Monday, August 28, 2006

High mileage Suzuki

High mileage Suzuki is an inside look at what it takes to make a motorcycle run at over 200 miles/gallon efficiency in real world driving. The article covers the work of Matt Guzzetta who wanted to build the most fuel efficient motorcycle in the world.

At the same time a contest was being run: Craig Vetter, and how to achieve 470 miles/gallon ... the purpose of the contest? High fuel efficient motorcycles.

Matt Guzzetta used a Suzuki motorcycle with a 125cc engine, that was then modified heavily for fuel efficiency. The whole motorcycle was encased in a fairing. With all that he achieved around 250 miles/gallon efficiency, and at that only won third place in the contest. First place was won by a motorcycle that achieved over 450 miles/gallon. The driving course was along Highway 1 on the California Coast.


Chispito Wind Generator


The Chispito Wind Generator was designed to be simple and efficient with fast and easy construction. There are no limits to what you can do with wind power. There is nothing more rewarding and empowering than making a wind powered generator from scrap materials. Most of the tools and materials in this manual can be found in your local hardware shop or junk pile.

This page gives construction plans to build an inexpensive wind generator.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Biodiesel fact sheets


A large selection of fact-sheets and other information on biodiesel.




ENERGEA CTER The next generation in biodiesel technology

Our CTER technology "Continuous Trans Esterification Reactor" opens a new chapter in biodiesel production:

  • With up to 50% lower costs of investment and practically 100% yield.
  • Installations built in container sized modules, iconsiderably less space requirement.
  • Multi-feed-stock technology capable for processing vegetable oils/fats, used frying oil iand animal fats/tallow.
  • Standard fuel quality according to international standards such as EN 14214


Wednesday, August 23, 2006



The Ecorider is the first of its kind; a Diesel, high performance, low ground pressure all terrain vehicle/motorcycle. Its unique features and environmentally friendly attributes make it the ideal vehicle for numerous applications. Over-engineered, with high quality components this is a truly remarkable workhorse.

Low fuel consumption: 120 miles / gallon

Available in Diesel, Biodiesel and Petrol

U.S. Distributor:


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Keeping cool without air conditioning

Earlier I'd written about the issue of keeping cool without having to use an air conditioner. Our society has thousands of years of experience of living without the modern technology and air conditioners, so why do we today need this? Is there anything we can learn from our ancestors?

Air Conditioning: "We're cooking our planet to refrigerate the diminishing part that's still habitable": explains some of the cost involved with over use of air conditioning. It costs a lot of power, and the power only contributes to global warming, making the heat worse, which then just makes people want to crank up the air conditioners.

Other air conditioning alternatives and Make your own air conditioner: cover a couple alternatives to air conditioners. These are low-tech methods made by individuals. They have a cooler full of ice water, submerge a pump in the water, and use the pump to send the cold water through some coils. The coils are intertwined into a fan. As the fan blows air over the coils the air cools etc.

How much ice would I have to store up in the winter in order to air condition my house all summer? is an interesting question along those lines. The idea is, during the winter there's snow, and what if you stored that snow and used it for cooling during the summer.

Before you scoff and say the snow would melt before summer ... do you realize that's exactly what an "ice house" is? Our ancestors would dig a hole in the ground and store snow/ice there. They called it an "ice house".

It shows a possible method to avoid having an air conditioner, so long as you have a significant amount of snow in the winter. It would be the same method as "make your own air conditioner" but on a larger scale.

The HowStuffWorks people tried to answer how much snow is required to be collected. But I think their calculations are faulty. Read it carefully and the base number is the BTU rating of the air conditioner in a typical house. The BTU rating of a gadget like that is going to be the peak capacity of the unit, not its actual usage. You aren't going to have the air conditioner cranked to the max for 12 hours a day all year long. Instead the actual usage in the air conditioner is going to vary during the day.

In any case this seems somewhat achievable to collect enough snow to make a cube 25 feet on a side. Interestingly the ice houses I've seen in colonial era houses were similar size.

