Bio-inspired wind turbines with flexible blades 35% more efficient

June 8, 2017 by  
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Wind energy already yields four percent of Earth’s power, but five researchers at French institutions recently drew inspiration from nature to make wind turbines even better. Inspired by creatures like dragonflies, they found flexible blades on wind turbines make the machines much more efficient. Wind turbines today work best under optimal wind speeds, but the new bio-inspired design could offer a way around that fact, making wind power even more accessible. Wind speeds impact the functioning of a wind turbine. If the wind is too slow, the turbine won’t turn and generate energy; if the wind is too fast it could damage the turbine. Wind also must hit the turbines at the correct pitch angle to apply the correct amount of torque to the generator, according to Science. The new research from scientists at Sorbonne University and École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers-ParisTech fixes these issues with flexible blades much like insect wings. Related: Revolutionary flapping wind turbine mimics hummingbirds to produce clean energy The researchers constructed prototypes with regular hard turbine blades, slightly flexible turbine blades, and very flexible turbine blades. The last design turned out to be too floppy, but the slightly flexible blades outperformed the rigid ones, offering as much as 35 percent more power . They also continued to work in lower wind conditions and weren’t as susceptible to damage in high winds. The journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A published the research online in February. But the scientists’ work isn’t yet done: they now need to search for the right material that’s “flexible, but not too flexible,” according to lead author Vincent Cognet, to scale up the findings. Engineer Asfaw Beyene of San Diego State University, who was not part of this study, told Science, “The fluid mechanics and the physics make absolute sense. There’s no reason why we cannot make morphing blades that will adapt to wind conditions.” Via Science and Tech Xplore Images via Joi Ito on Flickr and Pexels

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Dilapidated 1800s dairy barn resurrected into a stunning home in Wyoming

June 8, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm JLF Design Build has breathed new life into a dilapidated 1800s dairy barn by transforming it into a stunning new home. “The Creamery” was built using materials salvaged from an abandoned dairy farm in Montana and reconstructed just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. According to the architects, the ambitious project focused on retaining the same “authentic craftsmanship and rugged austerity” of the original stone building, while converting it into a contemporary living space. According to the creamery’s history, the original structure was built by anonymous Scottish stonemasons who laid two-foot-thick walls that lasted centuries. However, left empty and and unprotected for decades, the structure fell into severe disrepair. After convincing their antique-loving clients to acquire the original barn as “the ultimate antique”, the team used painstaking care to gather and transport as much of the old building’s materials as possible to Wyoming where they rebuilt a stunning new home in an idyllic setting. Related: 6 barns converted into beautiful new homes The home’s stone structure pays a beautiful homage to its original design, both on the outside as well as the inside. The interior decoration is pure rustic sophistication, with beautiful stone walls, exposed wooden trusses on the ceiling and large reclaimed wood planks as flooring. The structure is now home to a family who appreciates the timeless architecture of the design, “The relic itself inspired a sense of responsibility to its origins,” says JLF Design Build principal Paul Bertelli. “This building in its existing form, with its scale and proportion, was much purer than any contemporary architectural solution we could have applied. Ultimately doing nothing at all was the genius of the architecture in this project.” + JLF Design Build Photography by Audrey Hall

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High-altitude kites could generate 2x as much energy as traditional wind turbines

September 4, 2015 by  
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Right now, the vast majority of the wind power generated on the planet comes from land-based turbines. That is, a wind turbine that stands a certain height and arguably creates a bit of an eyesore wherever it is – and this effect is amplified in high-volume wind farms where many turbines are placed in groupings, like giant metal trees. New research into high-altitude wind power suggests that constant winds 300 meters (984 feet) above earth could be used to generate energy , which means the ground-based turbines could eventually be replaced with high-flying kites. Read the rest of High-altitude kites could generate 2x as much energy as traditional wind turbines

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High-altitude kites could generate 2x as much energy as traditional wind turbines

