Archive for the ‘innovation’ Category

Record-breaking winter season for Lapland tourism

Posted: November 22, 2017 by oldbrew in humour, innovation, Travel
Tags:

Credit: Visitfinland


This place sounds ideal for an upmarket climate conference. The brand new Glass Resort is ‘situated right next door to Santa’s office at Santa Claus Village’. Just the place from which to send out all those generous climate funds that no country with any sense wants to contribute to.

Snow is more popular than ever, says the Barents Observer. About 600 charter flights are landing at Finland’s three northernmost airports in the months ahead.

New hotels, glass igloos, log-huts, snow constructions and ice cottages. Lapland seems prepared to welcome tens of thousands of tourists starting now in late November. Santa Claus is still an attraction, but newcomer of the year is the Snow Man.

(more…)

Credit: ITER


A rosy picture of cheap renewables is put forward by Bloomberg, but they rely on ‘promises’ and ignore the true logistics of plastering the world with their Hollywood-style vision of wind turbines, solar panels and industrial-scale batteries. The extravagant claim is made that ‘the concept of the need for baseload generation is fading away’. How’s that going in Australia for example?
H/T The GWPF

The world’s biggest scientific experiment is on course to become the most expensive source of surplus power. 

With wind-farm campaigners starting to promise subsidy-free power by 2025 and electricity demand in Europe stagnating, the future of fusion research looks bleak.

(more…)

Image credit: Statoil


They’re only tethered to the sea floor, but you still wouldn’t want to bump into one. The five turbines are 253 metres tall (of which 78m. submerged) and 720-1,600 metres apart, about 25 km.(15 miles) offshore. Will they throw the towel in if one floats away – or sinks?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the 30 MW Hywind Scotland windfarm today (18 October), which is situated 25 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, and being operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar reports Utility Week.

“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said Sturgeon. “Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”

Statoil’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff, said Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres and will be able to open areas “that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind”.

(more…)


What effect the extra demands of being used for energy storage might have on the long-term efficiency and life of the electric vehicle’s battery is not mentioned. They hope that more EVs on such schemes could reduce the need for new power generation, by allowing smarter management of existing resources.

Ovo, the UK electricity supplier, is to offer a ‘vehicle-to-grid’ service to buyers of the Nissan Leaf from next year, allowing electric car owners’ to drive for free by letting energy firms use their vehicle’s batteries, reports Power Engineering International.

Savings from the scheme will cover the £350-£400 annual cost of charging a Nissan Leaf, the electricity supplier told the Guardian.

The move could mean greater take-up of electric vehicles and help power grids manage the growth in green energy, according to its backers.

(more…)

Credit: carsdirect.com


Fast-charging high-capacity batteries sound ideal if they can get the idea to work at the real-world industrial scale – always a big ‘if’ of course.

Asphalt may hold the key to unlocking the high capacity of lithium metal batteries, reports R&D Magazine.

Rice University researchers have found that a small amount of asphalt may allow lithium metal batteries to charge 10-to-20 times faster than commercial lithium-ion batteries.

The researchers developed anodes— comprising of porous carbon from asphalt— that showed stability after more than 500 charge-discharge cycles and a high-current density of 20 milliamps per square centimeter, demonstrating the material’s promise for use in rapid charge and discharge devices that require high-power density.

(more…)

The ‘Wooden Wonder’ combat aircraft of the 1940s


The Wooden Wonder Mosquito showed it could work for an aircraft. Now Japanese researchers say ‘wood pulp could be as strong as steel, but 80% lighter’, reports BBC News.

Car parts of the future could be made out of a surprising material. Wood.

Researchers in Japan are working to create a strong material out of wood pulp that could replace steel parts in vehicles within a decade.

Work is also charging ahead in the country to develop plastics that can withstand high temperatures, to replace metal for parts near the engine.

These innovations are part of a wider industry push to make cars lighter.

(more…)

Dyson to make electric cars from 2020 

Posted: September 26, 2017 by oldbrew in innovation, News, Travel
Tags:

Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


It will have to be better than the last British attempt by an inventor, which was classed as a tricycle, but that should be easy enough. A radical design with a solid state battery are among the few clues available so far, but – like other Dyson products – ‘it won’t be cheap’.

Dyson, the engineering company best known for its vacuum cleaners and fans, plans to spend £2bn developing a “radical” electric car, says BBC News.

