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August 31, 2009

Solar Decathlon This October in DC

The Solar Decathlon in coming up in a month's time. Teams are preparing to make the trek to the Mall in DC. ...
... "This year, a new net-metering contest will evaluate each home’s ability to produce its own power. The competition focuses on cutting edge energy efficient and renewable energy innovation while providing a unique green jobs training opportunity for each of the students. " ...
Via Department of Energy: Solar Decathlon 2009

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August 30, 2009

Next Gen Photovoltaic Cells from Parker Hannifin Solar Scriber

About Parker Hannifin: "With annual sales exceeding $10 billion, Parker Hannifin is the world's leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets."

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August 29, 2009

Watermelon Biofuel from Mobile Brewery

Farmers may be able to convert off-grade watermelons into biofuel if mobile brewery trucks could visit. ...
... "Rather, Fish envisions mobile breweries that go from farm to farm. " ...
Via National Geographic: Watermelon Juice Fuel

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August 28, 2009

LEED Hotel Trends

There is a trend in the hotel industry to embracce sustainable techniques and LEED building designs. For example, Starwood Hotels is implementing its element hotel brand to drive green innovations that can be adopted by its sister brands. Hotel sustainable designs can improve their reuse of materials on the interior and exterior of the building. ...
... "A 550-room hotel in the heart of the city, the InterContinental San Francisco is working to achieve LEED certification in 2010. " ...
Via HotelWorld Network: Green hotels can improve reuse of materials

Starwood Hotels element brand commits to: "all element hotels to pursue the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED Certification, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. "

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Prairie Bunkers, LLC - Repurpose Buildings to Data Centers

Prairie Bunkers potential locations

 Prairie Bunkers LLC is repurposing WWII ammunition depots into secure energy efficient data centers.  These structures are built to withstand force 5 tornadoes.

In addition to the green aspect of repurposing an existing building ... there are others green features.


"Saves approximately 5000 cubic tons of carbon emission which would be produced by construction of a similar structure ... electrical provider .... has a high percentage of renewable energy, including hydro, wind and nuclear ... On-site solar and wind energy systems in planning stages ... Air Economizers to use “free cooling” from average annual temperature of 54 degrees ... Optional active geothermal ... heat pump system ... Passive Geothermal, provided by the bermed earth covering on three sides and top of bunkers ..."

" .... Native vegetation landscaping minimizes irrigation ... Fire suppression agent has zero carbon foot print ... UPS Options including flywheel technology ... Recycled building products including flooring tiles and cable trays ..."


Via:  Prairie Bunkers, LLC LINK


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August 27, 2009

Solar Cell Efficiency Increase

Suniva achieves higher solar conversion efficiency for its ARTisun series of screen-printed photovoltaic cells. Suniva attributes the performance to proprietary manufacturing process improvements. The company is building its research pipeline to accelerate conversion efficiencies in the future. ...
... "Through processes initiated by Suniva founder and CTO, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, and further developed in Suniva’s R&D lab, the company has achieved certified efficiencies of more than 20 percent on screen-printed cells in the lab (certified by NREL). Suniva plans to steadily raise its commercial cell efficiencies above 20 percent through a series of incremental design and processing innovations. " ...
Via Suniva: Solar Cells Surpass 18% Efficiency (Release, PDF)

Suniva's roots are in academia. ...

SUNIVA Photovoltaic Technology: "Its proprietary technology and patents represent more than 16 years of silicon PV experience exclusively licensed from Georgia Tech’s University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP). "

Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, UCEP: "is a Regents’ Professor and a Georgia Power Distinguished Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering. He is the founding director of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education at Georgia Tech. "

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Gainesville Florida Solar Projects Lined up til 2016

GRU logo 

Gainesville Regional Utilities, Gainesville, Florida's utility pormots solar and offers assistance to businesses and residences that will install solar.

" ... energy-producing solar panels in Gainesville has skyrocketed since the city implemented its new solar incentive program ... waiting list for the program - which is the first solar feed-in tariff in the United States and offers above-market-rate prices for electricity produced by privately owned and installed solar panels - now stretches until 2016."

Between the price GRU offers for the electricity and state rebates for solar panel installation, the feed-in tariff should prove lucrative for those installing solar photovoltaics in the program.

However, the program is limited on a first-come, first-served basis to 4 new megawatts of electricity a year from solar power - more than double the megawatts produced locally a year ago.

The first change proposed Thursday would allow those people waiting in line to install solar panels in 2010 to install the panels now and be paid market rate for the energy the panels produce until the contract they've signed up for kicks in and they are able to receive the higher rate.