While an individual might get tired thinking of shoveling 900,000 pounds of snow, don't most people in heavily snowed places own snow blowers? In other words technology can come to the rescue and some form of snow blower could be used to move snow into a modern day ice house.

Collecting that much snow would also answer this question: What about keeping warm in the winter?

But, really, this solution only helps for places that get a lot of snow in the winter, and are hot in the summer. There are a lot of places which either don't get very hot in the summer, or don't get a lot of snow in the winter. Georgia for example gets rather hot, but gets no snow, and therefore people there wouldn't be able to build an ice house for summertime cooling.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Early results in high gas mileage with a motorcycle

A couple months ago I bought a Honda Rebel 250cc motorcycle. I'm in the middle of building an electric motorcycle, and am needing some kind of motorcycle with which to learn the art of riding motorcycles. In California we're required to have a special drivers license, which puts me back into the role of having a learners permit and occasionally going to the DMV for a driving test. But that's a story for a different time.

I've discovered something with this motorcycle which is surprising me. You can have amazingly high miles/gallon efficiency!

I've written about this before: Riding motorcycles because they're fuel efficient

I learned before that the U.S. EPA doesn't measure miles/gallon on motorcycles, but the hints I found implied that small motorcycles (like the Rebel) would get high miles/gallon efficiency. It also makes logical sense, that a small vehicle would require less energy to move it, and that a small engine on a small vehicle should get high efficiency.

In the first couple tanks I mentally calculated the miles/gallon and was astonished to see 90 miles/gallon efficiency. But I knew the numbers were small, and inaccuracies would loom large.

High miles/gallon efficiency is important because -- I'm going to drive anyway, and to drive while using less gasoline makes for great benefits such as less pollution in the environment.

Here are the numbers for the first three tanks of gas run through the motorcycle:

Odometer Gallons bought Elapsed miles Elapsed gas bought Miles/gallon
3199.1 n/a n/a n/a n/a
3325.3 1.71 126.2 1.71 73.80
3440.3 1.53 241.2 3.24 74.44
3562.2 1.70 363.1 4.94 73.50

My calculation method is to record the gallons bought, and the odometer reading at the time it was bought. This gives me an elapsed total miles ridden and gallons bought since the beginning of these measurements, at 3199.1 miles. The elapsed miles / elapsed gallons gives elapsed miles/gallon efficiency.

Assuming the odometer is accurate.

As you can see, the efficiency is staying just above 70 miles/gallon. Take that hybrids!


Friday, August 18, 2006

The Green Car Club


The Green Car Club unites owners and enthusiasts of environmentally cleaner cars.

Greener vehicles are here - and they’re not just for environmentalists! They are “no-compromise” cars. As performance has soared, so has popularity. Advanced cars, SUVs, pickups, and buses offer better performance, more convenience, and lower driving costs. The Toyota Prius has received numerous awards including the “2004 North American Car of the Year.” The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has heralded hybrid vehicles and new clean gasoline vehicles as the “first fruit of California’s zero-emission program.” CARB has certified most hybrids as meeting their stringent AT-PZEV (Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) standards.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA)


The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) is the Northeast’s leading organization of professionals and concerned citizens working in sustainable energy and whole systems thinking. NESEA facilitates the widespread adoption and use of sustainable energy by providing support to industry professionals and by educating and motivating consumers to learn about, ask for, and adopt sustainable energy and green building practices. NESEA accomplishes this through its Building Energy conference and trade show, K-12 resources, an advocacy network, high profile public events such as the Tour de Sol and the Green Building Open House, its chapters and members, and its Sustainable Yellow Pages.


Earth Toys Magazine


EarthToys is focused on bringing our readers up to date information on green building and alternative energy products, services, news and education. This is an open, unbiased service with the goal of providing a means for the alternative energy and green building industries to report on themselves.


Green Car Congress


The path to sustainable mobility is complex, with numerous competing and complementary approaches to alternative energy sources, production, distribution and applications; fuel and power-train options; materials; safety, economic and environmental considerations and trade-offs; policy issues; and different timelines for research, development and deployment.

Green Car Congress' mission is to provide timely, high-quality editorial about the full spectrum of energy options, technologies, products, issues and policies related to sustainable mobility.



