Archives for March, 2012

Comments Off on Hoosiers Make a Strong Showing at Shell Eco-marathon 2012

  “We just keep at it, we don’t give up just because something doesn’t work,” said Collin Gruntman, 17, when asked why so many teams from Indiana compete in the Shell Eco-marathon every year in Houston, Texas. Gruntman, a junior at Goshen High School in Goshen, Indiana, explained that his team’s fortunes had started looking up…

Comments Off on Freakonomics Authors Make Controversial Case for Geoengineering

“Humans are absolutely terrible at making decisions,” Steven Levitt told the crowd of participants today at the Shell-sponsored Energy Summit 2012 in Houston, Texas. For two days, the Summit brought together leading business and academic thinkers from the fields of renewable and traditional energy, plus food and water policy. Proceedings were held in the farm-to-table…

Two years ago, we did not know what kind of challenge was ahead of us. The Alerion Supermileage team, from Université Laval in Québec City, Canada, already has pushed the boundaries on fuel efficiency, taking first place in Shell Eco-marathon Americas for three consecutive years. Last year, on our winning run in Houston, we achieved…

Comments Off on EPA Makes Historic Announcement: First Greenhouse Gas Rule for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-awaited greenhouse gas rules for new power plants this week. Using the Clean Air Act, the agency standard would set the first national limits on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions new power plants can emit. The EPA proposed the rule after delaying it several times since July 2011. Power plants are the largest…

We survived finals week at UC Santa Barbara and instead of kicking back for Spring Break, we hit the road to Houston, Texas, for the 2012 Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition. Our car “Eleanor” is looking sharp. The paint job on the aerodynamic fairing was finished in time to exhibit at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics…

Plans for a controversial wind farm on Chiloé Island in southern Chile ran aground last Friday when Chile’s Supreme Court halted the project. Many scientists and environmental groups had expressed concern that the Chilean-Swedish-owned Ecopower’s plan to construct 56 wind turbines on Mar Brava beach at Chiloé could threaten one of the most important habitats in the…

In the early 1990s, Steve Nygren was a successful Atlanta restaurateur who was caught up in “life’s treadmill,” as he puts it, when he and his wife purchased a 60-acre farm in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga. When Nygren noticed that his young children were more excited to leave their fancy city house with a pool in order…

Comments Off on Purdue: Nearly Street-Legal, Powered By Sun

For the past 20 years, Purdue Solar Racing (PSR) has been designing and building a variety of solar powered vehicles. While these cars have all varied greatly in their designs and manufacturing processes,  Shell Eco-marathon’s urban concept category motivated PSR to enter into a completely unexplored realm with its eighth car, Celeritas. Urban concept vehicles…

Which is more important: making solar panels cheap or making them here? In the end, this may not be an either-or question, but it’s the one that’s raised by the Commerce Department’s decision last week to impose a small import duty on Chinese-made solar panels. Some U.S. solar companies argue that China illegally subsidizes its…

Comments Off on Reaching a Big Landmark Before Competition

These past few days have been quite a whirlwind of progress and setbacks for our team. Despite the setbacks, our team kept pushing forward and found ways of overcoming our obstacles. Early morning of Thursday, March 22nd, our team laid carbon fiber to set in the windshield into the cutout of HotRod’s hatch. When checking…