October 17, 2011

Renewable energy supply chain

needs storage to balance generation and demand requirements effectively.  The US DOE research agenda is beginning to focus grants exploring enablers for renewable energy storage.  …

…   “Without good ways of storing peak output for later release, alternative-energy plants become the most erratic parts …”   …

Via Bloomberg: Alternative Energy Storage.

Renewable energy storage awards.

California’s energy commission is supporting the research into energy storage, such as battery systems integrated with solar photovoltaics.

Novel approaches to energy storage include compressed gas, such as the technology offered by SustainX to store potential energy.

August 30, 2011

Alternative Energy "Stations" in Your Area

alternative energy service stations near Zip 19087Wondering if you can make a flex fuel or EV work for you?  Check out this US DOE app that tells you what alternative fuel sources are close to a given ZIP Code.

Near me – ZIP Code 19087 there are a few Compressed Natural Gas, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Ethanol, and Biodiesel stations.

Enter your ZIP Code by clicking the upside down triangle just to the right of the ENERGY.GOV logo (see screen shot above).

Clicking on the colored dots brings up a map (MAPQUEST) with enough info to find the fuel stop.

Note the large number of EV “Stations” near NYC.




August 08, 2011

2011 Solar Decathlon in Washington DC–Sept 23–Oct 2, 2011

The US DOE is sponsoring the 2011 Solar Decathlon – where 20 colleges and universities bring houses they designed and built to DC to compete in an “energy-off”. 

The winner will be determined by the team that “ … best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.”

Houses should be …. “affordable, attractive …”  and provide a healthy / comfortable living space and ideally generate more energy that it uses from wind and / or solar systems

Check it out if you are going to be in or near DC … and look for teams from around the world as well as the US.



June 14, 2011

ClearEdge fuel cells will be deployed in pilot

Fuel cell pilot program is funded by DOE

U.S. Department of Energy is funding a pilot program to enable the deployment of fuel cells. 

The grant will allow ClearEdge Power to install approximately 40 of its fuel cells in 10 different business locations, while the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory measures the cell performance over the next five years.  …ClearEdge Power Fuel Cells

…   “The ClearEdge5 system is compact – a little larger than a typical home’s refrigerator.

It is fueled by natural gas from existing, conventional pipelines.

Inside the fuel cell system, natural gas is chemically broken down into a hydrogen-rich gas that reacts with oxygen in the air to form energy, producing electricity with heat as a byproduct.

The electricity produced by the fuel cell is used to power the building.”   …

Via ClearEdge Power: Fuel Cell Deployment Grant.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Fuel Cells.

Bloom Energy Fuel Cells.

EERE Fuel Cell Technology Program.

DOE Funding Opportunities for Fuel Cell Research.

April 19, 2011

Cool roof saves energy for existing buildings

DOE calculator supports estimation of savings from cool roof installation on buildings.

Cool Roof Calculator.

Dow Chemical, Oak Ridge National Lab, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab plan to collaborate on the improvement of retaining solar reflectance as the coating weathers, using new and accelerated testing protocols.  …

…   “Cool roof coatings are a cost-effective and relatively non-intrusive means of improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings, which offer over 20 billion square feet of commercial roofing space subject to retrofit in the U.S. today. Cool roof coating is applied

DOE estimates that replacing or resurfacing conventional roofing materials with these improved reflective elastomeric roof coatings (ERCs) can reduce a commercial building’s annual air conditioning energy use by up to 25% – an improvement from up to 15% savings of existing ERCs – and decrease annual CO2 emission by 5 metric tons for every 10,000 square feet of commercial roof area.

These ERCs also potentially offer a one-time offset of 150 metric tons of CO2 per 10,000 square feet of cool roof via global cooling (negative radiative forcing).  Energy savings are highly variable based on levels of installed insulation, climate, and other related factors. DOE has a calculator to help building owners determine the potential savings of their buildings …”   …

Via Dow Chemical Press Release: Next Gen Cool Roofs.

Cool Roofs and Thermal Insulation: Energy Savings and Peak Demand Reduction (PDF).

