By Sarah ParsonsPosted 09.16.2011 at 2:30 pm 45 Comments
Among homeowners, wind energy has never caught on, in large part because personal turbines are often noisy and inefficient. Most turbines need strong winds to turn a heavy central generator and create current, a design with two main disadvantages. First, the gears make a lot of noise. Plus, the generator is positioned at the blades’ center, which moves at one tenth the speed of the periphery. And less speed translates to less power.
Hoping to take advantage of its violent volcanic heritage, Iceland is contemplating building the world’s biggest undersea electric cable, so it can sell geothermal power to other European nations. If it works, it could export enough electricity to power 1.25 million homes.
Cruising along in a car of their own design--part kite surfer, part wind power turbine, part EV--a German duo has driven across the vast majority of southern Australia on about $15 worth of electricity. According to their own account they’ve set several records for their particular class of vehicle in doing so, and we’re inclined to believe them if only for the fact that we’ve never seen anything else quite like the “Wind Explorer.”
A few years ago, R. Bruce McDonald figured it was time to do something unique with his 1966 Cub Cadet. The obvious solution was of course to remove the stock 12 HP Kohler engine and replace it with a Garrett GTP 30-67 gas turbine.
An underwater energy extractor that doesn't harm sea life
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 05.20.2010 at 10:36 am 13 Comments
Today's featured Invention Award winner is the ECO-Auger, which accesses tidal energy without harming marine life.
W. Scott Anderson spent the past five decades creating complicated machines for manufacturing, including a lipstick labeler and a plastic-straw maker. So when two years ago the 77-year-old industrial engineer invented a fish-friendly underwater turbine that looks like a giant screw, it seemed a cruel twist of fate that every manufacturer he approached said it was too complex to produce economically. But that didn't stop him.
Several past Olympic hosts have promised greener events, but Rio de Janeiro could set a new standard with a solar-powered artificial waterfall building that operates day or night. The eye-catching Solar City Tower represents one of the standout entries in the International Architecture Competition for the Olympic Games 2016, according to TreeHugger.
Clouds form in the wake of the front row of wind turbines at the Horns Rev offshore wind farm near Denmark.
Clouds stream in the wake of wind turbines arrayed at the Horns Rev offshore wind farm in this stunning photo. But David MacKay, a physicist at the University of Cambridge in the UK, sees the image as illustrating the common problem of back-row wind turbines losing power relative to the front row.