Swansea Engineering team pioneer Smart Electricity Meter

The Power Electronics team from Swansea University's School of Engineering has developed one of the world's most advanced Smart Electricity Meters. The Smart Meter is to be the focal point for a consumer's personal energy queries. It monitors their energy consumption, giving information not just through a traditional power reading, but in a user-friendly way by displaying animated graphics of money on a large clear screen on the meter. It also goes one step further than most other potential Smart Meters in that it monitors individual power circuits in the home, including upstairs lighting, downstairs lighting and kitchen sockets. The team believes there is also the possibility to monitor individual appliances when the technology is adopted further. The presentation of consumption information is complemented by the ability to show power generated from micro-renewable technologies in a 'plug and play' manner, similar to the wind turbine currently commercially available, and generic solar panels. This is an effort to provide a simple, easy to set up method for people with no expertise in Power Electronics. Read more .

Fisker Karma hybrid sports car has an optional, full-length solar roof.

The Karma will do 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds with a top speed beyond 125 mph (200 km/h) but only has a 50-mile range per charge on lithium-ion batteries. The driver will be able to select between two modes of driving. The first mode is Stealth Drive, which is the quiet economy mode for optimal relaxed and efficient driving. Evidently, the car moves so quietly the company will be offering optional interior and exterior speakers with a menu of "car noises." I kid you not. By flipping the second paddle behind the steering wheel, the car will switch to Sport Drive, which will access the full power of the vehicle. To be offered fourth quarter next year, the Karma will be built in Finland and priced at $80,000. http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/ . More photos http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/vehicles/downloads/

Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cell Wheelchairs from Japan

The wheelchair's fuel-cell system is a 24V 250W PEFC Air Cooling External Humidifier. It drives at a max. speed of 6km/h and the driving range is 10hours, 60km (H2 Storage 190g/4 canisters) and 5hours, 30km (H2 Storage 100g/2 canisters). With the Japanese population aging rapidly, the fuel-cell wheelchair and cart applications have a bright future. Promoted as "Eco" fuel-cell powered means turning the "silver market" into green. Read the full story at TreeHugger.

The Mini E

Starting next year drivers in the Los Angeles and New York areas will be able to lease a fleet of 500 all-electric Coopers from BMW's Mini division. The Mini E, as it's called, will be able to travel 150 miles on a single charge with a top speed of 95 miles per hour. The Mini E will be a two-seater. The space usually taken up by back seats in a gas-powered Mini will be taken up by lithium-ion batteries. While the initial start may be quick, the Mini E will accelerate up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) per hour in 8.5 seconds, which is about average for a modern car. CNN report.

UNCOVERING ENERGY INEFFICIENCIES

Energy inefficiency is not easily noticed in facilities. Aging infrastructure, high energy and maintenance costs are all proxies for energy inefficiency in facilities. Typically if an energy audit has not been done at a facility in the last five years, and is accompanied by some of the conditions mentioned above it is a good candidate for an energy action plan.

5 PRACTICAL SOLAR APPLICATIONS

You've got some money saved and going solar crossed your mind. But you'd rather have new floors or walls, or invest in the little addition you always wanted. Why not do both?

BIO-FUEL MARKET SET TO GROW

Middle Eastern oil sheiks move over. There's a new kid on the energy block!

CLEAN ENERGY FROM ANAEROBIC DIGESTION

The livestock industry is a vitally important contributor to the economy of any country, regardless of the degree of industrialization. Animal manure is a valuable source of renewable energy; additionally, it has soil enhancement properties.

MR. PICKENS ... WHAT ABOUT PLUG-IN HYBRIDS?

Plug-in cars appear to be a natural companion to wind power. Presumably car owners would plug their vehicles in at night to recharge. Evening is typically a windy time, so turbines would whir, pushing power into the grid to feed the cars.

PARKING LOTS IN THE AGE OF SUSTAINABILITY CREATING A LANDSCAPE OF CLEAN ENERGY, BEAUTY, AND ELECTRIC

By activating vehicle parking areas with pleasing shade structures, communities will achieve massive deployment of highly visible renewable energy projects that create clean energythrough sustainable design.

Tankless Water Heater or Storage Type? Which Is Right For You?

With typical tankless heaters you end up with a tub full of tepid water. If you try to fill it more slowly to get it hotter, it takes so long to fill that it cools off before you get in anyway. So if you like to soak away in a hot tub, you better make sure you get a big enough heater to handle the job.

UTC Power Chalking Up Fuel Cell Installations

Over here in the United States, UTC Power has racked up several significant high profile fuel cell installations with more coming down the pipeline.

Who Needs a Tax Credit?

The oil and gas industry were provided a $17 billion tax credit from 2007-2011 in the latest energy bill passed last December. That's $3.4 billion in tax credits for each of five years.

ZIGBEE SMART ENERGY

ZigBee Smart Energy is a standard, easy and affordable way for communicating energy-related information, such as price, over ZigBee wireless home area networks. It is a global, open standard that facilitates the creation of interoperable energy-related devices from multiple vendors to monitor, control and automate the use of energy.

BEAT ONE HUNDRED MPG

Ford, Bell, Edison and the Wright Brothers would not be allowed to create their innovations today. Their businesses started too small; their ideas were "unproven." Issues with permits, insurance, rights of way would have killed their ingenuity. In a free market, ingenuity has a small chance of churning into commercial success. In a planned economy ingenuity is doomed.

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