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MAY 01

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Maine Constructing 4 MW Commercial Tidal Power Project
Written by Megan Treacy on 01/05/12   

Tidal power is one of the renewable energy sources that you hear the viagra online store least about even though its potential for generating electricity is incredibly vast. The problem is that deploying turbines out into the ocean or rivers can prove to be awfully tricky. But one major project is moving full steam ahead and buy pfizer viagra will be delivering power by this fall.

The Maine Tidal Energy Project started construction of the bottom support frame for Ocean Renewable Power Company's TidGen turbine generator system in March. The project's first phase will see five of those generators deployed in the Gulf of Maine with a capacity of order viagra online canada 900 kW. That phase should be online by October.

The complete project will reach a capacity of 4 MW and already has 20-year power purchase agreements with Bangor Hydro, CMP and Maine Public Service.

The TidGen system consists of slowly rotating foils that power a permanent magnet generator at its center. It is gearless and made from composite materials that won't corrode underwater.

via Forbes

MAY 01

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Is Space Mining a Green Technology?
Written by Philip Proefrock on 01/05/12   

A group of entrepreneurs has announced the formation of a new company called Planetary Resources with the goal of collecting valuable, useful minerals from asteroids. "Planetary Resources hopes to go after the platinum-group metals — which include platinum, palladium, osmium, and iridium — highly valuable commodities used in medical devices, renewable energy products, catalytic converters, and potentially in automotive fuel cells."

The technology and information about asteroids is not in place for this to be undertaken immediately. The company plans successive levels of exploration, beginning with a series of professional cialis private, orbital telescopes to be used to survey asteroids. This would be followed by spacecraft to intercept asteroids approaching Earth's orbit for further study and analysis, and then further deepspace explorer craft to study and gather information about more distant asteroids, and then finally get to the mining of minerals from the best price on levitra asteroids. Whether these materials would be refined in space or whether the ore would be returned to Earth for processing is one of many questions about the process that would ultimately be used.

The development of new, low-cost space technology is likely to have additional spin-off benefits. But does this make mining asteroids a really green technology? The mining of minerals from the Earth's crust creates huge despoiled areas across the globe. But, it is enormously expensive to launch vehicles into space, and the cost of minerals returned from asteroids will have enormous costs that need to be paid off before they can be cost competitive with mining on Earth. But, if the concentrations are high enough to make it practical, and the automation of the process can be developed, then it may be worthwhile. The forests that do not have to be torn away and the mountaintops that don't need to be removed in order to provide minerals for human technology can come from elsewhere, and the planet can be returned to supporting life, something it is apparently unique in being able to do.

Ultimately, the answers to the viability of this method will have to be proved. It seems promising in the abstract, and we won't know for sure for many years. But for now, it's an intriguing thought, and we'll be interested to see what future developments this idea brings.


MAY 01

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New, Efficient Dodge Dart Begins Production
Written by Philip Proefrock on 01/05/12   

After teetering on the brink of extinction, Chrysler is continuing its rebound with the start of look there usa viagra production this week for the new Dodge Dart. The Dart marks Chrysler's return to the compact car segment. As other manufacturers have been doing, the Dart offers increasing efficiency through conventional improvements without relying on big technological changes like hybrids or electric drive.

One version, the Dodge Dart "Aero" model, is expected to offer "at least" 41 mpg highway according to a company press release.

The standard engine for the Dart is a 2.0 liter, 160 horsepower engine that gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 25 miles per gallon (mpg) City/36 mpg Highway/29 mpg Combined. An optional 1.4 liter MultiAir Turbo engine gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 27 mpg City/39 mpg Highway/29 mpg Combined. The "Aero" package, which will be available later this year, uses the smaller turbo engine along with extra features to boost that to 41 mpg Highway.

