Reduction in the levels of fossil fuel available to humanity, along with its rising cost, means that the only way forward is with the use of vehicles that run on alternative fuel. Recognizing the need for such vehicles, auto manufacturers have been creating eco friendly vehicles that run entirely on electric motors or a hybrid engine involving electricity and gasoline. However, the problem with most electric cars is their high upfront cost and less operating range, something which hybrids try to solve, but in the process get heavier and more expensive.
Archive for January, 2013
The decline of green spaces in an urban setting have made homeowners figure out ways to bring some plantations inside their home to provide some fresh air and herbs. This is the reason we often come across innovative hydroponic planters like the Elica Idroponica that try to give your home a fresh green look, while ensuring that you don’t have to spend hours maintaining it. However, for those of you who are still fascinated with a more conventional form of gardening and don’t want expensive hydroponic systems to grace your interiors, Habitat Horticulture has announced the Living Table, which is the latest entry to the firm’s “Ferniture” range.
With computers getting evolved with every passing day, geeks are just finding a reason to discard their old machines to buy new ones. While this keeps them updated with the latest offerings in technology, their old, and mostly perfectly working, computers are discarded and add up to the already towering pile of landfill waste. We don’t often find artists working to salvage computer waste by creating beautiful sculptures out it, but a Poland-based artist, Anna Dabrowska who is also known as Finnabair, shows us how old computer parts can be given a new life.
Every gadget freak often has to face the issue when an all-important call has to be made and the cell phone batteries dies. Similar does the case with hikers and campers who often find their flashlight need a recharge when it’s needed. While there is no dearth of renewable energy chargers available for such a purpose, innovation in the field never stops as designers figure out more ways to produce a steady flow of electrons. Working on the same lines the team at The Voltmakers has come up with a renewable energy charger for portable gadgets – The Voltmaker.
The three main problems plaguing the global adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the high cost of fuel cells, lack of refueling infrastructure and above all, the high cost of producing hydrogen from water. While a team of auto giants has recently teamed up to reduce cost of fuel cells and companies like Air Products are creating renewable hydrogen refueling stations, the only drawback at the moment is the high cost of producing hydrogen using conventional means. Now it seems that the third problem too is on the brink of being solved as researchers at Princeton University and Rutgers University have teamed up to produce an inexpensive catalyst, inspired by natural organisms, to produce hydrogen from water at an affordable price.
The race to develop next-gen eco friendly cars that run on clean and renewable hydrogen is definitely on. However, the lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure means that hydrogen vehicles aren’t still on the track to replace conventionally-fueled vehicles anytime soon. Things are about to change, at least in London, where Air Products is leading a consortium to create United Kingdom’s first hydrogen powered transport system that will be build across London and the South East.
There is still a lot of time left for this year’s Solar Decathlon competition to begin, but news from university groups all over the world has already started pouring in. The most recent news regarding the next-gen solar powered home for the competition came from Stanford University, where a team has already prepared their design for a solar-powered home, they call the Start.Home. To be created by a team of Stanford’s engineering students, the Start.Home solar-powered modular dwelling is based on a revolutionary design that integrated most of the infrastructure required for a home in a centralized utility unit.
While residents of the developing world take grid electricity for granted, conditions in the other parts of the world are just the opposite where people have limited or no access to the electric grid, making a process as simple as charging a cell phone, a daunting one. To better conditions for people living in Rwanda, MTN, the state’s leading mobile network operator, has launched a portable solar energy generating system called the Comeka ReadySet.
Providing relief to displaced victims following natural disaster needs systems and products that can provide basic necessities to them. With increasing incidents industrial designers have taken up the challenge to bring up products and systems that can efficiently provide basic living requirements to people struck by natural calamities. We’ve been frequently reporting about some of the finest products, presently in design stage, which have been designed for relief operations and the latest we’ve stumbled upon is the SolarCarton.