Fact Sheet: Cool Roofs Will Revolutionize the Building Industry: Adoption of infrared-reflective paints is one of the major advances in roofing in our century (PDF).

Energy Savings for Stucco Walls Coated with Cool Colors (PDF).

Saving Energy by Cleaning Reflective Thermoplastic Low-Slope Roofs (PDF).

Reasons to consider elastomeric coatings (Link).

Cool roofs consist of materials that very effectively reflect the sun’s energy from the roof surface (Link).

Philadelphia residents compete in a cool roof contest for the coolest block (Link).

Philadelphia Cool Roofs

April 06, 2011

Sunshot Solar Photovoltaic Projects Target Manufacturing Processes


The US Department of Energy is enabling the development of advanced solar photovoltaic manufacturing processes through its SunShot Initiative. 

The agency has selected its initial portfolio of projects for up to $112.5 million of investment over five years. 

The program will create a collaborative network of universities, public labs, and photovoltaic manufacturers focused on commercializing new processes. 

The initial project portfolio:

  • Bay Area PV Consortium (BAPVC)
  • SVTC will create a contract PV Manufacturing Development Facility
  • U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC)

…   “The Department's SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships will help the solar power industry overcome technical barriers and reduce costs for PV installations, help the U.S. regain the lead in the global market for solar technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.

By engaging multiple companies across the PV supply chain, the SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships program intends to have broad impact on the U.S. solar industry.

Selected projects will create organizations designed to bring PV companies together in a coordinated environment to address common technology needs. 

The facilities established through these projects will provide services, tools, and facilities to PV companies and suppliers to assist them in developing and demonstrating new technologies and in making the transition to commercial production.”   …

Via Department of Energy: Solar Manufacturing Partnerships.

Photovoltaic cost curve

March 30, 2011

Renewable energy startups benefit from low cost licensing opportunity

The Department of Energy launched its America’s Next Top Energy Innovator program as part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative. The program will:

  • Deliver streamlined template option agreement online for entrepreneurs to submit to Laboratories;
  • Make 15,000 unlicensed patents and patent applications held by the National Laboratories available;
  • Reduce the total upfront cost of licensing DOE patents;
  • Delay royalty payments until the company grows and achieves commercial success;
  • Establish a standard set of terms for licensing agreements;

Here are some DOE technology commercialization success stories (PDF).  …

…   “The program allows startups to license up to three National Laboratories patents for just $1,000 each, between May 2 and Dec. 15.

Normally those patents cost from $10,000 to $50,000 to obtain. The plan would also simplify the technology-licensing process …”   …

Via MIT News: Department of Energy Startup Licensing Program.

US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu discusses the United States energy situation at the Energy Innovation Summit.

Secretary Steven Chu's slides on the clean energy innovation race (slides).

March 08, 2011

Isobutanol bioprocessing from cellulose

UCLA scientist leads BESC team in research that streamlines the synthesis of isobutanolBiofuel from cellulose biomass from cellulose based materials.  The key to the process is development of microbes through genetic engineering.  The research team will continue to pursue genetically engineered strains that convert cellulosic materials well.  …

…   “Using consolidated bioprocessing, a team led by James Liao of the University of California at Los Angeles for the first time produced isobutanol directly from cellulose.

The team's work, published online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, represents across-the-board savings in processing costs and time, plus isobutanol is a higher grade of alcohol than ethanol.”   …

Via Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Cellulose based isobutanol.

March 07, 2011

Cadmium telluride solar module research

PPG, Oak Ridge National Lab and Colorado State will join forces to develop low cost solarSampath solar research efforts photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride.  The research collaboration will focus on materials, coatings, and production processes to commercialize the new modules.  …

…   “joined to reduce Cadmium Telluride module costs by 17 percent or under $1 per watt. The group has been awarded $3.1 million by the Department of Energy.”   …

Via Colorado State University: Collaboration.