Alternative Fuel Vehicle Group newsletters


Your source for news and information on the rapid advances in natural gas, biofuel, battery-electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Group newsletters are the most widely read and respected publications covering alternative fuel vehicles. Each newsletter includes a searchable archive of back issues.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Building-integrated wind power?

Wind Turbines on the Edge: Small Wind Power Could be Moving in Next Door: Covers a new wind turbine designed by Aerovironment. The turbine is small enough to be mounted on buildings, along the top edge of the wall (the parapet) where the wind is strongest. The turbine is designed to spin slowly, which will help it be safe for wildlife, as well as the screen in front of the turbine.

The AVX400 is the name of the product. Aerovironments is said to have spent a fair bit of time studying how to make the turbine look nice, so that people are more accepting. Obviously if people are saying wind turbines are eyesores, they'll be resisting having them on buildings. But if they look like sculptures would they be more accepting? Clearly there is a lot of wind happening everywhere, wind that can be captured to satisfy power requirements in office buildings or factories.

One common criticism of wind turbines is they tend to kill birds. However that idea comes from the wind turbines installed in California, especially in the Altamont Pass. Those turbines have been studied heavily to learn lessons about the bird death issue. What was learned is the placement and design of the turbines contribute the most to bird death. For example if the turbine itself has ledges on it, the birds will tend to perch on the turbine, and then be hit more frequently by the blades. But if the turbine is designed to not have ledges, the birds don't have a place to perch, and don't spend time near the blades.

What's more important for the AVX400 is, if the turbine is placed in places birds fly then the birds spend time near the turbines and have a greater risk of being caught in the blades. Where birds tend to fly seem to be near cliffs and hilltops, because of the winds. In the Altamont Pass, the turbines are placed along the ridgelines and hence are right where the birds are flying. But this is similar to the parapet of a building so would birds tend to fly near building parapets? I don't know, but that is exactly where Aerovironment suggests installing the AVX400.

However they have done two things that are known to reduce the danger to birds. First the blades are said to spin slowly, giving the birds less danger and greater ease with avoiding the blades. Second they put a screen in front of the blades.

This isn't the first wind turbine that's designed for beauty. An interesting twist on wind energy is also designed as sculpture, and is designed to be integrated with buildings.

The home page on this product is: Energy Technology Center: Projects Architectural Wind

Another article is: Wind Turbines on the Parapet

This has me wondering about the general state of integrating wind turbines with buildings. You don't see this very often, so why is that?

A couple obvious issues are the bird kill situation discussed above. Note that birds die when they fly into buildings, which happens all the time anyway. Another obvious issue is noise, as wind turbines are known to make some noise. Though urban areas are hardly quiet so I doubt noise is a proper issue for an urban area.

Ecofys BV appears to be a Netherlands company specializing in wind turbines for urban areas. However the web site is "under construction" and has little information.

Rooftop Turbines: Rooftop Mounting and Building Integration of Wind Turbines is an article giving a very clear diatribe against integrating wind turbines with buildings. This has apparently been tried several times, with bad results. For example the vibration from the turbine damaging the building, destroying the turbine, and the turbine then fell through the roof of the building. Another issue is that any noise the turbine makes will transmit directly to the frame of the building.

It's clear the turbines discussed in that article are designs that don't specifically decrease vibrations and noise. It's unknown whether Aerovironment has done a good job addressing those issues.

Launch of rooftop wind turbine pilot is a project in Scotland from 2004 to build a wind turbine onto a school in Fife. The article discusses the Energy Savings Trust and says some nice things about Scottish ingenuity. However the project is not mentioned anywhere else which can be found so it isn't clear whether there was any results or whether they abandoned the project. Swift route to green energy at home also covers the project.

UK's 'first' building-integrated wind turbine and PV system to go up discusses a building in London that combines solar panels and wind turbines.

Mini-turbines spell hope for building-integrated wind power discusses several wind projects integrated with buildings. Especially mentioned is the Aerotecture turbine discussed above.

Micro-Wind for the Home looks at several building-integrated renewable energy alternatives including wind turbines.