7 Weird designs for green sheds

October 20, 2011 by  
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Ankit Dahiya: Eco-Shed One of the most weird design for green shed. The green technology since its evolution has never turned back and is always appreciated. These days the green is the word everywhere. Now the green technology has moved into housing stuffs and these days the green sheds are a bit popular for their ultra-cool design and unique features. These cool sheds are not like the traditional roof sheds but are more than what you would have imagined. These gorgeous sheds are equipped with latest technology and gadgets which mainly focuses on saving energy and in a way making our environment greener. There are various such sheds available in market but here is a list of weirdest designs for green sheds. 1. The roost This super compact and cool designed shed is just 100 sq ft in dimension but what makes it special is the best use of this small shed and its awesome design. This shed is highly appreciated and is one of the best green sheds for its unique concept. It is made from white cedar which is a kind of special wood mainly used in building huge projects. This shed is also equipped with options for rainwater harvesting and other green processes. 2. The power shed The power shed is really powerful in terms of the electricity it produces. This power shed is no similar to the traditional sheds but is more like a power machine which produces continuous energy. This cool shed is provided with solar panels in the form of arrays which can convert the solar energy into electric energy which can later be used for effective purposes. This special shed is designed by Chip and Clara Boggs and is being implemented at a rapid rate. 3. Buckminster fuller’s kind of shed This is a cool shed design developed by the artist Dustin Feider. He actually made a circular stuff which he called Geo. This Geo is capable of facilitating a wide variety of activities. They can be made to use as garden in a vertical direction or can be effectively used to put a hammock into them. This cool shed can also be used as a source for rainwater harvesting and does every job quite smartly. 4. The salvaged shack This shed is a perfect example of creativity and smartness with a touch of ultra-modernized technology. The best part of the shed is that it is completely made out of junk products and thus makes no harm to the environment and surrounding. In short this is a completely ecofriendly shed made out of junk items to make our environment and surrounding green. This salvaged shed was made by a man for his wife on their 10th wedding anniversary and has used 75% of salvaged materials to construct it. The shed is mostly made out of timber and is given a pretty good design. 5. Eco-shed The ecofriendly things are more famous than any other form because they are mostly made out of recycled products and usually don’t affect the environment in any way. This shed is one of such ecoproduct and is known for its awesome design and cool structure. This awesome eco shed is made by James Glave. He made this for his own house and it almost cost him around $100,000 for this super-functional green shed. It is the best example to show the world how much we care for it and the ways we are adopting to make it green. 6. The Zephyr The Zephyr is one of the coolest and greenest shed made till date. This is not just an ordinary shed but it is more like a new age trendy and gorgeous shed which can be used for plenty of operations. This shed is developed by Glenn Littleford and it combines few natural processes of producing energy. The shed is made along with a wind turbine and solar panels mounted on the shed. These both Eco-friendly ways of generating energy produces significant amount of energy during all seasons. 7. The Recycled Dogshed The recycling of products is fun as it lets you known the ways it can be transformed into something useful and efficient. One such product is this shed which is completely made out of recycled products. This one is actually a Dogshed which is especially designed by the artist named Chelsea Bandy. This shed is made out of plywood scraps and tiles which the artist collected from junk areas and from few showrooms.

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How to generate green energy using wind turbines

