sabato 15 dicembre 2007

Clean Air Cars!

Let's see a not so fresh news: This agreement was signed of february 2007! Tata Motors, in keeping with its role as the leading company in India for automotive R&D, has signed an agreement, in yet another exciting engineering and development effort, with MDI of France for application in India of MDI’s path-breaking technology for engines powered by air. The MDI Group is headed by Mr. Guy Negre, who founded the company in the 1990s in pursuit of his dream to pioneer an engine using just compressed air as fuel – which may be the ultimate environment-friendly engine yet. Besides, the engine is efficient, cost-effective, scalable, and capable of other applications like power generation. The agreement between Tata Motors and MDI envisages Tata’s supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India. Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Guy Negre has said, “MDI has for many years been engaged in developing environment-friendly engines. MDI is happy to conclude this agreement with Tata Motors and work together with this important and experienced industrial group to develop a new and cost-saving technology for various applications for the Indian market that meets with severe regulations for environmental protection. We are continuing the development with our own business concept of licensing car manufacturers in other parts of the world where the production is located close to the markets. We have also developed this new technology for other applications where cost competitiveness combined with respect for environmental questions has our priority.” - About MDI MDI is a small, family-controlled company located at Carros, near Nice (Southern France) where Mr. Guy Negre and Mr. Cyril Nègre, together with their technical team, have developed a new engine technology with the purpose of economising energy and respect severe ecological requirements – at competitive costs. - About Tata Motors Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 5.5 billion in 2005-06. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia and in Australia. Tata Motors and Fiat Auto have announced the formation of an industrial joint venture in India to manufacture passenger cars, engines and transmissions for the Indian and overseas markets. Tata Motors already distributes Fiat-branded cars in India. The company’s international footprint include Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. in South Korea; Hispano Carrocera, a bus and coach manufacturer of Spain in which the company has a 21% stake; a joint venture with Marcopolo, the Brazil-based body-builder of buses and coaches; and a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market pickup vehicles in Thailand. Tata Motors has research centres in India, the UK, and in its subsidiary and associate companies in South Korea and Spain. you can check MDI website here:
Angelo Di Pietro site here: There also another story about another air compressed motor made from an italian living and working in Australia!! Angelo Di Pietro created a revolutionary engine different from the french one, that kept using tradition engine piston use! This engine looks even smaller and integrated, as the previous one, with an air compressor we can continue travel as much as we want. In my opinio its small size makes it ideal for scooters or motorcycles ^_^ Lets check a video with both solutions!!

sabato 1 dicembre 2007

Reduce gasoline consuption

Why do this? well , not only for the ambient...right now petrol prices are the highest ever.. (of course there are some concerns if that price is direct connected with the gasoline one..but this will be another post :) )

We have a lot of way doing that now with current technology. Like use mass trasport if possible, buy a hybrid car or electric scooter!!! Start walking ;) I saw an episode where Homer sipson would use the car to go almost everywhere...meybe not in the bathroom :) so probably most of us do pretty much the same! Think about this twice...think about the ambient you live and your wallet also!

domenica 25 novembre 2007

Alternative transport

A Great idea for Genova city in Italy...

Electric Motor-Scooters and Motorcycles - Electric Vehicle Transportation (EVT)

The implementation of the 48 Volt, Direct Drive Hub Motor in conjunction with The Intelligent System Controller has allowed the construction of a Totally Electric Scooter (The EVT- 4000e pictured here) that obtained first place in the category of "Electric Scooters" in the German Solar Vehicle Championship Year 2000 and Year 2001, sponsored by the Solar-Vehicle Federation of Germany. Likewise, The Taiwan Electric Vehicle Association on February 25, 2000, awarded The EVT-4000e with the first place in the "Eyewitness For the Electric Scooter Cruising Range Race" when it outperformed all other electric scooters by cruising for 81 kilometers (50 miles). In fact, the EVT Electric Scooters won first, second and third places in this long-range distance competition. Rides and handles like a Vespa type scooter, and will (reportedly) top out at 42 MPH with a 130 pound rider. Handling is very solid due to full suspension system, disk brakes at the rear and drum up front. The power rating of the hub motor is 1500 watts, same as the Voloci.

giovedì 11 ottobre 2007

A new future!

Remeber this acronym: EVI

It stands for EcoVillage at Ithaca....and its exacly what the name suggests.

Living a viable healthier life, alternative from the standard american one, this village, and many more on the Global Ecovillage network, are here to teach us something.

