Tidewater Current | Winter 2013

Transmitting news and infomation about sustainable endeavors in Coastal Virginia and beyond. Updated Weekly.

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2012 Illustrated Clips (pdf)

Alternative Fueling Station Locator and 2012 Vehicle Buyer's Guide - Tidewater Current

Sustainable Shipping Initiatives - tidewatercurrent.com

AltTransport: Your Guide to Smarter Ways of Getting Around

Green Autoblog http://green.autoblog.com/

All Cars Electric

Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor Website

American Public Trasportation Association - High Speed Rail Report 2011


Clean - Eco Transport:

For current illustrated news clips, visit Carol's Pinterest Collection. For prior news, check the Archive or view illustrated clips from 2012 in the Links to the right.

Marine Propulsion – Is Wind back on the Horizon? - Tidewater Current | Fall 2012 - 90% of global trade is transported on vessels burning high polluting fuels. Wind is a benign and readily available resource on the high seas that innovative ship designers are looking to harness in new projects.

3.12.13 - Automakers Develop CO2-Based Air Conditioning- environmentalleader.com· "Volkswagen, Daimler, Audi, BMW and Porsche have announced plans to develop CO2 technology as a more climate-friendly refrigerant for air conditioning systems." R744 will be rolled out in VW's entire fleet - not dates mentioned.

3.11.13 - KLM kicks of biofuel-fueled flight pilot program - biomassmagazine.com. "On March 8 a flight fueled by a biofuel blend departed JFK International Airport in New York headed for Schiphol Amsterdam Airport in the Netherlands. The flight marked the start of a 25-week pilot program undertaken by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, in partnership with the Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey."

3.8.13 - Mayor of London unveils 1 billion cycling masterplan - gizmag.com. segregated paths and more planned.

3.7.13 - Mapping a Better Walking Route - ecogeek.org. Walkonomics has only covered a handful of cities in the UK and US but "has the ambitious goal to rate every street in the world, according to criteria that go way beyond distance traveled. Using publically available data and user ratings to fill in the gaps, Walkonomics attempts to account for everything from hilliness and crime statistics to how much fun or relaxing it is to walk in any given area."

3.7.13 - Obama's Hydrogen Push Coming Soon - gas2.org. "Department of Energy is forming a commision called H2USA, which will work with automakers to figure out how to get a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on the road."

3.6.13 - Railway giant considers switch to natural gas - smartplanet.com. Diesel powered engines may be replaced. "The Wall Street Journal reports that BNSF, the largest railway in the United States, is considering a switch to natural gas. The company plans to begin testing locomotives powered by natural gas this fall. If the tests go well more locomotive could be retrofit to run on natural gas a year later."

3.5.13 - Cyclists Do Not Emit More Carbon Than Cars, State Legislator Admits - npr. Virginia is not the only state looking to tax eco transport for road maintenance. A WA state rep. recently suggested taxing cyclists as "the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider," After a lot of criticism, noting that bicycles reduce wear and tear on roads, he admitted the remarks were over the top, but still feels that cyclists should pay for bike paths.

3.4.13 - Have Natural Gas Cars Finally Arrived? - discovery.com. "With new supplies of gas predicted to keep the United States awash in cheap fuel for the next few decades, teams of researchers at both academic labs and startup companies are banking that natural gas could -- this time -- really be the fuel of the future."

3.4.13 - Driverless Trucks Debut In Japan : Discovery News - "The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a public research and development group, rolled out four trucks, and only the lead vehicle had a driver....If the trucks work as planned on the road it could mean a 15 percent fuel savings for the trucking industry, along with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."

3.2.13 - Its moment in the sun - economist.com. Solar plane to fly across the country in May. The prototype Solar Impulse "has a wingspan ... as big as a jumbo jet's. Yet its fuselage is as slender as a glider's and its single-person cockpit is cramped. The wings are covered in almost 12,000 photovoltaic cells, which can simultaneously run its four electrically driven propellers while charging four packs of lithium-polymer batteries. ...needed because the aircraft has to be able to fly through the night.

3.1.13 - Hybrid Air —nytimes.com. On display at the Geneva Motor Show this month is a Citroen vehicle that "compresses nitrogen gas in what looks like an oversize scuba tank that also contains hydraulic fluid... the compressed gas pushes the hydraulic fluid, in the manner of a syringe, through a gearbox to turn the wheels....The amount of energy stored in the nitrogen tank is small ...over the course of a day of city driving, those extra teaspoons of energy add up to big improvement in mileage,"

3.1.13 - Audi unveils A3 Sportbak G-Tron with bi-fuel power, 808-mile range - autoblog.com. E-gas, a CNG identical fuel produced using CO2 that would be released by a nearby biogas plant is created using renewable energy in Germany. The vehicle also has a regular fuel tank, so drivers do not have to rely on the gas produced at one facility. The facility will have the capacity to produce enough E-gas to fuel about 1500 cars.

