Archive for February, 2010

UK to give up to £5000 for ultra low carbon vehicles

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Would-be buyers, both individuals and businesses, of certain low emission vehicles in the UK will be offered a sweet incentive starting in 2011. How does 25 percent off the purchase price, up to &ound;5,000 ($7,618 at today’s rates), sound to you? The fiscal inducement will be available for purchases of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), hydrogen-fueled vehicles and battery-powered electrics (BEVs) that meet emissions, performance and safety criteria. The barriers to the bounty include a CO2 output of no more than 75 grams per kilometer. As well, BEVs must have a range of 70 miles (113 kilometers) while PHEVs need to be capable of at least 10 miles (16 km) before the petrol starts burning. All vehicles must be capable of reaching 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour), come with at least a three-year warranty and meet crash standards.

With &ound;230 million ($350.4 million) in the program that runs until 2014, the line-up of people ready to take advantage of extra cash at purchase time may find themselves facing a small choice of vehicles. When things kick off next January, the menu will consist of Mitsubishi i MiEVs and Tesla Roadsters (if there are even Roadsters still available). As the year progresses, the number of choices is expected to expand with the Nissan Leaf becoming available in March and market entrances may be made by the Reva NXR and the Opel Ampera. The program will be reviewed one year after its implementation and any changes deemed necessary will go into effect by April of 2012. Hit the jump for bonus videos of Britain’s ITV News’ take on electric cars featuring (mostly) Mitsubishi’s Japanese jellybean.

[Source: Guardian / Department for Transport]

Continue reading UK to give up to £5000 for ultra low carbon vehicles

UK to give up to £5000 for ultra low carbon vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 13:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Visit the original post at: Fuel Cell News

UK to give up to £5000 for ultra low carbon vehicles

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Would-be buyers, both individuals and businesses, of certain low emission vehicles in the UK will be offered a sweet incentive starting in 2011. How does 25 percent off the purchase price, up to &ound;5,000 ($7,618 at today’s rates), sound to you? The fiscal inducement will be available for purchases of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), hydrogen-fueled vehicles and battery-powered electrics (BEVs) that meet emissions, performance and safety criteria. The barriers to the bounty include a CO2 output of no more than 75 grams per kilometer. As well, BEVs must have a range of 70 miles (113 kilometers) while PHEVs need to be capable of at least 10 miles (16 km) before the petrol starts burning. All vehicles must be capable of reaching 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour), come with at least a three-year warranty and meet crash standards.

With &ound;230 million ($350.4 million) in the program that runs until 2014, the line-up of people ready to take advantage of extra cash at purchase time may find themselves facing a small choice of vehicles. When things kick off next January, the menu will consist of Mitsubishi i MiEVs and Tesla Roadsters (if there are even Roadsters still available). As the year progresses, the number of choices is expected to expand with the Nissan Leaf becoming available in March and market entrances may be made by the Reva NXR and the Opel Ampera. The program will be reviewed one year after its implementation and any changes deemed necessary will go into effect by April of 2012. Hit the jump for bonus videos of Britain’s ITV News’ take on electric cars featuring (mostly) Mitsubishi’s Japanese jellybean.

[Source: Guardian / Department for Transport]

Continue reading UK to give up to £5000 for ultra low carbon vehicles

UK to give up to £5000 for ultra low carbon vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 13:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments


Visit the original post at: Fuel Cell News

“Thermos Bottle” Technology Delivers Solar Hot Water in Cold Weather

Solar Panels Plus introduces Thermos-style solar hot water heater A lunch box staple is the core idea behind solar technology that could bring cost effective solar-heated hot water to cold climates.  Solar Panels Plus has come up with a solar hot water heater based on evacuated tubes similar to those popularized by Thermos.  Last year two of the company’s models were certified as eligible for Canada’s ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program, but the real test will occur in southeastern Idaho, where Solar Panels Plus has installed a solar hot water system at the Homestead Family Restaurant in Blackfoot.

If the installation keeps the solar hot water coming in cold weather, it’s another big step forward for the ability of solar energy to compete with fossil fuels.  Restaurants are hot water gobblers, and a low cost solar installation that works in cold weather would have a relatively short payback for high volume users — especially if it receives solar energy incentives from its utility, as was the case here.

