What one company is doing to tackle the “range concerns” of all-electric cars, new technology that allows electronics to power themselves comes to light, and details about the development of Nissan charging stations.
Indiana Company Releases a New Charging Concept
Electric Motors and Vehicles, an Indiana based company, has developed a concept called the PRU, that contains an electric generator and batteries to charge electric vehicles on the go. The PRU, which stands for Power Regeneration Unit is a self-propelled trailer that attaches to an electric vehicle to keep it charged for longer trips. Its creators aim to solve the issue of long-range drives without electric charging stations. The trailer has its own motor that would match the car’s speed and it will propel itself. It will also have its own GPS unit that will analyze the route’s topography to maximize the battery’s efficiency. The company’s estimated cost for the Pru is $15,000 and it will be ready by 2011.
Researchers Developed Energy-Absorbing Material
Researchers at the University of Bolton in England have developed and patented a new piezoelectric-photovoltaic fiber that can be interwoven into a number of gadgets to power them using motion and light. Initially there was only a flexible piezoelectric fiber to gather the motion and researchers have added a photovoltaic fiber to harness the light. The material can be woven into anything, including laptop and cell phone cases that can then be placed in sunlight to provide charge. Which means that the time when you won’t have to use chords to power your electronics is coming faster than you think.
Nissan Installs Charging Stations for the LEAF
As electric cars gain in popularity and car companies continue to release their new green models, there has been a bigger push for charging stations. Nissan is finishing the installation of 40 level two (240 Volt) chargers at its various dealerships that will sell its new model, the Leaf. Chargers will be installed in launch markets in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee. Each station will have four docks; two for operational support and two for customer-access only. These stations are going to be very helpful for the almost 20,000 U.S. consumers that have already reserved a Nissan Leaf since it was made available.
Biomass Project Underway in Nova Scotia
The Port Hawkesbury Biomass Co-Generation Project is finally underway. Nova Scotia Power and NewPage Port Hawkesbury have made a deal to develop the new biomass facility for Nova Scotia. The project is going to cost about $208 and will create a number of new jobs in the region. The renewable sources for biomass are going to come from “stem wood” rather than tree stumps and branches, which provide nutrients for the soil. “It creates and protects jobs in Nova Scotia, redirects spending on fuel from foreign suppliers to Nova Scotians, and helps meet our renewable energy goals,” said Robin McAdam, Executive Vice President of Sustainability for NS Power.
Oceanic Energy Gaining Popularity
The oceanic power industry is currently under extensive research and is likely to emerge as a leading power source in the next few years. At least 45 different wave and tidal technologies are expected to be tested in the ocean by the end of 2011. According to IHS Emerging Energy Research, the United Kingdom is presently the world leader in ocean energy markets, with various European and Asian countries in similar pursuit. The ability to harness tidal energy is expected to surface soon, as turbine technology and manufacturing is already in production and under further development. Within its vast potential and continued support from energy companies, a large shift towards this type of renewable energy is expected within the next decade.
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