Monday, 14 April 2014

Preparing for the WAVE 2014

Gordon Foat of Green MotorSport is preparing for the WAVE 2014, the fourth drive across Europe for battery electric vehicles powered by renewable energy, from 31st May to 7th June. Green MotorSport successfully participated in all the WAVE events, driving across some of the most demanding territory in Europe. This year Team Green MotorSport will have two entries. Our support vehicle will be a conventional battery electric car, driven by our colleagues from EV Matters, Brian and Jean Orr.



As a ‘warm-up to WAVE 2014’, EV Matters has elected to share the WAVE principles with a UK audience by taking their WAVE-liveried battery electric vehicle on a whistle-stop tour, starting in London – up the east coast to Scotland - side excursions into and around the Scottish Highlands – before heading to the Western Isles – demonstrating the feasibility of Scotland, as an ecological sustainable destination for pure-battery EVs!

EV Matters will raise funds for ‘Help the Heroes’ aiming to contribute a pound for each mile covered. At the end of the Scottish phase, EV Matters has been invited to present their car on 25th April at the Green Fleet Motorshow in Edinburgh and to receive the endorsement of the Scottish Minister for Tourism and Veterans for both the EV Trial and the charitable fund-raising. By the time that EV Matters gets back to base, on 27th April 2014, they will have clocked 2,000 plus miles in just 2 weeks!

The other vehicle in WAVE’s Team Green MotorSport will be our lightweight utility vehicle powered by a revolutionary generation of liquid cooled electric motor, coupled with a super efficient liquid cooled vector control system. The technology is the outcome of Green MotorSport’s Cost Effective Motor Project, which aims to provide electric vehicles that people can afford to buy. WAVE 2014 will give us the opportunity to test and showcase this new technology in a challenging environment. Gordon Foat will drive this unique hand-built prototype, which we have developed with ZCars in the UK. The co-driver will once again be Leora Rosner of the Growing Air Foundation (GAF) which will use electric vehicles in their work planting forests around the world.



WAVE 2014 is attracting more publicity as the installation of the renewable electricity infrastructure spreads across Europe, encouraging more people to drive electric vehicles. Last year the WAVE teams, including Green MotorSport achieved the World Record for an electric vehicle parade, as announced in the Guinness Book of Records. We shall keep you informed of Brian and Jean’s trip around Scotland, as well as progress with the performance of our new electric vehicle.



Wednesday, 19 March 2014

GUINNESS book of records for Green MotorSport !

Last year the WAVE teams including Green MotorSport achieved the world record for an electric vehicle parade, with over 300 battery powered vehicles. The Guinness Book of Records has confirmed that our world record for the largest electric vehicle parade at the Zurich festival 2013 has been officially accepted. The new world record now stands at 305 vehicles, which made it back to the start/finish line.

GREEN MOTORSPORT on the Radio!

Heavy batteries, batteries that don’t last long, long charging periods – just some of the grumbles surrounding electric cars. But that’s changing. Just like mobile phone technology, electric car technology is improving and adapting to meet consumer needs. Including those who love motor racing. Gordon Foat of Green MotorSport Limited says not only do electric vehicles provide green and clean transport, electric cars are much more efficient at producing traction energy form a fuel than any other system. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Thorium : Safe alternative to our present nuclear reactors

The UK is reverting to using traditional nuclear power, but there are potential safety problems with conventional technology.  With all solid fuel high pressure nuclear technologies there is the danger of reactor meltdown under certain circumstances, and  there could be proliferation of nuclear weapons if plutonium becomes  more widely available. It will also be necessary to store hazardous waste for 10,000 years.    