2.27.13 - Hyundai Unveils the World's First Production Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle! - inhabitat.com. "The first ix35 fuel cell vehicle will be one of 17 destined for fleet customers in the cities of Copenhagen, Denmark and Skåne, Sweden. The Municipality of Copenhagen, as part of its initiative to be carbon-free by 2025, will be supplied with 15 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles for fleet use, according to an agreement that was announced in September 2012. Two ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles will be supplied to Skåne, Sweden."

2.26.13 - Recycled plastic waste to fuel Sydney to London Cessna flight - gizmag.com. Wings of Waste project flight by a British pilot will be powered by fuel derived from plastic waste through the process of pyrolysis. "the diesel produced by this method is actually claimed more efficient and lower in sulfur than generic diesel. The only waste material left over from the ... conversion process is roughly five percent char, which can also be put to use ... for concrete and tile manufacturing."

2.21.13 - Wireless Power Transmission Developed For High-Capacity Transit - cleantechnica.com. "A completely wireless power transmission technology capable of powering high-capacity transport (such as high-speed rail, harbor freight, and airport transportation) has been developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI)...in July 2013, OLEV will be put to the test on a regular road for the first time. "

2.20.13 - Coffee-Powered Vehicle Sets Guinness Land Speed Record for Caffeinated Combustion - inhabitat.com. Reaching 65 mph "The ingenious Bean Machine is a modified Ford F100 pickup that uses the process of gasification powered by coffee chaff pellets. The pellets, which are a byproduct of coffee production, are heated by a charcoal fire and broken down into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The gas is cooled and filtered before hydrogen is combusted to operate the engine."

2.19.13 - Can 'sharkskin' on jets save fuel?- smartplanet.com. "Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, is looking to inspiration from the sea to reduce fuel consumption in the sky." The company announced earlier this month that it's testing an innovative "sharkskin" coating on two of its Airbus A340-300 jets. The inspiration for the coating design comes from the tiny riblets found in shark skin which reduce drag and allow the animal to swim more quickly through the water.

2.18.13 - Team develops sustainable process for wastewater algae to biocrude - fis.com. University of Kansas research team demonstrates a new algae to biocrude conversion process using liquefaction which also creates a valuable byproduct: biochar.

2.15.13 - Envision Plans to Install 2,300 Rotating Solar Tree Car Shelters in South Carolina - greennewsman.com. "California-based company Envision has created the Solar Tree, a rotating structure that shelters cars while generating energy with photovoltaic panels. The Solar Tree can provide shelter for six cars while charging six EV's each day. Later this year, Envision plans to build 2,300 Solar Trees in South Carolina that are projected to be able to generate 35 megawatts of electricity."

2.15.13 - U.S. Navy Program Promises Millions in Fuel Savings - shipandbunker.com. A new compute program developed by the Navy using software already aboard ships, "can evaluate hundreds of thousands of possible routes and give the best option in a matter of minutes."

2.14.13 - NASA Develops Aircraft that Uses 50 Percent Less Fuel - theenergycollective.com. "NASA has developed a manufacturing method for wing-shaped aircraft. When combined with an uber-efficient jet engine called an "ultra-high bypass ratio engine", this new design promises to cut fuel consumptions by half."

2.11.13 - Shore Power Facilities Take a Step Forward in San Diego - shipandbunker.com. "The U.S. Port of San Diego says it is moving forward with plans to install shore power equipment at three births...which would allow vessels to use electrical power from San Diego Gas & Electric instead of running their diesel engines while at berth" Regulations require that a shore power infrastructure be in place by 2014 to reduce harmful emissions. Dole is making vessel modifications for the shore power.

2.9.13 - With ten sets of pedals, the BikeBus is what bicycle lovers must ride - ecochunk.com. The Breckenridge Bike Bus also has a solar powered electric motor for use when there are less than 10 passengers.

2.7.13 - Norway is Forerunner in Innovative Ships Propulsion Technologies - marinepropulsion.com. The first evidence of battery innovation, the first hybrid offshore supply ship, will start to operate within a few weeks. The Viking Lady, owned by Eidesvik Offshore, will have a battery package installed this spring. Later on, Norled will install a battery package on board an existing diesel-electric ferry. Norled intends to use this experience in building and operating their fully electric ferry.

