a Eureka moment as a get-back-in-there-and-check-your-instruments moment, although in far more colourful language,' said McCarthy. But when he attempted to share his findings, he says, scientists either put the phone down on him or refused to endorse him publicly in case they damaged their academic reputations. So last week he took out a full-page advert in the Economist magazine, challenging the scientific community to examine his technology. McCarthy claims it provides five times the amount of energy a mobile phone battery generates for the same size, and does not have to be recharged. Within 36 hours of his advert appearing he had been contacted by 420 scientists in Europe, America and Australia, and a further 4,606 people had registered to receive the results.
Steorn has now posted a slick, five-minute video that features interviews with company CEO Sean McCarthy as well as the company's marketing director. For more background, see our earlier discussion. The video's slick, and not too heavy on scientific detail. But it's worth checking out. It does begin to explain the company's motivations for choosing to issue a challenge in the Economist. McCarthy: "The first roadblock is science. With the academic community, it might take five to seven years before being able to get to a consensus position. As a business, that makes absolutely no sense." The video explains that a "quiet" campaign was plan A. The direct marketing approach currently being taken is Plan B. McCarthy: "The claim does rail against so much thinking from ordinary people. We have to fight public opinion, we have to fight the scientific community and we have to fight the energy industry. We couldn't pick a worse battleground."
Note: For lots more on the many who have developed similar discoveries and how they have been either bought out or shut down, click here.
Several small, independent automakers are juicing up electric cars. Among the companies trying to lead the charge: Tesla. Tesla Motors...is taking orders for a $100,000 electric high-performance sports car...billed as capable of a Ferrari-like zero to 60 mph in four seconds. The car was designed in California but will be built by Lotus in Great Britain. Its sophisticated lithium-ion battery will allow a range of 250 miles on a single charge and a top speed of 130 mph. Wrightspeed...hopes to produce its own, $100,000 high-performance car within two years. It will have about a 200-mile range. Ian Wright, who heads Wrightspeed...says the new breed of electric cars could have three times the energy efficiency of gas-electric hybrids. "You can build something that's seriously fast and a lot of fun to drive." Zap. At the other end of the performance spectrum...Zap last month started selling a three-wheel electric "city car" imported from China that it says is capable of a top speed of 40 mph. Priced at $9,000, the Xebra has a range of about 40 miles. Tomberlin Group...plans to sell three versions of electric cars. Prices will range from $5,000 for E-Merge E-2 to $8,000 for the four-seat Anvil. The electric revival comes as...Who Killed the Electric Car? has started playing in theaters. The movie alleges that big automakers, oil companies and the government sank promising electric-car technology. The film singles out General Motors for...having created a futuristic electric car that became a Hollywood enviro-darling. When leases ran out, GM collected its Saturn EV1s and sent them to the crusher.
Note: I've heard that Who Killed the Electric Car? is an excellent, revealing film. For lots more on why car mileage has not significantly increased since the days of the Model T (which got 25 miles to the gallon), see http://www.WantToKnow.info/050711carmileageaveragempg
Urine-powered cars, homes and personal electronic devices could be available in six months with new technology developed by scientists from Ohio University. Using a nickel-based electrode, the scientists can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine that could be burned or used in fuel cells. "One cow can provide enough energy to supply hot water for 19 houses," said Gerardine Botte, a professor at Ohio University developing the technology. "Soldiers in the field could carry their own fuel." Pee power is based on hydrogen, the most common element in the universe but one that has resisted efforts to produce, store, transport and use economically. Storing pure hydrogen gas requires high pressure and low temperature. Chemically binding hydrogen to other elements, like oxygen to create water, makes it easier to store and transport, but releasing the hydrogen when it's needed usually requires financially prohibitive amounts of electricity. By attaching hydrogen to another element, nitrogen, Botte and her colleagues realized that they can store hydrogen without the exotic environmental conditions, and then release it with less electricity, 0.037 Volts instead of the 1.23 Volts needed for water. Stick a special nickel electrode into a pool of urine, apply an electrical current, and hydrogen gas is released. A fuel cell, urine-powered vehicle could theoretically travel 90 miles per gallon. A refrigerator-sized unit could produce one kilowatt of energy for about $5,000, although this price is a rough estimate, says Botte. "The waste products from say a chicken farm could be used to produce the energy needed to run the farm," said John Stickney, a chemist and professor at the University of Georgia.
