Electrically driven cars are the future. But until we have cheap, 1000-mile batteries, we still need range-extending fossil-fuel engines.
Those devices don't need to turn wheels, just generate juice. The simple solution is to strap a generator to a piston engine, as BMW did with the two-cylinder range extender in its i3 EV.
But if the engine never turns a wheel, there's no need for it to rotate anything. Why not cut out the middleman and use the piston's reciprocating motion to generate electricity? That obviates camshafts and most other rotating parts, too.
Toyota recently showed a prototype engine that does just that.It's called the Free Piston Engine Linear Generator (FPEG). "Free" refers to the fact that the piston isn't attached to a crankshaft; instead, as the piston is forced downward during its power stroke, it passes through windings in the cylinder to generate a burst of three-phase AC electricity.
At any given moment, the sun bathes the earth in enough solar energy to power the world 10,000 times over. Capturing and converting that energy into usable electricity presents major technical challenges.
Paul Epping's insight:
The effect of stymie growth of solar energy will be that the systems will improve (more powerful) and in the end ... cheap and clean energy will survive, not the 'oil-lobby'.
The Nation Energy management as a corporate strategy The Nation Any company that values sustainability and long-term growth should consider developing a corporate energy management strategy. Not only is ...
When Will Solar Get Cheap Enough for Everyone to Use? Mother Jones Stephen Lacey at Greentech Media provides the striking figures illustrating the exponential growth of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the past few years: It took nearly four ...
”Agricultural research for development is the engine that drives innovation”- Frank Rijsberman, CEO, CGIAR Consortium at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture, Abu Dhabi, February 3, 2014. We have all seen the alarming ...
One answer to the question of why free market capitalism has failed to generate technological solutions to the crisis of climate change is that green innovation simply isn’t as profitable as speculation. In an era when financial markets generate record profits and investment banks are too big to fail, the long work of investment, research and construction of new energy infrastructure simply isn’t attractive to profit-seeking corporations.
Faced with the clear failure of the free market to respond to the approaching dangers of climate change, politicians have reacted by attempting to coax corporations into serving the needs of people as well as the bottom line.
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