Monday, December 26, 2011

Latest from: CleanTechnica

Latest from: CleanTechnica

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Gamesa Gets 200-MW Christmas Present

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 08:14 AM PST

 

gamesa wind turbines image

On Friday, Spanish wind energy giant Gamesa announced that it had received an order for 500 megawatts (MW) worth of wind turbines. The contract was signed with New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) for Egyptian wind energy projects in the Gulf of El-Zayt (in the Red Sea).

“The project is financed by multilateral funding from Germany’s kfW Development Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union via the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF),” Gamesa writes. “NREA was advised by Danish consulting firm Carl Bro (Grontmij).”

What exactly is Gamesa providing? Here are the details:

  • 100 of G80-2.0 MW turbines
  • turbine assembly, erection and start-up services
  • operation and maintenance services for 5 years

The turbines will be manufactured in 2012 and delivered in phases in 2013.

“Gamesa has operated in Egypt since 2003, when it signed its first contract to supply wind turbines to Zafarana wind farm,” the company notes. It has installed 406 MW there to date, and it is in charge of the maintenance of four wind turbines in the country at the moment. In total, the company has about 800 MW of wind energy installed in North Africa.

Image Credit: Gamesa

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Mr. W (VIDEO)

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 07:00 AM PST

This is one of the funniest videos I think I’ve ever seen. :D

I think all wind energy lovers will get a kick out of it. And, well, even those who don’t love wind energy (maybe it will help to turn them around.)

Great work by Epuron and the German Ministry for the Environment.

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Luxury Hydrogen Fuel Cell Boat Drinks Sea Water, Gets Electricity

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 06:45 AM PST

Well, it may not be for everyone (not in my price range!), but this 250,000-Euro (~$325,000) eco-friendly luxury boat is pretty cool and worth a share. Full repost from sister site Gas2 below:

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Twice As Many Charging Stations in U.S. as Flex Fuel Stations, Study Finds

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 06:39 AM PST

 

I see news of new charging stations going up in the U.S. every week. They, clearly, aren’t everywhere yet, but they’re getting installed pretty quickly. And, according to a new study by Bloomberg, they now outnumber flex fuel stations in the U.S. Here’s more, plus commentary, from sister site Gas2:

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Solar Power Love in Nicaragua

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 05:52 AM PST

 

This is a cool video on solar energy in Nicaragua. There, it’s not just about power, but also helps to provide people with drinkable water! Something to appreciate. It’s also nice to hear that the company featured in the video helps citizens to understand the system and maintain it.

Feelgood video for the week.

h/t Climate Denial Crock of the Week

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Stretchable OLEDs

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 04:43 AM PST

We’ve written about OLEDs (full name: Organic Light Emitting Diodes) a few times on CleanTechnica, including their flexible potential and some work in Germany to bring down their costs. Ernest Beck recently had an interesting piece on ecomagination on the breakthrough work of some OLED researchers from UCLA that we’ve been given permission to repost in full. Before that, I’m just adding a video and some images of the OLED being stretched:

stretchable OLED

OLED before, while, and after being stretched. Credit: Wiley

by Ernest Beck

From cell phones to television screens, billboards and even designer electronics, OLEDs are everywhere. And it's easy to see why.

Energy-efficient and long lasting, OLEDs are the go-to light source for a new environmentally aware, post-incandescent era. Already capable of being produced as thin and floppy as a sheet of paper, now scientists are taking existing OLED technology a step further, from bendable to the first fully stretchable OLED.

FORM FACTOR

Developed by a team at UCLA led by Qibing Pei, a professor of Materials Science and Engineering, the first fully stretchable OLED was achieved by layering a polymer electrode into a light-emitting plastic that remains conductive even while being pulled and elongated like a piece of chewing gum.

"The main place to use a stretchable OLED is where the form factor makes a difference," Pei — who has worked in this field for decades — explains. Think fabrics integrated with electronics or robotic skin, video displays that can expand and contract, or embedded medical devices that form and stretch in tandem with human tissue.

You want mechanisms that match the biology, that are more flexible and soft and stretchable like the body itself.

That's why going beyond flexibility is critical, says John Rogers. As a professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rogers also conducts research in the technology.

"Here you can stretch the OLED like a rubber band," he says. "You can deform the devices in different ways. You can go into new areas."

Rogers suggests that bio-integration with embedded medical devices is one promising direction for stretchable OLEDs. "If you think about the contours of the human body, or organs like the heart or brain, they are inherently curvilinear," he points out. "So if you want to bring devices to bear on human health by integrating them, you want mechanisms that match the biology, that are more flexible and soft and stretchable like the body itself."

FOLD THAT SCREEN

Stretchable OLEDs also create great potential to improve many of the electronics we use today. Video displays are now rigid, but might soon be able to "crumple like a handkerchief and be pulled out of your pocket when you need it," says Lawrence Gasman, Co-founder and Principal Analyst at Nanomarkets — a market research firm focusing on energy and electronics enabled by advanced materials.

How about a large roll down display screen for use at home watching movies or projecting images, or a more interactive, high tech and wearable military uniform?

"A field uniform is now quite remarkable with the electronics it has, but they are very heavy, Gasman says. "So if you could build a stretchable OLED display into the fabric it would be much lighter."

After many years of languishing, OLEDs have finally emerged as a real market, and the opportunities for growth are great.