Note: For many exciting reports from reliable sources on new energy technologies, click here.
MIT researchers say they have discovered a way to use solar energy cheaply even after the sun goes down, which could make it a mainstream source of power within the next decade. Solar energy has been expensive and inefficient to use after dark, said Daniel Nocera, 51, the Henry Dreyfus professor of energy and professor of chemistry at MIT. But in an article published in the July 31 issue of the journal Science, Nocera and other Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers say they have found a simple, inexpensive process for storing solar energy. "How the heck are you going to build an economy or a business only if the sun is shining?" said Nocera, the senior author. "What you really need to do is when the sun is shining, figure out how to store some of that energy so you can unleash it when the sun isn't shining." Nocera and the other researchers based their work on a compound made from cobalt and phosphate, both readily available. When the sun is out, electricity from solar panels can be fed to the compound in water, causing the water to split into hydrogen and oxygen. The elements create a chemical fuel that can be recombined to create energy later, when the sun is not shining. The discovery breaks "the connection between energy and fossil fuels because my energy is coming from water," said Nocera, "unleashing the solar energy, not in real time, but when you want to." The researchers said the findings open the door for large-scale use of solar energy around the clock - not right away but within 10 years.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports on new energy inventions with great potential, click here.
Since Robert Goddard launched a 10-foot rocket from a New England farm more than 80 years ago, the basic principles of space travel haven't changed much. Still required: a violent combustion of fuel and oxygen to propel the vehicle. Unless, maybe, you have a laser and a couple of mirrors. Young K. Bae, a maverick one-man rocket research institution in Tustin, believes he has hit on a propulsion technology that could revolutionize space travel, finally overcoming the limits of chemical rockets, which are slow and dangerous and need vast amounts of fuel. The 51-year-old physicist calls it the photonic laser thruster. "This overcomes the physical barriers of current rocket technology," he says, pointing to a tiny laser encased in glass. Hurling ships into space with light beams has been the stuff of science fiction novels for decades, but Bae says he has proved that it really is just science. He says a laser beam bouncing off two mirrors facing each other was able to exert force on one of the mirrors, albeit ever so slight. The discovery came in December, but Bae waited months to reveal the experiment to verify that the measuring devices were accurate and that the results could be repeated. Franklin B. Mead, a rocket propulsion expert at the Air Force Research Laboratory, calls it "pretty incredible." The photonic laser thruster can in theory be made much more powerful -- strong enough to propel a spacecraft to near light speed. "If it proves out it would be revolutionary," says Carl Ehrlich, a retired aerospace engineer who has worked on the space shuttle and other rocket programs. Within a year or two, [Bae] will attempt to have the laser device lift an object the size and weight of a compact disc. Ehrlich will be watching. "We're still using the same technology developed by Goddard. We need a breakthrough," he says.
