Innovations
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 14:53

Advanced solar map expands its coverage

Seattle-based 3TIER is one of the largest independent providers of wind, solar and hydro energy
assessment and power forecasting in the world and the company recently announced the geographical
expansion of its advanced solar map and dataset. This suite of solar assessment products was previously
only available for the Western Hemisphere, now includes Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania.
Graphisoft, a global leader in Virtual Building™ solutions, has announced that Graphisoft EcoDesigner™, a energy analysis estimation tool for ArchiCAD 13, is now available to South African architects who wish to
make the design of their buildings more sustainable and their predicted performance easier to measure.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 10:04

Innovative products for the solar industry

BASF will soon be presenting its range of innovative products for the solar industry at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Hamburg, Germany. Experts will inform industry professionals about the company’s comprehensive portfolio of products and services.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 09:59

Climate change: solving the root causes

Amidst the doom and gloom of climate change, economic meltdown, wildly fluctuating oil prices and rocketing food prices, it is a relief to come across a glimmer in the dark. At a function in Cape Town during October, the Institute for Zero Waste in Africa (IZWA – “listen” in Nguni) unveiled a systems-based approach to these issues in order to demonstrate what really is possible.
Due to poor planning, decades of under-investment and deteriorating infrastructure, the provision of electricity in Mozambique has, thus far, been deficient. Lately, however, outstanding economic growth and the government rural electrification programme are galvanising the electricity industry in the country.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 09:53

Long-term heat management for solar collectors

International heating systems manufacturer Viessmann now uses Basotect® to insulate its solar collectors. The light, flame-retardant melamine resin foam produced by BASF is fitted to the side walls and the rear of flat-plate collectors which capture solar radiation and convert it into heat.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 09:50

A completely new state of matter

Oxford scientists have created a transparent form of aluminium by bombarding the metal with the world’s most powerful soft X-ray laser. ‘Transparent aluminium’ previously only existed in science fiction, as
featured in the movie Star Trek IV, but the real material is an exotic new state of matter with exciting implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion.
Whether free-falling back to earth after being catapulted 70 metres into the air, or hurtling five times head-over-heels on the giant roller coaster, millions of visitors will soon be enjoying the numerous fairground rides – turned and controlled by Siemens technology – at the 176th Munich Oktoberfest.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 09:45

Wind turbines to power cellphone towers

Although it’s an easy task to monitor home power consumption, few people think about the energy impact of talking on cellphones for hours on end. The reality is that cellphone towers have to be powered by ‘something’, and in many cases that something is coal or other expensive, on-the-grid sources.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 09:39

Chocolate-powered racing car

World-first fully sustainable Formula 3 racing car. Could the idea of ‘green motorsport’ actually work? Yes, believes researcher Kerry Kirwan, from the University of Warwick, who led the research team that designed and built the world-first fully sustainable Formula 3 racing car. The car is made from woven flax, recycled carbon fibre, recycled resin and carrot pulp for the steering wheel and runs on biofuel made from chocolate and animal fats, lubricated with plant oils.