February 25, 2011
Zero Emissions Vehicles Round off Global Tour in Geneva
Photo: The Zero Emissions Race, co-sponsored by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), comes to a close as electric vehicles cruise through the finish line at the UN Office at Geneva, Switzerland. The “zero emissions” vehicles, powered by renewable energies like solar, wind, wave and geothermal, drove across the globe in 80 days, through 16 countries, for a total of 3,000 kilometres. February 24, 2011. Geneva, Switzerland. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre.
January 7, 2011
Power to the People: Southwest Windpower Unveils Efficient, Easy-to-Use Small Wind Turbine
Photo: Southwest Windpower unveiled its newest small wind turbine - Skystream 600.
Southwest Windpower today unveiled its newest small wind turbine, Skystream 600, which, according to it, could put wind energy in thousands of homes and businesses worldwide.
The company designs, manufactures and distributes small wind systems (400-3000 watts). According to Southwest Windpower, it has built and shipped more than 170,000 wind turbines to more than 120 countries worldwide and has sales representation in over 88 countries.
Unveiled at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with the backing of GE, in Las Vegas, Skystream 600 produces energy for commercial and residential use providing an average of 7,400 kWh of clean, low-cost energy per year per household in 12 mph average annual wind speeds.
Depending on the wind resource, siting and energy efficiency, a Skystream 600 could provide up to 80 percent of an average home’s energy requirements, says the company.
“Through multiple upgrades, including larger blade design, enhanced software and an improved integrated inverter, Skystream 600 provides users with a more efficient and affordable small wind system,” said Dixon Thayer, chief executive officer of Southwest Windpower. “By reducing electric bills, Skystream 600 helps provide affordable independence and stability to users while producing clean energy that won’t hurt the environment.”
Skystream 600 is part of GE’s “home of the future” exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show, which showcases innovative products designed to help consumers manage home energy generation, cost and consumption.
April 1, 2010
Shell Starts Production at Perdido - World's Deepest Offshore Drilling and Production Facility
Photo: The deep blue sea is on display in the remote, isolated sector of the Gulf of Mexico where Shell's Perdido platform sits in water deeper than any other facility in the world.
Photo: Spar on board giant barge, Mighty Servant 1.
Shell today produced its first oil and natural gas from the Perdido Development, the world's deepest offshore drilling and production facility. Located in an isolated, ultra-deep sector of the Gulf of Mexico, The facility sits in approximately 2,450 meters (8,000 feet) of water.
• View the Map: Location of Perdido in the Gulf of Mexico
"Perdido is an impressive project in a strong Gulf of Mexico portfolio that continues to grow," said Marvin Odum, Upstream Americas Director, Shell Energy Resources Company. "Perdido presented technical challenges unlike we've ever seen in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell's team used its expertise to open this new frontier and confront complex reservoir characteristics, extreme marine conditions, and record water depth pressures. Perdido demonstrates what companies like Shell can do when US federal lands and waters are opened to responsible energy exploration and production."
From the first lease purchase to today's production, the Perdido Development required an industry workforce of approximately 12,000 people, including employees and contractors. Shell designed, and operates, the Perdido host spar, a floating production facility, which is jointly owned by Shell (35%), Chevron (37.5%), and BP (27.5%).
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 100 countries.
Source: Shell Oil Company
March 30, 2010
BorgWarner Opens New Manufacturing Facility in India
Photo: BorgWarner Thermal Systems has opened a new manufacturing facility near Chennai, India. Dan CasaSanta, President and General Manager, BorgWarner Thermal Systems; Andrew Simkin, Consul General of the United States Consulate, Chennai Office; Tim Manganello, BorgWarner Chairman and CEO; Roger Wood, BorgWarner Executive Vice President and Engine Group President; and V.D. Umashanker, Managing Director, BorgWarner Thermal Systems Chennai, attended the opening ceremonies at the company's new facility in India.
BorgWarner Thermal Systems has opened a new manufacturing facility near Chennai, India. The new 65,000-square-foot (6,000-square-meter) facility is located in a high-tech business park. The environmentally friendly building will provide manufacturing, engineering, sales, and administrative space as well as room for future expansion.
"In India, growing demand for mobility and adoption of global emissions standards is driving growth for BorgWarner's advanced technologies," said Dan CasaSanta, President and General Manager, BorgWarner Thermal Systems. "With our new facility, BorgWarner will have the ability to expand existing product lines and introduce new technologies and products."
Designed as a "green building," the facility is seeking silver certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Over 30% of the grounds around the new facility are reserved for green space and shaded with trees and plants watered with recycled waste water. In addition, several water- and energy-saving devices have been installed throughout the building.
BorgWarner Thermal Systems in India produces viscous fans and fan drives for customers including Tata Motors, Tata Cummins, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra, and others.
BorgWarner Thermal Systems is a leading designer and supplier of components and systems for thermal management, designed to improve engine cooling, increase fuel economy and reduce emissions.
Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, based BorgWarner Inc. is a product leader in highly engineered components and systems for vehicle powertrain applications worldwide. The FORTUNE 500 company operates manufacturing and technical facilities in 59 locations in 18 countries. Customers include VW, Audi, Ford, Toyota, Renault, Nissan, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Daimler, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Honda, John Deere, PSA, and MAN.
Source: BorgWarner Inc.
March 19, 2010
Better City, Better Life: Siemens at EXPO 2010
Photos: View of Shanghai
"Better City, Better Life" - that's the theme of EXPO 2010, which will take place in Shanghai from May 1 - October 31, 2010. Siemens is supporting EXPO 2010 with green infrastructure technology.
On the 1st of May, the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai will open its doors to the world. About 70 million visitors are expected in the Chinese metropolis.
It is supposed to be the first green world exhibition in EXPO history.
As a global EXPO partner, Siemens has supplied technology used in more than 40 projects on the exhibition grounds. In addition, Siemens supplied infrastructure including technology for rapid mass transit, clean air, cleaner water and ultra-modern health care in Shanghai.
Photo: Siemens won contracts related to the EXPO. These include high-speed trains at a speed of 300 kph from Beijing to Tianjin.
"Our green technology will continue to upgrade the city's infrastructure well after the EXPO. Thus, it is a triple win for EXPO visitors, for the host city of Shanghai and for Siemens," said Richard Hausmann, CEO Siemens Northeast Asia and President and CEO of Siemens Ltd., China.
Siemens was awarded contracts in connection with the Expo with a total value of more than one billion euros. About 90 percent of this amount is related to environmentally friendly products and solutions.
Photo: In China, ensuring a supply of clean water is a pressing problem. Shanghai, which is naturally rich in water, suffers from polluted springs. Siemens water treatment solutions help clean up Taihu Lake not far from Shanghai.
Photo: Shanghai buildings in the evening.
More than 50,000 energy-saving light-emitting diodes (LEDs) produced by Siemens' lighting subsidiary Osram will illuminate the pavilions and boulevards. LEDs consume 80 percent less electricity than conventional incandescent bulbs.
The China Pavilion, with a total surface area of 160,000 square meters, is one of the largest Siemens projects at the Expo.
In addition to solutions for reduced energy consumption, Siemens also supplied infrastructure in advance of the Expo that will assure adequate power supply to the city of Shanghai both during and after the event.
Source: Siemens AG, Berlin
January 11, 2010
Toyota Unveils Compact Dedicated Hybrid Concept in Detroit
Advanced Battery R&D and Manufacturing Capacity will Rise with Scheduled Roll-out of Plug-in Hybrids, Fuel Cells and Battery Electric Vehicles.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today unveiled the FT-CH dedicated hybrid concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
The FT-CH is a concept that would address Toyota's stated strategy to offer a wider variety of conventional hybrid choices to its customers, as it begins to introduce plug-in hybrids (PHVs) and battery electrics (BEVs) in model year 2012, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCHVs) in 2015 in global markets.
"Within the next 10 to 20 years, we will not only reach peak oil we will enter a period where demand for all liquid fuels will exceed supply," said Jim Lentz, TMS president. "A century after the invention of the automobile, we must re-invent it with powertrains that significantly reduce or eliminate the use of conventional petroleum fuels. One of many alternatives is through what is commonly called the electrification of the automobile. By far, the single most successful example of this has been the gas-electric hybrid."
The CH stands for compact hybrid. According to Toyota, the FT-CH captures the spirit and functionality of a car that thrives in the inner-city environment; sized right to be nimble, responsive and maneuverable.
"It's a package Toyota dealers and customers have been asking for," added Lentz.
The FT-CH was styled at Toyota's European Design and Development (ED2) center in Nice, France.
In the early 2010s, Toyota plans to sell a million hybrids per year globally, a majority of those in North America. To accomplish this, Toyota will launch eight all new hybrid models over the next few years. These will not include next generation versions of current hybrids; instead, they will be all new dedicated hybrid vehicles, or all new hybrid versions of existing gas engine models.
The heart of hybrid technology is its battery. According to Toyota, it has systematically reduced size, weight and cost of the battery while improving its energy density, quality and reliability.
Like hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, battery electrics will require the creation of infrastructure for recharging on the go. This issue of range is also a challenge to overcome. Toyota believes these are hurdles that will be cleared.
December 20, 2009
Electric Drive: First Electric 'smart fortwo' Handed Over to Customers in Berlin
The first smart fortwo electric drive vehicles were handed over to customers in Berlin on December 17.
• The compact two-seater is the first emission-free vehicle in the world with state-of-the-art lithium-ion technology and an intelligent charging management system on board. This makes the smart fortwo electric drive the first environmentally and customer-friendly electric vehicle.
