Archives for category: Electricity

Altaeros Energies has announced the first planned commercial demonstration if it’s Buoyant Airborne Turbine or BAT product. The announcement event plans to deploy the BAT at a height of 1,000’ above ground which could break the record for the highest wind turbine in the world. See what the BAT looks like here:

The BAT has a helium-filled, inflatable shell which lifts the apparatus to high altitudes so that energy can be consistently generated in a low cost way as well. BAT is secured to the ground with high strength tethers and electricity gets sent to the ground from there. The reason behind traveling to higher altitudes is because the winds are stronger and more consistent higher up in the sky.

To learn more, visit: http://www.altaerosenergies.com/

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Choosing solar panels as a first timer isn’t easy, but this guide provides a short background on solar panel evolution for people who are looking to understand what might give them the best price to performance ratio.

First off, traditional solar cells are made from silicon and they are currently the most efficient solar cells available for homes. Traditional solar cells account for at least 80% of all solar panels sold around the world. In this category, monocrystalline silicon cells are the most efficient, at a rate of up to 24.2% per unit area but they costs are higher than most solar cells. Monocrystalline silicon cells require the most intensive manufacturing because the shape of the silicon cell is extraordinary and there is quite a bit of original silicon waste. The second most popular option is a polycrystalline silicon cell, and it is relatively inexpensive with an efficiency of up to 19.3% per unit area. The third type of traditional solar cell is known as amorphous silicon cells which is the type used in most calculators and other small electronic devices. The amorphous silicon cells have the lowest prices and have an efficiency of up to 10% per unit area. The area of this type of panel is often double the area of other panels to achieve the same power output. The beauty of the amorphous silicon cells besides the low cost are the flexibilities of the material and their ability to perform well at low and high light levels. Lastly, the hybrid silicon cells combine multiple materials in a cost reductive way which are also designed to increase efficiency and the lifetime of the cells.

The second-generation solar cells are usually thin-film solar cells that are made from layers of semiconductor materials. The materials that are used in this type of solar cell varies and they are known for being inexpensive.

Third-generation solar cells are currently being researched and they are made from different materials, new technologies, conductive dyes and plastics. The goal is to improve commercially available solar cells and more can be learned on this page developed for the latest in solar panel research:  http://www.solar-facts-and-advice.com/solar-research.html

For additional tips and specs to look out for, James Walker the Director of Energy Matters does an excellent job of explaining who to buy from and what factors should go into the decision making process here:

 

(Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/solar-junction-claims-cell-efficiency-record/

and http://www.solar-facts-and-advice.com/)

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If you’re ever been on a living roof, chances are that you haven’t forgotten the feeling. Clean air, nice humidity and coolness not to mention the beauty of being surrounded by plants instead of standing on hot black tar or shingles. The benefits of living roofs are illustrated in this example. Living roofs or green roofs

  • Provide storm water management that retains 65-100% of rainwater
  • Improve air quality by absorbing pollutants
  • Reduce the urban heat island effects by cooling roofs
  • Add an aesthetic quality and increase the quality of life for people who live and work around them
  • They reduce energy costs by keeping the heat down during hot climates
  • They increase the life of roof membranes since many UV rays are blocked and in freezing temperatures the longevity of the roof is also increased since they are less exposed
  • They increase the green space in urban environments which is increasingly important during this time of concern about the urban heat island effect

LEED is one of the most common ways for people to keep track of how efficient their buildings are in terms of energy, water and carbon. Additionally Green Halo Systems is used to track waste, salvaging and recycling for construction projects and for properties. Green Halo Systems can keep track of LEED points and additional benefits of using this free software is that people who want to know the inner workings of their home to make it more green will benefit from an array of features by using Green Halo Systems.

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Green building is expected to grow 10% in upcoming years and many in the industry consider sustainable building to be the “right way to build” now a days. At a time when people are still building, consuming, and spending the majority of their time indoors it is critical that we build more sustainable buildings. Calrecycle.ca.gov explains that green buildings are designed to meet certain objectives such as “protecting occupant health; improving employee productivity; using energy, water, and other resources more efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment”. If you’ve ever been in a green building before, high achieving green buildings are stunning. The air quality inside certainly feels better than most buildings, the overall impact to the environment is also great because of the landscaping that is chosen and you would notice different materials that are likely made from recycling.

