alternative energy

Solar Cell Power Output Tripled By Dye

In a world first, a Monash University-led international research team has developed an innovative way to boost the output of the next generation of solar cells. Scientists at Monash University, in collaboration with colleagues from the universities of Wollongong and Ulm in Germany, have produced tandem dye-sensitised solar cells with a three-fold increase in energy conversion efficiency compared with previously reported tandem dye-sensitised solar cells.

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New Geothermal Revolution Coming for Australia?

Efficient large-scale power generation from geothermal and other low-grade heat sources is a step closer with the release of a revolutionary new technology platform. Called GRANEX, the technology delivers higher thermal efficiencies than conventional power plants and increases the amount of electricity that can be generated from low-grade heat sources such as geothermal and industrial waste heat.

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Japanese Team Crosses Australia, Takes Global Green Challenge

After nearly four days, 3,000km and lots of baking Australian sun, a team from Japan's Tokai University edged out 31 other competitors to bring home a solar victory in the 2009 Global Green Challenge

A team of solar-car scientists from Japan's Tokai University turned the intense rays of central Australia into victory in the 2009 Global Green Challenge. The team covered nearly 3,000km over four days in their solar-powered Tokai Challenger to claim first place among the Challenge's solar-vehicle field.

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Google Working on "Smart Charging" Software for Electric Cars

The Internet giant's geniuses are working on software that'll help get electric cars juiced without stressing out the electrical grid.

Imagine millions of plug-in vehicle owners returning home from work on a hot summer day, plugging in their cars at the same time, and melting down an overtaxed, outdated, and otherwise atrophied electrical grid. But the geniuses at Google say averting a disaster scenario could be as simple as a few lines of code (well, a few more than just a few).

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Corvette-Engined Hot Rod to Shred Tires, Showcase Natural-Gas Power

A company that makes plug-and-play kits to let cars run on natural gas goes hotrodding. Will it convince the old roadster crowd to do low-emissions burnouts?

As a fuel for cars, compressed natural gas hasn't exactly exploded in the US. Of all the major automakers, only Honda offers a CNG-powered car, buyers of which are eligible for a tax rebate and get a free pass on the carpool lane in most states. But proponents of CNG say the fuel that's common for buses and fleet vehicles is not only good for commuter cars, but for flamboyant customs as well.

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New Electric Car Seats Two, Hits 75 MPH, Needs a Name

Electric-vehicle startup Myers Motors already builds a one-seat electric car with three wheels. Now, the company says a new model is on the way with something extra novel -- a passenger seat. Dubbed the NMG2 (the first model is called NMG), the part-car-part-motorcycle will also get more storage space, creature comforts like air conditioning and a 60-mile range on a charge of its lithium-ion battery.

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Boing! Elastic Energy-Storage Systems Could Challenge Li-ion Batteries

MIT Researchers say carbon nanotubes could provide a more durable, reliable energy-storage alternative to traditional batteries. And best of all, no leakage to speak of.

It's one of the simplest energy-storage devices known to man: The spring. Think of how a jack-in-the-box keeps hold of the mechanical energy it takes to compress that clown into the box, releasing it only when the weasel song reaches its climax. And that energy storage is a long-term proposition. The clown could likely sit, poised in that box in grandma's attic for 100 years, until some joker comes along, cranks the handle and, POP!

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The Cheapest Way To Curb Carbon Dioxide: Contraception

According to a new report from the prestigious London School of Economics, birth control is a less expensive way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than most green energy strategies.

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China Plans World's Largest Solar Power Plant

First Solar just signed an agreement with China to build the biggest solar power plant yet, according to a statement released today by the company. The 2-gigawatt plant in the Mongolian desert will generate enough electricity to power three million homes.

That's a heck of a lot of cadmium telluride, the semiconductor they use for their thin film cells.

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Mercedes to Launch Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car Into Production by 2010

Mercedes-Benz says the company will bring a fuel-cell hatchback to buyers in the US and Europe by early next year. But will there be enough filling stations to support it?

Just like its counterparts at Honda and GM who've announced they'll produce hydrogen fuel-cell cars, Mercedes-Benz hopes the whole "if you build it" thing doesn't just apply to Shoeless Joe Jackson. Mercedes announced today the company will build a hydrogen-fueled version of its European B-Class hatchback called the F-Cell for the US and Europe. It'll arrive by early 2010, far ahead of the massive hydrogen infrastructure the company acknowledges will be required for wide adoption of such cars.

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Tesla Motors Releases Teaser Shots of Model S Sedan

You can't buy one until 2011, but Tesla Motors' Model S sedan looks so good on the road, we might just tack one of these shots to our bedroom wall

Tesla's new teaser photos may be the first ones showing the new Model S sedan in mid-flog, but don't expect to catch one along the coast highway just yet. Tesla says the first deliveries of the $57,400 all-electric sedan (with a $7,500 government rebate check in hand, the price will drop just below 50 large) will commence in 2011. The company says they've already taken more than 1,000 pre-orders, along with deposits of $5,000 a pop. Here's to you, early adopters.

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Eight-Wheeled, 230 MPH Electric Car to Spawn a Bus

Japan's Keio University created the shocking Ellica, an electric supercar that could out-run some of the world's fastest exotics. Now for their next trick -- public transportation.

It resembles an early '70s Citroen sedan, recast for Blade Runner-era Los Angeles. But this Japanese-built electric oddity, dubbed Ellica by its developers at Keio University, will reportedly spawn something with a bit less techie-sex appeal -- a bus. The university announced a deal last week with Isuzu Motors Ltd, the Kanagawa prefectural government, among others, to develop a full-sized electric bus for Japan based on the eight-wheeled, 230-mph research project.

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Microbe That Extracts Energy from Mud Gets Ready for Use in Fuel Cells

Energy-producing microbe evolves into dramatically more efficient strain

Geobacter, a microbe that generates electricity when placed in mud and wastewater, has been evolved into a far more productive strain, as part of a new University of Massachusetts breakthrough that has researchers thinking of new fuel cell designs.

Science Daily says that Geobacter is about 3-5 nanometers in diameter, which is about 20,000 times finer than a human hair. Geobacter is known for its ability to transfer electrons, which enables it to "extract" energy from biomass.

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Swiss Boat Aims to Be First to Circumnavigate the Globe Under Solar Power

In 2007, the first solar electric boat crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Now a Swiss group wants to cover that distance and keep going, circling the globe on nothing but the sun's power for the first time.

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Nanotech Could Boost Geothermal Power and Reduce Earthquake Risk

Tapping geothermal sources for power has proven a tricky proposition, because of costs and hazards associated with deep drilling. But researchers may have stumbled on a way to boost the power-producing potential of low-temperature hot springs close to the Earth's surface, using nanotechnology.

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