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Sunday, August 7, 2011

From Mark Learn/Weekend Editon

Thanks, Mark, for two good articles.  Here are the links:  .html;

Ford F-150 Hybrid May Deliver 40 MPG

"A hydraulic hybrid powertrain similar to the one Chrysler is developing for its minivan with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Eaton Corp. may boost the highway fuel-economy of Ford's best-selling F-150 pickup by about 80 percent compared to the conventional gas-powered version. The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), along with Folsom Technologies, is developing a prototype powertrain for an F-150 that will deliver as much as 40 miles per gallon highway. The CCEFP is part of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center and includes seven universities and 55 industrial companies.

The CCEFP is following up similar efforts by Chrysler and the EPA, which announced last month that they would adapt hydraulic hybrid technology for the light-duty auto market with the goal of designing a Chrysler minivan as a demonstration vehicle by 2013 using EPA's own patented technology. A joint engineering team will design and integrate the Chrysler-EPA hydraulic hybrid system into a minivan and test the demonstration vehicle in 2012. The minivan will feature a unique powertrain that replaces the automatic transmission.  
The hydraulic hybrid system differs from conventional hybrids, which use batteries to store power and reduce the work done by the combustion engine,  by capturing and reusing the energy lost in braking through a hydraulic pressure vessel. The system can also turn off the engine when it is not needed and only fully use the engine when it can operate at peak efficiently."

LED lighting is finally reaching mainstream.  As the years have gone by, the prices have dropped and more appropriate bulbs for home use have started popping up.  Now that GE is releasing 60W, 75W and 100W replacement LED bulbs within the next 18 months, there's no more saying that LED bulbs aren't ready to replace incandescents yet.
The new bulbs follow GE's release of a 40W replacement bulb last year.  All models are dimmable and will have a lifespan of over 20 years based on three hours a day of use.  The 13W bulb (60W replacement) will be available this November, while the 18W (75W replacement) and 27W (100W replacement) bulbs will follow by the end of 2012.  The 60W bulb is the most popular incandescent bulb, so having an LED replacement ready for that brightness level is key to consumers making the switch.
All of the GE LED bulbs will come in a range of colors and shapes including bulbs suited for spot and flood lights, ceiling fans, candle and night lights and small and medium globes for lamps and other fixtures.

Thank you to Mark, Eco Geek and Edmund's Auto Observer for their stories.

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