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April 30, 2010

Green Graduation Gowns and Other Ways to Green Graduation




recyclable graduation gowns

In a recent daily email from my college - Lafayette College, Easton, PA - there was a link about green graduation gowns.

Seems more colleges and universities are going green and using gowns made from recycled materials ... typically plastic bottles.

" ... University of Texas students ... saving 23 water bottles from landfills just by donning their cap and gown."

"GreenWeaver graduation regalia are being introduced to graduates at several universities nationwide this year as part of the growing movement to make graduation ceremonies more eco-friendly."

" ... Michigan State University is printing diplomas and graduation programs on recycled paper in addition to using recycled caps and gowns. Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas will be using artificial flowers to decorate the stage ... Lafayette College ... is offering biodegradable robes that will easily degrade after one wear."


 

Via:  ABCNews LINK

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Solar photovoltaic encapsulant creates manufacturing efficiencies




Dow Corning collaborates with Reis Robotics to deliver solar encapsulant technology to the market. ...

…   “Reis Robotics is now a preferred supplier of equipment used in a manufacturing process that significantly increases the production rate of solar panels, effectively lowering the cost per watt of solar power. The manufacturing process works in conjunction with Dow Corning PV-6100 Encapsulant Series, which provides protection to solar cells in a panel and can replace commonly used ethyl vinyl acetate resin. The liquid silicone-based material targets outperforming incumbent materials in durability, module efficiency, and manufacturing efficiencies providing an improved total cost for solar cell modules. “   …

Via Dow Corning: Market Breakthrough Solar Encapsulation Technology
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April 29, 2010

Electrofuel research project portfolio seeks biofuels from electricity




Research will target innovation into new pathways to renewable energy.  DOE spreads the love with funding across a number of energy themes, such as this one: electrofuels.  …

…  “Electrofuels - Biofuels from Electricity --- Today’s technologies for making biofuels all rely on photosynthesis – either indirectly by converting plants to fuels or directly by harnessing photosynthetic organisms such as algae.  This process is less than 1% efficient at converting sunlight to stored chemical energy. Instead, Electrofuels approaches will use organisms able to extract energy from other sources, such as solar-derived electricity or hydrogen or earth-abundant metal ions.  Theoretically, such an approach could be more than 10 times more efficient than current biomass approaches. “   …

Via Department of Energy: Transformational Energy Research Projects.

     

Sampling of organizations and their electrofuel research topics:

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst: Electrofuels via Direct Electron Transfer from Electrodes to Microbes
  • Pennsylvania State University: Development of Rhodobacter as a Versatile Microbial Platform for Fuels Production
  • The Ohio State University: Bioconversion of Carbon Dioxide to Biofuels by Facultatively Autotrophic Hydrogen Bacteria
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Engineering Ralstonia eutropha for Production of Isobutanol (IBT) Motor Fuel from Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen & Oxygen
  • Ginkgo BioWorks: Engineering E. coli as an electrofuels chassis for isooctane production
  • Harvard Medical School-Wyss Institute: Engineering a Bacterial Reverse Fuel Cell
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Bioprocess and Microbe Engineering for Total Carbon Utilization in Biofuel Production
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Opportunity to Accelerate the Green Building Agenda




through leveraging investment and legislative options.  …

… “This report presents an extensive menu of options, spanning across a wide range of programs, which the Administration could begin implementing immediately to advance a high performance, efficient green buildings agenda. All told, the programs identified in this report have the potential to directly provide or facilitate over $72 billion in funding or loan guarantees,2 and can leverage hundreds of billions of dollars in private investment through instruments such as mortgage insurance and regulation of the real estate lending market. Even a small fraction of this funding would, if directed to high-performing energy efficient and sustainable buildings, stimulate significant new “green” investments and job creation. “ …

Via US Green Building Council: Greener Buildings (PDF)

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Solar Photovoltaic growth accelerates




Dupont sees photovoltaic sales improve ahead of expectations and bumps up its near term revenue objective.  …

... "DuPont now expects its sales into photovoltaics to exceed $1 billion in 2011, which is a year ahead of plan, and has set a new goal to exceed $2 billion in sales by 2014.

In 2009, DuPont sales to the photovoltaic market exceeded $550 million - an increase of over 25 percent from the previous year - and outperformed the broader industry, which experienced significantly lower growth, estimated to be 10 percent or less. DuPont’s growth is supported by new innovations that improve module efficiency and lifetime, and enable new photovoltaic technologies and applications, which ultimately accelerate the industry’s drive to bring costs down in line with other forms of energy.
DuPont materials and technology solutions are designed to help increase the efficiency and lifetime of crystalline silicon and thin film photovoltaic solar modules, while reducing total systems cost and enabling the photovoltaic industry to reach grid parity faster. " ...

Via Dupont: Photovoltaic Sales Growth
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April 28, 2010

Green Building in Google Earth in 3-D




With Google Earth you can "Tour 3D models of Green Buildings around the United States. ... includes campus buildings, parks, offices, homes, and schools that were designed and constructed using environmentally sensitive design techniques ... start the tour, double-click the "Start tour here" link in the Places panel and make sure the "3D Buildings" layer is checked. The models are also located in the Google 3D Warehouse at http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse "

 

Via:  Google  LINK

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School Bus Fleets Use Technology to Minimize Idling (and fuels costs and pollution!)I




school buses

Idling buses  and trucks waste lots of fuel and add to pollution.  Can technology provide a solution ?