"We don't have anything in the program that allows us to pay them for electricity," said Ed Regan, assistant general manager of strategic planning at GRU. "If they're in the queue for 2010, a year for which we know the price, then we would let them build it early."

Another part of that is that GRU is proposing to reinstate the commercial net-metering system that was discontinued when the feed-in tariff was adopted.

Net metering allows people with solar panels to use their own electricity, and if there is any excess energy produced, GRU credits the bill.

The other changes are largely administrative in nature.

"There was a fair amount of gaming or jockeying for position that made us institute additional rules," Regan said of the somewhat unexpected rush that filled up all 4 megawatts of solar panels for the first year in a matter of days.

At least one person has challenged technical terms in the ordinance, arguing the language in the ordinance allows more solar energy to be installed every year, or that the ordinance has fixed prices out to the year 2030.

Regan recommended the commission approve language for the ordinance specifying that only 4 megawatts will be permitted in the program every year and that the ordinance should be changed so that the payout rate after the year 2010 says "to be determined."

"I think Gainesville can be proud to be on the forefront," Hunzinger said. "We have heard some criticism saying 'do not use Gainesville as a model.' To me that's personally, professionally disturbing to hear. However, I do understand there will be criticism. No good deed goes unpunished. The primary reason for implementing the (feed-in tariff) was to encourage solar PV installations in our service area."


Via: GRU.com  LINK

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August 26, 2009

Hydrogen Storage H-Prize Planned

Department of Energy plans H-Prize competition to improve hydrogen storage. ...
... "DOE is announcing the Initial H-Prize Competition which will be a single award for $1 million in the subject area of advanced materials for hydrogen storage - a critical challenge to enable widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. " ...
Via Federal Register: Initial H-Prize Competition for Breakthrough Advances in Materials for Hydrogen Storage (PDF)

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Energy Sprawl and Land Intensity

Study looks at the impact of new energy project on land use and nature in the United States. Biofuels have the highest land area impact, while nuclear has the lowest. Over 200,000 square kilometers of new land is likely to be needed to meet US energy demands by 2030. Of couse, energy conservation strategies can reduce these requirements. ...
... "Nuclear power (1.9–2.8 km2/TW hr/yr), coal (2.5–17.0 km2/TW hr/yr) and geothermal (1.0–13.9 km2/TW hr/yr) are the most compact by this metric. Conversely, biofuels (e.g., for corn ethanol 320–375 km2/TW hr/yr) and biomass burning of energy crops for electricity (433–654 km2/TW hr/yr) take the most space per unit power. Most renewable energy production techniques, like wind and solar power, have intermediate values of this metric. " ...
Via PLoS ONE: Energy Sprawl in the United States of America

Energy Sprawl Q+A at Nature Conservancy.

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How Geothermal Works - Video

Check out this video that explains how geothermal systems work. Geothermal can be used for both heating and cooling and is close to energy free ... you only pay for the pumps and circulating system ... the heating and cooling "energy" is free and renewable. This viedo shows drillers and installers in Texas discussing geothermal systems ... Via: 5 min.com LINK
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Nebraska WW II Ammo Depots to be Data Centers - Geotheramlly Cooled

Old WW II Ammunition bunkers in Nebraaka may have a 2nd life as secure data centers. Their location and construction make them ideal facilities for secure data centers ... and goethermal cooling allows them to be less energy intensive compared to the normal data center. " Prairie Bunkers LLC said this week that it has completed a test well for a geothermal cooling system at its 760-acre Prairie Bunkers Data Center Park near Hastings, Nebraska. ... paves the way for the company to offer geothermal cooling for its innovative project." "... hopes to convert dozens of World War II ammunition bunkers into data centers, hoping to capitalize on interest in ultra-secure data storage ... plans for geothermal power will help tenants achieve Platinum status ... (LEED) ... for energy-efficient builfings." " ... pioneering the use of geothermal cooling to reduce electricity usage in one of the most power intensive industries in the nation, ... ” " ... will convert the average ground temperature of 55 degrees at the site into ‘free cooling’ that will reduce ... costs for a typical data center ... by 30 percent ... start with very low electrical rates, so a 30 percent reduction ... translates into one of the lowest operating costs for any data center site in the U.S.” Via: Datacenterknowldege LINK
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August 25, 2009

Solar Photovoltaic Nanoparticle Ink

University of Texas at Austin researchers focus on nanotech strategies to develop solar photovoltaic materials that work like inks. ...
... "Rather than silicon, the inks developed by Korgel's team are made up of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) — sunlight-absorbing nanoparticles that are 10,000 times thinner than a strand of hair. " ...
Via Live Science: Spray-On Solar Cells

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Geothermal Cooled Data Center is LEED Platinum

data center

 The constant temperature of fluids deep (say 200 - 400 feet deep) can be used for heating and cooling.  Check out this geothermally cooled ACT data center in Iowa.