2.7.13 - V-Tent is a Solar-Powered EV Charger That Protects Your Car | Inhabitat.

2.6.13 - Another U.S. Ferry Operator Considering LNG Bunkers - shipandbunker.com. "Washington State Ferry (WSF), a state-run ferry service in the western U.S., is working with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) to study the possibility of switching to liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers... As the biggest ferry operator in the US, and the third biggest in the world, WSF can really lead the way for its industry," said Kenneth Vareide, director of DNV's maritime operations in North America."

1.31.13 - Nissan will triple number of DC fast charges in US - greenautoblog.com. "At the Washington Auto Show today, Nissan announced it will work with eVgo to bring 40 Freedom Stations to the DC area, and 500 more quick charge stations in the US in the next 18 months."

1.30.13 - Coming to America: a Swiss solar powered plane - gigaom.com. The Solar Impulse aircraft, "embedded with solar cells from SunPower, will make its first flight in the United States this year. The plan calls for running test flights in April and taking off in northern California — likely from NASA's Moffett Field — in May."

1.30.13 - Chevy Cruze Diesel To Debut In Chicago - gas2.org. "GM already sells a diesel-powered Cruze over in Europe, where a 2.0 liter turbodiesel engine delivers 130 horsepower and 221 ft-lbs of torque. Rumor has it that the Cruze Eco-D diesel could achieve as high as 50 mpg on the highway using the EPA testing method (though in the UK the Cruze is rated at more than 72 mpg) and could go up to 700 miles between fill-ups."

1.29.13 - Chevrolet Supports Project to Help Truckers Avoid Idling - media.gm.com. The IdleAir Service at Truck Stops provides "a reusable plastic window adapter that accepts a unit connecting his or her cab to a heating and cooling air vent, TV, power outlets, internet and other conveniences... IdleAir users save a gallon of diesel fuel per truck per hour. Drivers typically rest at night, so IdleAir uses off-peak power and has begun installing solar panels on some of its overhead trusses"

1.28.13 - Solar Golf Carts: New wave in transportation - solarnovus.com. "Unconquered Sun, sees a huge market in solar-powered golf carts, in part due to the new sustainability policies of golf associations but also because they make so much sense for golf course management. According to Unconquered Sun, golf courses with solar powered fleets reduce their consumption from the electric grid by 50 to 75% and can save 374 dollars in operational costs per cart per year."

1.28.13- VA Governor Proposes Anti-EV Legislation - gas2.org. "Other states...have passed similar fees on EVs and hybrids, but without exempting conventional car drivers from those same taxes.This plan has been pegged not only as biased, but asinine as well. For one thing, the cost savings are unlikely to be passed on to consumers, as oil companies will simply jack up the price to increase profits.... this legislation treats EV and hybrid vehicle owners incredibly unfairly; Do they not also pay sales tax?"

1.28.13 - These Airbags For Cyclists Might Save Your Life When A Car Slams Into You - fastcoexist.com. Video included of a successful demonstration.

1.26.13 - New Zealand - Sea lettuce a 'viable biofuel' - bayofplentytimes.co.nz. "Many Tauranga residents think of sea lettuce as nothing more than a smelly nuisance but could soon be used to fuel international flights, a visiting professor says. Professor Rocky de Nys, Head of Aquaculture at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, specialises in turning algae into crude biofuels - which can then be refined into whichever type of fuel is desired."

1.25.13 - GERMAN PLANT TO PRODUCE METHANE USING SURPLUS GREEN ENERGY - e360yale.edu. Excess wind and solar energy will be used to create methane from water and carbon dioxide to fuel Audi vehicles in Germany.

1.25.13 - Zero Emissions Ship a Step Closer - marinelink.com. Danish - German company Scandlines will develop a ferry that uses hydrogren generated from "unused night-time power from wind farms.... This woud then provide power to drive the propellers and run the facilities on board the ship"

1.24.13 - Peugeot Citroen to introduce compressed air hybrid by 2016 - gizmag.com. A ""Hybrid Air" powertrain addresses the limited range of compressed air energy storage technology by combining it with a gasoline powered internal combustion engine (ICE)."

1.24.13 - Giant kite, Evonic technologies help Wind Explorer EV cross Australia - green.autoblog.com. Evonik Wind Explorer makes 3,000 mile trip across Australia assisted by the wind.

