Archive for » September, 2009 «

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 | Author:

windmillblueskyyellowfieldIn Rockland and Orange Counties, New York, IDT Energy is one of two providers of electricity which is generated by wind and water to consumers who are served by Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc.

The good news is that this green solution is actually coming down in price, making this alternative source for electricity production more attractive to consumers.

It is a sign that renewable energy is becoming a viable alternative to traditional forms of electricity production as business in this sector increases, while the costs goe down.

This is the first time that the green power alternative was actually cheaper than power produced by coal, natural gas, nuclear power or hydro plants.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 | Author:

gas pump nozzleImproving fuel cell function would be a great boon to the goal of oil self sufficiency and independence from foreign sources of oil which is of great interest to IDT Energy.

Not only do fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen (air) as their source of energy but they use fuel much more efficiently.

For instance, standard gas-driven engines are only 22 percent efficient. In other words 22% of the fuel used actually goes to powering the engine. The 78% which is left is lost to heat.

Diesel engines are a tad better, coming in at 27% efficient.  Hybrid electric powered cars are getting better at about 30-35%. Fuel cells can be expected to be about 55 per cent efficient.

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Tuesday, September 08th, 2009 | Author:
Apollo Fuel Cell Rocket

Apollo Fuel Cell Rocket

Although fuel cells were first invented in 1839 and were used in the Gemini and Apollo missions of the NASA space program, we are still working on making fuel cells a realistic alternative to internal combustion engines.

A clear benefit of improving fuel cell function would be to reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign countries for its energy needs. Consumption far exceeds production: in the year 2007 the U.S. produced 5.1 million barrels of oil each day but used 20.7 million barrels per day.

Since the source of the electricity which fuel cells produce is hydrogen and oxygen, which are available in the air, It is easy to see how fuel cells could greatly increase the U.S. independence from foreign oil suppliers.

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Tuesday, September 01st, 2009 | Author:

In our continuing exploration of affordable, clean energy IDT Energy presents the fuel cell. fuel cells

This remarkable method of converting chemical energy into electricity are similar to batteries but with a difference. A battery uses chemicals that are internal to the battery, whereas fuel cells use chemicals that are external the cell.

At the Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are working on the development of fuel cells which use hydrogen and oxygen to get electricity and water. The source of the hydrogen and oxygen is air, and the waste product is more than biodegradable, since it is water.

The system which is being worked on now uses a membrane and catalysts usually made from platinum which turn air into electricity and water.

“Of course, environmentally we love fuel cells because hydrogen plus oxygen makes water,” says Rod Borup, program manager for the Laboratory’s fuel cell program in MPA-11, the Sensors and Electrochemical Devices Group.

The scientists at the lab are in the midst of improving the various components of the system. They are exploring different ways of reducing the cost of the catalyst, getting better materials for the membranes, and getting a better understanding of what lowers the efficiency of the fuel cells.

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