Four Corners- What's Happened in the World this Week?

Welcome to this weeks edition of Four Corners, which is going to take a look at some clean energy initiatives that have made the news this week...

Water Wings

water wings First up is story from Florida, where researchers from the Florida Institute of Technology are working on developing an undersea system called 'Wing waves' that can produce clean electricity.

The Wings are designed to flap to and fro with the oceans' natural swell, creating energy which is then turned into electricity and transmitted through cables in the sea-bed.

According to FIT,  even a calm ocean has enough swells to operate the Wing Waves and just a square mile of wings could provide enough electricity to power over 200,000 homes. They assert that the system will be environmentally friendly and will not have any adverse effects on the sea bed or animal life.

Check out more here and here.

Giving Back

yez The Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation has long term plans to release a car in 2030 that sucks in Co2 and releases out oxygen.

Called the Yez, the car actually has a negative carbon footprint and will be capable of removing more pollution than it creates!!.

You can check out more here...


Gassy Bus

bus Also released this week was London's first hydrogen bus, which will operate along a popular tourist route. The bus produces water vapour from its tailpipe and can operate for more than 18 hours without needing to refuel.

According to the Guardian:

The buses contain batteries that can store electricity generated by the hydrogen fuel cell – a device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce power and water as a by-product – in addition to energy generated during the braking process. As a result, they can travel much farther than the ones trialled in London as part of the EU-sponsored Cute – Cleaner Urban Transport for Europe – project in 2003.

More than 4000 deaths are attributed to poor air quality every year in London and it is hoped that these buses will help to mitigate this problem. 

Smart Computer 

methane And lastly, a team of scientists at Harvard are working on fuel cell technology that could  allow portable electronics to run on fuels like methane. 

According to the researchers, it may only be a matter of time before we are working off a  methane-fueled laptop!

As reported on Eco-Geek:

The research team have found ways to lower the operating temperature and lower the cost of materials, both major hurdles that have, so far, restricted SOFCs to lab use.  The team developed a thin-film SOFC that uses densely-packed nano-scale ceramic films and does away with platinum electrodes.  The small size and elimination of platinum both increases stability and lowers the cost of the fuel cell.

You can learn more about their research on the Science Daily website.

And that sums up the new initiatives making the news this week around our fair world...

Stay tuned for more great stories next week!


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  • Posted on Dec. 11, 2010. Listed in:

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