The very first drivers of the electric smart will be Rolf Bauer (artist and owner of a film dubbing studio) and Lutz Tamaschke (owner of a dental technology company). "I've always been a fan of smart and am proud to be able to set a new trend once again by driving the electric smart. Thanks to the smart fortwo electric drive, I can make my own contribution to preserving the environment," commented Rolf Bauer.
With the smart fortwo electric drive, these two men now own a vehicle that is suited to urban mobility and offers driving pleasure, while being locally emission-free at the same time. "I allow myself and my car a rest for the night, so that we can both recharge our batteries. After a few hours sleep, we're both good to go," said Lutz Tamaschke.
The first two vehicles were handed over on December 17 in Berlin by Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, and Harald Schuff, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Sales and Marketing Organization.
"Environmental compatibility and latest functionalities have been defining features of the smart fortwo ever since it was launched more than ten years ago. Since then, its innovative concept has combined pioneering technology with individual, urban mobility. The smart fortwo electric drive is just as convincing as its siblings with conventional drive when it comes to suitability for everyday use, safety and driving pleasure. In terms of environmental compatibility it sets a new benchmark with its emission-free electric drive. In addition, with just 12 kwH consumption and its purely electric drive system, it is the most economical and environmentally-friendly way of driving," stated Dr. Thomas Weber.
The electric smart will be delivered to selected fleet, business and private customers around the world as part of various "e-mobility" projects. These customers will receive a complete service package for their vehicle. "Beside state-of-the-art vehicle technology, we also want to provide our customers the best service possible - for us, this is an integral part of the concept of groundbreaking mobility," commented Harald Schuff.
• Key objective of these projects is to evaluate customer behavior and specific support services. In addition to Germany, the electric smart will also be made available to customers in Italy, Spain, England, France, Switzerland, as well as the USA and Canada.
A 30 kW electric motor operates in the rear of the smart fortwo electric drive, which ensures good acceleration as soon as the car is started. When fully charged, the highly-efficient lithium-ion battery guarantees a range of 135 kilometers. In order to charge the battery if required, the smart can either be hooked up to a public charging station, a wall box in the garage or simply to any standard household socket.
The smart fortwo electric drive is equipped with an intelligent charging management system. The on-board electronics allow for the permanent exchange of information with the grid. As such, electricity billing, for example, can be arranged in a very convenient, simple and secure way. Irrespective of where and from whom the smart fortwo electric drive has obtained electricity, the customer will only receive one electricity bill from his own energy supplier. By using a smartphone or other internet interfaces, he can also check the charging status and the current range of his electric smart in any place and at any time.
• With the smart fortwo electric drive, smart is continuing its success story as the founder of the intelligent city vehicle. The new electric smart has redefined urban mobility by focusing on a purely emission-free way of driving.
• Hybrid/Plug-In/Electric Battery Development for Detroit.
The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) is seeking Requests For Proposal information (RFPIs) for four projects related to advanced battery development for hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and electric vehicles.
USABC (United States Advanced Battery Consortium) is a consortium of USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of fuel cell, hybrid and electric vehicles.
USABC's four RFPIs, for consideration of contracts that will include a 50 percent minimum cost share by developers, are for:
1. Development of advanced high performance batteries for electric vehicle (EV) applications;
2. Development of advanced energy storage systems for high-power, lower energy-energy storage system (LEESS) for power-assist hybrid electric vehicle (PAHEV) applications;
3. Development of advanced high-performance batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) applications; and
4. A technology assessment of proposed advanced battery technologies for EV applications.
--- Statement issued on December 23, 2009 by USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research). [USCAR is the collaborative automotive technology organization for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.]
GM Announces Battery Assembly Production:
"On Thursday, January 7, 2010, exactly three years to the day the Chevrolet Volt concept car was revealed, General Motors takes another historic step in mass production of the vehicle and a giant leap for the auto industry from a petroleum-filled past to a potentially gas-free future.
At 10:00 a.m., GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, along with Gov. Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, leading government officials and honored guests will witness the start of battery production at the GM Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant. The plant, located in Brownstown Township, Michigan, is the first lithium ion battery pack manufacturing plant in the U.S. operated by a major automaker."
-- General Motors (January 5, 2010).
Batteries for Electric Cars: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Outlook to 2020. (New Study by The Boston Consulting Group).
"For years, people have been saying that one of the keys to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels is the electrification of the vehicle fleet. The reality is, electric-car batteries are both too expensive and too technologically limited for this to happen in the foreseeable future..."
"Although electric-car battery costs are expected to fall sharply over the coming decade, they are unlikely to drop enough to spark widespread adoption of fully electric vehicles without a major breakthrough in battery technology..."
"The long-term cost target used by many carmakers in planning their future fleets of electric cars--$250 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)--is unlikely to be achieved unless there is a major breakthrough in battery chemistry that substantially increases the energy a battery can store without significantly increasing the cost of either battery materials or the manufacturing process..."
