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Sunflower Oil Hits the Road June 22, 2015

Filed under: Biofuel,Energy Ineffiency,Green Living — bferrari @ 10:35 am
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It turns out that sunflower oil is good for baking and braking.

That’s right, braking — as in your car’s brakes.

Michelin’s new Primacy MXM4, unveiled earlier this year, boasts a unique rubber compound that incorporates sunflower oil in order to offer improved performance in both wet and snowy weather.

Production of the tire using sunflower oil began at a Michelin facility in South Carolina.

Mike Wischhusen, director of industry standards for Michelin North America, notes that vegetable oils have been used as extender oils in the rubber industry (not only tires) for several years.

Why sunflower oil, in particular?

“We encountered sunflower oil specifically over the past decade when we were faced with the technical challenge of developing a high-performance tire for modern luxury performance vehicles that could still deliver superior cold-weather winter grip on wet and snowy roads — the concept of a high-performance all-season tire,” Wischhusen comments.

The use of sun oil in the tire’s patented “Helio Compound” increases traction at low temperatures for braking and handling in wet conditions and has better overall performance in the snow. In fact, Primacy MXM4 tires are able to stop up to 19 feet shorter in wet conditions than a leading competitor, according to Michelin.

The company’s priority was to design a new tire with a specific consumer benefit in mind. Sunflower oil provides unique properties to cured rubber that allowed Michelin to overcome one of the traditional balance-of-performance issues when trying to design high-performance all-season tires.

“The use of sunflower oil in our tread rubber delivers the rigidity, grip and durability characteristics necessary for high-performance tires — and, more importantly, retains that same performance as temperatures decrease to freezing levels: a snowy or wet winter road,” Wischhusen explains. “Other types of oils can achieve that performance level at high temperatures (summer) or low temperatures (winter) but not both. Sunflower oil allows us to break a traditional compromise and deliver the full-time balance of performance that consumers need.”

Tire developers at Michelin use a high-oleic variety of sunflower oil. For tires produced in the United States, they use U.S.-sourced sunflower oil.

Not only does the new technology give the driver better stability on the roadway, it also helps the environment. The oil compound gives increased rigidity in the tread block or groove pattern, increasing mileage and, in turn, decreasing CO2 emissions.

The tire was made available to consumers in North America on July 1. It is an original equipment release for luxury car makers including Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Michelin also is considering developing the tire for replacement size tires.


“Driving down the road… running on Bullsh*t …” Hydrogen Power is Here ! May 16, 2015

Filed under: Animal Waste,Biofuels,Electric,Energy Generators,Hydrogen — bferrari @ 8:20 am

“Driving down the road… running on Bullsh*t …”

Toyota Murai Hydrogen Powered Car

Toyota Murai Hydrogen Powered Car

A great 3 minute video by Toyota on hydrogen-powered cars.


The UK is striving to get 12% of their heat load from renewable heat by 2020. March 28, 2015

Filed under: Biofuel,Biofuels,Biomass Stoves,Energy Ineffiency,Green Living — bferrari @ 3:44 pm

The UK is striving to get 12% of their heat load from renewable heat by 2020. Most popular are Air Source Heat Pumps and Biomass boilers. The map shows the spread of installations by technology. In urban areas, its more solar; the further north you go, the more pellet boilers installations there are. The majority of the homes and businesses are rural and switched from oil. Its the next frontier of renewable energy.

On the 29th September 2014, the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive reached the milestone of 10,000 accredited RHI installations.

The biggest technologies under the RHI so far have been Air Source Heat Pumps and Biomass boilers. The map on the right hand side shows the spread of Renewable Heat installations all over the UK by technology.

Installations replacing Oil account for almost half of all installations, showing consumers are incentivised by the significantly higher fuel savings on oil alongside RHI payments.

The East, South East and South West of England accounts for the greatest proportion of RHI installs to date.

The Renewable Heat Incentive rewards homeowners who install renewable heat technologies on their property. In order to offer consumers the RHI, an installer must be MCS Certified.

For further information on becoming an MCS Installer and offering your customers the RHI simply contact Easy MCS on Freephone 0800 612 43 42 or email or to join the Easy MCS Support programme simply apply online.



Mitsubishi shows off MiEV Evolution III for Pikes Peak October 20, 2014

Filed under: Electric — bferrari @ 7:27 am
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In May 2012, Mistubishi unveiled a completely unexpected version of the i-MiEV electric jellybean to challenge the climb up Pikes Peak, the MiEV Evolution. In 2013, the company unleashed the MiEV Evolution II. For 2014, well, you can probably guess.

Say hello to the MiEV Evolution III. The latest, ahem, evolution of these cars features redesigned chassis and bodywork as well as a 50 kW boost to the electric motors, up to 450 kW, which translates to a 67 horsepower increase up to 603 hp. Two of these bad boys will tackle the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) later this month in the Electric Modified Division at the hands of drivers Greg Tracy and Hiroshi Masuoka. The race starts at 9,390 feet and ends at 14,110 feet above sea level and takes place June 29.