The battery-powered vehicle is due to be launched in 2020. Dyson says 400 staff have been working on the secret project for the past two years at its headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

However, the car does not yet exist, with no prototype built, and a factory site is yet to be chosen.

(more…)

Cassini probe at Saturn
[credit: NASA]


NASA’s Cassini space probe is still sending back useful data before it ends its 20 year mission by diving into the unexplored Saturnian atmosphere.

The spectacular rings of Saturn may be relatively young, perhaps just 100 million years or so old, says BBC News.

This is the early interpretation of data gathered by the Cassini spacecraft on its final orbits of the giant world. If confirmed, it means we are looking at Saturn at a very special time in the age of the Solar System.

Cassini is scheduled to make only two more close-in passes before driving itself to destruction in Saturn’s atmosphere on 15 September. The probe is being disposed of in this way because it will soon run out of fuel.

(more…)

Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley, suspended from a crane during her recovery from Charleston Harbor, 8 August 2000 [image credit: Barbara Voulgaris, Naval Historical Center]


The Hunley was the first combat submarine to sink a warship, in 1864. It was very basic, being designed for a crew of eight, seven to turn the hand-cranked propeller and one to steer and direct the boat. Its discovery in 1995 was described by the Director of Naval History at the Naval Historical Center as “probably the most important find of the century.” ‘Tens of thousands’ attended an official funeral in Charleston, South Carolina in 2004, including all five branches of the U.S. armed forces.

A full 22 years after their bodies were discovered, scientists have come up with an explanation for the mysterious deaths of the crew of the Civil War submarine the H. L. Hunley 150 years ago, reports the IB Times.

The Confederate crew of eight were found seated in their stations on the hand crank that powered the ship. They showed no sign of struggle or trying to escape. They also displayed no sign of physical injury. The bilge pumps hadn’t been used and they hadn’t tried to escape through the air hatches.

(more…)

Sydney, Australia


Sounds promising, but can these batteries make the leap from hearing aids to machinery in general? Developments – if any – awaited.

Zinc-air batteries are an enticing prospect thanks to their high energy density and the fact they’re made with some of the most common materials on Earth, says New Atlas.

Unfortunately, those advantages are countered by how difficult it is to recharge these cells. Now, a team at the University of Sydney has created new catalysts out of abundant elements that could see rechargeable zinc-air batteries vying with lithium-ion batteries in mobile devices.

(more…)

Credit: siemens.com


Could be expensive, but similar systems have already been installed in Sweden and California. No overtaking?

The German state of Hesse is to build a 10km-long highway with overhead power lines that trucks can connect to at speed with a pantograph, reports Power Engineering International.

Siemens Mobility are to develop the line to supply electricity to hybrid trucks, which will then be able to operate twice as efficiently as they would when running on petrol or diesel.

The company said that a 40-tonne truck running for 100,000km on an eHighway would realise €20,000 in reduced fuel costs.

(more…)

Credit: Solar Squared


Leaving aside questions like cost, effectiveness and ease of replacement, the idea is that ‘the electricity generated will then be available to power the building, be stored or used to charge electric vehicles’.

Buildings could soon be able to convert the sun’s energy into electricity without the need for solar panels, thanks to innovative new technology, reports Phys.org.

Renewable Energy experts from the University of Exeter are developing a pioneering new technique that could accelerate the widespread introduction of net-zero energy buildings through the latest Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV).

These products, similar to the solar tile created by Tesla, can become a part of a building’s architecture to generate electricity.

(more…)

LA street [image credit: theatlantic.com]


Whether this is anything more than a gimmick remains to be seen. It’s described as an experiment ‘to reduce the heat island effect’.

Can a splash of gray pavement paint help combat global warming?

In Los Angeles, where summer temperatures regularly surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), workers are coating streets in special gray treatments in a bid to do just that, as Phys.org reports.

The City of Angels, home to four million people, is the first major city to test the technology. Normal black asphalt absorbs 80 to 95 percent of sunlight, while the gray “cool pavement” reflects it—dramatically lowering ground temperature and reducing urban street heat, advocates of the method say.

During a demonstration of the technique, Jeff Luzar—sales director at GuardTop, which markets the product—showed how applying the paint could drop street temperatures by about 12 degrees Fahrenheit after just one coat.

(more…)

Credit: Automotive News Europe


European auto makers look like riding out the current panic over diesel engine health risks, fighting off a clamour for action by politicians and environmentalists, and despite some worrying projections by investment bankers, as Forbes reports.