(Despite this cost challenge, the report projects steady growth for electric cars and batteries.)
"Under the most likely scenario of the industry's evolution, it is estimated that 26 percent of the new cars sold in 2020 in the major developed markets (China, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe)--or approximately 14 million cars--will have electric or hybrid power trains. That same year, the market for electric-car batteries in those regions will reach $25 billion..."
"This burgeoning market will be about triple the size of today's entire lithium-ion-battery market for consumer applications such as laptop computers and cell phones..."
"Beyond costs, other key challenges facing the electric-car battery market are energy storage capacity, charging time, and infrastructure needs..."
(Of the roughly 14 million electric cars forecast to be sold in 2020 in China, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe, the report projects that some 1.5 million will be fully electric, 1.5 million will be range extenders, and 11 million will be a mix of hybrids.)
--- The Boston Consulting Group. (The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and is an advisor on business strategy. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 67 offices in 39 countries.)
November 30, 2009
U.S. Crude Oil Production in 2009 Poised To Show Big Jump: Platts Analysis
Photo: Platts' new 100-year anniversary global branding ad for oil rolled out in February issue of UK's Energy Risk Magazine; first in a series of Platts' 2009 ads to highlight the commodities it covers: Oil, Petrochemicals, Electricity, Natural Gas, Metals and Renewable Fuels.
• United States crude oil production for 2009 is on target to have its biggest one-year jump since 1970, according to a Platts analysis of industry data.
Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is a leading global provider of energy and commodities information.
With U.S. oil production averaging 5.268 million barrels per day (b/d) through October, the gain in U.S. output will be the most since the country produced 9.637-million b/d in 1970, which turned out to be the peak year of U.S. crude output, according to Platts' analysis of data published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). If that 5.268 million b/d figure holds through December, this year would show a 6.4% boost from the 4.95 million b/d average of 2008 and rank as the best U.S. oil production year since 2004, when output averaged 5.419 million b/d.
Projections from the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) indicate that the primary driver for this year's U.S. oil production resurgence is actually just getting started. That driver is the Gulf of Mexico, where operators have begun launching a group of new fields, fulfilling what has been a decade-long focus on unlocking the promise of deepwater exploration there.
Photo: Oil tanker and offshore drill on ocean.
In its reporting, Platts concluded that with the jump in the Gulf of Mexico, combined with the emergence of two other new oil-production trends, it appears the U.S. has a chance of at least maintaining oil output in the range of five million to six million b/d for some years to come.
The Gulf posted its biggest oil production year in 2002 with 1.556 million b/d, but only 61% of that total came from deepwater. In contrast, this year the MMS projects oil output of 1.213 million b/d with 76% from deepwater as the Gulf ramps toward an expected new oil production record of 1.635 million b/d by 2011.
Besides growth in the Gulf, those other trends involve further development of the Bakken Shale oil play in North Dakota and success by a group of operators now training their onshore exploration sights toward new oil targets at the expense of natural gas.
Photo: Oil Rig at Sunset.
As for companies shifting their strategies, that group includes large Houston independent and Bakken pioneer EOG Resources, which has set a goal of shifting from a 70% gas production share to a 50:50 oil and gas mix by 2011 with a comprehensive review of additional potential North American shale oil targets.
This rise in output has helped the U.S. reduce its net imports -- defined as imports less exports, both crude and petroleum products -- by a substantial amount. While there are many factors that go into the United States' net import figure, the decline has been striking, according to EIA data.
And while the drop in U.S. consumption can be seen as accounting for much of that decline, the U.S. also has put more than 140 million barrels of crude oil and products into inventory since the beginning of October 2008, something made possible in part by the rise in crude oil output.
September 30, 2009
All-Electric Navistar Truck Unveiled on Capitol Hill
• Navistar Developing Clean Transportation Technologies.
Photo: At the U.S. Capitol today, U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), on right, inspects Navistar Inc.'s zero emissions, all-electric delivery truck designed for maximum efficiency in urban environments. With help from a $39 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Navistar Inc. initially will build 400 of these clean technology trucks at its facility in Elkhart, Indiana, and expects to be producing several thousand trucks annually within a few years.
Today, members of the U.S. Congress were shown an all-electric commercial truck from Navistar, Inc. that does not depend on oil.
With the help of a $39 million U.S. Department of Energy grant announced by President Obama in August, Navistar will build these high technology trucks, designed for maximum efficiency in urban environments.
Navistar intends to build 400 all-electric delivery trucks in 2010 at its facility in Elkhart County, Indiana, and expects within a few years to be producing several thousand vehicles annually as the market grows.
"The all-electric commercial truck is a concrete example of advanced technology that will be swiftly brought to market with government incentives, just like diesel-hybrid trucks and school buses," said Greg Elliott, senior vice president, Navistar. "We must continue to invest together for the next generation of advanced vehicles with innovative aerodynamic design and greater hybrid and electric market penetration across the nation."
