Category: Transportation


RWE and Deutsche Bahn sign long-term PPA for electricity from hydro

July 25th, 2011 | Posted in General Hydro

RWE has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Deutsche Bahn. For the next 15 years RWE Innogy will supply Deutsche Bahn with electricity generated at the company's own hydropower plants at the rivers Mosel, Saar, Rhine, Ruhr and Rur.

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Using kites to pull ships across oceans – SkySails redesigns the sail concept

February 28th, 2011 | Posted in Wind

SkySails and Cargill (among other things, involved in ocean transportation; based in Switzerland) have signed an agreement under which Cargill is to use SkySails kite technology as a propulsion alternative on its vessels. The technology uses wind power to pull a ship along its course at sea, allowing bunker fuel consumption reduction of up to 35%, in ideal sailing conditions. Next december, the company will install a 320 square meter kite on a handysize vessel belonging to Cargill, with deadweight between 25,000 and 30,000 tons. This will be the largest vessel in the world propelled by a kite (or wind power). The new system is to be operational by 2012. Furthermore, Cargill is involved in helping SkySails develop the technology further and test it, and has identified a ship-owner as a partner on this project.

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New wind farm vessel rules to bring more safety to offshore support sector

January 11th, 2011 | Posted in Wind

© DNV/Nina Rangøy

Det Norske Veritas (DNV), an independent foundation involved in inspection and evaluation of technical conditions of merchant vessels, announced in late December a set of rules aimed at the offshore support sector, namely the vessels used to transport personel and equipment for service and maintenance of offshore wind turbines. The new set of rules should improve safety and promote uniform standards for future vessels of this type.

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Voith Turbo supplying propellers for two jack up vessels

July 16th, 2010 | Posted in Hydro

Voith Schneider Propellers mounted on a ship's hull.

Voith Turbo will be supplying its Schneider propellers for two jack up vessels to be launched in Dubai in 2012. The two vessels will be specialized to offer support services for the offshore wind energy industry. They will also be the first of their kind to have Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) installed.

The vessels are being built at the Dubai shipyard by Lamprell Energy. The owner of the vessels is Fred Olsen Windcarrier AS, from Norway. Fred Olsen placed an order for the vessels earlier this year, as we covered here. Each vessel will have three VSPs installed, ensuring high maneuverability of the ships, and a sailing speed of 12 knots during crossings. VSPs will allow easier lifting of the vessel from the water during wind turbine installation, and a simpler hull shape allowing the ships to have a more hydrodymanic hull design, reducing drag and increasing speed.

More info on the Schneider propeller concept can be seen here.

[source: Voith Turbo]

Acciona and Renault-Nissan Alliance working together on EV recharging networks and services

April 2nd, 2010 | Posted in General

Acciona and the Renault-Nissan Alliance will join forces to establish an EV recharging network, along with the accompanying services. Among other things involved in this agreement, renewable energy is playing a major role as the sole source of electricity for future charging stations.

Acciona will be mostly contributing to the establishment of the network, along with the provision of clean energy to supply the stations, while Renault-Nissan will be rolling out electric vehicles to the market. Acciona's activities will be adhering to Renault-Nissan's schedule of EV roll out.

The recharging network will consist of three main points:

1) recharging points
2) a communications and information system
3) value-added services, including sustainable energy supply

Acciona is developing a smart EV recharging system called SIRVE (Sistema Inteligente de Recarga de Vehículos Eléctricos), which will see recharging stations installed in both public and private locations.

Renault-Nissan is already becoming the top manufacturer of electric vehicles, and is planning to open a manufacturing facility in Valladolid in Spain, where the alliance will manufacture the Twizy ZE concept vehicle.

[source: Acciona, image: Acciona]

PlanetSolar's solar boat gets its power from SunPower's solar cells

March 1st, 2010 | Posted in Solar

PlanetSolar unveiled the world's largest solar boat, which will be powered exclusively by SunPower's solar cells. The company's plan is to launch its catamaran for testing in late March and then embark on a round-the-world tour in early 2011.

The boat will get its power from approximately 38,000 of SunPower's next generation cells, with each cell offering an efficiency of at least 22%. The catamaran is expected to be the fastest solar boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the first to cross both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Stopovers include Hamburg, London and Paris in Europe, New York and San Francisco in the U.S., and Singapore and Abu Dhabi. The solar boat will be available for public display during each of its stops, offering an educational opportunity to all visitors…

[source: PlanetSolar]

DoE's Secretary Chu announces nearly $80 million investment for advanced biofuels research and fueling infrastructure

January 18th, 2010 | Posted in Biomass

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the investment of nearly $80 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for advanced biofuels research and fueling infrastructure to help support the development of a clean sustainable transportation sector.

