Is BEHA the Greenest Plane, or a Kitchen Sink?

December 5, 2014 by  
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Most people thought the triplane was a relic of the past, an ungainly aircraft from the early days, left behind as more modern designs came to the fore.  But the triplane could be getting another lease on life if the Kickstarter campaign by Faradair Aerospace Limited is successful. The BEHA (which stands for Bio-Electric Hybrid Aircraft) is an odd looking design which seems to have everything but the kitchen sink thrown at it.  The design is intended to be a six-seat aircraft with “sports car feel,” with an emphasis on safety.  The cabin is intended to have Formula 1 style crash protection as well as a ballistic parachute recovery fail-safe system.  The electric fans and ducted propeller, along with the lift from three wings, are intended to provide for exceptionally quiet flight. Bio-Electric Hybrid refers to the combination of propulsion systems being used.  This project combines a biodiesel engine (to generate electricity and to run a large ducted pusher propeller at the back) along with twin electric fan motors.  The plane will take off and land using the electric motors, and the biodiesel engine and pusher propeller are for in-flight recharging and aiding in cross-country cruising. But wait, like the late-night commercials say, There’s More! The triple wing provides greater lift for the plane.  It also provides more top surface area for solar panels.  Yes, this plane also has solar panels on all three wings, as well as the fuselage and on top of the duct surrounding the pusher propeller in back.  The solar panels “are not the primary power source for the electric motors, but simply additional trickle charge capability.” Does all of this unusual gear really make it a green aircraft?  Lots of aircraft have tested biofuels , and the performance has been pretty much uniformly acceptable.  Solar panels on the wings are part of the Solar Impulse , but that is a very specialized, purpose-built craft that does use its solar panels to power the craft.  Ducted fans and electric engines are being used in other applications.  Even whole-airplane parachutes are not new.  Does putting all these features together make a very green vehicle, or is it just a rough patchwork of other concepts all put together in a single vehicle? EcoGeeks like us have been intrigued by a host of other unusual aircraft concepts over the years. Certainly other pioneering vehicles seemed ungainly at first.  Whether the BEHA rises to become a star will remain to be seen. Link: Faradair Kickstarter

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Is BEHA the Greenest Plane, or a Kitchen Sink?

Fractal Structures Could Yield Ultralight 3D-Printable Beams That Are 10,000 Times Stronger Than Steel

November 30, 2012 by  
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If you were to strip away the walls, floors, and insulation, you’d see that most buildings are constructed on a frame of beams. Most beams are made from steel, and while strong, they’re fairly one-size-fits-all. A new study published in the journal Physical  Review Letters  found that fractal patterns could be used to create 3d printed beams that are lighter and up to 10,000 times stronger than typical steel beams! This combination of material science and 3D printing technology could make it possible to customize beams for a specific load and purpose, reducing waste and cost. Read the rest of Fractal Structures Could Yield Ultralight 3D-Printable Beams That Are 10,000 Times Stronger Than Steel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printable beams , 3D printing , Architecture , building materials , construction , green building materials , green design , Material science , resin , steel , sustainable building materials , sustainable design , UK , University of Nottingham , Yong Mao

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Fractal Structures Could Yield Ultralight 3D-Printable Beams That Are 10,000 Times Stronger Than Steel

Gary Card’s Electric Christmas Tree is Made from Recycled Chevy Volt Parts!

November 30, 2012 by  
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The electric Chevy Volt may be a pretty cool green ride – but did you know it also makes a great Christmas Tree ? Engadget reports that Vauxhaull, the British subsidiary of General Motors, is celebrating the holidays this year with a glowing Christmas tree made from Chevy Volt parts! The electric tree was designed by artist Gary Card , and it will light up the Kings Cross Filling Station until the new year. Read the rest of Gary Card’s Electric Christmas Tree is Made from Recycled Chevy Volt Parts! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , electric car christmas tree , Gary Card , green design , Kings Cross FIlling Station , sustainable design , upcycled christmas tree , Vauxhall , vauxhall ampera

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Gary Card’s Electric Christmas Tree is Made from Recycled Chevy Volt Parts!