Renewable Devices offers the Swift turbine, which was involved in the school project in Fife mentioned above. While their site doesn't describe results from that project, it does show pictures of their turbine installed on buildings, including a supermarket. (Tesco is a popular supermarket chain in Scotland)

United Kingdom: Go with the wind covers wind turbines for buildings, especially focusing on the Swift turbine. It includes quotes from users of the Swift turbine.

Small scale wind discusses how wind power can be used on small scales. But it doesn't discuss urban use.

Small Wind Technologies: Building-integrated and stand-alone systems is coverage by the British Wind Energy Association.


Centre for Alternate Technology


We offer solutions to some of the most serious challenges facing our planet and the human race, such as climate change, pollution and the waste of precious resources.

We demonstrate practical ways of addressing these problems. Leading by example, we aim to show that living more sustainably is not only easy to attain but can provide a better quality of life.

Averting a massive environmental disaster is not out of our reach, although if we continue to treat the early signs with apathy, it soon will be.

We address every aspect of the average lifestyle - the key areas we work in are renewable energy, environmental building, energy efficiency, organic growing and alternative sewage systems.


The Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society

  • Scientific, social & economic development through the environmentally sound utilisation of solar energy and other renewable energies.
  • Investigation into the operation and development of solar energy applications and other potential renewable energy applications.
  • The development of viable renewable energy industries in Australa and New Zealand.
  • The generation and dissemination of information on current and future renewable energy developments to members and potential members.
  • Influence on government policies which may impact upon the present and future development of renewable energy applications.

The Solar Energy Society emanated from a philosophical as well as educated opinion that the future was dependent on the use of clean forms of energy, such as solar energy and other renewable energy sources. ANZSES came out of a research, philosophical base that is still at its core function today. It evolved as a network of researchers and educators reaching out to the public and industry to adopt new and renewable technologies and systems. From the beginning it included related industry groups and individual companies as a forum for the sharing of information and innovative ideas.


The Renewable Energy Association


The Renewable Energy Association was established in 2001 to represent British renewable energy producers and promote the use of sustainable energy in the UK. The REA was originally called the Renewable Power Association until October 2005.

The REA’s main objective is to secure the best legislative and regulatory framework for expanding renewable energy production in the UK. We undertake policy development and provide input to government departments, agencies, regulators, NGOs and others. Read more about us.

We represent a wide variety of organisations, including generators, project developers, fuel and power suppliers, equipment producers and service providers. Members range in size from major multinationals to sole traders. Our membership topped 400 in mid 2005, making us the largest renewable energy trade association in the UK.


British Hydro


The British Hydropower Association (BHA) is a trade association which represents the interests of all those involved in the hydropower industry. Formerly the National Association of Water Power Users, it has for over twenty years been promoting the use of small hydropower and lobbying to protect its members' interests.

Members include manufacturers of all kinds of equipment used in the industry, civil, mechanical and electrical consulting engineers, utility companies, academic institutions, developers - large and small, individuals, charities and students - anyone who is interested in and keen to promote the use of hydropower.


The Scottish Parliament Renewable energy & Energy efficiency Group (SPREG)


The Scottish Parliament Renewable energy & Energy efficiency Group (SPREG) is an official cross party group of the Scottish Parliament. Its aim is to bring together Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and others with an interest in renewable energy & energy efficiency in Scotland. The group meets regularly to discuss issues of key interest to ensure ongoing development of renewable energy that supports economic, social and environmental gain in Scotland.


Energy Savings Trust


We encourage energy efficiency and the integration of renewable energy sources into the economic fabric of our society. To achieve this we promote the use of cleaner fuels for transport and better insulation and heating efficiency for buildings and homes and champion small-scale renewable energy, such as solar and wind power.


Energy Efficiency for Scotland


Our aim is simple. If you are a domestic energy user we want to save you money and improve your comfort. If you are a business energy user we want to save you money, improve your profits and competitive position. Yes, and you can do all this and still make a contribution to helping the environment. This is truly a win win situation.


The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA)


The British Wind Energy Association is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with over 310 corporate members, BWEA is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. Wind has been the world's fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.

