Archive for the ‘Green Technology’ Category

In Depth: The Environment, CO2 Consumption, And Commute Greener!

  • April 25, 2011 8:53 pm

Planet Earth has a finite number of resources and amount of said resources to give. Once everything has been exhausted, we face larger issues than deciding which Starbucks location to blog away at. Seriously. Environmental issues are cause for concern, regardless of what you label it.

Consumers have choices however. We can car pool, walk, use renewable energy, etc. Though it would be both handy and interesting to see how much CO2 you as a human being (or company) actually pump into the atmosphere, wouldn’t it? One such app that allows you to do just that is Commute Greener, a joint venture between Volvo Group and New Zealand based Pocket Web, a company who specializes in location-based information intertwined with social media.

Over the past few days, we’ve had the pleasure of talking with the founders of Commute Greener, Michael Heinzel and Alexander Koeppen about what exactly Commute Greener’s updated service can do for the average consumer as well as large corporate and where the pair see the app going in the future. Hop on past for the full interview…

The Car Powered By $24 Worth Of Bourbon.

  • April 25, 2011 11:16 am

With many consumers here in the U.S. facing $4+ for every gallon of gas they endlessly pour into their autos, it’s reassuring to know that there are other forms of fuel available. Take for example the above car powered by $24 Makers Mark Bourbon.

The Nissan Nilsson as it’s being called took the builder, Mickey Nilsson, six months from start to finish. His efforts aren’t going unappreciated, however. Nissan caught wind of Mickey’s little project and decided to include it in a recent concept car show. Even more inspiring is that a form of the “Nissan Nilsson” is slated for production in 2014. At this time, no word on which bourbon Nissan will settle with.

T-Mobile erects first completely self-sufficient, solar powered cell tower.

  • September 24, 2010 8:07 am

T-Mobile has been called a lot of things over the years. Though “Green” isn’t something that immediately comes to mind. But that’s exactly what you could say now that Team Magenta has deployed their first fully self sufficient, solar-powered cell site in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.

With 12 solar panels affixed to the station, power is harnessed directly from the sun…for free. Even more cool is that in times of low network usage, the tower can even give back pent up energy to the utility company who then in turn resells it to customers. Ideally, this is how the US electric grid should operate in the future. For now we’ll have to deal with this single cell site. Speaking of which, this earth-loving style costs upwards of 2x-3x more than your standard tower, so don’t expect uptake and adoption to be quick. Think of it more of a “proof of concept” for now. 20 years in the future, however, I wouldn’t mind seeing quite a few more of these around. You?

Solar panels of the future to be sprayed on.

  • August 18, 2010 10:20 am

When people talk of vast solar farms in 2010, the common image that penetrates our minds is that of a massive piece of land housing thousands, if not tens of thousands of individual solar panels. It’s certainly a site to behold. Even much smaller scale farms look immense when a birds eye view is taken. But a new technology will drastically cut down how big a solar panel is and how it’s made. Not only that, it will change what solar panels are… (Hint: Spray on tan)…

Solar-powered USB charger

  • August 9, 2010 7:24 am

We’ve seen plenty of solar-powered chargers before. But this one is slightly more advanced than your typical sun sucking device life giver backer in that it features multiple USB ports. More ports + more potential power = happier geeks who venture far from outlets. Woo hoo all around, right? $22 seems pretty reasonable considering what you get.

[Product Page: Brando]

And the Chevy Volt becomes priced out of relevance. Dealers mark up to $61,000+

  • August 4, 2010 3:17 pm

The Chevy Volt is one of those cars that manages to gain a fairly geeky image. While it’s green roots are what it’s most known for, electronics, gadgets, and complex science are never something to ignore. Unfortunately, GM utterly failed in delivering an “affordable” and dependable electric vehicle. Besides the actual price coming of of GM being a good $10,000 higher than what was expected, dealers themselves are showing their tried and true colors (read: Greedy green) by marking up the popular yet scarce hybrids by as much as $20,000, bringing the total after-tax-credit-price to $52,000.

I don’t know about you, but that has failure written all over it. Still, I have no doubt people will soak up the limited 10,000 vehicle run for this year. The situation is ironic given GM’s statements claiming they’d “watch for dealers overcharging customers for the Volt”. Too bad for GM it was overpriced to begin with. Adding more on top of it at the dealer level only makes it worse.

Anyone miffed/saddened?

It’s official: Chevy Volt costs $41k before $7,500 tax credit. Pre-orders now open!

  • July 27, 2010 1:10 pm

Fancy saving a tree or two and happen to title yourself a nerd? There’s no doubt that Chevy’s ambitions Volt project has been a long time coming. Since the truck market bombed out a few years back, they’ve been scrambling to catch up to other manufacturers more fuel efficient and alternative fuel-powered vehicles. And up until now, the biggest mystery about the Volt was the price. Price it to high no one will buy it. Lucky for consumers, it looks like Chevy will make it relatively affordable, at a now confirmed base price of $41,000. Interested parties may even get a stab at the electric wonder vehicle for a far cheaper price, however. At stake is a tax credit totaling up to $7,500 as well as leasing options. Speaking of the latter, the leasing program looks like it’ll hit a little closer to more individuals’ homes with a $350 monthly payment and $2,500 due at signing.

But what good is a hot new geek car with relatively new and untested reliability without decent warranties and protection from the factory? Oh dear reader, jump on in and find out…

$1,800 Klingon Death Ray (UV Spotlight) unearths hidden oil in the gulf.

  • July 27, 2010 6:43 am

If the situation were any different, I would say hunting for oil (say on a stretch of the Edens Expressway in Chicago) with a massive $1,800 UV spotlight would be interesting, dare I say exciting. But in the case of the gulf coast oil disaster, that excitement is quickly overshadowed by the devastating effects the oil is bestowing upon the US landmass. But even with all of this disaster and destruction around us, nature has a way of showing of its beauty.

National Geographic photographer Chris Combs has gone through large areas of the gulf with that $1,800 UV spotlight (dubbed the “Klingon Death Ray”) mentioned above and captured some downright stunning, if not depressing, pictures of the the gulf coast oil spill. You see, oil glows a neon orangish-ish color under UV light, meaning a massive spotlight like the one Chris ported around is an easy way to spot oil — even if it’s been lightly covered up or reduced to small amounts.

The photoshoot of the gulf coast’s beaches is quite a site. Head on over to National Geographic and take a look.

Chevy Volt to come with 8-year warranty on batter pack. Relieved?

  • July 14, 2010 8:11 pm

People always look to flying cars as *the* sign that the future has arrived. While a flying car has recently been talked about as making its way into production (albeit in limited quantities), right now the general consensus is that battery-powered cars are where it’s at. The only issue so far has been runtime. Cars are very large and very thirsty machines. Most of our batteries simply don’t have the power or longevity to make solely battery powered cars practical or affordable. But things are projected to change with the introduction of the Chevy Volt.

Taking on the image of a sort of “Mechanical/Electrical Jesus”, the Chevy Volt has certainly enjoyed its fair share of media attention. But one very important aspect, replacing the spent battery pack after a few years of continuous charge/discharge cycles, hasn’t been highlighted quite as often as one may like. But the jury has finally come back and it’s looking pretty promising. How’s an 8-year warranty sound? That’s what GM is offering. Yeah, it’s not as long as non-battery vehicles. But it’s pretty much the king of warranties compared to other offerings from foreign manufacturers.

What’s the big deal you ask? Well, the most recent estimates have a full replacement of the Volt’s battery sitting heavy at $10,000 per pack. So warranty replacements are a pretty big deal if you ask me. Is it enough to sway you in the direction of electric vehicles?