Sci/tech

Hydrogen Gas Fueled Vehicles A Step Closer
February 27, 2008 09:41 AM - University of California - Los Angeles

While liquid hydrogen is denser and takes up less space, it is very expensive and difficult to produce. It also reduces the environmental benefits of hydrogen vehicles. Widespread commercial acceptance of these vehicles will require finding the right material that can store hydrogen gas at high volumetric and gravimetric densities in reasonably sized light-weight fuel tanks.

Animal magnetism provides a sense of direction
February 27, 2008 09:35 AM - Public Library of Science

They may not be on most people’s list of most attractive species, but bats definitely have animal magnetism. Researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Princeton have discovered that bats use a magnetic substance in their body called magnetite as an ‘internal compass’ to help them navigate.

Ceramic Fuel Cells gets first major order
February 27, 2008 08:11 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Ceramic Fuel Cells said on Wednesday it had secured the first big order for its energy efficient fuel cells, and a source close to the situation said it expects similar orders in the next 12 months. Shares in Ceramic rose 10 percent to 21p after it announced the five-year deal with Dutch energy firm and utility partner Nuon, worth between 75-100 million pounds ($147-197 million).

DSM, partners receive U.S. grant for biofuels study
February 27, 2008 03:23 AM - Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch chemicals group DSM NV said on Wednesday it and partners have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for research on the production of bio-based products, including biofuels. DSM said in a statement the project will run for four years and its partners for the project include Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies, Los Alamos Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.

Revolutionary Vacuum Glass Coming from Guardian
February 26, 2008 10:41 AM - , BuildingGreen

Guardian Industries, one of the world’s largest architectural and automotive glass manufacturers, with 19,000 employees in 25 countries, has under development a revolutionary vacuum-glazing panel that provides a center-of-glass insulating value of R-12 to R-13. The glass—Guardian VIG (for vacuum-insulated glass)—has a very thin (250-micron or 0.25-mm) space evacuated to 10–4 torr (for reference, thermos bottles typically have a much harder vacuum of around 10–6 torr) between two layers of glass, one of which has a low-emissivity (low-e) coating. Guardian is currently producing the vacuum glazing on a limited basis for testing and hopes to roll it out commercially by the end of 2009.

A solar powered world?
February 26, 2008 10:35 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Arizona Public Service (APS) has announced plans to build a 280-megawatt concentrating solar power plant in the desert 70 miles southwest of Phoenix. The Solana Generating Station, if it were operating today, would be the single largest solar power plant on the planet. Solana, with its thermal energy storage, will be able to operate 24/7 providing power for 70,000 homes.

Arctic seed vault opens doors for 100 million seeds
February 26, 2008 09:41 AM - Global Crop Diversity Trust

LONGYEARBYEN, NORWAY (26 FEBRUARY 2008) – The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened today on a remote island in the Arctic Circle, receiving inaugural shipments of 100 million seeds that originated in over 100 countries. With the deposits ranging from unique varieties of major African and Asian food staples such as maize, rice, wheat, cowpea, and sorghum to European and South American varieties of eggplant, lettuce, barley, and potato, the first deposits into the seed vault represent the most comprehensive and diverse collection of food crop seeds being held anywhere in the world.

Sharp to make solar power storage batteries: report
February 26, 2008 01:37 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sharp Corp will team up with Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd and Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd to develop large lithium-ion batteries that can store solar energy for houses, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday. The deal will help Sharp, the world's largest producer of solar cells, expand its solar power system business while enabling Japanese homebuilder Daiwa House add value to its homes with energy-saving technologies, the Nikkei said.

Could Waste Heat From Car Exhausts Be Recycled To Help Power Cars?
February 25, 2008 10:03 AM - Cardiff University

Professor Mike Rowe's long term research interest at the Cardiff School of Engineering has been in thermoelectric generation - employing thermocouples to convert heat into electricity. The conversion technology is used in everyday applications such as controlling the central heating system or refrigerator temperature.

Fiber Nanogenerators Put the Power in Power Walking
February 25, 2008 09:51 AM - , Triple Pundit

Researchers led by Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Materials Science and Technology, are developing power fibers that can be used to manufacture shirts and other clothing that can convert energy released during physical motion into electrical energy capable of powering small electronic devices in the field. Applications are widespread and extend beyond soldiers and other military personnel using such power generating clothing to scientists, engineers and other researchers, as well as everyday people eventually wearing them to sustain our ever expanding reliance and fascination with portable electronic devices.

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