Compressed air system to save wind power for future use

September 6, 2011 by  
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Nandini Moulik: Wind Turbines Wind energy stored as compressed air As the demand for clean energy from renewable resources soar, implementation of technologies to save and maximize energy usage always remains the top priority. Given the situation of fast depletion of fossil fuels and environmental concerns, SustainX, a West Lebanon-based start-up has decided to use compressed air technology of storing wind energy generated by wind mills and producing the energy at peak hours. Air compression technology is not a new conception, but SustainX has come up with bigger plans to make it commercially viable. The wind generated by the windmills can be compressed and stored in underground caverns or depleted oil fields, which can be released later to produce power when the demand is high. This will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels. Storing of wind energy is a problem, but the necessity of storing this energy is ever increasing with the government imposing stringent rules in maximum power harnessing from renewable resources. SustainX has been successful in demonstrating a 40-Kilowatt prototype and is presently engaged in finishing a 1Megawatt project. The biggest advantage of compressed air technology is that it can generate power from the stored wind energy even when the wind is not blowing. The compressed air can be released to rotate the turbine blades and dispatch power according to the demand. This concept of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) has been lurking in the minds of engineers for few decades, but then technical difficulties and the cost proved to be great barriers. Presently, higher energy prices have created a situation to implement compressed air technology to cater to the demand of clean energy market. Lack of enough storage space to store the compressed air for large scale power production is a big hindrance. SustainX has overcome this problem through the use of above the ground storage systems. The conventional turbine system does not work in above the ground storage tanks and SustainX has introduced pistons. These are cost effective and with better compression ability it can store more energy. Thus, above the ground storage tanks can store more energy than the same capacity underground caverns. Moreover, the pistons can function at a wider range when the tank pressure is too low to drive the turbines. Air compression generates a lot of heat and decompression requires heat. Much of the heat generated during compression gets wasted. The efficiency of CAES can be increased if the heat generated during compression can be stored. SustainX introduced a fine water spray in the cylinder to absorb heat generated during compression and the same hot water is used as a fuel during decompression. No wastage of energy and no extra heat requirement. The energy efficiency has shot up from 54% to 95%. SustainX uses electricity to drive the pistons in the storage cylinders. During energy release, the decompressed air drives the piston to run a generator. SustainX is working hard on isothermal compressed air technology due to its better energy efficiency. However, underground storage caverns are being considered more economically viable than above the ground storage tanks due to limited capacity of power production by the latter. Via: Technologyreview

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Compressed air system to save wind power for future use

10 Electrically assisted bikes designed for office goers

September 6, 2011 by  
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Kuldeep Sharma: Optibike Optibike electrically assisted Bikes – the word that creates an excitement because of speed and thrills attached to it. Most of the people either male or female love to ride bikes. Every one has craze for bikes. But can you believe that the time has come when you can use your bike to go to your office. If you have got bored of going to your office in the back seat of your luxury sedan, then it is the time to opt for a bike that can make your office going experience quite joyful. There are many of these bikes available in the market but here I am providing some of the best picked electric bikes that suits well for all office goers. Being electric bikes, they help you to reduce air pollution too. 1. Kettler Twin electric bike Kettler Kettler Kettler Twin electric bike is one of the most efficient and hybrid bike in its category. It is manufactured by German Bike designing company “Kettler”, it makes it at the top of other electric bikes. This bike uses Panasonic’s Electric Drive system incorporated with advanced Lithium Batteries. The bike has 7 or 8 gear hub that allows you to drive long distances at average speed. The weight of the bike is only 50 lbs that makes your ride a pure pleasure. It has option for both Pedalling as well as using electric motor system. 2. Optibike opti Opti bike Optibike is one of the most popular electric bike in this segment. Optibike is designed by Jim Turner. Jim Turner has been awarded for his bike designs. Optibike is made up of light weight carbon fibre that makes it very stylish also. Optibike comes with integrated GPS system, a PDA for monitoring the real time performance of the bike and the lithium-ion battery operated motor. On a single charge of battery, you can enjoy the pedal free ride for 2 hours. The bike comes with a hefty price tag of $13,000, which makes it slightly costly in electric bike segments. 3. Tharula Tharula tharula Tharula is one of the concept electric bike designed for the future roads of the year 2025. The concept for this bike is given by Diana Lumbasyo. This concept bike helps you get rid of crowded roads with its unique and extraordinary design. The bike is designed in Red Ferrari color with its looks like a circus ring. 4. World’s fastest electric bike Backtrail Backtrail If you think that bikes are usually slow, then this bike will change your thinking. Backtrail, one of the fastest electric bike can go upto a speed of 100 kph. The bike is manufactured by a German Bike manufacturer PG Bikes. The bike has a price tag of €59,500. Only 667 units of this bike will be manufactured by the company. 5. L3 Electric Bike L3 concept bike by Camilo Parra Palacio L3 concept bike by Camilo Parra Palacio L3 Electric bike concept is given by Camilo Parra Palacio, a columbian designer. This bike is single seater with excellent features like 1000 W motor, six lead acid batteries that can give ride upto seven hours without interruption. The bike is most suitable for the needs of emerging tourism industry. 6. VW Launches Car & e-Bike Combo Bik E Bike The well known car manufacturer company Volkswagon has come up with its “Bik.E”. Bik.E is a electric folding bike, that you can easily carry in your car. The bike contains frame integrated batteries that provide the bike a speed of upto 20 kph. Being only 20 kg in weight it fits easily with your outings. 7. Evaders: High Performance Electric Bikes Evader’s Scooter Evader’s Scooter Evaders is a stylish E Bike in its category. Available at a cool price tag of only $999 makes it a good buy. On a single charge this bike can go for 45 miles. The bike contains a 1000 W motor that offers a maximum speed of 35 mph. Noise level of this bike is very low. 8. Giant Twist Freedom DX Electric Bike twist dx Twist Dx Giant Twist Freedom Electric bike is a bike that combines electric power with the power of its rider. This bike was recently tested by Popular Mechanics. The bike has 3 modes like eco mode, normal mode, and sports mode to suit your style. 9. The A2B Electric Bike A2B A2B electric bike A2B electric bike is designed mainly for urban commuting. This bike has broader seat to give you a comfortable ride and can be charged at an ordinary electric socket. Even you can take your friend for ride on this as it has 2 seats. 10. New Modern Electric Bike from France The Matra MS1 Electric Bike Ms1 ms1 matra This bike is manufactured by French Bike maker “Matra”. This stylish bike can travel upto 60 miles at a speed of 30 mph. For this you need to spend around $5000. The bike contains an LCD screen that shows different parameters about your ride. Bike has Disc brakes for taking full control over the bike.