1.23.13 - Renewable fuel - Solar Energy - discovery.com. UK universities look to develop fuel from photosynthesis. They plan to "build a system for artificial photosynthesis by placing tiny solar-panels on microbes," ...These will harness sunlight and drive the production of hydrogen, from which the technologies to release energy on demand are well-advanced."

1.22.13 - Interest in Plug-In Electric Vehicles Growing in Metro Areas - reve. Pike Research Report "Electric Vehicle Geographic Forecasts," acknowledges that sales of PEVs have fallen short of projections to date. However, interest in these vehicles is growing, particularly in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and New York City."

1.20.13 - Bike spikes for snow cycling - smartplanet.com.

1.18.13 - More protected lanes for bicyclists pop up in cites - usatoday.com. "Cities find safe bike lanes appeal to young techies and bolster nearby businesses.

1.17.13 - 2013 could be a make or break year for algae fuel - gigaom.com. A look at the major players in algae biofuel productions. Solazyme is producing product being blended with fuel and sold at gas stations in the San Francisco area and is gearing up for commercial production in Brazil and in the US.

1.17.13 - $10MM EERE Funding Opportunity for Algae Biofuel Advancements - cleantechnica.com. Aiming to build on the current body of knowledge, EERE identified three priority areas of integrated research:Improvements in Algal Biomass Productivity;
Improvements in Preprocessing Technologies; and Technical Advances that Enable Integration of Algal Biomass Unit Operations."

1.15.13 - A solar-powered electric hybrid coming to commuters soon | SmartPlanet - More on the ELF - "The designers, Organic Transit, are an Durham, N.C.-based startup who propelled their idea on to the transport scene through crowdfunding website Kickstarter. They say that the vehicle can travel up to 30 miles on a single charge, and is able to reach 1800 miles for the "energy equivalent" of 1 gallon of gas." Cost is expected to be $3900.

1.13.13. - Solar ship aims to soar - bbc.com. "Solar panels - spread across the topside of the aircraft - power an electric motor, which then turns a propeller and provides the thrust necessary for taking off, flying and landing. The aircraft is suspended by a giant helium-filled balloon, which generates lift statically (exactly like a blimp.) The buoyancy from the helium also helps counterbalance the weight of the solar panels and batteries."

1.11.13 -STX: Most Environmentally Friendly Large Cruise Vessel Ever Built - shipandbunker.com. (LNG)-powered ferry starting service between Finland and Sweden meets strict emission standards.

1.11.13 - World's first car-carrying electric ferry to see use in Norway - gizmag.com. "developed by Siemens and Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand, the vessel can recharge its batteries in just ten minutes."

1.11.13 - All-Biofuel Jet Flight Was Way Clean - earthtechling.com. Canada tests 100% biofuel powered flight.

1.11.13 - DOD Electric Vehicles Will Supply Power to Local Grids - reve.com. The Air Force has the lead on the project, which envisions Los Angeles Air Force Base becoming the first federal facility to replace everything from passenger sedans to shuttle buses with electric versions. ...the department expects to use these idle, charged vehicles to resupply power grids at times of peak demand, thereby providing stability to stressed electrical grids and, in the process, generating a financial return for the government."

1.9.13 - Ford EVs Spark A Revolution Linking Homes To Cars - cleantechnica.com. "The inclusion of SunPower in the partnership helps to resolve one key conundrum of EV ownership, which is the use of grid-supplied electricity that includes electricity generated by coal or oil, to power "emissionless" cars "

1.4.13 - Researchers seek longer battery life for electric locomotive - sciencedaily.com."Penn State and Norfolk Southern, which operates 21,000 route-miles in 22 states, began developing locomotive No. 999 in 2008 to evaluate the application of battery technologies for railroad motive power, with particular interest in energy savings and emissions reduction."

1.3.13 - The future of transportation might be carbon-neutral e-fuel | Digital Trends - "e-fuels...are made by combining hydrogen extracted from water via electrolysis with CO2 that comes from processing organic waste. This method synthesizes methane, and since the infrastructure and technology for powering cars with natural gas already exists,...What's more, the manufacturing process removes CO2 that would otherwise go into the atmosphere. Since Audi says that the actual manufacturing will use only wind and solar energy, and the fuel only gives off as much CO2 when burned as it absorbed during manufacturing, the fuel comes out carbon-neutral. Audi has even announced plans to build a car specifically for this new kind of fuel that will be based on the A3."

1.3.13 - Aerodynamic TrailerTails could save billions of gallons of diesel | Eco Chunk - "ATDynamics has come up with TrailerTail – a box-kite-looking assembly of panels that can be permanently installed on an average shipping container in just an hour. Core 77 states that costing about $2200 each, the TrailerTail unfurls and gives the rear-end of the cargo truck a more aerodynamic shape, letting it easily slice through the air and thereby saving about 6 percent of fuel in the process. ... saving about 1.6 billion gallons of diesel and 14 million tons of CO2 annually."

