The world’s first 100% solar-powered train launches in Australia

December 18, 2017 by  
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The world’s first 100% solar-powered train is now gliding down tracks in Byron Bay, Australia . The Byron Bay Railroad Company refurbished a three-kilometer, or almost two-mile, stretch of tracks and restored a heritage train, outfitting it with a 6.5 kilowatt (kW) solar array with flexible solar panels . A limited service launched over the weekend, with full service set to commence in January. Byron Bay Railroad Company restored tracks and a bridge between the town of Byron Bay and the Elements of Byron Bay resort to provide affordable public transportation for locals and visitors. 100 seated passengers and other standing passengers can ride the solar train , and there’s room for luggage, bikes, and surfboards. The fare for a one-way trip is $3 for adults, $2 for ages six to 13, and free for children up to age five. Related: Indian Railways launches first train with solar-powered coaches The flexible SunMan solar panels lining the carriage roofs produce energy that is stored a 77 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery system, which can also charge up between trips via a 30 kW solar array at the main station. The battery bank has around the same capacity as a Tesla Model S, according to RenewEconomy , and can make 12 to 15 runs off one charge as it only takes the solar train around four kWh for each leg of the trip. A regenerative braking system “recovers around 25 percent of the spent energy each time the brakes are applied,” according to the Byron Bay Railroad Company website . The train’s lighting, traction power, control circuits, and air compressors are all battery-powered. Byron Bay Railroad Company said they originally intended to offer a diesel train service before switching to solar, but the “accelerated development of technology in this area” made it technically feasible to create the solar train. One of two original diesel engines is still part of the train as a backup and for weight and balance. You can find out more about the train here . + Byron Bay Railroad Company Via TreeHugger and RenewEconomy Images via Byron Bay Railroad Company

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The world’s first 100% solar-powered train launches in Australia

Mysterious ancient stone structure in the Middle East could be 5,000 years old

November 12, 2015 by  
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This might go down in history as the year we discovered more ancient ruins than any other. Okay, so that’s probably not accurate, but there have been quite a few and here’s one more. Archaeologists have uncovered a prehistoric stone monument in the Middle East that is thought to have been created around the same time (give or take 500 years) as Stonehenge, putting its age at up to 5,000-years-old. From ruins submerged underwater to entire lost cities in the jungle, these discoveries illustrate just how little we know about the ancient people who came before us. Read the rest of Mysterious ancient stone structure in the Middle East could be 5,000 years old

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Mysterious ancient stone structure in the Middle East could be 5,000 years old

How can I reuse or recycle pretty synthetic lingerie?

November 11, 2011 by  
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Over on The Really Good Life , we’re in the middle of a decluttering month , with the hope of developing a general habit of asking “do we need or even want this?” rather than getting blind to things that have been on shelves for years. I’m also setting a weekly mini-challenge to focus our attention on specific areas: this week has been often overlooked spots in the wardrobe . We remember to sort through our shirts or jumpers regularly, but what about smaller things? As I’ve already said, I got rid of a whole load of old trainer socks a couple of months ago. Around the same time, I also got rid of about twenty pairs of old knickers that had been cluttering up my underwear drawer – ones that no longer fitted properly or I didn’t like the style any more, but previously couldn’t bring them to throw them away because … well, I’m not very good at throwing anything away. The other day, as part of the mini-challenge, I continued on that theme: I got rid of some old tights (well, moved them into my craft stash for some reuse), put aside some barely worn bras for eBay, sent a couple of pairs of unworn pyjamas to the charity shop and found a few “silky” things – pretty camisole sets – from years ago that I no longer wear. It’s all made out of synthetic fabric too, so even if I could fit into it now, I wouldn’t be able to wear it because synthetics make me sweat unattractive amount of sweat and that’s not a good thing with lingerie! One set still had the tags on it (sigh) so I’ll give that to a charity shop as they should be able to sell it on but I don’t know whether they’d be particularly interested in the rest, so I’m imagining it might be better to think of other reuses for them. The fabric is all light & floaty: some opaque, some lighter than that and some are patterned, others plain black. I very much like some of the abstract floral patterns – which is why I bought them in the first place – but they’re too light and flimsy for the type of crafts I usually do (I’m all about the practical these days and I don’t think they’ll make a very good shopping bag or anything like that). I could just add them to my fabric stash on the off-chance I’ll need them for something in the future, but that doesn’t seem very in the decluttering spirit, just shifting the problem somewhere else! So any ideas for reuses? Know of any specific craft projects that would make it worth my while keeping them in my stash? Any more practical reuses?

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How can I reuse or recycle pretty synthetic lingerie?

Wikileaks Reveals Hackers Attacked US Climate Negotiators

December 21, 2010 by  
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Image: Stenyian The latest round of diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks has revealed that climate negotiators in the US State Dept. were the target of a sophisticated hacker attack last year

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Wikileaks Reveals Hackers Attacked US Climate Negotiators

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