December 14, 2010

Philadelphia to Get Solar Farm

Phila Sustainability

Philadelphia wants to get 20 % of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

" ... Solar City Partnership will develop a strategy through which 2.3 MW of solar electricity will be generated within the city of Philadelphia by 2011 and 57.8 MW by 2021... "

The Solar City Partnership is a JV between the U.S. Department of Energy and the City of Philadelphia.  

Two Systems under consideration are ...

- a 900,000 kWh solar system at the Naval Yard.

- installations at city owned water treatment facilities (Philadelphia Water Department).


Via: Phila.Gov LINK

November 08, 2010

Johnson Controls Solar Arrays Deployed to Utah Schools

USEP partners with Johnson Controls to deploy solar energy to schools throughout the state.  73 solar arrays are planned for installation.  …Johnson Controls Solar Photovoltaics

…   “The Utah State Energy Program selected Johnson Controls to oversee the design and installation of the solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays at schools throughout the state, with at least one array in each of the state's 41 districts.

Johnson Controls will install 5kW PV systems as a part of the Solar for Schools program. The program is funded by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).”   …

Johnson Controls.

Utah State Energy Program (USEP).

November 01, 2010

Where should we store solar power

in an environmentally friendly way so that it may be reused when needed?  Research project will explore nano materials for energy storage purposes.  DOE awards University of Texas funding to pursue this objective.  …

…   “The goal of the project is to develop a fundamental understanding of how nanostructured materials can be used to improve all aspects of electrical storage, from energy density to power density to energy stored per dollar. 

We will work toward developing solid-state electrical energy storage that is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than current technologies … ”   …

Via University of Texas at Dallas: Electrical Energy Storage Project.

Institute for Intelligent Energy Systems at UT Dallas.

October 05, 2010

Bioenergy mapping tools enable opportunity analysis

DOE’s NREL creates BioEnergy Atlas that features two bioenergy analysis and mapping tools for visualizing bioenergy data on maps to understand biomass Biomass mapping using the Atlas feedstocks, biopower and biofuels potential, production and distribution.  …

…   “Users of the tools can select and apply a multitude of geographic data layers including a variety of biomass feedstocks, existing biofuels, biopower and traditional power plants, alternative and traditional fueling stations and energy use statistics.

The BioPower updated functionalities include query, analysis and state view. 

The query function allows users to access data behind the map and to select and download data from a selected region or single point on the map.

The analysis function offers common conversion factors that allow users to determine the potential biopower or biofuels production for selected feedstocks in a specific area.”   …

Via National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Biomass Atlas.

The Bioenergy Atlas Tools.

June 17, 2010

ECOTality EV Project expands to LA and DC with additional electric vehicle chargers

US Department of Energy expands The EV Project with an additional grant that adds two new cities, LA and DC, and extends the free home charger offer to include new owners of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF electric vehicles.  The EV Project started in October, 2009 to understand the use of electric vehicles and the effectiveness of the supporting infrastructure through technology trials.  …Electric vehicle infrastructure project

…   “The EV Project will deliver nearly 15,000 residential and commercial chargers to 13 cities in five states and the District of Columbia.

The mission of the Project is to evaluate the use of electric vehicles and charging systems in diverse geographies and climates, then to use that information to build a foundation that will optimize adoption of electric vehicles nationwide.

With this expansion, ECOtality's EV Project, already the largest electric vehicle infrastructure project ever undertaken, will provide:

  • an additional 2,600 home chargers for owners of the Chevrolet Volt;
  • another 1,000 chargers for the zero-emission Nissan LEAF electric vehicles; ”   …

Via EcoTality: EV Project (Release, PDF).

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt.

June 03, 2010

Electric vehicle infrastructure will be enabled by deployment of charging stations in the US

ChargePoint America’s free home and public electric vehicle charging stations will be deployed by Coulomb Technologies as part of an accelerated project within a government initiative.  The project plan is targeting installation of over a thousand charging stations by year end and the balance by the third quarter of 2011.

…   “The ChargePoint America program will provide nearly 5000 charging stations to program participants in nine regions in the United States: Austin, Texas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Fla., Sacramento, Calif., the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Redmond, Wash., and Washington DC and is a strategic partnership with three leading automobile brands including, Ford, Chevrolet and smart USA.”   …

Via Coulomb Technologies: Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (Link).

