Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards 2006


Lots of green technologies in this year's Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards. Among the winners are Richard Bourgeois and the General Electric Electrolyzer Team for creating a prototype electrolyzer that could cut down the price of making hydrogen from water from $6 to $8 per kilo (roughly the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline) to $3 per kilo.

Martin Eberhard and the Tesla Motors team for making an electric car with the range and performance to appeal to most people (now they just need to make less expensive models). Michael Bowers, James McBride and Sandra Rosenthal won for their invention (which we covered here) of warm white LEDs. "[The] adoption of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) might be able to halve lighting energy consumption and cut CO2 emissions by 258 million metric tons a year."


Deborah Sperling, Hanna Murnen, Nathan Sigworth and Augusta Niles from Dartmouth for GyroBike training system. Unlike training wheels, this thing actually trains you to ride a bike: "To help kids learn to ride a bike, the team placed a flywheel inside the front wheel of a 16-incher. Once it's set to spinning with a drill, the flywheel makes the wheel resist tipping, thanks to a phenomenon called gyroscopic precession." Anything that makes it easier and more fun for kids to learn riding bikes is okay with us!


DaimlerChrysler also won for its BlueTec diesel engine technology. It is clean enough to be sold in 45 states in the US, and should soon meet the stringent standards set by California and adopted by four additional states. And of course, they can run on biodiesel...



Cogeneration in your house, thanks to Climate Energy LLC. They make a system that generates both heat and power: A Honda natural gas turbine generates 1.2 KW of eletricity and the heat it creates is used to preheat the air that is going into the furnace.

::Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards 2006