Case Studies With SunWize

Three recent solar installations from SunWize.

Do-it-yourself solar power for your home

Imagine outfitting your house with small, affordable solar panels that plug into a socket and pump power into your electrical system instead of taking it out.  That's the promise of a Seattle, Washington-based start-up that is working to provide renewable energy options -- solar panels and wind turbines -- for homes and small businesses. The panels cost as little as $600 and plug directly into a power outlet. The company,  Clarian Power , aims to be the first to bring a plug-in solar power system to the market, in 2011. Clarian's president, Chad Maglaque, says the company's product is different from existing micro-inverters, which convert solar panels' power into AC current. Maglaque says his system has built-in circuit protection, doesn't require a dedicated electrical panel and plugs directly into a standard electrical outlet. Source: CNN

Whisky Powered Cars ...Yeah!

That's right, whisky. Scottish (where else?) researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have figured out a way to use the byproducts of their nation's most famous beverage as biofuel, capable of running in any normal engine. Like some other biofuels, no modifications to the car are needed, making it an easily adopted, if not easily made or found, alternative. During the making of whisky (in this case likely Scotch, rather than the more freedom-loving whisky of my own nation, the glorious amber elixir that is bourbon), two main byproducts are produced. "Pot ale" is the name for the leftover liquid in the stills, and "draff" is the leftover, used-up grains. Together, the pot ale and draff can be converted into butanol. Butanol can actually be burned in typical gas engines, but due to its higher cost and difficulty in producing, it's more likely to be added in smaller doses to regular gasoline-maybe 5% or 10%. Source -

Largest U.S. Ocean Device is Generating Electricity

The ocean-current technology developer Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) has been working on a pilot version of its cross-flow turbine since 2004. Over the last six years, the company has learned a number of important lessons about the difficulties of deploying energy technologies in the marine environment. ORPC's 30-kw unit, which was installed in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Maine, was battered by bad weather and did not function properly due to wrongly-sized parts. But the company announced today that the test of its 60-kW pre-commercial device, known as the TGU, was running smoothly and had delivered compatible electricity to the Maine grid at a consistent output. No word on how much electricity was actually generated. The machine was installed in Cobsook Bay in Eastport Maine last fall. Source - RenewableEnergyWorld

Fuel Cells Out of Orbit

Fuel cells are ideal for space missions for many reasons. Fuel cells can run for long durations without interruption as long as fuel is supplied. They produce electricity very efficiently and reliably. In addition, the light weight of fuel cells reduces total launch pad weight.

EV Charging Station Video

Electric vehicle owners will influence an extensive network of charging stations being installed in Madison, Wisconsin by MGE. In a story produced by, see how MGE will use driver input to configure its power grid for a new wave of green transportation.

Case Study - Missouri Department of Transportation St. Clair Maintenance Facility

Missouri Department of Transportation St. Clair Maintenance Facility installation of 48 SolarSheats Solar air panels deployed on two structures (one with eight and one with 40) and two solar hot water systems each using four 4' x 8' flat plate collectors both on the same structure (one for a car wash and the other for domestic hot water).

Fused Quartz, a Critical Component of the Solar Power Industry

Due to its stability, chemical purity, transmissivity to light, and heat resistance, quartz has for many years been vital to the production of semiconductors for the electronics industry. The material is virtually inert, very durable and will withstand the high temperatures associated with semiconductor fabrication and testing.

Solar Energy Conversion Process: Light and Heat

Photon Enhanced Thermionic Emission or PETE, simultaneously combines the heat and light from solar radiation to create electricity. Traditional solar panels utilize photovoltaic technology, which is flawed in that it decreases in efficiency as temperature rises. This is an obvious problem, seeing as the sun produces both light and heat. The new process of PETE, actually increases efficiency of the panels as the heat index increases.

Atlantis Unveils The World's Largest Tidal Turbine - The AK1000™

Atlantis Resources Corporation (“Atlantis”) unveiled the largest and most powerful tidal power turbine ever built, the AK1000™, yesterday at Invergordon, Scotland. The AK1000™ is due for installation at a dedicated berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (“EMEC”), located in Orkney, Scotland later this summer.  Despatching 1MW of predictable power at a water velocity of 2.65m/s, the AK1000™ is capable of generating enough electricity for over 1000 homes. It is designed for harsh weather and rough, open ocean environments such as those found off the Scottish coast. The turbine incorporates cutting edge technology from suppliers across the globe, has an 18 meter rotor diameter, weighs 1300 tonnes and stands at a height of 22.5 meters. The giant turbine is expected to be environmentally benign due to a low rotation speed whilst in operation and will deliver predictable, sustainable power to the local Orkney grid.

Agreement to make home appliances smart grid ready in U.S.

An alliance of U.S. home appliance manufacturers, energy and water efficiency organizations, consumer groups and environmental organizations have agreed to improved efficiency standards and tax policies for refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and room air conditioners. The agreement could save enough energy to meet the total energy needs of 40 percent of American homes for one year and the amount of water necessary to meet the current water needs of every customer in the City of Los Angeles for 25 years, the partners believe. Further, global warming CO2 will be reduced by 550 million metric tons over the same time period, without considering the emissions reductions from smart appliances. The partners have called for new national minimum efficiency standards, production tax credits for super-efficient appliances, and the inclusion of smart grid readiness as a feature of future ENERGY STAR qualified appliances.

AltEnergyMag Interview - 3 Leading EcoCAR Challenge Teams

We got the opportunity to interview the three leading teams in the EcoCAR Challenge namely Mississippi State University, Virginia Tech and Pennsylvania State University. These are the future leaders in the alternative energy transportation industry and it shows in their enthusiasm.

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize - Competiton Overview and Results

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize is a huge undertaking involving Establishing a venue, staffing, training, developing tests, setting up Consumers Reports Certifications, and taking over the Michigan International Speedway in the outback, near a small town named Brooklyn in our fair State of Michigan.

Commitment to Clean Energy Technology Would Help U.S. Become Global Economic Leader and Job Creator

Innovative technological ideas that originate from small American manufacturing companies often go unrewarded. Why? Because often those companies don't have the ability to take their innovations to the world through an aggressive exporting program.

Case Study From Solar Power Partners

The West County Wastewater District, located on the San Francisco Bay, provides wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal services for several cities and parts of Contra Costa County. In adopting solar energy, the agency was interested in the long term cost-saving benefits a solar PPA afforded and its no-money down approach. The solar PPA was an excellent solution: the wastewater district pays only for the power the system produces, does not incur operation and maintenance expenses, and sees savings on its electricity bill for the next twenty years-a plus for the District's ratepayers.

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