Green Notes - 02 Dec 08
- FloDesign, a Massachusetts based engineering firm, has designed a new wind turbine that deviates from the standard windmill in a compelling way. Its main feature is a stationary piece in front that directs wind into the spinning blades. Overall, the machine looks more like a jet engine than a wind turbine and it packs quite a punch as well – a FloDesign turbine can generate as much power as a conventional turbine twice its size. The company’s design, which draws on technology developed for jet engines, circumvents a fundamental limit to conventional wind turbines. Typically, as wind approaches a turbine, almost half of the air is forced around the blades rather than through them, and the energy in that deflected wind is lost. At best, traditional wind turbines capture only 59.3 percent of the energy in wind, a value called the Betz limit.
- Important decisions about the future of coal power in Britain are likely to be made today when the government’s climate change committee sets out plans to de-carbonise the economy. The committee will publish its first report recommending how Britain can achieve its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, which could eventually see the country ending almost all fossil fuel use to generate energy or run cars and public transport. Turner said, ‘A particularly important development is the decarbonisation of electricity because electricity generation accounts for around 25% of emissions and, once we decarbonise electricity, we can then apply electricity to new activities - for instance to road transport and heating buildings.’
- Southern California Edison, part of Edison International, originally announced its rooftop solar initiative in March, saying it would install 250 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic power covering more than two square miles of Southern California’s commercial building rooftops. At the time, the project was expected to cost $875 million and produce enough power for 162,000 homes. “Projects like this one show the world you can protect the environment and pump up the economy, and I am proud to say it is happening right here in California,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said at the event announcing the completion.