New Water Heater Tech Saves Energy and Money

A recent study shows that the humble water heater has the potential to save its owners, and the environment, significant energy and money. With two new technological upgrades, smart and heat pump water heaters, homeowners can expect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30-50 percent. “Smart” water heaters are hooked up to the electrical grid and have the capability to turn on the heater when the draw on the grid is lowest, saving costs by using electricity during non-peak hours. They…

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Sustainable power systems rating system

Sustainable Power Systems Rating Program Launched

Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI) launched the newest green rating system earlier this week – this one is for sustainable power systems.  PEER, as it is called, stands for Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal, and it evaluates power generation, transmission and distribution systems through the lens of the customer, focusing on efficiency, quality, reliability, resiliency and the environment. The PEER rating system is modeled after the US Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design),…

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Rhino3 Creates Shipping Container Homes starting with a ‘Queen’

A new creation has come to fruition on the plains of Colorado. The first of its kind is called “Zulu Queen” and it is a Corten steel shipping container ‘high cube’ turned home. The designed home emerged from a team of an artist/architect and an outdoor woman/tech guru of Sam Austin and Jan Burton as they created firm Rhino3 (cubed). Their motto is: “Tiny dwellings at the intersection of art and sustainability” These containers were used to import goods to…

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Energy Innovation: Solar Roadways and Solar Sidewalks

PV-powered roads and walkways being tested in U.S. Federal Highway Administration research program Get to know a solar-to-electricity system that isn’t stuck on the rooftop. Thus is s story about tenacity in renewable energy research and a long-range vision that might provide one solution to take on climate change using a network of solar roads, driveways, and sidewalks. Meet Scott and Julie Brusaw, co-founders of Idaho-based Solar Roadways. Here is the story as it is told on their website: “Suppose we…

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Microgrid by Willdan

Microgrid Alliance Forms to Promote Technology

Earlier this week, the Microgrid Alliance (MGA) announced its formation.  Its goal is to be a collective voice for companies and other stakeholders involved in microgrids. Microgrids are small-scale power systems that tie into the main grid.  As the graphic above shows, there are many pieces to a microgrid.  Most are found on campuses, military bases, or similar small community-type locations. According to the Galvin Electricity Initiative, microgrids feature a wide range of “smart technology in a single location, which maximizes service…

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Calling for Smaller and Manageable Electricity Grids

This call for smaller and more manageable electricity grids makes a tremendous amount of sense. David Newman at the University of Alaska provides a good case for his point of view. Read the following press announcement, look at the supporting graphics, and see what you think. Is the power grid too big? Right-sizing the grid could reduce blackout risk, according to new analysis in the journal ‘Chaos’ WASHINGTON D.C., April 8, 2014 — Some 90 years ago, British polymath J.B.S.…

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