News / Eccentric Energy: The drive towards a better environment

Eccentric Energy: The drive towards a better environment

5th March 2019

For March 2019's Eccentric Energy blog, we’re looking at the relationship between vehicles (or their manufacturers) and the environment - from Nottingham to Barcelona and Istanbul.

Read more below:

Nottingham EVs not for turning

As part of a European Union-backed vehicle-to-grid project, Nottingham City Council (NCC) has invested in a new infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EVs) that includes chargers and battery storage. Its “Go Ultra Low Nottingham” project aims to make the city ‘an exemplar for low emission vehicles’.

To support the take-up of EVs, the city’s installing more than 200 bi-directional charging points. These make it possible to both (re)charge a vehicle and release the power stored within the EV to the charger. NCC is also converting its pool car, light vans, bin lorries and street sweepers into Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) – which can be electric-only vehicles or hybrid cars. What’s more, the Council is now allowing individuals with their own ULEV to access one of its bus lanes.

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The rain in Spain…

Car manufacturer SEAT has reduced air pollution by 40% at its Martorell plant in Barcelona, where titanium dioxide-covered cement paving slabs clean themselves in the rain.

Simultaneously exposing the photocatalytic slabs to pollutants, light and oxygen triggers a chemical reaction that converts the air’s damaging nitrous oxides (NOx) into nitrates that dissolve with water.

The automotive-maker states that the first phase of the project covering 4,000m² square metres has cut pollution by two-fifths. The next stage - paving an extra 26,000m² of walkways - could lead to an annual NOx reduction of 5.2 tonnes.

SEAT is also investigating the use of a paint with the same decontamination properties, which it may apply to the 147,000m² of exterior walls on the plant’s workshops.

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Turkish delighted with roadside turbine

Istanbul-based technology company Devecitech is in the “developmental phase” of building a smart-enabled, vertical-axis wind turbine - with a solar panel on top - for roadside use.

Called ENLIL, after the ancient Mesopotamian god of the wind and air, the turbine is under trial alongside busy roads. The wind generated by passing vehicles (and normal air-flows) powers the device, while its other smart technology measures temperature, humidity and CO2 emissions and transmits the data.

The device’s solar panel generates extra electricity to supplement what the turbine produces - in total, about 1 kilowatt of electricity per hour. This is enough to service the daily needs of one or two average households, although further research and development could lead to a more scalable solution.

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