This is the kind of improvement all manufacturers are pursuing as fleet efficiency standards continue to push for greater efficiency across all segments of their vehicles. The super efficient vehicles may lead the way, but most of us will continue to drive more conventional cars for a long time to come, and the overall impact of improvement to the conventional segments far outweighs the benefits from the far less prevalent, super-efficient models.

via: Michigan Radio


APR 26

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15 College Teams Win EPA P3 Award for Environmental Solutions
Written by Megan Treacy on 25/04/12   

The EPA has announced the winners of express cialis delivery its annual P3 award that honors innovative environmental solutions developed by college teams. This year 45 teams were judged by a panel convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science on their idea's potential to provide "innovative, cutting-edge sustainable solutions to worldwide environmental problems." Fifteen teams won the award and received $90,000 each to further develop and market their solutions.

Here are the winning teams and their entries:

  • Appalachian State University for developing an artificial wetland suitable for recycling of grey water from small businesses for immediate reuse.
  • Butte College for developing structural insulated panels for building construction using rice hulls, an abundant agricultural waste, as the primary raw material.
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for designing a foldable solar power water purification system that can fit into a backpack for easy transport for use after a disaster affecting drinking ether supply.
  • Gonzaga University for developing a simple ventilation system for kitchens in rural dwellings using electrical power generated from thermoelectric cells driven by waste heat from cooking fires.
  • Oregon State University for raising awareness of pollution associated with the production and use of plastic mulch by farmers and testing alternative biodegradable mulch material.
  • Princeton University for developing, testing and deploying an electricity generation system that can be transported in a standard shipping container and rapidly set up in rural communities and cialis no perscription non generic post disaster areas.
  • Santa Clara University for developing a fuel cell capable of continuous sustainable energy supply to meet energy demands in rural communities in developing nations lacking reliable energy grids.
  • Southern Illinois University - Carbondale for developing methods to extract (recycle) metals from Coal Combustion Byproducts (CCB) to reduce mining and to produce a concrete with reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Engineering for studying ways to recover struvite, a slow release fertilizer, from digested animal manures and assesses its marketability.
  • Texas State University - San Marcos for converting rice husks, a byproducts of look here free levitra agriculture, into a starter material called lignocellulose for producing fabrics, biofuel and silica nanoparticles.
  • University of California - Riverside for designing a solar collector to heat ambient air for use in home appliances, such as clothes dryers and space heaters, to reduce home energy consumption.
  • University of Cincinnati for developing a pilot scale system to convert trap grease from restaurants, a waste set to landfill, to renewable biodiesel.
  • University of Connecticut for investigating ways to use local industrial byproducts such as steal slag and lime kilm dust to control erosion and look there where can i purchase viagra to stabilize roads in Nicaragua.
  • University of Oklahoma - Norman for design, field-test, construct, instrument, analyze and document a habitat for humanity house built of compresses earth blocks (CEB).
  • Vanderbilt University for developing a biohyrid solar panel that substitutes a protein from spinach for rare metals (mined) and is capable of producing electricity.

I don't know about you, but reading that list makes me feel really hopeful about the future knowing that so many college students are thinking up and creating such innovative solutions to environmental problems. You can see a list of Honorable Mentions for this prize that also contains some amazing ideas here.



APR 25

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Tesla and SolarCity Team Up to Create Solar-Powered, Off-Grid Homes
Written by Megan Treacy on 25/04/12   

Tesla Motors has found a new application for its battery technology -- off-grid solar-powered homes. The automaker is teaming up with solar panel installer SolarCity to connect its batteries to solar-powered homes, unlinking the panels from the grid and using the batteries as back-up.

The team has submtited applications for 70 different projects to California utility PG&E's solar incentive program that would see homes linked together with Tesla battery packs and solar panels. The batteries would store energy produced by the panels for use during the night, on cloudy days and during grid power outages, allowing the homes to operate fully free of the grid.

The partnership is relying on incentives to get the projects moving. If the projects qualify for the California incentives and look there viagra and women federal tax incentives, the cost of these installations could be cut in half, making them much more appealing to homeowners since solar panel installations are already expensive and those coupled with battery storage would be even more so. But if they can get the costs down and market this combined system, we could see off-grid living become much more approachable.

via SolarCity and GigaOm


APR 23

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"Any solution (whether natural or man-made like these Boysen paints) th..."

