Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Transportation

Stay updated on the innovations in transportation technologies. Explore the articles and technical briefs on electrification and autonomous driving that have impacted transportation design and engineering.

News : Energy
Oil Refineries Could Improve Energy Efficiency With New Method

Chemical plants spend from 50 to 70 percent of their energy in "separations," which are usually distillation steps required to separate a raw material into various products. An energy-efficient Purdue University method rearranges the distillation sequence needed to separate crude...

Briefs : Energy
Fuel-Cell Water Separator
NASA Glenn Research Center has designed, built, and tested an innovative fuel-cell water separator that not only removes liquid water from a fuel cell’s exhaust ports, but does so with no moving parts or other power-consuming components. The separator employs the potential and kinetic energies already present in the...
News : Lighting
Recovering Raw Materials for Green Technologies

Engineering researchers from the University of Leeds have discovered how to recover significant quantities of rare-earth oxides, present in titanium dioxide minerals. Rare-earth oxides are useful in many applications, such as the manufacture of wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, and hybrid...

News : Electronics & Computers
Batteries Made From Ordinary Paper

Using nanotechnology, Stanford scientists are producing ultra-lightweight, bendable batteries and supercapacitors in the form of everyday paper. Coating a sheet of paper with ink made of carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires makes a highly conductive storage device.

News : Energy
New Nano-Material Could Revolutionize Solar Panels and Batteries

Tel Aviv University researchers have found a novel way to control the atoms and molecules of peptides so that they "grow" to resemble small forests of grass. These "peptide forests" repel dust and water — a perfect self-cleaning coating for windows or solar panels which, when...

News : Energy
First Night Flight Using Solar Energy On the Horizon

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA - the first airplane designed to fly day and night without fuel - left the ground yesterday for the first time. Recent results from ground tests had verified the prototype's controllability, acceleration, braking paths, and engine power.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cell UAV Sets Record

The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger - a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV) - flew for 26 hours and 1 minute carrying a 5-pound payload, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight. The test flight took place November 16-17.

Videos : Transportation
Electrochemical Energy Storage Technologies and the Automotive Industry

A lecture from Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division covers some promising materials research efforts that are expected to lead to improved battery technology. Mark Verbrugge, the director of the Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Lab at General...

News : Transportation
Hitting the Theoretical Roof of Converting Waste Heat to Electricity

The need to get rid of excess heat creates a major source of inefficiency in everything from computer processor chips to car engines. According to Peter Hagelstein, an associate professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, existing solid-state devices to convert heat into...

News : Transportation
Japan Wins Australia's Global Green Challenge

The "Tokai Challenger" solar car from Japan's Tokai University won the 3,000 kilometer Global Green Challenge race down the center of Australia. The Tokai Challenger maintained an average speed of over 100 kilometers per hour, or about 62 miles per hour, besting the winner of the previous four races...

News : Energy
New Material Could Boost Data Storage, Save Energy

North Carolina State University engineers have developed a new material that would allow a fingernail-size computer chip to store the equivalent of 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text, far exceeding the storage capacities of today’s computer memory systems.

News : Electronics & Computers
Battery Battle

A new type of redox flow battery from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) offers an advantage for electric cars. If the rechargeable batteries are low, the discharged electrolyte fluid can simply be exchanged at the gas station for recharged fluid – as easy as refilling the gas tank.

News : Transportation
Lowering Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cost

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new ceramic material that could help expand the applications for solid oxide fuel cells – devices that generate electricity directly from a wide range of liquid or gaseous fuels without the need to separate hydrogen.

News : Transportation
Hydrogen Storage Competition

DOE has launched the H-Prize competition, offering a $1 million award to an individual or team that creates the most advanced materials for hydrogen storage in vehicles.

News : Transportation
Mobile Ridesharing Device Reduces Traffic, Pollution

In spite of rising energy prices, many car drivers in large cities still ride alone. Fraunhofer's OpenRide mobile ridesharing service aims to save them money, while helping the environment by reducing the amount of traffic.

News : Energy
"Chemical Fuel Tank" Gives Hydrogen Storage New Hope

Los Alamos National Laboratory and University of Alabama researchers have come up with a new method for recycling hydrogen-containing fuel materials, which could open the door to economically viable hydrogen-based vehicles. The researchers worked within DOE’s Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Fuel Cell/Battery-Powered UAV Takes Flight

EnergyOr Technologies Inc., of Montreal, Canada, has designed, constructed, and tested an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform to demonstrate its fuel cell hybrid technology. EnergyOr's system will achieve 8 hours flight endurance in the near future.

News : Energy
Ethanol Funding Opportunity

DOE announced the availability of up to $5.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase the use of higher ethanol blends up to E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) by expanding refueling infrastructure.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
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...

News : Energy
Green Aircraft Contest Takes Off

Today, the NASA Innovative Partnerships Program and the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation officially announced the Green Flight Challenge. The flight efficiency competition is for aircraft that can average at least 100 mph on a 200-mile flight, while achieving greater than 200 passenger...

News : Energy
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.

Articles : Transportation
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...

News : Energy
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.

News : Energy
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.

Articles : Transportation
Transportation Category Winner

Tai Chiem

Melbourne, Australia

Movito is a scooter based on an electric inwheel motor, a hubless front wheel, and a modular base system. It is designed for traveling short distances in and around the city.

One of the key technologies used to reduce harmful emissions is an in-wheel motor...

Articles : Transportation
Transportation Category Winner, "Create the Future" 2007 Design Contest

Internally Radiating Impulse Structure (IRIS) Engine

Corban Tillemann-Dick
Tendix LLC
Denver, CO

The vast majority of internal combustion engines we use for transportation and commerce run at approximately 25% efficiency. Tendix LLC has...

Application Briefs : Transportation
Head-Worn Display Technology Developed for Emerging Air Transportation System
IS-1200 inertial-optical motion tracker InterSense
Bedford, MA
781-541-6330
www.intersense.com

NASA’s Langley Research Center has awarded InterSense a follow-on Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to deliver a...