The two cross functional consortia were selected for funding, and they are:

  • National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) ($44 million).
    Led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (St. Louis, MO), NAABB will develop a systems approach for sustainable commercialization of algal biofuel (such as renewable gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) and bioproducts. The plan is to integrate resources from companies, universities, and national laboratories to overcome barriers of cost, resource use and efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and commercial viability. It will develop and demonstrate the science and technology necessary to significantly increase production of algal biomass and lipids, efficiently harvest and extract algae and algal products, and establish valuable certified co-products that scale with renewable fuel production. Co-products include animal feed, industrial feedstocks, and additional energy generation. Multiple test sites will cover diverse environmental regions to facilitate broad deployment.
  • National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC) (up to $33.8 million)
    Led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, NABC will conduct research to develop infrastructure compatible, biomass-based hydrocarbon fuels. The result is expected to be a sustainable, cost-effective production process that maximizes the use of existing refining and distribution infrastructure. NABC will investigate a variety of process strategies and down select to those closest to larger scale demonstration. Moreover, the plan is to further develop these strategies to deliver a pilot-ready process, with full lifecycle analysis to measure the environmental benefits.

Collectively, these consortia will be matched by private and non-federal cost-share funds of more than $19 million for total project investments of over $97 million.

Additionally, Secretary Chu also announced the selection of 8 infrastructure projects to receive up to $1.6 million to support expanded fueling infrastructure for ethanol blends. These projects will expand ethanol blends infrastructure (E85 pumps) at existing retail fueling locations in nine states: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Collectively, the projects propose creating at least 45 E85 dispensers and 16 blender pumps along key driving corridors and areas with higher concentrations of flexible fuel vehicles.

The infrastructure projects will be matched with $3.9 million in non-federal cost-share funds, for total projects investments of $5.5 million.

Complete list with project descriptions if available from here. (PDF file)

[source: DoE]

Honeywell's UOP scores DoE's grant to make green fuel from biomass

January 18th, 2010 | Posted in Biomass

UOPHoneywell-owned UOP announced that it has been selected for negotiation of a $25 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to build a demonstration unit in Hawaii to convert cellulosic biomass into green transportation fuels.

The plant, which will be built at the Tesoro's refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii, is expected to start up in 2014. If successful and fully implemented on a global scale, the new technology has the potential to supplement the existing supply of petroleum-based fuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% (compared to petroleum-based fuels).

The demonstration unit will employ the Ensyn-developed RTP (rapid thermal processing) technology, which rapidly heats biomass at ambient pressure to generate high yields of pourable, liquid pyrolysis oil. The pyrolysis oil will then be upgraded to green transport fuels using technology developed by Honeywell's UOP, working with DOE, the DOE's National Renewable Energy Lab and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

A range of cellulosic feedstocks used in the demonstration unit, including selected waste agriculture products, pulp, paper, woody biomass, algae and dedicated energy crops like switchgrass and high-biomass sorghum will be provided by Ceres, Cargill, Grays Harbor Paper, HR BioPetroleum, Targeted Growth, Imperium Renewables and Mesa Engineering. The biofuel produced will be analyzed by a panel of petroleum refiners including Tesoro, CountryMark, Kern Oil and Refining and evaluated for end-use by Honeywell, General Motors and Boeing. Life Cycle Analysis will be performed by leading research university Michigan Tech University.

[source: UOP]

New York gets first solar-powered EV charging station

December 20th, 2009 | Posted in Solar

New York gets first solar-powered EV charging station

New York-based Beautiful Earth Group unveiled solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The super-green, off-grid, modular station is constructed of recycled steel from shipping containers and powered solely by 235 watt PV panels.

Now that we have every single major auto maker announcing plans for electric vehicles, it's only logical to have such stations in one of the world's biggest cities. However, BE's station is not only for charging automobiles – it can also produce enough energy to power a small home, plus there's a battery bank which can store electricity 24/7 for on-demand usage.

[via: inhabitat]

Solar powered jet takes a first test flight

December 11th, 2009 | Posted in Solar

Solar powered jet takes flight

We've almost missed this, but it's a super-cool story and we're going with it a few days later, nonetheless. After successfully trialing its eco-friendly vehicle on the ground, Bertrand Piccard has decided to push the trigger and reach for the skies. Yap, his solar-powered jet Solar Impulse HB-SIA has took of the group. It's still not a full blown flight, as he only flew for 1,150 feet at a meter above ground level, but it's a solid start. Actually, it sounds like a final test phase and it's about time we see the Impulse flying across the continents. Good luck captain Piccard! ;)

[Via: Engadget]