How far can an electric car go, solar panel window technology becoming available, and a large wind development project is completed in California.
Audi’s Electric Model Breaks Records
If there is one thing at which Germans excel, it has to be their cars. There are the brand names like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and of course, the Volkswagen but now the German Audi has set the record for longest distance driven by an electric car. The Audi A2 completed a 600-kilometer (about 373 mile) journey from Munich to Berlin without having to recharge. The world is used to seeing electric cars travel at most 70 kilometers (about 44 miles). However, the Germans have put the rest of the world to shame. The electric A2 completed its journey in a mere 7 hours, on a single charge.
Solar Cells Printed onto Windows
Oxford University in the UK has invented an easy way for households to use solar energy in the future. The institution has won thousands of dollars in prize money for the invention of solar cells that can be printed onto the glass, thereby allowing windows to produce power. The way the solar cell works mirrors the cycle of photosynthesis. The cells are coated with a solar-sensitive dye that releases an electron when exposed to sunlight, which starts a current.
California’s First Large-Scale Operational Wind Farm
Although solar power seems to be leading the news with its latest innovations, wind energy is not far behind. Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. announced the completion of construction at the Hatchet Ridge Wind Farm Project near Shasta County, California. The project boasts 44 turbines manufactured by Siemens with 2.3-MW of power each. The construction phase provided up to 200 local jobs and the energy produced will serve almost 44,000 homes per year. The Hatchet Project is the only large-scale wind initiative to reach full operation by the end of this year. Now that it is operational, the wind farm will still benefit its community through payment of property taxes and its $5 million investment in Shasta County’s General Fund, the Burney-Fall River Education Foundation, and The Burney Regional Community Fund.
From Sea Plant to Alternative Fuel
Algae have been receiving the attention of health buffs and energy businessmen lately. Its fortification of the immune system and omega fatty acids to combat heart disease has people running to their local natural store to buy a supplement. Likewise, as the United States seeks to rid itself of its horrendous addiction to foreign oil as a source of energy, experts are turning to the sea plants for help. According to a release by Pike Research, algae are capable of producing up to 20 times more oil per acre than its competitor oilseed plants. The only hurdle now is the initial cost involved for production; it has been predicted that once this is overcome, the market will grow quickly. The United States, in particular, benefits from Pike’s research because it holds 50% of the world’s algae activity. Energy is in for a much greener solution if findings of the study are implemented.
Oregon Nursery fit with its own Solar Panels
An Oregon nursery, Heritage Seedlings, has its own 73.3-kW solar photovoltaic system. Heritage Seedlings is a family-owned business that has sold uncommon deciduous species since its founding in 1983. The solar panels were installed by Tanner Creek Energy, a consulting firm and general contractor based in Oregon that helps small businesses achieve energy efficiency. The nursery now has a grid-tied energy system consisting of over 300 solar panels that will work together with the local utility service to provide sufficient energy.
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