London Crossrail To Generate Energy From Wind

Wind energy is nothing new, but it’s definitely improving. In fact, it’s powering homes in Australia and Denmark at pleasantly surprising rates. Now that other nations are catching onto its sheer efficiency, they’re brewing up other ways to utilize it. For Moya Power in London, it’s all about being creative. The pilot project will collect energy from tunnel drafts caused by speeding trains using simple plastic sheets.

“If we all live in cities that need electricity, we need to look for new, creative ways to generate it,” says [mastermind Charlotte] Slingsby… “I wanted to create something that works in different situations and that can be flexibly adapted, whether you live in an urban hut or a high-rise.”

Considering the constant movement of  countryside families into cities, urban landscapes are demanding greater volumes of energy. As the war against fossil fuels continues to be precarious, alternative energy is very much welcome anywhere.

The yield is low compared to traditional wind power plants and is not able to power whole cities, but Slingsby sees Moya Power as just a single element in a mixture of urban energy sources.

Realizing that subway tunnels might be the windiest parts of an otherwise gloomy city now makes a lot of sense. Who knew?

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China Launches World’s Fastest High-Speed Railway

Trains are getting much-needed makeovers and it’s about time we all hop on board. In July, India launched the world’s first solar-powered train, running for up to 27 hours on a single charge. Not to be outdone, China unveiled Fuxing, the world’s swiftest high-speed railway traveling at speeds of 350 km per hour.

“The purpose of raising the speed is mainly symbolic,” [said] Zhao Jian, economics professor and commentator. “The train is the fastest in the world, which implies the strength of Chinese train technology and science,”

So it may be an ego thing, but if passengers can get from Beijing to Shanghai in 30 minutes less, why not? In 2011, for safety reasons, engineers limited bullet train speeds to 300 km per hour. However, it seems China is willing to up the ante for economic benefits.

“Nobody predicted that the high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai would be profitable when it was built… But after a seven to eight-year development, it gains, so it can work in other regions as well after eight to 10 years,”

While it is a giant leap for eager travelers, I sure do hope it’s a secure one as well.

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First Solar-Powered Train Launched In India

After its record-breaking tree-planting stint, it seems India is going full-steam ahead on the sustainability train. And I mean literally. India just launched a 12.5-mile routed solar-powered train that runs for up to 72 hours on a single charge.

The diesel-electric hybrid train has six coach cars with solar panels embedded in their roofs. Roughly 50 solar-harvesting coaches are set to be launched in the next several days, running primarily along commuter routes.

The new design is not only an attempt at convenience for commuters, it’s also aiming towards producing renewable energy.

The new trains are a part of Indian Railways’s plan to establish an energy-generation capacity of 1 gigawatt of solar and 130 megawatts of wind power in the next five years. The state-owned company has been using train-mounted solar panels since 2015 to power interior lights and air conditioning, but their newest train is the first in the world to use solar power.

India’s efforts towards becoming a more energy-conscious country are not going unnoticed. The U.K. also plans to start manufacturing solar-powered trains in the near future. Congratulations, India!

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New Electric Cargo Bike Revolutionizes Small Package Deliveries

Living in a city plagued by daily traffic jams, I often prefer to take my bike on errands. Granted, it’s a Nashbar AL1, nothing fancy but a perfectly practical performance hybrid. While I am wholly accustomed to throwing convenience store goodies into my trusty backpack, a cargo accessory would be much appreciated. Boy has the internet answered my prayers.

A Kickstarter project was recently launched in the hopes of funding CERO One, an electric cargo bike.

The CERO One is referred to as a compact cargo bike, as its physical dimensions and weight are well within reason for a standard bicycle, and it incorporates a space-saving handlebar twist function for storage in tight spaces.

To further tease your inner tech geek, there is a 93-mile-per-charge riding range on the dang thing!

The company offers three options for cargo space — a small basket, a large basket, and a platform — any of which can be mounted on either the front or the rear racks, depending on the cargo.

Oh, and it’s kid-friendly, too.

An optional Yepp Maxi Child Seat can be mounted to the rear rack without requiring an adapter, and so can panniers, although maybe not at the same time.

With only $6,000 of its $50,000 goal pledged, the CERO One has a long way to go–but I’m already saving up for it.

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