Every home in this UK neighborhood is its own power plant

August 29, 2017 by  
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An experimental neighborhood in the U.K. is on a mission to show that smart design can make a big difference when it comes to energy efficiency . 16 homes in Neath, Wales will be outfitted with cutting-edge technology that enables them to generate and store enough clean energy for 100% of their electricity needs. The entire neighborhood will be connected to serve as one autonomous unit of clean energy production. The “buildings as power stations” program is a collaboration between Specific , a U.K. energy innovation center based at Swansea University in Wales and the Pobl Group , which provides social housing. The project will test the feasibility of replacing local power plants with autonomous energy-producing neighborhoods . Related: Amazing solar house generates enough energy to share with its neighbors The innovative project will scale existing clean energy technologies to create a large, cost-effective energy-producing community. The new development will have 16 homes, including two- and three-bedroom houses as well as one-bedroom apartments. The layout will maximize the amount of solar power that can be generated by solar roofs and collectors, which will be shared between the homes. Shared battery storage will hold excess electricity to be distributed in the homes or used for charging electric cars. Various technologies will make the homes ultra-efficient . For example, each building will be wrapped in a perforated steel skin that generates a pocket of hot air when heated by the sun. This air will be distributed through the homes for heat. Elfed Roberts, head of projects at Pobl Group, hailed the pilot as an affordable option for providing energy efficient housing to meet urban housing demands, “The project would enable us for the first time to demonstrate the benefits that the latest technologies can bring to affordable housing developments, and to drastically reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions. We are aiming to achieve homes that feel homely and pleasant to live in, but that also generate most of their energy needs from the roof and wall coverings, thus dramatically reducing the bills for our tenants.” If the pilot program is successful, the next step is to build another 1,200 energy-positive houses in the Swansea Bay City Deal area. + Specific + Pobl Group Via Fast Company

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Every home in this UK neighborhood is its own power plant

Power Barge Could Provide Affordable Wave Power

November 18, 2011 by  
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Wave power is an intriguing but difficult proposition. It offers a fairly steady source of power that is more regular than many other renewable power systems, but the marine environment is particularly harsh and difficult to work in. A number of wave power projects have struggled in the past few years, which shows how difficult this approach can be. A mobile wave power generating system proposed by Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation would install wave generators along with banks of storage batteries onto ships or barges for portable wave power generation. The ship would go to sea and deploy its generators, and then return back to port and connect its batteries to the grid when it was fully charged. These ships would need to be outfitted with millions of dollars worth of storage batteries, and would have storage measured in megawatt-hours. One advantage an integrated power system incorporating this kind of vessel would have is that it could also serve as a grid-tied power storage system. If other renewable sources were producing additional power, there might be times when it would make more sense to keep the barges tied up at the dock and providing their storage capacity instead of sailing out to generate additional power. The basic premise for this has been around for a few years. Existing ships might be able to be repurposed for use as power stations, rather than requiring that new vessels be built. Additionally, while permanently installed wave power systems need to be robust enough to withstand the strongest storms, the mobility of the ship-based system would allow it to be moved back to safety in a harbor when severe weather threatened, which would allow for lighter weight construction. The cost of electricity generated in this way has been estimated to be as low as 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, as compared with 30 to 65 cents per kilowatt-hour with other wave power systems. There would also be considerably fewer regulatory hurdles that would have to be overcome since the generators would be vessels, rather than permanently installed structures. via: ecomagination

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Honda Fit EV Coming Next Year But At a Steep Price

November 18, 2011 by  
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An all-electric version of the Honda Fit made its production model debut at the LA Auto Show, making it official that this long-awaited EV was really coming to U.S. markets as expected .  But there is one big glitch — it’s priced far above what one would expect. The gas-fueled Honda Fit is a very popular, dependable, fuel-efficient car that can be bought new for about $15,000.  The electrified version will cost more than double that with a MSRP of $36,625.  Yikes.  Now, since it’s an all-electric, buyers will be able to qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit, but that’s still $29,000. The Fit EV will feature a 92 kW motor and a three-mode electric drive system that allows drivers to choose from Eco, Normal and Sport modes.  The Eco mode improves the range by 17 percent.  For city driving, Honda says drivers will get up to 123 miles per charge and 76 miles per charge for combined city and highway driving. The Fit EV will be released in select markets in California and Oregon next year and then its release will be expanded to six East Coast markets in 2013.  For those not wanting to buy, Honda will be leasing the Fit EV for $399 a month for three years. via Wired Autopia

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Honda Fit EV Coming Next Year But At a Steep Price

Coal-Power Shortage Threatened in China

January 14, 2010 by  
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We’ve heard of coal powered electric power stations having to be shut off in extended drought conditions – like Australia has had for the last decade – because the water needed to run the power plant is even more needed simply for drinking water supplies. Today, in news from China: electric power is in danger of being shut off due not to hot weather, but to cold weather. Any time coal reserves go lower than three days, coal-fired power plants must shut down.

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Coal-Power Shortage Threatened in China

From Stagecoach to Electric T3s and CitiVans: U.S. Postal Service Delivering Green

January 14, 2010 by  
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If you’re going to deliver half the world’s mail, you might as well do it with fuel-efficient vehicles, and, of course, deliver it on foot in as many communities around the country as you can. While stymied by financial losses ($3.8 billion in 2008), t he US Postal Service continues to commit resources and practice innovation when it comes to adopting fuel efficient delivery vehicles. After all, they had an all-electric delivery vehicle on the road – in 1899 (manufactured by the Winton Company)

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From Stagecoach to Electric T3s and CitiVans: U.S. Postal Service Delivering Green

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