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JUL 15

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"The Smart Car is Stupid. And it's not selling. Proof that Americans ..."

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All-Electric Smart Car
Written by Hank Green on 15/07/06   

Continuing the pattern of making electric cars tiny and online viagra gel to buy peculiar, DaimlerChrysler just released their plans to sell an all-electric version of the Fortwo Smart Car.   The EV version actually performs better than its gasoline brother.  The rather lame standard measure of 0 to 30 mph was brought down to 6.5 seconds, no word on how fast it gets up to 60.  The good news is, it does indeed get to 60, and a bit beyond. 

The EV Fortwo Smart Car is slated for release in the EU in 2007 and a year later in the US. 


JUL 15

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25% Efficiency Boost from See-Through Solar Cells
Written by Hank Green on 15/07/06   

The direct conversion of sunlight to electricity is looking to become economically competitive with traditional burning-hot-stuff electricity within the next ten or fifteen years.  Every time something happens to shorten that period of time, we do a little dance here at EcoGeek.  No, we aren’t going to tell you about the dance…we’re going to tell you about Holographic Solar photovoltaics.  

It’s actually kinda difficult to get a photovoltaic cell to absorb a wide wavelength of cheap viagra online uk light.  While some work is being done to increase the viagra generic cheap spectrum of light PVs can absorb (even into the infrared range) Prism Solar Technologies is splitting sunlight and concentrating specific wavelengths onto a variety of cells designed to collect those specific wavelengths.  

In their most recent trial, the holographic concentrators boosted the efficiency per square inch of photo-cell by 25%.  Excellent because the concentrators are cheaper than the silicon solar cells, and also because they’re less environmentally costly to create.  If the cost of the concetrators drops enough, we could see economicall competitive solar panels (that you can see through most of) even sooner.) 

Via TreeHugger


Who Killed the Electric Car?
"If you want to start a revolution, don't pick up a gun. Do it with science and technology." So says Stanford R. Ovshinsky Chairman and CEO of United Solar Ovonic and President and Chief Technology Officer of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. We couldn't agree more.
Stan is a feature character in the recent movie "Who Killed the Electic Car" which EcoGeek has been entirely lax in promoting. We're not overly fond of battery-powered transit, batteries are heavy, toxic, hot and expensive, but who are we to deride any alternative to gasoline. A slew of other idealistic EcoGeeks are featured in the movie including Alan Cocconi, designer of the GM EV1 and the GM SunRaycer, Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader and the former CIA director R. James. Woolsey. 

The real star of is a generic pill for levitra "Who Killed the Electric Car" however, is General Motors' EV1. The celebrated electric car was developed in reaction to California's Zero Emissions Mandate (ZEV) issued in 1990 by CARB (California Air Resource Board). In many ways the cheap cialis 50mg EV1 was revolutionary; quiet, non-polluting and we choice buy viagra fast yet requiring no gas or oil changes and a very simple maintenance routine. But before it really caught on, it all but disappeared… As the facts unfold the movie makes the case that it was a carefully planned and executed murder.

Who is guilty? Big Auto, Big Oil, Fickle Consumers, CARB, The US Government, Wimpy Batteries, Fuel Cell Technology? The creators of the film certainly have their opinions, but we at EcoGeek are firm believers in the theory of all-of-the-above. Whether you see the movie or not, whether you buy their case or not, the website is packed full of facts and definitely worth a look.


JUL 05

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The Future of Flight (Obese Pelicans to Shape-Shifting Switchblades)
Written by Hank Green on 05/07/06   
Converting our world's cars to hybrids, electrics and hydrogen powered may turn out to be a far more simple task than reducing the amount of fossil fuel burned by flight. But we're not gonna stop flying just because it's bad for the planet. Packages need to be shipped. Bombs need to be dropped. EcoGeeks need to visit their moms.

So today we're looking at the future of fuel-efficient flight. From just-around-the-corner to the far-fetched ridiculous possibilities....and we'll hit them in that order.




JUL 03

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"I don't particualrly care if this thing isn't particularly fast, only ..."

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GM Hy-Wire Video.
Written by Hank Green on 03/07/06   
We're glad whenever we can praise GM, a company that we believe is suffering due to non-environmental reasons (though you wouldn't know it listening to some hype that's being passed around).  But GM has a future...and here it is. 

