Transportation

Reinventing the Tuktuk

In large cities across Asia, auto rickshaws (tuktuks) are one of the most important means of transportation. These tuktuks produce considerable CO2 emissions and air pollution, and their drivers are underpaid. Students participating in the Hybrid Auto Rickshaw project sought to cut CO2 emissions by 40%, while improving the economic positions of drivers.

Posted in: Pollution, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Energy Efficiency, Energy, Transportation, News, GDM

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Windshields to Reflect Sunlight, and Perhaps Produce Electricity

The California Air Resources Board will require new cars sold in California to have windows that reflect or absorb heat-producing rays from the sun. Starting in 2012, windows must prevent 45 percent of the sun's total heat-producing energy from entering the car, and the windshield must reject at least 50 percent. In 2016, this increases to 60 percent.

Posted in: Solar Power, Energy, Transportation, Articles, Features, Products, GDM

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Creating "Cool" Cars

Operating the air conditioning is the largest auxiliary energy drain on cars. In December 2008, DOE announced a project to study and develop thermoelectric heating and cooling systems. As partners in the project, NREL will team up with Ford to research efficient ways of cooling vehicles.

Posted in: Energy Efficiency, Thermoelectrics, Energy, Transportation, News, GDM

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Students Design World's First Solar-Powered Blimp

Over 30 French college students have collaborated to design the world’s first solar-powered blimp, Nephelios. One hundred years after the first flight across the English Channel by Louis Blériot, Nephelios will undertake an English Channel crossing in late August.

Posted in: Solar Power, Renewable Energy, Energy, Transportation, News, GDM

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Turning Trees into Tires

Wood science researchers at Oregon State University have made some surprising findings about the potential of microcrystalline cellulose – a product that can be made easily from almost any type of plant fiber – to partially replace silica as a reinforcing filler in the manufacture of rubber tires.

Posted in: Energy Efficiency, Energy, Transportation, News, GDM

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Lithium-Ion Batteries Fuel the Future of Automotive Design

In 1924, General Motors president Alfred P. Sloan Jr. devised annual model-year design changes in order to maintain unit sales. Body shapes faced cosmetic changes every year, whether or not the underlying automobile had changed. This breakthrough strategy had widespread effects on the automobile business, automotive design, and eventually the United States economy. In recent years, amongst a worsening economy and a struggling auto industry, the underlying automobile has changed rapidly, with emphases on efficiency and environmental friendliness.

Posted in: Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Transportation, Articles, Features, GDM

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