(more…)


Visit the original post at: Energy News

83% of Americans Think More Money Should Go to High Speed Rail

Surprisingly, after Obama’s announcement to give $8 billion to High Speed Rail (HSR) projects across the country, popular support for HSR has dropped, but it is still 88%. Not bad.

Of course, more money is needed to make HSR the reality people dream of.

A new survey shows that 83% of people think HSR and mass transit should be getting more money.

(more…)


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Fox News’ Link to Saudi Kingpin

Fox News’ Link to Saudi Kingpin

As a short sequel to “Climate Skeptics’ Leading Scientist Funded by Dirty Energy“, this is a brief look at the close connection between Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (ok, not Kingpin, but close) and Fox News, one of the leading media outlets in the world regularly promoting climate denier and anti-clean energy “news” and information.

Prince Alwaleed is the world’s 5th richest man and has decided to put a large chunk of money into this US media company.

(more…)


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Fox News’ Link to Saudi Kingpin

Fox News’ Link to Saudi Kingpin

As a short sequel to “Climate Skeptics’ Leading Scientist Funded by Dirty Energy“, this is a brief look at the close connection between Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (ok, not Kingpin, but close) and Fox News, one of the leading media outlets in the world regularly promoting climate denier and anti-clean energy “news” and information.

Prince Alwaleed is the world’s 5th richest man and has decided to put a large chunk of money into this US media company.

(more…)


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Fox News’ Link to Saudi Kingpin

Fox News’ Link to Saudi Kingpin

As a short sequel to “Climate Skeptics’ Leading Scientist Funded by Dirty Energy“, this is a brief look at the close connection between Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (ok, not Kingpin, but close) and Fox News, one of the leading media outlets in the world regularly promoting climate denier and anti-clean energy “news” and information.

Prince Alwaleed is the world’s 5th richest man and has decided to put a large chunk of money into this US media company.

(more…)


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Tackling Integrated Thermal Management in Electrified Drive Systems

Bennion2
General schematic of current thermal management systems for HVAC, ESS, ICE, and electric drive systems (assumes the ESS is cooled with cabin air) in a hybrid. The electric drive cooling system is a completely separate system while the other systems are integrated in some form. Source: Bennion and Thornton. Click to enlarge.

The integration of component thermal management technologies within a viable vehicle package will be important to the commercial success of advanced electrified drive systems—i.e., hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles—according to a pair of researchers from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy laboratory (NREL).

As an example, current hybrid systems use a separate low temperature liquid cooling loop for cooling the power electronics and electric machines (PEEM). One research goal under the DOE Vehicle Technologies Program proposes a single, integrated cooling loop for an HEV, allowing for a cost savings of approximately $188 for a hybrid such as the Toyota Prius.

In a paper to be presented at the SAE 2010 World Congress in April, Kevin Bennion and Matthew Thornton from NREL propose using the generated heat load curve to evaluate the transient and continuous heat loads of the individual components and integrated thermal management systems over in-use conditions for components that experience significant transient use.

After describing their techniques, they apply the method to compare an integrated low-temperature coolant loop combining the power electronics and electric machine with the air conditioning system with a high-temperature system integrated with the ICE cooling system. Their analysis found that the low-temperature integrated system offered a promising approach.

Vehicle operation requires vehicle thermal management systems capable of balancing the needs of multiple vehicle systems that may require heat for operation, require cooling to reject heat, or require operation within specified temperature ranges. As vehicle propulsion transitions away from a single form of vehicle propulsion based solely on conventional internal combustion engines (ICEs) toward a wider array of choices including more electrically dominant systems such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), new challenges arise associated with vehicle thermal management. As the number of components that require active thermal management increase, so do the costs in terms of dollars, weight, and size.

Integrated vehicle thermal management is one pathway to address the cost, weight, and size challenges. The integration of the power electronics and electric machine (PEEM) thermal management with other existing vehicle systems is one path for reducing the cost of electric drive systems.

—Bennion and Thornton

Bennion1
Heat load curves over 227 in-use drive cycles. (a) ICE coolant heat load curve averaged over variable time windows for HEV, PHEV20, PHEV40, and CV; (b) PEEM heat load curve averaged over variable time windows for HEV, PHEV20, PHEV40, and EV. Source: Bennion and Thornton. Click to enlarge.

The evaluation over transient thermal duty cycles is important because certain components may not experience peak thermal loads over steady-state tests typical of some conventional techniques for sizing thermal management systems. However, Bennion and Thornton note that their approach can be extended to include additional steady-state duty cycles typical for designing vehicle thermal management systems of conventional vehicles.