This article is preparation for a very special “How to Choose a Green Contractor” interview/article that is coming soon. What’s important to know ahead of time, is what a green building looks like because it is a fairly new idea. Some of the benefits are lower operating costs over the life of the building, improved productivity, reduced environmental impact, and increase in health and in comfort.

Some green buildings look like the modern marvels they are but they can also be designed to be more lavish like other fabulous homes of the past. Now, let’s look at some inspiring homes, and please read next week for the special piece that’s coming up!

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Obama and the EPA 's fight on power plants, the epa, climate change and green house gas

We at Green Halo Systems have been following the news about the USA’s greenhouse gas policies since the beginning of the year when the Secretary of State John Kerry’s goal was to become the “lead broker of a global climate treaty” according to The New York Times. John Kerry has made President Barack Obama and millions of others focus on global warming in the past six months and today it was announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a 30% cut from 2005 figures to all power plant emissions by 2030.

To review some of what has happened since the beginning of the year, this past February, the EPA drafted a new rule to regulate 1,500 power plans in America to curb climate change and to tighten the language on such a rule. Later that month, Pres Obama ordered the development of new fuel efficiency standards for the nation’s heavy-duty trucks through the use of executive authority. Days later, the Supreme Court considered the President’s orders when it comes to emissions from “stationary sources” such as power plants. Pres Obama’s use of executive authority has since become a popular topic.

At the end of March the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report warned that climate change is having a “sweeping effect worldwide” that is likely to grow worse unless greenhouse emissions get under control. The report gave weight to Pres Obama’s effort to use his executive authority under The Clean Air Act.

During April the United Nations report said that the United States needs to develop a climate change law so taxing carbon pollution was up for discussion. Paul Krugman’s response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s statement was that economists’ optimism about limiting emissions of greenhouse gases is due to technological innovations that have decreased the cost of renewable energy.

At the beginning of May, Pres Obama announced investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The President campaigned to build support for the EPA’s carbon pollution limits on pollution from coal-fired power plants. Also in May, research about the giant glaciers’ “tipping points” as proof of global warming was scrutinized by The New York Times. Pres Obama also recently stated that the proof of climate change makes this issue “not some distant problem of the future”.

And so now, in the beginning of June, Pres Obama reiterated the importance of climate change policies in his second-term agenda. On June 1st, 2014, the Obama administration proposed what might be the most ambitious climate change mitigation strategy in the USA so far. The proposal is that the entire power sector (America’s largest carbon polluter) must bring its emission levels down by 30% from what they were in 2005 by the year 2030.

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Insideclimatenews.org published an insightful infographic about how much different organizations that are headquartered in the United States have for an annual budget (according to “the organizations and consultation with experts”).

The organization with the largest budget for the environmental movement according to this infographic is the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) with an impressive budget of $120.5 million. In case you’re wondering what the EDF does, the EDF “work[s] to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends, focusing on the most critical environmental problems”. The EDF is working to protect the precious environmental systems by focusing on pressing environmental issues. The climate, energy oceanic, ecosystem and health system work can be explored on their website: http://www.edf.org/. The second largest budget in the U.S. environmental movement is the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC).

The NRDC is known for being one of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups, hence the NRDC claims to be “The Earth’s Best Defense” and the “nation’s most effective environmental action group”. The best defense and most powerful environmental group in this case revolves around the fact that the NRDC combines grassroots power with “courtroom clout”. The staff works with various groups to address:

All of these pressing environmental issues and more can be read about by clicking on the links here: http://www.nrdc.org/about/. Both the EDF and the NRDC are known as political activists and interestingly enough the five largest budgeted organizations are all political advocates according to insideclimatenews.org. The second largest budgeted organizations are in the direction action category and the smallest budgeted organizations fall under the grassroots category.

In summary, the top 10 organizations driving the “modern green wave” show how the environmental movement is swayed. These budgets “advance environmental agendas at the local, national and international levels” and so this info graphic is a good, quick way to see who the biggest players are:

 Top 10 Enviro Group from insideclimatenews

(Source: http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140407/infographic-field-guide-us-environmental-movement

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With a 200 horsepower electric motor and a top speed of 216 mph, the Lightning LS-218 SuperBike is not just the world’s fastest production electric motorcycle – it also holds the world land speed record as the fastest production motorcycle period. The LS-218 has a driving range up to 180 miles per charge, and it can be recharged in just 30 minutes with a quick charger.

