Tag Archives: Green Technology

Analysis: Is Space-Based Solar Power The Future?

Space launch costs are dropping rapidly. Solar panels are cheaper than ever. Could space-based solar power soon be price-competitive with nuclear? Promoted as a zero-carbon solution, classified military space planes have also been conducting experiments into wireless power transmission. The FT’s Peggy Hollinger looks at whether space-based solar power can move beyond science fiction.

Environment: Investing In Carbon Capture Systems

The system could be one answer to slashing Earth’s carbon emissions. A Swiss startup has created a giant vacuum cleaner to capture carbon dioxide from the air, helping companies offset their emissions. WSJ visits the facility to see how it traps the gas for sale to clients like Coca-Cola, which uses it in fizzy drinks. Composite: Clément Bürge.

Climate: The Empire State Building’s Green Upgrade

Energy usage by large, old buildings like the Empire State Building represents a huge obstacle to cities’ dreams of carbon neutrality. New York City’s buildings account for 70% of its carbon emissions, for example, and half of those emissions are produced by the largest 5% of its structures. But retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient represents a formidable challenge, both from an engineering perspective and in terms of convincing owners that doing so is in their financial interest.

Electric Cars: ‘Can Tesla Succeed In India’ (Video)

As Tesla looks to expand to new markets, rumors are circulating that India could be next. While the 5th largest auto market could be big for the ev manufacturer, it’s filled with challenges and increasing competition. 

There is an electric vehicle revolution sweeping the world, but India is lagging behind. Elon Musk has said that Tesla will enter India this year, but it’s not clear if that will actually happen. On January 8th, Tesla took its first step towards launching in the country, registering Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited in Bengaluru. 

But when Tesla does eventually come to India, it won’t be easy. The electric vehicle industry is in its infant stages there, lacking much of the infrastructure needed for widespread adoption. And the most popular vehicles are motorcycles, rickshaws and budget passenger cars. Watch the video to find out what Tesla will be up against in India. 

Analysis: ‘Can Air Flights Go Green?’ (Video)

Covid-19 has caused the worst crisis in aviation’s history. Is this the industry’s moment for a green reset—and which technologies offer the best hope?

Tech: ‘2021 Toyota Mirai’ – Enhanced Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Car (Video)

The 2021 Toyota Mirai is the second generation of zero emission hydrogen fuel cell electric sedan.

One of the principal aims for the new 2021 Mirai has been to give the car a stronger emotional appeal, making it a car that people will be attracted to by its looks and the way it drives, as well its eco-performance. The new GA-L platform and Toyota’s advances in FCEV technologies have made this possible. Toyota’s new fuel cell stack and fuel cell power converter (FCPC) have been developed specifically for use with the GA-L platform.

The designers have been able to bring all the elements together in the stack frame (including the water pumps, intercooler, air conditioning and air compressors and the hydrogen recirculation pump) with each part made smaller and lighter, while at the same time improving performance. The stack case itself has been made smaller by using Friction Stir Welding, reducing the gap between the fuel cell and casing.

The new Mirai is equipped with lithium-ion high-voltage battery in place of the current model’s nickel-metal hydride unit. Although smaller in size, it is more energy-dense, giving higher output and superior environmental performance. Containing 84 cells, it has a 310.8 rated voltage compared to 244.8, and a 4.0 Ah capacity, versus 6.5 Ah. Overall weight has been reduced from 46.9 to 44.6 kg. The output has improved from 25.5 kW x 10 seconds to 31.5 kW x 10 seconds.

The battery’s smaller dimensions have allowed it to be positioned behind the rear seats, avoiding intrusion in the load compartment. An optimised air-cooling path has been designed, with discreet inlets either side of the rear seats. The environmental benefit of driving the Toyota Mirai go beyond zero emissions to “negative emissions” – the car effectively cleans the air as it moves. A Toyota innovation, a catalyst-type filter is incorporated in the air intake.

As air is drawn into the vehicle to supply the fuel cell, an electric charge on the non-woven fabric filter element captures microscopic particles of pollutants, including sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxides (NOx) and PM 2.5 particulates. The system is effective in removing 90 to 100% of particles between 0 and 2.5 microns in diameter from the air as it passes into the fuel cell system.