Hybrid Solar Electric (PV) - Thermal (Heat) Power System

PV-Thermal hybrids have recently become popular because these systems make more effective use of valuable solar roof space. The Hybrid collector effectively more than doubles the per square foot power output of PV alone. This is done by producing heat for hot water or space heating as a byproduct, in effect, a solar co-generation process. On its own, Solar Thermal usually produces over 4 times the energy of PV in thermal terms. A thermal collector covered with PV is going to work at lower efficiency because most of the direct sunlight is blocked by the cells. If the thermal portion of the Hybrid collector was working at only 25% efficiency, the gross energy output would be doubled. Now add to that increased PV panel efficiency and decreased cooling load and you have a real winning combination. Read more about this idea.

A solar option for home comfort

For homeowners interested in reducing their personal carbon footprint through solar power but wanting to start off on a smaller scale than a whole-house option, an exciting, energy-saving solution will be available soon from heating and air conditioning leader Lennox Industries. Expected to be available in 2009, Lennox' new SunSource™ system is the industry's first integrated, solar-assisted residential heating and cooling system - and it uses just a single 190-watt solar panel. Featuring a patent-pending design, the innovative system is currently in full operation at multiple test sites throughout the country. The single 190-watt solar panel provides power to assist the fan motor that moves air across the outdoor coil, a key part of any home comfort system. Read more.

Save 12% on you Energy Bill - TrickleStar™ Universal Standby Power Saver

In a typical household, over 12 percent of the power bill goes on the small amounts of power consumed by devices in standby mode. Are you a gamer? Well ratchet that figure up considerably further. TrickleStar have a device to save that waste. The TrickleStar™ Universal Standby Power Saver reduces the standby energy consumed by PC and TV Peripheral equipment. The product has inbuilt current sensing circuitry to sense when a PC or TV is on or Off. When the PC or TV is on the product will switch On all peripheral devices. Conversely when the PC or TV is Off, the product will switch Off all peripheral devices. The product is easy to install and provides simple automation to reduce wasteful standby energy consumption. More info at TrickleStar

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.

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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.