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New World Record Set for Solar Cells: 44% Efficiency

New World Record Set for Solar Cells: 44% Efficiency | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Solar Junction have set a new record for high-efficiency solar cells with an unprecedented 44% efficiency rate.

Via Kalani Kirk Hausman
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Novo Site - Sustentabilidade Digital

Novo Site - Sustentabilidade Digital | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
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Innovative South American companies making a mark in environment conservation

Innovative South American companies making a mark in environment conservation | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
South America is stepping up to the plate in terms of creative design company practices. Companies are creating new technology that reinvents the way we use products. Here are the top five innovati...
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Braskem

Innovation is what leads a company like Braskem to create the world’s first certified green polyethylene made from sugarcane. That, and a commitment to sustainable business practices. This company is the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas. With their sustainable technology, the company produces green plastic. The plastic is now being used in products from 19 companies and 23 brands. Products that use Braskem plastic will have an “I’m Green” sticker on it.

 

BCMF Arquitetos

Established in 2001, BCMF Arquitetos is an architectural firm that is increasingly gaining attention. The firm is responsible for the renovation of the Mineirão Stadium, which hosted matches during the 2014 FIFA world cup. BCMF renovated the existing space and turned it into a stadium run completely on solar power. The building is LEED certified and gets most of its water from rainwater harvesting.

 

Magazine Luiza

Magazine Luiza was one of the first Brazilian companies to go into online retail, specifically to open up the market to citizens in small cities. The company still kept their retail stores but put all their stock online so that more people would have access to the products they sold. The challenge that the company faced was the limited amount of people that had access to the internet. Internet use that time was available for people in the upper class bracket. In response, Luiza marketed to higher-income customers and added a store called “You Shop” that allowed people to sell their own products on the marketplace.

 

Wayra

Monte Alto Renovable

In 2012, Monte Alto Forestal and Grant Devine teamed up Alto create Monte Alto Renovable. The combined goal was to create biomass energy projects. It has succeeded in getting hotels in Torres del Paine National Park off the grid by using biofuel. It is also helping a small city in Puerto Natales afford biofuel technology in exchange for lifetime contracts.

 


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California City First To Get 2nd-Generation Proterra Electric Bus

California City First To Get 2nd-Generation Proterra Electric Bus | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Are electric buses the public transit path to the future? Proterra thinks so, and so does the Foothill Transit Authority of West Covina, California. They became the first transit system in the country to offer revenue-based service of a Proterra electric bus in the U.S., and now the small city east of L.A. will be

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Are electric buses the public transit path to the future? Proterra thinks so, and so does the Foothill Transit Authority of West Covina, California. They became the first transit system in the country to offer revenue-based service of a Proterra electric bus in the U.S., and now the small city east of L.A. will be the first to get Proterra’s second-generation, 300+ mile electric bus, reports Green Car Congress.

With a 20.8 MPGe, the Proterra electric bus also offers the lowest cost per passenger, which has compelled the Foothill Transit Authority to purchase two of the second-generation buses, which can add 26 miles of driving in just a few minutes of fast-charging. Officially rated at more than 300 miles of driving per charge, the first-gen buses could go more than 700 miles per day with enough recharging.

This is just the latest battle in the electric bus war, as America’s Proterra goes head-to-head against China’s BYD (which, it should be noted, is building it’s buses stateside). With the two second-generation Proterra buses to be delivered in December of this year, we will move past the first-generation of electric buses with their higher costs and shorter range.

Momentum is building in Proterra’s favor, but BYD isn’t to be dismissed either, as the Chinese automaker has gone all-in with plug-in vehicles for both personal and public transit. Which of these two companies will dominate the public transit landscape in the coming decade?

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Startup Makes a New Kind of Flexible, Printed Battery

Startup Makes a New Kind of Flexible, Printed Battery | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Imprint Energy is developing a long-lasting, bendable, and rechargeable battery.
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A California startup is developing flexible, rechargeable batteries that can be printed cheaply on commonly used industrial screen printers. Imprint Energy, of Alameda, California, has been testing its ultrathin zinc-polymer batteries in wrist-worn devices and hopes to sell them to manufacturers of wearable electronics, medical devices, smart labels, and environmental sensors.

The company’s approach is meant to make the batteries safe for on-body applications, while their small size and flexibility will allow for product designs that would have been impossible with bulkier lithium-based batteries. Even in small formats, the batteries can deliver enough current for low-power wireless communications sensors, distinguishing them from other types of thin batteries.

The company recently secured $6 million in funding from Phoenix Venture Partners, as well as AME Cloud Ventures, the venture fund of Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang, to further develop its proprietary chemistry and finance the batteries’ commercial launch. Previous investors have included CIA-backed venture firm In-Q-Tel and Dow Chemical.