This zero tailpipe emission electric commercial truck is the latest of Navistar's green vehicle advancements.
Navistar International Corporation is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse brand chassis for motor homes and step vans.
September 28, 2009
Corcoran Gallery Of Art to Exhibit Landscapes by Canadian Photographer Edward Burtynsky
Photo: Edward Burtynsky, SOCAR Oil Fields #3, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2006. Chromogenic color print. (© Corcoran Gallery of Art).
Corcoran Gallery of Art has invited the media to an exclusive preview of Edward Burtynsky: Oil.
Organized by the Corcoran, this exhibition will show 56 large-scale color landscapes, many on view for the first time, by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.
The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday, October 3, 2009.
Edward Burtynsky: Oil is organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and sponsored by the Scotiabank Group.
"For Oil, Burtynsky traveled for more than a decade to chronicle the global production, distribution, and use of oil, the energy source that has shaped the modern world," informs Corcoran. "This world premiere exhibition provides a penetrating look at one of the most important subjects of our time, by one of the most respected and recognized contemporary photographers in the world."
After closing at the Corcoran on December 13, the exhibition will embark on an international tour through 2012.
Source: Corcoran Gallery of Art
September 14, 2009
Dow Corning Celebrates "Solar Day'
• Begins Construction at Solar Monosilanes Facility.
• Unveils Solar Array and Education Center.
Photo: Dow Corning installed solar panels at its corporate headquarters in Michigan that also serve as a testing site for its silicone-based solar materials.
"Autumn may be approaching, but the sun is shining brightly at Dow Corning. And it is waiting for us," said Stephanie A. Burns, Dow Corning's chairman, president and CEO. "There is still much work to do to make solar energy a sustainable energy option for everyone, everywhere. These investments represent our continued commitment to both innovating and using alternative energy technologies."
At an event the company is calling "Solar Day," Dow Corning will announce the start of construction in Thomas Twp., Michigan of a manufacturing plant that will manufacture monosilane gas-a key material used to manufacture thin-film solar cells.
Dow Corning will also unveil a solar panel installation and Solar Discovery Center at its corporate headquarters in Midland, Michigan.
Photo: Dow Corning Solar Solutions Researchers.
The Dow Corning Monosilanes facility will manufacture high purity monosilane, a key specialty gas used to manufacture thin-film solar cells and liquid crystal displays. The Dow Corning Monosilanes facility is expected to be completed in 2011.
"This significant investment to become a leading supplier of monosilane for thin film solar technology will expand our feedstock offering and will further reinforce Dow Corning's position as a material supplier across multiple solar technologies," said Eric Peeters, global executive director, Dow Corning Solar Solutions.
The solar installation at Dow Corning headquarters features 136 solar panels and will produce approximately 30 kilowatt-hours of power--the amount of electricity consumed by approximately seven to 10 homes in a year.
Photo: A Dow Corning lab technician conducting a product performance test.
"It is important for everyone in our community, especially students, to understand both how solar technology works and the opportunity it represents for the world," said Marie N. Eckstein, Dow Corning's vice president and chief administrative officer. "We would like to invite community and student groups to contact us if they're interested in seeing the solar panels and solar education center."
Dow Corning's silicon-based materials are used in solar cell manufacturing, solar module assembly and installation. In the past five years, Dow Corning and its joint ventures, the Hemlock Semiconductor Group, have announced investments of more than $5 billion to research and develop as well as to expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.
A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company's Dow Corning and XIAMETER brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States.
Source: Dow Corning Corporation
August 14, 2009
Lockheed Martin Conducts Aerial Refueling Test
Photo: A short takeoff/vertical landing variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II takes on fuel from a KC-130 tanker near Fort Worth on Aug. 13. The fuel transfer marked the first time an F-35 has used the Navy- and Marines-style probe-and-drogue refueling system. (Foto: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Liz Kaszynski).
Lockheed Martin announced today that short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter has become "The first F-35 to complete an aerial refueling test using the Navy- and Marine Corps-style probe-and-drogue refueling system". [F-35 and Lightning II are trademarks of Lockheed Martin Corporation.]
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
"The F-35 program is on the cusp of a tremendous expansion in flight test as a large number of new aircraft enter the test fleet this year and early next year," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. "This milestone will help ensure that we fill the pipeline between Fort Worth and Pax River with F-35s and maintain our flight-test tempo."
During Thursday's flight, the F-35B designated BF-2 (the second STOVL flight test aircraft), began a series of tests in which fuel is uploaded into the aircraft at 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 feet, at speeds ranging from 200 to 250 knots.
The refueling mission also marked the first time a Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker has been used to refuel an F-35.