In 2004, BWEA expanded its mission to champion wave and tidal energy and use the Association's experience to guide these technologies along the same path to commercialisation.

Our primary purpose is to promote the use of wind power in and around the UK, both onshore and offshore. We act as a central point for information for our membership and as a lobbying group to promote wind energy and marine renewables to government. We research and find solutions to current issues and generally act as the forum for the UK wind industry. We have a professional staff of fourteen at our Islington offices and an annual turnover in excess of one million pounds.


What about keeping warm in the winter?

It's midsummer and it's hot out. I've had a few articles recently about keeping cool in the summer without spending a lot of energy, e.g. without running an air conditioner. But, what about keeping warm in the winter?

Winter? Isn't that months away? Well, yeah, but the same principle holds true as I've been discussing about keeping cool without air conditioners. Our ancestors didn't have central heating nor central air conditioning. Our ancestors did not have fossil fuels easily available. Our ancestors didn't have the over abundance of energy that we enjoy today. How did they survive? How did they make it through cold winters and hot summers? That's worth studying and seeing what can be applied today.

The Furnace-free House in Vermont is a three-way conversation between Donella (Dana) Meadows (the client), Marc Rosenbaum, PE (the ecological design/energy consultant), and Amory Lovins (world famous energy expert). It began when Amory told Donella that it was possible to build a passive solar home in the Vermont climate which required no heating system or back-up heat. They discussed it, and the discussion is presented on that page.


Renewable Devices


They design a small scale wind turbine that can be easily integrated with buildings and fit nicely in an urban setting. They also offer renewable energy design and consultation services.




Windsave Ltd. was formed in January 2002 to develop a Commercial and Domestic small wind turbine generator system using low wind speeds to create electricity while avoiding the use of batteries. The Windsave system is wall mounted and incorporates our unique Plug'n'Save™ inverter that delivers the electricity synchronised to the grid supply into the property on the consumer side of the meter, reducing consumption and cost of electricity from the Grid.

The Windsave® product has been created to provide an environmentally-friendly, low-cost source of sustainable energy and providing an opportunity for every property in Britain to play a part in "the Green Revolution". Many people have the desire to protect the environment, but our challenge has been to turn that desire into action. By developing micro-wind generation technology, our towns, cities and rural communities now have the potential to become important contributors to the country's overall energy requirements, rather than just mere consumers.


Bergey Windpower


Bergey Windpower is the world’s leading supplier of small wind turbines. With installations in all 50 U.S. States and more than 90 countries, and an international network of ~ 600 dealers, we have the products and experience to put the wind to work for you.

At Bergey Windpower, we take pride in offering advanced-technology products that let homeowners and businesses generate their own clean power and even spin their utility meter backwards. Our turbines are also used for off-grid homes, for rural electrification, and to boost the performance of solar electric systems.


Aerotecture, Ltd.


Wind turbine technology that is affordable and designed for elegance and safety to wildlife. Rather than a propeller on a stick, their turbine is a thing spinning within a cylinder. The turbines can be mounted on existing buildings - vertically, horizontally, diagonally - and are designed to partner perfectly with other renewable energy technology.


Breezy 5.5 - A Reliable 5500 Watt Homebuilt Wind Turbine Generator


A set of plans describing how to build a wind turbine. The size is suitable for powering a home or farm.

  • Built With Off-the-Shelf Components
  • Rugged Efficient Blade Design
  • Requires No Batteries, No Inverter
  • Grid Ready!!
  • Easy to Build and Maintain
  • 100 Pages - Step by Step Details
  • 47 Diagrams
  • 84 Pictures
  • Economics and Breezy 5.5
  • Theory of Operation


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Electrical energy storage for the home

Pumping power onto the grid from your basement: Discusses a new product that's meant to help shave off the peak energy demand on hot days.

The idea is to have a bank of batteries that are charged at night. This relies on time-of-use power metering (TOU) which charges the user different costs per kilowatt-hour depending on the current capacity on the power grid. Generally power demand is high during the day, and low at night. Under the principle of supply-demand economics it makes sense to charge more for electricity during the day (when demand is high) than is charged at night (when demand is low). So, essentially it's a power storage unit that does time shifting for electricity.

