Throttle-Free Electric Bike To Be Introduced In 2008

Scheduled for release in early 2008, the iZip Express is an electric bike that will operate without a throttle. Instead, the bike has a special torque sensor that applies power as the rider requires it. Basically, the harder you pedal, the more the motor assists you. Test drivers have said that this automatic drive system is one of the most …

The Wind Shade Roof

Personally, I find combination of clean energy and art to be compelling.  Michael Jantzen‘s designs certainly embody both ideas. Pictured above is his “Wind Shade Roof” concept – it’s a swimming pool complex with wind turbines integrated into the roof. The turbines provide power for night lighting, pool heating and pumps. I’m sure the design is not entirely optimal, but also …

Solar Beads Could Cut Costs By 50%

Here’s another solar innovation that could reduce cost of solar energy by as much as 50%. A company in Japan has developed a novel way of making solar cells with arrays of thousands of tiny silicon spheres surrounded by hexagonal reflectors. The key advantage of the system is that it reduces the total amount of silicon required, says Mikio Murozono, …

Google Wants To Make Clean Energy Cheaper Than Coal

eSolar is one of the early-stage companies Google is working with. Google has announced a plan to develop sources of renewable energy that will be cheaper than coal. The new initiative, RE<C, (renewable energy is cheaper than coal) will begin by focusing on solar power technology, and will also encompass geothermal energy production. According to the Google.Org blog, of the …

Brammo Electric Motorcycle To Debut

Brammo Motorsports, a company based in Oregon, will be debut their Enertia Bike at the EVS-23 Show in Anaheim California (it’s an electric vehicle show). The Enertia Bike was designed from the ground up to be a fully electric bike. It has a top speed of 50 mph, range of 45 miles, and can fully recharge via a standard plug …

Velomobiles: Efficient Commuter Vehicles

go-onevelo-yellow

The Go-One Velomobile A velomobile is a “bicycle car”, or more officially, a “human-powered vehicle, enclosed for protection from weather and collisions”. They are virtually unknown in the U.S., but a quite popular in some parts of Europe. Velomobiles are highly efficient commuting vehicles, especially when they are equipped with an electric assist motor. Velomobiles tend to attract a lot …

Cocona: A Fabric Enhancer Derived From Coconuts

Cocona is a natural fabric enhancer that is made with activated carbon. The activated carbon is derived from coconut husks — it is a “waste” product of the water filter industry. But what does Cocona do exactly? It is said to help traditional fabrics resist moisture, control odor and shield ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Activated carbon has a huge absorbing area …

Optimal: European Toys

This post has been updated and expanded here: Classic European Toys. Toys that are well-designed and made with renewable materials are optimal. European toys often fit this description. This durable block set, for example, is made in Germany by Haba using solid, natural, untreated beech wood that is harvested from sustainable forests. Toys like this are known for their longevity …

Nightclub Illuminated With 100% LED Light

The Barcode nightclub was built in a disused brick Victorian railway arch in Vauxhall, south London. The entire nightclub is illuminated using only LED lights, and the sound system is also energy efficient. The architect, Woods Bagot claims that the system consumes “less electricity than the power used to boil a kettle”. If they could just give a watt hour …

Optimal: Making Manufacturing Processes Transparent: Patagonia

Patagonia is really a leader in effective, green manufacturing. Now the company is making its manufacturing processes as transparent as possible. Patagonia has created a web site called the Footprint Chronicles, where you can track the eco “footprint” of several pieces of Patagonian clothing. Also listed in the amount of waste and CO2 generated as the garments are produced — …