Finalists to plug energy gap

Two teams from the University of Birmingham have been selected for the final of the national npower energy challenge to produce a solution to the impending energy gap crisis.

In the final the two teams will have an eight-minute pitch to convince the board of directors of the power company that theirs is the most viable solution to bridge the gap between rising demand for energy and dwindling supply, with the exhaustion of UK oil and gas reserves and closure of nuclear plants.

The final takes place on March 17.

For more see the University of Birmingham.


See-saw invention offers African power solution

A see-saw invention which could help provide electricity to schools in Africa has won a business award for innovation.

The device, the idea of Coventry University student Daniel Sheridan, won three prizes including most innovative product at the Enterprise Festival at the university.

The simple see-saw generates electricity to help power up a school when played on by children.

For more information see Coventry University.


Cleaning up motorsport

Hours spend testing and racing cars around a track means that motorsport probably doesn’t have the greatest carbon footprint. 

But two Coventry University students are trying to change all that. They’re developing a club level racing car that runs on bioethanol, which could cut environmentally harmful emissions for the sport by half.

The bioethanol racing car

Seminar on fuel efficient engine

A seminar to demonstrate the development of a new fuel efficient gasoline engine is set to take place at Coventry University on Friday February 15.

Experts from across the world of engineering are expected to attend the seminar to see the results of an experimental project to develop the MUSIC (Merritt Unthrottled Spark Ignition Combustion) engine.  

The recently patented engine was invented and developed by Dr. Dan Merritt whilst working at Coventry University.

It promises to match, or even improve on the fuel efficiency of the diesel engine at part load, thus removing the fuel economy gap between diesel and gasoline engines when driven in urban environments.

Dr. Merritt said: “The fuel economy gap between the two types of engine has not been bridged since the nineteenth century. It results from completely different ignition and combustion systems each requiring its own type of fuel.

“Until now diesel engines have given far superior fuel efficiency at part load when compared with gasoline engines but gasoline engines delivered more power for a given size.  The MUSIC gasoline engine has now demonstrated part load efficiencies as good as the diesel engine but at a lower cost.”

For more see Coventry University

Powering your life with hydrogen

Up to now you’d be more likely to find hydrogen powering the space shuttle rather than being the fuel for your commute to work.

But hydrogen is much cleaner than fossil fuels because it produces no carbon dioxide.

So how could hydrogen become the accepted alternative fuel to power cars, our homes and the economy?

Researchers at the University of Birmingham are looking at how to store hydrogen so it can become a more common form of fuel.

Hydrogen powered car