The batteries are based on research that company cofounder Christine Ho began as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, where she collaborated with a researcher in Japan to produce microscopic zinc batteries using a 3-D printer.

The batteries that power most laptops and smartphones contain lithium, which is highly reactive and has to be protected in ways that add size and bulk. While zinc is more stable, the water-based electrolytes in conventional zinc batteries cause zinc to form dendrites, branch-like structures that can grow from one electrode to the other, shorting the battery. Ho developed a solid polymer electrolyte that avoids this problem, and also provides greater stability, and greater capacity for recharging.

Brooks Kincaid, the company’s cofounder and president, says the batteries combine the best features of thin-film lithium batteries and printed batteries. Such thin-film batteries tend to be rechargeable, but they contain the reactive element, have limited capacity, and are expensive to manufacture. Printed batteries are nonrechargeable, but they are cheap to make, typically use zinc, and offer higher capacity.

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Airbus shows E-Fan, its electric plane due in 2017

Airbus shows E-Fan, its electric plane due in 2017 | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The France-based aircraft maker believes there's a place in the market, not just the R&D lab, for the battery-powered two-seater it showed at the Farnborough airshow.
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FARNBOROUGH, England -- Although battery weight may keep electric planes from becoming mainstream in the near future, Airbus believes its E-Fan 2.0 will find a real market: pilot training.

It hopes to begin selling the E-Fan 2.0 in late 2017 for pilot training. That's only one fraction of the plane market. A later planned E-Fan 4.0 with space for four passengers, however, will be aimed at the general-aviation market.

Earlier this year, the company started publicly flying a prototype of the E-Fan 2.0, which weighs just 500kg (1100lbs). For the first time, the France-based aircraft maker showed it off this week at the Farnborough International Airshow here, one of the highest-profile aviation events on the annual calendar and a destination for many top executives and buyers in the industry.

Even though today's model is impractical, Airbus believes electric aircraft will become important in coming years as a way to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from conventional aircraft exhaust and to offer quieter planes. Noise isn't just an issue for people living near airports; quieter planes could be flown at hours that noisier conventional craft are prohibited, so airlines could schedule more flights, Airbus argues.

The E-Fan 2.0 has dual electric motors with a total power of 60kW; they drive two ducted fans with blades whose pitch can be adjusted. With a 120-cell lithium polymer battery, it can fly for one hour before a 15-minute reserve.

Its batteries are passively cooled -- in other words, they rely ultimately on air, not a powered cooling system, to keep them from overheating as they discharge power.

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Global Clean Energy Investment Spikes 33%, Tops $63 Billion

Global Clean Energy Investment Spikes 33%, Tops $63 Billion | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Global clean energy investment has been on a roll lately. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has just reported Q2 results and they're up 9% over Q2 last year. That's chump change compared to this year's quarter-to-quarter movement, which saw a 33% spike from Q1 to Q2.

The new Q2 report follows a strong Q1 for 2014. As
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The new Q2 report follows a strong Q1 for 2014. As to whether or not this signals a long term trend, think Solyndra bankruptcy — but in a good way — and you’ll see why BNEFanalysts are sharing a blue-skies outlook for global clean energy investment.

 Clean Energy By The Numbers

According to today’s BNEF report, the total for Q2 2014 was $63.6 billion, which sounds pretty impressive.

However, the record for global clean energy investment was set at $78 billion back in 2011 and it hit a second-highest mark of $69.6 billion in Q2 2012, so we still have some catching up to do.

You can check out the full report for a more detailed breakdown, but for those of you on the run the Q2 2014 highlights for investment in individual projects include the Netherlands’ record-breaking Gemini offshore wind farm and the Cemex Venitka wind farm in Mexico.

Also cited is the Ashalim 1 concentrating solar power project in Israel’s Negev Desert. That project is of particular interest to CleanTechnica because we had a chance to tour several new solar power plants in the Arava region of the Negev several months ago.

All located on kibbutzes (as is Ashalim 1), the solar projects have been coordinated to replace  diesel generators used by the tourist city of Haifa.

With the diesel-killing angle in mind, the demo projects are also designed as proof-of-concept for exportable solar technology, going head-to-head against cheap diesel generators to capture the growing energy market in Africa and other areas of development.

If you’re looking for a particular reason why BNEF is so optimistic, take a look at what’s going on in Arava and you’ll see that the energy transportation paradigm is shifting away from harvesting and transporting massive quantities of fuel, to a more sustainable model in which energy-harvesting technology is the main export.

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The 2014 Solar World Cup

The 2014 Solar World Cup | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
World Cup 2014: 31 days of madness as the world’s most popular sport has its biggest event of the past four years. We’re working on a couple of stories about solar and the World Cup that we’ll run over the course of the next month, but in honor of kickoff of this world-spanning event, below is … Read more
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World Cup 2014: 31 days of madness as the world’s most popular sport has its biggest event of the past four years.

