Indian Railways launches first train with solar-powered coaches

July 17, 2017 by  
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Train travel in India just got a little greener. Last week Indian Railways rolled out their first train outfitted with rooftop solar panels – in the Delhi area notorious for its pollution . The solar panels will completely power fans, lighting, and display systems in the coaches. The government expects the move will save them around 5,547 gallons of diesel every single year. The train, a 1600 HP DEMU, is just the first of several more trains with solar-powered coaches to come. Indian Railways will install solar panels on 24 other trains in the upcoming six months. In the past, a diesel-fueled generator provided electricity for a train’s lighting and fans, but the new solar system includes a smart MPPT inverter so these features can be cleanly powered even during the night. According to Indian Railways, the solar panels will slash carbon dioxide generation by nine metric tons per coach per year. Related: Indian Railways installing rooftop solar panels on 250 trains 16 solar panels generating 300 watts each offer a 4.5 kilowatt peak capacity for each coach. The system can generate around 20 kilowatt-hours of clean power per day. A 120 AH battery system will store excess power generated during peak hours. Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said the railways are committed to conserving the environment and using more clean energy . The government’s press release on the trains pointed to other measures the railways have taken to become more environmentally friendly, such as the use of bio-toilets , biofuels, and wind energy. Jakson Engineers, under the guidance of the Indian Railways Organization for Alternative Fuels (IROAF), developed the new train solar system. Managing director Sundeep Gupta told Business Standard is was no easy feat to attach solar panels to trains that will move at speeds of 80 kilometers per hour, which is around 50 miles per hour. The train has a lifetime of around 25 years. Via Quartz India and Government of India Images via screenshot and Ministry of Railways on Twitter

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Indian Railways launches first train with solar-powered coaches

Oozing hagfish spill covers highway with slime in Oregon

July 17, 2017 by  
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The images seem as though they were lifted from some horror show in which alien creatures paralyze highways and melt cars wherever they fall. In a stranger-than-fiction twist, something quite similar actually occurred in Depoe Bay, Oregon . A truck hauling eels known as hagfish for their ghoulish appearance overturned on an Oregon state highway last week, leaving the roadway covered in a debilitating layer of ooze. “What to tell the #drycleaner?” tweeted the Oregon State Police as the clean-up team worked to clear the road. The hagfish that spilled across the highway were en route to port, from which they would be shipped to Korea ; there, hagfish are considered a delicacy. As the truck driver tried to slow down near road construction, containers of hagfish, 7,500 pounds of eels in total, slipped from the truck bed, hitting the pavement and nearby passing cars. The highway was shutdown for several hours as state and local authorities bulldozed and hosed the unlucky hagfish and their accompanying slime off the road. Related: The Biomimicry Manual: That Crafty Green Chemist, the Hagfish When hagfish are agitated, they excrete a large amount of the slime observed in the pictures of the flooded highway and wrecked cars . This slime production is actually encouraged by intentionally distressing the hagfish, as their slime is used in some cuisines in a similar manner as one might use egg whites. It only takes one hagfish a few seconds to transform a five-gallon bucket of saltwater into a sticky, slimy mess. This slime can also be used as an unexpected natural fiber , which can be processed into a replacement for oil-based polymers. Via the Seattle Times Images via NOAA Photo Library and Oregon State Police

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Oozing hagfish spill covers highway with slime in Oregon

This off-grid school bus home has an incredible raised roof

July 17, 2017 by  
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Converting an old school bus into a livable home is no easy task, but with a little ingenuity, amazing spaces can be created. When Luke and Rachel Davis of Midwest Wanderers decided to travel full time with their daughter and dog, they renovated a 240-square-foot school bus into a surprisingly spacious off-grid home that includes a raised roof, solar panels, and a beautiful interior design. After deciding to leave their Chicago home behind and take the leap into nomadic living, the couple purchased an old school bus for $4,000. They gutted the entire structure and began to do the bus renovations themselves using as many repurposed materials as possible. A year and a half later, the couple raised the bus’s roof by 24 inches to add height to the living space. The extra space does wonders for the living area, which is illuminated with an abundance of natural light thanks to the porthole skylights on the raised ceiling. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel The sophisticated interior design is extremely comfortable for the family of three, plus their dog, Baxter. The living room, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms are all equipped with strategic storage solutions to help reduce clutter. Thanks to the elevated roof, the couple was able to add a sleeping loft on the upper level that is accessible via ladder. A second bedroom for their daughter is located just underneath on the main floor. The living area also has a sleeper sofa with plenty of storage underneath. Adjacent to the sofa is a dining table that can be folded down when not in use. A cast iron pot belly wood stove sits in the corner of the living space, and provides enough heat to warm the interior. In the corner of the living space is a compact bathroom, which was installed with a composting toilet and a RV-style tub shower. As a former baker, Rachel was determined to have a working kitchen with sufficient space. Accordingly, the kitchen was equipped with a large countertop, a four-burner stove, and a refrigerator. The handy duo wanted to make their new home as self-sufficient as possible. They used as many repurposed materials in the conversion process as possible, installing upcycled bamboo flooring, reclaimed barn beam countertops, a reclaimed barn wood accent wall, and a locally-reclaimed walnut table. For energy use, a 900-watt solar array provides all of the family’s energy and their water use is reduced thanks to a composting toilet and a low-flow shower head in the bathroom. You can follow the adventures of the Midwest Wanderers on their blog and Instagram page . + Midwest Wanderers Via Treehugger Photography via Midwest Wanderers

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This off-grid school bus home has an incredible raised roof

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