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Giant Shark Fin to Generate 2 Megawatts


BioPower systems has re-thought wave power generation. Up to now, many ocean and tidal power systems have looked a lot like wind turbines.  But water is hundreds of times heavier and thus more powerful than wind. Rapid motion is not necessary, it's the torque, or the power behind that rotation, where the ocean's real power lives.

So they've created two new designs for ocean power generation, both of which harness the low-motion, high-torque power of water. Both designs were taken directly from nature: a sharks tail and a kelp head. Over the last hundred million years, the tails of sharks have managed to become 90% efficient in transferring power to energy. The BioStream generator doesn't just look like a shark's tail, it moves like a shark's tail. As water streams past the fin, the fin slowly changes pitch so arm sways back and forth which runs a generator in the base of the system.

In addition to their radical new designs for ocean power, BioPower has designed a new mooring specifically to be used with these power generation systems. The mooring doesn't need to be as substantial as traditional underwater turbines because both systems have simple storm mitigation measures (the kelp lays flat, the shark fin disengages the generator and just lets the ocean push it around.) So, the mooring is less expensive but still more than powerful enough to keep the generators in place through even the worst weather.

These designs are completely out of sight, inexpensive, slow moving, safe, have a minimal impact on the sea floor, can be used in concert with wind turbins, and produce a significant amount of power. Get ready, ocean power is click now generic viagra india coming.
More pictures after the Jump

Glass Box Contains the Ghost of the Incandescent Lightbulb

globri_alt1This Halloween, celebrate the death of canada generic cialis the incandescent lightbulb with a GlowBrick. These glassy cubes each contain a phosphorescent core surrounded by the image if a lightbulb. They spend the daylight hours collecting energy and then, in the night time, they become "a disembodied shining lightbulb hanging in midair." Maybe incandescent bulbs will all die, only to it's great! levitra prices show up around Halloween as glowbricks.  Maybe not. But while the glowbrick is cool, it isn't really all that useful.  But maybe someday you can use one to show your grandkids what light bulbs used to look like. 
If you're interested in that kind of entertainment, then head to the levitra discussionsdiscount priced levitra Science Toy Store, but keep in mind that it'll set you back about $40. 

Plankton Eating Robotic Submarine


A couple years ago a group of scientists at the University of Bristol made news when they created a robot powered by the dead bodies of flies.  Now, they plan on taking that concept to a new realm of usefulness by creating a plankton powered submarine. 

Because robotic  research submarines need a constant source of power, they have so far been severely limited in the amount of data the can collect and send before either running out of juice, or needing to head home for a recharge. But now the Bristol team has designed a microbial fuel cell that can be powered by two things abundant in sea water, plankton and levitra from india dissolved oxygen.  These can be consumed by the bacteria in the robot's fuel cell, creating a current and charging the batteries. 

This is actually a considerably more useful proposition than an insect powered robot, as submarines have a much greater need for prolonged autonomy. And, for some reason, it seems less creepy than the fly eating robot. Still, they're working on creating fully autonomous robots that power themselves from the bodies of once-living organisms. Maybe I watched The Matrix too many times, but this might not actually be the best idea. 
In any case, we've not seen any numbers now how much power these microbial fuel cells really can produce. And there's no information on whether these plankton powered robots will ever help us better understand our oceans.

Via NewScientist (paid subscription required.)


Giant Electromagnetic Space Launch Ring


Satellites are important for our gadgets. For our cell phones, GPS units, Google Earth pictures and more. But sending satellites into space is a pretty darned unsustainable prospect.  We're talking $2000 per kilogram of it's cool cialis pill payload and almost all of that goes into fossil fuels.  So what's the alternative?  A space elevator would certainly be more efficient, and would only cost several trillion dollars to build. Well, we could just stop sending up satellites and let our gadgets crumble into museum pieces. 

Or how 'bout this. We build a gigantic ring superconducting electromagnetic track with a diameter of 2 kilometers in the desert and continuously increase the speed of an object until it reaches 10 k/s and then shift the track to an inclined portion that rockets the object into orbit! Amazing! This has been proposed before, but usually with a straight length of track that would have to link for you buy levitra on the internet either be extremely long, or give the satellite a massive amount of speed in a short time.
A recent AirForce study of this very concept has concluded that this device could decrease the cost of launches (and fuel consumed) 100 fold.  
The space ring shown here could increase the speed of the object over a period of hours on an infinite length of track.  The problem being, of course, that anything travelling in a circle at high speeds is going to have to deal with unfortunate G-forces.  The kind of G forces that would have any living organism seeping into the upholstery before launch.  Most communications satellites are too fragile for this kind of treatment. 

Which is making a lot of enter site buy pfizer cialis people wonder why the Air Force really put together the tramadol 100 mg plan to study the device. Is it really efficient satellite launches they're after, or is it efficient and constant weapons launches. I might have thought that we were beyond that, but I'm marking this one down under 'cool, but dangerous.'
Via NewScientist

An EcoGeek at Wired NextFest


Celine Ruben-Salama, an EcoGeek, was lucky to get a preview of the exhibits at the Wired NextFest opening party yesterday.  Stay tuned for more in depth coverage, but here follows a quick run through of the eco-tech she spotted:

nextfest3 I spent the better part of my visit in the Future of Green Pavilion. There I found the quiterevolution, vertical axis wind turbine that we wrote about earlier this month. As the name suggests, the quiterevolution, is practically silent. It improves on the traditional horizontal axis wind turbine by not needing to change its orientation to track the wind.

An American company Novomer is exhibiting biodegradable plastics made in part from waste from the orange juice industry. The aliphatic polycarbonates have unique properties that show promise for a wide range of commercial applications. According to the company website, "these materials are synthesized through the alternating copolymerization of epoxides and best rx tramadol carbon dioxide." We believe them.

The Swedish Interactive Institute is showing five conceptual pieces, designed to allow the objects in our homes communicate to with us in different ways and shed light (literally in some cases) on energy consumption habits. They call the exhibit, Innovation for Conservation: Technology and Energy as Design Materials.


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