For example how shared cars, organic food and composite toilets, along with the more classic fotovoltaic panels, high insulated walls and multipanel fiberglass windows can save energy usually wasted through the freezing winter!
Such green strategies help reduce the ecological impact of 40% circa confront a standard community.

This is an example for all......for what a group of people, us for example, can achieve if want too, or are just nature sensible...don't you think?

It seems that the word is spreading and more are created! But the important thing is that they aren't isolated communities of hippies from the 70's...and it seems that people care actually for their neighbors and help each other. :) seems like small paradises are created in this cold world ;)

Blog Action Day!

On the 15 of october we celebrate the Blog Action Day. This blog will participate like 7000 ones in the whole globe. You can use your own blog to post something about the ambient...


venerdì 6 luglio 2007

Live earth 7/7/2007

Another big event about climate change and action needed....

I'll be honest. I don't know how much these kinds of events will eventually help climate...actually i'm sure nothing will happen...unless WE, everyone, starts from small things! Don't expect your local government do everything... If i choose to recycle i'll do it for me and my children also. But it's just me...a unit. If many start throwing plastic in the recycle bin is translated in an immediate action...not promises, not just empy hopes...

Thinks about what YOU can do to save yourself, not only the planet ;)

venerdì 15 giugno 2007

Recycle pc parts made easy!

Environmental behaviour isn't just turning off monitor during stand by. What about when that part or other pc parts brake and youhave to throw them? The energy intensive proccess of refining and molding plastic means that your computer monitor alone is responsable for emissions! If you eventually toss that monitor away on the scrap pile it will take years to brake down and will likely leak a pool of chemical compounds into the ground...this isn't so good, right?
There is a company that offering a line of flat screen monitors mouse and keyboards housed in bamboo shells. Unlike plastic this is an ecofriendly material. It biodegrades easily and doesn't release any evil compound when it's decompousing. All the bamboo is dried and treated for bugs and infestation. The price isn't so hot actually: monitor from 330$, mice from 20$ and keyboard from 30$. The name of this company is PlayEngine.

lunedì 11 giugno 2007

First post on Hybrid cars...

Let see the future...actually lets see the present! One of the most best selling hybrid cars for now is the well famous Toyota Prius. It's almost 10 years since the birth of a car that runs on a petrol engine and an electric motor. The first mass produced hybrid automobile.
The combination of these 2 motor would be readily accepted by the public in terms of familiar technology. Today the second generation Prius provides both advanced environmental performance and a smooth powerful acceleration.
The combination of energy sources is not simply limited to that of a petrol engine with an electric motor. Lets think again long term :) Toyota also aims to maximize the utilization of energy sources acceptable to society like hydrogen fuel cell, biofuel or clean diesel.
But lets see how it works:
  • The electric motor is used primarly and power stored in the battery is used to turn the motor
  • During normal driving mode the management system monitors the driving conditions and intelligently controls the petrol engine and electric motor for optimum fuel efficiency. At the same time surplus energy is stored in the battery.
  • When you accelerate power is also provided from the battery to the electric motor combined with petrol engine.
  • Need to decelerate? The electric motor functions as a generator during deceleration and braking. Regenerated energy is used to recharge the battery (very clever idea)
  • Braking to a stop at a trafic light the petrol engine is first cut off and the electric motor bringsthe car gently to a stop. The system automatically avoids wasteful idding to conserve fuel and stop carbon emission!
Seems that more car producers start producing and selling hybrid cars. This is not just a fashion or maybe an increase to our environmental morale. Gasoline now costs so much that it's clear everyone tries to save his wallet...
Aren't all these enough reasons???

domenica 10 giugno 2007

Is "friendly" trashcan the future?

Why hawl away garbage when you can store them and pick them later easily in a 18kg compact bags? Forget the stinky overflowing trash cans found in urban corners. The successor is called BigBelly with the looks of a large newspaper vending machine that collects trash rather to distribute. The unit can hold at least 4 times as much as a standard can and so trash need to be collected less often and that means less trucks on the streets!
Large and greenit's the inside mechanics that makes the trash compactor so distinctive. It is equipped with a 40 watt solar panel connected to a 12 volt battery which runs the motor under rain or shine. When the bin is full sensors trigger gears that then compact 680lt of waste into 18kg bags. A LED display indicates that the trash is ready to picked up.
Unfortunately the unit costs, for now, almost 4000$, about 10 times the price of a conventional garbage can, but just think long term...
Jim Poss, head of the Seahorse power company has plans for the LED system to be replaced by a wireless on that will signal when the can is full.

domenica 3 giugno 2007

How to reduce cooling costs..