New “mild-hybrid” technology will quickly fill the gap left by diesel’s precipitate decline, while a softening attitude from the European Union (E.U.) suggests city bans of this now derided technology might not be as ubiquitous as feared.

(more…)

Ned and Karl have finally got some big exposure to the general public for their paradigm shifting breakthrough in geo and astro-physics. World Net Daily front page stories are read by over a million people. This is a great step forward for recognition of their work.
ned-karl-wnd3

Study blows Greenhouse Theory out of the water

7-9-2017 By Alex Newman for World Net Daily

BOZEMAN, Mont. – A new scientific paper contends the entire foundation of the man-made global-warming theory – the assumption that greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by trapping heat – is wrong.

If confirmed, the study’s findings would crush the entire “climate change” movement to restrict CO2 emissions, the authors assert

Some experts contacted by WND criticized the paper, while others advised caution.

Still others suggested that the claimed discovery represents a massive leap forward in human understanding – a “new paradigm.”

The paper argues that concentrations of CO2 and other supposed “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere have virtually no effect on the earth’s temperature.

(more…)

Image credit: Eviation


No details of costs in this IB Times report, but Eviation claims that its electric aircraft is made possible by a new aluminum air battery.

As electric cars slowly become commonplace in towns and cities, electric planes are slowly edging their way out of science fiction and into the real world.

At the International Paris Air Show, Israel-based Eviation Aircraft revealed the first prototype of its all-electric airplane, called the Alice Commuter, which is claimed to have a range of up to 600 miles at almost 280mph.

If Eviation can stick to that timeline then the progress in electronic aviation is nothing short of staggering. Just two years ago, Icelandic airline Wow Air ran an April Fool’s day joke about it launching an all-electric.

(more…)

Credit: Kite Power Systems [click to enlarge]


It may be hard to imagine large scale use of kites to generate electricity, but this is the concept being tested in Scotland with some big name backers behind it.

Kite Power Systems (KPS) has secured £2 million equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) says Utility Week.

The Scottish economy secretary, Keith Brown confirmed the news yesterday (22 June), following a visit to Kellwood Engineering in Dumfries, where KPS’s latest 500kw demonstration model is being built. Brown said the company’s approach to wind energy “shows great promise”.

“The company has recently relocated from Essex to Glasgow and this £2 million investment from the SIB will enable it to expand further and demonstrate the latest iteration of its kite power technology in Scotland,” he added.

KPS has developed a power system that features two kites, which fly up to an altitude of 1500 feet. Both kites are attached by tethers to a winch system, which generates electricity as the winch spools out. 

(more…)

Credit: sciencedaily.com


This is about using the batteries of electric cars, vans etc. as a resource to support the national electricity network. Why it should need to be considered at all is an interesting question. They talk of “improving network capacity and helping to make renewable energy sources more affordable and more widely available”.

UK electricity distribution company Northern Powergrid has signed “a ground-breaking industry partnership” with electric vehicle manufacturer Nissan, reports Power Engineering International

The two organisations will work together over the next six years on examining how electric vehicles, batteries and other technologies can support energy networks.

They will also explore how new technologies can enhance the capacity, capability and resilience of the region’s power network to make it more active and responsive to the growing and changing demands of both domestic and commercial customers. 

(more…)

Credit: phys.org


Methane hydrates have been known about for years, but cost and technical difficulties have so far been barriers to exploiting them on any kind of scale. Claims that they could ‘flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases’ are the usual over-the-top propaganda.

Commercial development of the globe’s huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor off their coastlines, says Phys.org.

But experts said Friday that large-scale production remains many years away—and if not done properly could flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Combustible ice is a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas. Technically known as methane hydrate, it can be lit on fire in its frozen state and is believed to comprise one of the world’s most abundant fossil fuels.

(more…)

Credit: Wave Swell Energy


It’s essentially an artificial blowhole according to the company CEO. They say the device uses resonance to make the most energy out of the water that washes into it, by operating at the natural frequency of the waves, and claim it’s ‘120% more efficient than a conventional device’.

Wave Swell Energy plans to install a commercial scale wave energy plant in the Bass Strait, off King Island in Tasmania, reports Tidal Energy Today.

Wave Swell’s series of one-megawatt generators will cost up to $7 million to build, and at peak times will provide up to half the power for King Island’s 1,600 residents, according to the Australian Maritime College (AMC).

The Australian-based wave energy developer said it expects the cost of wave power to be less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour when built at scale.

(more…)