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Articles tagged with: environment

Carpool Stickers Expire, Still Want A Hybrid?

California had an awesome incentive to purchase a hybrid (beyond doing good for the planet and the gas tank), and that was that hybrid drivers could freely use the carpool lane at any time, even if there was only one person in the vehicle.

Since hybrids are typically not the cheapest model for any car manufacturer, this extra incentive meant a lot when it came to deciding whether or not to purchase a ‘green machine’.

White House Seeks To Increase Auto Industry Avg To 56MPG

The White House unveiled an ambitious proposal to update the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. The new plan would require auto manufacturers to bump the average fuel economy from 34mpg by 2016 and 56.2mpg by 2025.

The new MPG requirement will apply to cars, trucks, and SUVs and represents about a 5% per year of fuel efficiency. Although the new requirement will no doubt be expensive, it will also save the United States 4.7 billion barrels of oil and $705 billion US by year 2030.

Wind-Powered Watch, Eh? Count Me In!

While most watches require a battery to operate, this one won’t require you to visit the repairman anytime soon! The watch pictured on the left was designed by Julien Moise and operates solely on wind power. The watch has a red turbine wheel that encircles the watch’s dial. When the wearer wants to check the time, he or she will simply blow on the turbine, allowing the watch to generate enough power to display the time on a digital screen.

Best Buy Will Begin To Sell Electric Cars

Best Buy is considering to offer electric vehicles in the future for customers. The popular electronics store has already started talks with smaller automakers about the idea, mainly startups. Best Buy has claimed that the “conversations are going well” and that they are excited about several partnerships, although they are unable to disclose specifics at this point in time.

Best Buy notes that it is a reasonable progression for the company since they started selling charging stations for electric cars as well as electric motorcycles of the past few years. Not only does it seem logical from this point of view, but given the fact that Best Buy receives so much traffic on a weekly basis…

261MPG Volkswagen, Costs $10 For Full Tank

Volkswagen has just announced its most fuel-efficient car, the XL1, a truly inspirational prototype. The car is powered by an 800CC turbodiesel engine and a small electric motor. The two seater holds 2.5 gallons of gas, so at $4 a gallon, will only cost $10 full a full tank. Since each gallon of gas brings 261 miles of driving, $10 buys you 650 miles on the road. Just to be clear, that’s like driving from San Francisco, California to Mexico on a single tank, for a single $10 bill. Truly impressive.

Go Green For $20, New IKEA Lamp

IKEA has introduced a new eco-friendly table lamp that is the perfect way to help reduce our carbon footprint. The solar-powered lamp is called the Solvinden and is packed with three rechargeable AA batteries and a solar charger. The batteries power the lamp for about four hours and while simple in design, it’s an excellent way of lighting up your home without hitting your electricity bill. The lamp weighs in to be about two pounds and recharging times takes 9-12 hours in sunlight with over 12 hours on a cloudy day.

Living The Future: Lasers Replace Spark Plugs

A team at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics will announce on May 1st, 2011 that they have designed lasers that can ignite fuel/air mixture in combustion engines. With this approach, the engine’s efficiency will increase dramatically, thereby reducing pollution by igniting more of the mixture. The team is currently in talks with the spark plug manufacturer. Spark plugs currently work by igniting the fuel mixture near the spark gap which reduces the combustion efficiency. The spark plug’s metal is also prone to erode through time.

Cover Entire Lakes With Solar Panels

The majority of our planet is made up of water but is there a way to harvest solar energy through water? Although logic may be telling you “no”, the answer is “yes.” SPG Solar has updated its floating solar technology, called Solar Floatovoltaics. The technology is designed to work in an irrigation pond, lake, or other body of water and is priced competitively compared to “regular” ground-mounted solar panel systems. Besides “saving physical space”, users will find minimized algae growth in the water (due to the water being covered, preventing sun overexposure). The technology is designed to last twenty years.

Google Buys Wind Energy Until 2031

Today is Earth Day, and it marks a day of making better decisions for our planet. After spending nearly $275 million dollars on renewable energy, Google is not falling short of expectations this time. Google has announced today that it has signed a power purchase agreement for wind energy in Oklahoma. Mayes County Oklahoma will have a fully operational data center by the end of 2011 thanks to wind energy. Google will be buying the energy from NextEra Energy Resources’ Minco II wind facility and will continue to get energy there until 2031.

View WiFi Signals In Terms Of White Light (Video Proof)

Norway design researchers are working on displaying the material and spatial qualities of WiFi networks through light, demonstrating signal strength in long-exposure photographs. The researchers have built a tall wooden probe, measuring four meters high, a WiFi module, and used 80 LEDS.

The 80 LEDs run a length that pulses and raises based on the strength of a specified WiFi network. After three weeks of hard work in Oslo, Norway, the pulsing lights have created a physical representation of the invisible world of WiFi networks.