1.3.13 - Staten Island Ferry to Get a Green Upgrade for 2013 - inhabitat.com. One ferry in the fleet will run on LNG. The payback for the $3 million conversion is expected to be only 1 year while reducing CO2 emissions 25%.

1.2.13 - How Algae Got a Boost from the Fiscal Cliff Deal - kunc.org. "Wind isn't the only alternative energy industry to get a boost from the Fiscal Cliff deal. Also included is a tax credit for algae growers encouraging biofuel production that could one day power cars and boats. According to Biofuels Digest, the new tax credit would work out to about $59 million over 10 years for producers of algae biofuels."

1.1.13 - First Converted Hybrid Train with Regenerative Braking Could be a Game Changer - treehugger.com. German train on a high stop route will use power harvested during breaking. "In addition to reducing fuel consumption, the MTU hybrid power pack supports emissions-free movement in sensitive or populated areas such as in the station area. Braking energy can be stored in a lithium-ion battery and used for starting, accelerating, or for supplying electrical loads on the train. Battery packs sit on the roof, where they are cooled by the air streaming across the top of the train while it is in motion."

12.26.12 - Tesla's solar powered super chargers hit the east coast - gigaom.com. Six of the superchargers were installed in Ca. and two on the East Coast in Wilmington, DE and Milford, Ct. Tesla is offering free charging to model S owners. Charge time is only 30 minutes.

12.22.12 - Huge Surge Of Sales For Electric Vehicles In 2012 - reve. "2012 was a grand year for hybrids and electric cars of every make and model. Sales have jumped a whopping 73 percent compared to 2011."

12.21.12 - U.S. House passes NDAA - biomassmagazine.com. The bill (which still requires Senate approval) permits the DoD to continue plans to develop and use advanced biofuels, "Congress and the Administration have offered a clear endorsement of our military's use of drop-in biofuels as an important part of our national security and energy independence," said Advanced Biofuels Association President Michael McAdams. "With this support, the advanced biofuels industry will continue to grow and be an important part of America's energy future."

12.17.12 - Fuel Cell Powered Vehicle Ferry to be Developed in Scotland - FuelCellToday - The leading authority on fuel cells - "Caledonian Marine Assets Ltd (CMAL) is working closely with Scotland's main ferry operator to develop the world's first car and vehicle ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This revolutionary vessel would produce no exhaust fumes and could run on 'green' hydrogen produced using renewable electricity generated overnight from local wind farms or other renewables."

12.16.12 - Raleigh, NC becomes first US city to adopt wireless EV charging project - greenautoblog.com. Raleigh has joined the Apollo Program to tests wireless electric vehicle chargers made by Virginia based Evatran.

12.14.12 - Audit: Port of Seattle Clean Air Subsidy Illegal - shipandbunkercom. Fuel subsidies paid to low sulfur carriers have reduced soot emission by a third at the Port of Seattle, but state auditor says those subsidies are illegal. Port officials are looking to change the program.

12.13.12 - Indianapolis to replace entire city fleet with EVs, hybrids - greenerideal.com. The conversion of 31,000 vehicles is expected to be complete by 2025.

12.3.12 - LA Auto Show Roundup: Ford Fusion, Audi's 282 Mpg, Honda, Chevy Spark - environmentalleader.com. "Audi is developing a city car that will get 282 mpg, according to Autocar. The car, which is known internally as "the 1.0-litre car," will be based on the existing Audi A1.

11.29.12 - Oceanic Algae Can Be Crude, Oil That Is : Discovery News- "Marine algae bio-oil rigs could keep the plant-powered power source from competing for shrinking fresh water supplies, while greatly expanding the area available for production."

11.29.12 - US Senate Backs Military, Obama On Green Fuels - earthtechling.com. "By a 62-37 vote, the Senate struck down a section of the National Defense Authorization Act that would have have kept the Defense Department from buying any alternative fuels that cost more than conventional fuels...The vote doesn't end debate on the topic – the House version of the Defense spending bill has its own biofuels prohibition – but it does remove one hurdle that the Pentagon was facing as it seeks to decrease its reliance on oil."

11.27.12 - VB council moves light rail forward - wavy.com. "The ordinance, "authorizing use of reasonable efforts" to support the development of light rail to Virginia Beach, was approved 10-0 by council Tuesday evening.



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