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10 Electrically assisted bikes designed for office goers

5 green products for sustainable offices

September 6, 2011 by  
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Garima Goel: USB eco-button green office product With the development of new technologies, people almost forgot the ecology that keeps them alive. But now, with a steady increase in environmental awareness, people are trying to shift to the usage of sustainable and green products in their households or working place. Environmentally friendly or simply eco-friendly do not harm the environment while their production, usage or even disposal. Your can also show your care for Mother Nature in the office you work by making use of green office products that are now easily available in market. Listed below are five such eco products for your office that can be easily implemented and will make a considerable difference over time. 1. Woven Newspaper Lampshade newspaper Lampshade green office product Danny Seo is a leading lifestyle expert in America who frequently designs green and sustainable products like sheets, towels, bathmats etc. and also inspires people to live an eco-friendly life. He creates green products not only for house holds but also for offices and hotels so that the eco consciousness can be adopted by every person who encounters these sustainable products. The newspaper woven lampshade is a perfect example of re-using old newspapers, which are generally given for recycling, after they are read. Danny has made use of these old newspapers to create a beautiful lampshade. The news papers are tightly woven together and then used as a gorgeous lighting source in the Intercontinental Hotel in NYC. This lampshade designed creatively out of newspapers can match up with any colour scheme due to the neutral tone it carries of the newsprint. This artifact can prove out to be a great source of green inspiration if used in other commercial purposes like offices, shopping malls etc. 2. Knu Furniture Knu dining table green office product Knu is a 100% carbon-neutral online-only company that has emerged from the Industrial Woodworking Corporation (IWC). The IWC is a furnishing company that creates environment furniture for hospitals, homes and offices. Knu was launched by IWC in 2007 that creates contemporary and eco-friendly home desks, tables, shelving and storage furniture pieces and call them as “inanimate motion in crisp, sustainable form.” Knu furniture is designed by Bradford Davis who makes use of sustainably harvested wood material which is assembled with 40% recycled post-consumer waste stainless steel hardware. The product is manufactured in an energy efficient facility which is 100% carbon neutral. The above picture represents the sustainable dining table set designed by Knu. 3. Recycled drivers seat cum office chair recycled BMW seats green office product Javier Sanchez Merina, who is an architect himself and also an architectural design teacher at Alicante University in Spain, has created this incredible chair to which he calls Juliana Chair. To create this four-headed office chair he has used his architectural skills and also kept in mind the environmental consciousness. He bought BMW electrical seat from a junkyard at a very low price and simply by adding an articulated joint and a couple of wheels he created this office chair which can be configured in different ways, from all four side-by-side to two each face-to-face to a round table of sorts. The electric controls on each of the four seats make the user to adjust the seat according to his comfort. This creation is green, versatile and remarkable in a very extraordinary manner. 4. USB Eco Button USB eco-button green office product The USB Eco Button is a cool device that keeps a tab on your total power usage and along with that it gives you an update on your energy bills. This USB device is made of green plastic and when connected to the computer via USB it illuminates. Whenever you press the eco-button your computer is put to the ecomode which is the most efficient energy saving mode. The ecobutton saves your energy without the need of turning of your computer. You just need to press on the eco button and you will resume to the work where you left. The ecobutton software also monitors your carbon units and how much power and money you saved while using the ecomode. 5. Bamboo Flash Drive Bamboo flash drive green office product Bamboo is a sustainable and eco-friendly material that has a long life span. And because of all that it is a great green substitute for various objects used in everyday life. But did you ever think that the durable and hardened bamboo can be used In offices to conceive your data and securely store it for many years to come? This new astonishing flash drive packs a 4 GB memory for your technical work in a beautiful and eco friendly bamboo stick rather than customized USB flash drives. Though the inner working of the drive is not made of bamboo, only the outer casing is and that is more than enough for a green symbol in your sustainable office.