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Pollution-Absorbing Paint Cleaning Up the Air in Manila
Written by Megan Treacy on 23/04/12   

Manila is one of the top five dirtiest cities when it comes to air pollution. Residents have high rates of asthma and air pollution is responsible for about 4,000 deaths a year. The city is trying to tackle the only here fda approves viagra problem with an innovative solution -- paint.

The city has begun using a paint called Boysen KNOxOUT that is able to filter out nitrogen oxides from the air. The chemical within the paint reacts with sunlight and water vapor making it absorb NOx at a rate of about 20 percent. The city is also taking a beautifying approach by not just slathering the paint on surfaces, but by using it to paint murals along the main highway in Manila, putting the paint right at the source of generic pack cialis much of the smog while also making it a more attractive place.

The scientists that developed the paint say that one square foot of the paint absorbs the viagra next day delivery same amount of pollution as a full-grown tree. The city is painting 11,000 square feet of murals, which means the city will see the same air quality benefits as if they planted 11,000 trees. Cities in the U.S., especially somewhere like Los Angeles that suffers from its own heavy share of smog, could benefit from a little of this paint as well.

via BBC

APR 20

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Honda to Recycle Rare Earth Metals from Hybrid Batteries
Written by Megan Treacy on 20/04/12   

If you follow clean tech news at all, you've heard of best price generic cialis the impending shortage of rare earth metals that are used in everything from electric vehicle batteries to solar panels, which could cause major problems for clean tech growth down the road. The solutions to this problem are to both source alternative materials for these technologies and to develop large-scale recycling for these metals.

Honda has apparently been paying attention because it announced this week that it would start recycling the rare earth metals used in the nickel-metal hydride batteries in its hybrids to be used again in Honda vehicle parts.

Honda is the first auto company to take this on. According to the automaker, the partnership with Japan Metals & Chemicals is not a small experimental project. The recycling of these metals will be a mass-production process at a recycling plant -- the first of its kind in the world.

Japan Metals & Chemicals has established a process that can extract as much as 80 percent of rare earth metals in the batteries with purity as high as newly mined and levitra in spain refined metals. The metals will go on to be used in new batteries as well as other auto parts. Honda hopes to begin extracting the metals from additional auto parts soon.

via Honda

APR 18

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Light Bulb Finder App Calculates What You'll Save By Swapping Out Your Bulbs
Written by Megan Treacy on 18/04/12   

A free app that won the EPA's Apps for the Environment contest lets you calculate the energy and cost savings you'd see by swapping out your light bulbs for more efficient versions. The EPA estimates that using the app can help homeowners cut their electricity bill by $120 a year and cut their CO2 emissions by 1,360 lbs a year.

The Light Bulb Finder app lets you choose the order viagra online type of fixture and bulb that you want to replace and then recommends a good replacement based on fit, appearance and quality. The app then shows users a picture of the bulb, its specifications and the savings users will see in energy, costs and emissions based on the user's location if they make the switch. To make it easy as possible, the app also directs users to where they can buy the bulbs either online or at local retailers.

As a home owner, I know that walking into a large home improvement store and viagra on line trying to pick out efficient bulbs from the shelves can feel a little overwhelming, especially when you're not sure about fixture fit and the quality of light you'll be getting. This app is great because it takes the guessing out of making the switch to more efficient bulbs and as the incandescent bulbs start disappearing from shelves starting as the new light bulb standards go into effect, easy access to this information will become important.

The app is available for iOS devices and Android-based smartphones.




APR 17

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NASA Funding Satellite That Would Beam Solar Power Down to Earth
Written by Megan Treacy on 17/04/12   

NASA is providing Artemis Innovation Management Solutions with seed money to build a satellite that could collect solar energy and beam it back down to Earth. Harvesting solar energy from space has been talked about for a long time, but has been deemed too expensive or the technology just wasn't there. Now with former NASA engineer John Mankins at the helm, it looks like this concept is finally set to take off.

