Mercedes-Benz Unveils A New Electric Model

Posted on January 12th, 2011 by

Historic ranch due for a solar upgrade, MIT researchers find a new material or organic solar cells and Mercedes-Benz unveils a new electric model.

Historic Ranch Due for Solar Upgrade

Seaview Ranch, known for its abundant supply of fresh kumquats and sweet limes, is preparing for a 145-kW solar power system. Sunvalley Solar has been awarded the contract to design and install the system, which includes 1,528 solar panels constructed by Tianwei Solarfilms and several solar inverters from PV Powered. The contract is funded in party by $518,000 by solar rebates and government incentives. The system is expected to generate almost 225,000-kWh of electricity per year. Installation is scheduled to begin next month.

MIT Researchers Found New Material for Organic Solar Cells

The geniuses at MIT are onto yet another energy breakthrough. Researchers at the prestigious institute believe that using graphene as an electrode material in organic solar cells would make production of the technology more cost effective and widely accessible. Organic solar cells have changed quite a bit as new research improves their potential. However, their efficiency is still slugging behind that of a traditional silicon cell. The most successful electrode material is indium-tin-oxide, a rather rare and expensive substance. Graphene, an allotrope of carbon, is relatively inexpensive and plentiful in comparison. In addition, graphene provides more transparency because it is clear, allowing the cells to be placed on windows or other solar panels without much consequence. Unlike indium-tin-oxide, graphene is flexible so that the organic solar cells can line irregular rooftop surfaces.

Mercedes-Benz Unveils Electric Model

Mercedes-Benz, the classic luxury car, has at last unveiled its electric car that is said to reach a speed of 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. The SLS AMG E-Cell made its first appearance in Detroit. The car’s power originates from lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged using a regenerative braking system. Four synchronous electric motors provide over 500 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque to power the car. The car’s handling is also improved because the motors are mounted near each tire.

Teams Clear Round 2 of Clean Energy Competition

The competition continues for the 2010-2011 Clean Energy Prize with 15 teams still competing in the second round of the third annual competition. Teams present ideas for new sustainable businesses and technology to win a share of the $100,000 prize. The competition, hosted by DTE Energy and the University of Michigan, includes teams composed of students from seven Michigan colleges. The team that wins can use its prize money to further develop its idea to help Michigan move forward and embrace a clean-energy market. The teams competing in Round 2 will be judged by leaders from the business and venture capital industries on based on the team’s market and financial analysis for the idea.  Up to eight teams will advance to the semifinal round on Feb. 17.

Gamesa Building Turbines in Arizona

Gamesa has been awarded another contract for its premier wind turbines, this time by the Western Wind Energy Corporation. The power generated by the 10-MW capacity turbines will be sold to UniSource Electric. This is the second contract the company has signed with Western Wind in the past month. However, it is Gamesa’s first project in Arizona, giving the company a strong place in the U.S. wind market.  Currently, the U.S. accounts for only 22 percent of Gemesa’s holdings and the company aims to increase this figure by at least another 15 percent. Turbine installation is scheduled for April 2011.

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