Monday, 31 January 2011

worlds first Energy House

Scientists at the University of Salford plan to use the mock home to test the effectiveness of a wide range of energy saving technologies.

The house is being built inside a three-storey laboratory, which will allow a team of researchers to control heat, light and humidity levels.
"We need to find ways to make these old-build properties more energy efficient as they will continue to house people for generations to come," observed Professor Stephen Donnelly, dean of the university's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Environment.

"But to cost-effectively retro-fit old properties and make them as carbon-efficient as possible requires detailed and robust research."

The Energy House project is expected to last for about three years before the team will demolish the house and replace it with a replicated public building, such as a hospital ward or school classroom.

full article

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Hydrogen Based Artificial petrol For 90p A Gallon

The new hydrogen-based fuel costs only 90 pence per gallon and could even run in existing cars.

The environment-friendly fuel has been developed in secret at a laboratory in Oxford and could be available in as little as three years.

Motorists could even be able to drive for 300 to 400 miles before needing to fill up.

Energy from hydrogen can be harnessed by burning the gas or combining it with oxygen in a fuel cell to produce electricity.

But current methods of storing hydrogen are expensive and not very safe.

To get round this, scientists from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, near Oxford, University College London and Oxford University have found a way of densely packing hydrogen into tiny beads that can be poured or pumped like a liquid.
They have developed a way of making tiny micro-fibres 30 times smaller than a human hair. These form a tissue-like material
that is safe to handle in air. The new material contains as much hydrogen for a given weight as
the high pressure tanks currently used to store hydrogen.

'Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification. The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles.’

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Volkswagen XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle

The third car to emerge from VW’s efficient vehicle study program, the XL1 is a hybrid using an 800cc TDI two-cylinder diesel engine of 47bhp linked to a 27bhp electric motor.

The modest 74bhp total is compensated by the mere 795kg weight of the car, thanks to much of it being built in carbon fibre.

A seven-speed DSG gearbox is fitted and the electric motor can power the car alone for up to 22 miles before the diesel engine cuts in.

The car offers 0-62mph times of 11.9 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 99mph. The eco figures are likely to be of most interest, however, VW quoting combined cycle fuel economy of 313mpg and CO2 emissions of just 24g/km.

The XL1 is visually striking in terms of styling. But just as much of the prototype’s shape was determined in the wind tunnel as it was on a designers sketchpad. All of the attention in the wind tunnel was towards reducing the drag (Cd) on the car as it moves through the air. Less drag translates to more efficiency. As a comparison, the aerodynamic drag of the XL1 is 2.5 times lower than a current model Golf.

full article

Friday, 21 January 2011

Warm Front Suspends Grants

Warm Front grants suspended until April 2011.Warm Front provides support to vulnerable groups in, or at risk of, fuel poverty. This typically includes low income households and families, disabled and elderly groups. It provides a package of insulation and heating improvements up to £3,500 (or £6,000 where oil, low carbon or renewable technologies are recommended)). To qualify for Warm Front, applicants must either own their home or rent it from a private landlord. They should also be in receipt of certain qualifying benefits.

CERT funding is not affected by the suspension of Warm Front funding and grants are still available.
Energy suppliers will provide grants and offers to help you pay for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies for your home. The key thing to note here is that you can take up CERT grants and offers from any energy company, regardless of whether they supply your gas and electricity. This could help reduce the amount of energy you use, reducing your CO 2 emissions as well as helping you to save money on your energy bills too.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Shale Gas Threat To Renewables

Dr Birol warned that efforts to tackle climate change through renewable energy were under threat from the world revolution in unconventional gas sources. He said the shale gas boom in the US has already led to a gas rush which had contributed to a 50% drop in investment in renewable energy.

Shale gas has become an energy phenomenon since firms in the US found economic ways of extracting gas previously trapped in shale rocks, which have metamorphosed from clay deposits under pressure and heat.

The process involves drilling horizontally into shale formations far underground, then using small explosions to fracture the shale - followed by a slurry of water, sand and chemicals to free the trapped gas.
The US was gearing up to import gas, but experts suggest that the shale reserves may provide the nation with gas supplies for 100 years.

Large deposits of shale gas are expected to be unearthed in China, Europe and South America too.