The electric vehicle charging infrastructure is being funded by the Dept of Energy’s Transportation Electrification Initiative .  The charging stations will be deployed in the nine targeted metropolitan areas of the US.

Businesses can apply for a public charging station here.

Individuals can apply for a home charging station here.

Charging Stations The general public can recommend a public charging station be installed at specific locations.

ChargePoint is ready for tracking by iPhone users (iPhone App).

Technology behind the charging stations is integrated to drive efficiency into the electric vehicle infrastructure.  RFID cards will support quick payments and processing.  SMS and email will notify owners when charge is complete through the Chargepoint Network.  Smart grid integration will optimize the charging load to get best pricing.

ChargePoint America will provide 4,600 public and private ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations by October 2011.  What do the levels mean?: The level of the charging refers to the voltage used by the charging station. In the US, standard outlets are at 110 – 120 volts. All Level I charging is done at this voltage.


ChargePoint Map

May 24, 2010

Air Products and DOE to Work on Carbon Capture and Storage

logoAir Products

 "Air Products ... conduct an engineering study and project plan to capture, concentrate and purify carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from industrial operations for use in enhanced oil recovery work. ... will be among several to be evaluated in 2010 by DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory for potential additional funding of the overall project."

" ... design and construct a state-of-the-art system to capture CO2 from Air Products’ steam methane reformers (SMR) located at a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.  ... recover and purify the CO2 for delivery via pipeline for enhanced oil recovery in Texas.  ..."

" ... Air Products has been involved in several carbon capture demonstration projects around the world, ...information on Air Products’ CO2 purification technologies can be found at: "

Via: Air Products and Chemicals LINK

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

March 07, 2010

Save Energy and Money with These Tips

greenandmore logo

Small day changes in our day to day activities can add up and make a real difference.  Here are some tips from via: EPA USDOE and that can help save energy, water and other resources:


"Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room. ("

" ... microwave to cook small meals. It uses less power than an oven. ("

"Cut back on air conditioning and heating use if you can. ("

See LINK for the complete list. 

Via:  greenandmore LINK

Continue reading "Save Energy and Money with These Tips" »

March 03, 2010

Dupont algae to biobutanol bioscience research through metabolic engineering

Department of Energy awards Dupont and partners funding for research into algae derived next-gen biofuels. ... "The macroalgae-to-isobutanol project will focus on: improving domestic macroalgae aquaculture; converting macroalgae to bio-available sugars; converting those sugars to isobutanol; and economic and environmental optimization of the production process. More than 60 scientists in Wilmington, Del., and Berkeley, Calif., will work on this research and development program. "

Continue reading "Dupont algae to biobutanol bioscience research through metabolic engineering" »

February 15, 2010

Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Map

US Department of Energy : Energy Savers provides updated map and matrix of Approved Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs by state.

February 14, 2010

e. coli Possible New Route to BioDiesel

e. col.Scientist have long suspected they could modify an existing microbe to produce biofuel from plant products.  They may now be one step closer with a strain of e. coli.

"Scientists with the Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) recently published a paper in the journal Nature explaining how they engineered the e. coli strain to spit out fatty esters (basically biodiesel) ... tweaked the e. coli so that it produces more fat than it normally would in a form it normally wouldn't, and they also made sure the bugs didn't eat their own fatty production. ..."

"Ideally ... would lead to a tiny, self-contained oil well: In comes plants, out comes fuels or chemicals. ..."

"... biofuels breakthroughs are published with some regularity. But no one has been able yet to turn these breakthroughs into industrial processes that can produce something useful on a large scale at reasonable cost. ..."