As the company explains, probe-and-drogue refueling employs a flexible hose that trails from the tanker aircraft. The basketlike drogue at the end of the hose connects to the receiving aircraft's probe, which, in the case of the F-35, resides on the right side of the forward fuselage and retracts when not in use. The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and the air forces of many other countries use the probe/drogue system, while the U.S. Air Force refuels its aircraft via a rigid flying boom that inserts into a receptacle on the receiving airplane.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-22 are 5th generation fighters, characterized by a combination of advanced stealth with supersonic speed and high agility, sensor fusion, network-enabled capabilities and advanced sustainment. The three F-35 variants are derived from a common design, are being developed together and will use the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, bringing economies of commonality and scale.
Lockheed Martin informs that it is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
August 2, 2009
Nissan Unveils World's First "Affordable" Electric Car, Calls it LEAF
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled Nissan LEAF at its global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, proclaiming that it is the world's first affordable, zero-emission car.
Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, Nissan LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of more than 160km (100 miles) to "satisfy real-world consumer requirements".
LEAF is slated for launch in late 2010 in Japan, the United States, and Europe. Ushering in a new era of mobility and zero-emission era, the car is the culmination of decades of investment and research.
"Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment - one in which all Nissan employees can take great pride," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality - the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero - not simply reduced - emissions. It's the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey - for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry."
• Key characteristics of the LEAF include:
1. Zero-emission power train and platform
2. Affordable pricing
3. Distinctive design
4. Real-world range autonomy - 160km (100 miles)
5. Connected Mobility: Advanced intelligent transportation (IT) system
"The 'LEAF' name is a significant statement about the car itself. Just as leaves purify the air in nature, so Nissan LEAF purifies mobility by taking emissions out of the driving experience," the company explains. "As an added benefit, because the vehicle has less mechanical complexity than a traditional gasoline-powered car, Nissan LEAF is designed to be friendly to the wallet as well as to the environment."
The company expects the car to be competitively priced in the range of a well-equipped C-segment vehicle. Additionally, Nissan LEAF is expected to qualify for an array of significant local, regional and national tax breaks and incentives in markets around the world.
"Nissan LEAF is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm. This ensures a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience that is in keeping with what consumers have come to expect from traditional, gasoline-powered automobiles."
"Unlike internal-combustion engine (ICE) equipped vehicles, Nissan LEAF's power train has no tail pipe, and thus no emission of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. A combination of Nissan LEAF's regenerative braking system and innovative lithium-ion battery packs enables the car to deliver a driving range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge (US LA4 mode)," says Nissan. "Extensive consumer research demonstrates that this range satisfies the daily driving requirements of more than 70% of the world's consumers who drive cars."
"And, Nissan's approach makes charging easy and convenient. Nissan LEAF can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours - ample time to enable an overnight refresh for consumer and car alike."
"Our car had to be the world's first, medium-size, practical EV that motorists could afford and would want to use every day. And that's what we've created. The styling will identify not only Nissan LEAF but also the owner as a participant in the new era of zero-emission mobility," said Masato INOUE, Product Chief Designer. "The engineers and designers behind Nissan LEAF worked to create a competitively priced real-world car that would enable Nissan to lead mobility into the zero-emission era. To ensure comfort, spaciousness and cargo capacity, Nissan LEAF employs a completely new chassis and body layout."
Nissan LEAF employs an advanced IT system. Connected to a global data center, the system can provide support, information, and entertainment for drivers 24 hours a day. The dash-mounted monitor displays Nissan LEAF's remaining power - or "reachable area" - in addition to showing a selection of nearby charging stations.
"The IT system is a critical advantage," says Tooru ABE, Chief Product Specialist. "We wanted this vehicle to be a partner for the driver and an enhancement for the passengers. We also wanted this vehicle to help create a zero-emission community, and these IT features will help make that possible."
Zero-emission mobility programs under the banner of the Renault-Nissan Alliance include partnerships with countries such as the UK and Portugal, local governments in the Japan and the USA, and other sectors, for a total of nearly 30 partnerships worldwide.
In these partnerships major efforts focus on three areas:
1. Development of a comprehensive charging infrastructure through public and private investment,
2. Incentives and subsidies from local, regional, and national governments, and
3. Public education on the individual and societal benefits of zero-emissions mobility.
According to Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., "LEAF is the first in the company's forthcoming line of EVs and is a major milestone in the realization of the Renault-Nissan Alliance's vision for zero-emission mobility. The first of Nissan's EVs will be manufactured at Oppama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for Smyrna, Tennessee, USA. Meanwhile, lithium-ion batteries are being produced in Zama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for the USA, the UK and Portugal, and other sites for investment are under study around the world".
Source: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
"Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of life, which they are thenceforth to rule."
-- Thomas Carlyle
"All marketing managers, all auto makers, all car enthusiasts, all environmentalists, and all advertising & branding agencies may not agree that LEAF is a good name for a car.
But all leading political strategists would certainly agree that, in this case, LEAF is a Winning Name. This is so because top political strategists work at a finer and deeper level of advertising and branding. And this naming just corresponds to that.
