Green Purr

Weekly Finds 3


This week’s finds:

  • Electric cars of the future will probably be powered by your home supply overnight through a plug point in your garage. Nissan’s new Leaf will be able to do the converse! If the power is down on your local grid, you could reverse the flow and have some dinner and a warm shower before dream time.
  •  Thermal power electricity generation instead of sunlight?  MIT researcher have developed sun-free photovoltaics.
  • We all know how awesome and ridiculously profitable Google is.  I like them a little more knowing they are investing some of their millions in Green projects.  A project projected for completion in 2013, located in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, costing them US$168 million will be the world’s largest solar power plant.   Google, together with NASA , is sponsoring the Green Flight Challenge for the design of quiet, practical and energy efficient aircraft, offering a prize of $1.65 million.  The next spy plane?
  • This article is amazing!  Most amazing is how the windows of world could become massive solar energy harvesters if transparent solar cells are included in window glazing.  It mentions 4 other new tech developments that could change how solar energy is harvested.
  • Does water flow on Mars?


Happy readying!



  1. Unfortunately the Nissan Leaf is not a practical car. And here’s why:

    – You only get 100 miles on a charge. Now, I hear the hippies shouting, “but yeah, that’s great for a person who just wants to drive locally”. Okay fine, but every now and then we do drive for a longer stretch and;

    – You cannot charge it every day. Yup, that’s true. Electric cars (just like every chargeable item in you house) degenerates if you charge it after using a portion of the battery. So you basically have to drive it flat.

    – if you charge the car after not exhausting the battery you will bring the life of the battery down from 10yrs to 3-5yrs. Replacement costs for the battery? Approximately R100 000. I kid you not.

    – There are almost no charging stations in the cities of the first world countries. So if you get caught away from home, and you will… You are going to get stuck.

    – Electricity is mostly generated using fossil fuels. At the end of the day you are using
    the same product.

    There is good news though. Hydrogen type cars are the future. They are more user friendly. The fuel stations just have to pump hydrogen instead of fuel, which means an easier shift than installing plug in points. The by-product is water vapor. And there is absolutely no reliance on fossil fuels.
    Hybrid cars have already changed the way we are using our vehicles and the Prius is no longer the most efficient. The new luxury cars are driving the future of hybrids and it is truly exiting to watch the evolution happen. These are interesting times.

    • Many folks only use their cars to drive to work and back. Agreed, long distances aren’t possible at the moment in electric cars. Being positive here, battery prices have got to come down eventually! Just like the base cost for the cars will too. I think hybrids would be great for the “emergency” km’s needed to get to a recharging station. Hopefully electricity on the grid will be from renewable sources (super optimistic I know!) in the future, so re-charging your car from plug points will be a greener excersize too.

      Will be checking out hydrogen cars info.

  2. Bring back the horse and cart!

  3. Hydrogen cars do indeed sound more promising to me too – but afaik there are big hurdles to overcome, not least of which is the actual production of hydrogen which is rather inefficient and expensive.

    The current electric cars like the Leaf aren’t very practical …yet, but hey, gotta start somewhere! They can only improve. I’m sure the first petrol cars were pretty terrible too 😉

  4. Pingback: Weekly finds – May 2016 |

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