" ... new data center for American College Testing in Iowa City, Iowa ... becomes the first data center in the U.S. to complete LEED Platinum certification. ...  data center opened in February 2008 ... 4,000 square feet of raised-floor ... within an 8,000 square foot building ... geothermal “bore field” - a system of vertical holes drilled into the earth’s surface which house a closed-loop piping system filled with water and/or coolant. ..."

" ... other environmentally-friendly attributes include a high performance HVAC system, 30% recycled content during construction, and numerous renewable materials used in the interior design. ..."

Via: datacenterknowledge LINK
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August 24, 2009

Denver Airport Solar Expansion

Denver Airport plans to expand solar capacity to serve its fuel management process. ...

Via AP: Denver International Airport
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Rock Port, Missouri - 1st 100% Wind Powered City in the U.S.

wind turbines

Welcome to the 1st 100 % Wind Powered City in the U.S. !!

Rock Port, Missouri get's its renewable energy from

Wind Turbine assembly

" ... four wind turbines ... within the city limits ... Rock Port uses approximately 13 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year ... predicted that ... turbines will produce 16 million kilowatt hours each year."

"Excess ... electricity ... is expected to be move onto the transmission lines to be purchased by the Missouri Joint Municipal Utilities for use in other areas.

Location of Rock Port, Missouri"A map published by the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that northwest Missouri has the state's highest concentration of wind resources and contains a number of locations potentially suitable for utility-scale wind development."



Via: ScienceDaily LINK

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August 23, 2009

NREL Wind Tech Center in Colorado

NREL World-class test facilities for the domestic wind industry: "Engineers at the National Wind Technology Center work with blade manufacturers to design tests that will enable the blades to meet international standards. The tests range from nondestructive studies such as acoustic emissions to static-strength tests to determine when a blade will break. "

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Dardesheim, Germany - Renewable Energy City

The small German town of Dardesheim (fewer than 1,000) and neighbors in Halberstadt in what was East Germany "... want to become 100% renewable using solar, wind, and biomass."

" ... Four pioneering wind turbines were installed in the mid-1990s, collectively producing one million kWh per year ..."

"In 2006 they developed a 62 MW wind project comprising 28 Enercon E70s and one E112, a giant 6 MW turbine ... wind turbines will generate from 120 to 130 million kWh annually, enough to meet the needs of nearly all the 80,000 residents of the county."

" ... also installed nine different solar PV plants ... During their first year of operation the combined 380 kW of solar PV generated nearly 250,000 kWh, about one-third of the Dardesheim's domestic electricity consumption."


Via: Wind-Works LINK

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August 22, 2009

Chicken Poop Powers 90,000 Homes

chicken-manure-biomass Animal manure is a natural by-product of raising animals ... and needs to be disposed of properly.  Improperly disposed of it can pollute water and make a smelly mess. 

Here is a way to reduce waste and re-use the manure to make enerty.

... world’s largest biomass power plant running exclusively on chicken manure has opened in the Netherlands .... will deliver renewable electricity to 90,000 households ... capacity of 36.5 megawatts, and will generate more than 270 million kWh of electricity per year."

" ... more than merely “carbon neutral” ... If ... spread out over farm land, it would release not only CO2, but also methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. ..."

" ... will utilize approximately 440,000 tons of chicken manure, roughly one third of the total amount produced each year in the Netherlands. ... European countries ... suffer under an excess of different types of animal manure that pollute the environment."




Via:  Meatefficient LINK

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August 21, 2009

Organic Photovoltaic Tests at NREL Golden Colorado

Plextronics is testing its organic photovoltaic modules at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL, in Golden, Colorado to build a database of performance metrics. NREL performs most of its tests through outdoor arrays. ...
... "A set of ten Plextronics test solar modules – which were created using the company’s Plexcore PV ready-to-use ink system – were installed on the roof of the Outdoor Test Facility at NREL. The performance of the test modules will be continuously monitored, and the performance in Colorado will be compared with testing Plextronics is already doing in Pittsburgh on identical modules. The performance of the modules will also be compared with the performance of other solar modules that are being tested at the NREL facility. The data over the next few months will be used to improve outdoor stability of the company’s OPV technology and pave the way for testing more modules and refinement of the method. " ...
Via Plextronics: Organic Solar Modules Test Deployment

