Cruising along in a car of their own design–part kite surfer, part wind power turbine, part EV–a German duo has driven across the vast majority of southern Australia on about $15 worth of electricity. According to their own account they’ve set several records for their particular class of vehicle in doing so, and we’re inclined to believe them if only for the fact that we’ve never seen anything else quite like the “Wind Explorer.”
Like many eco-minded innovators before them, Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer wanted to create an emissions-free source of personal transit, one free of both direct carbon emissions and secondary emissions from consuming fossil-fuel derived electricity. So they built the Wind Explorer, a 441-pound auto that transports its own wind turbine–a 20-foot bamboo mast that can be fitted with a 9-foot-diameter rotor–for charging the 8 kWh batteries during the night.
It’s important to note that the Wind Explorer’s journey from Albany in southwestern Australia to Sydney in the east wasn’t entirely unplugged. During early technical adjustments and fine-tuning of their equipment the team plugged into the grid from time to time, as they did during Cyclone Yasi when they couldn’t erect their wind turbine due to the weather.
But their point was never to prove that they could cross a continent with a zero-total carbon footprint, but rather to show that there are different ways to think about automobile travel outside of the existing paradigm. And they’ve certainly succeeded at that. Have you ever seen a kite-surfing, turbine-toting, electric vehicle before?
- Disadvantages of Solar Energy
At first glance, solar energy seems like a perfect solution to all our energy needs: sunlight is readily if not abundantly available, it consumes no fuel, gives off no emissions and once it’s set up, it’s cheap to run. However, to reverse the old proverb, every silver lining has its cloud, and solar
- Waterloo Wind Farm, a Roaring 40s success — EcoGeneration — The magazine for Australia’s clean energy industry
The Waterloo Wind Farm is approximately 30 kilometres south-east of the township of Clare and 100 km north of the state capital, Adelaide. Waterloo’s total maximum generating capacity of 111 megawatts (MW) is generated by 37 Vestas V90 3 MW turbines stretching over the 18 km wind farm site and connected through a 33 kilovolt
- BP Alternative Energy Buys US Wind Company
BP announced today that it has purchased Greenlight Energy, Inc., a US-based developer of wind power generation projects. The purchase will allow BP to accelerate its plans to develop a leading wind power business in North America. BP has acquired all the shares of Greenlight Energy for a consideration of some $98 million,
- Renewable energy laws pass Australia’s parliament
Renewable energy laws pass Australia’s parliament (By Rob Taylor via Reuters) Australia’s government struck agreement with opponents on Wednesday for 20 percent of the country’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, unlocking a $22 billion investment rush and reviving hopes of a later emissions trade deal. In a peace offering in its row
- Location Intelligence Powered Wind Power Esri Australia
Location Intelligence Powered Wind Power November 8, 2010 Following Hillary Clinton’s visit to Australia, where she announced that the US would continue to work with us to fight climate change and develop clean technology, it seems environmental diligence is once again front and centre. So with that fresh in my mind,