Vote for LEAF!"
© GlobalGiants.Com. All Rights Reserved.
August 5, 2008
Second Honda FCX Clarity Zero-Emissions Fuel Cell Vehicle Now on the Road
Honda Delivers FCX Clarity Hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Vehicle to Jamie Lee Curtis.
Photo: Honda FCX Clarity
Photo: Honda FCX Clarity interior
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today announced that its second FCX Clarity customer, Jamie Lee Curtis, took delivery of the vehicle on July 31, 2008. Curtis and husband Christopher Guest are the second of approximately 200 customers who will begin leasing the vehicle in the United States and Japan over the next three years.
Photo: Jamie Lee Curtis, second customer of Honda's FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle at a hydrogen filling station in West Los Angeles. Curtis is the second of approximately 200 customers who will lease the vehicle in the United States and Japan, with the vast majority of vehicles being leased in Southern California. (Photo Credit: American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Alex Berliner(C)Berliner Studio/BEImages)
"I really wasn't expecting it to be so luxurious," said Curtis. "It's luxurious, luxurious, luxurious! I love the interior layout, design and access to controls. It is user-friendly and very modern."
Actress and children's book author Curtis and her husband, filmmaker Guest, live in Santa Monica. They have owned other alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles and continue to seek out ways to live and advocate a greener lifestyle.
Ron Yerxa and Annette Ballester, Santa Monica residents, took delivery of the first FCX Clarity on July 25, 2008.
Photo: Actress Q'Orianka Kilcher, who played Pocahontas in the film "The New World", poses for a photo after she drove the new Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007 at the LA Auto Show. (Photo Credit: American Honda Motor Co. Inc., Susan Goldman)
"The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. Propelled by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated in the fuel cell, the vehicle's only by-products are heat and water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a modern gasoline-powered automobile."
Source: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
July 16, 2008
US Automobile Buyers Want Advancements in Alternative Powertrain Technology: J.D. Power and Associates
Small Cars and Hybrids Lead the Automotive Environmental Index Top 30.
Photo: Smart Fortwo
According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Alternative Powertrain Study released today, while most automotive manufacturers have shifted production to focus on smaller vehicles, nearly 70 percent of consumers say they want manufacturers to invest more in existing and emerging powertrain technologies.
Photo: Lexus RX Hybrid
Now in its third year, the Alternative Powertrain Study examines the reasons why consumers consider or avoid alternative powertrain vehicles, such as hybrid, flex fuel and clean diesel fuel models. The study includes the Automotive Environmental Index, which combines U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publicly available information related to fuel economy, air pollution and greenhouse gases for 2008 model-year vehicles and J.D. Power and Associates' voice of the customer data related to stated fuel economy. Feedback from verified vehicle owners is also used to help determine the relative importance of these environmental factors.
Photo: 2008 Nissan Sentra
The study finds that more than 80 percent of consumers believe that the United States is currently faced with an energy crisis. Only 18 percent of these consumers believe this issue can be addressed by focusing on small vehicle production with better fuel economy. Approximately 30 percent of consumers believe that auto manufacturers should continue to produce a comparable vehicle lineup with a focus on hybrid-electric, clean diesel and flexible fuel vehicles, while an additional 39 percent believe manufacturers should focus on developing emerging technologies not currently available in the market, such as fuel cell and electric vehicles.
Photo: 2009 Honda Fit Sport
Photo: 2009 Ford Focus RS
"Nearly 80 percent of consumers believe that gas prices will continue to rise, which will have a significant effect on the vehicles they will consider," said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, some consumers still want more than small cars to choose from in the auto market. They still want their SUVs and pickup trucks, except with better fuel economy and more environmentally friendly."
The study also finds that the percentage of consumers who are considering a hybrid-electric vehicle is up from 50 percent in 2007 to 62 percent in 2008. Consideration for flexible fuel (E85) capable vehicles -- which are designed to run on gasoline or a blend of up to 85 percent ethanol -- has decreased slightly from 2007 (47% vs. 43% in 2008), while consideration for clean diesel demonstrated the most notable decline from 23 percent in 2007 to only 16 percent in 2008. The drop in consideration for diesel technology may be attributed to the substantial increase in the relative price of diesel since 2007.
Photo: 2009 Saturn Astra XR 3-door
Photo: 2009 Pontiac G5 GT
Among the top 30 models in the Automotive Environmental Index, Toyota has the highest number of vehicles (6), followed by Chevrolet, Honda and Nissan with three models each. Additionally, eight models in the Automotive Environmental Index top 30 are hybrid-electric vehicles. They are:
Ford Escape Hybrid
Nissan Altima Hybrid
Honda Civic Hybrid
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Lexus RX 400h
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Photo: 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Coupe
Photo: 2008 Chevrolet Aveo LT
The remaining models in the Top 30 Automotive Environmental Index are:
Smart Fortwo Coupe
MINI Cooper S
Smart Fortwo Convertible
The 2008 Alternative Powertrain Study includes responses from more than 4,000 consumers who plan to purchase a new vehicle within the next two years. The web-based study was fielded in May and June 2008. The voice of the customer components of the Automotive Environmental Index are derived from the 2008 Alternative Powertrain Study and the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Initial Quality Study.
