Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 19 March 2013

Powerful, compact products changing the look, efficiency of lighting, expert says

March 16, 2013 - Are you among the many consumers still in the dark about LEDs (light-emitting diodes)? Developed about 50 years ago, LED technology has evolved with lightning speed over the past decade. LEDs tend to be pricier, but they last three times longer than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and 10 times longer than incandescent and halogen bulbs.

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is creating national quality standards for LED lighting, the agency’s Energy Star program stamps its label of approval on some LED products. Wise consumers will look for it – or seek the advice of experts such as Tim Jackson, the owner of Urban Lighting, Inc. in downtown San Diego.

When we asked Jackson to name recent advances in lighting, he had one emphatic answer: LED. A lighting business veteran for 25 years, Jackson is extremely enthusiastic about the potential of LED in both residential and commercial settings.

Q: Why is LED so significant?

Breakthrough in Electricity Storage: New Large and Powerful Redox Flow Battery
Mar. 18, 2013 — More and more electricity is being generated from intermittent sources of power, such as solar and wind energy. Powerful electric energy storage devices are necessary to level out corresponding irregularities in the power supply. Fraunhofer scientists have recently made an important breakthrough with their development of a redox flow battery that reaches stack power up to 25 kW, with a cell size of 0.5 square meters. This is eight times larger than the previous A4-sized systems.

They will be presenting the new battery for the first time at the Hannover Messe trade show (from April 8-12). read more>>>

Eco Safety Products, high performance sustainable coating innovations as specified by leading "green builders" and architects

How to Introduce Solar Into Your Organization
March 18th, 2013 - General Motors is not in the solar game just so we can tout it on our environmental blog.

There are very real benefits to using solar to power parts of our facilities, not the least of which is the fact that it’s better for the environment.

It can save money, too.

Last year, we were recognized by the Solar Energy Industries Association as the No. 1 automotive user of solar power in the U.S., so we know a thing or two about this abundant source of renewable energy.

If your organization has ever thought about getting into solar, but were afraid to ask questions, consider this post the one where we throw you a life preserver. read more>>>

World's Largest Solar Tower Power Plant to Be Built in California
03/18/13 - Concentrating solar power companies Abengoa and BrightSource Energy will soon team up to build the world’s largest solar tower facility in Southern California. The new solar development will be located on federal land, and it’s being facilitated by the Bureau of Land Management. The 500-megawatt Palen Solar Electric Generating System will create 2,000 new construction jobs, and it will produce enough electricity to power 200,000 households. The project was unveiled just hours after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved 900 MW of solar development in California.

Solar towers generate power by creating steam that is used to turn a turbine. It’s very similar to the systems found in traditional fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, the only difference being that they use the sun’s energy to create steam and produce no emissions. The new development will consist of two 250 MW units in Riverside County, California. Over its lifecycle, the plant is expected to prevent the emission of about 17 million tons of CO2. read more>>>

Chelsea Green Publishing - the leading publisher of sustainable living books since 1985.

CT microgrid program seeks full financing
March 18, 2013 - Connecticut's pilot program to keep electricity flowing to key areas during widespread power outages is seeking significant expansion, setting up dozens — if not hundreds — of microgrids throughout the state in the coming years.

The microgrid pilot program was established in the storm response law following the widespread power outages in 2011 from Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm. The $15 million in initial funding will be awarded by early summer. read more>>>

Alta Devices achieves 30.8 percent efficiency record with new generation solar cell
19 March 2013 - The new technology will enable significant battery life extension in mobile and consumer devices

Alta Devices has achieved a 30.8 percent solar cell efficiency record verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The achievement has resulted from the company’s first implementation of a new generation ‘dual junction’ solar cell technology which augments the company’s existing ‘single junction’.

The higher level of efficiency translates into more electricity generated from smaller surface areas enabling Alta to develop highly efficient, very thin and flexible mobile power technology solutions for consumer devices which can extend the battery life of products such as smartphones, tablets, keyboards, mice, remote controls and numerous other products. read more>>>

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