There is however, a safe alternative to our present nuclear reactors.  If Thorium is used as the fuel, it is not fissile and therefore cannot sustain a nuclear reaction on its own.  Thorium is fertile which means that if it is bombarded by neutrons from a separate fissile material it is an excellent nuclear fuel able to use 99% of the available energy.  The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) developed by Flibe Energy  operates at atmospheric pressure and is not subject to meltdowns. This molten salt technology was first proven in operation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA in the 1960s. 
Hazardous waste 
The UK already has substantial quantities of dangerous waste, which would be increased if we build more traditional nuclear reactors. 250 tons of uranium are required to produce 1 gigawatt (GW) of electricity from a conventional nuclear power station and 35 tons of hazardous waste must be stored for 10,000 years. For comparison, the LFTR technology requires only one ton of Thorium to produce 1GW of electricity. Most by-products stabilize within  a decade and have commercial value; the minor remainder has a half-life of less than 30 years, stabilizing within hundreds rather than tens of thousands of years.      
A Thorium LFTR can help to reduce the problem with the large quantities of existing waste from conventional nuclear power stations, as this can be used as fuel by the Thorium reactor. There is however, a valuable by-product from nuclear power which would have to be sustained.  The LFTR would produce medical isotopes, thus safe-guarding the world’s supply of material for nuclear medicine. Why was this benign Thorium fuel not chosen in the first place?  
Cost competitive 
It will not cost more to build Thorium reactors as they are mass producible and much simpler than conventional nuclear reactors. Modular LFTR production offers reduced capital costs and shorter build times and installation near the point of use eliminates long transmission lines.  It is only the suppliers of current technology who may lose out when they have to face competition.  Engineers developing all types of low carbon technology find that there is a lot of resistance to change from established fuel suppliers and even government departments  tend to stick with established organisations, which may hold back competition.   

Recently ( Monday 4th November 2013) Gordon Foat of FutureEnergies met with Kirk Dorius and Kirk Sorensen at the House of Lords in London. Baroness Worthington chaired the meeting. Several members of the Weinberg Foundation were present as well as the UK Government and Energy specialists from the Department of Energy & Climate Change.  Flibe energy technology was explained. Thorium is a naturally occurring mildly radioactive element named after the Norse God of thunder, Thor.  
 
For more information on Flibe Energy technology and thorium see.  http://flibe-energy.com/ 

For more info on the Weinberg Foundation see  http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/ 


 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

WAVE 2013: Final Days

Deep within the darkness of the bunkers rooms alarm clocks sounded. Doors opened, people shuffled into showers, stripped beds, pulled on clothes, gathered suitcases and lumbered out the door into the daylight with paper bags of breakfast waiting for us in the shade of the trees of the square where our vehicles were parked for the night. Our trusty steeds were champing at the bits after a nocturnal feeding of electric oats fit for a king. When everyone, or at least those who stayed for the very end, were fed and watered we hit the road once again. There were three more "open doors" from which we needed to get our stamps for the final score. The unfortunate thing from the day before was not being able to find one place which eventually was found! So, getting today's stamps were an absolute necessity.
With success in our pockets or rather on the stamp page we headed for the ferry to Meilen and then for Küsnacht and the final festivities of the WAVE. Points, prizes and paraphernalia including ice cream to cool the broiling bodies, not to mention the boiling brains. In fact I need to speak for myself on this particular occasion since I could see them dripping every time I tilted my head. We all sat, talked, drank cool drinks and we were given the final information from Britta Muzyk about the book she would be writing using all of us "WAVERS" as characters in her spy novel. She basically needed to have releases signed from those of us who agreed to be included and so we were given our release forms to be signed pronto which was delayed because literally a moment later everyone, including those who are sun lovers, were called to see who would receive what prize and so all gathered in the shade for it was a scorcher.
The stage was set three long steps above the ground with Louis m.c.ing the proceedings according to precedent as he proceeded to announce the winners. As we all stood, with bated breathe, dripping sweat behind sunglasses as Louis began. The winners in order of appearance were Team Rafael de Mestre in 3rd place, Team Metron Institute and Team Austria’s Green Sportscar shared 2nd place and the 1st prize went to Team Phoenix Contact. Other prizes were given for best blog, most efficient vehicle and more! All in all, all were pleased for the winners, cheering, clapping and the inevitable waving of all the WAVE teams. Then the morphing began as teams began their good-byes with hugs, the shaking of hands, outright laughter, slaps on backs and the turning of the keys in silent cars, their only sounds as wheels turned was the soft crunch of the soil as the area emptied. We began our journey back, first to Salzburg then to Calais where a ferry would trundle us back to the U.K. and finally a flight to Amsterdam.