At their factory in southern France, father-and-son team Guy and Cyril Negre insist air power is no joke. Plain old air compressed in the tank, they say, cheap and non-polluting. Sound too good to be true? Says Cyril, “It's a real car. The other thing is it's a very zero emission car. You won't pollute, there won't be emission. You have a very economical car.” A car, says the Negres, that will cost just $2 for every 120 miles. The Negres have a long love affair with cars. Guy designed a Formula One race car engine. Cyril worked at Bugati. The technology for their car, they say, is relatively simple and safe. “When you compress the air...inside of the tank, this is like compressing a spring, and then the tank gives you back the energy of the air when it expands,” says Cyril. Compressed air in a carbon-fiber tank, something like scuba divers use, drives the pistons and turns the crankshaft. There is no combustion and no gasoline. That's why there's no pollution. You fill it up at an air compressor. It may sound far-fetched, but at his labs on the campus of UCLA, professor Su-Chin Chow is also exploring the power of air. The Negres say after years of delays...they have solved their technical problems. Another year, they say, and they'll be ready for large scale production, with a top speed of 55 miles-an-hour.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a tabletop accelerator that produces nuclear fusion at room temperature, providing confirmation of an earlier experiment conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The device, which uses two opposing crystals to generate a powerful electric field, could potentially lead to a portable, battery-operated neutron generator for a variety of applications, from non-destructive testing to detecting explosives and scanning luggage at airports. The device is essentially a tabletop particle accelerator. At its heart are two opposing “pyroelectric” crystals that create a strong electric field when heated or cooled. The device is filled with deuterium gas — a more massive cousin of hydrogen with an extra neutron in its nucleus. The electric field rips electrons from the gas, creating deuterium ions and accelerating them into a deuterium target on one of the crystals. When the particles smash into the target, neutrons are emitted, which is the telltale sign that nuclear fusion has occurred. The new study also verified the fundamental physics behind the original experiment. This suggests that pyroelectric crystals are in fact a viable means of producing nuclear fusion, and that commercial applications may be closer than originally thought.
Note: Why was this fascinating news not reported in the major media? For more, see our New Energy Information Center at http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergyinformation
Hydrogen, tested in buses from Amsterdam to Vancouver ... is a clean power that promises to break dependence on oil and gas -- at least in Iceland. With almost unlimited geothermal energy sizzling beneath its surface, Iceland has an official goal of making the country oil-free by shifting cars, buses, trucks and ships over to hydrogen by about 2050. About 70 percent of Iceland's energy needs ... are already met by geothermal or hydro-electric power. Only the transport sector is still hooked on polluting oil and gas. The world's first hydrogen filling station, run by Shell, opened in Reykjavik in April 2003. Hydrogen bus projects have also been launched in cities including Barcelona, Chicago, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Stockholm, Beijing and Perth, Australia. The efficiency of the hydrogen fuel cells will decide if the ventures take off into the wider car market. "The idea is that the buses should be twice as efficient as an internal combustion engine," said Jon Bjorn Skulason, general manager of Icelandic New Energy Ltd. Greater engine efficiency would compensate for the inefficiency of producing hydrogen. Iceland's buses, made by DaimlerChrysler, cost about 1.25 million euros ($1.67 million) each, or three to four times more than a diesel-powered bus, Skulason said. It takes about 6-10 minutes to refill a hydrogen bus, giving a range of 240 miles. [A] Reykjavik bus driver said diesel and hydrogen buses were similar to drive. "But the hydrogen bus is less noisy."
AFS Trinity Power Corporation today announced it pulled its 150 MPG plug-in hybrid SUV prototypes out of the LA Auto Show but will independently exhibit and demonstrate the super fuel-efficient vehicles on their own elsewhere in downtown LA during the show. The company's decision followed actions by the LA Auto Show to muzzle AFS Trinity from highlighting the 150 miles per gallon fuel economy of its XH150 prototype vehicles. "The suppression by the automakers of information about technologies such as this raises serious questions about the judgment, vision, intentions and capabilities of the leadership of these companies," said Edward W. Furia, Chairman and CEO of AFS Trinity. "Such conduct by the automakers, who are currently seeking tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, ostensibly to develop fuel efficient vehicle technologies, is evidence they are reluctant to embrace solutions they didn't invent." First shown at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January, 2008, two XH150 prototypes have toured the country for the last ten months and received positive reactions from the American public, national media, public officials, governors, ... members of Congress as well as automotive fleet managers and engineers in Austin, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Seattle, Livermore and Sacramento. Furia explained that, when AFS Trinity sought exhibition space on the main floor of the LA Auto Show, the only space that show management offered was the Kentia Hall basement.
Note: The LA Auto Show is "owned" by the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association, which, in turn, is closely associated with the major auto makers in Detroit. For lots more exciting developments in automotive and new energy technologies from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.