Guerilla Gardening Gift Boxes are a Great Way to Inspire Urban Transformation

November 30, 2012 by  
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These Guerilla Gardening Gift Boxes from Greenaid Seedbombs are a fun way to inspire urban transformation this holiday season. The fantastic gift pack comes in one of three themed boxes (“Critters”, “Flowers”, “Edibles”) with different seed mixes. Each kit contains: pet forage, wildflower and veggie seed bombs, two wooden slingshots for shooting the seedbombs into the world, a bandana, a mapping kit to track and visualize personal guerilla gardening efforts, a sweet Greenaid Sticker, and easy to follow planting instructions. + Greenaid Seedbombs The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!  

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Guerilla Gardening Gift Boxes are a Great Way to Inspire Urban Transformation

BiLD’s Re-structured Suburban Split House Pulls In Melbourne’s Beautiful Light

November 30, 2012 by  
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The Split House is a fantastic new renovation located in Melbourne, Australia, completed by architects BiLD . Taking a typical inter-war period house as a starting point, BiLD replaced various elements of the original house while up-cycling and recycling timbers and other structural elements. Modifying the old fashioned layout, the studio transformed a quaint suburban home into a modern work of sustainable architecture. Read the rest of BiLD’s Re-structured Suburban Split House Pulls In Melbourne’s Beautiful Light Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , bild , gordan matta-clarke , green design , Recycled Materials , renovated , split house , upcycling

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BiLD’s Re-structured Suburban Split House Pulls In Melbourne’s Beautiful Light

15 Green Gifts That Give Back

November 30, 2012 by  
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This holiday season, double up on your do-gooding by gifting your loved ones items that that not only do well by the environment, but also give back to the community . There are tons of great organizations and companies out there working hard to bring us products that are not only gentle on the earth, but support important causes and initiatives around the globe. From delicious wines to stylish sunglasses to cute teddy bears , check out these 15 fantastic gift ideas that also give back! GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: altruette , altruette house , charitable gifts , charity wines , csa membership , eco christmas , eco friendly presents , eco holiday , eco xmas , eco-friendly gifts , environmentally friendly gifts , environmentally friendly presents , FEED , feed teddy bear , gifts for activists , gifts for eco consciou people , gifts that do good , Gifts That Give Back , glassbaby , glassbaby glass set , green christmas , green gift guide , green holiday , green holiday gift guide , green presents , green xmas , heifer international , house charm , humanitarian gifts , large paper cranes , MiiR , miir bicycle , miir bike , miir bikes , paws donations , philanthropic gifts , product red , recycled silver bowl , spiral foundation , spiral foundation recycled silver bowl , sponsor a paw , sponsor a paws animal , sponsor a playground , toms , TOMS sunglasses , vik muniz , Voltaic , voltaic solar charger , voltaic solar charger kit

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15 Green Gifts That Give Back

10-Story Prefabricated Turbo Tower in Chandigarh to be Constructed in 48 hours

November 30, 2012 by  
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In the town of Mohali, a suburb just outside of Chandigarh in northwest India, a 10-story tower is being constructed in just 48-hours! The visionary behind this project, Harpal Singh of the infrastructure company Synergy Thrislington , says it’s all possible because “the components have been manufactured already, doors that can be pre-fitted, water supply components, wiring, sanitation, air conditioning, ducts and everything else.” Read the rest of 10-Story Prefabricated Turbo Tower in Chandigarh to be Constructed in 48 hours Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: assembling 10 storey tower in 48 hours , building hospitals , building schools , center for industrial and scientific research , Chandigarh , Disaster Relief , earthquake and shock-proof certification , Harpal Singh , India , infrastructure sector , Mohali , prefabricated 10 storey tower , streamlined prefabricated construction process , Synergy Thrislington

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10-Story Prefabricated Turbo Tower in Chandigarh to be Constructed in 48 hours

Green Commuting at Google! (Video)

