Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Riding an Electric Bus to School Soon

Adomani EV school bus approved for use in California
Aug 20th 2014 - Your children or grandchildren may very well be riding an electric bus to school soon, and probably sooner still if they live in California. We've just recently seen the funding of the National Strategies demo buses. Now another fully electric school bus has been approved in the Golden State. The California Highway Patrol has greenlighted the Adomani EV bus for use in the Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD).

Lucky pupils in the Garlic Capital of the World will be riding a 2007 Blue Bird All American school bus, converted from diesel to electric by Adomani. It has a range of 40 miles, plenty of charge to meet the route's 22 miles. The EV bus uses the same charging plug as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt for easy charging. The GUSD has installed solar panels to power its charging station, making the Adomani Blue Bird truly capable of emission-free rides.

The bus was apparently quick to be approved upon inspection, with verbal approval coming just one day later. Newly appointed Adomani board member Jim Reynolds, a school bus industry expert, says, "That is by far the fastest I have seen approval come in. I was anticipating a few months of processing." read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

Minnesota National Guard Going Solar

Large solar project to be built at Camp Ripley
August 27, 2014 - The Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota Power are joining forces to build a major solar energy project at Camp Ripley.

The Guard and Duluth-based Minnesota Power on Wednesday announced a $25 million plan to build a 10-megawatt solar array spanning 100 acres at Camp Ripley, the largest military base in Minnesota.

They say the project will be the largest solar energy installation on any National Guard base in the country.

Minnesota Power will also install backup generation for additional energy security at Camp Ripley. read more>>>

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrator

Solar energy that doesn’t block the view
Aug. 19, 2014 - A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window.

It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface.

And, according to Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering, the key word is “transparent.”

Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials is not new. These past efforts, however, have yielded poor results – the energy production was inefficient and the materials were highly colored.

“No one wants to sit behind colored glass,” said Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science. “It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco. We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent.” read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

As long as the sun keeps shining for this classroom

Solar panel heats classroom
August 19, 2014 - Jason Shields doesn't care how cold it gets this winter.

As long as the sun keeps shining, his engineering space at Kings High School will stay toasty warm despite being the size of three regular classrooms.

A solar panel designed and built by his students over the past two years was installed in late March and provides enough energy to heat his classroom on the coldest days.

"My classroom was always freezing cold because of the exterior walls," Shields said. "Now, it's constantly 71 degrees."

The project started after Shields was selected for the Toyota International Teacher Program in Costa Rica. There, he and other educators developed lessons based on the environment and sustainability. Action plans were developed.

Upon his return, Shields challenged his Engineering 2 class to come up with a problem and then find a solution, just as engineers would do in the workplace.

The catch: The solution had to be affordable.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Travels 98 Miles on 15 Cents Worth of Electricity

Record-Breaking Solar Car Can Travel 98 Miles on 15 Cents Worth of Electricity
08/12/14 - The annual Shell-Eco Marathon challenges student teams around the world to design the best ultra energy-efficient vehicle, which is then put to the test during racing events in Asia, America and Europe. At this year’s event in Rotterdam, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) set a new fuel efficiency record in the urban concept – battery electric group, by equipping its ‘Elba’ vehicle with thin solar cells made by Midsummer.

The Shell Eco-Marathon challenges collegiate teams from around the world to make their electric vehicles travel as far as possible using the energy equivalent of one liter of fuel, and this year 198 teams from 27 countries across Europe participated in the competition. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

Produced 31% of its Electricity from Renewables

Germany Shatters Record by Producing 31% of its Electricity from Renewables in the First Half of 2014!
08/13/14 - When it comes to the production of renewable energy, Germany is well ahead of the game – villages regularly break records by producing more energy than they need, and the country has met up to 74% of its energy demand with renewable sources. Now Germany has shattered another record: In the first half of 2014, 31% of the entire country was powered by renewables!

A new report from the Fraunhofer Institute states that Germany produced a whopping 81 TWh of renewable electricity in the first half of 2014. The report shows that nuclear energy production declined while solar increased by 28% and wind increased by 19%. The solar (37.5 GW) and wind (34.6 GW) sectors also led the nation in terms of new capacity installed, with 37.5GW and 34.6GW respectively. As expected, production from conventional power plants declined – gas powered plants produced half the energy they did in 2010. read more>>>

Monday, August 18, 2014

Solar Power Growth & Jobs

Explosive US Solar Power Growth & Jobs
August 18th, 2014 - It’s no secret to those who work in energy that the solar industry is among the fastest-growing power sectors in this country (often the fastest-growing one), as well as worldwide. And many people don’t realize it, but US solar power growth has a hugely positive impact on employment. In 2013 alone, the global solar industry expanded by 100%, amounting to 2.3 million jobs worldwide.

Oanh Nguyen of The Refrigeration School, a fast-track climate control training program, has posted some very informative stats on US solar power growth, use, and demand on the school’s website. The infographic is up-to-date, clear, and almost startlingly appealing. Here are some highlights in text: read more>>>