The world’s first levitating pneumatic Hyperloop system will be tested next week

October 27, 2016 by  
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The Waterloop team is focusing on reducing the weight of its futuristic vehicle in order to boost speed . Currently, the team is aiming for 340 miles per hour (550 km/h). While that is only around half the speed that theoretical Hyperloop pods can travel, it will be an impressive accomplishment for an actual prototype. The GOOSE I pod, backed in part by crowdfunding efforts, is the team’s half-scale, functional prototype vehicle pod. Related: Is it real? Redditor claims to show first glimpse of futuristic Hyperloop test track After unveiling the initial Hyperloop concept in 2013, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk moved quickly to share the technology by making it open source. In doing so, he fired a starting gun of sorts, kicking off a global innovation race. Although Musk is not directly involved with any of the teams working toward a working Hyperloop system, SpaceX launched the Hyperloop Pod Competition I in 2015, which invites Hyperloop teams from around the world to test their human-scale pods on the mile-long test track built adjacent to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The competition is scheduled for the weekend of January 27-29, 2017. Team Waterloop, the only Hyperloop competition team from Canada, is looking forward to unleashing their creation at that event. + Team Waterloop Images via Team Waterloop

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The world’s first levitating pneumatic Hyperloop system will be tested next week

The world’s renewable energy capacity is now higher than coal

October 27, 2016 by  
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For the first time, the generating capacity of renewable energy systems around the world has surpassed coal power . According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the growth was in large part due to new installations of solar power and wind projects . The IEA reports half a million solar panels were installed every day in 2015, and two new wind turbines went up every hour in countries such as China. Leave no room for doubt; this is epic news. In the latest edition of the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Market Report, the agency focuses on gains made in 2015, which saw renewable energy projects eclipse the capacity of the world’s coal power plants for the first time. Of the newly added power projects around the globe, 153 gigawatts of renewables makes up more than half of the new capacity added in 2015 – a 15-percent increase from the previous year. Wind power accounts for 66GW of new renewable projects, with photovoltaics making up 49 GW. The remaining segment is comprised of other renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric and geothermal power. Related: Wind power could supply 20% of global energy by 2030 The report also predicts that renewables will generate enough electricity for 100 percent of energy demand in the United States and Europe by 2021—just five years from now. Despite the massive increases in renewable energy capacity in 2015, more time will be needed to improve grid infrastructure and energy storage systems to handle the output. Ars Technica points out that most renewable energy projects operate at slightly more than 30 percent capacity, meaning we’re only tapping into a third of the potential energy generation. As the price of renewable energy projects continues to fall, the realized electricity output from renewables could surpass coal even earlier than anticipated. Via Ars Technica Images via Shutterstock and Wikipedia

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The world’s renewable energy capacity is now higher than coal

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