Via:  Forbes  LINK

January 23, 2010

Tesla Electric Vehicle Clean Energy Future

Department of Energy Secretary Chu announces a construction loan for Tesla Motors, enabling the company to build its assembly and power-train manufacturing facilities in California. The Energy Secretary sees this investment as establishing the nascent US electric vehicle industry. ...
... "This is an investment in our clean energy future that will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, said Secretary Chu. It will help build a customer base and begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the growing electric vehicles industry. This is part of a sustained effort to develop and commercialize technologies that will be broadly deployed throughout the American auto industry. Tesla’s planned Model S will consume no gasoline and will not produce any tailpipe emissions. " ...
Via Dept of Energy: 465 Million Dollar Loan to Tesla Motors

Continue reading "Tesla Electric Vehicle Clean Energy Future" »

January 21, 2010

Early Stage Solar Technology Investment

Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory makes investment in emerging solar energy technology to accelerate its commercialization. Semprius, in Durham, North Carolina will receive a multi-million dollar grant. ...
... "Semprius will focus efforts toward a massively parallel, microcell-based CPV receiver. This approach combines the benefits of unique-to-solar manufacturing techniques with the performance and operational benefits of microcell concentrating photovoltaics. " ...
Via National Renewable Energy Laboratory: $12 Million Funding for Early Stage Solar Technologies

Continue reading "Early Stage Solar Technology Investment" »

October 29, 2009

Solar Installation Training

DOE spreads investment around the country to enable a training network, content, and facilties for creating the future solar installation workforce. ...
... "The Solar Installer Instructor Training network was launched in October 2009 to address a critical need for high-quality, local, and accessible training in solar system design, installation, sales, and inspection. Solar Installer Instructor Training is a 5-year effort intended to create a geographic blanket of training opportunities in solar installation across the United States. " ...
Via Dept of Energy: Solar Installer Instructor Training Network

October 10, 2009

Solar Decathlon 2009 in Full Swing

Overhead view of Solar Decathlon 2009
Solar Decathlon 2009 is in full swing on the Mall in Washington DC. 

With the US Capital on one end and the Washington Memorial on the other it is an amazing site.  Sponsored by the U.S. DOE there are 20 houses showing what is possible with green technologies - using current off the shelf products and some very creative thinking.

Most of the teams are from US colleges  with several international entries ... including Spain and Germany.


Given parameters of 800 sq ft there are some very creative solutions.  Some stress extreme insulation, all have some sort of garden area, all have solar PV and some have solar hot water.  Most interesting is the creative use of 800 sq ft ...

As of this writing RICE is in the lead ... thought the difference between top and bottom on the ranking is not all that great.  Yesterday was very sunny so anyone with LOTS of PV was sure to get extra points ...

 Look for more posts and some GREENTECHNOLOG pictures ...


Via:  LINK


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)

August 06, 2009

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. "

Continue reading "Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry Improvement" »

August 03, 2009

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

July 07, 2009

Thin Film Solar Protection

DuPont and the U.S. Department of Energy will collaborate on a solar research program that will develop innovations to protect thin-film solar photovoltaics. ...
... "The three-year program is designed to accelerate commercialization of an ultra-thin protective film -- more than 3,000 times thinner than a human hair -- that prevents moisture from degrading the performance of thin-film PV modules, a key challenge in the past. " ...
Via Dupont: Thin Film Solar Research with DOE

Continue reading "Thin Film Solar Protection" »

July 06, 2009

Solar Anti-Reflective Coating Research Grant from DOE for Xerocoat Application Development

The United States Department of Energy will invest a three million dollar grant with XeroCoat to develop anti-reflective coating applications for solar photovoltaic assemblies. The development of anti-reflectives for thin-film solar can continue to improve its cost position. This grant was part of the DOE's Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting technology program which targets investment in innovative solutions, especially disruptive technologies, to solar energy challenges. ...
... "XeroCoat is targeting a coating method for thin film modules that will exceed thin film industry cost targets and further lower the cost of solar energy. Upon successful completion of this development work, XeroCoat’s customers will be able to cost-effectively apply its high performance AR coatings to all solar technologies, increasing energy output and making solar energy more affordable. " ...
Via XeroCoat: DOE Grant for Solar Coating Development (PDF)

Continue reading "Solar Anti-Reflective Coating Research Grant from DOE for Xerocoat Application Development" »