Sunday, January 29, 2012

ActiveE


The electric dream began back in the 60's when BMW tested their 1-602 model series during the Munich Olympics. Since that time, the race has continued for propulsion, zero emission tailpipes, and plug-in hybrids allowing the flexibility for gas and renewable sources. The turning point was in 2004 with the advanced release of the lithium-ion battery for vehicles which had proven their worth in laptops, cellphones, and other consumer devices. But nothing is better than the smooth and quiet ride of an electric vehicle, feeling the regenerative braking, and knowing that electronauts are helping to move our green economy forward. If you are interested in being one of the test fleet ActiveE drivers (700 released), sign up here for a two year lease to help our economy be on the edge of innovation.

Source: BMW 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Makani Power

In Hawaiian, makani means wind. It also is the new identity for, The Makani Airborne Wind Turbines, who was recently awarded $3 million from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, and has also received $20 million in funding from Google. They essentially resemble a fleet of mini airplanes that are launched when wind speeds reach 3.5 meters per second. Rotors on each blade help propel it into orbit, and double as turbines once airborne. The blades are tethered to the ground with a cord that delivers power to throw them into the sky and receives energy generated by the turbines to be sent to the grid-connected ground station. The wings take on a circular flight path once in the air (perpendicular to the wind’s direction – sometimes called the wind window for you kiteboarders out there!). Wind speeds can generally be twice as fast at altitude than near ground level as well, making airborne blades potentially more powerful than ground-based turbines. Their light weight material also makes them cheaper to produce than traditional turbines, and maintenance work can be performed on the ground. While these turbines have potential, they are still being tested. Makani plans to construct larger wings that can reach heights of 1,600 feet and power 600 homes. The company’s current timeline for the largest prototype is 2013, with hopes of starting commercial production two years later.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

PlanetSolar at WFES


PlanetSolar is the largest catamaran (130ft) that is solar-powered. It was unveiled by PlanetSolar, the Swiss manufacturer and launch in Barcelona, Spain in November 2011. Preparations are in full swing for its arrival at the WFES (World Future Energy Summit) in Abu Dhabi at the National Exhibit Center on January 16th - 19th. Many speakers from the Exxon Mobil to the Green Building Council will be present and all eye will be on 500sq meters of pure solar paneling.