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Posts Tagged ‘university’

Plug-in Hybrid Retrofit Kits for Any Car: Research project

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on July 27th, 2012

Source: The Age

Photos by Andy Heidt for MTSU

From “Do-it-yourself hybrid” by Barry Park:

A cheap bolt-on kit will one day be able to turn most ordinary cars into fuel-sipping plug-in hybrids, US researchers say.

Engineering technology students at the Middle Tennessee State University have fitted a 20-year-old Honda Accord wagon with a retrofit plug-in hybrid system that powers the front wheels using the conventional petrol engine, and a pair of electric hub motors hidden inside the rear wheels.

Users are then able to plug the hybrid car into an ordinary power point to charge up a set of lithium-ion batteries mounted in the wagon’s load space.

The batteries in turn feed electricity into the hub motors to provide low-speed power that is able to help the conventional petrol engine accelerate – the most fuel-hungry part of driving.

The bolt-on kit was developed in recognition of the fact that many drivers in the US only travelled about 70 kilometres a day at speeds below about 70km/h.


Read the full article by Barry Park on the Age or read more about the project on Middle Tennessee State University’s website.

Drinking Water: New service models in Melbourne

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 13th, 2011

Photo by Harry Troedel

Article by Kate Archdeacon:

Last week the Southbank Campus of the Victorian College of the Arts stopped selling bottled water through its vending machines, bars and cafés, with the support of staff, students, commercial tenants and Sharyn Lowe from Do Something! Water is now available through public water fountains (Aquabubblers) across the campus, as well as in the ReSauce café on site.  Harry Troedel, Sustainability Manager, Implementation, at the University of Melbourne, explained that including the café tenants in discussions about the move away from bottled water allowed them to make decisions about the services they could offer instead.  As a result, ReSauce now owns and operates a Freshie water vending machine.  Patrons can refill their bottles from the machine, with prices varying depending on what type of water they buy.  The choices range from chilled, filtered, sparkling, and flavoured water, with prices coming out at considerably less than a single-use bottle.  The water from the Aquabubblers is the same quality and temperature as tap water, so the café has an opportunity to provide a point of difference.

As part of the initiative launch, Vestal Water gave away some of their stainless steel water bottles.  Vestal Water are developing new services around water supply – they have a V.I.P. card which allows the bearer to refill their water bottle for free at participating outlets (cafes, service stations etc) on purchase of a hot drink, and they are developing a refill station map to support this promotion.  Mr. Troedel says that Hairy Little Sista, the bar at Council House 2 (CH2) has replaced their bottled water with a Vestal Water system.

Shifting water consumption away from throwaway packaging while still providing quality products has been proposed as a great product-service-system in many student designs we’ve seen at VEIL.  It’s great to see some real-world examples emerging in Melbourne.

Office for Environmental Programs – The University of Melbourne

Posted in Seeking by Devin Maeztri on December 19th, 2008

The University of Melbourne offers the M Env (Master of Environment) and Postgrad Diploma in Environment. Students generally take two core courses as part of the Masters, and the rest of their degree is made up of taught options and possibly a research projects from across the university. ‘Streams offering specialisation are also available – there are ten of these at present. For environmentally qualified applicants (those with 2 years research experience or relevant degrees), 100pts (One year full time masters study) is possible. For those making a career change to environmental areas but lacking expertise, a two year (200pt) course is available. Over 200 students are currently registered and the degrees are coordinated by the Office for Environmental programs. See Office for Environmental Programs for all the details.