You bet !

" ...  The Provider, a school bus operator in Brentwood, N.H., ... first embraced wireless navigation technology from Navman Wireless ... thinking that it could helps with better tracking the mileage and hours related to individual busing contracts."

" ... realized that excessive idling ... could be addressed and controlled with the technology. ...  When an alert is triggered, dispatchers call the driver in question ... because idling wastes fuel. ..."

" ... Navman Wireless, says his company ... tracking 110,000 vehicles. ... Navman Wireless estimates that it saves about 552 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions across the fleet it manages. Most of those savings are calculated based on reduced fuel consumption."

Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK

 

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Solar Light Pipe Illuminates Office Space




Texas A&M Aggies win EPA competition for their solution that harvests daylight. ...
... "Utilizing an outdoor light collector, the apparatus, dubbed Horizontal Hybrid Solar Light Pipe: An Integrated System of Daylight and Electric Light, funnels sunlight from the collector through a pipe of highly reflective material into a simulated office space built within a rail car container. " ...
Via Texas A&M University: Sustainability Competition
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Tips for Recycling Consumer Electronics




Check out this video on ways to recycle cell phones, batteries and more. Specifically Best Buy will take back most consumer electronics ...



Via: SmartPlanet LINK

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April 27, 2010

Tokyo Sustainable City




Tokyo employs multiple strategies to green the city and emerge as a sustainability leader. ...
... "Those include toughened environmental building standards, cash incentives for residents to install solar panels and a plan for greening the city, including planting half a million trees and converting a 217-acre landfill in Tokyo Bay into a wooded sea forest park. " ...

Via University of Arizona: Tokyo Eco-Friendly Goal

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Intel's First Green Building Get GOLD LEED Certification




Roof Garden Intel IDC-9

Intel's new design center in Haifa, Israel is LEED Gold certified.  It opened in June.

Some of the highlights ...

"...received LEED Gold certification ... for ... Intel Design Center – IDC 9 – ... in Haifa, Israel ..."

" ... Intel's first certified green facility, IDC 9 is the first building in Israel to receive LEED Gold-level recognition."

" ... was built on land previously occupied by a parking lot to not damage any natural resources. ... "

" ...  rooftop garden to enhance thermal insulation and prevent the building from retaining excessive heat ... A method for capturing and recycling condensate water from the air conditioning system for irrigation. ..."

 

Via:  Intel  LINK

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April 26, 2010

Starbucks LED Lighting saves energy and looks cool




Starbucks implements LED lighting conversion in stores.  …

We did this by reaching out to GE, who developed a highly energy-efficient LED bulb that complements Starbucks store design approach and fits existing fixtures.

Via Starbucks: Energy-efficient LED Lighting coming to a Starbucks near You

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Solar Energy in Sinatra Hometown




Hoboken business owner eats his own dog food by installing solar energy on his house.  …Sinatra hometown is Hoboken NJ

... "Fahmie, founder of Jersey City-based renewable energy company Solevis, chose his home as the site for his company's first small-scale project, 3.15 kilowatt solar energy system ... " ...

Via NJ.com: Hoboken Brownstone

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Smart charge electric vehicles from the grid




GE partners with Nissan to advance the understanding and state of technology for enabling the electric vehicle infrastructure.  …

... "there are a number of potential issues that must be studied and quantified, such as whether clusters of electric vehicles will tax the local electrical distribution system, including transformers. " ...

Via GE: Electric car smart charging

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Solar Energy Biomimicry




Green researchers use biology to better understand solar energy conversion. ...
... "Plants use solar energy to split water molecules into their component hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Scientists dream of efficiently replicating that process, then storing the resulting gases for later use in fuel cells or liquid fuels. " ...

Via Calvin College: Mimic plant energy use

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Costco Offers CFL At Great Savings !!




Sunday, April 25th, 2010, I picked up several packages of CFL at my local Costco at a great price.  In fact the price made it close to impossible to pass up.

CFL bulb

$0.99 bought a four pack of 13 Watt CFL  (60 Watt replacement) after instant rebate taken at the register.

$1.79 bought a four pack of 23 Watt CFL  (100 Watt replacement) after instant rebate taken at the register. Costco logo

The package label indicates the 13 Watt last 13 times longer; save $369 per pack of 4.

The package label indicates the 23 Watt last 10 times longer; save $225 per pack of 4.

 

Nice deal - great way to save  on your electric bills. 

>>>>> Remember Home Depot collects CFL for safe recycling.


Via: Costcp LINK

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UPS Offers Green / Carbon Neutral Shipping Option




UPS logol"UPS ... became the first small package carrier to offer its customers the ability to offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the transport of their packages within the United States."

" ... offer U.S. shippers the option of paying a small fee to calculate and offset the climate impact of the shipment of each of their packages. information about UPS carbon neutral services is available at ups.com/carbonneutral."