NREL Expands Solar Testing Facility: "NREL's Outdoor Test Facility (OTF) is being expanded to house a new solar simulator and additional environmental chambers used for accelerated exposure testing of solar modules. "

NREL Outdoor Field Testing: "The OTF array field, just to the east of OTF, as well as the array racks on the OTF roof, provide areas for testing and evaluating PV arrays and systems. "

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August 20, 2009

Power Down Computer Equipment on August 27

Save the date and sign up to participate in this energy saving experiment. ...
... "On August 27, power down your computer, monitor, and printer at the end of the day. We’ll calculate the number of people who Power IT Down, and post the results on this page. " ...
Via HP: Power IT Down Day
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Dupont Photovoltaic Material Capacity Increase

Dupont looks into the near term future and makes investment in additional manufacturing capacity for its its high-performance Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) product, which is used in the backsheet of solar photovoltaic modules. ...
... "Site selections for this phase of the Tedlar capacity expansion are complete, and construction has begun for new monomer and resin facilities at the DuPont Louisville, Ky., and Fayetteville, N.C., sites, respectively. The facilities are scheduled to start up in mid-2010. " ...
Via Dupont: Photovoltaic Module Material

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August 18, 2009

Chevy's Volt - All New Electric Car

The new Chevy Volt promises to be an interesting car. It is a hybrid that is battery powered with an engine to charge the batteries ... the engine DOES NOT power the wheels! Take a test drive and learn more about one of GM and the U.S. auto industry's most promising new cars. Via: ZDnet.com LINK
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Colorado State Univ Electric Vehicle Education

Colorado State will develop hybrid electric vehicle education to increase the knowledge of maintenance workers, emergency responders, and the public about the high voltage used in fuel cells.  ...Fuel Cell

...   "This grant will help create an innovative and integrated education program that ties community outreach with secondary school awareness, technician and first responder training, and college/post-graduate level education in sustainable transportation, namely electric vehicles and their support systems ... '   ... 

Via Colorado State University: $5 million stimulus DOE grant


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The Smart Energy Grid: What it Is and What is Can Do

The Smart Grid is coming to a utility near you. But just what is a smart grid and what does it mean for you as a consumer? This "smartplanet" video with Silver Spring Networks CTO Raj Vaswani will explain. In a nutshell ... the smart grid gives you visibility to your energy usage in real time and allows you to take advantage of more favorable times to use large chunks of energy ... and save some money. Utilities get to smooth out there load so there are fewer peaks and ideally allow them to delay building new generating capacity (time consuming, expensive and possibly polluting). Via: Smartplaner LINK
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August 17, 2009

Energy Saving Tips from New Belgium Brewery

 New Belgium Brewery

Here are some energy saving tips from the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. Check out earlier posts about this GREEN and environmentally friendly brewery.

For the rest of the list, more details on the items listed and more info about this environmentally friendly brewery ... follow the link at the end of this post.

"Hang your clothes out to dry ... clothing-dryer is the 2nd-most energy consumptive household appliance after the refrigerator ... if you don’t have space for an outdoor clothesline there are indoor racks that are compact and work like a charm."NEw Belgium Brewery logo

"Put on a sweater ... When the temperatures drop, ... put on some soft booties, and sip a steamy hot drink. It’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy."

"Drink tap water ... Shipping bottled water around the world in plastic bottles burns a heap of fuel, pollutes our air, and puts more plastic into an increasingly plastic-sheathed world. ... if tap water is not up to your standards, there are ... filters available at much more affordable prices than the cost of purchasing bottled water."

"Use your own shopping bag ... asked, “Paper or plastic?” say, “Neither, I have my own bags.”

Via: New Belgium Brewing LINK

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August 16, 2009

Sustainable Cherry Hill (NJ)

Sustainable Cherry Hill 

For those who follow this blog and live in Cherry Hill, NJ - check out Sustainable Cherry Hill.

" ... The goal of Sustainable Cherry Hill is to help educate and empower our community to view the world through a different set of glasses and to act upon this new understanding of the world. We are all in this together and the one resource that Cherry Hill possesses is PEOPLE! Lots of folks making small changes will result in large scale transformation."

"We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors,
we are borrowing it from our children"

"Stay tuned for lots of great information about how we are creating and organizing SCH into a non-profit group. ... "

Join one of 11 task forces ... "Green Building, Educating for Sustainability, Community Composting, Green Business, Bike Path/Sidewalks,   Transportation, Renewable Energy, Local Food/Gardening, Land, Air & Water Conservation, Zero Waste, Urban/Regional Partnerships for Environmental Justice"

Via:  Sustainable Cherry Hill  LINK


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August 15, 2009

Vail Colorado Hybrid Electric Diesel Bus

We experienced a Vail, Colorado hybrid bus sighting while on vacation ... See pic below.

