July 11, 2012

The Netherlands grows itself a bit further

Filed under: Architecture,History by Branko Collin @ 10:53 am

Tweede Maasvlakte indicated with a dotted line. The white blotches to the North-East are caused by sunlight reflecting off the greenhouses of the Westland area.

Today Queen Beatrix will officially close the last bit of an 11 kilometre dam that encloses an area of the North Sea that should become new land this year.

The Tweede Maasvlakte will be a 2,000 hectares large area atttached to the first Maasvlakte (‘tweede’ means ‘second’) outside Rotterdam that will be used as part of the port. The Betuwelijn railroad will be extended into it. It will mainly be used as a container harbour.

The new land will grow the area of the harbour by 20%. The dam surrounding Tweede Maasvlakte will contain 20,000 blocks of stone. RTV Rijnmond calls it an ‘ultra-Dutch project’, as it involves ‘building land to trade upon’.

To my knowledge there are no plans yet to extend this thing all the way to England, though people have been talking about moving our national airport to the sea.

(Image: NASA + 24 Oranges)

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June 22, 2012

Kite Power demo by former astronaut Wubbo Ockels

Filed under: Science,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 11:34 am

Back in 2008 a concert raised money to develop the laddermill, a sustainable invention by former astronaut Wubbo Ockels (shown here), and today Ockel’s Kite Power research group from the Delft University of Technology will be showcasing a wind energy system using kites at the Maasvlakte 2 shore in South Holland.

The Kite Power Team explains that Kite Power is a type of wind energy where a radiographically controlled kite generates electricity. A single cable attached to the kite is pulled and released from the base station every two minutes, spinning a drum that in turn powers a generator. Pulling the kite takes energy, but less than it is generated. The kite can fly up to 900 metres and be used to generate electricity fully automatically, which is its major asset.

(Link: home.tudelft.nl, Photo of Wubbo Ockels courtesy of Emmanuelle)

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