We’re working on a couple of stories about solar and the World Cup that we’ll run over the course of the next month, but in honor of kickoff of this world-spanning event, below is a short look at how FIFA is working to make this event more environmentally friendly.

Before we start, let’s put the caveat out there that any event that requires hundreds of thousands of travelers to drive, fly or float thousands of miles is going to have an enormous carbon footprint. Not to mention even the waste generated by the event….

Putting that aside as much as we can, let’s talk about the environmental — and particularly the solar — upside to the World Cup.

Brazil Hosts The Most Solar World Cup Yet

While Brazil as a whole is not yet a solar powerhouse, a new report from Greentech Media lists the country as perhaps the most promising solar market in Latin America. GTM’s Latin America PV Playbook predicts that 2014 will double Brazil’s solar capacity — from 38.6 megawatts in 2013 to 72.6 MW this year.

A staggeringly huge chunk of that new generation is coming from solar-powered football stadiums. The British NGO Practical Action has put out a short report detailing just how much solar energy the World Cup can generate: 5.4 MW across four stadiums.

As Practical Action puts it, the 2014 World Cup will generate more solar energy than any previous World Cup, as well as more solar energy than many of the countries competing in the World Cup.

The chart below, from Practical Action’s double-duty World Cup bracket and energy poverty fact sheet [PDF], spells out the discrepancy between what’s happening in Brazil compared to the energy situation in many of the players’ home countries

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Solar Cell Efficiency Rises By 30% Through Singlet Fission

Solar Cell Efficiency Rises By 30% Through Singlet Fission | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Scientists were pretty excited when they discovered you could convert light energy directly into electricity by capturing photons in semiconductors, exciting them into “excitons” (bound electron with negative charge and hole with positive), and capturing the resultant current through electrodes. Now a group of four chemists from the University of California, Riverside, has worked out a
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It’s called “singlet fission,” and by using it, we should be able to boost solar cell efficiency by as much as 30%, providing “Third Generation” solar power. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters published the research results in an Editor’s Choice perspective article last month.

Christopher Bardeen, the chemistry professor whose lab led the research, explains what sent him  along this line of inquiry:

Our research got its launch about ten years ago when we started thinking about solar energy and what new types of photophysics this might require. Global warming concerns and energy security have made solar energy conversion an important subject from society’s point of view. More efficient solar cells would lead to wider use of this clean energy source.

“If a triplet exciton has half the energy of a singlet, then it is possible for one singlet exciton, generated by one photon, to split into two triplet excitons,” Dr. Bardeen explains. “Thus, you could have a 200% yield of excitons—and hopefully, electrons—per absorbed photon.”

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New green lease guidelines focus on people

New green lease guidelines focus on people | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The Building and Construction Authority has launched a new toolkit to improve transparency and accountability of ‘green lease’ agreements between building...
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Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) on Friday launched a new set of guidelines to help commercial building owners and their tenants improve their sustainable green building practices.

The government agency aims to promote the concept of ‘green lease’ agreements, which is about enabling landlords and tenants to work together on increasing energy efficiency, water efficiency and other measures that will make a building more sustainable. This new guidelines will also help improve transparency and accountability between building owners and tenants.

Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs Grace Fu launched the new ‘green lease’ toolkit during the Green Building Exhibition, which was held at Singapore’s Marina Square on Friday until Sunday.

Singapore is currently working on its 3rd Green Building Masterplan, which places people at the heart of the sustainable building agenda and the ‘green lease’ agreement is one way to engage landlords and tenants to collaborate on managing buildings sustainably, Fu told industry professionals during her speech.

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Recharge Wrap-up: Formula E comes to London, hydrogen fueling comes to Denmark

Recharge Wrap-up: Formula E comes to London, hydrogen fueling comes to Denmark | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Denmark gets new hydrogen stations, California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard upheld, London Formula E venue announced.
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Denmark will get four new hydrogen fueling stations from Air Liquide. The French company will put two of the hydrogen stations in Copenhagen, one in Aalborg and the fourth in Vejle. The new fueling stations are in addition to two already existing sites in Copenhagen and Holstebro. Read more at The Daily Fusion.

California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) stands, as the Supreme Court rejects oil and ethanol companies' request to review a previous ruling upholding the plan. LCFS would reduce carbon in California's transportation fuels by 10 percent by 2020. Earlier, California's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld LCFS, when Big Oil and Ethanol claimed the plan was discriminatory toward out-of-state companies. Read more at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The FIA Formula E London ePrix will take place within the grounds of Battersea Park. Deputy Mayor of London Sir Edward Lister announced that the Wandsworth, South London location will be the venue for the final race of the inaugural season of the all-electric series. The season's 10 races will take place in city centers of major cities around the world. Formula E also announced BMW as its official supplier, its second female driver Michela Cerruti and a feature where fans vote for drivers to get a speed boost during the race. Read more in the press release below where you can also check out the video of Formula E cars tearing up the pavement of London's Westminster Bridge.

