Clean Energy Rules Backed by Leading Tech Companies

People like the idea of clean energy, the ability for us to generate more energy than we use all from renewable sources that don’t damage the environment. France requires that new buildings have solar panels or grass on the roofs, and an Indian airport has decided that solar power is the way they want to go. In a move to help further our advances towards clean energy governments are making more and more pushes, this time, it would seem that the clean power plan in America is getting some backing from rather large companies in the technology industry.The Clean Power Plan is designed to cut carbon pollution 32 percent below 2005’s levels, all by the time we reach 2030. With more and more pressure on reducing our CO2 output, coal-fired plants are under increased pressure to become more efficient (same energy, less CO2,

The Clean Power Plan is designed to cut carbon pollution 32 percent below 2005’s levels, all by the time we reach 2030. With more and more pressure on reducing our CO2 output, coal-fired plants are under increased pressure to become more efficient (same energy, less CO2) while also groups and companies are under more pressure to promote and use renewable energy sources like solar or wind farms.

Considering themselves “major purchasers of electricity”, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have come together and formally backed the Clean Power Plan in the United States Court of Appeals where the act is currently on hold.

With both large tech companies and the Obama administration pushing for this act to go through, it is hard to see how anything supporting renewable energy could be seen as negative but some claim the rules are onerous and overreach the abilities of the Environmental Protection Agency.

93% Of Apple Facilities Run On Renewable Energy

Apple is quite busy these days, with the recent announcement of their new iPhone SE and  their legal battles with the FBI regarding encryption. Amongst all of this though they seem to have time to keep investing and enhancing their facilities, with the recent revelation that 93% of their facilities run on renewable energy.

Of all of their facilities, 23 countries already have a complete transition to renewable energy, including those in China and the U.S. Some of these facilities use traditional means of renewable energy generation, with solar panels lining their Singapore rooftops while in China there is even a solar farm that has been built to be yak-friendly.

With ambitions to increase the materials used for packaging coming from recycled materials or sustainable sources, Apple doesn’t seem to be stopping on the eco-train either. With pressure coming more and more from governments and the public to use renewable sources and clean energy Apple looks like it wants to be ready for when people ask about it next.

Apple isn’t the only ones interested in green technology. Amazon has already expressed their interest in going green for their server farms and Microsoft going so far as putting some of its servers underwater, we could soon see a day where the companies creating your technology do it environmentally responsibly.

Toyota Reveal New Concept For Hydrogen Powered Car

We live in a wonderful age, we’ve begun to create technology that merges both the digital and the real world together in augmented reality and even where people can drive a metal car powered by sunlight. The human imagination has created and continues to create an amazing array of technologies, and Toyota have shown off some ideas they might play with in the future.

At the Tokyo Motor show, they revealed images of two design concepts, which are both futuristic and yet one is also classic in a way. First off, have a look at the present, with the S-FR. Looking similar to modern-day cars now, this model could soon be at your door steps.

Next, however, is the parent of design, with clear inspirations from the days of old we were presented with the Kikai.

Looking like a modern take on a classic hot rod the revealed engine leaves little to the car fanatics imagination. Finally, the last design is one from the future and is quite simply titled the FCV Plus.

Not only does the FCV feature a very futuristic look but it is designed to run some rather interesting technology.

For example, it would powered purely by hydrogen and that power would be diverted to four individual electric motors that are housed in each of the wheels. This means that aside from the fuel tank and cells located either at the front or back of the car, all the rest is freed up for the passengers.

Could you see yourself getting into a FCV within the next ten years? What about the S-FR and Kikai, would you like to own any of these vehicles?

Thank you Engadget for the information and images.

Apple Car Has New Staff – Straight From Tesla

Apple made a splash earlier in the year when it announced its interest in making a car, with an initial report showing that we could have an Apple car as soon as 2019 and more recently discussing the possibility of Apple and BMW working together on the next big Apple product. Now while this seems good news to a lot of people, there will always be some people who have a good laugh at this news and it would seem that the CEO of Tesla, one of the world’s largest and possibly famous electric car companies, Elon Musk is less optimistic about Apples chance in the car market.

During an interview with a German newspaper Handelsblatt, Elon Musk responded not just to the news about Apple’s car but was asked about their latest product, the Apple Watch. When asked if he had an ever taken a look at the Apple Watch, Musk replied with, “No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches”. As if that wasn’t enough, when asked about the Apple car Musk commented on how eager Apple were to hire employees and engineers, even taking those that had been fired from Tesla for not pulling their weight.
In the interview Musk stated, “They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the Tesla graveyard. If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work for Apple”.

It’s not uncommon for companies to have friction when working on similar products, but they tend to have a way of coming back to bite you in the future.

Thank you Handelsblatt for the information via The Verge.

Image courtesy of Tech News Today.

Want To Live In A Modern Windmill?

Remember that old TV series “Around The Twist” with the family that lived in the lighthouse? How long did people spend talking with their friends and family about living in a lighthouse or windmill? Well, people in the Netherlands might be closer to the dream than everyone else thanks to a dutch architect.

