Monday, November 18, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 18 November 2013

The Next Big Thing in the Energy Sector: Photovoltaic Generated DC Electricity
Nov. 5, 2013 — Energy consumption continues to grow. The costs of generation and transmission of energy must come down for the increased consumption to be sustainable. Energy must be generated without depleting resources, without causing pollution, and without incurring waste. Transmission of energy too must be efficient. These ideal goals, when realized, would enrich lives, regardless of economic distinction.

A viable solution is the onsite generation of electricity using the photovoltaic (PV) method of converting solar energy directly into electrical energy. read more>>>

Transmission and distribution driving China's smart grid
November 6, 2013 - The growth of the smart grid market in China is being driven by the installation of smart transmission and distribution equipment, according to London-based independent research firm TechNavio. In fact, smart T&D equipment will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31.6 percent during from 2012-2016, the firm predicts.

Out of six major segments based on technology, smart T&D will grow the fastest followed by software and hardware, sensors, communication and wireless infrastructure, smart meters, and others mainly due to smart transmission and distribution equipment not only increasing the efficiency of T&D, but also reducing electricity loss through continuous monitoring of the T&D process. read more>>>

Creative Kidstuff

Could Solar Energy Be America's Greatest National Security Asset?
America’s energy use poses threats to national security on numerous fronts. Aging transmission systems coupled with an increasingly computerized grid have left our country vulnerable to a crippling attack on our energy infrastructure. The Department of Defense is the largest energy consumer in the world and is hemorrhaging money on electricity and oil expenditures. Overseas, reliance on fuel is deadly and costly for military operations. And of course, there’s climate change, which poses numerous security threats to Americans. Solar energy offers a remedy for each of these monumental security risks.

Energy Grid and Cyber Security -

Flagship Microgrid at UCSD Pioneers in Energy Efficiency
As a leading institution in biotech studies and research, it’s no surprise that UCSD is also a trailblazer in the field of energy. Our campus is home to a complex microgrid system that generates nearly all of its own energy across the span of 1200 acres.

A microgrid is a centralized system that uses solar energy, wind energy, fuel cells or other sources to meet local energy needs. Its varied energy sources and localization makes such a system highly reliable. In fact, in an interview with the Rocky Mountain Institute, UCSD Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives Byron Washom said that UCSD’s microgrid remained remarkably functional during a blackout that affected Arizona, southern California and northern Mexico on Sept. 8, 2011. The system is located in the Central Utilities Plant, which is on the western edge of Revelle College across from the UCSD School of Medicine. read more>>>

After Trillium: Solar-Powered Flower Sculpture Opens and Closes With the Sun
11/12/13 - After Trillium is a solar powered robotic sculpture by artist Anthony Castronovo that is inspired by Iowa’s native Trillium flower. The sculpture is made of cast aluminum and kiln-formed glass and uses custom electronics to respond to changes in the local environment. The flower opens each morning and closes each night and is illuminated from within for four hours after dusk. The sculpture’s environmental response is determined by temperature, which controls how far the flower opens each day.

In winter, when the temperature is below freezing, the flower remains in a dormant stage and does not open. read more>>>

New Paradigm for Solar Cell Construction Demonstrated
Nov. 12, 2013 — For solar panels, wringing every drop of energy from as many photons as possible is imperative. This goal has sent chemistry, materials science and electronic engineering researchers on a quest to boost the energy-absorption efficiency of photovoltaic devices, but existing techniques are now running up against limits set by the laws of physics.

Now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University have experimentally demonstrated a new paradigm for solar cell construction which may ultimately make them less expensive, easier to manufacture and more efficient at harvesting energy from the sun. read more>>>

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Students help with green home in New Caney
Plan is to create energy efficient and cost-effective structure from a used shipping container

November 12, 2013 - A new home for green building is being constructed in Montgomery County.

The U.S. Green Building Council's Piney Woods chapter has joined with New Caney Independent School District to build a demonstration house, crafted from used shipping containers.

Students from the district's vocational training program will work alongside architects and contractors focused on sustainability to earn real world experience in the construction industry.

Once the project is complete, the public will be welcome to visit the energy-efficient - and cost effective - model home for ideas and inspiration. read more>>>

CCSE targets soft costs of solar
November 13, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative has selected the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) to lead a $1.3 million project to streamline and standardize solar energy installations for residential and small commercial uses throughout California. The center administers the California Solar Initiative in the San Diego Gas & Electric service territory, providing rebates for residential and commercial solar PV, solar water heating systems and other solar thermal applications.

Funding for the two-year project comes from the DOE's SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II -- the second round of a nationwide program to spur solar power deployment by making it easier, faster and less expensive to finance and install solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. read more>>>

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Private investments kickstart innovation
November 06, 2013 - Investing in R&D is key to America’s economic future as well as America’s ability to forge solutions to our nation’s most pressing needs. Both our large and small businesses are leading the world in innovative research, and it is vital that Congress keeps the U.S. on the cutting edge of scientific research and discovery. Supporting small business innovators is critical to this effort.

The Start-up Jobs and Innovation Act, introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), will do just that by reforming the rules governing how private investors can partner with small, research-intensive companies. read more>>>

Consumers put clean energy above reliability
November 13, 2013 - More consumers are willing to pay extra to invest in and support alternative energy than to improve reliability. That is according new nationwide research from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) conducted by Market Strategies International. Specifically, the research determined that more than 60 percent of consumers are willing to pay an extra $2, $5 or $15 a month to support deployment of alternative energy, but less than 60 percent were willing to pay those amounts to improve reliability.

This can be attributed, in part, to a consumer mindset about the job of the utility itself. Consumers who believe that reliability is part of what a utility should deliver as a basic responsibility and competence will not be willing to pay extra for it. Further, given that consumers are receiving more positive messaging surrounding renewable energy and its environmental benefits makes it more attractive and worth the premium. read more>>>

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