Monday, October 21, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 21 October 2013

Solar Decathlon Homes Pouring Excess Energy Onto Microgrid
October 11, 2013 - As of Thursday afternoon, the 19 solar-powered houses assembled at the Orange County Great Park in California for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon had produced 4,672 kilowatt hours of electricity since they went up on Oct. 2.

That’s slightly more than the 1,200 kilowatt hours the ultra-energy-efficient houses consumed.

Teams of college students engineer, design a d build energy efficient solar-powered houses and bring them to the DOE competition every two years. This is the first year the Solar Decathlon, which started in 2002, hasn’t taken place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. read more>>>

Passive PEAK House Preserves Energy the Appalachian Way at the Solar Decathlon 2013
10/11/13 - Just about every collegiate team at the Solar Decathlon architecture competition took inspiration from their own region to design their prefabricated solar-powered homes. This is particularly true of the team from West Virginia University, which infused their PEAK House with a rustic sensibility reminiscent of Appalachian mountain communities. They also relied on local knowledge to keep their house nice and cool without relying too much on mechanical assistance. Hit the jump to learn how PEAK keeps its energy consumption to a minimum.

A modern home kitted out with all of the latest technology, including a vast solar array that provides all of its power, the PEAK House nonetheless maintains the comforting ambience of a rustic cabin in the mountains. read more>>>

New Device Harnesses Sun and Sewage to Produce Hydrogen Fuel
Oct. 10, 2013 — A novel device that uses only sunlight and wastewater to produce hydrogen gas could provide a sustainable energy source while improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment.

A research team led by Yat Li, associate professor of chemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz, developed the solar-microbial device and reported their results in a paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. The hybrid device combines a microbial fuel cell (MFC) and a type of solar cell called a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC). In the MFC component, bacteria degrade organic matter in the wastewater, generating electricity in the process. read more>>>

Rust Can Power Up Artificial Photosynthesis: Chemists Produce Power Boost Critical to Novel Energy Harvesting Applications
Oct. 11, 2013 — Chemists at Boston College have achieved a series of breakthroughs in their efforts to develop an economical means of harnessing artificial photosynthesis by narrowing the voltage gap between the two crucial processes of oxidation and reduction, according to their latest research, published this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

The team reports it has come within two-tenths of the photovoltage required to mimic oxidation and reduction respectively using unique photoanodes and photocathodes the team developed using novel nanowire components and coatings. read more>>>

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Building green now cost effective, says report
11 Oct 13 - Sustainable building no longer has to prove its economic worth – the business case more than stacks up in terms of lower operating and life-cycle costs, and improved value for owners, says a new report.

The Business Case for Green Building, published by the World Green Building Council, shows that green construction doesn’t need to cost more than conventional building – and where there is a cost premium, energy and other savings typically more than make up for that within a reasonable payback period. read more>>>

The micro(grid) solution to the macro challenge of climate change
October 14, 2013 - "We have met the enemy and he is us."

So said the long-running American comic strip character Pogo in a 1970 Earth Day poster about pollution. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's most respected scientific authority on the climate change topic, recently said much the same thing.

The group released its highly anticipated Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). This latest report largely confirmed or reiterated previous observations and conclusions, hammering home two major takeaways in particular: read more>>>

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City of Boston Develops Energy-Positive Homes
Oct 14, 2013 - The city of Boston unveiled a row of four energy-positive townhouses – homes that generate more energy than they consume – on August 27 in the Roxbury neighborhood. The project, part of the city's attempt to provide more eco-friendly housing options, were launched by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Department of Neighborhood Development.

A growing trend in green construction and design is to develop houses that use zero energy. In other words, these homes would produce enough energy to power themselves. read more>>>

SABIC supports Team Sweden in Solar Decathlon China 2013
11 October 2013 - The collaboration with Team Sweden is part of the company’s commitment to supporting educational opportunities in the global solar sector

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has supported “Team Sweden”, a team of graduate students from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, who competed in the 2013 Solar Decathlon China.

SABIC provided the team with its virtually unbreakable, lightweight and flexible LEXAN BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaic) panels which enabled the students to build an award-winning structure that operates purely on solar power. read more>>>

JV completes third solar park in Japan
10 October 2013 - juwi Shizen Energy, a joint venture of the German juwi group and the Japanese company Shizen Energy Inc., has commissioned a utility scale solar power plant in Ozu on Kyushu island. Japan.

The 1.1 MW project, the JV's third, is expected to produce 1,375,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of climate-friendly electricity a year – enough for more than 380 local households.

The project was built at the behest of a local company. read more>>>

Liberty Sun Energy to develop South Carolina’s first large-scale solar farm
08 October 2013 - Liberty Sun Energy has been awarded a contract to build and operate the first large-scale solar farm in the U.S. state of South Carolina by state-run utility Santee Cooper.

An affiliate of North Charleston, S.C.-based The InterTech Group, Liberty Sun Energy will begin construction of the 3 MW projects near Walterboro in Colleton County, S.C. on 14 October.

The construction schedule calls for the plant to be completed by the end of the year. Once in operation, Santee Cooper, the state-run utility, will purchase the solar farm’s power in collaboration with Central Electric Power Cooperative and the state's electric cooperatives. read more>>>

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