Giant Wind Turbines

If the U.S. is going to generate 20 percent of its electricity from the wind in the next 20 years, wind turbines will need to evolve in every way - larger, taller, less expensive, more reliable and more efficient. At NREL's National Wind Technology Center , engineers are preparing to install the two largest turbines ever tested at the laboratory. Key elements of a 1.5 MW General Electric turbine have begun arriving; instrumentation and equipment testing should begin by late summer. Installation of a 2.3 MW turbine from Siemens Power Generation is scheduled for late summer, too. Full story here.

ECO-SHEET COMPARES ENERGY SOURCES

The eco-sheet shows that there is no silver bullet solution. When looking at CO2 emissions only, it would be clear what options to take. However, this is not the only environmental consideration. Not preferring any particular method of electricity generation, the eco-sheet lists the main environmental impact categories and benchmarks them against the electricity generation mixes for the EU 25 and EU 15.

LEAD-CARBON: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY STORAGE

Lead-carbon batteries are different from other types of batteries because they combine the high energy density of a battery and the high specific power of a supercapacitor in a single low-cost device. The primary goals of lead-carbon research have been to extend the cycle lives of lead-acid batteries and increase their power.

RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS AND ENERGY STORAGE

The grid will need to be totally redesigned to integrate small generation inputs from PV, wind, biomass and other more sustainable system inputs, the majority of which will need to utilize energy storage to provide reliable energy reduction.

THINKING OUT OF THE BOX: SHELF-2-ENERGY

What do supermarkets do with their products when the expiry date has been reached? Surprisingly, there are only a limited amount of options. Belgian retailer Colruyt has found a sustainable angle: they convert it to green power.

25 WAYS TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Jet travel has both been a time saver and a giant waste of energy. More fuel has been consumed in jet travel than by all the cars in the US combined. About 19.4 billion gallons of fuel are consumed by air travel within the US. Since these planes cannot use an alternative fuel, conservation is the only answer.

A CEDIA LOW-VOLTAGE INITIATIVE PROPOSAL

Somewhere in the mid 1980's, the NAHB Research Center in Washington was run by a guy I knew (whose name I can't seem to dig up) who had a wacky vision. His idea was to reinvent the way electrical power was distributed throughout the home. They called it Smart Home (not to be confused with the Disney movie of the same name or other stuff that uses that name now). I think it was the first use of the name.

BIOMASS PYROLYSIS

Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of biomass occurring in the absence of oxygen. It is the fundamental chemical reaction that is the precursor of both the combustion and gasification processes and occurs naturally in the first two seconds. The products of biomass pyrolysis include biochar, bio-oil and gases including methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Depending on the thermal environment and the final temperature, pyrolysis will yield mainly biochar at low temperatures, less than 450 0C, when the heating rate is quite slow, and mainly gases at high temperatures, greater than 800 0C, with rapid heating rates. At an intermediate temperature and under relatively high heating rates, the main product is bio-oil.

Capturing Energy With Thermal Mass

The sun's heat passes through the windows and gets absorbed by dense materials like brick, stone, concrete, or rammed earth that will store the heat and release it later. Also called "Thermal Mass", these heavy materials serve to keep the house from overheating when the sun shines and later release heat when the sun is not shining.

CREATE A NEW ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE

Our plan recognizes that fuel cells are being developed for a variety of applications and have matured at different rates. Certain applications are ready for early market support, while others still would benefit from additional research and development funding.

ENERGY YEAR 2008 IN A NUTSHELL

The global financial crisis dominated the news media in the second half of 2008. The crisis is certainly negatively affecting the sustainable energy market in the short term. On the other hand, the crisis has generated broad public demand for government investments that create employment and stimulate the economy.

GROWTH IN SPANISH SOLAR ENERGY MARKET

In 2007, and during the first half of 2008, all the signs for PV were positive. There was a very attractive feed-in tariff in Spain, credit lines were easy to get, oil prices were rising and economies growing rapidly. Now, the industry faces a strong head wind with oil prices very low, economies in recession, finance hard to obtain and the world's largest market regulated by a cap with a 30% lower feed-in tariff.

INDIA - A LONG RACE IN SOLAR POWER

India, the world's second-most populous country, is facing a looming energy crisis. Soaring oil prices, and continued dependence on a few countries for oil, has led to the use of renewable energy sources to secure energy.

JATROPHA FOR BIOFUELS

Does Jatropha risk a backlash from public opinion? Jatropha proponents have justifiably been promoting its benefits as a sustainable source of oil crops for years, but from the agro-business side it seems to be evolving in the opposite way: monoculture, hurting biodiversity, causing deforestation and competing for land with food crops.

PICKING THE RIGHT SOLAR INSTALLER

Federal and state rebates can save you as much as 50% on your total cost, so it is important the company is taking every advantage of available rebates.

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Solar & Wind - Featured Product

Kipp & Zonen - DustIQ the novel soiling monitoring solution for solar panels

Kipp & Zonen - DustIQ the novel soiling monitoring solution for solar panels

Soiling of the panel glass is one of the major problems in the rapidly expanding solar energy market, with the attendant loss of efficiency and reduction in performance ratios. Now, there's a new, simple and very cost-effective alternative. Based on Kipp & Zonen's unique Optical Soiling Measurement (OSM) technology, DustIQ can be easily added to new or existing solar arrays and integrated into plant management systems. The unit is mounted to the frame of a PV panel and does not need sunlight to operate. It continuously measures the transmission loss through glass caused by soiling, so that the reduction in light reaching the solar cells can be calculated.