  • Many of the steps you can take to reduce heating costs, such as insulating and sealing your home, will also reduce air conditioning costs.
  • Use fans instead of air conditioning (Fans make the air feel about 4 degrees cooler).
  • Turn fans off when no one is directly in the air stream of the fan. Fans do not actually cool the air; they help your skin to evaporate water more quickly, which cools you.
  • If you have more than two window air conditioners, it is usually more energy-efficient to install a central air conditioner.
  • Pay attention to efficiency ratings when looking for a new air conditioner.
  • Size your system properly. Calculate the heat loads.
  • If you have a portable air conditioners, be sure that it is vented outside. If it is vented inside, you are actually heating your home.
  • In geographic areas where summer nighttime temperatures fall below 75 F, open windows and use window fans to pull cool outside air into your home. Depending on the layout of your home, it may be best to only open certain windows and position fans so outside air is pulled in on one side of the house and interior air is pushed out on the other side of the house. It may be a wise choice to install a whole-house fan, which pulls air through your home and pushes it out through your attic.
  • Install awnings over windows and close window blinds or curtains to keep direct sunlight out.
  • Plant trees near your home. Choose locations that will shade your house during the afternoon. Even trees not directly shading your home will reduce local air temperatures.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help your body cool itself.
  • Keep closets doors closed. This can save you up to 5% in heating/cooling and air costs alone.

How to reduce heating costs..

  • Operate your furnace efficiently:
    • Install a programmable thermostat and set it so your home will not be heated as much when you are away or asleep.
    • Check your furnace's air filter monthly - replace/clean as required. (more often if there is a lot of dust or pet dander in your home's air).
    • Get furnace serviced annually, check for slow gas line leaks- especially at the meter and pipe junctions
    • Do not obstruct or close heating or air-return vents by placing furniture or other items in front or on top of them.
  • Insulate and weatherize your home effectively:
    • Ask your local utility to inspect your home to ensure that you have adequate insulation installed. Some may provide incentives for this checkup.
    • Seal off rooms that are not in regular use and close heating vents.
    • Carefully hold a smoking combustible material (such as an incense stick) near the frames of exterior doors and windows. If the smoke moves toward or away from the window, an air leak is likely. A thin shred of paper or string may also be used if a combustible smoking material is not available, though it may not work as well.
    • Replace old, leaky windows (especially single-pane glass) with newer double or triple pane, gas filled, low E windows.
    • Install heavy curtains over windows. Use them at night, let the sun in during the day.
    • If you have basement windows that are never opened, consider replacing them with glass block, which is more insulating than a window. Keep at least two basement windows in place, however, so you can vent the basement if needed.
  • "Reuse" heat:
    • Leave hot water in the bathtub or in cooking pots instead of draining it immediately. This allows the water's stored heat to dissipate into your home rather than being lost down the drain. You can also leave a hot oven slightly open after it's use to heat the home.
    • If you have an electric dryer, you may vent it inside occasionally. The vented air will be very moist, so track humidity levels; if the humidity is high for extended periods you may encourage mold and mildew growth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU VENT GAS DRYERS INDOORS due to carbon monoxide present in the exhaust.
  • Use thick blankets so you can keep your home's air temperature lower at night. Wearing a cap on your head at night can enable much lower temperatures.
  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120°F and drain the silt occasionally with a water hose. Be sure to check and replace the anode rods periodically as well.
  • Replace your water heater with a gas tankless water heater, which heats water on demand rather than storing heated water. Solar hot water heating also has tax credits available.
  • Wear several layers of clothing.
  • If you live alone and/or in a large home, it may be more efficient to keep your overall house temperature low (55 to 65°F) and use an electric space heater to heat the areas you use most often. For example, if you work from home, keep a heater near your desk. You could even carefully use a hair-dryer to preheat your bed in seconds. You can utilize the concepts of personal heat.
  • Purchase a radiant-type glowing heater to heat only yourself in the bathroom in the morning to eliminate morning whole-house heating time.
  • Protect your home from cold winds using windbreaks or other energy-efficient landscaping methods.
  • Choosing a smaller home and eschewing unnecessarily high ceilings reduces the amount of space your heating system will have to heat.
  • Choose an apartment or condominium rather than a free-standing house. These dwellings share walls and therefore have fewer exterior walls.

giovedì 31 maggio 2007

What if your A4 paper could be a battery also?