September 13, 2011 by  
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Ankit Dahiya: Wind Turbine Wind turbine are mainly used to produce electrical energy through kinetic energy of the wind. Wind energy is one of the major sources of producing green energy in the world. Wind turbines are used for generating power from wind energy. These wind turbines actually convert the kinetic energy of the source wind into mechanical energy that in turn is converted into electrical energy using an electrical generator. Made in various sizes, these turbines can be used for various small or large commercial purposes. These turbines which are small sized can be used as a source of production of energy for running basic home appliances. This technology is in use from long period and these days the wind turbines are available in two different types; vertical-axis type in which the blades are made in vertical direction with respect to the ground and the other is horizontal axis type which is made horizontally with respect to ground. But the horizontal axis turbines are more popular than the vertical axis turbine and are widely used for energy production. Production of green energy by using wind turbines The first step for setting up a wind turbine is to find a perfect location. After this step you are almost half done in setting up your wind turbine. This is one of the basic steps as location with high wind would be more appropriate to set up a wind turbine. A technology called Aerodynamic modeling is used to calculate the average optimum tower height, control system to have a control on various devices, total number of blades, and their shapes. The basic components of a conventional wind turbine are; rotor, generator component and the physical structural support component. The rotor component is the rotating part of the wind turbine which rotates when wind is incident on them. This wind causes the movement of rotor which includes blades for the conversion of wind energy into rotational energy. The rotor component of the wind turbine costs approximately 20% of the total turbine cost. Next up is the generator component of the wind turbine that is used for the generation of power. It includes the basic components of a generator like the electrical generator, a gearbox and control electronics system. The gearbox component is primarily used to convert the low speed incoming rotation of the rotor to high speed rotation that is more applicable for power generating. The various gearbox used widely are planetary gearbox and continuously variable transmission. It accounts for 34% of the total wind turbine cost. The third component used for the generation of power through a wind turbine is the physical structural support component that provides a comfortable and strong support to the whole wind turbine tower. This includes the tower and rotor yaw mechanism. It accounts for 15% of the total wind turbine cost. The horizontal-axis turbines, which are widely used, have a rotor shaft and generator at the top of the tower. These two components are pointed toward the wind so that most of the wind energy can be utilized to produce energy. The wind energy incident on the blades of the rotor helps in rotating the blades and in turn it produces energy. The gearbox is used at this time to increase the speed of rotation of blades so that high amount of energy can be produced. The rotor is coupled with generator and when it rotates it converts the mechanical energy of the rotor to electrical energy using an electrical generator. In this way the energy is produced through a wind turbine. In United States the basic height of the wind turbine used is 80 meters that is capable of producing a large 1.5 MW of energy. The components of the wind turbine are actually very heavy and only the weight of rotor assembly weighs around 22,000 kg. While the nacelle that contains the generator component of the wind turbine weighs 52,000 kg and the concrete base weighs almost 26,000 kg. On the whole the wind turbine set up requires a huge budget and heavy devices.

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Everything I need to know about generating power from tides