Doepel Strijkers designed the building, set to stand at a giant 173 metres tall and is designed to use not only  wind and water, but also electric fields in an attempt to generate not only sufficient energy to power itself but also enough to power nearby buildings, with an estimated output of 1 megawatt. Just for reference 1 megawatt would be enough to power on average 1000 U.S. homes.

Designed for low maintenance and quiet running, the building will not only generate electricity but will contain a restaurant, a seven-story hotel, a whopping 72 apartments and some space for offices as well.

With everything from solar panels on the outside of the building, a pipe to deliver industrial heat from the local port to help heat the building and a system of negatively charged water molecules within the air in a fashion similar to thunder clouds, which when it strikes (in small amounts) the charge can be converted to useable energy.

The design allows for the creation of miniature thunder clouds and uses them to harness the natural energy stored within the air and generated by molecules hitting the highly charged beams that will run across the wind tunnel.

Ultra-cool looking building – Check. Green Energy – Check. Dream house – Check! Oh and did I mention that it would pay for itself in just 10 years?

Thank you PopSci for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Doepelstrijkers.

New Solar Panel Can Adsorb Infrared Light!

Solar panels are a great invention, the ability to convert light to a useable power source has long been investigated and advanced. In recent years its came leap and bounds in regards to not only how effective it was but also how the public have perceived it and accepted it, some countries even putting it into law. Now it could be getting even better.

With almost 50% of the energy given off by the sun as near infrared light, there is a huge gap in power that modern solar panels could accept. Most modern solar panels can still only accept visible light as an energy source, meaning that solar panels can only convert 20% of the light they receive into electricity.

A team from UC Riverside, however, may have come up with a way to help solve that low figure. The concept of converting two infrared photons into a visible photon, a process that had to be overcome to generate another 25% energy.

The team from UC Riverside has overcome this by passing the two infrared photons through an “organised compound” which in turn then produces a visible photon. While this initial step currently only has a benefit of less than 10% the team are hopeful that by using the process and refining it they will be able to create a more effective system and continue to help improve on solar panels and solar energy as a whole.

Thank you UCR Today for the information.

Image courtesy of Solar Power Panel System.

‘Nerd Power’ Could Soon Be Heating Your Home!

Most things generate waste energy, be it your fridge or even you as a human being. Very few things convert energy to something you want with minimal waste, this is true of computers as well. Computers generate a lot of heat, the more advanced and larger the computer the more heat it generates. This is why Server Farms are housed in giant buildings with cooling systems and air condition pushing the temperature down as to avoid any damage to the servers. Nerdalize, a dutch start-up, however, has a different solution, instead of cooling computers, use computers to warm your house.

Computers are used every day for everything from controlling the traffic lights down your road to checking out the latest tech news at eTeknix. Jerry Van Waardhuizen has a new about how to use these everyday machines to replace another, his aim is to use a small white box containing a computer to replace the large white radiators that typically warm your home.

The small white boxes contain a computer and only requires a fibre optic connection within the home to be installed, once installed the silent running computer inside can do everything from help calculate which genes are related to what illnesses to helping someone find their family member on Facebook.

While Nerdalize admit that the system takes a little longer to heat up on average (taking roughly an hour) and that you may require two in larger rooms the offside is that after the initial set up free the heating it provides is completely free. When the radiator function is turned off the server inside the box continues to operate, but the heat it provides is simply pushed outside.

With the cost being about £290-360 per setup, and requiring a fibre optic connection, the project may not be for everyone. With unlimited heating, no additional carbon footprint from heating water and pushing it through pipes, a lot of people are being attracted to it.

Would you be interested in getting free heating from life by helping someone solve some calculations on the other side of the world? If so check out Nerdalize’s video below,

Thank you BBC for the information.

Image courtesy of Nerdalize.

Blade-less Turbines Could Be The Future!

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We’ve all seen them. The giant fans that spin (on occasion) and are said to help power the world without needing to worry about the pollution that may be generated. The problem is a lot of people don’t like the look of them (bar the fact that unless you have the right conditions the fans won’t spin), but what if someone came up with a new design?

A company in Spain is looking to do just that, Vortex Bladeless are looking to remove the unsightly blades and change how the wind can help power your homes. The giant metal pillars are instead designed to shake, a movement created by the air flowing around the pillars rather than forcing and pushing a giant blade instead. Typically buildings are designed to avoid the kind of wind and vortices that these pillars are instead designed to capture and use. While normally utilizing these by creating a building to oscillate at a specific frequency that the wind may occur at. Instead, Vortex states that by using magnets they are able to adjust the turbines in real time, getting the most out of the wind without having to wait for the opportune moment.

By converting the movement into electricity, Vortex claims to be able to reduce the cost of turbines by almost 40%. The reason for this price reduction is simple, very little maintenance is required if there are no gears or moving mechanics instead. While also cutting initial build costs by almost half due to the lack of expensive blades the blade-less design also has a small problem. The design only captures on average around 30% less energy than a regular turbine, something you could argue is offset by the smaller pieces of land they occupy and silent almost continuous running.

I’m all for environmental energy. Be it solar, wind or tidal renewable energy and electric vehicles are going to help cut pollution and make the world a better place to life very soon in the future, anything that helps bring that future closer can only be good right?

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.