Students compete to design energy-efficient, battery-powered rail vehicles

June 7, 2018 by  
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Students in Sweden showed off creative designs for energy efficient , battery-powered rail vehicles at the Delsbo Electric competition in late May. One team set a new record, for the “lowest energy consumption per person-kilometer ever for a man-made engine driven vehicle.” According to an emailed statement, the winning vehicle could transport a person around 1,640 feet with the energy of a single Google search. Dalarna University students won the Delsbo Electric 2018 competition with the Eximus III, which transported six people from Delsbo to Fredriksfors and back on a track around two miles long. The average weight of the passengers was over 110 pounds, and the vehicle speed was more than six miles per hour. Eximus III’s energy consumption was 0.63 watt-hours (Wh) per person-kilometer, the lowest ever recorded for a man-made vehicle powered by an engine. Related: Swedish students design one of the world’s most energy-efficient rail-bound vehicles Students also competed for the HHK Innovation Award, given by experts from company Hudiksvalls Hydraulikkluster (HHK). Linköping University students nabbed that prize for Helios, which boasted a vehicle body and wheels comprised almost entirely of wood  and a windshield made from recycled plastic . Solar panels atop the roof provided clean power. Emil Fernlund, a member of the team, said in a video , “Our whole approach is based on sustainable design . We want to show that you can build energy efficiently and use renewable materials .” Chairman of the HHK Innovation Award jury and HHK Cluster Manager Paul Bogatir said in a statement, “Helios is a beautiful concept and it inspires the industry and the world to think about energy efficiency during the whole product life cycle — not just when the product is in use.” One team, from the Chalmers University of Technology , showed off a prototype for a Maglev train that could travel on existing tracks. While it’s not ready to be implemented yet, the students hope people will be able to ride it in a few years. + Delsbo Electric + Linköping University Images courtesy of Hudiksvalls Hydraulikkluster / Delsbo Electric

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Students compete to design energy-efficient, battery-powered rail vehicles

Trump’s nuclear bailout could cost consumers up to $17 billion each year

June 7, 2018 by  
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The Trump Administration is taking unprecedented steps to bail out failing nuclear and coal power plants, effectively nationalizing the American energy market with potentially drastic consequences for the renewable energy industry and the American consumer. According to an updated report from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), the Trump Administration’s plan could result in artificially high electricity prices. The planned subsidies for nuclear power plants alone could increase the overall cost of electricity in the U.S. by up to $17 billion each year; the subsidies for coal plants would add even more. This skewing of the American energy market, which has recently seen significant progress made by wind and solar energy, could also result in the decline of renewable energy in the U.S. “By pushing for a nationwide bailout for nuclear power and coal, the Trump administration is rushing headlong into an energy buzz saw, and they don’t even seem to know it,” NIRS executive director Tim Judson said in a statement. It should come as no surprise to those who have followed President Trump that he would take steps to support coal and nuclear power at the expense of renewable energy. What is surprising is the heavy-handedness with which his administration is attempting to directly subsidize failing businesses, thereby ignoring the Republican Party’s long-held belief in the supremacy of a market free from government intrusion. By doing so, Trump could decimate the renewable energy industry, which employs more American workers than coal and nuclear combined. Related: Trump orders Perry to take steps to curb coal plant shutdowns The administration claims that it must act to save failing coal and nuclear plants in the interest of national security. Not everyone is buying that excuse. “The Administration’s warnings of dire effects from power shortages caused by shortages of reliable and resilient generation are contradicted by all of the bodies with actual responsibility for assuring adequate supplies,” said former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Peter A. Bradford. “There are no state or federal energy regulators petitioning DOE for these measures. Indeed, those who have spoken clearly have said that such steps are unnecessary. … As was said in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq , the facts are being fixed around the desired end result.” In order to enact its bailout policies, the Trump Administration has three options: Congressional action, review and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or a formal National Security Council assessment. While the bailouts are likely to be delayed for the foreseeable future, if they even occur, the Trump Administration’s decision to subsidize failing power plants at the expense of American industry and consumer well-being makes its priorities quite clear. + Nuclear Information & Resource Service Images via GorissM and Ron Reiring

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Trump’s nuclear bailout could cost consumers up to $17 billion each year

