Grannie Green Revivial

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Prius 250 vs Insight 2010

成報副刊今天有篇文章很有趣:

油電混合其實已問世超過100年, 早在19世紀末,Ferdinand Porsche已發表了有關汽油引擎與發電機相互結合推動汽車的可能, 可是由於當時「環保」這個概念還未成熟, 所以混燃汽車的技術研究和發展一直被業界忽視。混合動力的技術最早應用在潛艇上, 在水上時用柴油發動機推進及為電池充電, 在水下則由電池推動。直至到上個世紀末90年代才被汽車業列為重點研究發展項目, 繼而大量生產。現在油電混合汽車的著名系列有豐田的Prius及本田的Insight, 而屬於豐田的另一高檔品牌凌志也有不俗的成績。豐田於97年推出第1代Prius, 本田跟隨其尾後, 於99年推出第1代Insight, 可是銷量遠遠不及豐田, 主要原因是第1代Insight欠缺實用性, 擠迫的兩座位車廂並不切合市場實際需求。

捲土重來︰Insight 2010

經過10年的周詳部署後, 本田汽車於今年2月5日發布了混燃版新型Insight2010(第2代Insight), 這款兼具省油和良好機動性能優點的5門5座揭背車, 是屬於第2代的混燃車, 由內燃機直接提供動力, 推動車輪, 電動機只作為車輛起動時的輔助;比起第1代混燃車(內燃機只用來提供動力發電), 已經邁進了一大步。Insight 2010 造型設計由上代車款之三門揭背演化為五門揭背, 而且配用新一代IMA Hybrid系統,1.3公升i-VTEC引擎加上電動馬達, 合共馬力達98ps,0至96km/h加速約10.9秒, 以號稱”世界燃油效率最高的小型混燃車”捲土重來。

推陳革新︰Prius 250

就在Insight 2010推出的數月後, 豐田就以Prius 250反擊,Prius 250屬第三代混燃車, 採用電腦控制及使用差速器, 可以只用電動機、內燃機, 或二者結合推動車輪。Prius系和Insight系兩者不論在外形設計、環保、性能、定位各方面都幾乎相同, 所以多年來競爭得十分激烈。但由於Insight 2010的性能在混燃車中不算太突出, 雖然在IMA Hybrid系統輔助下, 能夠更好地提高燃油經濟性, 一百公里路程耗油只是4.8公升, 但與現役的豐田Prius的耗油量相若, 所以在市場上佔不到甚麼優勢, 較為樂觀的是Insight2010的售價比Prius 250便宜得多, 或者在金融海潚下, 會得到更多駕駛者追捧。

Honda Insight II規格:

尺碼:4,396mm x 1,695mm x 1,425mm

引擎:1.3-liter L4 SOHC 16V+i-VTEC

最大馬力:102hp/6000rpm(混燃出力)

峰值扭力:20.35kgm/4500rpm(混燃出力)

波箱:CVT無級變速波箱

驅動:前置引擎,前輪驅動

售價:160,000(估計)

另外,三菱 iMiEV 也有新消息:

轉載自《車王雜誌》

早前政府引入3部三菱iMiEV電動車在港測試的報道一出,很多市民都表示對這部電動車非常有興趣,可惜當時仍在測試階段,未有公開發售。

6月5日三菱總裁西岡喬宣布,iMiEV正式公開發售給普通市民(按:暫只限於日本),今年7月開始接受預訂,明年4月交車。iMiEV在日本原價要459萬日圓,扣除政府的免稅優惠後,實際價格320.9萬日圓,仍然比本田Insight貴,車廠希望未來產量增加、成本減低後,可把價格下調至200萬日圓,讓更多人可以負擔得起。

電動車在日本並非新鮮事物,iMiEV最大突破是可以用一般家用插頭充電,用100V AC家用插頭充電的話,要14小時才充滿,200V AC 插頭要7小時,200V 三相電快充,30分鐘便可充滿80﹪,滿電後足夠行走160公里,車上的永磁同步馬達可產生64PS 馬力及18.4 kgm 扭力。

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June 28, 2009 Posted by | Environment | | Leave a comment

Summer Solstice Noodle

熄燈.減碳.祭地.夏至麵

早前,地記又再搞夏至熄燈活動,相比先前幾次的熄燈活動,如2006年的888三分鐘熄燈,甚至去年的夏至熄燈活動,今年是進步了很多。超碼,關燈的時間長達兩小時,不似最初的三分鐘熱度 。另外,活動背後的意義,也賦與了反省文明消耗和保育星空等實質議題,而不是如最初那樣,只求就手,盲目追逐求綽頭和方便傳媒起題玩針對,攻擊只有象徵意義而實際影響微不足道的煙火匯演。

還可以更好。

目前的做法,基本上是抄襲台灣的同類活動,而且是照單全收的抄。台灣的活動則師承日本的夏至燭光節。

其實,主辦者又是否知道,夏至在中國傳統裏,地位雖不如冬至那麼高,但也有一定的節慶和習俗呢?