The next and final blog in this journey will soon appear.

I'm sitting here at home now after taking down an exhibition of images I took from my planted roof, tree'ed and wild balcony and from British Colombia. This particular blog seems to be hard to finish and I sit here with trepidation on just how to wind it down. This writer's suffering electric car withdrawal. Perhaps we need to wake up very early, step into the Peugeot iOn after a small fast breakfast and drive for a few hours in the silence, the passing landscapes and the laughter in a Texan drawl wondering why the sat-nav is begging for more with the earth celebrating the WAVE, GAF and the double edged sword against climate change. It is the awakening of a new dawn and the quickening of a new compassionate conscience rising over the horizon. Let us begin the celebration of a sustainable re-forested world and the enormous possibilities being offered. Let us get to it and change the world, now! May the force be with us!!!!

Monday, 8 July 2013

WAVE 2013 Final Day

Team 20 GMS/GAF Rally Wave Team crosses the finish line!
We won 3rd for most efficient car and first place for best design! Overall we came 7th out of over 40 electric Wave cars. Many thanks to all who delivered on the sponsorship!  
After a night of white noise, wide open windows and the shock of the alarm reminiscent of the alarm in the underwater level of tomb raider we arose out of deep sleep mode. Bug eyed we threw our stuff into the appropriate bags, headed downstairs for the breakfast that would come too late for us to appreciate and headed out the door for the climb back up to the ABB Company grounds where our preferred mode of transportation awaited us. Today would be the day we would break the Guinness Book of World Records, the most electric cars in one place including the parade of all the e-cars in Zurich as part of the Zürich Festival. The accumulation of all of these vehicles which included Segways, electric motorcycles was a sight for sore eyes, especially those of us who are sick and tired of the fossil fuel guzzling stinkorific vehicular terrorists. A few of them became rather upset that we were here, en masse, and they were not invited and so they tried to gate crash this Eco party by bursting through the ranks armed with bad tempers, frustration and fear that their holy god given wheels would soon end up in a heap of scrap ready to be recycled into something  much kinder to our wounded world and climate.


Arriving at our meeting point and destination was quite something. We were parked in rows of two. The man next to us in his small electric vehicle had set up a small table and chair armed with a thermos of hot coffee. It wasn't as if I was ogling that thermos of wake up juice but before I could say anything he offered me a cup of java. I accepted and he produced a small coffee cup, poured it full of that wonderful liquid and handed it to me. Drinking coffee along a shaded side-walk generously sprinkled with electric modes of transportation is truly delightful. You can smell and taste that cup of alternative black gold without the addition of the Texas black gold spewing cars choking you!

A stroll showed some fiercely hot cars, silent by design  with smooth lines, head lights that looked like eyes including tear ducts and begging to be driven with an unsurpassed gentle fury. Sound odd? Try it out, sit behind the wheel, hit the pedal to the metal and your gone, quick as you please leaving others in the dust leaving them with the proverbial question, "Who was that masked man?" It wasn't the Lone Ranger folks or Tonto! It was simply a double edged sword in an electric vehicle whispering down the road of ecological positivity coupled with the planting of trees in the rain forest.

After a stroll between the vehicles we boarded our Peugeot iON in her array of stickerly dress and the count began as we hit the starting gate. A grand total of 388 vehicles were counted and filmed to prove the case to Guinness! 


