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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Reflecting Crops Could Reduce Global Warming

Written by , on January 18, 2009

British researchers, writing in the Current Biology journal, say that growing crop varieties that reflect more sunlight into space could cool much of Europe, North America and parts of North Asia by up to one degree Celsius during the summer growing season. "We found that different varieties of most food crops do differ in how […]  Read more »

Tesla Technology for Smart Cars

Written by , on January 14, 2009

Tesla Motors has signed a deal to provide Daimler with the battery technology that will power 1,000 electric Smart city cars which could be on the road by the end of the year. Tesla has been working with the German automaker for more than a year to develop a battery pack and charger for the […]  Read more »

House Powered by Prius

Written by , on January 13, 2009

John Sweeney, a Harvard, Massachusetts electrical engineer used his Toyota Prius to power part of his house during a three-day blackout last month. Mr Sweeney used an inverter to convert direct current from the car battery to 120-volt alternating current for the refrigerator, freezer, the fan for a wood stove, television and some lights. He […]  Read more »

Ocean Iron Fertilization to Be Tested

Written by , on January 13, 2009

For some time, it has been argued that fertilizing parts of the ocean with iron filings would increase the rate of photosynthesis in phytoplankton, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the ocean. This would sequester carbon dioxide for long enough to slow global warming. However scientists have been concerned that the effect on […]  Read more »

Google Patents Wave-powered Data Centre

Written by , on January 13, 2009

Google has filed a patent for a wave-powered data centre. The data centre would also use sea water for cooling. There are currently an estimated 44 million servers in use worldwide. These use about 0.5% of the world’s electricity – about the same amount as Argentina or the Netherlands. Google’s patent envisages using existing technology, […]  Read more »

Restaurants Generate Electricity from Waste Oil

Written by , on January 13, 2009

A Massachusetts company, Vegawatt, has developed a generator which produces electricity from waste oil from restaurants’ deep fryers. Vegawatt’s founder and inventor, James Peret, estimates that restaurants purchasing the $22,000 machine will save about $1,000 per month in electricity costs, for a payback time of two years. Vegawatt is derived from the home-brew fuel movement […]  Read more »

Hybrid and Electric Cars Announced

Written by , on January 13, 2009

Alternative energy vehicle announcement at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show have been dominated by Asian manufacturers. Toyota unveilled its third-generation Prius which will be on sale in America in a few months. The new Prius is more powerful and slightly roomier than the old model but lighter and more fuel-efficient. Toyota has also announced a […]  Read more »

Fuel-from-CO2 Bacteria Ready for Pilot Plant

Written by , on January 6, 2009

Researchers at Synthetic Genomics claim that they have genetically altered bacteria to rapidly build lipids from just carbon dioxide and water. Lipids come in a range of forms and serve many functions in cells such as storing energy and forming membranes. The Synthetic Genomics bacteria secrete the lipids which can be used directly in oil […]  Read more »

China to Build Gigawatt Photovoltaic Plant

Written by , on January 4, 2009

Two Chinese companies have announced plans to build a solar photovoltaic power plant in northwestern China that will eventually supply 1,000 megawatts of electric power. China Technology Development Group Corp and Qinghai New Energy Group will begin building the first stage –  a 30 megawatt solar power station – in China’s Qaidam Basin this year […]  Read more »

New Energy-dense Electric Storage Unit Patented

Written by , on January 3, 2009

A Texas company, EEStor Inc, has patented what it describes as an "energy-dense electric storage unit" (EESU) which it claims can provide ten times the energy of lead-acid batteries at one-tenth the weight and half the price and could power a car for 400 kilometers after a five-minute charge. Unlike lithium-ion cells, the technology is […]  Read more »