Comparing two integrated systems. There are two high level requirements for an integrated thermal management system, Bennion and Thornton note:

  • A similar coolant temperature specification; and
  • A misalignment of peak heat loads of the combined or integrated systems.

The heat load for integrated thermal management systems is not always simply the sum of the peak or continuous heat loads from the combined systems. Different components experience peak heat loads at different times depending on their use. Misalignment of the peak heat loads can potentially lead to an overall decrease in the net heat exchanger weight and volume. The ability of the heat load curve to illustrate both the transient and continuous heat loads was useful for evaluating the impact of combining multiple systems onto the same thermal management system where transient and continuous loading conditions are important.

—Bennion and Thornton

Their analysis found that the high temperature thermal management system, integrating the electric drive and ICE systems, was attractive for a PHEV in terms of the misalignment of peak heat loads. However, because there are currently a number of challenges associated with cooling the power electronics and electric machine system with a high temperature coolant, the second general requirement for similar coolant temperature specifications presented an issue.

The low temperature thermal management system, which integrated the electric drive system with the vehicle air conditioning system, showed similar coolant temperature requirements. Furthermore, they found that the misalignment of the peak heat loads was also possible through control of the AC system operation and the lack of electric drive system heat when the vehicle was idle.

…there are additional potential benefits related to the integration of the AC and electric drive systems utilizing a low temperature liquid coolant. The additional benefits would apply not only to the AC system but also to the electric drive system. The AC system benefits through the integration of the AC condenser into a sealed HVAC system. Developing a sealed system could eliminate or reduce refrigerant leaks and the need to refill the AC refrigerant lines, leading to improved AC robustness. Locating the AC condenser close to the HVAC system would also reduce the length of the refrigerant lines, leading to a lower pressure drop through the system. The reduced pressure drop improves the AC operating efficiency. The electric drive system benefits by sharing the cost of the low temperature coolant loop. The system also enables forms of power electronics and electric machine temperature protection without reducing the electric drive performance.

System thermal and fluid models and heat exchanger sizing models show the potential of integrating the power electronics and electric machine cooling with the air conditioning system. While there appear to be synergies related to temperature and heat loading, a more thorough analysis of an implementable concept is required.

—Bennion and Thornton

Resources


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More Details on the Lexus CT 200h

More Details on the Lexus CT 200h

The new Lexus premium compact hybrid CT 200h (earlier post) to be introduced next week at the Geneva Motor Show combines a 1.8-liter VVT-i gasoline, permanent magnet synchronous motor, electrically controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) and NiMH battery pack.

Ct200h
The CT 200h. Click to enlarge.

Lexus’s first premium compact model, designed and developed with the European market in mind, offers a selectable electric mode, as well as Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes. The car is capable of running in EV mode for up to 1.2 miles at speeds up to 28 mph (45 km/h).

The CT 200h is built on a new platform with a dedicated double wishbone and trailing arm rear suspension system. It has been developed specifically to combine the ride comfort expected of a Lexus with superior driving involvement and handling agility.

The double wishbone rear suspension is exclusive to the CT 200h and incorporates a lightweight trailing arm. The springs and shocks are positioned separately to minimize intrusion into the loadspace floor.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

Toda America Building Cathode Material Plant in Battle Creek, MI

Toda America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toda Kogyo Corp. in Japan, recently concluded a $35-million award contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE), granted under the Recovery Act – Electric Device Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative last August for the production of nickel-cobalt-metal cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. (Earlier post.)

Toda America plans to build a $70-million manufacturing plant for the cathode materials in Battle Creek, Michigan as soon as the site remediation work is completed and regulatory approvals are obtained in the next 1-2 months. Toda expects to complete Phase 1 and plans to start its operation in February, 2011.

The plant will be expanded step by step until 2013, reaching its full manufacturing capacity of 4,000 tons of finished product per year. The total sales volume based on the full capacity operation at the facility will be around $130 million.

In parallel with the Award Contract with DOE, Toda America has been working with the State of Michigan and the City of Battle Creek to finalize various agreements and financial incentives for the manufacturing plant in Battle Creek based on the planned job creation and capital investment.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

Japan Automakers Support B5, E10 as Baseline Biofuel Blends, Recommend Specifications to ASEAN Countries

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc (JAMA), a nonprofit industry association comprising fourteen manufacturers of passenger cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles in Japan, recently issued position statements on and recommended specifications for bioethanol and biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME).