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Ljubljana wins European Green Capital Award for 2016

Ljubljana wins European Green Capital Award for 2016 | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Slovenian capital Ljubljana has been named European Green Capital 2016 at a ceremony in Copenhagen, the current holder of the Green Capital title. Ljubljana was commended for raising environmental awareness amongst its citizens.
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Slovenian capital Ljubljana has been named European Green Capital 2016 at a ceremony in Copenhagen, the current holder of the Green Capital title. Ljubljana was commended for raising environmental awareness amongst its citizens. The jury also recognised its sustainability strategy 'Vision 2025', which brings together plans covering environmental protection, mobility, energy and electric transport.

In addition, Ljubljana has made significant progress in implementing green procurement policies covering 70 % of all city purchases.

Transportation in Ljubljana has changed dramatically over the past decade. From a city which was rapidly becoming dominated by the car, the focus has now shifted to eco-friendly alternatives. In 2013, Ljubljana modified the traffic flow within the city to limit motorised traffic and give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. Cycling is also increasing. By 2020 the city intends that public transport, non-motorised traffic and private vehicles should each account for a third of all transport.

Twelve cities applied to become European Green Capital 2016. Each entry was assessed by an international panel of 12 experts and five cities were shortlisted – Essen, Ljubljana, Nijmegen, Oslo and Umeå. All the finalists provided real-life examples of how respect for the environment, excellent quality of life and economic growth can all be successfully combined.

The European Green Capital Award is given to a European city that has a record of achieving high environmental standards, is committed to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development and can act as a model to inspire other cities.

Copenhagen, Denmark is the current (2104) Green Capital - www.sharingcopenhagen.dk

British city Bristol is the Green Capital 2015 - www.bristolgreencapital.org

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Donovan Gillman's curator insight, July 2, 8:47 AM

Really looks worth a visit

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Delhi Metro Commissions Its First Rooftop Solar Power Project

Delhi Metro Commissions Its First Rooftop Solar Power Project | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Indian capital city's pride, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, has earned yet another achievement by commissioning its first rooftop solar power project at one of its stations.

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Singapore, Denmark continue collaboration in building sustainable cities

Singapore, Denmark continue collaboration in building sustainable cities | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The Centre for Liveable Cities and the Danish Architecture Centre ink new agreements to extend urban governance exchange programmes.
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The Singapore government through the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) has renewed its partnership with the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC), marking the continuation of the two countries’ collaboration towards building sustainable and liveable cities.

The agreement, which was signed on June 3 on the sidelines of the four-dayWorld Cities Summit in Singapore, looks to extend the urban governance exchange programmes that the two centres have started last year, a statement from the summit said.

The CLC runs various urban governance programmes for city leaders, policy makers, and urban planners who would want to gain more understanding about Singapore’s city planning model. Through its Leaders in Urban Governance Programme (LUGP), CLC teamed up with DAC, which also runs a similar programme called Strategic Urban Governance Programme (SUG). The exchange programme gave opportunity for local public officials enrolled in both programmes to participate in site visits to both countries.

CLC, which was established by Singapore’s Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in 2008 and one of the main organisers of the summit, is involved in research and capability development on how to make Singapore a more progressive and environmentally responsible city.

Meanwhile, DAC is public-private partnership

 

About 65 government directors from Singapore and Denmark have benefitted in the exchange programme, the statement added.

The partnership also paved way fordialogues in Singapore with notable urban leaders, such as Copenhagen’s mayor of administration and chair of the culture and leisure committee Pia Allerslev and world-renowned architect and professor Jan Gehl, CLC said.

Subsequently, CLC hosted 19 Danish executives for site visits in Marina Barrage, the city-state’s largest reservoir, as well as the famous Southern Ridges nature park as part of the inaugural exchange programme. This year, 15 government officials from Denmark also participated in a study visit and attended the summit.

“Denmark and Singapore are two small countries, but they are both absolutely world-leading in terms of making cities liveable and more sustainable and a great inspiration for cities around the world,” noted DAC chairman Fleming Borreskov, adding that the agreement particularly strengthens the good relationship between CLC and DAC.

Copenhagen ranks high among global liveability indices, while Singapore tops in Asia in quality of living surveys. Both countries are also highly commended for its initiatives to promote efficient public modes of transport. 

During the summit, CLC also reaffirmed its research collaboration with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) on how communities can be made more liveable and presented the results of their collaborative research work on ‘Active Mobility’ with Jan Gehl. The research revealed that through careful urban planning, hot and humid Singapore can possibly implement a robust cycling and walking culture.