" ... To encourage customers to participate ... UPS will match the offset purchases, effectively doubling the offsets purchased in 2009-2010, up to $1 million."

" ...  the carbon offset process is ... certified by The CarbonNeutral Company. "



Via:  UPS  LINK
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April 25, 2010

Prius tops green auto list




per Kelley, with their top 10 list of green cars. ...
... "Toyota Prius is the biggest, most powerful iteration yet, it's also the most fuel-efficient. " ...
Via Kelley Blue Book: Green Car #1

Technorati Tags: ,
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People power sustainability 2.0




Sustainability shifts into its next phase as communities embrace climate change actions, creative enablers become easy to adopt, and collaboration spans organizational boundaries. ...
... "where the government has been slow to increase renewables in the energy mix, there's been strong interest in community-owned renewable energy. " ...
Via Advertising Age: Sustainability 2.0

UCSD on Sustainability 2.0: "sustainability comes alive in education, research, and campus operations."

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UPS Hybrid Electric Delivery Truck




UPS Hybrid delivery truck

UPS " ... put 200 additional hybrid electric delivery trucks to work in Austin, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, New York, Minneapolis and Louisville. ... had 50 of these vehicles in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix; ... another 20,000 low-emission and alternative fuel vehicles throughout its fleet ... In all, about 1,000 of the fleet is hybrid while the rest are low emission types."

" ... will cut its fuel consumption by 176,000 gallons annually, compared with putting an equivalent number of new diesel trucks on the road. .. reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions is about 1,786 metric tons, ..."

Via:  Smart Planet  LINK

 

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April 24, 2010

Solar Array Student Residence




Internationally known artist and landscape architect Walter Hood, Oakland, California, wins the art competition to design the University at Buffalo megawatt solar array. ...
... "When complete, the UB solar installation's 5,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels will generate solar energy for 735 student apartments at UB, reducing the university's carbon emissions by more than 500 metric tons per year. The project will serve as a cornerstone of NYPA's $21 million statewide renewable energy program. " ...
Via The University at Buffalo: Solar Array on UB Campus

Walter Hood via abc7news: "Walter Hood is Professor and former Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and principal of Hood Design in Oakland, CA. "



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April 23, 2010

Our Environment






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April 22, 2010

Primer on How Plastic Bags are Recycled




Trex logoWonder how plastic bags get recycled? You see the recycling bins in most grocery stores that take #1 and #2 plastic bags and newspaper sleeves. Watch the video to see how they are recycled back to plastic material.

Trex recycles 2 billion bags / year and turns then into "plastic lumber" and recycles most of the other non PE that comes in with the plastic bags when they are recycled.



Via: Clean Skies LINK

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Take our quick Earth Day poll #earthday




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Major Solar Home Initiative in Northern California




PG&E develops a solar home initiative based on a portfolio of smaller size projects to accelerate the creation of five hundred megawatts of solar power generation capacity. ...
... "The program, once complete, will generate up to 500 megawatts (MW) of clean energy, enough to meet the needs of about 150,000 homes in PG&E's Northern and Central California service area. " ...
Via PG&E: Major Solar Energy Initiative

PG&E Power Mix.

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Earth Day History




How did Earth Day get its start? Here's a historical perspective. ...
... "In November of 1969, Nelson announced that the National Teach-In on the Crisis of the Environment would take place on April 22, 1970. The date was selected because it rested between spring break and final exams for most college students. In January of 1970, the event was renamed Earth Day. " ...
Via Penn Current: Earth Day still going strong

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Princeton Greens Appalachian for Sustainable Commitment




Princeton Review recognizes colleges for their green practices through research that will guide applicants that are seeking a sustainable school practicing what they preach. ...
... "Other highlights include Appalachian’s 2009 installation of the largest wind turbine in the state, a commitment to LEED certification for all new construction, and renovations or retrofitting of current buildings. Appalachian’s commitment to sustainability also includes projects funded through the student initiated Renewable Energy Imitative, a $5 a semester fee that has funded installation of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels on several campus buildings, and provided half the cost of installing the wind turbine located near the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center. " ...
Via Appalachian State University: Green colleges

Exemplary green schools:

  • The Princeton Review Guide to 286 Green Colleges: "This is a guide to 286 U.S. colleges and universities that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to sustainability. "
  • Green Guide to Colleges: "The Princeton Review noted that another unique aspect of the Guide is that it provides important information on schools that have dedicated environmental studies curriculums. "


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Amtrak's Biodiesel "Heartland Flyer"




Amtrak logoAmtrak is experimenting with a bio-diesel fueled train ... called the Heartland Flyer.  

" ...  nation’s first-ever test of a cleaner and renewable biodiesel fuel blend to power a daily interstate passenger train between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth ... research project ... on the daily Heartland Flyer train operated by Amtrak ... biodiesel blend includes beef byproduct and is provided by a Texas-based vendor."

" ... the biodiesel blend known as B20 (20% pure biofuel and 80% diesel) reduced hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide each by 10 percent, reduced particulates by 15 percent and sulfates by 20 percent. ... measurements will be taken ... at the end of 12 months so any impact of the biodiesel on valves and gaskets can be measured...."


