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Travel Beyond the Speed of Sound with the Hypersonic A2

Posted on 07 February 2008

A2

Imagine eating breakfast in Brussels and then dinner in Sydney – all in the same day. If the hypersonic AS concept plane is ever built, you may be able to do just that. Twice as long as the new Airbus A380, the A2 will carry up to 300 passengers, with rates promised to be comparable to a business class ticket. The plane will speed along at 3,900 miles per hour (Mach 5) or five times the speed of sound. That is twice as fast as the Concorde!

Modern air travel is a marvel. It’s also a source of endless delay, annoyance and planet-killing greenhouse gases. A proposed hydrogen-powered hypersonic airliner could change all that. The plane is Reaction Engines’s A2 concept, a Mach-5 (3,400mph) craft for 300 passengers funded in part by the European Union’s Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies project (Lapcat). Lapcat wants an airliner that can fly from Brussels to Sydney in less than four hours. If built, the A2 will do just that—without producing a trace of carbon emissions.

Engineers created the A2 with the failures of its doomed supersonic predecessor, the Concorde, very much in mind. Reaction Engines’s technical director, Richard Varvill, and his colleagues believe that the Concorde was phased out because of a couple major limitations. First, it couldn’t fly far enough. “The range was inadequate to do trans-Pacific routes, which is where a lot of the potential market is thought to be for a supersonic transport,” Varvill explains. Second, the Concorde’s engines were efficient only at its Mach-2 cruising speed, which meant that when it was poking along overland at Mach 0.9 to avoid producing sonic booms, it got horrible gas mileage. “The [A2] engine has two modes because we’re very conscious of the Concorde experience,” he says.

But an even greater asset than the A2’s speed is its negligible carbon footprint. It’s hydrogen-powered, so it produces only water vapor and a little bit of nitrous oxide as exhaust. And although a hypersonic jet loaded with liquid hydrogen might sound dangerous, hydrogen fuel is actually no more explosive than normal jet fuel.

Don’t look for the A2 anytime soon. The plane’s maker thinks this concept could become a reality within 25 years.

[via Popular Science]

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Philips Eco Tv Wins Best of Show at CES by Going Green

Posted on 10 January 2008

Eco Tv

LAS VEGAS –(Business Wire)– Jan. 10, 2008 Philips’ Eco FlatTV(TM) took home top honors today at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with the overall “Best in Show” in CNET’s “Best of CES” awards. The innovative Eco TV (42PFL5603D) is a high-definition LCD television that delivers superb picture quality while minimizing power consumption.
To qualify for “Best in Show,” the Eco TV won the television category for the “Best of CES” awards.

The Eco TV is designed with several power saving features such as a proprietary dimming technology that is designed to lower the LCD panel backlight to reduce power consumption without compromising the picture quality. A built-in light sensor automatically measures the viewing room’s ambient lighting and adjusts the television’s backlight for power efficiency.

As part of the Philips Design Collection, the Eco TV delivers precision picture quality and definitive style while incorporating lead-free components and flame retardant materials, which are safe to the environment. Furthermore, the packaging box and user manuals are all made of recycled materials.

“Philips has long been an industry leader in sustainability and it is an honor to be recognized for that commitment by an organization such as CNET,” said Paul Zeven, CEO, Philips Electronics, North America. “The Eco TV sets the standard in design and efficiency, giving consumers unmatched picture quality without the hefty power bills.”

Selected by CNET’s panel of expert editors, winners are recognized as the hottest products in their respective technology categories for their unmatched innovation and creativity, and their ability to excite consumers and help them explore a world gone digital. CNET’s editors received and reviewed hundreds of entries, as well as scoured the CES show floor for products to consider for the prestigious award.

The ten technology categories include: digital photo and video; car tech and GPS; cell phones and smart phones; computers and hardware; emerging technologies; gaming; home audio; home video; MP3 and portable video players; and televisions. A video of the winners and finalists showcasing their technologies can be found at http://www.cnet.com/ces.

“Chosen from hundreds of products at CES, Philips’ Eco TV demonstrates the creativity, excellence and vision that set the standard at CES,” said Jai Singh, editor-in-chief of CNET and senior vice president for Content Development. “The ‘Best of CES’ Awards brings together the top consumer electronics that will impact the coming year for consumer electronics.”

The Philips 42PFL5603D is one of several Philips Green Flagship products. Philips Green Flagship products carry the Philips Green logo and have been certified by external auditors that they are more than 10% more efficient than other products on the market within a given product category. The Eco TV will be available in March and will carry a suggested retail price of $1,399.

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Go Green in Style with the Wattson Energy Meter

Posted on 07 December 2007

Wattson Energy Meter

Okay, so you are into the whole “Go Green” movement but you must have your electronic toys. Here is the perfect gizmo for you, the Wattson Energy Meter. One of the coolest green gadgets around, the Wattson Energy Meter is a small device that attaches to your energy meter and then transmits the energy consumption of your home to a cool wireless and portable display unit. The LED digital display located on top of this unit can tell you how many watts of electricity you are currently using. In addition the Wattson Energy Meters portable display unit has lights which change color according to your energy consumption levels. I’m pretty sure Al Gore needs one of these.

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Three Wheeled Car Runs on Fuel Vapor

Posted on 03 July 2007

Ale fuel vapor concept carThe Ale car has three wheels, runs on fuel vapors and gets 92 mpg. It has an almost impossible compression ratio of 20:1 running a custom fuel vapor system. With 0-60 times of 5 seconds and a 1.7 g rating in the corners this isn’t your typical slug of a hybrid.While the Ale looks cool as hell from the outside it’s a bit of a frankenstein under the hood. It’s got a Honda engine with a CRX front suspension and rack and pinion streering from a Porche 911. The dashboard looks like something the Russians developed in the 1960’s and the front (and only seat) looks like it was salvage from a 15 year-old Prelude.The Ale runs on regular gasoline and meets all emission standards. Five more pictures of the Ale after the jump. Continue Reading

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Water Fueled Torch

Posted on 11 December 2006


Water Fueled Torch – video powered by Metacafe
So what’s the next new alternative fuel – water. Sounds hard to believe. Check out this video and you might think differently. This guy has created a blowtorch out of water and electricity. He’s also fueled his own car with the same methods and can travel hundreds of miles on only ounces of water. Seeing this kind of innovation really makes you wonder what in the hell automakers have been doing all these years.

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