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Environment

Rainbow Solar Inc. announces photovoltaic-glass window

Incorporating sustainable technologies like solar directly into building design is the logical next step in clean energy development and we can expect many more announcements like this one from Rainbow Solar Inc. (RSi) as the industry matures. The company has released details of its semi-transparent, photovoltaic-glass window, a next generation of BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic) which promises to generate up to 250 watts of electricity as well as providing a 100% reduction in Ultraviolet and Infrared radiation.  Read More

FloDesign wind turbine

Massachusetts-based FloDesign has developed a wind turbine that could generate electricity at half the cost of conventional wind turbines. The company's design, which draws on technology developed for jet engines, circumvents a fundamental limit to conventional wind turbines. Typically, as wind approaches a turbine, almost half of the air is forced around the blades rather than through them and the energy in that deflected wind is lost, but by using a shroud design, the company says it is able to generate as much power as a conventional wind turbine with blades twice as big in diameter.  Read More

SOLON Corporation solar modules are being used in the new installation

Arizona is now home to the world’s largest solar array using Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells. The 750-kilowatt (kW) system, located at Global Solar’s manufacturing facility in Tuscon, is the first commercial-scale deployment of the company’s CIGS technology.  Read More

The Black & Decker Power Meter

Black & Decker might be looking at a name change to Green & Decker with the announcement of three new Energy Saver Series products. The line consists of a Power Monitor to keep an eye on power consumption, a thermal leak detector to hunt down any leaks or drafts in the home, and an automated light switch that automatically turns lights on or off when you enter or leave a room. All devices that can help cut energy use – and energy bills as well.  Read More

Photo: Business Wire

California based Premier Power Renewable Energy Inc has reached the halfway point in completing the United States largest system of bi-directional solar trackers in Richmond near San Francisco. A solar tracker is a device onto which solar panels are fitted which tracks the motion of the sun across the sky - ensuring that the maximum amount of sunlight strikes the panels throughout the day. The beautiful thing about this project is that clean energy is being produced on previously unusable contaminated land.  Read More

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ted Craver, Edison International chairman and CE...

In March this year Gizmag reported on Southern California Edison’s (SCE) plan to create the State’s largest single solar photovoltaic installation. The company has now announced that the first of its major commercial rooftop solar installations is complete, and powering homes in Southern California.  Read More

The Agucadoura wave farm

The world’s first commercial wave farm in Portugal is now operational. Three 750kW Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC) have been installed in the first stage of a project which, when complete, will provide enough clean energy to meet the needs of 15,000 households.  Read More

Making waves work: the Searaser hydro-power system

Our second ingenious example of bringing new approaches to hydro-power generation for the week, SEARASER works on the conventional principle of using water pressure to drive turbines but achieves this in a unique way. The system consists of a tethered wave energy converter which uses the rolling motion of waves to pump water to higher ground on-shore from where it can then be stored and used to create electricity on demand.  Read More

An array of VIVACE
 Illustration credit: Omar Jamil

Hydro-power systems are by far the most widely used form of renewable energy on the planet, but despite their eco-friendly appeal the implementation of large scale facilities - particularly where dam building is involved - has some serious environmental and economic drawbacks. One solution to this impasse that is growing in support is to use leaner, less destructive systems to better harness current flow and provide energy at a local level. This is the thinking behind VIVACE, a machine developed at the University of Michigan which applies the same principles fish use to swim efficiently in order to generate power from currents much slower than those required to drive designs based on turbines and water mills.  Read More

The rotors can be raised above the waterline for maintenance

The giant 1.2MW SeaGen tidal energy system is on track to begin full operation in January following the replacement of two rotor blades on the second of its two turbines. The second turbine is now running under "test mode" while the first has been generating power into the local grid, at varying levels up to its maximum of 600kW, since the summer.  Read More

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