Well this could be the future but for now this are...a little bit smaller ;)

Our battery doesn't go to the battery recycle bin. It's disposable as household waste.
A Finnish company, Enfucell, has a battery that can help people cut down on all the metal, lithium and alkaline that leaks from conventional cells.
These batteries are made of paper. It works much the same as ordinary button batteries and AA ones. Ions travel from an anode, pass through a solution called electrolyte to a cathode and emerge as an electrical charge. Instead of running ions through metal casings full of toxic and corrosive substances like lithium and alkaline the company uses a thin paper sheet as a conduit. It pastes one side with zinc and the other with manganese dioxide. Ions flow through an electrolyte solution of water and zinc cloride within the paper.
The batteries have a very strong Today's button ones sell in bulk for 0.20$ each. Because the 0.4mm thin SoftBattery is made from paper Enfucell can make sheets of the stuff and size the to specific applications with the tiny cost of a penny each once they hitt mass production!
For now these batteries won't power cameras or watchs. Even if they are 1.5Volts they don't last long enough to do so. The first applications could be RFID (radio frequency identification) tags which don't fraw constant power. The tags are tiny chips replacing bar codes. Other producs can be musical greeting cards, LED adorned marketing brochures and cosmetic and medical patches.

Terminator goes green also ^_^

Let's see why...
He took the office in 2003 and started to improve the state's air,water and climate. He created the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to preserve California's mountain range. Establish thousant of hectares of ocean parks, putted millions into habitat restoration, fisheries management and pollution reduction. He also adopted an aggressive greenhouse gas reduction policies by ordering the state government to slash its energy use by 20% and providing almost 3 billion $ to put solar roofs on homes and small businesses. By 2020 1/3 of CA energy will come from renewable sources like wind, biomass and sun.

lunedì 28 maggio 2007

Can Plastic replace Silicon?

What if you could print electronics on just about anything at a very low cost and with low energy impact? Some model products of this idea are: hospital bracelets synced to update when info is added to a medical file, musical scores that refresh so you don't have to turn the pageand many portable text displays light and flexible...
Unike chips made from silicon and glass the polymer ones are light, hard to brake and as cheap as plastic! Plastic transistors don't behave well for the time being to create a pc but there is much else that can be done. The most important thing is the price. Plastic Logic, a company, estimates that plastic chip can cost as little as one tenth of conventional one because the raw material is plastic and all the proccess is done in room temperature. This company is going to produce in Germany a flexible portable text display. Other firms like Polymer Vision announce a 5 inch screen that can be rolled up to the thickness of a cell phone.
Other future products can be grocery store displays that will advertise directly to you. Perishable like milk could be packaged with sensord layered in their cardboard to let you know whether they've always been stored at appropriated temperatures. Immagine plastic solar panels, low cost memory sticks and displays like big screen TV that could rolled up and stashed when guest come...
Future is very near :)

domenica 27 maggio 2007

Hybrid taxis for New York

The mayor of the city, Bloomberg, in a tv show, announced that the taxi fleet of new york will be replaced soon by hybrid cars, friendly to the environment. Half electric, half gasoline.
These hybrid cars have significaly lower emission from conventional ones. New regulation for new taxis entering the fleet were applied with a 2012 deadline for replacing. The president of the car-user association back up this plan.
Today there are as much as 13000 taxis in the town with just 375 of them with lower emission. The plan is to increase that number in 1000 until october 2008.
Thechange of the taxi fleet is part of a bigger plan of Bloomberg that wants to decrease the carbon emission of the town by 30% until 2030. A very ambitious plan...
These hybrid cars were tested for the past 18 months and the success of that testing led to include all vehicles. Authorities declare that even if the car price is higher it will eventualy lead to a profit for every professional of at least 10000$ a year because of the low gasoline usage and the high-price race of it

New ways of Cooling!