Experts say the technological breakthrough increases energy security worldwide and reduces the diplomatic power of gas-rich nations, such as Russia.

But there have been reports of problems with the technology in the US, such as cattle dying after drinking water from the fracturing process that found its way to the surface.

In Pennsylvania, some residents can now set fire to their drinking water after methane leaked into wells. They are blaming shale gas extraction.

full article

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Nissan Leaf Zero Emissions Electric Car

Top speed: around 90 mph 0-62 mph: 11.9 seconds; Emissions: zero;
Price: £23,990 (with Government grant)

Nissan's new Leaf, a five-seat Focus-size hatchback, will make sense for some people. If you spend your day pounding the motorways it isn't for you, but most people's average journey is quite short, and the Leaf's 100-mile range will be more than adequate for that.
There’s no extended-range-parallel-series-hybrid-fuel cell powertrain to explain. The Leaf has an electric motor up front and a battery under the cabin floor. For all that matters, it really is as simple as that.
It is powered by 48 laptop-sized lithium-ion batteries arranged low in the car to give it better balance and rigidity.
An overnight recharge using a domestic plug socket will cost about £2 but Nissan is building a network of fast-charge points which can deliver 80 per cent of full power in about 20 minutes.
If you need more detail, it is specifically an 80 kilowatt AC synchronous electric motor that pumps out 107 horsepower. That’s not at lot, but with 207 pound-feet of torque it’s enough to accelerate the 3,400-pounder as quickly as most economy cars
Regular use in extreme temperatures and frequent quick charges, which heat up the cells, will hasten the effect, but as hybrid owners have come to know, that’s part of the deal. An 8-year/100,000-mile warranty protects it against actual defects.
Using the heater, will reduce about 10 percent off of the projected range . More energy-efficient heated seats aren’t available, but should be coming to later editions.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Baxi Ecogen Boiler

It's a revolutionary wall-hung combined heat and power appliance that can provide efficient gas central heating and hot water like any other boiler, but also generates electricity for use in your home.
One of the ways to become more efficient may be through Combined Heat and Power (CHP), where facilities in the home use a fuel source to generate both electricity and heat.
Micro-CHP is the process of generating both heat and electricity from one source. CHP has been used for years on a bigger scale in hospitals, school and office blocks, so it's a well trialled system.
The electricity can then be used within the home, with excess being fed back into the National Grid. The Engine produces 1.1kW of electricity but it also produces 6 kW of heat for hot water and central heating. If this is not enough then there is a supplementary heater unit that puts additional heat into the hot water system. The whole system is 90% efficient.
Electricity suppliers will pay householders a generation tariff of 10p every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated and an export tariff of 3p for every kWh of electricity exported back.

Key features and benefits:

* For the environment: electricity generated close to where it is to be used has fewer carbon emissions and is much more efficient
* For the householder: saving money on electricity bills. In addition, from April 2010 electricity suppliers will pay a Feed-in Tariff to householders for every kWh of electricity generated and exported back to the electricity grid.
* For specifiers and housebuilders: micro-CHP offers an effective way of meeting the UK Government's targets towards zero carbon homes
* For utilities: micro-CHP offers an effective way of meeting the UK Government's Carbon Reduction Targets with the CERT Program

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

VPhase device save 10% on electricity

The UK electricity distribution network operates at a nominal 230V, although in practice average voltages are more likely to range between 240V and 245V. The VPhase unit manages voltage to a stable level, normally 220V in the UK, regardless of the incoming supply voltage.

The amount of energy saved is device specific, for example: testing by VPhase on fridges and freezers shows 17%, 15% on normal light bulbs and 10% on energy saving light bulbs. One digital cordless phone showed an extraordinary saving of 44%. Savings will vary dependent incoming voltage and individual devices.

Further savings can be made on washing machines, tumble driers, dishwashers, televisions and numerous other electrical appliances across the whole house.

VPhase plc is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Eaga Heating Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Eaga plc, for the nationwide supply of the VPhase device that is the smart new way to help homeowners immediately and significantly cut their electricity bills typically by 10%, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy use; all without changing their lifestyle or supplier.

Eaga will be offering to supply and install the VPhase unit for £349 including VAT.