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...