James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

Wireless Car Charging Using Manhole Covers In NYC

Ever consider the possibility of using manhole covers as wireless electric car charging stations? Yeah, neither did I. But it’s happening. 🙂 Once you think about it, the idea does have an interesting sort of quality to it. Hevo Power’s pilot program is currently scheduled to hit New York City sometime in early 2014 — with Washington Square Park serving as the center of the program during its testing phase. The modified manhole covers — which will utilize resonance charging,…

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Aquion Energy & Siemens Team Up For Better Batteries

Aquion Energy, developer/manufacturer of Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) batteries and energy storage systems, is now teaming up with the maker of the Sinamics S120 drive technology, Siemens Industry Sector, to offer a fully integrated AHI-based energy storage system. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding under which both companies will test the integration of Aquion’s AHI batteries and Siemens’ Sinamics S120 drive inverter. The integration of the Sinamics S120 inverter solution and the AE12 Battery Module is currently…

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Thin-Film Solar Cells That Are Easy To Manufacture Hit 15.4% Efficiency

An easy-to-manufacture, thin-film solar cell with a higher than 15% conversion efficiency was recently created by researchers at the University of Oxford through the use of a newly emerging type of semiconductor referred to as “perovskites.” The new devices are simple enough that they could be mass produced rather easily, by utilizing processes such as vapour-deposition — potentially greatly cutting down on costs, according to the researchers. The “perovskite” semiconductors — organometal trihalide perovskite semiconductors, which have the formula (CH3NH3)PbX3,…

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Cleaning Water With Music CDs

Researchers in Taiwan have come up with an interesting way to make use of the incredible quantities of compact discs which are thrown away every year — use them to break down sewage and clean wastewater. The research team behind the new idea will be presenting their wastewater treatment device (which utilizes CDs) at the Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2013, October 6-10 in Orlando, Florida. “Optical disks are cheap, readily available, and very commonly used,” states…

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Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Offer Self-Driving Cars Within 3 Years

Tesla Motors is currently aiming to have a self-driving, autonomous car built within the next three years, according to the famous Tesla CEO Elon Musk. If that goal is met, that means that Tesla will beat its rivals — Mercedes-Benz and Nissan — to the market by at least a couple of years. Self-driving cars, also referred to as “autonomous cars,” have been in the news quite a lot over the past couple of years, but no firm dates have…

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Solar Stove From GoSun Blows Past $40,000 Kickstarter Goal

A lightweight, portable solar oven that can cook you dinner in 20 minutes? Reaches temperatures as high as 550 degrees Fahrenheit? Can be used to bake, boil, or fry? Sounds pretty good, right? Well, the new (yet to be released) GoSun solar stove delivers all of these things and more. The GoSun stove is currently only a couple of weeks into its Kickstarter campaign but has already blown past its $40,000 goal. Nonetheless, if you’re looking to get your hands…

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Google Releases Data On Its 2012 Carbon Footprint

Google’s 2012 carbon footprint was recently revealed by the tech giant as part of its annual report on the subject — for the sixth year in a row, Google has been effectively carbon neutral. Of course, that’s not to say that it isn’t the cause of quite a lot of actual carbon emissions, simply that it has offset its emissions through the purchase of high-quality carbon offset credits. The company does seem to be making notable progress with regard to…

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Electra Bicycles Releases The Townie Go! — “Most Technologically Advanced, Yet Simplest To Operate Pedal-Assist Bicycle In The World”

The Townie Go! — a stylish, new, simple-to-use, pedal-assist bike has just been released by the noted electric bike producer Electra Bicycles. The model — according to Electra — is “the most technologically advanced, yet simplest to operate pedal-assist bicycle in the world.” Sounds pretty good. There are a couple of features in particular that stand out: a throttle-less pedal-assist propulsion system, a lithium-ion battery system that provides about 30 miles of assist on a single charge, front and rear…

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Khi Solar One Tower — First Concentrating Solar Power Plant In South Africa

The Khi Solar One concentrating solar power plant is now one step closer to reality with the recent completion of the Khi Solar One tower in the Northern Cape province, near Upington, in South Africa. The company behind the 50 MW project — Abengoa, together with its partners the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Khi Community Trust — recently held a ceremony to commemorate the important milestone. An important milestone with regard to the project itself, and also with…

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