Source: J.D. Power and Associates
November 13, 2007
SHELL OIL COMPANY RACE WINNERS
Photo: In this photo released from Shell Oil Company, a student from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN drives a combustion engine vehicle in the 2007 Shell Eco-marathon Americaschallenge. The 2008 event will take place April 10-13 at the California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. and will challenge student teams and their prototype vehicles to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. |GlobalGiants.com|
October 3, 2007
Customers Enjoy the Benefits of Mahindra's 24/7 Customer Care Powered by 4CS iSupport
EAST MOLINE, Ill., Oct. 3 -- 4CS, Inc., a leading provider of Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions has announced that Mahindra USA, Inc. has rolled out 24/7 Owner Customer Care program using 4CS iSupport software.
4CS iSupport software helps increase retention of customers, partners, and suppliers by providing a single point of access to all relevant information and applications in a personalized environment. iSupport is made up of four modules consisting of a Contact Center, Service Dispatch, Service Knowledge Base, Support Center, and Reporting & Analysis.
Mr. Jim Ramsdail, Sr. Manager of Product & Service, Mahindra USA, noted "We were looking to establish a 24/7 Owner Care System which would allow Mahindra Owners to have 'live' contact to voice their concerns and obtain basic information about their products. The iSupport Package includes a Customer Management System and Searchable Database that were key requirements for our system."
Mahindra USA, Inc., established in 1994, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), Mumbai, India.
M&M assembled the famous Willys Jeep for American GI's beginning in the 1940s. In 1963, M&M entered into a joint venture with International Harvester to manufacturer tractors. In India, one of the world's largest tractor markets, M&M has been the market share leader for 21 straight years and today ranks among the four largest tractor companies in the world. In 2003, the Farm Equipment Sector of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. received the coveted Deming Application Prize -- considered the Nobel Prize for manufacturing -- for establishing Total Quality Management in all business operations. Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. is the only tractor company in the world to achieve this honor. Forbes has ranked the Mahindra Group in its Top 200 list of the World's Most Reputable Companies.|GlobalGiants.com|
September 5, 2007
Fisker Automotive -- A New Green American Premium Car Company : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: Fisker Automotive Logo.
IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 5 -- Quantum Technologies (NASDAQ:QTWW) and Fisker Coachbuild, LLC announce the launch of a joint venture in Fisker Automotive, Inc. -- a green American premium car company. Fisker Automotive will offer a range of environmentally friendly premium cars -- with the first production car to make its Worldwide North American debut at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show in January. Initial production is anticipated to be 15,000 vehicles annually with pricing to start under $100,000.
Design and technology development are already underway for the first production car. All models will feature cutting-edge plug-in hybrid technology penned as Quantum Drive, developed by Quantum Technologies exclusively for Fisker Automotive. This all-new plug-in Quantum Drive chassis layout will allow Fisker to design innovative luxury cars with uncompromised proportions. |GlobalGiants.com|
September 4, 2007
THE PANAMA CANAL AUTHORITY STARTS THE EXPANSION OF THE PANAMA CANAL : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: Panama City -- September 4, 2007 -- Thousands gathered in a ceremony near Paraiso Hill in Panama to celebrate the beginning of the first-ever expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Panama Canal. The symbolic blast inaugurated the first construction project for expansion. (Photo Credit: The Panama Canal Authority)
Joining former US President Carter at the event were regional presidents, including Colombia's Alvaro Uribe, Honduras' Manuel Zelaya, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega and El Salvador's Elias Antonio Saca. Jose Miguel Inzulsa, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, also was among an estimated 40,000 people at the ceremony.
When complete, the expanded canal will accommodate ships capable of carrying 12,000 containers, up from a maximum 5,000 containers.
The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de PanamÃ¡) is a major ship canal that traverses the Isthmus of Panama in Central America, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Construction of the canal was one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km (6,000 miles), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 mi) route around Cape Horn.
Since opening, the canal has been enormously successful, and continues to be a key conduit for international shipping. Each year more than 14,000 ships pass through the canal, carrying more than 205 million tons of cargo.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. |GlobalGiants.com|
May 22, 2007
U.S. Gas Prices Hit Record High for 10th Day in a Row - $3.20/Gallon : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: A gas pump handle is seen at an Exxon gas station in Portland, Oregon April 26, 2007. Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday its first-quarter earnings rose over 10 percent as higher profits from its refining and chemical units outweighed lower oil and gas prices. REUTERS/Richard Clement |GlobalGiants.com|