The product comes from Grid Point

They bill it as a kind of backup power supply. Generally this device keeps supplying power even if the power grid is shut down. The power grid can be shut down because it's overloaded due to the peak demand on hot days, or because a natural disaster has struck. As a backup power supply it's a heck of a lot cleaner than a diesel generator, because there's no exhaust.

One statement in the article stands out ...

Extremely high summer temperatures that tax the grid, such as those happening this summer in the U.S., are happening more frequently

Um, excuse me, but it is not the high temperature that taxes the grid. It's what people do because of the high temperature that's taxing the grid.

What typically happens because of the high temperatures is .. well .. people crank up the air conditioner, right? Is it the temperature that's causing the increase in electricity use? NO, it's the reaction of cranking up the air conditioner.

I discussed the effect here: Air Conditioning: "We're cooking our planet to refrigerate the diminishing part that's still habitable"

When we cool a building with an air conditioner, it's only making the problem worse. It's shifting heat outside, making the outside hotter. It's causing increased electricity use, making for more pollution and greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

There are alternatives. We have thousands of years of human experimentation with surviving hot weather that we can look to for alternatives. But with modern technology we're ignoring that history as if our ancestors were nothing but dumb ignorant savages. Sigh.


Grid Point


GridPoint ™ builds intelligent energy management (IEM) appliances to improve power reliability and enable power management for traditional and renewable energy users. GridPoint products automatically execute intelligent decisions to provide instant protection from power outages and manage energy efficiency for the home and business.

Unlike any other residential and light commercial energy technology, GridPoint appliances leverage advanced software to communicate with GridPoint’s network operations center. This unique capability enables the appliance to make intelligent decisions based on current data such as weather forecasts and time of use pricing. It also supports GridPoint’s online energy management portal, GridPoint CentralSM, to provide customers with information including traditional and renewable energy consumption, hours of backup power available, periods of peak usage and more.

GridPoint IEM products serve as an intelligent hub between the customer, the electric power grid and a renewable energy source. GridPoint meets the individual needs of customers and utilities, while providing an innovative platform to enhance the relationship between them. A large number of GridPoint products located in a utility’s service area allows the utility to draw upon power stored in GridPoint appliances, reducing peak demand costs, enhancing the reliability of the electric grid, and contributing to the emerging Smart Grid. Utilities can also offer cost savings through rebate and discounting programs.

GridPoint “plug-and-play” appliances seamlessly combine power electronics, high-capacity battery storage, and an advanced computer powered by an Intel ® Pentium®-based computer. The single cabinet design allows for easy installation, and the appliance’s network monitoring capabilities ensure maximum efficiency and early detection of maintenance needs. GridPoint products are sold through a network of premium home builders, utilities, retail chains and government entities as well as installers and contractors of electrical, home automation, security and renewable energy systems.


Tuesday, August 8, 2006

What is the Nuclear Fuel Cycle?


Uranium, as it is mined from the earth's crust, is not directly useable for power generation. Much processing must be carried out to concentrate the fissile isotope U-235 before uranium can be used efficiently to generate electricity.

More so than other energy resources such as coal, oil and natural gas, uranium has its own distinctive and very complicated fuel cycle. This is called the 'Nuclear Fuel Cycle'. There are several steps in the nuclear fuel cycle - mining and milling, conversion, enrichment, and fuel fabrication. These steps are known as the 'front end' of the cycle.


CARB CNG and Diesel Transit Bus Emissions Research


The Air Resources Board (ARB) has led a multi-agency research effort to collect emissions data from late-model heavy-duty transit buses in five different configurations. The objectives of the study were 1) to assess driving cycle effects, 2) to evaluate toxicity between new and "clean" heavy duty engine technologies in use in California, and 3) to investigate total PM and ultrafine particle emissions.