Broccoli powder could pack a veggie punch in smoothies, soups and lattes

June 7, 2018 by  
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Do you consume the recommended serving of vegetables every day? Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study finding only one in 10 adults eat enough vegetables or fruit. Scientists in Australia — a country where the average person also isn’t getting the recommended daily veggie intake — came up with a possible solution: broccoli powder . A Melbourne-area cafe, Commonfolk Coffee , recently tested it out with a latte. How do you take your coffee? Milk, sugar…broccoli powder? There's a new latte shaking up Melbourne's coffee culture. #TenNews @CaryRachel pic.twitter.com/FBMv0JYkkq — Ten News Melbourne (@tennewsmelb) June 6, 2018 Australian science agency  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Hort Innovation developed broccoli powder that provides one serving of broccoli in two tablespoons. They created it using what CSIRO called imperfect-looking broccoli — produce that otherwise might have been trashed. Related: Korean barista creates incredible works of latte art The Melbourne cafe’s broccoli lattes received mixed reviews — in a Ten News Melbourne video , one person said it wasn’t bad; another person said they liked it but described the taste as “milky broccoli.” But there are other uses for the powder for those who can’t stomach a broccoli latte, like in soups, smoothies or baked goods, according to Hort Innovation CEO John Lloyd. “With a rising trend in healthy eating across the board, Australian growers are always looking at ways to diversify their products and cut waste while meeting consumer demand,” Lloyd said in a statement . “Research shows the average Australian is still not eating the recommended daily intake of vegetables a day, and options such as broccoli powder will help address this.” ?????????… …nah but drink whatever floats your boat. Although can you really go past a sustainable and ethical single origin espresso *sans broccoli* ????? > > > #broccolatte #broccocino #coffee #cafe #cafes #melbourne #instacoffee #coffeeoftheday #coffeelovers #vsco #vscocam #vsco_hub #vscobest #vsco_best #vscogood #vscocamphotos #vscofeature #liveauthentic #MKexplore #neverstopexploring #letsgosomewhere #shootaward #igmasters #justgoshoot A post shared by C O M M O N F O L K (@commonfolkcoffee) on Jun 6, 2018 at 1:15am PDT Whole broccoli goes into the 100 percent broccoli powder, which is made through pre-treatment and drying processes. The final product keeps the nutrient composition, color and flavor of fresh broccoli, according to CSIRO. Lead researcher Mary Ann Augustin said broccoli’s high fiber and protein content, as well as bioactive phytochemicals, means the vegetable is an ideal candidate to turn into powder. John Said, managing director of leading broccoli producer  Fresh Select , seems to be on board, describing the project as “the emerging new food trend.” He said farmers in Australia “will have access to an alternative market whilst improving farm yields and sustainability.” + CSIRO Image via CSIRO

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Broccoli powder could pack a veggie punch in smoothies, soups and lattes

High tide coastal flooding in US has doubled in the past 30 years

June 7, 2018 by  
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A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finds that the frequency of coastal flooding at high tide across the U.S. has doubled in the past 30 years. This type of flooding, often referred to as “sunny day flooding,” occurs without the presence of a storm; the floodwaters simply arrive with the high tide. In 2017, there was an average of six high-tide flooding days, a record high, in each of the 98 coastal areas studied. Researchers expect the next two years to bring much of the same, while the long-term forecast, exacerbated by rising sea levels and increased occurrences of extreme weather, is more foreboding. In 2017, the Northeast and the Gulf of Mexico regions were the most affected by high tide coastal flooding. Boston , Massachusetts and Atlantic City, New Jersey experienced 22 days of flooding, while Galveston, Texas, in addition to being hit by Hurricane Harvey , was affected by 18 days of high tide coastal flooding. Because of cyclical climate conditions, NOAA expects the next two years to be as bad or worse for coastal flooding in at least half of the 98 areas featured in the study. Related: California’s wild extremes of flooding and drought will only get worse as the planet warms “Breaking of annual flood records is to be expected next year and for decades to come as sea levels rise, and likely at an accelerated rate,” the report reads. “Though year-to-year and regional variability exists, the underlying trend is quite clear: due to sea level rise , the national average frequency of high tide flooding is double what it was 30 years ago.” Hurricanes and extreme weather may cause acute incidents of devastation, but the report suggests that mundane high tide coastal flooding represents a different, more pervasive kind of threat. “We need to rethink our relationship with the coastline because it’s going to be retreating for the foreseeable future,” geologist Andrea Dutton told the Guardian . “We need to take this report as a warning to prepare ourselves, or we will just sit around and wait for disaster to happen.” Despite the imminent threat, the U.S.  currently has no federal plan to adapt to rising sea levels and increased flooding. + NOAA Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos (1, 2)

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High tide coastal flooding in US has doubled in the past 30 years

ContainerSpace: A Shipping Container as Zero Carbon Art Gallery

January 25, 2010 by  
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George Mason University is home to over 40 conservative think tanks, many of which think climate change is a hoax; fortunately the School of Art is a different place, where they care about their carbon footprint.

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ContainerSpace: A Shipping Container as Zero Carbon Art Gallery

Today on Planet 100: Nukes in California? (Video)

January 25, 2010 by  
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Today on Planet 100: Nukes in California? (Video)

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