Monday, June 21, 2010

Chrysler's Peapod NEV killed in bankruptcy

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/21/chryslers-peapod-nev-killed-in-bankruptcy/

Chrysler's Peapod neighborhood electric vehicle always seemed like more of an experiment than a profit-maker, and unfortunately idealism isn't too popular with creditors -- according to Edmunds, the Peapod was canceled in March as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings. Apparently adapting the Peapod's button-cute design to federal safety standards was overly expensive, so Chrysler and new part-owner Fiat will convert the existing Fiat 500 to electric operation. The Peapod design and other assets are up for sale, so there's a chance someone else will pick up the pieces, and Peapod designer Peter Arnell may yet build a full-speed EV in the future, so we'll keep our eyes open.

Chrysler's Peapod NEV killed in bankruptcy originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 21 Jun 2010 17:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Waste No Waste; They Are A Treat For Plants!

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/yankodesign/~3/YhiQna5Hyhk/

If we talk about the future of dining (everyday home meals), it's quite alright to assume ready-to-eat steaks and pot roast being available in capsules. Compact food meaning easier to cook and clean-up and this is where the Electrolux Eco Cleaner, a portable, compact dishwasher comes in play. Using ultrasonic waves to ionize food particles on the dishes, this dishwasher converts the food/grease to reusable compost for plants. Thereby waste will no longer be waste, but healthy meals for the greens. Squeaky Clean dishes, just a by-product!

Eco Cleaner is a part of the 2010 Electrolux Design Lab Completion!

Designer: Ahi Andy Mohsen

Electrolux Eco Cleaner - The Portable, Compact Dishwasher by Ahi Andy Mohsen

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Lite-On's Mobile Lamp LED bulb works even when the power is out

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/10/lite-ons-action-power-ball-led-bulb-works-even-when-the-power/

Liteon's 'Action Power Ball' LED bulb works even when the power is out
We hate to break it to you, but those LED light bulbs that are shaped like traditional light bulbs? It's all a lie. LEDs are naturally pretty small things, and while there might be dozens scattered about inside a bulb there's still plenty of empty space in there meant only to make the things about the same size as a good ol' incandescent. Lite-On, however, has found something to make use of that space: batteries. The company's Mobile Lamp bulb can stay on for up to two hours even after the power is turned off, effectively turning it into a flashlight. To switch the bulb on or off you simply touch the copper part while something conductive makes contact with the metal part on the bottom, which could be a lamp socket or just a finger, as shown in the brief video after the break. The bulbs are due to be out sometime next year and should be hugely popular in areas with unreliable power -- or with an abnormally high rate of magicians per-capita.

Continue reading Lite-On's Mobile Lamp LED bulb works even when the power is out

Lite-On's Mobile Lamp LED bulb works even when the power is out originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 10 Jun 2010 02:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Michael Grätzel, inventor of the dye-sensitized solar cell, wins 2010 Millennium Technology Prize (video)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/10/michael-gratzel-inventor-of-the-dye-sensitized-solar-cell-wins/

In 1991, a pair of scientists published a paper in Nature, detailing a intriguing new discovery: the dye-sensitized solar cell. Today, one of them won €800,000 for his efforts, and the 2010 Millennium Technology Prize. Michael Grätzel accepted the award for the low-cost solar cells that often bear his name, and which make possible the sunglasses, windows and iPhone patents we seem to spot every few days. Hear the good professor speak about his invention in a video after the break.

Continue reading Michael Grätzel, inventor of the dye-sensitized solar cell, wins 2010 Millennium Technology Prize (video)

Michael Grätzel, inventor of the dye-sensitized solar cell, wins 2010 Millennium Technology Prize (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 10 Jun 2010 03:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

UAE Announces Plans for World's Largest Solar Plant

Source: http://www.popsci.com/

But oil is still part of the mix

One of the world's hottest, sunniest spots will soon be home to the world's largest concentrated solar power plant, helping an oil-rich emirate achieve its renewable energy goals.

Though the plant will produce 100 MW of electricity, it won't exactly wean Abu Dhabi off its bread and butter. It's a special kind of solar plant that uses oil along with the power of the sun.

