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Stocking Stuffers for the Planet

Smart Water

A standalone desalinator needs 17 gallons of diesel fuel and 66.5 kilowatts of
electricity to make 1,000 gallons of freshwater, but now, the Solar Cube, (made
by Spectra Watermakers in California), churns out 1,500 gallons of drinking water
on just 22 kilowatts of its own solar and wind power. The innovation is a pump
that triples efficiency by recapturing hydraulic pressure during the filtering
process. Solar Cubes are now bringing freshwater to remote regions and places
short on infrastructure and electricity without paying the CO2 price – way cool.

Electric Asphalt

Rajib Mallick an engineer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute who studies the
effect of solar radiation on cities, has devised a way to harness heat from baking
blacktop and turn it into electricity. His system pumps water — an excellent heat
conductor — through a network of copper pipes embedded in asphalt. As the water
circulates, it pulls heat from the scorching surface and produces steam to drive a
turbine that cranks out electricity. Mallick is partnering with the University of

Massachusetts Dartmouth and the optics firm Novotech to install a full-scale system
beneath a 10,000-square-foot parking lot near Worcester, Massachusetts, next
summer. By supplying electricity to the adjacent buildings, he expects the $200,000
system to pay for itself in energy savings in a decade.

Plug-N-Play Cars

Zero to 60 mph in about nine seconds may sound sluggish, but it’s a breakthrough
for a zero-emissions, all-electric car that can travel up to 100 miles on a single
charge and hit speeds of 85 mph. That’s the claim of the i MiEV (for “Mitsubishi
Innovative motor Electric Vehicle”), a new plug-in four-door coupe. The i MiEV runs
on a pack of 22 lithium-ion batteries, but unlike other electric cars, including the
Chevy Volt and Tesla Roadster, the i MiEV doesn’t require a liquid cooling system to
avoid overheating. “Proprietary metals in the battery design let us do away with it,”
says Moe Durand, the communications manager for Mitsubishi Motors North America. This
makes the i MiEV lighter and more efficient, which — combined with a small, rear-
mounted electric motor — gives it plenty of zip and extended range. The company is
also developing a two-door i MiEV Sport with a planned top speed of 122 mph and a
124-mile range. Still a concept, the sportier version will have a rooftop
photovoltaic panel for extra power, heat-deflecting windows to save AC, and an
interior made from polymer-producing plants. Mitsubishi is now fleet-testing the
four-door in the U.S. and will sell a $28,000 model in Japan this summer.

source: Popular Science

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No Responses to “Stocking Stuffers for the Planet”

  1. wilson Says:

    Well, Linda. I never hear about the Electric Asphalt before and I thought it’s a great idea…

    wilsons last blog post..A More Natural and Healthier Way to Keep Fit!

  2. Heath Says:

    Electric Asphalt, would be real cool.

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … I think it is an idea that will work as well!

    Hi Heath … It is cool, isn’t it! 🙂

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