Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week (July 12)
By Tracy Staedter, Discovery News, 12 July 2015.
By Tracy Staedter, Discovery News, 12 July 2015.
Alternative energy is revving up without any emissions. This week, we look at electric planes, energy-efficient cars, and harvesting energy from ocean waves and tides.
1. Tidal Energy Fence
The tides that flow in and out of Bristol Channel, a seaway that lies between South Wales and South West England, are so powerful and consistent, that if they were harnessed, they could supply up to 5 percent of Britain's energy needs. Recently, Kepler Energy announced plans to erect a tidal energy fence underwater that could generate 30 MW of electricity. The company proposes a 6.2 mile-long, horizontal axis water turbine that promises to handle the fluctuations of low and high tide better than vertical axis turbines.
2. Car Gets 2,098 MPG
At this year's SAE Supermileage competition, which took place in Marshall, Michigan, a Canadian team won for the fifth time in eight years. The University of Laval's Alerion Supermileage team pushed their single-person, four-cycle engine around the 9.6-mile (15.4-km) course, crossing the finish line with 2,098 mpg. In previous years, the team won with even high mpgs, including 2,488 mpg in 2010 and 2,757 mpg in 2009.
3. Wave Power
In Hawaii, a prototype generator is trying to catch the perfect wave. A 45-ton machine called Azura, the first of its kind in the United States, is designed to harness the kinetic energy of wave motion and convert it into electricity. Although the prototype is only capable of generating 20 kilowatts, it is only a harbinger of a much larger version that should be able to generate 1 MW.
4. Electric Plane
This week, two French pilots flying electric planes buzzed over the English Channel, making history. The first was Hugues Duval (above), who flew his two-engine, one-seater Cri-Cri from Calais, France, to Dover, England, and then back again. The other was Didier Esteyne, who flew a two-seater Airbus E-Fan over the Channel from Lydd in the U.K. to Calais.
5. Hydrofoil Drone
The drone company, Parrot - known for its flying and rolling drones - now has one for the water. The Hydrofoil has plastic hydrofoils that jut from its foam hull to below the waterline. As it speeds up over the water's surface, it lifts up onto the hydrofoils, reducing resistance for great manoeuvrability. A smaller drone affixed to the top of the device can lift off and fly on its own.
6. Shoes Made from Ocean Pollution
There's enough plastic pollution floating in the ocean that if it were all collected, it would fit into 600 jumbo jets. Shoemaker Adidas has partnered with ocean advocates Parley for the Oceans to create the world's first shoe made from recycled ocean plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets. The nets were collected by the conservation group Sea Shepherd. Adidas plans to make the shoe available for sale later this year.
7. 3-D Print with Light
When you think of 3-D printing, you might think of layers of plastic or some other material layered up to form a structure. But architect Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi is 3-D printing with light. Using LEDs and long-exposure photography, Kalsi is essentially printing a hologram one layer at a time. The long-exposure camera is programmed to start and stop with each layer and at the end forms a three-dimensional image. [Video]
8. Floating Island Home
The oceans are rising, so instead of fighting it, why not wade it? In Dubai, developers have been building The World, a collection of man-made islands in the shape of the seven continents. In the region that represents the Australasian portion called Oqyana World First, a person will be able to buy their own island home designed by Waterstudio.NL and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Each home will feature a garden, a pool and a beach. What more could you want?
9. Floating City
Polarized politics got you down? Ready to disconnect from civilization and start your own country? Check out this island city first. It comes from the folks at the Seasteading Institute, who want to build a politically autonomous floating city, where residents can peacefully test new ideas for government. The city will partner with a host nation and be a self-sustaining country with residences, tourism, aquaculture, a business park, a research institute and a power plant that will export energy and clean water back to its sponsoring nation.
10. LED Vases
Angular pieces of steel, LED lights, and special algorithms make these Ming Dynansty-inspired vases gorgeous. Designed by German artist Moritz Waldemeyer, the vases will be on display in London this September in the Future Heritage showcase at Decorex International. Check out Waldemeyer's website for more of his stunning work.
Top image: Hydrofoil Drone. Credit: Parrot.
[Source: Discovery News. Edited. Top image and some links added.]