Dear David Attenborough: The bears are at the door

January 24, 2020 by  
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The sense of crisis is growing, along with the actual climate crisis.

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Dear David Attenborough: The bears are at the door

How can large asset owners make the most of nontraditional risks?

January 24, 2020 by  
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The new world of risk includes the physical and economic impact of climate change and the unknown path of future technology.

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How can large asset owners make the most of nontraditional risks?

Tiny power plant sucks CO2 from the air and turns it into fuel

November 11, 2016 by  
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Ineratec , an offshoot of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has devised a creative solution to the excess carbon dioxide (CO2) soaking the atmosphere. The company developed a small power plant that sucks CO2 out of the air and turns it into fuel . Researchers aim to switch on a pilot plant, called the Soletair Project, at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland later this year. Ineratec’s mini power plant is so small it can fit inside a shipping container . KIT says there are three parts to the system: a microstructured reactor, a direct air capture unit created by VIT, and an electrolysis unit which runs on solar power created by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The direct air capture unit extracts CO2 out of the air and then the reactor converts the CO2 and regenerative hydrogen via the electrolysis unit into fuel. The Ineratec founders say the system can produce gasoline, kerosene, or diesel. Related: Cutting-edge MIT research converts carbon emissions into usable liquid fuel Ineratec founder Tim Böltken told New Atlas, “We supply an entirely new, modular technology that is a real alternative to the costly large chemical facilities used for the conventional gas-to-liquid process.” Böltken said there are many other possible applications for the plant, including gathering fuel from sewage treatment facilities. He also suggested organic farmers might be able to use the system to generate energy. VTT Principal Scientist Pekka Simell said in a statement , “The project will produce expertise for enterprises in various fields, and it will result in a multidisciplinary industrial integration that no one company can achieve on its own.” VTT and LUT will build a demonstration plant set to being operating this year, and in 2017 LUT plans to continue testing. According to KIT, Ineratec is planning to commercialize the compact plant, which could hit the market in 2018. Via New Atlas Images via Ineratec and KIT

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Tiny power plant sucks CO2 from the air and turns it into fuel

72-ton elevating house lifts 5 feet into the air to escape flooding

November 11, 2016 by  
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Larkfleet Group has created a revolutionary Elevating House that literally rises above flood waters. In case of a flood , the house can rise nearly five feet into the air in under five minutes – even though it weighs almost 72 tons. Larkfleet recently requested planning permission to build the house and begin testing. The house is elevated via eight mechanical jacks, according to Larkfleet Group, and instead of building on a traditional foundation, they’ll construct the house on a steel ring beam. The company says the house will have a ” modular steel-frame design ” and can even be “disassembled and re-erected on another site on conventional foundations as a family residence.” Related: Six Flood-Proof Buildings That Can Survive Rising Tides If they obtain planning permission, Larkfleet aims to erect a three bedroom experimental house in Lincolnshire in the UK, possibly in 2017. Should they succeed in building the house, the company will test how the jacking system works and is maintained over a period of around five years. Larkfleet says Elevating House would be raised based on warnings from the UK Environment Agency before a flood strikes, but notes the home could still be raised quickly if necessary. Their plan is to ensure residents raise their home and then evacuate, but the home could still receive power from a battery and rooftop solar panels if necessary. Flexible hoses would keep Elevating House connected to water and sewage. Such a design could allow homes to be built in locations currently undeveloped because of concerns over flooding . Larkfleet Group CEO Karl Hick said in a statement, “The elevating house effectively eliminates the risk of flood damage to homes so that more land across the country can be approved for future home building. This will help to tackle the ‘ housing crisis ‘ that is being caused by the demand for new housing far exceeding the supply.” + Larkfleet Group Images via Larkfleet Group

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72-ton elevating house lifts 5 feet into the air to escape flooding

Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability: Student Leadership

December 17, 2012 by  
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This conference will bring together technical education practitioners and scholars to present cases, concepts, or ideas that advance, or have the potential to advance, sustainability through innovative educational practice.