At a glittering Los Angeles party, an ambitious new car maker declared the electric car alive and well. The Tesla Roadster, which can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds doesn't come from Detroit, but from high tech Silicon Valley aiming to do what Detroit couldn't -- make a commercially successful car that doesn't burn gas. "Electric cars don't have to be little, pathetic commuter cars," says Martin Eberhard, CEO of Tesla Motors. "They can be quick and they can be desirable." Eberhard made millions in the computer industry, then convinced other high tech investors like Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, to put in big money. Musk expects huge rewards if Silicon Valley can break Detroit's grip on the U.S. auto industry. "It's batteries, it's drive electronics, it's electric motors," says Musk. "Those are skills that are present in Silicon Valley and not present in Detroit." There's a quick charger for the Tesla's lithium batteries but the car can be plugged in anywhere. It'll go 250 miles on a single charge -- at a cost the company says, of just 1 cent a mile. Tesla expects to quickly sell its first 100 cars for $100,000 each. But, don't give up. The company also has plans for a car for the rest of us. Tesla promises a less expensive four-door family car within three years. For now, however, it's the rich and famous who are getting a charge out of this electric car, such as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who tried out the car and had two words to say: "Very Nice."
Note: Don't be surprised if this technology inexplicably disappears as so many others have, like the once heralded 100 MPG Toyota Eco Spirit back in 2002. For lots more reliable information on the suppression of new energy inventions, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergyinformation.
The above link is not a news article, but rather a fascinating 12-minute video demonstrating inspiring new energy technologies. I have seen the longer, full video, which is one of the best videos available covering this exciting field. For more on the full video, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/resources#free. For an excellent two-page summary of the new energy field, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergysources.
Note: The Guardian also had an article on this amazing technology last year. See the link below:
The military has a long history of funding research into topics that seem straight out of science fiction, even occultism. These range from "psychic" spying to "antimatter"-propelled aircraft and rockets to strange new types of superbombs. In recent years, many physicists have become excited about a phenomenon called "quantum teleportation," which works only with infinitesimally tiny particles. Davis, who has a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Arizona, has worked on NASA robotic missions. His 79-page Air Force study seriously explored a series of possibilities, ranging from "Star Trek"-style travel to transportation via so-called wormholes in the fabric of space to psychic travel through solid walls. Davis expressed great enthusiasm for research allegedly conducted by Chinese scientists who, he says, have conducted "psychic" experiments in which humans used mental powers to teleport matter through solid walls. He claims their research shows "gifted children were able to cause the apparent teleportation of small objects" (radio micro-transmitters, photosensitive paper, mechanical watches, horseflies, other insects, etc.). If the Chinese experiments are valid and could be repeated by American scientists, Davis told The Chronicle in a phone interview Thursday, then, in principle, the military might some day develop a way to teleport soldiers and weapons.
The main limitation of solar power right now is cost, because the crystalline silicon used to make most solar photovoltaic (PV) cells is very expensive. One approach to overcoming this cost factor is to concentrate light from the sun using mirrors or lenses. But traditional light concentrators are bulky and unattractive. Now Prism Solar Technologies...has developed a proof-of-concept solar module that uses holograms to concentrate light, possibly cutting the cost of solar modules by as much as 75 percent, making them competitive with electricity generated from fossil fuels. The panels, says Rick Lewandowski, the company's president and CEO, are a "more elegant solution" to traditional concentrators, and can be installed on rooftops -- or even incorporated into windows and glass doors. A layer of holograms...directs light into a layer of glass where it continues to reflect off the inside surface of the glass until it finds its way to one of the strips of PV silicon. Reducing the PV material needed could bring down costs from about $4 per watt to $1.50 for crystalline silicon panels. The company is expecting to...start manufacturing its first-generation modules by the end of the year, selling them at about $2.40 per watt. CEO Lewandowski says the holographic modules will cost about $1.50 per watt in a few years, using their second-generation technology. At that price, they'll start to compete with fossil fuel-generated electricity, which now costs almost three times less than conventional solar electricity.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is quitting the hydropower and geothermal power research business -- if Congress will let it. Declaring them "mature technologies" that need no further funding, the Bush administration in its FY 2007 budget request eliminates hydropower and geothermal research. "What we do well is research and funding of new, novel technologies," says Craig Stevens, chief spokesman for the DOE. "I'm just astonished the department would zero out these very small existing budgets for geothermal and hydro," says V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. "These are very important resources for our energy future that could replace the need for a lot of coal-fired power plants." Indeed, the costs of lost opportunities from dropping such research could be enormous in the long run. Geothermal holds vast potential -- at least 30,000 megawatts of identified resources developable by 2050. Meanwhile, the more than 5,400 potential "small hydro" power projects could produce about 20,000 megawatts of power, a DOE study in January found. And most would require no new dams at all, shunting a portion of a small river's flow to one side to make electricity. Others would add turbines to dams that don't have them yet. Together, high-tech hydropower and geothermal resources could contribute at least enough power to replace more than 100 medium-size coal-fired power plants with emissions-free electricity.