The hybrid buses are in service and delivering value to the community.  ...

...   "the town will add a hybrid bus to its transit fleet in 2006, seven more in 2008 and two in 2011, resulting in the conversion of 30 percent of its bus fleet to hybrid ... "   ... 

Via Town of Vail: Hybrid Bus Fleet 

Vail Transit also uses GPS-based transit times for online tracking via the NextBus service.

Vail Colorado Hybrid Electric Bus 


Via GM Key Facts on Allison Hybrid Buses: "GM Allison hybrid powered buses in operation: Vail and other communities nationwide. "

Eagle County, Colorado also offers EcoTransit.  ECO Transit provides multi-modal, environmentally sensitive public transportation choices.

Hybrid Electric bus makes stop in Vail Colorado  

Vail Colorado details, via Wikipedia.

Via Dive Fish Snow Travel on Vail Sustainable Development: " ... hybrid bus in its fleet that provides up to 40% greater fuel efficiency and produces up to 50 percent fewer emissions. " 

Via The Altitude Investor on the town of Vail: "40-foot-low-floor transit bus on various in-town routes to determine if the hybrid bus can operate economically, effectively and reliably ... "

Via Town of Vail 2006 Highlights: "State and federal grants covered about 80 percent of the new bus which was purchased for $508,300, almost twice the cost of the diesel buses. "

Public Transit and Clean Communities (PDF).

The World Travel Guide on Vail: "The resort is eco-friendly, with energy credits against all the lifts, solar panels on mountain restaurants and hybrid low-pollution buses. "

Via EERE on Vail Wind Power: "Vail Resorts, Inc. has vaulted into the number two position for corporate buyers of green power by purchasing 152,000 megawatt-hours of wind power. The purchase will offset all the electricity used by the company, which operates four ski resorts in Colorado ... "


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Gainesville Florida Big in Alternative Energy: PV and Biomass

City of Gainesville, Fla logo

Gainesville Florida has been active in alternative energy since 1997 offering rebates for solar water heating and now for solar PV.  They are now looking to increase the amount of PV electricity generated by offering more incentives.


 " ...offered solar water heating rebates since 1997 and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems rebates since 2007 ... now ... created a solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) program to increase the number of solar PV systems in Gainesville."http://wwGRU logo

" ... May 2009, ... approved a 30-year contract between GRU and Gainesville Renewable Energy Center ... build, own and operate a 100-megawatt biomass power plant ... fueled by forestry-waste material generated by ... paper pulp, chip and saw timber – as well as urban wood waste. "

" ... using biomass ... will promote our energy independence, add diversity to our fuel supply and shield customers from anticipated increasing fossil-fuel prices. ... allow Gainesville to achieve its carbon-reduction goals, which are based on the Kyoto Protocol."

" ... plan to purchase energy that G2 Energy, ... generate from methane gas collected at the Marion County Baseline Landfill ... "


Via:  Gainesville Regional Utilities  LINK


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August 14, 2009

Energy Ball® Wind Turbines

Energy Ball turbineEnergy Ball is a wind turbine that generate electricity at very low speeds.  Read on for more about this Netherlands based company.

" ... low-noise turbine ... six curved rotor blades which are attached to the rotor hub with both ends ... the wind blows parallel to the rotor hub through the rotor. ..." Energy Ball turbines

"... creates a wind flow pattern that converges ... then accelerated through the rotor, resembling the rapids in a river ...translates into a higher aerodynamic efficiency compared to conventional wind turbine designs. "

" ... producing electric energy as from very low wind speeds and has therefore a very low standstill time. ..."


Via: Home-Energy Link

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GE's Smart / Zero Energy Home

GE Zero Energy Home

Imaging a ZERO energy home.  Sound realistic? GE thinks so !

GE's “Net Zero Energy Home” ..." ... combines GE’s most efficient appliances and lighting, GE’s new energy management systems, and GE power generating and storing technologies. ... together, the system will enable a homeowner to achieve net zero energy costs by 2015."

" ... the Home Energy Manager, the central nervous system for the Net Zero Energy Home. ... smart thermostats will also be introduced ... to work in tandem with the energy manager. ... plans to develop residential power generation products like solar PV and residential wind products that will also contribute to the net zero concept."

" ... respondents in the U.S. and ... in the U.K. say they are willing to pay an increased monthly rate for smart grid technology if there is a corresponding reduction in overall energy costs by 15 percent."