More than 130 participants, including mayors and city leaders, researchers and urban planners, discussed and debated what makes a ‘smart city’ at the summit, the organisers said - and reached a broad agreement that a smart city must be ‘green’ and should be sustainable and liveable.

between philanthropy organisation Realdania and the Danish government, which focuses on the development and dissemination of knowledge about architecture and urban planning. 

CLC executive director Khoo Teng Chye noted on the success of the programme and the strong friendships built among participants. “After the successful exchange programme for Singaporean and Danish directors last year, we are pleased to work with DAC on the second edition this year,” explained Khoo.

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Ferramenta inovadora para identificar os produtos mais sustentáveis

Ferramenta inovadora para identificar os produtos mais sustentáveis | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Ferramenta inovadora para identificar os produtos mais sustentáveis

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Uma plataforma para a eficiência energética (EE) de geração de impactos positivos moderno associados com a redução do consumo de energia, principalmente em casas e veículos, é o objetivo da "eficiência energética no Chile Topten bens de consumo."
A ferramenta tem como objetivo apoiar a redução de custos e melhorar a competitividade. Ela também ajuda a reduzir as contas de combustível e electricidade, permitindo resolver energética nacional e os desafios do clima e, por sua vez, gerar uma sociedade ativamente poder.

Uma iniciativa que visa construir e operar uma plataforma de informação online que destaca os produtos mais eficientes no consumo do mercado interno, que permite aos consumidores acessar informações neutras, rigorosa e transparente para fazer apropriada quando as decisões de compra de bens de consumo é o que a proposta de "eficiência energética no Chile Topten bens de consumo" do projeto.

O projeto contribui para a redução do consumo de energia de 20% em 2025 e trabalha com o desenvolvimento de "um setor eficiente da energia e do Consumidor Gerencia" eixo 5 da Agenda de Energia apresentado pelo governo, fornecendo bases técnicas para a criação de um quadro jurídico, que converteu com êxito para a eficiência energética (EE) em uma política de Estado de longo prazo.

Com base na iniciativa internacional voluntária e sem fins lucrativos, que há mais de 10 anos apoia a inovação em três continentes (Topten China, Topten Topten EUA e Europa). Topten Chile busca estimular a demanda por produtos eficientes através da criação de um "ponto de referência" ou sistema web dinâmico em comparação com os produtos mais eficientes em mercados domésticos. A ferramenta oferece apoio à eficiência energética em massa, complementando a rotulagem nacional EE empurrando assim os mercados em avançar para as melhores tecnologias disponíveis.

O projeto também visa melhorar a qualidade de vida dos consumidores residenciais, a fim de reduzir as contas de combustível e electricidade, permitindo contribuir activamente para resolver os desafios energéticos e climáticos nacionais e, por sua vez, gerar um ativamente com poderes sociedade.

O gerente-assistente de Energia Sustentável Fundação Chile, Ana María Ruz, observou que "Topten permite mercados transparentes e influência as decisões de compra de produtos rotulados no Chile, como geladeiras, freezers e carros, entre outros. Isto permite a economia de energia diretos são estimados sobreUS US $ 200 milhões de 10 anos de aplicação. "

Além disso, a plataforma de aplicações web e informações celularesentrega maneira amigável e atualizado continuamente através das fotos e técnicas 10productos que têm as melhores características de desempenho. Isso motiva os produtores e importadores para atender a demanda de clientes informados trazendo ao mercado nacional as melhores tecnologias disponíveis.

A iniciativa tem o apoio do WWF, como objetivos Topten apoiar sua missão, ou seja, para promover o uso sustentável dos recursos do planeta, reduzir a poluição e aumentar as fontes de energia renováveis.

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Google’s $1M Challenge: A Laptop-Sized Solar Inverter

Google’s $1M Challenge: A Laptop-Sized Solar Inverter | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
“Little Box” challenge now accepting ideas for major shrinkage in power conversion tech
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Back in May, Google announced its Little Box challenge, a $1 million prize for technology that can radically shrink the size and weight of inverters. This week, it opened the contest to applicants, announced the IEEE as a partner, and clarified just how small it’s hoping to get with the next-generation power conversion technologies.

According to Google’s Tuesday blog post, its goal is to shrink today’s picnic-cooler-sized DC-to-AC inverters, used to connect solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and other grid edge devices, into something “the size of a small laptop, roughly 1/10th its current size.” In technical terms, that equates to a kilowatt-scale inverter with a power density greater than 50 watts per cubic inch.

Google’s Little Box challenge specifications document (PDF) offers a lot more details, including minimum efficiency (95 percent), how hot to the touch it can get (60 degrees Celsius), and a slew of specs for how the devices can interact with the grid. But all of these are more or less standard solar inverter requirements -- it’s the size that matters most.

