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Archive for February, 2010

Bloom Energy unveils ground-breaking fuel cell

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

K.R. Sridhar, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Valley’s Bloom Energy, has dominated the news this week with a fuel cell, a thin, flat ceramic cell that is expected to generate energy by combining air and a wide range of fuels – without combustion.

The solid oxide fuel cell could be a disruptive technology for the clean energy technology industry in that it can be powered by either renewable sources of energy or fossil fuel in an electro-chemical process said to be cleaner than current options.

Already major companies such as Google, Staples, Inc., FedEx Corp. and Wal-Mart stores have begun to test the technology or have signed on as customers.

Bloom said that more than 11 million kilowatt-hours of energy have been produced so far in trial runs.

Sridhar, a former NASA scientist said the technology powering the fuel cell potentially “has the same kind of impact on energy that the mobile phone had on communications.”

This fuel-cell technology has been in research for nine years. Although there are other companies working on similar technology, what Bloom has going for it is that it has an integrated system and the product is already packaged for commercial sale.

Bloom’s power plant in a box?

Autodesk posts Q4 profitability, then stock falls

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

On Wednesday Autodesk stock fell 2% after the company’s announcements of profitability on Tuesday:

Tech Stocks Head South, Wall Street Journal, Thursday, February 25, 2010

News stories on Autodesk’s Q4 announcement:

Autodesk Posts Sequential Revenue, Profitability and Cash Flow Growth, AECCafe News

Autodesk, Inc. Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript Seeking Alpha

Autodesk (ADSK) Reports Strong Q4 Results, Shares Jump, February 23, 2010

BIM adoption may become next construction standard according to survey

Friday, February 19th, 2010

“Although the BIM adoption rate has slowed due to a challenging economic climate, 51 percent of survey respondents to [the 2009 survey from Building Design+Construction] have added or plan to add more BIM seat licenses, down from 63 percent of companies in 2008. The total number of seats purchased is also expected to decline by 56 percent since 2008.”

Is BIM the Next Construction Standard?

IMT, by Ilya Leybovich, February 17, 2010

3D City GIS modeling software in Bentley V8i

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Just released – V8i (SELECTseries 1) versions of Bentley Map, Bentley Descartes, Bentley Geospatial Server, and Bentley Geo Web Publisher further extend this portfolio to include new 3D City GIS capabilities.

This functionality is said to enable governments to perform urban planning, noise simulation, shadow analysis, natural disaster mitigation, public relationship management, and 3D analysis and design.

This is said to be pertinent to AEC professionals because, according to the press release: “Bentley Geospatial Server V8i (SELECTseries 1) provides a unique way to combine 3D GIS and 3D engineering/Building Information Modeling information by leveraging Bentley innovations such as i-models for semantically rich and secure file-based information sharing. (An i-model is a container for open infrastructure information exchange featuring provenance (that is, knowledge of its origin and evolution)).

Skape offers 3D city mapping service

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Skape is a geospatial 3D city mapping service product from Infoterra that offers advanced imagery of 3D heighted buildings of the UK’s major cities. 99% of the data collected for this product is Infoterra-owned, and the company uses its own dedicated fleet of aircraft to capture fully textured imagery. The new product is designed for environmentalists, architects, planners, local authorities and surveyors. Skape enables users to manipulate urban landscapes online by combining high resolution 3D textured city models with 2D mapping and terrain data.

The UK-architectural firm BDP has just signed up to Skape.

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