Turning corn into fuel is all the rage these days as America attempts to reduce its oil dependency. But a team of Metro Detroit researchers has identified a potentially cheaper and more Earth-friendly fuel source: peat, that half-rotted vegetation that covers a considerable chunk of Michigan. The scientists, from University of Detroit Mercy and Wayne State University, are working to develop what they call "pethanol" to run small, fuel-cell-powered vehicles such as golf carts and riding mowers. Because peat forms naturally and requires no fertilization, it's a benefit over corn, the researchers say. "Corn's biggest problem is that you only get one crop a year," said John Shewchun, an adjunct chemistry and engineering professor at Wayne State. "Peat is dirt cheap (to harvest), and with it you've got something that is easily replenished." In lab tests, the pethanol has also powered a fuel cell without the use of hydrogen, which eliminates the need for hydrogen storage tanks in fuel-cell vehicles. Benvenuto, principal investigator on the project, said if peat works as a fuel, the researchers will look at duplicating its success with other hearty native Michigan plants. He said the answer is likely not one plant, but a variety of sources. "None of the three of us think this will solve America's energy dependence," Benvenuto said. "But it will help."
A team of engineering students from The University of British Columbia has built a vehicle so efficient that it could travel from Vancouver to Halifax on a gallon of gasoline. The futuristic-looking, single-occupancy vehicle won top prize at a recent international competition, marking the UBC team's fourth win in as many years. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Supermileage Competition took place June 9 in Marshall, Michigan. Forty teams from Canada, the U.S. and India competed in designing and building the most fuel-efficient vehicle. 'We achieved this level of efficiency by optimizing many aspects of the vehicle design, including: aerodynamics, light-weight construction, a small displacement engine (54 cc), and conservative driving habits,' says Team Captain Kevin Li. The UBC design...achieved 3,145 miles per US gallon. Supermileage...is an annual student competition that challenges students to design, build, and drive a single person vehicle (powered solely by a gasoline engine) to achieve the best fuel mileage possible. The vehicle must be powered by only an internal combustion engine, with no assistance from electric motors or human propulsion.