Our parade caused a traffic jam of google eyed spectators, hands a-waving like an ocean of plants in the gentle breeze. One by one we drove through the final gate ready to hit the tour of open doors which would take us through a variety of small towns, check points for getting the coveted stamp of approval which would increase the score at the end of the WAVE. With three more open doors reserved for the following day we reached the location for the evening meal and the accommodations for the night, Neuhausen Am Rheinfall. Not far from where we arrived was a spectacle to be marveled, the Rheinfall or Rhein waterfalls. Normally there would be 600 cubic liters falling per second, however due to heavy rain it was now double! I could sit here and describe what was witnessed but those words would do no justice to the utter power of the falls.
A few teams decided that  cheap hotels would be the better choice and the rest of us went for the bunkered bed fandango! Having chickened out of the last bunker, I thought, what the hey, let's give this puppy a chance and see what the deal is and why it's supposed to be too cool for school to sleep in a bunker. I can honestly tell you, dear reader, its not what it's cracked up to be but be that as it may we conked out for the night amidst the snores of revolution which were not to be compared with the silence of those lambs, our electric cars.

Friday, 5 July 2013

WAVE 2013 DAY 7

The days are beginning to run into one another and the numerous stops in small towns have become a set of frames in a film with a soundtrack that is not exactly running in a clear synchronicity with anything but itself. Salvador Dali would be proud with his watches dripping into warped time and space stretching and curling into a Möbius strip of backdropped music, people milling around and electric moments of presentations. It has been an exciting day!
I must say the most exciting part of the day was our visit to EMPA. There are many very innovative and fascinating things being done there. An acoustic curtain with numerous holes of varying lengths and sizes which put echoes to shame stopping them dead in their tracks. Can you imagine socks that are so incredibly smooth that friction no longer exists and therefore blisters stay right out of the neighborhood of your tootsies! They are already being used by the Swiss military who I suppose decided it would be a cheaper investment then the constant re supplying of band-aids. A this point this writer put a question forward to do with the socks in connection with the acoustic curtain....I'm going to keep this to myself, mwa ha ha ha simply because our guide through this wonderful tour liked the idea. And then there is a sheet to be used in hospitals to alleviate the problems of decubitus. In fact, the decubitus never even gets a chance with this particular material because it warns the nurse to turn the patient.
There is even something for violinists! Having a fungus among us in our violins is actually a good thing. Why? In the days of the Stradivarius it seems that a particular fungus attacked the  trees used to construct the Strads giving the violins their particularly rich sound. In the contemporary construction of violins one misses this richness of sound. EMPA has found a way to introduce the fungus to the wood and constructed a violin which was then compared to a Strad and the sound was the same!!!! How about that!!!! Fascinating!!!! From fungi and Strads we were shown the breakdown of a mobile phone right down to the nano particles explaining they had as yet no way to save those np's from going to waste simply because they could not be "caught." This writer came up with yet another question/idea and the young lady was then told by our guide she should be writing this down. No, I'm going to keep that under my belt as well;-) Our guide continued telling about bullet proof vests that would actually keep the wearer cool which in itself is pretty cool unless your the cop or maybe the perp who is caught because the cop is cooled! The last thing had to do with orthopedic implants and then we went downstairs, took a test and had something to drink and off we went to the following place. EMPA, you need to think about cross over between labs to find more novel solutions to problems. In other words cooperation between differing labs. Or just call me....
We arrived in Gossau where we would have lunch. The was something for the vegetarians like myself but unfortunately it was disappointing. However, a woman witnessed me kick a bollard in frustration and sheer hunger and walked over asking what the trouble was. Gordon and I explained and she took us on a whirlwind run to a small restaurant that had closed, brought us round the back, walked in and asked if they could throw a couple of salads to take away for us. The owner of the restaurant, after hearing the explanation from Helena, immediately did the deed where upon Helena led us back to the WAVE area and off we drove. Helena, you are our hero of the day and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!!!
Baden was our next and final stop of the day at the APP, the company that develops and builds the Chademo chargers for electric vehicles. The mayor spoke and he has a full plate what with the greening in all its facets of Baden. A brave and determined man and I wish him strength and determination in his endeavor to further green his city. It's been another long day and now we are in the youth hostel by the river listening to its flow of white noise in the night. An early morning will bring us to the Zurich Festival. Tomorrow will also bring that report.