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5 Coolest hybrid hatchbacks with the best fuel economy

September 6, 2011 by  
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Aditi Dasgupta: hybrid hatchback coolest hybrid hatchbacks The hybrid hatchbacks appeared in the 1930s. It is a car having full-width doors that open upward. These cars are known to be more expensive than the cedan cars because of its enlarged cargo space. Hatchbacks usually have an in-built feature of the three-door concept (two entry doors and the hatch), offer one to two rows of seats for the passengers. Here is a list of five coolest hybrid hatchbacks with the best fuel economy, manufactured till date: 1. 2011 Honda CR-Z Honda CR-Z 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid hatchback A sports hybrid coupe, Honda CR-Z is another blend of a traditional sports car and an electric car launched in the year 2010. The design layout consists of a 3-door hatchback, which is known as the best less polluting vehicle. It was initially introduced as a concept vehicle by Honda manufacturers, which has now acquired the status of the most inexpensive and efficient in such a short span of time. This is why Honda CR-Z makes it to our list of the top five hybrid hatchbacks with the best fuel economy. Since its launch it has 1 million hits and is still growing. The basic objective of the car which is sports driving at its best, makes the driving experience full of fun and comfort. Priced at GB£16,999, this mini car segment hybrid faced an outstanding pre-booking order. This car is yet to face the Australian market. Having an amazing design and compact features, this car would lift your sporty instincts to a different level altogether! 2. Toyota Prius Toyota Prius hybrid Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback A full hybrid electric-size hatchback, was initially developed as a compact sedan. The layout consists of a front engine and a front wheel drive making it the largest and the best selling car in the US market. Prius’ major concern has always been with environmental awareness and the Toyota Prius Hybrid is known for its smog control and other toxic emission control. This car has been so far the best in the hybrid sector which has been launched in 2009 in the US market. It offers a chic aerodynamic body and a five-door lift back. Various ecological bioplastics such as wood cellulose, grass cellulose or petroleum cellulose has an added feature of a plug in. This plug-in hybrid electric vehicle thus, forms the third generation Toyota Prius model fitted with 5.2 kwh lithium-ion batteries with a total electric range of 21 km. Its price has not been announced. 3. Honda Insight Honda Insight Honda Insight hybrid hatchback A hybrid electric vehicle, Honda Insight’s hybrid variety was launched in the year 2008. It has the best certified gasoline-fueled engine ever and has been rated as the cheapest gas-electric hybrid car in the market today. It has a brilliant 5-door hatchback configuration and offers a system, which is less complex than other Honda car models. This car was never built for a mass-scale sale yet its light-weight aluminium body and its fuel-efficiency feature makes it the best futuristic product in the consumer industry mapping the future consumer needs. 4. 2011 Lexus CT 200h 2011 Lexus CT 200h 2011 Lexus CT 200h hybrid hatchback 2011 Lexus CT offers a safety feature of eight airbags which makes it less prone to accident in the hybrid car sector. This sporty 5-door hatchback has managed to set the eyes rolling with its sleek design within the hybrid domain symbolizing a luxury living while you can save up on costs as well. Lexus CT has indeed pushed further the limitations of the hybrid car sector and taken into account luxury as a part of the car feature. Lexus CT indeed classifies urbanity, class, style, and some unprecedented fun for the new generation eco-conscious riders who look out for something else apart from the cost. Its four-cylinder gas engine makes it an eye-candy for the technology-savvy buyers. The best part about the car is its engine where the power split device, the generator and the electric motor is crafted into one which is not bigger than the size of a gearbox. This makes the power utilization progressive and increases the power utility in the car. This vehicle can be driven up to one mile in an hour. 5. Chevy Volt Chevy Volt Chevy Volt hybrid hatchback Launched by General Motors, Chevy Volt has captured the imagination of every potential car buyer in the industry. It has a 5-door hatchback that guarantees a 93 mile per gallon fuel economy. It has regenerative breaking which adds to the on-board electricity generation. This performs only on the gasoline-generative mode making it an appropriate fuel energy saving car!

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5 Coolest hybrid hatchbacks with the best fuel economy

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