Experts from JAMA visited six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) to share their recommended specifications of the two first-generation biofuels. JAMA is proposing that the ASEAN countries follow its recommended specifications to ensure appropriate quality of biofuels and their smooth introduction into the market.

JAMA endorses the use of FAME-blended diesel as well as ethanol-blended gasoline and believes it imperative that they have quality equivalent to the conventional gasoline or diesel fuel so that satisfactory safety and emission performance of vehicles can be achieved.

To this end, clear and harmonized fuel quality standards, which ensure vehicle and engine compatibility, and ‘fit-for-purpose’ specifications for bio-fuels are necessary, JAMA says. At the same time, appropriate handling rules to assure their quality control in the distribution process and quality-monitoring scheme to eliminate improperly prepared FAME-blended diesel and ethanol-blended gasoline from the market are also required.

Blending and fueling. For the use of FAME-blended diesel as conventional diesel fuel for vehicles, JAMA recommends a blending ratio of maximum 5% (B5), provided that FAME before blending is added with oxidation stability enhancing additives to secure its quality. Except for vehicles specially designed and operated by fleet users with special vehicle management qualification, JAMA does not recommend exceeding 5% FAME content.

In the event where diesel fuel with a high FAME content is to be introduced widely, JAMA strongly recommends the use of HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) or BTL (biomass to liquid) as blendstocks.

For the use of ethanol-blended gasoline as conventional gasoline for vehicles, JAMA recommends a blending ratio of maximum 10% (E10). Similarly, JAMA does not recommend the use of ethanol-blended gasoline of more than 10% ethanol content except for vehicles specially designed so or for flexible-fuel vehicles.

However, so long as in-use vehicles that are incompatible with ethanol-blended gasoline remain in the market, it is necessary to keep supplying conventional gasoline at some of the fuelling pumps. The materials of these vehicles’ fuel systems are not compatible with ethanol, and the use of ethanol-blended gasoline may result in leakage of fuel, JAMA says.

To prevent misfueling of vehicles that are incompatible with FAME-blended diesel (of a high FAME content) or ethanol-blended gasoline, it is also necessary that the fueling pumps of these fuels have to be labelled clearly indicating their specific FAME or ethanol content, JAMA says.

Specifications. The Worldwide Fuel Charter (WWFC), originally drafted in 1998, details quality specifications for fuels recommended by the world auto industry. The WWFC specifications have been revised to comply with strengthened emission regulations. Together with three other industry associations from America and Europe, JAMA drafted up the WWFC specifications as well as the ‘WWFC Bio-fuels Guidelines’.

JAMA believes that the WWFC ‘Guidelines for B100 Blendstock for use in up to B5 Blends’ and ‘Guidelines for E100 Blendstock for use in up to E10 Blends’ issued in March 2009 will contribute towards the optimization and global harmonization of biofuels specifications in the various countries. JAMA drafted the ‘JAMA Recommendation on FAME (B100) Specification for up to B5 Blends’ as well as ‘JAMA Recommendation on bio-ethanol (E100) Specification for up to E10 Blends’ specifically suited for the climate in ASEAN region based on the ‘Guidelines’, and attached these recommendations to its position statements on bio-fuels quality.

Resources


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David Glass EUEC Presentation 02 02 10

David Glass EUEC Presentation 02 02 10
I recommend biomass conversion readers check out David Glass, Ph.D.’s excellent SlideShare Presentation overviewing technologies and companies involved in Genetic Engineering for 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels production. David Glass EUEC Presentation 02 02 10View more presentations from David Glass.


Visit the original post at: Biofuel News

Friends of the Earth Launches Spooky Anti-Nuclear Ad Campaign
Prominent environmental organization Friends of the Earth has already made clear its opposition to the Obama Administration’s support for the nuclear industry, which it is calling a <a href=”http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/loan-guarantees-a-nuclear-bailout.ph…
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NBC’s Olympic Studio Furnished with Reclaimed Wood
NBC Olympic Winter Games broadcasting studio photo
Image: complements of Duluth Timber

NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games has drawn comments from the sidelines, ranging from How We Hate NBC’s Olympics Coverage: A Statistical Breakdown to NBC delivers the goods in Winter Games coverage. We will stay out of the content debate, but we want to share one thing NBC did right: they hooked …
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