Via:  GE  LINK

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August 13, 2009

Vail Colorado Mountain Haus Electric Vehicle and Charging Stations

A view of the not too distant future of electric vehicles will include charging stations like those described and as shown in the picture.   ...

...   "The difference is that the Mountain Haus’ 2002 Toyota Rav4 is an all-electric vehicle, meaning that it runs completely on batteries, and recharges at three different charging sites around town. "   ... 

Via Vail Daily: Charging around

Vail Electric Vehicle Charging Station at the Mountain Haus


Vail's Mountain Haus


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HP Partners with Boston Power - Greener Long Life Laptop Batteries

Boston Power logo

PC manufacturers have long craved a long live battery ... one that provides many hrs per charge as well as one that last several years.  Consumers see this as a GREEN selling point and manufactures are looking to fill this need.

"HP has partnered with Boston-Power to offer Boston Power laptop batterya longer lasting notebook battery ... notebook batteries—powered by Boston-Power’s Sonata® lithium-ion battery cells— deliver like-new performance for three years ... longer-lasting power with Sonata cells that are Nordic Ecolabel certified. PLUS, enjoy the protection of HP’s 3-year battery warranty—an industry first!"  


Via:  HP  LINK

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August 12, 2009

Colorado State Univ Solar Project

Colorado State will become home to significant solar installation that will leverage Trina Solar's photovoltaic modules.  ...

...   "AMEC, an international engineering and project management company, will construct a 15-acre solar array on the Foothills campus of Colorado State University. Upon completion, the solar array is expected to be one of the largest solar installations at a U.S. university. The system is being developed under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Renewable Ventures and is projected to generate sufficient solar power to provide more than 10% of electricity needs for the university's Foothills campus. "   ...

 Via Trina Solar: Solar Power Project at Colorado State University



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Ford's Automatic "Start-Stop" Fuel Efficient Technology

Ford Escape Hybrid engine

I have this recollection from years ago that VW offering "Start - Stop" engines in the US. Basically the engine turned off at stop lights and fired back up when the accelerator was pushed. Automatic "Start - Stop" systems eliminate wasteful idling at lights and other stops.Ford logo

Do you recall this in earlier VWs - from the mid 1980s?

In any case ... Ford is bring this technology to it's fleet over the next several years.

" ... start-stop systems ... shut down the engine to prevent idling ... in the US, only hybrids have that capability ... Barb Samardzich, VP of Global Powertrain engineering stated that over the next several years all Ford vehicles will get the auto-stop capability. Currently, only the Escape, Mariner, Fusion, and Milan hybrids have it here ..."


Via: autobloggreen LINK

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August 09, 2009

SolarsChill - Solar Powered Refrigerator

SolarChill regfrigerator " ... SolarChill ... aims to create a stand-alone solar powered refrigerator that not only preserves food, but also meets the World Health Organization's standards for vaccine storage ... One SolarChill unit can serve a population of 50,000 people for preserving vaccines. ... for use in emergency relief where electrical supply has been disrupted by war or natural disaster."

" ... energy is stored in ice instead of batteries. An ice compartment keeps the cabinet at desired temperatures during the night. ... key to the technology is the use of a direct current compressor ... first ever application of a direct current hydrocarbon compressor in the world."

 "SolarChill is currently at the prototype field-testing stage. ... in Indonesia, Cuba and Senegal...."


Via: Greenpeace LINK

Via: SolarChill LINK

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August 08, 2009

NASA Solar Farm at Kennedy Space Center

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August 07, 2009

Sowing the Seeds of Solar Photovoltaic Education

Montana State educates high school teachers in solar photovoltaics to spread the knowledge and interest to today's emerging generation of scientists and engineers. Other schools, such as the University of Texas at San Antonio, offer a research bootcamp with specialties such as photovoltaics. ...
... "In addition to the credit toward their master's degrees, the teachers left MSU with the working solar cells they created, as well as the resources to teach students at their schools about how the cells work, Kaiser said. Giving teachers the laboratory experience lets them pass on lessons in applied science to their students, which is important to building interest in engineering, Kaiser said. " ...
Via Montana State University: Solar cells course

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A GREENER Toilet Uses no Energy and Turns Poo into BioFuel

Toilet made from Poo

Imagine a toilet that uses no energy and turns waste into compost.

Virginia Gardiner is doing just that ... check out the VIDEO of this interesting GREEN device.

" ...working on a new waterless toilet system  ... create a toilet for city dwellers that uses no energy, and turns waste "into a commodity.""

" ... portable, low-tech LooWatt effectively captures odor and allows human waste (... to  be turned into a source of energy via anaerobic digestion. With 40 percent of people globally in need of sanitary facilities, it's well worth imagining a solution that doesn't flush drinking water down the toilet."