September 10, 2011 by  
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Marcus Clay: Tidal Energy generating green power from tides While technology has done a lot to improve lifestyles, the numerous inventions and man-made machines require energy to run on and depend on some form of fuel. The high demand for fuel has caused the most-widely used fossil fuels to become dearer and the challenge for today’s scientists is how to generate energy. Again, technology comes to the rescue with tidal power. Scientists and environmentalists have developed ways to harness the tremendous power of violent ocean tides. Trends Jung Seung Woo, Seung Woo Jung, Kim Min Jung, and Kim Hyun Jun from Korea have developed a prototype of a wave and solar energy generator that works day and night. While during the day, the devices that float on the ocean surface trap solar and tidal energy, during the night, it works as a tidal power generator. The device uses some of the power generated to glow at night acting as beacons to guide ships safely away from them. The electricity which is generated is sent ashore via underwater cables. France has also been actively exploring ways of tapping tidal power with its ambitious €40m (£35m) Paimpol-Bréhat project. The project will see the world’s largest tidal array that consists of four 16-metre turbines, being installed out at sea. Initially, one of the turbines will be tested in 35 meters of water off the Bréhat Island. The other three turbines will be installed in 2012. 2 MWs of power generated by this array will be sufficient to power 4,000 French households. The Benefits While the world explores several sources of clean energy, tidal power has several advantages over other forms of green and alternative energy. a. Unlike solar and wind power that largely depend on weather conditions, tidal movements are very predictable and reliable. b. The density of water being much higher than air it means that a turbine used to harness tidal power can be significantly smaller than a wind turbine that generates the amount of electrical output. c. Tidal turbines work noiselessly. Although industrial wind turbines are relatively silent, utility-sized wind turbines are known to generate low-frequency noise that people living in the vicinity complain about. d. Since these turbines do not use oils or grease for lubrication, they pose no threat to the environment. The Lowdown a. Environmental hazard Setting up large structures on the seabed causes considerable damage to the ecosystem. Also, placing these objects in the water reduces the amount of water that moves between a basin where the power is generated and the sea, leading to higher chances of pollution. This reduced exchange of water would also reduce the salinity of water in the basin, significantly affecting life on the seabed. b. Fish and marine life As marine life forms and fish pass through these barrages, even the most innovatively designed barrages are responsible for about 15 per cent of the mortality per pass through. Hence, in the long run, marine life can be severely impacted. c. Irregular power supply Power can be generated only when there is tidal movement in or out of the basin. Although tides are predictable, they are not constant. Hence, power can be generated only during particular times of the day. d. High start-up cost The cost of setting up a tidal array is astronomically high. This may discourage investors from putting their money in tidal power generation. e. Damage Erratic weather conditions and frequent hurricanes raise the fear of damage to the expensive equipment installed on the floor of the ocean. Although this was a major concern during the recent Hurricane Irene, Ocean Power Technologies’ PowerBuoy deployed off the coast of New Jersey withstood the severe conditions experienced during the hurricane. Surprisingly, after facing the onslaught for two days, the PowerBuoy emerged undamaged and fully operational. It even maintained a regular supply of electricity during the hurricane. Although this is a testament to the high levels of engineering skills, it highlights the need for the best engineering and materials that should be used in making turbines. This further raises the cost of manufacturing tidal turbines. The Impact Every country is looking for ways and means of responding to the high demand for energy. And, with the focus on the need for green and renewable energy, governments are leaving no stone unturned, even if it lies on the bottom of the ocean. Tidal power looks more prospective, with wind and solar energy being very seasonal and time bound. The popular saying, ‘time and tide waits for none’ makes tidal energy the much-preferred source of energy in the future.

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10 low emission hybrid cars for the common masses

