With the reduction of fuel consumption, car manufacturers focusing on the green consumer market have a new worry. Not surprisingly, car batteries simply don’t last quite as long in electric cars as car batteries did in the typical internal combustion engine cars. This fact, though incomparable to many other features of an electric car, is daunting for many an average consumer. In turn, it’s served as an obstacle to increase in sales in what may well be the future of cars.
For every market problem, there is generally a solution though. Either in clever marketing, research and development, or a combination of the two. And GM will be making use of both as it attempts to assuage consumer fears through a generous 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty. Only a short while back, GM became the first US automaker to run a battery pack plant, which is still building prototypes. And now, they’re already offering a warranty which applies to the popular Chevy Volt‘s battery. A warranty that the relevant GM press release accurately highlights as “the automotive industry’s longest, most comprehensive battery warranty for an electric vehicle.” › Continue reading
Conversely, people who begin learning additional languages as children tend to make a lot less mistakes common to later-learners and in addition, pick up the same languages much faster. Knowledge becomes more deeply rooted if it’s learned early, and bearing these facts in mind, one can also see why many professionals are able to trace their own passions as adults back to what they were brought up with.
With this in mind, it makes sense that the best way to instill green values in society would be to focus on the youth. That said, young kids won’t be too excited to read a dense non-fiction title on all the mistakes made by ourselves and our predecessors. They also wouldn’t be too keen on keeping up with environmental trends and gadgets. But few kids would shy away from being bought a new toy.
Anybody with a rudimentary understanding of electronics, especially the person that habitually tinkers with and “fixes” the various appliances at home will know how regularly solder is used and needed, even more so for those in the industry.
Up till just recently though, solder wasn’t exactly a milestone of technological achievement. Rather, the basic premise behind solder has remained unchanged; it is still simply a little bit of lead (or other metal substance with a low melting point) which, after being melted, acts as an adhesive, holding together important parts of circuit. These parts being essentially an integral and regularly used component of those everyday tools like cell-phones and computers that we take for granted. Naturally, something so universal, and so small as to be oft-overlooked, is bound to have far-reaching consequences over time.
These consequences were not taken lightly by Ainissa Ramirez‘ and her team at Yale, who like many other scientists around the world had sought out a greener alternative for quite some time. Recently, the culmination of this teams research is to be published. An essential summary of the idea is that new tin-silver solder with iron particles will present a viable alternative to replace the afore-mentioned lead-based solder. But there’s more, asserts Ramirez, as “in addition to helping make the fabrication of microelectronics more environmentally responsible, these new solders have the potential to solve technological challenges.”
Just unveiled in Germany, this Swiss built catamaran dubbed PlanetSolar is the largest of its kind with over 5,000 sqft of solar paneling covering most of the surfaces. With a top speed of 15 knots (17 miles per hour), this 66-ton boat carries 50 people with its crew of two. It’s 38,000 newer generation photovoltaic cells have an efficiency of at least 22% to help with converting the suns rays to turning the propeller. It’s no Code-X speed boat, but it is probably more efficient and practical.
Sticking to routes near the equator, the crew hopes to maximize the suns exposure to keep their average speed at 8 knots. They will be embarking on a 140 day voyage to cities like San Francisco, New York, Darwin (Australia), Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Marseille. Maybe they could stop by the Pacific trash gyre on the way over.
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Designed by Studio Volpi in collaboration with GGP Group, this solar powered electric lawnmower is not only pretty for the eye, it’s also clean for the lung. Using the suns rays to charge while mowing, a removable polymer-ion battery system ensures your lawn care will be completed.
While this is a great concept, there is actually one in existence- and this one is automated! Similar to those robot vacuums, this is an automated solar lawnmower.
Attention Renewable Energy Nautical Sci-Fi enthusiasts, I have just found your perfect water ride. One look, and you can see why – this solar powered Code-X speedboat looks like just about every cool crescent-shaped pointy enemy fighter ship out there. Specifically, this design brings to mind the Battlestar Galactica cylon raider mixed with the jet powered and dual hull performance boat all rolled into one.
Brought to you by CODE-X AG, a swiss company based in Meggen on Lake Lucerne, their goal is to develop ultra exclusive products utilizing renewable energy sources. While this may seem to cause one to cringe at the eco eliteism, it can allow for a trickle-down effect of renewable energy products first being developed for those who can afford the cost of developing newer technologies.
A beautiful integration of renewable energy and modern green design, the recently finished solar stadium in Taiwan will welcome the 2009 World Games to 3,300 lights and two jumbo screens all on 100% solar energy. Designed by Toyo Ito, the 14,155 sq meter roof consists of 8,844 solar panels generating 1.14m KWh (that is 1.14 gigawatt hours of electricity) a year.
When not powering the stadium lights, the power will be funneled into the local power grid and is expected to meet almost 80% of the neighboring area’s energy requirements. It is estimated that this stadium will prevent 660 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year from being released into the atmosphere when compared to a traditional powered stadium of this size.
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The Enertia TTR Electric motorcycle by Brammo could be one of the first to production (and available to buy from a store in the US). In fact west coast Best Buys are lined up to carry them later this month.
With a ‘real world’ range of 35 miles, a top speed of over 50mph, and a wall outlet recharging system that only takes 3 hours for a full charge, it is a very practical and economical option for commuting. Each charge costs approximately 40 cents translating into a cost of one penny per mile.
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