This week at TreeHugger: We're still waiting for the elusive fuel cell-powered laptop, but at least we can make our own 1000-watt wind turbine. We delve further into energy with the latest episode of TreeHugger TV and a look at plug-in hybrids. Gamers, inquiring minds want to know: Do you leave your game console on standby? Lastly, we drool over the discovery of the chocololate-powered hydrogen fuel cell.
We've been waiting for a fuel cell-powered laptop for a long time. A really long time. While it seems that the technology is progressing and that the wait will soon be over, the latest news from Toshiba makes us think we'll be paying taxes again before we can buy one of these puppies. To date, it's taken about four years to get the pieces of the fuel cell puzzle together; according to Tomoaki Arimura of Toshiba's Methanol Fuel Cell Group, Toshiba is working towards commercialization next year. Here's to hoping we'll get our hands on one before TreeHugger is old and gray.
Does it blow where you live? If so, why not take advantage of the wind, have some fun with power tools and build yourself a whopping 1000 watt wind turbine? These guys did, and it looks pretty wild. If details like permanent magnet alternator, generating three-phase AC, rectified to DC, and fed to a charge controller do it for you, this is the project for you.
The latest episode of our video podcast, TreeHugger TV, checks out what it's like to get 100 miles to the gallon with a car that's for sale today. The team at Calcars are happily taking their modified plug-in Toyota Priuses (Prii?) on the road, showcasing what a wall plug, electric cord and a few mods can do to your gas mileage. Get plugged in to TH TV and cars that won't break the bank at the gas pump.
Gaming blog Joystiq recently asked their readers a seemingly simple question: "Do you leave your game console on standby?" The poll provoked quite a lively discussion with numerous comments; enough thoughtful ones made it up to inspire a follow-up post, which examined how manufacturers might make some simple energy-saving improvements to the consoles. Doing the right thing when it comes to standby might be the only way to save some cash on a PS3...
Lastly, here's a little good news for anyone who has a taste for technology and chocolate: they're together at last! Researchers at the UK's University of Birmingham fed Escherichia coli bacteria a feast of waste caramel and nougat from chocolate giant Cadbury Schweppes. Following their tasty snack, the bacteria burped out hydrogen gas, which was harnessed via a fuel cell to power an electric fan. No word on what the bacteria had for dessert.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.