Mitsubishi hasn’t yet managed to win the EV category in. The first Evolution crashed during practice and last year Masuoka came in second in the EV division while Tracy came in third. The 2013 winner was Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima in the Monster Sport E-Runner. Will the third time be the charm?



Stunning Baatara Gorge Waterfall September 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — bferrari @ 8:29 am

The Baatara Gorge Waterfall (or the Baatara Pothole Waterfall) is located in the village of Balaa, between the cities of Laqlouq and Tannourine, Lebanon. The location is also known as the “Three Bridges Chasm” (in French “Gouffre des Trois Ponts”).

This unexpected waterfall drops 255 metres (837 ft.) into a cave and falls behind three natural bridges, which raise one above the other and overhang the chasm descending into Mount Lebanon. It can only be seen during the months of March and April, when the snows are melting.



Meet the Enterprise of the Sea July 29, 2014

Filed under: Green Living,Hybrids,Hydro,Solar,Vehicles,Wind — bferrari @ 2:30 pm

 SeaOrbiter can carry a mix of scientists and crew members.

SeaOrbiter can carry a mix of scientists and crew members.

A French architect’s audacious plans for a ship that will change the ocean exploration is done.

Garnering comparisons to Star Trek’s starship Enterprise, the SeaOrbiter is the brainchild of French architect Jacques Rougerie. Set to begin construction this spring, the 190-foot-tall semisubmersible vessel will be the culmination of nearly 30 years of Rougerie’s research and development.

Six of the SeaOrbiter’s 12 floors are below sea level, allowing for uninterrupted underwater observation. Although the ship’s main mission is to research the biodiversity and climate of the sea, the real goal for Rougerie is to give the public a better understanding of how crucial the ocean is to Earth’s well-being.

Ninety-nine percent of the $50 million project was financed through the French government and private companies. To get people more involved, Rougerie is crowdfundingthe last 1 percent of the project. “The more humans understand about the underwater world, the more respect they will have for it,” he says.

22 People: Number the SeaOrbiter can host. The ship will carry a mix of scientists and crew members.

Quite a View: ‘We want people to appropriate the project to themselves,” says Rougerie. Which is why he raised money through KissKissBankBank, a French crowdsourcing website, to fund construction of the Eye of the SeaOrbiter. Equivalent to a ship’s crow’s nest, the Eye towers 60 feet above the surface. It serves as a lookout and houses a communications system that lets the crew send live broadcasts of life on board.

Hard at Work: Keeping busy won’t be a problem for the crew. The “modular lab” can be used as a laboratory for scientists as well as a fitness room equipped with treadmills. The lab also includes a medical zone. A certified doctor with basic surgery skills will be on board in the event of an emergency.

2,600 Tons Displacement: The overall weight of the ship. It is built from 500 tons of Sealium, a recyclable aluminum designed for marine environments.

A Life Aquatic: Given that voyages will last three to six months, there will be ample time to collect data and perform experiments. The underwater area, known as the hyperbaric lab, is equipped with an observation deck made of transparent polycarbonate panels, allowing for direct underwater observation. Because the conditions underwater are similar to those in space in terms of pressure and isolation, the SeaOrbiter will be used by NASA and ESA (the European equivalent) for protocol training as well as physiological and psychological experiments.

Go With the Flow: The SeaOrbiter was designed primarily to float along with the ocean’s natural currents, allowing scientists to study the relationship between those currents and climate. The keel weighs 180 tons and helps provide stability to the ship. It can be retracted when the vessel is in shallow water.

5 Ships: The total number of SeaOrbiters Rougerie eventually hopes to build, one to sail in each of Earth’s oceans. A number of partners have given their support to the SeaOrbiter project, including National Geographic and UNESCO.


Laser-sparked fusion power passes key milestone July 9, 2014

Filed under: Energy Exploration,Energy Generators,Green Living — bferrari @ 7:50 am

The dream of a completely clean, high powered and almost limitless renewable energy source is getting closer. Nuclear Fusion is the process by which atoms
are compressed to such a degree that their nuclei fuse, releasing a huge amount of energy. Essentially it is the opposite of current Nuclear Power, based on fission whereby large nuclei are torn apart to release energy. This is the process which happens in stars, turning Hydrogen into the heavier Helium, and all other natural elements.

The National Ignition Facility in California began experimenting in 2009 to slow progress. They are using lasers and X-rays to compress a fuel pellet with a frozen Hydrogen Istotope, but it takes significantly more energy to start the fusion reaction than the process actually produced, making it currently ineffective as a fuel source.

However, an article in Nature this week confirmed that a milestone had been passed, whereby of the amount of energy actually delivered to the pellet, the reaction released a surplus of energy. The next step is to improve the efficiency of how the lasers deliver energy to the pellet. However, this is still a long way away, perhaps decades, but once that has been refined, mankind will essentially be able to build miniature stars to produce nearly unlimited energy.




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