Chassis dynamometer testing was conducted at ARB's Heavy-duty Emissions Testing Laboratory (HDETL) in Los Angeles. The impetus behind this work was to compare the emissions from transit buses powered by similar engines and fueled by ARCO (a BP company) Low Sulfur Emission Control Diesel (ECD-1) and compressed natural gas (CNG). Follow-on work focused on the assessment of aftertreatment control for CNG applications. Five vehicle configurations were investigated: 1) a CNG bus equipped with a 2000 DDC Series 50G engine certified for operation without an oxidation catalyst, 2) the same CNG bus retrofitted with an OEM oxidation catalyst, 3) a diesel bus equipped with a 1998 DDC Series 50 engine and a catalyzed muffler, 4) the same diesel vehicle retrofitted with a Johnson Matthey Continuously Regenerating Technology (CRT) diesel particulate filter (DPF) in place of the muffler, and 5) a CNG bus equipped with a 2001 Cummins Westport C Gas Plus engine and OEM-equipped oxidation catalyst.

The duty cycles were: 1) idle operation, 2) a 55 mph steady-state (SS) cruise condition, 3) the Central Business District (CBD) cycle, 4) the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS), and 5) the New York City Bus Cycle (NYBC). Collection of PM over multiple cycles was performed to ensure sufficient sample mass for subsequent chemical analyses. Information on regulated (NOx, HC's, PM, and CO) and non-regulated (CO2, NO2, gas-phase toxic HC's, carbonyl compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, elements, and elemental and organic carbon) emissions was collected. Size-resolved PM mass and number emission measurements were conducted and extracts from diesel and CNG total PM samples were tested in the Ames mutagenicity bioassay analysis to determine mutagen emission factors.


Transportation Energy Data Book


is a statistical compendium prepared and published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) under contract with the Office of Planning, Budget Formulation, and Analysis, under the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program in the Department of Energy (DOE). Designed for use as a desk-top reference, the data book represents an assembly and display of statistics and information that characterize transportation activity, and presents data on other factors that influence transportation energy use. The purpose of this document is to present relevant statistical data in the form of tables and graphs.

In January 1976, the Transportation Energy Conservation (TEC) Division of the Energy Research and Development Administration contracted with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to prepare a Transportation Energy Conservation Data Book to be used by TEC staff in their evaluation of current and proposed conservation strategies. The major purposes of the data book were to draw together, under one cover, transportation data from diverse sources, to resolve data conflicts and inconsistencies, and to produce a comprehensive document. The first edition of the TEC Data Book was published in October 1976. With the passage of the Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act, the work being conducted by the former Transportation Energy Conservation Division fell under the purview of the DOE's Office of Transportation Programs, then to the Office of Transportation Technologies. DOE, through the Office of Transportation Technologies, has supported the compilation of Editions 3 through 21. In the most recent DOE organization, Editions 22, 23 and 24 fall under the purview of the Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.


REpower 5M - Massive 5 megawatt wind turbines


The worldwide largest wind energy converter will be developed by REpower. The development is co-financed by the European Union and the German state Schleswig-Holstein. Within the frame of the European project "5MW Innovative Wind Turbine Suitable for on Land and Offshore Installations".


Monday, August 7, 2006

Air Conditioning: "We're cooking our planet to refrigerate the diminishing part that's still habitable"

In The deluded world of air conditioning William Saletan offers a very interesting perspective. "We're cooking our planet to refrigerate the diminishing part that's still habitable".

When you air condition a building you're taking heat that's inside the building and moving it outside. That's what an air conditioner is, a heat pump. The fluids that go through an air conditioning system? They're the medium through which heat is exchanged, or rather pumped, from one place to another.

And, when we pump heat outdoors that costs energy. The energy used comes from somewhere, most likely through burning natural gas. So when we run an air conditioner and pump energy outside, that natural gas that's burned to make the electricity emits carbon into the atmosphere, which then in turn increases the greenhouse and global warming effect.

Air conditioners hasten global warming. So it's a fools journey to run an air conditioner because when you do it's just tightening a noose around your neck. Unfortunately the tightening of that noose is happening slowly enough that it's hard to connect the air conditioner with the global warming.