 

Via:  Amtrak LINK

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Earth Day 2010




Earth Day 2010 logo

Happy Earth Day !!

 Today is the  40th anniversary of Earth Day !!

- What will you do today, and going forward for Earth Day?
- Use a reusable cup instead of a throw away one use cup ?
- Take public transportation or walk rather than drive by car?
- Car pool rather than drive alone? 

To learn more about Earth Day 2010 and things ** YOU ** can do ... LINK

 

Via: Earth Day 2010  LINK

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April 21, 2010

Kaleefornya solar progress measured




and discussed by folks with various perspectives ... David Hochschild, Solaria Corp, sees improving pricing environment for accelerating solar adoption in California. ...
... "In just the last year, the average price of solar panels dropped by 40 percent, and more price reductions are expected in the year ahead. " ...
Via New York Times: California Solar Scorecard

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Post-consumer rigid plastic recycling increases




according to update by the American Chemistry Council. ...
... "The report, prepared by Moore Recycling Associates Inc., Sonoma, Calif., found that in 2008, more than 361 million pounds of post-consumer rigid plastics were collected for recycling nationwide, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. The report also found that in North American markets, much of the recycled material was used to make products such as pallets, crates, composite lumber and gardening items. " ...
Via Recycling Today: Rigid Plastics Recycling

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Green Chemistry Strategy Aligned with Safe Chemicals Act




Legislation drives chemical industry to increase transparency, prioritize risks, and consider green chemistry strategies for alternatives to more toxic materials. ...
... "EPA would be instructed to create a public database containing information about each chemical and EPA actions on that chemical, and the legislation would restrict which data can be claimed by industry to be confidential. The bill also seeks to promote green chemistry by establishing a program to develop incentives for companies to make and use safer alternatives to some chemicals. " ...
Via New York Times: Chemicals Reform Bill

Safe Chemicals Legislation (PDF).

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Emeco Classic Chair Made from Recycled Coke Bottles




Emeco Chair logo

Emeco chairs are traditionally made from 100 recyclable aluminum (80% recycled conteChair made of 111 recycled Coke bottlesnt).  Their expected life of 150 years makes adds to the sustainability.

Now they are making a chair from recycled Coke bottles ... 111 bottles per chair.  " ... 111 Navy Chair: When you recycle a plastic bottle, you're doing something good. When you recycle 111 of them, you're doing something great. Help your bottle become something extraordinary again."

 

Via:  Emeco Chairs  LINK

 

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April 20, 2010

Appalachian State will participate in 2011 Solar Decathlon




Appalachian State has been selected to participate in the next Solar Decathlon on the Mall in Washington DC. ...
... "A total of 45 teams submitted proposals for the competition. Only 20 schools were selected for next year’s competition and Appalachian is the only university from North Carolina selected to compete in the Solar Decathlon. " ...
Via Appalachian State University: Solar Decathlon 2011

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Alcatel-Lucent Green Touch




Alcatel-Lucent LogoGreen Touch is a program at Alcatel-Lucent that focuses on green aspects of technology.  " ... looking at how the world of telecommunications is responding to the urgency of preserving our natural environment.  ... Green Touch ... a consortium of telecoms operators, manufacturers, universities and non-profit organisations with a mission to conceive and demonstrate the effectiveness of this revolutionary low-energy network - all within the next five years… "

To see the associated video follow the link and look for "Innovation at Work / Green Touch" LINK 

 

Via:  Alcatel-Lucent  LINK

 

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Penn State green power leadership




Penn State manages almost 20 percent of its electricity consumption through green power purchases. ...
... "Penn State leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation among colleges and universities in the amount of green power it uses, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. " ...
Via Penn State: Leadership in green power use

Penn State Emissions Reduction Progress: "Maruszewski explained how the Office of Physical Plant employees have been working towards their goal of reducing emissions 17.5% by 2012. So far, Maruszewski said, the campus has reduced its emissions and consumption by 12% since 2004/2005, while the University added over one million square feet during that time. "



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April 19, 2010

Green Giants




List of 10 large green opportunities ...
... "Green technology essentially involves revamping the physical infrastructure of the modern world: replacing coal-fired power plants with wind turbines, building homes from materials concocted in chemistry laboratories, and swapping out engines for electric motors. " ...
Via Seeking Alpha: Top 10 Green Giants List

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Colorado Solar Recharge




Energy rebates take off in Colorado. ...
... "Renewable Energy Rebate Applications must be submitted by a contractor on behalf of the residential or small commercial applicant. " ...
Via Governor's Energy Office: Solar Energy Rebates for Colorado

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Solar energy achievements grow




The Solar Energy Industries Association reports on the solar photovoltaic market, including residential and solar water perspectives. Venture capital continues to invest in the solar industry. And, the installed solar capacity is growing. ...
... "A doubling in size of the residential PV market and three new CSP plants helped lift the U.S. solar electric market 37 percent in annual installations over 2008 from 351 MW in 2008 to 481 MW in 2009. Solar water heating (SWH) installations managed 10 percent year-over-year growth, while the solar pool heating (SPH) market suffered along with the broader construction industry, dropping 10 percent. " ...
Via Solar Energy Industries Association: US Solar Industry, Year in Review (PDF)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is just starting to impact solar growth and that channel of investment should begin to accelerate, as capacity comes onstream.