清代之前,夏至日是全國假期。據民俗專家考據,文武百官在夏至日回家與親人團聚暢飲,以避夏日酷暑,名日歇夏。宋朝《文昌雜錄》記載:夏至之日始,百官於假三天。

夏至又稱夏節,自周代時起,已舉行官方祭神祭地儀式,《周禮.春宮》記載:「以夏日至,致地方物魈。」《史記.封禪書》亦有寫道:「夏至日,祭地,皆用樂舞。」

民間呢?就有吃麵的習俗,所謂「吃過夏至麵,一天短一線。」時至今日,中國民間仍有保存夏至日,吃麵條、餛飩、粽子等習俗,故有「冬至餛飩夏至麵」的講法。由於夏至時,新收穫的小麥已經上市,因此夏至食麵也有「嘗新麥」的意思。南方地區,吃的麵主要是陽春麵、菜熬麵、麻油涼泮麵。另外,也有地方的飲食風俗是喝涼茶、吃涼粉、吃涼皮、吃荔枝、吃茶葉蛋。

至於節俗活動方面,涼亭賞夏是人們盛夏中進行的一項防暑活動。雨傘、扇子、涼帽、涼蓆等用品也常被使用。古代亦流行使用竹枕,稱為竹夫人,又名百花娘子、竹姬、青奴等。除此之外,游泳、戲水、叉魚、釣鱉、補蛙、夏獵、養金魚等也是夏至常見的活動。

由此可見,夏至的活動還可以有飲食的一面、風俗儀式的一面,未有盡情發揮。這是麵店老闆的好消息,下年記得搞一個夏至麵食熄燈燭光餐,又可以令心慕環保的 bourgeoisie 乖乖打開荷包。

夏至觀星,則恐怕不是最佳的時機。香港夏天雲多雨多,不是觀星好時機。若要觀星,不如搞一個秋天版。立冬(11月7日,星期六)是個好日子。

參考:

何志平 (陳雲?)論〈夏至

June 27, 2009 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

Hybrid Taxi

紐約黃的士將會在2012年轉為油電混燃車

紐約市長彭博兩年前宣布,會在2012年將所有13000部紐約的士轉為油電混燃車。(參考:New York cabs to go hybrid by 2012)

去年,中東杜拜亦計劃在2012年將全市的士更換成油電混燃車,通用汽車預計需供應5000-6000輛。(參考:Dubai public transport to be all hybrid by 2012)

當然,談及混燃的士,少不了日本。

pictured by shinnygogo

pictured by shinnygogo

我有興趣知道的是,究竟在香港的道路環境和香港的士大佬的行車習慣,石油氣的士環保些,還是混燃車環保些呢?

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Environment | | Leave a comment

Renewable Energy

By Angela Tam

The burning of fossil fuels, rearing of livestock and other human activities have resulted in a climate change crisis. At the same time, we have a related health crisis: excessive consumption of meat and junk food and a sedentary lifestyle with too much travelling by car have led to rising obesity rates in the developed world, which will prove costly in health care terms as more and more people require treatment for diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer and other conditions.

Now, could there be a solution to both problems, or is it just wishful thinking? Consider this: suppose a teenager who wants to play computer games has to sweat for an hour on a stationary bike first to produce enough electricity to power the computer and games console. He will become fitter and perhaps less addicted to computer games; what’s more, he will have produced power from renewable energy.

This may sound like a fancy scenario, but it isn’t. In Portland, Oregon, the US, there is a fitness centre called simply the Green Gym, where all the electricity is derived from a combination of solar and human power. Two years ago California Fitness became the local pioneer when it launched the “Powered by You” concept at its Central branch, where cycling machines, steppers and cross-trainers were hooked up to batteries that store the electrical energy converted from the heat generated by users.

According to Steve Clinefelter, president of California Fitness at the time the initiative was launched in 2007, a person exercising at a moderate pace can generate about 50 W of electricity per hour on a machine. He estimated that someone who ran on a treadmill for one hour everyday could generate 18.2 KW of electricity and prevent 4.38 cu m of carbon dioxide (CO2) from entering the atmosphere per year.

Imagine the carbon emission reduction we would achieve if every household had an exercise machine installed to power entertainment devices such as the television and games consoles. With parents and children taking turns on the machine and all light fittings replaced with LED options, we could conceivably become much healthier and greener at the same time.

Of course, what with the need for air-conditioning and electricity to power appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators, human power alone is not likely to be sufficient to meet all our electricity needs, however useful it may be in training us to become fitter.