September 10, 2011 by  
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Nisha Changrani: Low-emission hybrid car Low-emission hybrid car It is rightly said that necessity is the mother of invention. The problem of global warming has forced man to invent things which are tough to imagine. Hybrid cars, said to be one of the most useful inventions by man, have gained increased importance nowadays. Besides reducing gas emissions, these cars cause less noise pollution and are less harsh towards our mother nature. Discussed below are some hybrid cars that can be used by the common man. 1. Lexus to unveil stylish LF-Ch hybrid at the Frankfurt Auto Show LF-Ch hybrid car LF-Ch hybrid low emission car Similar to the HS250h Sedan, this hybrid vehicle comes up with some brilliant features like remote touch controller and feedback system. The one sitting in the front can also control audio, climate and navigation systems with ease. 2. Audi’s hybrid Q5 Audi’s hybrid Q5 Audi’s hybrid Q5 car This vehicle from the German car manufacturer will use a lithium-ion battery or nickel metal hydride to run its electric motors. The good part is, the 3 liter gasoline engine would find a good friend to rely on – an electric methodology which could generate 300Nm of power on the highest front. 3. Velozzi’s hybrid SOLO Velozzi’s hybrid SOLO Velozzi’s hybrid low emission SOLO car Expected to be launched in 2012, SOLO will be made up of lightweight materials like nanotubes and carbon fibres. The car is supposed to bash off the others when it comes to performance, the highest run ranging in 130 mph. The best thing about this hybrid vehicle is that it is powered by micro turbine technology which will help you run the car on diverse types of fuel like ethanol, methanol, butanol, gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel and natural gas. 4. Mercedes-Benz confirms E300 BlueTec diesel hybrid E300 BlueTec diesel hybrid E300 BlueTec diesel hybrid car Armed with a 2.2 liter diesel engine, this piece is all set to play havoc in the hybrid car arena, of course for its competitors! The four cylindered engine would allow a decent run of more than 56mpg. 5. Subaru hybrid car Subaru hybrid car Subaru hybrid low emission car Scheduled to be launched in 2013, Subaru has finally announced officially about its hybrid car. However, the detailed features of the car are yet to be announced. However, if sources are to believed the car will have features similar to the Hybrid Tokyo Concept, Legacy and Imprezza. It is speculated that the Subaru car will have a two liter turbo boxer engine and a CVT. It will also feature a couple of electric motors. Subaru may also incorporate lithium ion capacitor technology in this hybrid auto. 6. Mini Car concept reduces emissions with a hybrid drivetrain Mini Car hybrid car Mini Car hybrid low emission car Designed by Alberto Mazza for Mercedes Benz, the Mini Car is a four seater gas-electric hybrid. The car is predicted to attain a speed of about 180kph at the most, and would witness a speed of 100kph in merely 10.4 seconds. Its motors is said to be made up of nickel metal hydride batteries. 7. Axon Automotive hybrid car Axon Automotive hybrid car Axon Automotive low emission hybrid car Launched two years back at the Milton Keynes Science Festival, this hybrid car from UK-based manufacturer Axon Automotive, is a perfect example of an eco-friendly car. The car’s engine turns on its electric mode for short distances whereas for long distances, the car will run on bio ethanol or gasoline. This car is lightweight because of the carbon fibers. The car emits just 50g of CO2 per km. Another stunning feature is that its seats and doors are made from fabrics and recycled carbon fiber respectively. 8. Audi A9 Hybrid concept Audi A9 Hybrid concept Audi A9 Hybrid concept car None could have imagined that a car could repair itself if damaged. Well, this car is a perfect example of this concept. The car has a windscreen and its roof are formed in such a manner out of nanotech material that it repairs itself automatically if damaged. Further, one can change the color of this car with one touch button as it is made up of a special “electronic paint”. The proposed advanced version would contain an internal combustion engine, resulting in a better, low emission and ecofriendly hybrid. 9. 2010 Hyundai IX-Metro low-emission vehicle Hyundai IX-Metro Hyundai IX-Metro hybrid car Launched at the 2010 IX-Metro concept car at Design Korea, this car is powered by a hybrid engine and produces 80gm of CO2 every km. With a capacity to generate 93KW at 6000rpm, this car has an engine made up of three cylinders. An electric counterpart supplements it in the form of a starter motor alternator. 10. E.V.C low-emission hybrid vehicle for all terrains E.V.C low-emission hybrid vehicle E.V.C low-emission hybrid car Brainchild of Prodan Dragos, this car has hexagonal shaped windows which act as photovoltaic cells to generate electricity. Coming to the interiors, it has four large seats and its front seats can revolve backwards. Its rear end can be flattened out to provide a sleeping area.

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Both India & China Enacting Carbon Trading Programs

April 11, 2011 by  
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A laborer is seen working at a deisel powered crusher infont of a wind turbine.

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Nutmobile Travels to Green Spaces

March 7, 2011 by  
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Nutty billboard-on-wheels with recycled vinyl signage hits road on environmental mission. Photo by RCruger The goofy looking Nutmobile is headed to New Orleans on a 16-city tour through summer to show off its green features, including a wind turbine, solar panels and reclaimed wood floors from a 19th century Pennsylvania barn. It will house Mr.

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Spain to Build World’s Largest Wind Turbine

December 3, 2010 by  
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Bad luck, Norway — just when they thought they had secured the title of world’s largest wind turbine with a 10MW installation, Spain swooped in to steal their thunder. Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa has announced that they are constructing an epic 15MW wind turbine that will help them address certain technical and financial troubles associated with offshore wind development Read the rest of Spain to Build World’s Largest Wind Turbine http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 15mw turbine , Azimut Offshore Wind Energy 2020 , Azimut Project , gamesa turbine , gamesa wind turbine , world’s largest wind turbine

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