Trash, as it turns out, is an attractive feedstock. There are several commercial companies developing technologies that use wastes as fuel. The military currently burns its trash in incinerators, emitting icky emissions and eating up a lot of fuel, time, and human power since it takes quite a few people to run one. Also, cutting down on the use of diesel fuel is especially important since the trucks that haul the fuel are basically moving targets sure to make huge bangs. They have developed a prototype generator that uses trash as fuel to generate power. The generator is called TGER (“tiger”) and the acronym stands for Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery. The prototype, which uses a variety of technologies to run an electrical generator, will be tested until August. The purpose of the unit is to cut down on the amount of diesel fuel used and to cut down on the amount of garbage that camps generate, which are security risks. The wet and dry wastes are separated. The dry trash is crushed, pelletized, and fed into a gasifier where the pellets are heated until they’re turned into synthetic gas, which then fuels the generator. The wet waste is converted with the use to enzymes into hydrous ethanol, which is then blended with synthetic gas to boost the generator’s output to 55 kW.
As the fuel prices are expected to escalate to dizzying heights, the options to find a reliable alternative are the primary concern for scientists and researchers. It’s not everyday such breakthroughs are achieved in which a team manages to keep a hydrogen vehicle powered for six days without needing any refueling. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have successfully achieved a world record for the maximum distance travelled by a hydrogen powered car. Until now the fleet of hydrogen-electric Toyota Prius’s sold in the market and used by some city governments, run on compressed hydrogen gas, and have a limited range of around 80 miles between refuels. Even a pretty un-ambitious three-gallon tank fills the entire trunk of a Prius, yet still only enables a range of approximately 200 miles, which does not qualify as a gasoline competitor. By using liquid hydrogen, this takes up around a third of the volume of compressed gas.
Batteries dying out at multi-day events are not an unfamiliar sight today, but simply having a conventional power dispenser is not an easy option for event managers. To keep mobile phone users from avoiding such events, Mobile Operator Orange is working with a renewable energy company Gotwind, the recharge Pod is an evolution of the Orange portable wind charger, tested at 2007’s Glastonbury Festival. The recharge Pod will be stationed within the Pennard Hill camping grounds at Glastonbury and will be a free service allowing all festival goers to charge their mobile phones throughout the weekend. Over 7 meters in height, the free standing “recharge Pod” is a self sufficient unit that supports a wind generator and solar panels and can charge up to 100 mobile phones per hour.
Although the picture shows a totally cultivable land concretized and converted into a solar farm, this is somehow a green solution to the energy crisis that we face today. Far West Rice Mills in Nelson, Calif., on Wednesday dedicated a one megawatt solar array that will provide three-fourths of its electricity. The Global energy crisis have hit business bottom lines hard, that’s the reasons Corporations and agribusiness invest in these systems to get a predictable electricity price over several years, to keep a check against rising prices.
Trying to fit a compact car with revolutionary fuel technology or electric components is a quiet hard to do at present or when the technology itself is experimental. However the dynamics change with bigger vehicles as many more components can be easily placed and studied in much more detail. That’s exactly what Ford is trying to do with its F650 trucks. Smith Electric Vehicles along with Ford plans on producing commercial electric vehicles for Europe and North America. The first of these vehicles was unveiled at the Commercial Vehicle Show as the Faraday mark II, a pure electric truck using the Ford F650 chassis cab, with a GVW of up to 13,000kg.
The US and India both rely on coal for its power generation needs; the US has now initiated a 10 year joint venture to produce and share technology for emission free power between both countries. FutureGen is a $1Billion a year plan to build a zero-emission, coal-fired electric and hydrogen production plant. It aims to integrate advanced technologies in coal gasification, extracting hydrogen from coal, power generation, carbon dioxide containment, and geologic storage. Around 55% of India’s total power consumption is based on coal. Last year, 500 million tons of coal was used for power generation in India.
To coincide with Hokkaido Toyako Summit, the G8 summit, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan is constructing a futuristic residential house the Zero Emission House.The Zero Emission House is a single-storied steel structure prefabricated house with a total floor area of approximately 200m2and an exterior that has been designed to imbue traditional Japanese beauty. The house will showcase state-of-the-art Japanese energy and environmental technology to the world, with features including a 14.5kW capacity photovoltaic generation system, energy efficient lighting, a household fuel cell, and energy saving household appliances.
There was a time in the early 1990s when Fighter pilots would use their government allotted fighters to fly to remote locations for golf matches with teammates who were co-pilots in some other part of the country. Those days pilots never even imagined that the prices of fuels would rise to such levels. A $1 per barrel increase in the price of oil costs U.S. $130 million. A B-52 bomber has a 50,000 gallon fuel tank, when all filled up, his fleet of 60 plus B-52s hold a total of 5 million gallons of JP-8 jet fuel. Defense planners are now looking to alternative fuel sources and synthetic fuel blends to help cushion the impact of rising oil prices. The goal is to have every aircraft using synthetic fuel blends by 2011.
Sumitomo Electric claims to have developed the world’s first automobile powered by a superconducting motor. A high-temperature superconducting motor cooled by liquid nitrogen powers the electric passenger sedan, which is a modified Toyota Crown Comfort. Apparently Superconductors are energy-efficient materials that can carry electrical current without resistance and are used in applications ranging from medical devices to linear motors for trains. Sumitomo’s motor uses high-temperature superconducting wires replacing the copper wire usually used in the coils in electric vehicle motors. According to the company the prototype vehicle can travel more than 10% farther than conventional electric vehicles running on the same type of battery.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced five of the first customers for its advanced new FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle and also provided details of the world’s first fuel cell vehicle dealership network in the United States. Film producer Ron Yerxa will take delivery of the first FCX Clarity in July. The remaining four early adopters for Honda’s next-generation fuel cell vehicle are author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis and her filmmaker husband Christopher Guest; business owner and car enthusiast Jim Salomon; actress Laura Harris; and Jon Spallino, already the world’s first retail fuel cell vehicle customer, who has been leasing the current generation FCX since 2005. Yerxa, Harris and Spallino attended the event in Japan.