Abu Dhabi's state-owned renewable energy firm, Masdar, announced Wednesday that a French oil firm and a Spanish solar firm will build Shams 1 -- named for the Arabic word for sun -- starting later this year. Construction will take about two years.

Shams 1 will produce 100 megawatts and cover one square mile of the desert in Madinat Zayed, about 75 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi. But it's not your typical solar plant. Concentrated solar power plants use mirrors to heat liquid -- in Shams' case, a type of oil -- to then heat water, running a steam generator that produces electricity.

It's better than burning the oil, however. Masdar pointed out that the plant will offset 170,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of planting 1.5 million trees or removing 150,000 cars from Abu Dhabi roads. Abu Dhabi aims to obtain 7 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Santiago Seage, CEO of the Spanish firm Abengoa Solar, says concentrated solar's main advantage is that it is less intermittent. You have a solar field ... but you also have a boiler where you use natural gas to create the steam if the solar resource is not enough," he told AFP.

Which raises the question, if the sun is considered too intermittent a resource in a scorching spot the Arabian Peninsula, will it ever be consistent enough for the United States?

While Abengoa Solar has built four other concentrated-solar plants in Spain (and is building one in the US) Shams 1 is the first such plant to be registered under the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism, which makes it eligible for carbon credits.

It's also the first commercial-scale solar project in the United Arab Emirates, according to Masdar. Within the next few years, Shams 1 will be followed by Shams 2 and 3.

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4Home, Marvell partner for energy monitoring plug computer

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/08/4home-marvell-partner-for-energy-monitoring-plug-computer/

If you asked Intel what this is, the company would tell you it's an experimental power sensor; if you asked a storage guru, they'd ID it as the PogoPlug. Truth be told, it's a miniature Linux computer designed by Marvell -- who's apparently decided to beat Intel at the former function. Through a partnership with 4Home, Marvell's latest 2GHz SheevaPlug will become a smart meter that measures power consumption right from the outlet, ostensibly allowing you to figure out which blasted light the kids left on this time without shoving a pricey home automation kit into your walls. No word on how much it'll cost to keep tabs on your energy bill or when you'll be able to do it, but we'll ask those important questions and more when we see the device for ourselves later this week. PR after the break.

Continue reading 4Home, Marvell partner for energy monitoring plug computer

4Home, Marvell partner for energy monitoring plug computer originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 08 Jun 2010 23:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chin Hua solar glass generates electricity, lets (most of) the sun shine in

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/09/hua-qin-solar-glass-generates-electricity-lets-most-of-the-su/

Hua Qin solar glass generates electricity, lets (most of) the sun shine in
Putting solar panels on the roof will do your energy bill a lot of good, but won't necessarily help any other aspect of your house. Install a fleet of solar windows, however, and you could have more natural light to go right along with your additional enviro-smugness. At Taipei's International Optoelectronics Week, the Engadget Chinese crew caught sight of the Chin Hua solar window, a small, slightly foggy pane that delivers 2W of light in the configuration you see above. The glass can apparently be manufactured with more or less haze, delivering greater or lesser solar power efficiency. This means you could install the most efficient windows on the side of your house facing your nosy neighbors, making you feel better about the environment and better about not bothering to put on pants in the morning.

Chin Hua solar glass generates electricity, lets (most of) the sun shine in originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Jun 2010 08:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Build a Simple Off-Grid Laundry Machine [DIY]

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5554390/build-a-simple-off+grid-laundry-machine

Build a Simple Off-Grid Laundry MachineWhile I'm not about to trade in my high-efficiency washer and dryer for a manual off-grid laundry machine, this simple design is perfect for building a cheap and effective washer for campgrounds, cabins, and other remote locations.

Michael Perdriel originally designed his low-cost and efficient manual laundry machine to help out people in developing nations. While you may not be in a daily situation where you need to build your own laundry machine and run it without electricity the design is extremely clever for situations like camping, a cabin without electricity, or for forays into reducing your environmental impact.

The washer is comprised of three main components: the bucket, the clothing bag, and the lever. The most impressive part of the design is the bag itself. While it may look like, from the illustration above, that you're just dunking a bag of clothing into a bucket of soap water, the bag is actually designed to agitate the clothing and keep the individual garments from clumping together. Check out the full article at the link below for a run down on how the entire thing is constructed including the how the bag acts as an agitator and wringer all in one.

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