Briefly Noted … Other Energy

– Hydro Environmental Resources has concluded negotiations with Pure Power Technologies of Las Vegas for the design and construction of a hydrogen production system suitable for powering internal combustion electrical generators. Pure Power believes it will have no trouble selling 100 systems once the commercial viability of the combined units is established. Commercial testing will start in January. – Rotary Power International will develop a hydrogen fueled rotary engine generator set. RPI develops large-scale rotary engines and the decision to go ahead follows preliminary inquiries from several hydrogen producers. Research by Mazda says a rotary engine can operate on a rotary engine, and RPI research indicates the design of the rotary engine is an ideal choice for hydrogen use. – UQM Technologies has developed an integrated 42 volt power-assist hybrid electric system that is being tested in three customer vehicles. The system includes a starter/alternator unit mounted directly to the crankshaft of the engine and an intelligent electronic inverter that controls operation. – Optimal Energy Systems has won a US$600,000 contract from Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver to provide flywheel technology for the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program. Optimal’s flywheel technology produces electrical power for space vehicles at lower weight and with greater efficiency than battery systems, and a Flywheel Power Module will provide electrical power peak reduction using the module’s advanced pulse energy technology. – Fuel cell power generation has achieved milestones on New York’s Staten Island where two fuel cell power plants installed at Sun Chemical on Staten Island in 1996, have operated for 40,000 hours, a U.S. record. The PC25C is a 200 kW gas-powered fuel cell manufactured by International Fuel Cells and provides power for a 48-storey office tower in Manhattan. Since 1992, KeySpan has operated an earlier model of the PC25 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Staten Island. – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a high-efficiency device to convert heat into electricity. MIT claims the unit is twice as efficient than its closest commercial competitor, opening up new possibilities for making use of waste heat from vehicles, industrial processes, and power plants. The device is based on thermionic technology, in which heat is used to drive electrons across a vacuum gap to another conductor, thus creating an electric current. Such devices require temperatures of 2000 oF, but the MIT prototype replaces the vacuum gap with a multi-layer semiconductor to create thermal diodes that operate as low as 390 oF. – Tata Power of India will install 1,000 MW of power projects for a capital investment of US$1 billion, and will increase its generation capacity to 3,100 MW by 2005. Tata supplies half of the generation from India’s private sector. – The German Bundestag failed to vote on a controversial law to promote the use of combined heat and power generation. The government wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 23 megattones by 2010 through increased use of cogeneration, and the law would allow CHP producers to include a surcharge on the price for electricity provided to the grid. The draft law allocates funding of 8.7 billion marks for the balance of this decade. – Monsanto has placed the first U.S. corporate order to General Motors for pick-up trucks that use ethanol-based E85 fuel. This is part of a larger Monsanto initiative focusing on new research to enhance the use of bioenergy. – A Canadian company’s method of getting cars off the road and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, has received a boost from the decision of a consortium of major energy companies to buy options for up to 3.5 million tonnes of GHG reduction credits being generated by Calgary-based Teletrips as part of a U.S. government pilot program to encourage telecommuting. The credits must come from private vehicle emission reductions resulting from verifiable telecommuting programs that have registered with Teletrips through its website. – A composite hydrogen cylinder has been developed to meet the demand for storage and to meet the design requirements of the European Integrated Hydrogen Project. QUANTUM Technologies WorldWide says it has received European regulatory approval for its 5,000 psi TriShield(TM) hydrogen storage cylinder. The all-composite lightweight cylinder passed a series of tests such as penetration by armour-piercing bullets, diesel fires, severe corrosion, elevated drops and exposure to extreme temperatures.
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