Note: Why don't we see articles like this in the mainstream media? Even if this vehicle is ultra lightweight and has a top speed of only 30 mph, why can't we design heavier, faster cars which get just 10% of what this car got? For answers to this question, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/050711carmileageaveragempg
It's a dream that's been pursued for years: Mass-producing affordable hydrogen-powered cars that spew just clean water from their tailpipes. So Shanghai's Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies decided to start small. Really small. This month, it will begin sales of a tiny hydrogen fuel-cell car, complete with its own miniature solar-powered refueling station. The toy is a step toward introducing the technology to the public and making it commercially viable. Though prototype hydrogen cars exist, they're far from practical or affordable. Horizon's H-Racer and fueling station solve those problems on a very small scale. The price: $80 for the set. The toy's fuel cell, like those envisioned for real cars, relies on an electrochemical reaction...that powers the gadget's electric motor. The only byproducts are electricity, heat and water. The fuel is supplied by its alarm clock-sized refueling station. A small electric current, generated by the solar cells, extracts hydrogen from water. With the flip of a switch, the car takes off and runs for 4 minutes on a full tank. At Horizon's headquarters...Wankewycz and former Eastman Chemical Co. colleague George Gu demonstrated prototypes of a hydrogen-powered electric bicycle and a golf caddy they are converting from lead acid batteries to hydrogen power. "We're working on the smaller things until the infrastructure is ready," he says. On the Net: Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies: http://www.horizonfuelcell.com
Note: If governments and car companies poured millions into researching this technology, rapid progress could be made. For why this cutting-edge company is located in Shanghai and why they have only $3 million to work with, take a look at http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergysources
Manuel Salinas, a 39-year-old inventor, claims he has built a machine that has extraordinary capabilities for finding buried objects. And now that university lab tests seem to confirm that his robot works, mining and oil corporations are flooding him with business plans. How this machine functions is still an "industrial secret," Salinas said. But ask him for proof that it works and he'll hand you a pile of press clippings on the device, called Geo-Radar or Arturito (a play on the name of Star Wars robot R2-D2). In September 2005 Salinas announced that he had found gold and buried treasure on the Juan Fern˙ndez Islands...off the coast of Chile. Recently, Salinas asked a Chilean university to study the machine and put the questions surrounding it to rest. In early May the results came in, and the Geo-Radar jumped back into local headlines. University investigators announced laboratory and field tests indicating that the Geo-Radar technology is capable of quickly finding copper deposits, petroleum, and gold bullion at depths of up to 600 feet (283 meters). "This reduces the time of exploration from three months to one day," said engineering professor Ricardo Neira Navarro at a press conference in Santiago, the national capital. "I built this machine to find buried antipersonnel mines," explained Salinas. When he finished building the machine in 2004 and ran field tests, Salinas says, the machine surprised him with its abilities to find water, petroleum, and buried metals.
A much-shrouded idea could give portable power a real charge, for a change -- and change, well, everything. Imagine the day when cellphones charge up in seconds, laptop batteries never degrade, and electric cars have the same power, driving range and purchase price as their gas-powered cousins. Such a battery -- a superbattery -- doesn't exist today, but a tiny company out of Austin, Texas, is getting remarkably close, and the possibilities have caught the attention of the U.S. army, the former vice-chairman of Dell Computer, and one of the most respected venture capital firms in North America. Among EEStor's claims is that its "electrical energy storage unit" could pack nearly 10 times the energy punch of a lead-acid battery of similar weight and, under mass production, would cost half as much. It also says its technology more than doubles the energy density of lithium-ion batteries in most portable computer and mobile gadgets today, but could be produced at one-eighth the cost. The company...is weeks away from seeking independent verification of the product's performance. Adding more intrigue to the story is the fact that Colin Powell, the former U.S. secretary of state, joined Kleiner Perkins last summer as a strategic partner.
In the quest for oil-free power, a handful of small companies are staking claims on the boundless energy of the rising and ebbing sea. The technology that would draw energy from ocean tides...is largely untested, but several newly-minted companies are reserving tracts of water from Alaska's Cook Inlet to Manhattan's East River in the belief that such sites could become profitable sources of electricity. The site that is furthest along in testing lies in New York's East River, between Manhattan and Queens, where Verdant Power plans to install two underwater turbines this month. If all goes well, New York-based Verdant could have up to 300 turbines in the river by 2008. The turbines would produce as much as 10 megawatts of power, or enough electricity for 8,000 homes. With 12,380 miles of coastline, the U.S. may seem like a wide-open frontier for the fledgling industry, but experts say interest will focus on only a few. Government and the private sector in Europe, Canada and Asia have moved faster than their U.S. counterparts to support tidal energy research. As of June 2006, there were small facilities in Russia, Nova Scotia and China, as well as a 30-year-old plant in France, according to a report by EPRI. Tidal power proponents liken the technology to little wind turbines on steroids. Water's greater density means fewer and smaller turbines are needed to produce the same amount of electricity as wind turbines. Wave energy technology is less advanced than tidal and will need more government subsidies...however, the number of good wave sites far exceeds that of tidal. But a few companies are working aggressively to usher wave power into the energy industry.
Note: To understand why the U.S. is moving slowly, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergysources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.