Already a number of companies are helping to make OLEDs commercially viable in a variety of products, such as Samsung mobile phones and Sony high definition televisions.

"After many years of languishing, OLEDs have finally emerged as a real market, and the opportunities for growth are great," a report from Nanomarkets concludes.

General Electric regards OLEDs as the environmentally-safe light source of the future, and is developing low-cost manufacturing processes to make ultrathin and flexible OLEDs affordable for everything from wallpaper to window shades, bike lights, and low glare wall dividers.

CHEAPER AND STRONGER

Looking ahead, however, a new generation of fully stretchable OLEDs still face some daunting challenges. More time is needed to develop the technology before moving on to marketable products and applications, experts say. Increased stability and overall performance of the material, as well as the cost of production, must be improved before moving to real product design.

For example, Professor Pei's experiment—involving a two-centimeter square patch with a one-centimeter square area that emitted a sky-blue light—only lasted a few hours in a sealed nitrogen-filled box. "If you took it out of the box," Pei acknowledges, "it would last only a few minutes."

Even so, Pei and other scientists and engineers who are pioneering this new era of advanced materials are optimistic about the future of stretchable OLEDs and how the technology can be advanced and translated into viable products that enhance our lives and well-being. "We are working on all these issues," Pei says. "We are motivated."

Illustration by Gavin Potenza

 Ernest Beck is a New York-based freelance writer. He focuses on the intersection of business and design, innovation and sustainability.

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Solar Schools’ First School Gets Solar Roof Funded.. 3 Months Early

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 04:24 AM PST

 

solar schools uk

I wrote about a cool Solar Schools program in the UK a few months ago. Basically, the program involves getting communities to fund solar power systems on their local schools. I recently got the news that the first Solar School in the program hit its target… three months early!

Simon Beaufoy takes E.P. Collier over the lineSimon Beaufoy stopped by the 10:10 Solar Schools website and bought a row of tiles on E.P. Collier Primary School’s virtual solar roof this month to put it over the target. Simon was the lucky resident to add the sponsorship that brought the total to critical amount, but it was a great number of people and organizations that donated the £10,000+.

10:10, the organization behind Solar Schools, noted that E.P. Collier “ran cake sales, discos, curry nights and quizzes, and attracted hundreds of small donations from local people, ex-pupils and even a few 10:10ers.”

Check out the donors to E.P. Collier’s real solar roof via its virtual solar roof page.

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Rideshare Apps to Revolutionize Ridesharing?

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 03:30 AM PST

We recently had a good guest post on Planetsave about a new ridesharing app for the iPhone. But it went beyond just introducing the ridesharing app and gave a good argument for the idea that technology innovations may revolutionize ridesharing. Check it out and chime in below or on the Planetsave post with your thoughts:

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World’s Largest Li-ion Battery Plant Opened in Russia

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 03:24 AM PST

Electric Bus in Vancouver

A manufacturing facility titled Liotech was opened in Novobirsk, Russia as a joint venture between the Chinese firm Thunder Sky and RUSNANO (a reorganized and state-run corporation).

The Liotech facility has an area exceeding 40,000 square feet in size and has the capacity to produce up to 500,000 batteries (of all sizes) per year.

The plant is expected to produce not only big automotive and bus batteries, but also batteries for mobile power spots, energy storage, and emergency power supplies.

The company has already signed numerous contracts to supply the batteries. 500 people are to be hired to work at the facility.

EVWorld mentioned that even after the batteries have been used for electric vehicles, they can be used for another 10-15 years to back up power plants. This is due to the fact that electric vehicle batteries have to be replaced before they completely die, because when their capacity is too low, their driving range is too short for them to be feasible, but power plants can use these batteries until they are completely dead for backup.

This is an environmentally and economically sound idea. Due to the normally high cost of li-ion batteries, they should be put to use, and, of course, recycled in the end.

“The new factory is an outstanding example of the local impact of transferring the foreign high technology. It has led to construction of modern production facilities. When plant capacity has been met, more than 500 individuals will be employed. In realizing a program to replace imports, we are creating an entire cluster of new high-tech production for materials and components related to the batteries and also an engineering center which is an excellent synergy,” RUSNANO Managing Director Sergey Polikarpov said.

When “plant capacity is met” means when the facility has ramped battery production up to the 500,000 battery per year figure I mentioned above.

“Implementation of public electric transport equipped with our lithium-ion batteries will significantly improve the environment in large cities in Russia. Use of the batteries in combination with alternative sources of energy will promote the development of ‘green technology’ and increase the energy efficiency of the Russian economy. We are already seeing interest in our storage batteries from Russian Railways, the Moscow Metro, electric power networks and power generating companies, businesses in the military industrial complex, the public utilities sector, and telecommunications companies,” noted Liotech CEO Alexander Erokhin.

Some of the advantages mentioned of Liotech batteries:

  • A reasonable driving range of up to 300 km (186 miles) per charge for electric buses.
  • The ability to charge the battery to 70% of it’s capacity after 20 minutes.
  • A service life that exceeds 600,000 km (372,822 miles), or seven to eight years of operation (this implies that the vehicle driven very heavily used, such as a bus).
  • A cost several times less than that of other batteries.
  • A large operating temperature range of -45 °C to 65 °C.

RUSNANO was founded in March of 2011 as a joint stock company through the reorganization of the state-run corporation: Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.

h/t EV World | Photo Credit: flightlog

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