Today solar and wind power becomes more and more commonplace, but there is still a basic problem that comes with these solutions, how do you store the energy produced to be used at a later time? Scientists at GE Global Research have decided to try and solve this problem by storing some of the heat generated by thermal solar power plants in carbon dioxide.
These power plants concentrate solar rays with vast fields of mirrors and use the heat to generate steam that spins a turbine. The carbon dioxide stored under ground is cooled to a solid dry ice state using excess grid power, and when extra electricity is needed, for instance during night, the heated salt then can be used to warm up the solid CO2 to a “supercritical” state between a gas and solid.
Philips has this week announced the launch of the first direct LED replacement range for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLni) based downlights with 60% energy savings. The new Philips CorePro LED PLC range is the first ever LED alternative to compact fluorescent lamps in down lighting applications that comes in a fully retrofit form factor. It offers both Electro Magnetic (EM) and High Frequency (HF) ballasts compatible versions.
Compact fluorescent lamps are one of the world’s most common lamps used in downlights in general lighting applications in offices, hallways, staircases, receptions and meeting rooms.
Royal Philips have just introduced a new instant fit LED replacement tube intended to greatly reduces the cost of replacing existing fluorescent tube lighting compared to other energy efficient LED technology alternatives.
The commercial sector has for a long time been better than the residential sector at both reducing cost, and energy use, by dropping incandescent for fluorescent lighting. However, lighting a commercial building like a factory or a large store still requires vast quantities of power, and changing from fluorescent lighting to a LED based solution has until now required a large investment that will take a long time to recoup.
For just this reason Philips has developed a new InstantFit LED lamp that fits in to existing lighting fixtures, and that requires no rewiring. LED tube lamps use up to 50 percent less energy compared with common linear fluorescent tube lighting and also require less maintenance due to their long lifetime.
Ford has just announced their investing $135 million in the design, engineering and production of key components like advanced battery systems for its next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles, going into production this year.
They are also dedicating a 285,000-square-foot research and development lab in Dearborn, Michigan to focus almost entirely on hybrids and electrification. Formerly known as the Advanced Engineering Center, the building will be renamed the Ford Advanced Electrification Center and will house most of the approximately 1,000 engineers working on Fords hybrid and electrification programs.
Back in September 2011, Mayor of London Boris Johnson called for a zero-emission taxi in London by the end of the decade. Today Nissan just unveiled the Nissan NV200 London Taxi, a vehicle that might just make that target achievable. The NV200 London Taxi will offer significantly reduced CO2 outputs compared to current taxi models. Something that should make the Mayor smile as it shares the same focus as his Air Quality strategy for London.
The NV200 will come in two version. One features a 1.5 dCi 89 HP EuroV diesel engine and a 6-speed manual drivetrain, that achieves 53.3 Miles per Gallon on a combined cycle. This achieves almost a 50% fuel saving compared to the, until now most efficient TX4, with it’s combined cycle figure of 35.3 Miles per Gallon. An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the Capital.
With increased demands for individual mobility, and with more people moving in to the big cities, the need for an efficient, but environmentally friendly urban transportation solution is needed. You could of course buy a bicycle, a solution that has been available even longer then cars. A regular bike will take you where you want to go in your local area at zero carbon emission, and at the same time it gives you exercise. Yet today a lot of people still have a tendency to take the car, even for going to the local shop a 10 min walking distance down the road.
BMW Motorrad has seen the signs of the times and is expanding its business activities to include the facet of urban mobility. The first stage of development was an e-scooter concept vehicle presented at the BMW Motorrad Innovation Day 2011. Shortly after this, the corresponding design study of an e-scooter saw its premiere, the BMW Concept e. The latter embodies the aesthetic vision of an electrically powered scooter. On July 27th 2012 in London, BMW Motorrad presented the highly promising third stage of development. The near-production ready prototype of an e-scooter that might soon become part of everyday road traffic in cities throughout the world, the BMW C evolution.
General Electric recently demonstrated a breakthrough water treatment method, they call AquaSel non-thermal brine concentrator (NTBC) technology, that virtually eliminates any water losses in ingredient water production. At a major global beverage company in Asia, GE recently conducted a pilot study were they achieved a near-zero liquid discharge (ZLD), and reduced water costs, without the normal energy expenses associated with a thermal evaporation system.
With today’s technology, bottling companies typically use 75 to 85 % of the incoming water for bottled water and the variety of soft drinks they produce, and the rest is discharged as a waste stream. Using GE’sAquaSel technology, these companies could safely treat and reuse the water, to achieve 99+ percent recovery in their plants.
At first look a reduction of 3% might not seem a lot, and for a car this might be true, but if you instead apply the percentages on a 40-tonne truck combination (tractor unit and semitrailer) running 180,000 km/year, a fuel saving of 3 percent would reduce fuel consumption by about 1,700 litres (almost 450 gallons) per year. This would be equivalent to an annual reduction in fuel costs of almost €2,300 (about $2,800), and even more important a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of over 4 tonnes.
A new pilot project had been announced by Philips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority to install solar-powered LED street lighting in Nairobi, Kenya. It has the potential to generate up to 100% energy savings if implemented correctly, and on a wide scale across the country. The pilot was launched on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and is the first of its kind in East Africa.
Philips recently announced the development of what they hope will be the most reliable and efficient solar powered road lighting solution per km of road available in the market today. It also aims to be the most cost effective solution available. The initiative want to highlight the benefits of sustainable energy sources and alternatives to expensive and less efficient traditional lighting. The announcement was made during the Kenya leg of the Philips Cairo to Cape Town 2012 road show.
eBay Inc. has this week announced a bold new vision for powering their flagship data center, with renewable energy as its primary power source. In a partnership with Bloom Energy, eBay is building the country’s largest non-utility fuel cell installation. In a typical scenario renewable energy supplements the existing electric grid, but by designing renewable energy into the core of its global commerce platform, and incorporating 30 Bloom Energy servers into the new data center’s energy architecture, eBay plans to use the electric utility grid only as a backup.
“We believe the future of commerce can be greener”, said John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay Inc. “Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionizing how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionize how shopping is powered. We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data center energy architecture. Running our data centers primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core.”