Getting today’s inverters down to laptop size will require some revolutionary new materials and design concepts, according to MJ Shiao, director of GTM's solar research.  Today’s inverter manufacturers are pushing the higher bounds of efficiency, and "investing into the operational, value, feature side of the inverter may show more returns -- not that there's no value in investing in smaller footprints," he said. "Smaller, more efficient designs clearly have some return. Fitting more power into the same footprint can lead to lower electrical balance of systems and logistical costs."

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Honda Uni-Cub é essencialmente um banco com duas rodas @sustentadigital

Honda Uni-Cub é essencialmente um banco com duas rodas @sustentadigital | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Para conduzir o Uni-Cub, basta inclinar na direção que você quer ir
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Installing a Residential Wind Turbine for Your Home

Installing a Residential Wind Turbine for Your Home | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Installing a Residential Wind Turbine for Your Home Power from home-based wind turbines can be used locally, or sold back to the utility to offset power costs. Utilities buy green power from homeowners at retail rates, rather than the lower wholesale rates that the large generating stations receive. There is a great deal of power …

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FARNBOROUGH, England -- Although battery weight may keep electric planes from becoming mainstream in the near future, Airbus believes its E-Fan 2.0 will find a real market: pilot training.

It hopes to begin selling the E-Fan 2.0 in late 2017 for pilot training. That's only one fraction of the plane market. A later planned E-Fan 4.0 with space for four passengers, however, will be aimed at the general-aviation market.

Earlier this year, the company started publicly flying a prototype of the E-Fan 2.0, which weighs just 500kg (1100lbs). For the first time, the France-based aircraft maker showed it off this week at the Farnborough International Airshow here, one of the highest-profile aviation events on the annual calendar and a destination for many top executives and buyers in the industry.

Even though today's model is impractical, Airbus believes electric aircraft will become important in coming years as a way to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from conventional aircraft exhaust and to offer quieter planes. Noise isn't just an issue for people living near airports; quieter planes could be flown at hours that noisier conventional craft are prohibited, so airlines could schedule more flights, Airbus argues.

The E-Fan 2.0 has dual electric motors with a total power of 60kW; they drive two ducted fans with blades whose pitch can be adjusted. With a 120-cell lithium polymer battery, it can fly for one hour before a 15-minute reserve.

Its batteries are passively cooled -- in other words, they rely ultimately on air, not a powered cooling system, to keep them from overheating as they discharge power.

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Harvesting energy from humidity: Free, green energy from leaping water droplets

Harvesting energy from humidity: Free, green energy from leaping water droplets | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The study of a super-hydrophobic surface has led to discovery of a method for generating power from condensation. Condensing water droplets literally leap off the surface and produce an electric charge that can be harvested.
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It’s time to get rid of that dehumidifier — you are just throwing awayfree energy by sucking all the moisture out of the air, according to some new research published by a team from MIT. Postdoc researchers Nenad Miljkovic and engineering professor Evelyn Wang figured out last year that water droplets jumping off a hydrophobic surface could gain an electric charge, but now they’re worked out how to capture that energy, essentially pulling power out of thin air.

The team happened upon this mechanism quite by accident. The goal when the leaping water was discovered was to design a more efficient heat transfer material for power plants. That’s not nearly as sexy as conjuring power from humidity, but Miljkovic and Wang noticed something odd when working with a super-hydrophobic surface (pictured above). The condensing water droplets sometimes spontaneously jumped away from the hydrophobic surface, which was the goal as it cools much more efficiently. They didn’t expect the water droplets to produce an electric charge in the process, and that may have significant ramifications.

It’s the natural tendency of water to flow away from a hydrophobic surface, but in turning the leaping water into a viable method of power generation, the researchers had to give it somewhere to go. To encourage the water droplets to take a leap, a hydrophilic surface was placed just above the hydrophobic one. So the water really wants to make the trip from hydrophobic to hydrophilic, and it brings a few electrons along for the ride. The charge difference between the two plates can then be used to provide power.

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Panasonic’s Power Supply Container brings electricity to remote Indonesian islands

Panasonic’s Power Supply Container brings electricity to remote Indonesian islands | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
A stand-alone photovoltaic power container is being trialled in an Indonesian school prior to a potential wider rollout in off-grid areas. A new stand-alone photovoltaic power package which could solve electricity problems for remote off-grid areas is to be trialled in Indonesia in July. Many inhabitants of the country’s 13,000 islands currently lack access to electricity. The Power Supply Container [pictured], which does not require professional assembly, contains 12 Panasonic HIT 240 solar modules capable of generating approximately 3kW of electricity, and is equipped with 24 leadacid storage batteries which can supply stored power (17.2kWh total).
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A new stand-alone photovoltaic power package which could solve electricity problems for remote off-grid areas is to be trialled in Indonesia in July. Many inhabitants of the country’s 13,000 islands currently lack access to electricity. The Power Supply Container [pictured], which does not require professional assembly, contains 12 Panasonic HIT 240 solar modules capable of generating approximately 3kW of electricity, and is equipped with 24 leadacid storage batteries which can supply stored power (17.2kWh total). “Island communities are at the forefront of many sustainability challenges, and solutions like this can point the way to a sustainable economy for the rest of the world”, says Will Dawson, Head of Energy at Forum for the Future. Panasonic’s newly developed Power Supply Control Unit will act as an energy management system, monitoring the surplus electricity level of the lead-acid batteries and controlling supply and demand, which Panasonic claim will heavily reduce deterioration, life-cycle cost and the maintenance requirements of the batteries. - See more at: http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/panasonic%E2%80%99s-power-supply-container-brings-electricity-remote-indonesian#sthash.HCtk0qeC.dpuf

