Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Packs: 2008

A lithium-ion battery manufacturer, A123Systems, will begin marketing a kit in 2008 that will convert a regular hybrid car into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, as known as a PHEV. Currently priced at $10,000 (with a $3,500 tax credit), these modules are still expensive for the average car owner. For example, a commuter driving 11,000 miles per year with gas …

National Bike Month Pushes Bike Commuting Into High Gear

The month of May commemorates the love of the bicycle with National Bike Month featuring Bike to Work events across the country. And while telling a bike commuter that it’s Bike to Work day is like telling Stephen King it’s National Write a Novel day, cycling advocates are welcoming the opportunity to spread the word about the benefits of bike …

Hybrid Gets 150 Miles Per Gallon Using Ultracapacitors

It’s a prototype hybrid car that gets 150MPG, and goes 40 miles on electricity alone, drawing its power from a combination of lithium-ion batteries and ultracapacitors. The ultracapacitors provide a burst of energy to the engine, when needed. They are then recharged by the lithium-ion batteries. This avoids the problem of emptying the batteries too fast, which can cause them …

Natural 100% Silk Comforters

It’s a comforter filled with 100% silk. Silk has a higher warmth to weight ratio than wool, down, or synthetic fillers. It’s non-toxic: no chlorine, perfumes or chemical dyes used. It’s natural: breathable & hypoallergenic. It’s also inexpensive. Moreover, it is manufactured in Germany to European Eco Standards, including the 100% organic cotton cover. The filling is Tussah silk which …

The Best Water Filters Of 2010

There are a lot of misleading claims about water filters. Many filters are marketed with general statements like “improves taste and odor”. But filter manufacturers don’t mention the specific amount of pesticides or chloramines removed, for example.

Freshaire Choice: A Zero-VOC Paint To Be Sold At Home Depot

Wow, this is a truly non-toxic paint, and it’s going to be sold exclusively at Home Depot. It’s called Freshaire Choice, and it’s a zero VOC paint. According to the EPA, the air inside a home is, on average, two-to-five-times more polluted than the air outside. Paint is a large contributing factor to poor indoor air quality and can emit …

Kite Gen: The Future Of Wind Power?

Wind power holds great promise as a clean energy source, but current windmill generators aren’t appropriate for all locations.  Italian firm Kite Gen hopes to change that with its innovative new generator designs, which use “kites” to capture strong high-altitude winds.

Italian Town Runs On 100% Renewable Power

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Varese Ligure, a town in Northern Italy, runs on 100% renewable power. The town uses a mix of wind, solar and small-scale hydropower. The town has reaped benefits from the energy network through added jobs, and an additional 350,000 euros [US $514,000] in revenues that are handed over to the council each year. Varese has also seen a six-fold increase …

“Electranet” Could See Light Of Day

With his new-found movie star clout, former Vice President Al Gore has begun an aggressive environmental crusade for ground-breaking technology and policy changes to the nation’s electricity grid. Using the momentum of his Oscar-winning documentary on global warming, Gore is advocating a decentralized “smart grid” that would allow anyone to set up their own generator and buy or sell surplus …

Is This The World’s Most Efficient Windmill?

Is This The World’s Most Efficient Windmill? (photo: William Kamkwamba)

Sometimes the epitome of efficiency is using whatever tools are available to accomplish the job at hand. No one understands this better than William Kamkwamba, a teenager from rural Malawi whose ingenuity provided his family and neighbors with electricity from a most unlikely source.