They Hy-Wire is revolutionary for two reasons (three, if you include the 10 million dollars that went into developing it).  First, you have the Hy...a hydrogen fuel-cell engine with a tank big enough to carry the generic levitra canadian healthcare car fast and long.  Or, if you so choose, it could just power your house for a couple of days.  

Then there's the Wire.  The fuel-cell, the hydrogen tanks, and all the motors are all housed in a six inch tall 'skateboard' configuration at the bottom of cialis for woman the car.  We've been hearing about the buy levitra no prescription required skateboard car a lot in the last few years, but it's nice to see prototypes rolling of at a pretty good rate now (see the Pivo a couple of posts down for another skateboard car.)  The vehicle's controls actually plug into the chassis via a single data wire (in the case of the Pivo, this linkage is actually wireless (scary)).

The Hi-Wire also beats its coolness into us with a revolutionary new control scheme.   No pedals, just a 'steering thingy' which you twist to accelerate and squeeze to break.  Also on the steering thingy you'll find a display showing you your rear-view, and two side view cameras take the place of external mirrors, minimizing wind resistance.  
So, next time you hear someone badmouth GM, tell them about the Hy-Wire.  We all see the future, and GM getting ready.
Thanks to the anonymous Aussie tipster who sent me to techeblog.  And to CarShark for the YouTube post.  And of course to Top Gear for filming the segment in the first place.

JUN 30

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"The inside of my house has only 5 incandescent bulbs, all in places th..."

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CFL's Could Cut Carbon by 10%
Written by Hank Green on 30/06/06   
180px-compactfluorescentlightbulbDoesn't it seem wrong to you that your laptop uses less power than a light bub?  I mean, a computer has the power to change your world AND cast an eerie glow in my cave-like office.  

Well, thanks to the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFLs,) light bulbs no longer have to be electron-sucking bulbous space-heaters.  In fact, according to a report just published by the genuine levitra online International Energy Agency swapping all of the world's tungsten bulbs with CFL's would cut the world's energy use by 10%, far more than is planned to be saved by solar and generic levitra online pharmacy wind power in all but the most progressive nations.  

And the CFL's last for years, AND they produce a very pleasant light AND they're getting to be darned cheap.  That's the power of technology, save the world by making it an easier place to live in.  

JUN 29

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"annoying aussie from over the World. abc tv(usa)sum place england and..."

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Annoying Aussie gets to ride in a Pivo
Written by Hank Green on 29/06/06   
The Pivo is a concept electric car from Nissan.  It's lithium ion batteries power two motors, one one in front, one in back.  The weird part is that the controls are wirelessly connected to the motors so there is no need for the, I dunno...cockpit? to be connected to the rest of levitra 10 mg the car. 

The advantage of this is that the, yeah, cockpit can swivel, eliminating the need for the driver to ever actually turn the car around.  No more 3 point turns and, yes, you could conceivably spin the cockpit 180 degrees while travelling at the Pivo's maximum speed of 60 mph.

As a zero-emission concept car for city driving, the Pivo is very weird but pretty cool.  Recently an annoying Australian guy got to ride around in a Pivo at a Nissan test facility.  The video after the jump is worth a watch.
Via Hugg

JUN 23

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La La: $1.50 for a CD
At some point you probably went through the painstaking process of loading all your tunes onto the computer. Well, now you're stuck with a stack of CDs and don't know what to do with them. The new music exchange service La La, enables CD trading for just $1.49, allowing several people to use each CD, keeping discs in circulation instead of going on the landfills or cluttering up your valuable closet space.

Once you become a member, the service encourages you to list all the CDs you want to exchange as well as ones they would be interested in receiving. Once an exchange is arranged, the recipient pays $1.49, of which 63 cents pays for shipping the purchase viagra disc. Netflix-style shipping kits (prepaid standard envelops) will arrive in the mail after you list your first CD at the site.

Twenty cents of each dollar you pay goes either directly to the artist.  Or, if the artist no longer holds a copyright (think Beethoven,) those 20 cents go into a charitable fund to provide health insurance for musicians. The site is Inspired by a Wikipedia style information model.  Fans and artists jointly decide whether a musician who applies for compensation will get paid under the system. This model has the potential to transform music-industry economics, giving musicians a major cut of generica viagra the proceeds while largely freezing out record labels and other intermediaries. Whatever remains after shipping and those 20 cents goes to running the company.

JUN 22

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"seems mazda rx7 or rx8 gave you idea but too me it seems the engine w..."

