Transportation

Dennis Weaver Drives Cross Country with Green Fueled Vehicles

TESTINGDennis Weaver, the well-known actor, has been walking his talk for years, first with his Earthship home and next with his Institute of Ecolonomics. This spring he’ll be driving his talk with “Drive to Survive,” a cross-country journey from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. demonstrating the viability of alternative-fuel vehicles. A convoy of alternative-fueled vehicles powered by hydrogen, electricity, compressed natural gas, biodiesel, methanol and ethanol will travel on a 3- week, 11-city media and publicity tour promoting clean-burning, renewable energies. When it crosses the finish line in Washington DC. on Capitol Hill, Weaver will deliver a 100,000-signature petition to President Bush and the US Congress illustrating our commitment to technologies that will free us from dependency on foreign oil.The Drive to Survive builds on the momentum of the Institutes’ Drive for Life 2001, a 1,000-mile course from Los Angeles to Denver along segments of historic Route 66. Dennis Weaver founded the nonprofit Institute of Ecolonomics in 1993 to demonstrate that creating a symbiotic relationship between a strong economy and a healthy ecology is the formula for a sustainable future. You can add your name to the petition or download a copy and collect signatures. Drive to Survive: [sorry this […]

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Sydney's Solar Ferry

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TESTINGThe Solar Sailor – the world’s largest solar vessel and the first to be totally powered by the wind and the sun – sailed for the first time into Sydney Harbor, Australia in June 2000. This revolutionary new ferry has been in service for over a year as a tourist ferry there. It has demonstrated the technical feasibility and commercial viability of this new hybrid power technology. Solar Sailer is the brainchild of Dr. Robert Dane, formerly a country physician practicing about three hours from Sydney. A $1 million grant from the Australian Greenhouse Office’s Renewable Energy Commercialization Program funded its development. Its ground breaking solar wing technology makes renewable energy transport a reality. The mounted wings harness the sun and wind and can be adjusted to adapt to prevailing weather conditions. It uses four power sources: solar, wind, battery and a backup LPG gas generator. They can be used individually or in combination. When fully loaded with 100 passengers it reaches speeds of 5-7 knots on solar power alone, and 10-12 knots sailing in trade winds. Solar Sailor won the gold medal at the 1999 Asian Innovation Awards and the 2001 Australian Design Awards for engineering. With many waterways […]

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Hawaii Veggie Fuel

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TESTINGFew people associate clean transportation with the smell of french fries sizzling in hot grease, but used vegetable oil can be converted into an alternative fuel with many environmental advantages. In 1995, the Hawaiian island of Maui became concerned about environmental and health problems resulting from restaurant grease clogging its landfill. Operators complained that static pile fires were becoming more frequent, and the oil could leak into groundwater. Robert King, owner of King Diesel on Maui, spearheaded the formation of Pacific Biodiesel (PacBio) in 1996. PacBio receives used oil directly from pump trucks that service restaurants and hotels, and the company converts this into 150,000 gallons of premium biodiesel each year. This fuel, made totally from recycled cooking oil, is used in generators, commercial diesel equipment, boats and vehicles. More than 40 tons of used cooking oil is recycled each month. Customers range from private businesses to farmers who fill their five-gallon buckets with fuel for their tractors. Biodiesel is safe for use in all conventional diesel engines, says King, and requires no engine modifications. Torgue, horsepower, and fuel economy characteristics are similar to regular diesel fuel. Engine durability may even be increased because lower sulfur content results in more […]

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