Monthly Archives: July 2008

Eco-Cycles!

The Isle of Man TT is among the oldest and famous races in motorsports. Azhar Hussain, an eco-conscious motorcycle fanatic, hopes to turn the race into what he calls the world’s first high-speed zero-emissions grand prix.

If Hussain’s vision receives approval from TT organizers, TTxGP will showcase motorcycles and three-wheelers fueled by anything that doesn’t emit tailpipe pollution. They’ll race on the same 38-mile mountain course where conventional bikes hit speeds in excess of 120 mph. “This is an event where cutting-edge technology, systems and designs can be tested against the best in the world and rapidly refined and improved,” Hussain told Wired.com. “All of this means that clean tech is delivered to the consumer faster than it would otherwise.”

Two teams have signed up so far — Kingston University in London and Electric Motor Sports, the California company that builds electric motorcycles and sells other electric vehicles.

Source: Wired.com

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Free Trade Flip-Flopping

In the following video video TheStreet.com’s  political analyst John Fout points out free trade issues which he believes both presidential candidates have flip-flopped on. He says that in the democratic primary Obama knocked NAFTA saying the country needed to “renegotiate” the agreement. After beating Hillary who had taken such a strong anti-NAFTA stance, now Obama says he supports “fair” free trade.

Fout then rips McCain for touting free trade to win the Republican vote, yet afterward giving a speech in April proposing the creation of a “League of Democracies” alienating China and Russia. Fout also claims that McCain said he wants kick Russia out of the G8.

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Wind in your own Home

I talked to Bill Becker a University of Illinois professor who has gone into business with his children building mini wind turbines for city dwellers who have access to moving air.

Becker answered the phone when I called his office on the North Side of Chicago. He says people are calling from all over the world to inquire about his vertical axis turbines which look more like modern sculpture than energy generator.

Becker’s low cost generators cost $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the size. His bigger one has two alternators and a smaller version one. They hook directly into the building power supply, looking like big erector sets of steel tubing. Becker has extensive credentials in the alternative energy field. He invented a solar powered bike, but he’s having a ball now with his own firm Aerotecture International Inc.

He told me he is working out a deal with Abt, a big Chicago retailer of televisions and appliances. Abt wants to go green in their huge showroom warehouse but the management also sees potential in getting into the personal energy generation business. Becker has recently installed a combo wind generator with solar panels at the headquarters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Chicago. The IBEW sees green installations as an important avenue for development of the profession.

The wind farm folks have allied themselves with the electric utilities. Becker says the massive wind generators have their place but it is potentially a lot easier to put a small, mass produced unit on a condo building or bridge than hook up the infrastructure to wind farm on a remote, if windy, mountain side.

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