On Wednesday Michael Kanellos did a Crave blog about his electric scooter ride in Austin, Texas, and he showed us the still images. But now Crave has this exclusive, never-before-seen video.
For today's lesson, boys and girls, we'll learn how to make energy consumption fun! Unlike boring grown-up devices like the "Intelliworks," which are about as interesting as a thermostat, Matsushita Electric's National brand has created an anime-driven home regulator that the whole family can enjoy, according to Akihabara News, at least in Japan.
And how can anyone resist a system that uses penguins to help improve household efficiency? (Certainly fellow Craver Caroline McCarthy couldn't.) Let the little guys loose on this animated interface and let the savings begin.
The California Clean Tech Open kicked off its second competition with a sunny outlook at San Francisco's City Hall Tuesday night. In October the contest will award six fledgling green businesses with start-up starter kits worth $100,000 in cash, office space and professional services. Prize sponsors include AMD, Google, Lexus and Pacific Gas & Electric.
Last year 156 seedling companies entered the open, which is backed by nonprofit Acterra; twice as many contenders are anticipated for 2007. A new green building award joins five other categories: energy efficiency; renewables; smart power; transportation; and air, water and waste. Entries … Read more
Two billion people around the globe still depend on open wood fires for cooking. That method is 5 percent efficient in using energy. The smoke is unhealthy for all those who must breathe it. And in some areas it's depleting forests that can't grow fast enough.
Now the University of Nottingham is going to try to build a thermoacoustic kitchen. And that's my new word for the day. No, not "kitchen," but "thermoacoustic." Instead of using the usual wood fire, this device would generate "sound waves through the nonuniform heating of gas.&… Read more
Biofuel. Hybrid cars. Electric cars. Hydrogen. Those are some of the bright ideas in the future of car tech. Many proponents of the hydrogen fuel cell gathered in Vancouver, Canada, recently to discuss their problems and the promises.
This video from that conference shows hydrogen cars on the road. Models from four manufacturers made a 150-mile round trip during the meeting. DaimlerChrysler predicts that by 2015 there'll be millions of hydrogen cars on the road. The company claims that's not just a lot of hot air.
Philips Electronics has come up with a new logo to help consumers identify environmentally friendly and safe products.
The new "Green Tick" logo will label gadgets with "significantly better energy efficiency than the nearest competitor products in the same category as well as having other environmental benefits such as the use of flame-retardant materials," the company said.
Products bearing the logo have been certified by external auditors as being 10 percent more energy-efficient than other products on the market within a given consumer electronics category, according to Philips.
Currently, 7 of Philips' flat TVs carry the … Read more
The idea of solar-powered headphones is certainly a worthy one, but we're not sure how well products like this will fare in hotter climes. The "Soltronix Headphone Radio" looks a little bulky for summertime wear and, as we've noted many times in this space, we're morally opposed to anything that might draw perspiration.
And as Ubergizmo notes, plastic tends to warp and crack if left in the sun too long. But if they do hold up, this $50 headset can get 19 hours of playback time on a four-hour charge.
Just remember, unless you've … Read more
The new Tesla Roadster is getting some buzz. Being built as an all-electric car, Tesla's engineering aims to minimize resource consumption per mile. CNET News.com reporter Stefanie Olsen watched a Tesla engineer answer questions from a roomful of Silicon Valley engineers. He said his Tesla will go 4,900 miles on 1 megawatt of energy while a hydrogen car would go about 1,800 miles because of the energy needed to produce the hydrogen.
The Tesla on display was the second engineering prototype. Last fall, CNET captured video of an earlier prototype.
Tesla has already sold 180 of … Read more
There are two major problems with the current silicon panel technology used to generate electricity. For one, silicon is inefficient in converting solar energy. The thinner the silicon panel, the less efficient it becomes. Secondly, silicon panels make up about 45 percent of the total cost of current solar power installations. So thinner panels requiring less silicon would cut down on installation costs.
Now researchers in Australia say they've found a way to make silicon films, 1 to 2 microns thick, into more efficient energy converters. The trick is to impregnate the silicon film surface with small amounts of … Read more
Man-made supercomputers are fast. Photosynthetic bacteria are just as fast.
Arizona State University researchers have learned that, during photosynthesis, bacteria may realign crucial proteins very quickly. This allows the bacteria to capture nearly every photon of available light. How quickly? A millionth of a millionth of a second, about the same time it takes for a supercomputer to carry out a single flop. To make measurements in such tiny time scales, the scientists used an ultrafast laser facility.
Moving those proteins around rapidly allows the bacteria to capture most of the potential energy in their biological circuitry. Thus, photosynthesis can … Read more