Tax credits are being targeted to create domestic solar manufacturing jobs.

The solar industry value chain is estimated to have grown to approximately 46,000 jobs in the U.S.

California, New Jersey, and Nevada lead in cumulative solar capacity, while Florida and Arizona are accelerating their solar installations.

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Hawaii Renewable Energy Education




University of Hawaii Engineering school in collaboration with Hawaiian Electric receives $2.5-million federal grant to educate and train stakeholders for emerging jobs in renewable energy. ...
... "Utility companies like Hawaiian Electric will benefit from better informed consumers, educators and a future workforce trained in renewable energies. In addition to creating a pipeline to support the integration of new wind, solar, wave and smart grid technologies, the project aims to enhance the training of the existing workforce in these areas. " ...
Via University of Hawaii: Clean energy program
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April 18, 2010

China BIPV Solar






Suntech MsK BIPV modules (PDF).

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April 16, 2010

Solar photovoltatics mount on geo membranes




Biosphere 2 will showcase the deployment of solar panels on its geomembranes, which could be leveraged on mining and landfill operations. ...
... "The new solar panels are mounted at a 50-degree angle on geomembranes, the kind that are usually utilized at landfills or mine tailings to prevent dust and water pollution. " ...
Via Arizona Daily Wildcat: Earth Day event, Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 Earth Day 2010: Now Generation Festival April 17, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Biosphere 2 Earth Day 2010 event: "The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 is excited to announce the second annual Earth Day 2010: Now Generation Festival."

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Solar internships develop emerging leader




College student is recognized with award to further his development as a green technology leader. ...
... "He spent last summer at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München researching solar cells under a German government fellowship for American students. Before arriving at Stanford in 2007, Sivaram spent a summer working on thin-film photovoltaics at Nanosolar Inc., a San Jose company that makes solar electricity panels specifically designed and developed for solar power plants. " ...
Via Stanford: 2010 Truman Scholar

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April 15, 2010

New MacBook Pro Energy Efficiency




Updated MacBooks include improvements that increase energy efficiency through hardware and software optimizations. ...
... "And yet the 320M, despite being more muscular (it provides an 80% performance gain over the 9400M), is 40% more energy efficient. That boosts the battery life of the laptops as much as three hours ... " ...
Via BusinessWeek, GigaOm: New MacBooks Shine

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Queensland Solar Micro Grid




The University of Queensland deploys powerful array of photovoltaic panels to improve its carbon footprint and participate in the build out of a solar micro-grid. ...
... "The new project, to be located on three buildings at UQ's St Lucia campus, will feature a 1.2 MW solar photovoltaic installation capable of producing 1750 MWh of electricity a year. This will save approximately 1750 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is equivalent to taking 335 cars off the roads each year. " ...
Via The University of Queensland: UQ goes solar

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April 14, 2010

Solar art inspires project




Art renderings will inspire future solar photovoltaic installation. ...
... "Probably only the fact that they are the inspirations for designs submitted by three internationally renowned artists, finalists in a UB-sponsored public art competition for a solar installation to be constructed on the university’s North Campus in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA). " ...
Via SUNY at Buffalo: Vision for solar installation

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April 13, 2010

Dow Chem Solar Shingle Technology Availability




Dow solar shingles should begin to reach the market mid-year. ...
... "The solar shingle systems are expected to be available in limited quantities by mid-2010 and projected to be more widely available in 2011 ... " ...
Via The StockMasters: Dow Chemical Powerhouse

DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle: "Solar shingle integrates low-cost, thin-film CIGS photovoltaic cells into a proprietary roofing shingle design, which represents a multi-functional solar energy generating roofing product. The innovative product design reduces installation costs because the conventional roofing shingles and solar generating shingles are installed simultaneously by roofing contractors. "

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Ford EcoBoost Engine Tech Deployment




Ford EcoBoost engine will be deployed to more models and will be optimized to improve fuel efficiency. ...
... "in the future it will further improve the economy and power of EcoBoost engines by using more efficient turbochargers and fine-tuning the precision of the direct-injection fuel system. " ...
Via New York Times, Wheels Blog: Ford EcoBoost Engine

The ecoBoost engine improves fuel economy through optimization techniques. ...

FORD ECOBOOST ENGINE TECHNOLOGY: "EcoBoost’s combination of direct injection and turbocharging mitigates the traditional disadvantages of downsizing and boosting 4- and 6-cylinder engines, giving customers both superior performance as well as fuel economy. With direct injection, fuel is injected into each cylinder of an engine in small, precise amounts. Compared to conventional port injection, direct injection produces a cooler, denser charge, delivering higher fuel economy and performance. "

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Ford Electric Vehicle Infrastructure




Ford collaborates with electric utilities on infrastructure to support its emerging EVs. ...
... "The comments underscore the intensifying pressure within the auto industry to attack the hurdles facing mass adoption of electric vehicles while the Obama administration continues to tighten emission standards. " ...
Via Wall Street Journal: Electric-Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Insights on Ford's electric vehicle strategy and the tactics required to create industry cooperation. ...