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Brazil’s Mineirão is the First World Cup Stadium Completely Powered by the Sun

Brazil’s Mineirão is the First World Cup Stadium Completely Powered by the Sun | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
An initiative by local electricity company CEMIG, Brazil’s Mineirão soccer stadium now features a whopping six thousand solar panels on its roof.
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While the world watches the nerve-racking matches being played inside, our eyes are completely dazed by what's going on outside the Mineirão stadium. This 1965 soccer stadium in Belo Horizonte was recently equipped with a whopping 6,000 solar panels on its roof just in time for the international competition. An initiative by local electricity company CEMIG, this is the first ever World Cup stadium completely powered by the sun.

Originally built in 1965, the public listed Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto is one of this year’s World Cup venues. Topped with 6,000 rooftop solar panels, it doubles as a complete photovoltaic solar plant (USF) capable of supplying power to 1,200 households. The plant was built by the Minas Gerais State Electricity Company (CEMIG), in partnership with German bank kfW and Minas Arena, the group that manages the Mineirão.

Related: Brazil Cuts the Ribbon on Mineirão Stadium’s New $16.1m Solar Roof

Because the panels produce more energy than is necessary to power the stadium (1,600 megawatts-hour per year), 10 percent of the remaining power goes directly to regular consumers.

Although the Mineirão is the First World Cup stadium completely supplied by solar power, is not the first one in the world. This idea takes inspiration from Germany’s Freiburg and Switzerland’s Bern stadium, which also works thanks to the brightest star.

 

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$5.1 Trillion to be Invested in Renewable Energy by 2030

$5.1 Trillion to be Invested in Renewable Energy by 2030 | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
$5.1 trillion dollars is one very big number. It’s a figure equal to just a little less than one-third of the U.S. economy’s annual GDP. $5.1 trillion is the amount that will be invested by 2030 to build new power plants that use renewable energy, according to a Bloomberg News Energy Finance report. Out ofRead More
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$5.1 trillion dollars is one very big number. It’s a figure equal to just a little less than one-third of the U.S. economy’s annual GDP. $5.1 trillion is the amount that will be invested by 2030 to build new power plants that use renewable energy, according to a Bloomberg News Energy Finance report. Out of 5,000 gigawatts of power generation capacity to be added worldwide by 2030, renewable power will account for 4,000 gigawatts—nearly 80 percent of all new capacity. The leading technology in these new clean energy installations will be solar power, say the Bloomberg analysts. They predict that solar will be economically competitive with other power sources by 2020.

Falling prices for solar cells are making this power source a profitable business that doesn’t depend on subsidies for support. Decreasing prices for wind turbines are also driving the growth of wind power. Solar and wind power’s combined share of global generation will rise to 16 percent of the world’s total by 2030, up from its current 3 percent, predicts the Bloomberg forecast. And the report notes that this growth is taking place despite the downsizing of incentives for renewable energy from the U.S. and German governments. Since 2011, annual investment in renewable energy technologies has totaled more than the dollars invested in fossil fuel power generation. This upward trend for clean energy shows every sign of continuing to rise.

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New green lease guidelines focus on people

New green lease guidelines focus on people | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The Building and Construction Authority has launched a new toolkit to improve transparency and accountability of ‘green lease’ agreements between building...
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Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) on Friday launched a new set of guidelines to help commercial building owners and their tenants improve their sustainable green building practices.

The government agency aims to promote the concept of ‘green lease’ agreements, which is about enabling landlords and tenants to work together on increasing energy efficiency, water efficiency and other measures that will make a building more sustainable. This new guidelines will also help improve transparency and accountability between building owners and tenants.

Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs Grace Fu launched the new ‘green lease’ toolkit during the Green Building Exhibition, which was held at Singapore’s Marina Square on Friday until Sunday.

Singapore is currently working on its 3rd Green Building Masterplan, which places people at the heart of the sustainable building agenda and the ‘green lease’ agreement is one way to engage landlords and tenants to collaborate on managing buildings sustainably, Fu told industry professionals during her speech.

