Archive for December, 2012

NexiBike lightweight commuter bicycle folds in just 30 seconds

NexiBike folding commuter bicycle_1

The major problem with bicycling is the fact that most of the bicycles available on the market today cannot be carried along in a bus or the subway, reducing their use as a primary mode of transportation. Solving the problems, NexGen Bicycles has come up with a prototype lightweight commuter bicycle that folds in under half a minute into a much more manageable form that can be carried on public transportation.

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NREL and Solar Junction develop world’s most efficient solar cells

worlds most efficient solar cell

Even after being promoted as the safest and the greenest way to produce renewable energy, solar cells haven’t really taken off considering the fact that most of them are either too expensive or aren’t really efficient in converting photons to electrons. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) along with partner Solar Junction are trying to end the woes with the development of the world’s most efficient solar cells, with a claimed efficiency of 44 percent.

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Boeing’s SUGAR Volt aims to become the Chevy Volt of aircrafts

Boeing Sugar Volt Hybrid Aircraft concept

Aviation is by far the safest and the fastest way to travel, however conditions are not all that rosy when the environment and aviation are kept side by side. While there are still plenty of environmentally friendly aircrafts being developed by people over the world, most of them aren’t practical enough to replace conventional aircrafts anytime soon. NASA wanted companies to predict the future of aircraft design that led engineers at Boeing to dream up something radical.

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VA Concept is a zero energy sound amplifier for iPhone

VA Concept zero energy iphone dock_1

There is no dearth of individuals who probably spend hundreds of dollars in buying energy hungry amplifiers for the iPhone. Not only do these docks consume a considerable amount of energy, they’re often made using plastic and other not-so-green materials that end up in the landfill after they’re broken or simply when a better claiming gadget appears on the market. The VA Concept by industrial designer Babusi Nyoni addresses these issues with an innovative dock that is made using recycled materials.

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China becomes the world leader in wind and hydroelectric power

wind power plant in china

News recently surfaced that Uruguay is planning to become the world leader in wind energy generation by erecting enough turbines to produce 30 percent of its total energy consumption, China has announced that it is now the world leader in wind and hydroelectric power according to its total installed capacity. China Electricity Council has just made an announcement that the country’s installed capacities for wind and hydro power have grown to become the world’s largest.

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The Tricycle House expands like an accordion, comes with transforming furniture

The Tricycle house and Tricycle Garden plastic home_1

With land available for building new homes declining at an unanticipated pace, the price of the scarce land available is well beyond what most people can afford. To address this daunting issue designers at People’s Architecture Office and People’s Industrial Design Office have teamed up to create the Tricycle House and the Tricycle Garden. The house, which was showcased at 2012 Get It Louder Exhibition, suggests a future where there could be a temporary relation between homeowners and the land they are occupying.

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Recycled oil drum survival kit can sustain 30 people for two days

heat rescue disaster recovery survival kit_1

After last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the recent devastation caused by hurricane Sandy, industrial designers have focused their attention on designing eco friendly disaster relief systems that can provide aid to the people struck by natural disasters. Taking inspiration from these recent natural designers designer Hikaru Imamura has come up with the Heat Rescue Disaster Recovery set – a survival kit made using an old oil drum.

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Uruguay could become the world leader in wind energy generation by 2015

wind power in Uruguay

Uruguay, the small South American country, which till date has been known mostly because its human population is outnumbered by its cattle herd, could soon be adorned with an environmentally friendly cap as the country is aiming to produce 90 percent of its electricity consumption by means of renewable sources. The president of the UTE state electric company and the national energy director has recently announced that the electricity company has signed contracts to buy electricity from 20 private wind farms that are still to be constructed.

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Energy Belt converts unwanted body fat into usable energy

Energy Belt produces electricity from fat

Obesity, which has lately become a symbol of people living in the developed parts of the world, who make use of the revolutionary pieces of technology to help in all ways possible, needs urgent attention. While there are few who visit gymnasiums to reduce body fat by working for hours at a stretch, others still believe that technology has all its needed to burn up excess fat.

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Laser-powered magnetically levitated vehicles could eventually become possible

light powered maglev transportation

Due to the fact that magnetic levitation allows vehicles to be propelled forward with no friction counteracting the propelling force, the technology has been the key behind some of the fastest and perhaps the safest trains we know today. However, the dependence of such vehicles on electromagnets and rails really limits its use for transportation. Till date no one was actually able to develop a maglev-based actuator that can convert some external source of energy into motion. However a team of researchers from Gakuin University in Kanagawa, Japan have now demonstrated a way to make use of lasers to control the direction of a magnetically lifted piece of graphite, opening doors to the possibility of light-powered vehicles in the future.

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