Ford Plan For Eectric Cars via Jalopnik: "Ford already has other collaborations and partnerships to accelerate the commercialization of electrified vehicles. "

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Off peak chilling at thermal facility




Scheduling techniques can be applied to leverage off-peak utility rates and use thermal facility to store chilled water. This results in a win for the utility, Progress Energy, and the customer, UCF. ...
... "The Thermal Energy Storage Facility -- the only one of its kind at a Florida university -- allows UCF to chill water at night, taking advantage of Progress Energy’s off-peak energy rates, which are approximately 50 percent lower than daytime rates. " ...
Via Univ of Central Florida: Energy Rebate

Progress Energy Off-Peak Schedule: "You reduce your bill by shifting your electric use to off-peak periods and staggering the use of major appliances (such as your electric water heater, dishwasher and dryer) during on-peak hours. You are charged a lower rate for electricity used during off-peak periods. "

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April 12, 2010

DowJones Ground Mount Solar in Parking Lots




Dow Jones is implementing large solar energy system at its New Jersey headquarters, using ground mounted photovoltaics in its parking zones. ...
... "It says it expects to install a 4.1-megawatt solar power system at its 200-acre campus in South Brunswick, N.J., next year. Dow Jones says the system will be one of the largest solar installations at a single commercial site in the U.S. The panels will cover nearly 230,000 square feet of parking space ... " ...
Via USA TODAY: Dow Jones N.J. campus solar installation

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Carbon Footprint Calculator




carbonfootprint logo

Want to get an idea of your carbon footprint?  Know what a "carbon footprint" is?

" ... measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. ... amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels ..."

"... units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent."

" ... primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions .. including domestic energy consumption and transportation ...  secondary footprint is  ... indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use - those associated with their manufacture and eventual breakdown. ..."

Check out the link below for a great personal carbon footprint calculator.  There is also a calculator for business.

Knowing what makes up your carbon footprint gives you options to reduce its size.

 

Via:  carbonfootprint LINK

 

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April 11, 2010

Creative Uses - Reuse that Disposable Cup




Ideasolar-powered Voltaic  backpacklly you should use a reusable cup rather than a disposable cup.  I try to .... how about you?

Some coffee places even reward you for using your own cup.  Starbucks gives a 10 cent / cup discount when you bring your own cup.

But sometimes you just need to use a disposable cup ... but rather than toss it when the coffee is done --- can you find another use for it?

"58 billion paper coffee cups are thrown in the trash each year. ... teamed up with the betacup to bring you the Coffee Cup Challenge! ... Enter your awesome idea for a paper cup reuse and win a solar-powered Voltaic backpack!"

For the rules see the link at the bottom of this post ... 

 

Via:  Instructables  LINK

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Truck Stop Electrification




Everyone has seen trucks idling when they seem to be "just waiting" at a truck or rest stop.  Many drivers keep the engine running to allow for heating / cooling and even to run appliances in their sleeper cab.

Truck Stop Electrification While diesels are efficient they are polluting ... and use fuel at the rate of a gallon / hour at idle.

TSE - Truck Stop Electrification "... helps drivers, their trucks and our planet rest a bit easier. Supported by Carbonfund.org ... reduces tailpipe emissions ... system consists of an in-cab service module ... that heats, cools, and powers the interior of the truck ... without forcing the engine to burn diesel while saving about a gallon of diesel per hour. ... over one hundred locations throughout the United States."


Via: CarbonFund.org Blog LINK

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Smart LED Bulbs




GE readies its 9 watt Energy Smart LED bulb for market, which will replace 40-watt general service incandescent bulbs. The new LED lighting will arrive on store shelves later this year or in early 2011 and the retail pricing is expected to be in the range of $40 to $50. ...
... "The new GE Energy Smart LED bulb is expected to outperform currently available products that may be underwhelming consumers right now. GE scientists and engineers designed the bulb to better direct light downward on the intended surface and all around, not just out the top of a lampshade, as most current LED bulbs are prone to do. The new GE LED bulb offers 450 lumens -- the Energy Star threshold to be considered a 40-watt incandescent replacement. Currently available LED bulbs produce 350 lumens or less. GE has filed multiple patent applications for the bulb and expects it will be an ENERGY STAR qualified LED omnidirectional light bulb. " ...
Via GE: Future of LED Lighting

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Next-gen offshore wind turbines




GE makes sigificant European wind energy investment with offshore wind turbine manufacturing located in the United Kingdom. ...
... "At the core of GE’s European expansion plans is the development of GE’s next generation wind turbine, a 4-megawatt machine designed specifically for offshore deployment. As the largest wind turbine in GE’s fleet, it will incorporate advanced drive train and control technologies gained through GE’s acquisition of ScanWind. The 4-megawatt wind turbine will feature GE’s innovative technology that eliminates the need for gearboxes. This technology is already being demonstrated at a test site in Hundhammerfjellet, Norway, where the first ScanWind direct drive unit has been operating for more than five years. " ...
Via GE: European Offshore Wind Expansion

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Plastic Fiber Solar Cell Design




