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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Studies Find No Health Problems from Wind Farms

Written by , on January 31, 2012

Several recent studies have reported that they have been unable to find any credible evidence of health problems caused by living close to wind farms – although there may be significant annoyance at the noise. The U.S. State of Massachusetts has published a "Wind Turbine Health Impact Study". The panel of health and engineering experts […]  Read more »

Turning Seaweed into Fuel

Written by , on January 31, 2012

Seaweed would seem to an ideal source of biomass for making renewable fuels. Kelp has a high sugar content; it doesn’t need farmland or fresh water and large quantities can be sustainably harvested. Harvesting the kelp which is already growing along 3% of the world’s coastlines could potentially produce 60 billion gallons of ethanol. The […]  Read more »

Our Latest YouTube Video

Written by , on January 26, 2012

A new GreenBiz Cafe video is now on YouTube. Take a look:  Read more »

It’s Not about Protecting Authors and Artists

Written by , on January 19, 2012

We have just seen widespread protests aginst the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act. Proponents of these Acts claim that they want to encourage creativity by protecting the rights of authors, artists and musicians. But copyright law is not about protecting authors, artists and musicians. It is, and always has been, […]  Read more »

Fish-friendly Turbine

Written by , on January 16, 2012

The U.S. Electric Power Research Institute is currently testing a turbine designed for generating hydroelectricity with significantly reduced fish mortality. The turbine, designed by Alden Laboratories, aims to provide safer passage for fish migrating downstream. Current methods of protecting fish, such as bypasses and non-generating spills, are estimated to reduce the amount of hydroelectic power […]  Read more »

The Most Efficient Design for Capturing Sunlight Is … the Sunflower

Written by , on January 13, 2012

Scientists from  MIT and RWTH Aachen University in Germany, have developed a computer program to calculate the efficiency of various layouts of heliostats, and tested it using the details of a real-life CSP plant, the PS10 plant outside Seville, Spain. The researchers found that the most efficient arrangement is a spiral with the heliostats arranged […]  Read more »

A Better Thermostat from the iPhone Designer

Written by , on January 13, 2012

Tony Fadell, who led the team which designed the first eighteen generations of  the iPod and the first three iPhones, has come up with the Nest thermostat for air conditioning systems. As you might expect, it looks a lot better and is much easier to use than current thermostats – and it also has some […]  Read more »

Solid State Batteries – More Power and No Fire Risk

Written by , on January 11, 2012

Solid-state batteries store energy in thin, solid film, rather than in a liquid like conventional lithium ion batteries. They are much lighter than standard batteries and, unlike standard lithium ion gatteries, they are not prone to catch fire when they are stressed. One company working on developing solid state lithium ion batteries is Sakti3 Inc, […]  Read more »

Advance Could Enable Solar Powered Phones

Written by , on January 11, 2012

Molecular Solar Ltd, a company spun out of the UK’s University of Warwick, has demonstrated a record voltage of more than 4 volts from organic photovoltaic solar cells. Being able to achieve 4 volts means that low cost organic PV cells could be used for built-in charging of handheld electronic devices, such as mobile phones […]  Read more »

Paint-on Solar Cells Advance

Written by , on January 9, 2012

A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward creating an inexpensive "solar paint" that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy. The team coated nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. The particles were then suspended in a water-alcohol mixture to create a […]  Read more »