|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Thursday, June 27, 2002
MDI - The air car
: A car designed
around compressed air, with "an engine capable of propelling a car up to 110 Km/h, that can cover a distance of 300 km with one tank refill." Range is halved when run at top speed compared to city speeds. Refill of the tank takes 3 minutes from a station, 4 hours from a home power outlet. The company sells the factories to make the cars. The North American licensee plans a trial with Mexico city taxis. Several models are offered
. 62 plants have been sold so far, 10 in Italy, 6000 vehicles per year. 5:12:36 PM
New ways to use solar thermal energy?: A Greek firm is developing a new energy capture: "The electrochemical thermal convertor is a revolutionary technology for the direct conversion of low temperature heat into electricity based on a continuous regeneration of an electrolyte using the thermal energy of the heat source with an efficiency in the conversion of thermal to electrical energy of 75% - 85% depending on the temperature of the heat source. (temperature ranges: 40 - 100EC)." Claimed costs are estimated at under $200/KW (East European installation). In the US, "Renewable Energy Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of SunPower, .. uses high intensity solar energy to produce pure hydrogen, methanol or ethanol from feed stocks such as bio-mass, CO2, low quality natural gas or coal." 4:53:10 PM
Marine current power
: Good review of options for tapping tidal and other ocean currents -- many similarities to wind power. "Because of the higher energy intensity in the tidal stream compared with wind, the diameter of the rotors used in a tidal turbine is much less than for a wind turbine - around 18 m versus 55 m for a nominal 1 MW rotor." Marine Current Turbines Ltd, based in the UK, has initiated a programme of tidal turbine development with government support, including a 300 kW trial in September, 700 kW in 2003, up in stages to 300 MW in 2010. A different £1.8m 'Stingray'
prototype, powered by tidal water, has been built and will be moved this summer onto the seabed near Shetland. 4:07:11 PM