Via:  SustainLane  LINK

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August 06, 2009

2011 Buick Plug-In Electric Hybrid Crossover SUV Planned

Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman of product development, expects Buick to launch a new plug-in electric crossover sport utility vehicle in 2011. ...
... "The Buick plug-in hybrid is expected to be the first commercially available plug-in hybrid SUV produced by a major automaker. The Buick plug-in hybrid has the potential to achieve double the fuel economy of comparably-sized SUVs on short trips. This significant boost is achieved by combining a modified version of GM's proven 2-Mode Hybrid system with advanced lithium-ion battery cells and charging technology developed for GM's Voltec system, which will debut in the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle in late 2010. The Buick plug-in hybrid will use the same manganese-spinel based chemistry and polymer battery cells as the Volt. The 8 kwh battery - containing half the energy of the Volt battery pack - will be packaged in a rectangular-shaped box under the cargo floor. The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in four to five hours by simply connecting the vehicle to any standard 110V household electrical outlet. By recharging rather than refueling, the Buick plug-in hybrid significantly improves fuel economy and reduces petroleum use. In early testing, the plug-in hybrid is capable of electric-only propulsion for more than 10 miles at low speeds. " ...
Via GM: Plug-In Hybrid System

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Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry Improvement

Exide Technologies with Axion Power International receive thirty-four million dollar grant to advance the performance of lead-acid batteries, using lead-carbon electrodes for micro and mild hybrid applications. This grant is a part of President Obama's investment in battery technology for electric vehicles. ...
... "Lead-acid batteries, which are used for transportation and stand-by applications, account for half of the rechargeable battery market. Although alternative battery chemistries are growing in popularity, such chemistries are not expected to diminish the demand for lead-acid. " ...
Via Exide Technologies: Collaboration to Advance Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry

Battery research grants award list (PDF).

Via The White House: Obama on Spurring Innovation, Creating Jobs: "The projects were selected through a highly competitive process by the Department of Energy, and these innovative ideas will help propel America forward as we work to establish the next generation of advanced vehicles. "

Exide Tech and Axion Power have formed a collaborative partnership recently. Axion CEO comments on the success of the collaboration to date. Axion CEO: "Next month, Axion will begin shipping batteries with lead-carbon electrodes for the second phase of the supply contract. We are very gratified with the progress of this relationship. We are also pleased with the fast pace we have been able to achieve in moving the process forward. "

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August 05, 2009

Cape Cod Bioreactor Will Use Algae to Convert CO2 to Biodiesel Fuel

Plankton Power will leverage consortium collaboration to build a bioreactor on Cape Cod to produce fuel from algae. At pilot scale, the saltwater algae bioreactor is expected to produce approximately one million gallons of biodiesel per year. When fully scaled up, the facility could produce up to one hundred million gallons annually. ...
... "The new facility will focus on pilot- and commercial-scale development of algae biodiesel (a type of biofuel) that is cost-competitive with existing petroleum- and vegetable-based fuels, with improved performance characteristics. The planned biorefinery is proposed for construction on five acres of land on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) in Bourne, Massachusetts, supported by the Massachusetts National Guard pending legal and regulatory reviews. The pilot facility will provide the required infrastructure for testing commercial scale-up of a breakthrough algae-growth technology resulting from 20 years of cold saltwater species research and production. The biodiesel from Plankton Power algae is a drop-in replacement for home heating oil and petroleum diesel and will be produced for commercial distribution. " ...
Via Plankton Power: Algae-to-Biofuels Pilot Facility on Cape Cod (PDF)

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Algae Bioreactor Consortium members: Cape Cod Regional Technology Development Corp Massachusetts National Guard Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Cape Cod Commission

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The HUB - GREEN Meeting and Event Centers in Philadelphia, PA.

The Hub logo

A current trend in office space for smaller companies or those looking for a remote presence is to rent by the day.  the HUB offers "GREEN Meeting and Event Centers" on an as needed basis.

" ... only privately-held LEED Silver Rated Meeting and Event Facility in the U.S. ...[LEED is] ... nationally accepted standard for certifying high-performance green interiors that are healthy, ... less costly to operate and maintain, and reduce environmental footprint ...achieved a LEED-CI Silver rating at its Cira Centre location ..."inside view

There are many GREEN design elements incorporated including use of recycled materials, reduced water usage, brownfield redevelopment, and use of local materials.

"... The Hub is 100% wind powered, ... aggressively recycles ... discontinued the use of plastic water bottles in all of its facilities  ... More than 15% of the new materials ... were recycled ... More than 20% of the materials ... are of local origin (manufactured within 500 miles of the location) ... constructed on a rehabilitated "brownfield" railyard ..."