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Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability: Student Leadership

Volvo prepares to test three different prototypes of range extending EVs

July 14, 2011 by  
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Ayan Sengupta: Volvo Range extending EV Technical Concept 1 It seems like the Swedish automaker, Volvo, has decided to up the ante as far as technology for hybrid vehicles are concerned. This is why, the company has developed three different prototypes of range extending electric vehicles (RE-EV), in an effort to find out the most effective and efficient way of implementing hybrid technology. The testing of these three RE-EV concepts is slated to start in 2012. Similar to hybrid vehicles, an electric motor and a conventional combustion engine form part of the range extending EVs as well. But the difference here is that, in RE-EVs the combustion engine is not responsible for driving the vehicle. Instead, the combustion engine only generates electricity to charge the vehicles batteries. This system is known as a series connected setup. The three different concepts of RE-EVs have been termed simply as Technical Concepts I, II and III. All of these concepts have been fitted with a 3-cylinder petrol engine that can be run on either E85 Ethanol or Petrol. All the three vehicles have an electric front-wheel drive system fitted to them. The Technical Concept I is based on Volvo’s C30 model. The range-extender here is serially connected one after the other. It has a 45 kW petrol engine and a 40 liter fuel tank. The petrol engine has been connected to a 40 kW generator that can either drive the vehicle’s 82 kW electric motor or charge the vehicle’s battery to give the car an extended range. Range of the Technical Concept I is said to be more than 1100 Km. Volvo Range extending EV Technical Concept 2 When it comes to the Technical Concept II, things become a little bit different. Although the Technical Concept II is also based on the C30 model, it has a parallel connected RE which is different from the previous concept which had a series connected RE. The combustion engine in this concept delivers an output of 140 kW. Just like the first concept, the petrol engine in this version has been fitted towards the back end of the car. Here too, the engine has been connected to a 40 kW generator which helps in charging the car’s battery. Volvo Range extending EV Technical Concept 3 The Technical Concept III also has a parallel connected range extender. But it is based on a Volvo V60 model unlike the previous ones which were based on the Volvo C30 models. It has a 140 kW/187 HP turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, an 82 kW/110 HP electric motor, a 40 kW generator and a two-stage automatic transmission system. But this concept is different from the previous one as far as positioning of the drivetrains are concerned. In this concept the combustion engine, the electric motor, the generator and the gearbox, all have been placed under the bonnet of the car. This particular concept is powered solely by the electric motor at speeds less than 50km/h. Via: Car advice

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Volvo prepares to test three different prototypes of range extending EVs

Citroen Root concept three-wheeled vehicle is propelled by electric motors

July 14, 2011 by  
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AKSHAT YAGNIC: Citroen Root Concept electric car Transportation designers have been regular in designing concept three-wheeled electric vehicles for congested urbanities of the future. The reasons for the same are obvious – three-wheeled vehicles are far more efficient than electric cars and need a lot less space for parking. Designer Dooyeul Lee also believes that three-wheeled vehicles are the future and has come up with a concept trike called the Citroen Root. Picture Gallery Citroen Root Concept electric car The Citroen Root has a lightweight body that gets powered by an all-electric engine. With three-wheels and a covered roof, this vehicle is definitely better than motorcycles in providing safety and climate protection to the occupants. The driver can also chose to ride the vehicle as a motorcycle or drive it as a car by sitting on a chair inside. The seat is moved on magnetic tracks to alter its position and allow the driver to drive the vehicle in two different modes. Via: CarDesign

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Citroen Root concept three-wheeled vehicle is propelled by electric motors

More Hydrogen from Sunlight

May 12, 2011 by  
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When there’s a good idea around, there’s more than one person pursuing it. And so it turns out that the artificial photosynthesis we covered recently isn’t the only approach being pursued to produce hydrogen using only water and sunlight. A team of scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University and others at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) are also working on a method to generate hydrogen from water using sunlight

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More Hydrogen from Sunlight

Mikou studio proposes functional and sustainable design for a German college

October 4, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Eco-friendly building with roofs covered with plants or solar panels. French Mikou design studio sees the Bottrop Higher Technical College in Germany as a symbolic structure that is a representation of architectural excellence and sustainability. The building centers around optimizing passive energy and orienting a maximum amount of facades and roofs toward the south.

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Mikou studio proposes functional and sustainable design for a German college

Plug-in, hybrid-electric yacht runs on wind energy even with lowered sails

October 4, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Catamaran uses a lithium-ion battery charged by wind as auxiliary power source. The Tang is a yet another good looking, high performance wind powered catamaran from Tag Yachts that runs on wind energy even when its sails are lowered.

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Plug-in, hybrid-electric yacht runs on wind energy even with lowered sails

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