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.

PIT POWER TOWER

This article presents the novel combination of a Pneumatic Power Tower and Solar Power Tower in an Open Pit Mine: called a "Pit Power Tower" (PPT).

SOLAR WINDOW FILM IN NEW YORK CITY

The new generation of clear solar control window films offer different choices, featuring the ability to block solar heat without blocking the sun's natural daylight. The best among them are those offering true Infrared Reflectance, using Southwall Technology's "heat-mirror" technology to ensure that solar heat is reflected away from the window and not absorbed into the building or the window glass.

THE FUTURE OF EVACUATED TUBE TECHNOLOGY

The media, policymakers and even those in the industry have let evacuated tubes languish as a mere cousin to solar electric.

THE TRUTH ABOUT AN ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME

There has been a lot of progress made recently in improving energy efficiency, but it's important to look at the process and your house as a whole - an improvement in just one area of your home will not necessarily work.

WATER CONSERVATION

How many of us defrost frozen meat with running water instead of letting it thaw in the fridge? How many times do you use the hose to sweep off the driveway when a broom can be just as effective?

A DAY AT SOLAR POWER 2008

After several weeks of economic doom and gloom in the news we walked into a room full of squeeky new booths full of optimistic and excited people showing and talking about a new world where responsible companies lead the way to a renewable energy future. How refreshing is that!

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