Wake Forest researchers work to improve the solar energy production from cells and patent their cell configuration. ...
... "These new solar cells are made from millions of miniscule plastic fibers that can collect sunlight at oblique angles – even when the sun is rising and setting. Flat-cell technology captures light primarily when the sun is directly above. " ...
Via Wake Forest: Efficient, inexpensive fiber-based solar cells

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Carbon Solar Cell using Graphene Sheet




Indiana University researchers use carbon in the form of graphene to develop inexpensive solar cells. Their research will continue to refine the prototypes focusing on the cell efficiency. ...
... "Li and his collaborators tried a different idea. By attaching a semi-rigid, semi-flexible, three-dimensional sidegroup to the sides of the graphene, they were able to keep graphene sheets as big as 168 carbon atoms from adhering to one another. With this method, they could make the graphene sheets from smaller molecules (bottom-up) so that they are uniform in size. To the scientists' knowledge, it is the biggest stable graphene sheet ever made with the bottom-up approach. " ...
Via Indiana University: Carbon-based solar cell

Solar Cell Chemistry Research: "For this aspect of our research, concepts developed in supramolecular chemistry will be used to direct nanocrystal interactions and their consequent assembly. "

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US Gov't Creates Significant Waste with Printing that is Not Needed




paperlA recent report from the Washington Times shows that a significant amount of printing by US Govt employees is never needed ... it is thrown out or recycled.  Wow - 1/3 of all printed paper is wasted !!

" .... Washington Times reports that a full third of the printing performed by U.S. government employees is instantly tossed out or recycled."

"... high time government ... takes the lead from businesses that have their printing costs under control. ... Duplex printing is only part of the story. ... "

"... asking these kinds of questions before they click ‘Print’: ... Is it vital that I have a hard copy of this right now? ... Have I run the electronic file by my colleagues first? ... Does the item I am about to print have to be “perfect”?"

How about you?   Do you really need to print everything you do print?  Can you print 2 - sided ? 


Via: ZDNet.com LINK

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April 07, 2010

DC Metrobus natural gas fueled




Washington DC Metrobus runs on natural gas as fuel.

Natural gas powers DC Metro Bus

DC Metro bus runs on natural gas near Dupont Circle turning onto New Hampshire Ave.

Natural gas transit buses (PDF).
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China's Off Shore Wind Farm




off shore turbine

China is looking to use off shore wind farms to help power the country ... with a significant part of the population on the eastern shore this may prove to better than bringing coal generated power in from the west of China.

China will " ... bring online ... its first offshore wind farm, a 102-megawatt array located in the Yangtze River delta ..."

"... latest in a series of moves ... to pad its lead as the world’s largest market for wind power. ..."

" ... Azure International predicts that China will install 514 megawatts of offshore wind over the next three to four years. By 2010, ... expected to invest $100 billion to install up to 30,000 megawatts ..."

Via:  SmartPlanet LINK

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April 06, 2010

Heat Storage Leadership




Heat storage technology has potential to significantly impact climate change.  The Dutch are seen as leaders in this space.  ...
... "Dutch are currently the leaders in the creative deployment of heat storage methods. They store heat underneath roads in the summer and then pump it out again in the winter. And in my talk I mentioned a community in Canada called Drake’s Landing, where they have a community heat storage which collects heat from solar hot water panels ... " ...

Via MIT: Renewable Energy Leaders

Reference:

Seasonal Heat Storage.

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April 04, 2010

Sustainable Housing in Sonoma, California




Sustainable houseFolks in Sonoma, California are working to design and refine a Passive House ... but what exactly is a passive home?

" ... a building that has a minimal impact on its surroundings. ... as systems unto themselves. ... well-insulated — virtually airtight — ... most of the “heat” ... comes from the humans and appliances and other stuff running in them. Heat exchangers are used to circulate it. ... in the United States ... focus has been certifying according the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED framework ...."

 

Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK

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Greening the Hotel Room




Do you hate to waste energy at home?  How about when you travel?  Some travelers are a little less energy efficient on the road then at home.  Some hotels are helping to change that ...

I remember when I was in Singapore in 1990 and the hotel had a neat way to save energy.  If you wanted the lights and A/C to work in the room you had to put the key chain (actually a block of plastic with metal at  the bottom) in a slot by the door.  This completed a circuit that "turned the power on" in the room.  And when you left ... you took the key and off went the power.

Starwood Hotels Element brand has some interesting ideas to make your hotel room a little greener ...Element logo


" ... testing ... energy management system ... that curbs heating and air conditioning usage - the guestroom's biggest energy hogs, ... is invisible to the average customer and doesn't require guests to alter their behavior ... "

" ... motion- and heat-sensitive sensors ... detect when people leave their rooms or fall asleep inside, he said. ... automatically trims heating or air conditioning ... cuts energy use without radically altering the temperature ..."