And, it's not just air conditioners. It's the whole range of gadgets that use electricity or gasoline. Want to clean up the fallen leaves in your yard? Are you going to get out a rake, or use a leaf blower? Want to go grocery shopping? Are you going to drive a Hummer or a Geo Metro or a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) or a bicycle? When your teenager turns 16 do they get a car immediately? Do you know what a "phantom electrical load" is?

In this hot summer air conditioning is a, er, hot topic. There are some alternatives to consider. But something I wonder about is, just how the heck did our ancestors survive without air conditioners?

Why do we have to use air conditioners when there are thousands of years of human experience that could show us how to live without air conditioning in the first place?

For example, there are herbal ways to cool down. Ways that do not require refridgeration or air conditioning.

In the Middle East Sekanjabin (?sp?) is a traditional drink. It's main active ingredients are mint and sugar. Both are known to herbalists as cooling substances that, when ingested, will act to cool the body.

How can you prove this to yourself? Let me offer a simple test from Healing with the Herbs of Life. First take a sprig of fresh mint, crush it up, and pop it in your mouth. Doesn't your mouth feel cool? Take a breath in and out. Cool?

Now take some cinnamon, just a dab, and put it in your mouth. Hot?

Mint is a cooling herb, while cinnamon is a heating herb. Healing with the Herbs of Life goes into this in extensive detail from the perspective of Chinese Medicine. But the concepts are known to herbalists of all societies.

Another example of how the thousands of years of human experience can show us how to cool our living quarters without air conditioning. A few years ago I visited some friends who own some land in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was mid-summer, on a hot day. On their land is an old one-room schoolhouse that sits out in the direct sun all day long. However, the inside of that schoolhouse remains cool all day long. How? Thick walls. Similarly in California there are many old buildings left from the Spanish. These are "adobe" buildings and the main feature is the thick walls.

Thick walls mean good insulation. You might think insulation only helps keep heat inside. Actually what insulation does is impede the flow of heat. So the heat outside the building has a harder time getting inside the better the insulation.

Another alternative to air conditioning is offered by the plant kingdom. Plant trees around your house, trees that are large enough to shade the roof. The trees will keep the heat from hitting your house in the first place. If you live in a place that that gets real cold in the winter, then you want trees that shed their leaves in the fall. That way in the winter the branches are bare and the sun will reach your house to provide some heat.

Reference: The Deluded World of Air Conditioning


Sunday, August 6, 2006

Craig Vetter, and how to achieve 470 miles/gallon


Craig Vetter is an inventor specializing (it seems) in motorcycle related gizmos. One specialty is fairings that help improve gasoline mileage. He claims this design is proven to provide 470 miles/gallon efficiency. It involves using a small motorcycle (250cc engine) and a full fairing around the motorcycle. Clearly a fairing will reduce wind drag, and on a motorcycle there's a lot of things to contribute wind drag. Hmm... what a drag maaaan. Anyway, wind drag reduces fuel efficiency. So it stands to reason that reducing drag increases efficiency.


Thursday, August 3, 2006



Within five years EnviroMission aims to be one of Australia’s leading producers of clean, green renewable energy. EnviroMission owns the exclusive licence to German designed Solar Tower technology in Australia. Our first project will focus on developing this revolutionary technology into the world’s first large-scale solar thermal power station.


Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Description: is your one-stop shop for energy efficiency and renewable energy information in Colorado. There is something for everyone at You will find how-to's, information about green building, energy-efficient applications, wind power in Colorado, government actions, new technologies, important events and much more.


The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)


The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) works to bring all forms of renewable energy into the mainstream of America's economy and lifestyle. They are focused on accelerating the adoption of renewable energy technologies into the mainstream of American society through work in convening, information publishing and communications. With a focus on trade, finance and policy, ACORE promotes all renewable energy options for the production of electricity, hydrogen, fuels and end-use energy.


Renewable Energy @ The American Corn Growers Association


The American Corn Growers Association is a trade association representing farmers in Washington DC. Their main purpose is to lobby for price supports to help farmers, etc. However, they do have a call for farmers to become involved with biofuel production, or to become involved with wind energy. Both actions would diversify farm income, and at the same time move the U.S. more to renewable energy resources.