Have you ever heard of using Sun and Salt to cool an ambient? Neither did I...but seems that it's true, or at least this is what ClimateWell says! A swedish company based in south of Stocholm that aims to lower the amount and cost of energy used to cool homes in warm weather areas using solar power air conditioning.
Unlike conventional cooling or heating systems fueled by non renewable energy sources like oil and gas, ClimateWell's CW10 system slashes energy use by effectively running off water heated by the sun. In case of cloud day the system stores energy for conversion later into coolong or heating.
Let's see how it works...Air conditioning relies on heat exchange. In this case it's a thermochemical one between water and salt that takes place in a vacuum. Water evaporating from a tank inside the refrigerator is absorbed by salt housed in a connected tank. The water molecules can't resist sticking to the salt turning it into a slurry. A s water aveporates it gives up energy that is released inside the salt tank. The result of the energy transfer is that the water becomes colder as the salt heats up. Pipe water trought the slurry into radiators and the system han heat the home. Use the cold water and you can cool it.
Solar panels provide the energy needed to ensure the coolong process.
The base idea was that heat from water connected to the solar panels dries and crystallizes the salt, evaporating the water absorbed in it and storing energy inside the salt. As soon water is remixed with the salt the energy is released cooling the water tank.
Unfortunately this tech isn't so cheap for the time being. For example it can cost 25000$ circa in a european country but...considering the long term effects, the oil price and tha going solar can make your electricity bill thinner this is considered a good investment!

giovedì 24 maggio 2007

How renewable energy certificate works

An alternative energy supplier such as solar plant or wind farm generates several dozens megawatt hours of electricity. Unlike power from fossil fuels, this type of energy produces little to no carbon.
The output is sold to a power company where is mixed with electricity from other sources. To keep track of it a renewable energy certificate (REC) is issued for each MWh of renewable energy a utility purchases.
Consumers can then pay for those RECs, in addition to their regular electricity bill, as a way of investing in renwable energy, which is generally more expensive to produce than electricity derived from gas or coal.
When the consumer flips the switch the electricity is delivered by a local utility. In buying RECs, however they have helped offset carbon emissions by resupplying the grid with green power.

Earth getting warmer proved!

The U.N's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded for the first time that that evidence of the earth's rising temperatures was "unequivocal" and that this this warming was more than 90% likely the result of human activity! This for all the sceptic scientist...
The IPCC reported that even if we managed to end all green house gas emissions today the earth would continue to warm for the rest of the century because of the amount of carbon we have already added to the atmosphere.
The question now becomes ho the world will respond and in particular how the present major carbon emitter, US, and the close future, by 2010, China, will react. China wants first world polluter to take primary responsibility for cutting emissions, but US refuses to give large developing countries like China the opportunity to pass.
The price of inaction will be enormous for all of us

mercoledì 23 maggio 2007

Plankton eating carbon dioxide

This could seem fantasy more most but not for Russ George chief executive of Planktos. Planktos is a company that plans to plant large fields of this plankton at sea near the Galàpagos island and in the south pacific in order to slow down global warming. Other scientist question this sheme's efficacy and believe that could increase greenhoue gases through the organisms' potential release of methane and nitrous oxide.

Why going green can harm your carrer...

This is an example of why not everybody is prepared to accept more green least not the big companies! The story of Tomoyo Nonaka.
Being a former TV journalist she took charge of Sanyo, the big Japanese electronic company. She anounced a bold plan to transformSanyo into a leader in production of environmentally products like solar panels and energy efficient refrigerators.

"It's about sustainability and Sanyo will be the solution provider for this new world"

The old world wasn't ready and she had to resign from her position after Sanyo reported continued losses...
With climate change and high oil prices corporations are rushing to show off their green credentials, but unfortunately the field of environmental friendly products hasn't yet reached the critical mass (except some like Toyota Prius hybrid car).
Consumers don't want to pay much for appliances and othe items offerinf only long term individual benefits...nobody thinks the future! Also even if solar power market, where Sanyo is a big competitor, is starting to become wider and China, US and Taiwan have been investing in this technology over the past 2 years, generating electricity from solar panels is still at least twice as expensive as buying it from a fossil fuel factory.
There are some very interesting products from Sanyo green line, like : a battery that could be recharged with a very small solar panel, a washing maschine that recycled water and a hand warmer that use the company's advanced battery technology

martedì 22 maggio 2007

Why should everyone change the Lightbulbs at home..

We spend much energy daily for light, even when we really don't need it! So thats why we should replace the lightbulbs with compact fluorescent ones. It costs three to five times as much as conventional bilb, but it burns 75% less energy and last years longer. So in the end we can actually have long term profit. A fact : If every U.S. home bought one compact fluorescent bulb the effect on greenhouse gases would be equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road. Also new technology is on the door. LEDS or light-emitting diodes should do the job even better...