" ... cut heating and air conditioning use  by 47%, ... equivalent of about 50,000 pounds of CO2 emissions or about 2,500 gallons of gas ... "

 

Via:  USA Today LINK

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April 03, 2010

Most Green Dream Job




Dream jobs has a green winner ...
... "Most Green - Dina ... Global Paper Waste Reduction Agent " ...
Via Simply Hired Blog: Winners of Dream Job Contest

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Think Laterally to Solar Energy Breakthrough




Creativity and new thinking is needed to drive innovation in the renewable energy space. ...
... "He has also designed solar panels on top of cars and umbrellas, all things that he said are possible and can benefit the world. He urged students to use lateral thinking, a re-imagined creation of almost anything, as a means to solve traditional problems with a nontraditional approach. " ...
Via The Pendulum, Elon University: Think laterally, fantastically

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April 02, 2010

Cool Green Cities




Green city list via HowStuffWorks. Includes US and European cities that are embracing green lifestyles, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

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April 01, 2010

Pearl Jam Carbon Footprint Offset with Tree Planting in Puget Sound




Pearl Jam partners with Cascade Land Conservancy to plant thirty-plus acres of native trees and plants in communities around Puget Sound to offset the carbon footprint of its world tour. ...
... "Pearl Jam’s donation of $210,000 will fund the urban forestry project and mitigate more than 7,000 metric tons of carbon. Conservation International chief adviser, climate and water, Michael Totten estimates Pearl Jam’s actual carbon emissions from its 32-date 2009 tour to be 5,474 metric tons of CO2. The band will also track, calculate and mitigate its carbon for their current 2010 tour. " ...
Via Cascade Land Conservancy: Pearl Jam Mitigates CO2 from World Tour



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  • Pearl Jam Mitigates CO2 footprint: "PEARL JAM TOUR CARBON CALCULATION: Pearl Jam’s 2009 carbon emissions were calculated by Michael Totten chief adviser, climate and water for Conservation International, a nonprofit that works with businesses and governments to ensure that sustainable practices are undertaken that preserve biodiversity and reduce climate change. "
  • Via Puget Sound Business Journal: Pearl Jam plants trees around Puget Sound: "The band created more than 5,400 metric tons of carbon emissions on its 32-date, 2009 tour, according to estimates."
  • Via Seattle Post Intelligencer: Pearl Jam to offset carbon emissions: "Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard said Monday that the band views the offset as a cost of doing business. "
  • Via Boston Globe: Pearl Jam plants trees to offset emissions: "The band, which will perform in Boston in May, also plans to offset whatever emissions its current tour generates. "
  • Via Reuters: Pearl Jam guitarist on climate: "It will store Pearl Jam's carbon, make cities more livable and show citizens how to be good stewards,' said Gene Duvernoy, head of the Cascade Land Conservancy managing the project. "


Pearl Jam on Carbon Offset: "Pearl Jam has used its influence to affect change locally and internationally through direct involvement in many environmental and socially conscious issues. "

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Solar Boat Launch




The largest solar boat launches in Germany. ...
... "solar-powered boat made a gentle plop as it was lowered by a huge crane on to the waters of the Kiel firth in northern Germany today ... " ...
Via Guardian: Solar-powered boat Türanor


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Green Hornet Biofuel Jet






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Fuel Economy Standards CAFE reduce GHG emissions through 2016




U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have aligned on new federal rules that establish national greenhouse gas emissions standards that significantly increase the fuel economy of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States. Ultimately, the consumer will benefit from savings on a 2016 model year car of over $3,000 through the life of the vehicle. The country will save approximately 1.8 billion barrels of oil and eliminate almost a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions. ...
... "Today’s final rules, issued by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and EPA, establish increasingly stringent fuel economy standards under NHTSA’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy program and greenhouse gas emission standards under the Clean Air Act for 2012 through 2016 model-year vehicles. Starting with 2012 model year vehicles, the rules together require automakers to improve fleet-wide fuel economy and reduce fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions by approximately five percent every year. NHTSA has established fuel economy standards that strengthen each year reaching an estimated 34.1 mpg for the combined industry-wide fleet for model year 2016. " ...
Via United States Department of Transportation: Aggressive National Standards for Fuel Economy and First Ever Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels

Corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and green house gas (GHG) emission rulemaking CAFE and GHG emission fact sheet Final Regulatory Impact Analysis Final joint technical support document Final Environmental Impact Statement (With Appendices A through G)

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Earth Week Sustainability Fair highlight practices




at SUNY Oswego to build awareness among the student body and community. ...
... "The first Sustainability Fair on April 21 will offer campus and community members a chance to see and test drive a fuel cell vehicle and view an electric sports car, a wood-to-gas truck, a Smart car and hybrids. Visitors will meet vendors of green products and services, from organic farming and gardening to solar and other energy contracting to ecofriendly cleaning and more. " ...
Via SUNY Oswego: Earth Week Events

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US Air Force Test Bio-Jet Fuel in A10C




Bio fuel is being looked at for cars and commercial jets ... now the USAF is looking to see if J8 jet fuel can be supplemented or even replaced by bio-jet fuel.

"... Air Force consumes 2.4 billion gallons of jet fuel each year ... 40th Flight Test Squadron is on a mission to change that.  ... climbing into the cockpits of jets filled, in part, with alternative fuels."A-1o jet

" ... A-10C Thunderbolt II took off from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida powered by Hydrotreated Renewable Jet (HRJ) and JP-8 (Jet Propellant 8, the military standard and kerosene-based). ... mission is being considered a success: a fighter jet can fly on a synthetic fuel blend."



Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK

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