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The Multi-Fuel, Silent, Engine Shrinking, Gas Saving, Quasiturbine Engine!
Written by Hank Green on 23/06/06   
Almost every car in the world is run by the exact same kind of engine: The piston internal combustion engine first thought of by a guy named Benz (of Mercedes fame.)  Obviously, it's a  pretty good design, it took over the world in less than 50 years.  But the piston combustion engine isn't the only internal combustion engine in the world, it's just the only one in the world's cars.

While we can hope for electric cars to come into their own, and for fuel cells to become a viable alternative to internal combustion, maybe we should also be thinking about how to make internal combustion better. 

The quasiturbine engine does that.  There's no doubt, it's more efficient, it's lighter, it runs in any orientation, and it can be powered by whatever fuel happens to be cheaper that day (ethanol, methanol, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, biodiesel, even hydrogen.)  The engine produces no vibration, is up to 50% lighter than piston engines, and increases efficiency by more than 50%.  A car that would get 30 mpg with a piston engine would get roughly 60 mpg using a quasiturbine.  A quasi turbine hybrid could get up to 150 mpg.

The QT engine (somewhat aptly named, because it is on the Q.T., being mostly silent) is a rotary engine. Check out the graphic below for a pretty simple summary of what goes on in a quasiturbine engine.

The engine is, obviously, a bit more complex than a traditional piston engine, but it's really not that complicated.  There are four steps in the quasiturbine cycle, each either compression or decompression. 
First step is decompression, as the engine spins the engine actually sucks fuel into the vacuum created by the previous compression. 
Second step, the fuel is then compressed (top part of the image) to prepare for ignition. 
Third step, the spark plug fires at the fuel's maximum compression and the expansion of the combustion drives the engine in it's continuous cyclical movement. 
Fourth step, the exhaust is squeezed out of the engine as the turbine prepares to suck in more fuel. 

It's really an elegant system.  There's no crankshaft, no valves, no pistons.  All movement is contained inside the engine so lubricant (and oil pan) isn't necessary. The compression of wow look it cheap cialis on line the QT engine also allows for more complete combustion.All this ads up to a highly efficient, light-weight, long-lived engine that burns all of it's fuel and can operate with any available fuel.
So... you're probably wondering why you don't already have one?  Car makers, mechanics and engineers have had 120 years to perfect piston engines and levitra discounts the complications raised by the somewhat more complicated QT engine have so far kept it out of the hands of the masses.  Don't be surprised, though, if we see QT engines on the road significantly before fuel cells take off.  The QT engine won't cure us of our addiction to hydrocarbons, but it might make the transition a bit easier. 
Spotted at Hugg - See and awesome HowStuffWorks Article 
Digg Gets an Environment Category
Written by Hank Green on 22/06/06   
I was just checking out the Digg 3.0 screenshots at TechCrunch I noticed, under the 'Science' category, an 'environment' sub category.  Sweet!  Here's hoping to see some EcoGeek articles in there.  

For those of you who don't know, Digg is a really amazing site that allows folks to submit news and / or vote on whether they thing the user submitted news is newsworthy.  It's great because people are deciding for themselves what news the people see.  

Digg was originally meant to be a technology site, but it has outgrown itself and a lot of articles aren't tech related at all.  Now, with Digg 3.0, Digg gets a bit more structure.

There's already an environmental Digg clone at, created by the enviro-blog TreeHugger which I find very useful and interesting.  I look forward to seeing how Hugg and Digg match up now that there'll be an environment category at Digg starting Monday

JUN 22

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8 in 10 Want their Houses to Power Themselves
Written by Hank Green on 22/06/06   
solarThe results of a probably somewhat biased poll given to 1,004 Americans by the world's largest solar-cell producer, Japan's Sharp Electronics Corp show that 80% of Americans want to have solar power as a part of their houses.  Two thirds of Americans are willing to pay a premium for solar panels and half said they'd pay 10% more for a house with solar panels. 

The number one reason cited: to save money. 

Ron Kenedi, VP of solar stuff at Sharp said, "Solar has been popular for a long time in areas like California and levitra vs cialis Arizona. Now we're seeing that the rest of the country is ready to embrace solar energy, and consumers want the option of having solar power their new home."  So, what you're saying is, when it was economically viable to have solar power in places with lots of sunshine, people had solar panels?  And now that it's economically viable in other areas, those people want solar as well.  Crazy...

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