The numbers:

-200 horsepower
-168 lb-ft. of torque
-weighs 495 pounds
-tops out at 216mph

“Consumers no longer are required to pay more for less performance to support green technology”, said the CEO of Lightning Motorcycle. It’s been tested and proven to win against the best gasoline race bikes.

For a mere $38,000 the insanely fast Lightning LS-218 can be yours starting this summer!

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Aside from its speed, shocking good looks, ultimate customer satisfaction and impressive mechanical/electrical design there are many fun facts about the innovative Model S. Whatever else the company and Elon Musk have up their sleeve, we are excited to see it in the much anticipated Model X and more!

A reflection on some of the Model S’s impressive accomplishments is in order, and just remember, you read it here.

Some fun facts about the Tesla Model S include:

  • The NHTS’s tried to perform a root crush resistance test on the Model S, and it actually broke. The roof crush resistance is over twice the requirement by the NHTSA.
  • It also got a 5.4 star crash test rating which was the highest ever recorded.
  • The Model S has the largest panoramic sunroof of any production car.
  • The Motortrend’s Car of the Year Award is extremely coveted and the Model S was the first electric vehicle to receive this award ever.
  • The largest digital display/touchscreen at 17” of any production vehicle. In effect creating a “minimalist” design with no knobs or physical dials on the dash.
  • This car also has the lowest drag coefficient of any production car, at 0.24.
  • The sound system in the Model S includes “visual surround control” where a 3D image of the insides of the vehicle comes on the screen and users can just drag their fingers to direct music to be louder accordingly.
  • The cargo space in the car is the largest in its class, in fact underneath the front hood is even more storage space!
  • There are only 20 moving parts
  • A web browser is included in the 17” display, with internet provided entirely by Tesla!

Now we are interested in knowing more about Tesla’s commitment to the planet…and that smaller Model S (code name: “Blue Star”).

 

 

inside tesla model stesla

 

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Sick of waiting for your smartphone to recharge? Israeli nanotechnology pioneer StoreDot Ltd just unveiled a groundbreaking new battery that can charge up in 30 seconds flat! The fast-charging battery incorporates “nano dots” derived from bio-organic material that offer increased electrode capacitance and electrolyte performance. This results in batteries that can be fully charged in seconds rather than hours.

StoreDot Ltd unveiled their new batteries at Microsoft’s Think Next symposium in Tel Aviv. The startup claims that their product, which is inspired by nature, could make electronics more environmentally-friendly.

The batteries aren’t expensive to produce, as nano dots originate naturally, and utilize a basic biological mechanism of self-assembly. The technology can be adapted to use a vast range of bio-organic raw materials making the entire process environmentally friendly and suitable for different applications.

“The fast-charge battery is the result of our focus on commercializing the materials we have discovered. We’re particularly pleased that this innovative nanotechnology, inspired by nature, not only changes the rules of mobile device capabilities, but is also environmentally-friendly,” said Dr. Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot.

The company says they have plans for mass production, and that nanotech technology could change the way portable electronics are produced. Some even hope that it could lead to the production of a fast-charging electric car.

Video:

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The battle between Tesla and state car dealership associations continues to rage on, however the tide may be slowly turning in favor of the electric automaker. After New Jersey passed legislation that makes it illegal for Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers, new bills in Arizona and Ohio could legalize the brand’s direct sales model.

Green Halo - Teslas's Direct Sales Business Model - LegalizationTesla has not been able to sell its vehicles in Arizona because the state currently does not allow automakers to sell cars directly to consumers – but that could soon change. A new bill could legalize Tesla’s direct sales model. Why is Arizona changing its mind? Tesla is currently figuring out the final details for its upcoming gigafactory battery factory – including where it will be built. The $5 billion factory could bring thousands of jobs to Arizona, if Tesla decides to build it there, but unfortunately Tesla is not going to build it in a state where it’s illegal for the company to sell its cars.

As a result, Arizona House Bill 2123 was recently amended to strike down laws against Tesla’s sales model. The bill would only allow automakers that only sell electric vehicles to use the direct to consumer sales model. The bill is similar to a compromise between Tesla and the state of Ohio. It was illegal for Tesla to sell its vehicles in Ohio, but the state amended its law so that Tesla can sell its vehicles out of three stores, as long as it continues to sell only electric vehicles.

There are also reports that Texas may change its laws in favor of Tesla in an effort to attract the new gigafactory. Lastly, New Jersey may reverse its decision after all – Assemblyman Tim Eustace has introduced a new bill that would allow Tesla to continue to sell vehicles in the state.

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