The turning point for this technology is all due to the biomimetic design that Mankins came up with, which mimics how flower petals collect solar energy. The petals would be covered with small, thin-film mirrors that could be curved to direct sunlight to solar cells. The satellite would be positioned far enough away from the Earth so that it will never be in the dark. The energy collected would be converted into microwaves that could be beamed or broadcast back to Earth where electricity would be generated. The design allows for the use of small, lightweight mirrors and solar cells so that the satellite could be constructed and transported at a not-ridiculous cost.

The potential for this technology is huge. The satellite could feasibly send a constant stream of microwaves because of its position -- possibly thousands of megawatts worth. That constant stream of unlimited energy would utlimately make any upfront costs totally negligible and could bring a huge leap in amount of renewable energy fed to the grid. Truly, this is the stuff that clean tech dreams are made of.

The NASA funding is for a proof of concept study that could lead to a prototype being built if all checks out. That prototype would then be tested in near-Earth orbit and then, fingers crossed, full scale satellites would be built and launched.


Images via John Mankins


APR 17

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Examining Electric Vehicles' Emissions
Written by Philip Proefrock on 17/04/12   

A recent report suggests that electrical vehicles (EVs) are not always the cleanest option among automobiles when you take into account the source of the electricity used for recharging. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists report on emissions and electric vehicles, in some instances, electric vehicles may sometimes be responsible for more emissions than some very efficient conventional vehicles.

Obviously, the electricity used to charge the vehicle must come from somewhere, and the fuel mix used to produce electricity varies regionally across the US. In areas where the oldest coal-fired plants are a large part of the electrical grid, powering an electric vehicle may be responsible for emissions equal to as much as 340 grams/mile. But, only about 18% of the US population lives in these areas. For the great majority of the country, the mix used to produce electricity is cleaner, meaning that EVs are that much cleaner, too.

Although the UCS report does help make the important point that an electric vehicle is not somehow the perfect solution, it nevertheless should not be taken the other way and presumed to suggest that electric vehicles are some sort of scam being perpetrated on the public. Even in regions with the dirtiest grid, an electric vehicle is still about 20% better than the tramadol online no consultation fee average new compact car in terms of global warming emissions measured in grams per mile.

EVs also have the potential to get better. If old coal plants are taken offline, and new, cleaner power plants or more non-polluting, renewable energy sources are added to the mix, then the emissions of the EV go down. Vehicles with conventional engines don't have the ability to do anything like that at all.



APR 13

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Solar Thermal Heating Could Eliminate CO2 Emissions from Cement Production
Written by Megan Treacy on 13/04/12   

Cement production is the second largest human-caused contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere responsible for five to six percent of all human-caused CO2 emissions. So far, many researchers have concentrated on creating cement that can sequester CO2 to balance out the CO2 its production releases, but now researchers at George Washington University are going to the root of the problem and eliminating CO2 emissions at the source.

The researchers have found a way to use solar thermal heating to create a method of cement production that has zero CO2 emissions. The release of CO2 during cement production is in two key places: first is when limestone is converted into lime, which involves decarbonation and releases CO2 as a byproduct; second is from burning fossil fuels to heat the kiln reactors that allow that chemical reaction to occur.

The team's Solar Thermal Electrochemical Production (STEP) process eliminates CO2 from both of those places. Solar thermal heating replaces the burning of fossil fuels and the heat also is essential in the electrolysis of the limestone. Using electrolysis to convert limestone into lime creates a byproduct of either oxygen and levitra pills canadian graphite or carbon monoxide, not CO2.

The STEP process would also be cheaper than the existing cement production process and if the carbon monoxide byproduct were sold to other industries, it would actually create a net positive of $298 per ton compared to the cost of $70 per ton for conventional production.

The researcher say the STEP process could be utilized in other industries that require limestone being converted to lime, like iron and aluminum purification, glass, paper and sugar production and agriculture.




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