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Posts Tagged ‘USA’

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.

Towards a just and sustainable post carbon economy: Public forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 17th, 2011

24 November , 2011
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Roy Neel is currently Chief of Staff for former US Vice President Al Gore, overseeing his climate change advocacy programs, national and international political relationships and liaison with his clean energy business interests. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches courses in the U. S. Presidency, White House operations, and Presidential Campaigns, and White House Transitions. In this free public lecture Roy Neel will draw on his experience of climate change and sustainability politics in the United States to reflect on the key road blocks standing in the way of effective action and on the importance of creative and courageous leadership in driving a rapid transition to a just and prosperous post carbon economy.

Free, but please REGISTER:

6.30-8.00pm, Thursday, 24 November 2011
Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, Swanston St, University of Melbourne, Parkville

Enquiries: Taegen Edwards,

Detroit’s Urban Roots: The Big Picture at Ross House

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 7th, 2011

8 November , 2011
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Photo credit: Urban Roots Film

Urban Roots:

The industrial powerhouse of a lost American era has died, and the skeleton left behind is present-day Detroit. But now, against all odds in the empty lots, in the old factory yards, and in-between the sad, sagging blocks of company housing, seeds of change are taking root. A small group of dedicated citizens, allied with environmental and academic groups, have started an urban environmental movement with the potential to transform not just a city after its collapse, but also a country after the end of its industrial age. >>More about Urban Roots

The Big Picture:

On the first Tuesday of every month (except public holidays), Ross House presents The Big Picture – films for environmental and social justice. Entry is by donation, the proceeds of which go towards environmental action. Sometimes this means that it goes to the group hosting the event, or it goes to greening Ross House. Mulled wine and popcorn are always available (also by donation), and usually we have a group chat about the issue being watched. It’s a lot of freaking fun. >>More about The Big Picture

Next screening, URBAN ROOTS, on Tuesday 8 November 2011 at 6pm at Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Urban Farmers: “Homegrown” Film Screening

Posted in Events, Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 13th, 2011

20 July , 2011
12:30 amto9:30 pm

Life Changing Docos and the Transition Decade Alliance proudly present HOMEGROWN, hosted by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute

Join us for the last public screening of HOMEGROWN… it follows the Dervaes family who run a small organic farm in the heart of urban Pasadena, California. While “living off the grid”, they harvest over 6,000 pounds (2.7 Metric Tons) of produce on a fifth of an acre (800 square metres), make their own bio diesel, power their computers with the help of solar panels, and maintain a website that gets 4,000 hits a day. The film is an intimate human portrait of what it’s like to live like “Little House on the Prairie” in the 21st Century. After the screening the on-stage panel of experts will discuss the issues and solutions raised by the film, and field questions from the audience. Come along and meet the people that are an integral part of positive and sustainable solutions.

Wednesday, July 20 · 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Melbourne Law Building Theatrette
University of Melbourne

>>Facebook event page

>>Bookings page (tickets are $20 on-line or $25 on the night)

>>Transition Decade page

>>Life-Changing Docos page


Improving Urban Streams Through a Stormwater Retrofit Approach: Forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 23rd, 2011

29 June , 2011
9:30 amto1:00 pm

Image: Gardens, Lawns, and Landscapes via flickr CC

Clearwater in partnership with the University of Melbourne, Monash University and Melbourne Water invite you to a unique event where you will hear insights into the contrasting approaches of two innovative catchment-scale stormwater retrofit programs:

Both projects aim to improve the condition of receiving waters using novel incentives to engage the community. These incentives encourage the uptake of allotment and streetscape scale stormwater retention and treatment systems.

Key speakers include:

  • Chris Walsh – Principle Research Fellow, University of Melbourne
  • Tim Fletcher – Associate Professor Water Engineering, Monash University
  • Bill Shuster – Research Hydrologist, US Environmental Protection Authority
  • Darren Bos – Project Coordinator, Little Stringybark Creek project
  • Helen Brown – UK Endeavour Award Fellow, University of Melbourne

Presentations throughout the day will be supported with facilitated discussion and the opportunity to meet and chat with three stormwater experts from the US EPA, over an informal lunch setting.  The forum is ideal for water industry practitioners, environment staff, urban designers, town planners, engineers and contract staff.  This forum will provide practical insights on: effective engagement of the community in stormwater management economic incentives for encouraging stormwater management at allotment scale design, construction and performance of streetscape and allotment-scale stormwater retention, harvesting and treatment systems the future of stormwater management objectives in Australia.

Price: $60 – includes arrival tea & coffee, morning tea and lunch

9:30 – 13:00, Wednesday 29th June

Visit the Clearwater website for more information and to register.

Conflicts Between Climate, Energy and Water Policies: Lessons from Texas

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 1st, 2011

2 June , 2011
5:30 pmto7:00 pm
FREE PUBLIC LECTURE Melbourne Energy Institute
Conflicts between climate, energy and water policies: lessons from Texas

Speaker: Associate Professor Michael Webber

Prof. Webber will introduce the climate, energy and water nexus with particular reference to the situation in Texas, a jurisdiction of similar dimensions to Australia and with similar climate, energy and water challenges. He will outline the limits to new fossil, nuclear and renewable energy generation due to water scarcity, and the energy demand implications of supplementing water supplies. He will outline examples of potential knowledge, technological and regulatory solutions to the climate, energy and water nexus from Texas and the United States more broadly, and give his thoughts on priority policy measures.

Thursday 2nd June 5.30—7.00 pm

Graduate House, The University of Melbourne 220 Leicester Street, Carlton, Vic 3053

Click through to register your attendance