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Hertz And Zem2All Partner To Create Additional City Mobility

Hertz And Zem2All Partner To Create Additional City Mobility | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Hertz and electric charging operator Zem2All have announced a partnership that aims to put more sustainable vehicles on the city streets of Malaga and elsewhere across Spain.
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Hertz and electric chargingoperator Zem2All have announced a partnership that aims to put more sustainable vehicles on the city streets of Malaga and elsewhere across Spain.

“As a leader in the car rental industry, Hertz is well positioned to help customers and cities to gain first-hand experience with electric vehicles, said the company’s Michel Tirade. “We strongly believe that investing in innovative and convenient solutions that reduce the environmental impacts of travel is an important step towards sustainable transport on a global scale. In partnership with Zem2All, we will be working to create a compelling electric drive transport model that can be easily exported to other cities.”

The Hertz program will deliver zero-emissions electrical rental vehicles at a number of major locations across the city including its airport, various hotels and standalone outlets. The commercial rental program will employ the Nissan Leaf sedan, and will be based on an initial fleet of 160 vehicles.

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Green investors favor Apple after environmental reforms

Green investors favor Apple after environmental reforms | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
By Ross Kerber | 17 June 2014 (Reuters) – Apple Inc, criticized in the past for greenhouse gas emissions, use of toxic materials and the hiring of underage workers, has …
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Apple Inc, criticized in the past for greenhouse gas emissions, use of toxic materials and the hiring of underage workers, has improved its practices and earned better scores from groups such as Greenpeace. That’s good news for environmentally-aware mutual funds that hold Apple for another big reason – it makes money.

The Cupertino, California-based maker of the iPhone, the world’s biggest public company by market capitalization, has adopted a slew of green policies such as expanded product recycling and using solar power at its data centers. For managers who have made it a favorite of the largest “green” mutual funds tracked by Thomson Reuters’ Lipper unit, the improvements bolster the appeal of a stock that’s risen 15 percent this year, 19th best among the Standard & Poor’s 100 index.

The confluence of a rising price and improving environmental performance make Apple “the one stock you just can’t ignore,” said Anthony Tursich, senior portfolio manager of the $498 million Portfolio 21 Global Equity Fund, a green fund that bought Apple in 2011 after the company began providing more emissions data.

Tursich’s biggest holding is Google Inc, which he bought only after it made progress on renewable energy, reflecting how top U.S. corporations are embracing green goals, and how the funds jump on those firms once they start making those environmental moves.

Environmental fund managers may be broadening their shopping lists in part because they have more money to deploy: For the 12 months ended April 30 investors put $1.9 billion of new money into the 72 funds tracked by Lipper that use environmental criteria in their investment decisions. That’s still tiny relative to the $247.6 billion that went into all U.S. equity funds, but represents a 5 percent inflow that Lipper research head Tom Roseen said was significant. The bulk of the new money, more than $1 billion, went into the dominant $9.5 billion Parnassus Core Equity Fund, Lipper said..

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Five eco-friendly gadgets to use in our daily lives

Five eco-friendly gadgets to use in our daily lives | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Going green has become a necessity now to save the planet and if our day-to-day gadgets can be made sustainable then it will mean a lot in saving our environment. Apart from being eco-friendly thes...
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Google Self-Driving Cars May Get A New Laser Measurement System

Google Self-Driving Cars May Get A New Laser Measurement System | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The Light-Radar (LIDAR) measurement system in Google’s self-driving cars is central to the drivability of the self-drive, since it identifies both the location and distance of relevant obstacles in real-time, thereby allowing the vehicle to avoid collisions as it moves across its appointed waypoint map.
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Part of the challenge associated with high-risk research and development is considering the cost of systems that evolve over time. It is difficult to create something ‘new and innovative’, when critical systems have never seen the light of product shelves either, and instead exist only as one-off components that may, or may not work the first time ‘round.

This is true in the case of the recently re-discovered Google’s self-driving cars, and particularly, its Light-Radar (LIDAR) measurement system. This component is central to the drivability of the self-drive, since it identifies both the location and distance of relevant obstacles in real-time, thereby allowing the vehicle to avoid collisions as it moves across its appointed waypoint map.

 

Currently the Google LIDAR system costs approximately $80k per unit. That would be an acceptable cost if Google’s development vehicles were likely to be used only in a purely closed-course basis going forward. But now, with the recent conclusion of a series of practical city-test agreements in California and Nevada, the nature of the test program will require more budget-minding, as the company’s heretofore prototypes begin to evolve toward more productized variants.

That said, however, a group of developers at UC Berkeley have come up with a ‘smarter’ approach to the challenge of real-time laser measurement, by proposing to eliminate Google’s current rotating electro-mechanical ‘top-hat’ system, in favor of what they refer to as frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) packaging. According to the group, the FMCW system will provide the self-drive with the same level safety measurement at a considerably lower price point.

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