Alternatives

This is where other forms of renewable energy comes in. Solar power, wind turbines, geothermal energy, hydroelectric power … there is a large number of alternatives to fossil fuels in today’s world, depending on one’s location. Even Hong Kong, which may not at first glance appear a prime candidate for geothermal energy, has managed to tap this greener way of cooling a building – at the Wetland Park Visitor’s Centre, where 450 pipes of 32 mm diameter were drilled to a depth of 50 m for heat exchange. Although the system’s capital cost was considerably higher than a typical system using air-cooled or water-cooled chillers, its operating cost is lower because it is more energy-efficient.

In a study carried out by the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), it was determined that, given “current technological trends and applications, and taking into account Hong Kong’s local characteristics,” the main kinds of renewable energy suitable for local application are solar power, wind power and energy from waste. Other forms of renewable energy, namely, biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydro power and tidal and wave power are considered to have limited potential for development in Hong Kong.

Industry opinion differs, however. Solar power, for example, is not likely to provide more than a token portion of renewable energy in Hong Kong. The reason, according to Widex Technology Development Ltd project manager Mike Mai, is the fact that this is such a densely built city, which means limited roof space for photovoltaic (PV) installations relative to the number of households to be supplied.

There is no shortage of sunlight in Hong Kong, to be sure, but only a few low-rise, townhouse-type developments offer the possibility of solar power on any practical scale. PV modules can be installed on the facades of high-rise commercial or residential buildings, but since the efficiency of the PV cells can drop dramatically if they are not installed at an optimum angle to absorb solar radiation, the amount of electricity generated by those installed on vertical facades will be small. As a consequence, the payback period will be long and unattractive.

Solar water heaters are more feasible, according to Mr Mai, both because the payback period – about five years compared to ten for PV panels – is shorter and because of their high efficiency. They are also cost-effective to maintain. However, existing legislation has proved to be an obstacle to their wider adoption as building owners are concerned that they will be considered illegal structures under existing regulations.

Given the limited availability of remote sites with the right wind potential, Hong Kong does not appear to be suitable for much more than token amounts of wind power either. However, that is only the case if we think in terms of large, conventional wind turbines.

Mini-wind turbines capable of generating electricity at low wind speeds are much more suitable for the city and, in fact, are already growing in popularity since the renewable energy company Motorwave Ltd announcd the development of its first generation of mini-wind turbines in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in March 2007.

Measuring just 26 cm in diameter, the first generation of mini-wind turbines can be arranged into arrays of varying sizes to generate power where even conventional small wind turbines cannot. It is estimated that they can operate 80% of the time, at locations where the latter would work 20-40% of the time. According to Motorwave president Lucien Gambarota, they can generate electricity at a wind speed as low as 2m/sec. With one mini-wind turbine capable of generating 1 W of electricity at wind speed of 5 m/sec, 100 million of them will yield 100 MW of electricity. That may seem a large number, but given their size, large panels of them may be put up anywhere.

Already, from an experimental installation at the Hong Kong Sea School two years ago, the company has gone on to install 10,000 mini-wind turbines across Hong Kong. Some architects are also beginning to incorporate them into designs for new buildings. Since they come in a variety of colours, desingers are even playing with them, to spell out words or simply for aesthetic effect.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Incentives

To date, the adoption of renewable energy has been largely limited to trial installations by the two power companies, PV arrays on government buildings and mini-wind turbines on site offices and schools. What is the likelihood of Hong kong being able to exceed its conservative target of 1% of electricity from renewable sources by 2012, 2% by 2017 and 3% by 2022. (with 1999 as the base year)? By contrast, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, pledged at the World Future Energy Summit in January that the oil-producing state would derive 7% of its power from green energy sources by 2020.

Given the right incentives, like the subsidy being offered to building owners to conduct energy audits and implement energy efficiency projects, there is no reason why users cannot be persuaded to go green with their energy use.

“In Europe many countries subsidise people for using solar energy at four times what they would have to pay for conventional electricity and there are banks offering special financing to cover the initial cost of installation,” Mr Mai said. “Some elderly people install them as an investment because, say the panels last 25 years and the payback period is five years, then after the first five years they’ll be earning a kind of interest because the government is paying them for using renewable energy and they don’t have to pay the electricity company anything.”

“There are even people who don’t have their own roof, who’d rent somebody else’s roof so they can benefit from the subsidy, and there are agents who specialise in this kind of roof leasing. There are lots of side businesses that make for a green economy.”

Adapt the idea to local conditions, and we could be looking at a much cleaner, more climate-friendly Hong Kong.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | energy | Leave a comment

Subaru EV

Some photos on Subaru EV:



For video, please click here

H饻 “100V” axιqRqAiΨYĬAֳtRqhΨĬC

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Environment | | Leave a comment