The students at the University are clearly setting an excellent example of what can be done every day to reduce our dependence on foreign oils while producing clean energy from a ready and willing source, the sun.
The goal: to determine if the system can be scaled up so actual emissions from a live power plant can be transformed from greenhouse gases to, well, green resources.
Before the advent of the vertical elevator, people were only willing to access 3 or 4 stories of building space. Today, on the threshold of the advent of the "horizontal elevator ", daily shoppers and business patrons will only walk on average, about 300 meters (1,000 feet) from a parking space.
The charge for the connecting to the grid would have amounted to $125,000. whereas the total cost for the Renewable Energy system was $25,000. - a savings of $100,000.!
The concept of using biodiesel may seem a new one, but it is not. Rudolph Diesel's first engine ran on peanut oil and now, a century later, it seems we are finally learning that natural oils are better for our health, our environment and ultimately our economy than fossil alternatives.
Distributed generation gives building owners the option to generate their own energy in one form or another. Utilities can maintain the system when the building owners do not want to manage it.
The small hybrid solar and wind energy system at NREL's Outdoor Test Facility produces 1,400 watts of power from solar and 900 watts from the wind turbine, enough to power a refrigerator, lights, heaters, air coolers, computers and a radio.
Fuel cells will be one of the key components in the hydrogen economy. They will replace the internal combustion engine and will convert the future main store of energy (hydrogen) to power when it is needed.
Utilities by law, in all 50 States, have to purchase clean energy for every green tag sold. This means that when you buy a Green Tag, you can be assured that somewhere in the grid those electrons were produced using clean power.
Overall, the 'router' for power is a first step towards an energy model that is more efficient because it uses locally generated power at the highest possible efficiency. As more and more manufacturers design their electronic appliances to be DC compatible, the concept will proliferate.
Even though they admit that the road ahead is fraught with danger and difficulty, industry experts are still confident that the price of solar will be competitive within the next 10 years. When this long-awaited day finally comes, I wonder if the industry will be adequately prepared?
The major difference between the financial and the energy world is that our current energy capital IS NOT replaceable; it is by it's very nature "non-renewable". As a result, our job as managers of our planet's energy portfolio is to create an "energy balance sheet" that has the proper mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.
The Universal Automobile (UA) is a "public domain" vehicle used by subscribers; it is powered by batteries which can be automatically trickle-charged using "charging mats" deployed across preferred downtown locations designated as "UA Parking Areas" , or alternatively, their batteries can be quickly exchanged at traditional gasoline stations converted to accommodate automatic "swapping"..
Zonnewater developed a desalination unit based on solar energy (95% thermal and 5% photovoltaic or wind energy), suited for coastal areas with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. The prototype is a small one cubic meter greenhouse-type construction that produces 40 litres of water per day.
The engine is running smoother, quieter, and although veggie is supposed to have 6% less BTU, performance and mileage do not seem to be affected. Emissions definately have been affected positively. No black smoke and the exhaust smells better.
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