fuel cell

BMW´s Hybrid Vision: Gasoline and Steam

This novel concept uses your car´s wasted heat to enhance power and fuel economy

Certain parts of a car´s engine can reach temperatures in excess of 1,500�F. With this in mind, the engineers at BMW developed a way to boost efficiency: Transform that otherwise wasted heat into energy the engine can use. The resulting Turbo- steamer reclaims more than 80 percent of the heat lost from the engine´s exhaust and cooling systems. It uses this surplus heat to generate steam that helps drive the engine. It boosts power and torque by 10 percent and cuts fuel consumption by 15 percent without using a single additional drop of gasoline.

[ Read Full Story ]

Blastgard International Blastwrap

Bomb-Proof Bubble Wrap

It looks like Bubble Wrap, but BlastWrap isn't for cushioning eBay shipments. A BlastWrap-lined garbage can will dissipate a backpack-size-bomb blast in less than one thousandth of a second. The wrap's 2.75-inch compartments are stuffed with heat-treated perlite (the foamy pellets found in potting soil), a volcanic glass. The beads have a strong internal structure of sealed, air-filled cells. When a blast occurs, the cells are crushed one by one, minimizing damage to the surrounding area, while fire extinguishants snuff the fireball.

[ Read Full Story ]

Ascadia Zubbles

Soap bubbles: now in color!

You may think you've seen these before, but you haven't. Although traditional clear soap bubbles give you a rainbow effect in the right light, Zubbles are the first truly colored bubbles-nearly opaque, with a single vibrant hue. The problem, which took Minnesota toy inventor Tim Kehoe more than 10 years to solve, was to create a dye that could not only tint the thin wall of a soap bubble but that wouldn't leave a stain when the bubble broke. His solution: invent an entirely new dye that simply disappears.

[ Read Full Story ]

Intelligent Energy

Emissions neutral vehicle (ENV)

A Fuel-Cell Motorcycle With Portable Power
Riding the ENV is more akin to skiing or sailing than cruising on a 176-pound motorcycle. It's emission-free and as quiet as your computer. At the heart of this hydrogen-powered machine is a fuel cell, dubbed the Core. It breaks down hydrogen into electrons, which power the electric motor, and protons, which interact with oxygen taken in through the ENV's nosecone and are released as Earthfriendly water vapor and heat. The Core is detachable, so it can power a small house or boat. Available in late 2006. $6,000

[ Read Full Story ]

Laminar Technologies TurboTap

A smoother pour in half the time

Pumping beer too quickly leads to excess foam, so bar patron turned inventor Matt Younkle designed the TurboTap to reduce the turbulence of fast-flowing beer. The tap's tapered interior limits the beer's acceleration, and an internal diverter sprays it across the bottom of the glass. The result-now available at ballparks and bars-is a perfect pour in half
the time. $100

[ Read Full Story ]


Supercomputing power on a single chip

With nine processors and 234 million transistors, the Cell is the powerhouse of Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 3 console. The four-plus-gigahertz (depending on its application) chip calculates an unmatched 256 billion operations per second, making it 35 times as fast as the PS2's chip. The upshot: Characters react more realistically (like flinching when bullets whiz by). Next year Toshiba will offer an HDTV set that uses the chip to decode high-def signals.

[ Read Full Story ]

The Ultimate Green Machine

Our proposed GreenCar, an eco-mobile that's bigger than the Prius but gets more than twice the mileage.

Eager buyers are waiting up to a year for a new Toyota Prius, the hot hybrid sedan that gets around 50 mpg and has negligible emissions. Imagine, then, the excitement that could be generated by our proposed GreenCar, an eco-mobile that’s bigger than the Prius but gets more than twice the mileage—without emitting a single milligram of air pollution. “It’s all about resistance and aerodynamics,” says Catherine Greener of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit energy-policy think tank.

[ Read Full Story ]

Hy-Wire Act

First look at the guts of GM's fuel cell Autonomy car

When General Motors rolled out its "skateboard" vision for a fuel cell car at the 2002 Detroit auto show in January, there was buzz, and there was a big question. The skateboard concept, called Auto-nomy, was the product of GM's Design and Technology Fusion Group, and it radically reordered automobile physiology: Fuel cells, hydrogen, motor, and brakes were all crammed into a 15-foot-long, 6-inch-thick chassis onto which modular car bodies could be snapped. Drive-by-wire controls would plug into the skateboard's computer brain through a docking port.

[ Read Full Story ]

Your Car, 2022

This is the engine, fuel tank, and transmission of a revolutionary new kind of car. In this feature, we offer a first peek at the cool designs it makes possible.

The automobile has been on the verge of being reinvented practically since it was invented. Cars that would float and fly, cars that would walk, cars that would cruise like bubble-shaped VIP lounges: Surely a brand-new car was right around the corner, or at least a couple of years away. Problem was, the irreducible requirements of engine, transmission, suspension, and fuel tank, and all the mechanical linkages involved (pedal to throttle, driveshaft to wheels), dictated much about not only how a car would function, but how it would look.

[ Read Full Story ]

Yes, You Can Buy This Home Fuel Cell

If all goes according to plan, Coleman Powermate will introduce the world's first practical home fuel cell.

If all goes according to plan, Coleman Powermate will introduce the world's first practical home fuel cell this month. But don't look for it at Home Depot: It'll only be available at www.colemanpowermate.com.

[ Read Full Story ]
Flickr Block Header

Share your photos in the Pop Sci pool at www.flickr.com!
Current theme: Australia