Via:  the HUb  LINK

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August 04, 2009

LED Lights as Efficient as Compact Fluorescent

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors performs life cycle assessment to validate that LED lighting is as efficient as compact fluorescent and far more efficient than incendescent lights. ...
... "In the first LCA, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors show that LED lamps are a genuine alternative to incandescent lamps, even when considering the cumulative energy input and environmental factors. " ...
Via Osram: LED lamps

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August 03, 2009

Coke and the Environment - Clothing from Recycled Bottles

Coke logo

Coke designed and produced " ... "Drink2Wear" fashion apparel made from recycled plastic bottles ... T-shirts are made from a blend of recycled plastic bottles and cotton and feature playful slogans such as "Make Your Plastic Fantastic" and "Rehash Your Trash." ..."
Coke's recycled clothing progress
" ... we expanded ... to include totes, loungewear and caps ... the designs and messages on the product, are intended to promote recycling and eco-friendly food and clothing. ... are reusing and diverting more than 5 million PET bottles from our waste stream."


Via: Coka Cola LINK

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Solar Energy Grid Integration Projects Funded

The Department of Energy invests in a portfolio of research projects to drive the advancement of the Solar Energy Grid. The investment will enable collaboration among startup companies, established utilities, academia, and national labs to improve the solar energy agenda. ...
... "The project will reinforce the fundamental objectives of the SEGIS program to optimize interconnections across the full range of emerging PV module technologies through innovative systems integration. " ...
Via Department of Energy: Awards for Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems

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August 02, 2009

Nissan Leaf Electric Car Designed for Hundred Mile Range of Commuters that Seek Zero Emission Vehicle

Nissan has designed its Leaf electric automobile to serve the needs of commuters with a range of one hundred miles and a smart mobility system that tracks remaining mileage and locally reachable charging stations. The car is expected to be available in markets by 2010. ...
... "ZERO-EMISSION MOBILITY: Nissan LEAF is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm. This ensures a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience that is in keeping with what consumers have come to expect from traditional, gasoline-powered automobiles. Unlike internal-combustion engine (ICE) equipped vehicles, Nissan LEAF's power train has no tail pipe, and thus no emission of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. A combination of Nissan LEAF's regenerative braking system and innovative lithium-ion battery packs enables the car to deliver a driving range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge. (*US LA4 mode) ... " ...

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PSE&G to Double Solar Capacity with "Solar 4 All"

PSEG pole mounted solar cells

 PSE&G, a New Jersey based utility, will double its current solar capacity with a program called "Solar 4 All."

Components of the program are (1) utility pole mounted solar cells and (2) roof top solar installations.

"... invest $515 million in 80 megawatts of solar projects ... creating green jobs ... expects to complete the installations by the end of 2013."PSE&G logo

" ... installing a solar unit ... on 200,000 utility poles in PSE&G’s service territory ... the largest pole-attached solar installation in the world ... power ... sold into the PJM wholesale grid."

" ... effectively double the size of New Jersey’s installed solar capacity ... more solar capacity than ... any state other than California ..."

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August 01, 2009

Fedex Solar Rooftop

FedEx Ground will build a large rooftop solar power installation at its Woodbridge, N.J. distribution hub. This project sustains the collaboration between Fedex and BP Solar. ...
... "The solar power project is the third between a FedEx operating company and BP Solar and the fifth solar power project for FedEx. The 2.42 megawatt solar power system will cover approximately 3.3 acres of rooftop space with approximately 12,400 solar panels. When completed, the system will be capable of producing approximately 2.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year and could provide up to 30 percent of the hub’s annual energy needs. " ...
Via FedEx Ground: NJ Rooftop Solar Power System

BP Solar completes second solar power installation for FedEx Freight: "The 1,377 solar modules cover 20,834 sq. ft. on the Fontana facility’s roof and can generate 370,551 kilowatt hours (kWh), or approximately 54 percent of facility needs. The 282kW system in Whittier is capable of producing more than 414,000 kWh of electricity each year, providing almost 40 percent of the facility’s annual energy needs and significantly reducing the service center’s dependence on the electric grid. "

BP Solar installs solar-powered operations to Fedex facilities in California: "To complete the Whittier system, 1,445 solar panels were installed on 22,000 square feet of the facility’s roof space. BP Solar, part of the global energy major BP, manufactured the panels and served as the project developer. "

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Shell Springboard Bioreactor

CO2 hungry algae convert carbon dioxide into fuel in this pilot bioreactor facility in the UK. ...

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