September 1, 2011 by  
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They Even have a Kayak Commuter! Most of you probably know by now that Google isn’t your average mega-corp. They like to do things their own way, and that includes getting their employees to work. The video above shows how they seem to encourage any way of commuting that isn’t the individual car, from unicycles to pogo-sticks and kayaks (well, those are the weird ones — most employees take the very comfortable bio-diesel shuttle buses with fast internet connections). “In total, the combination of the GFleet and our shuttles result in net annual savings of more than 5,400 metric tons of CO2. That’s like taking over 2,000 cars off the roa… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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How it works: Lithium air battery

August 22, 2011 by  
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Disha Bhatt: Lithium Air Battery Electric battery for future cars Lithium-air batteries were proposed for vehicular propulsion in the 1970s because of their potentially high specific power and high specific energy. More recently, these batteries have attracted attention for military applications. Lithium provides the highest specific energy, compared to any of the common metals used in metal/air batteries. Furthermore, Li-air batteries are capable of achieving high specific power under well-controlled conditions. Because of the reactivity of Lithium with water, Li-air batteries with aqueous electrolyte cannot be electrically recharged. What is Li-air battery? Lithium-air batteries are complex electrochemical systems consisting of a porous electrode allowing oxygen from the air to be reduced, a negative electrode of a pure lithium metal and an electrolyte which is an organic solvent with a lithium salt. This combination gives a high energy density. Lithium-air cells operate at reasonably high coulombic efficiencies because of the relative chemical stability of Lithium in water. The in situ formation of a surface oxide (hydroxide) film on lithium metal retards rapid corrosion after the surface film is formed. However, at open circuit potentials corrosion is rapid, resulting in low electrochemical efficiencies. Thus, the electrolyte is drained from these cell during standby. How does it work? The typical operating temperature of alkaline Lithium-air batteries is limited to less than 100° C because of the vapor pressure of the aqueous electrolyte and the low melting point (179° C) of lithium. The cathode in a lithium-air or lithium-oxygen battery constitutes a complex chemical system and the desired electrochemical reactions only take place at the preferred sites. These sites are known as three phase boundaries, where the presence of oxygen (gas phase), carbon (solid phase) and electrolyte (liquid phase) are connected. Some parameters which have shown to influence the lithium-oxygen battery performance are the type of carbon and binder used in the cathode, the electrode composition and its porosity, the oxygen solubility and the electrolyte composition. When pure and dry oxygen is used, two discharge reactions take place: 2Li + O2 —–> Li2O2 ( E0 = 3.10 V ) 4Li + O2 —–> 2Li2O ( E0 = 2.91 V) Cathode reaction: H2O + e- —-> OH- + 1/2 H2 Latest development: The electrolyte vaporization and anode hydrolysis are limiting the capacity of Lithium-air batteries, therefore different ionic hydrophobic liquids have been investigated due to their resistance to water and low evaporation rates. Lithium-air batteries have been modified nowadays, which combine the properties of a molten-salt battery and a solid electrolyte fuel cell. These cells would surely bring out a green revolution.

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How it works: Lithium air battery

Nissan LEAF Outselling Chevy Volt

July 7, 2011 by  
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The Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt launched around the same time, both offering American drivers electric vehicle options.  Automobile magazine decided to see which car was most capturing the consumers’ attention and the LEAF came out as the clear winner so far.  Nissan has sold 3,875 LEAFs so far in 2011 while Chevy has sold 2,745 Volts. One would assume that the combination of all-electric and gasoline engine like the Volt offers would be more desirable to drivers right now since electric charging infrastructure is slowly expanding, but it seems that a price difference of $8,000 is a bigger factor. The LEAF costs $32,780 before tax incentives and rebates while the Volt starts at $41,000 . These sales numbers only reflect six months of activity, but this could be a great sign for automakers getting ready to release all-electric models, especially since these sell numbers include the production setback Nissan faced after the tsunami that hit Japan in March.  Nissan expects to deliver 10,000 – 12,000 vehicles by the end of 2011. via Automobile

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