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Environment

eSolar announces funding boost for scaleable, pre-fabricated solar plants

April 22, 2008 eSolar has raised $130 million in funding for the deployment of its solar thermal power plants. The scaleable, pre-fabricated power plants are designed to cut construction costs and deliver renewable energy solutions tailored to the needs of particular communities.  Read More

Using captured CO2 in DVD manufacture
 Credit: ACS

April 10, 2008 Chemists are investigating ways to use carbon dioxide removed from smokestack emissions to make a raw material for the production of DVDs, CD-ROMs, beverage bottles and other products made from polycarbonate plastics.  Read More

Starsense is based on Echelon's LonWorks(R) protocol over power line

April 10, 2008 Streetlight systems are expensive for cities to operate and maintain. They also use a lot of energy — representing almost 40 percent of a typical city’s electricity spending. Echelon Corporation announced at the 2008 Light+Building event in Frankfurt that Philips Lighting, one of the world’s leading providers of lighting systems, has built its new Starsense street light telemanagement system using Echelon’s LonWorks platform, which uses Echelon’s power line transceivers to communicate between lighting fixtures and Echelon’s i.LON SmartServer to provide Internet access and local monitoring and control. It is believed Starsense can deliver energy savings of over 40 percent, reducing cities’ energy bills and carbon footprint.  Read More

Managing energy consumption

South Jersey Gas is now offering its customers the ability to manage their energy consumption, practice energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs using a free web-based service. Developed by Aclara Software, the new service gives customers access to energy information relating to their utility bills.  Read More

HYmini 'hybrid mini green power station'

April 8, 2008 HYmini is a handheld portable electronics charging unit that uses renewable wind and solar sources to top up its power. The device can recharge most 5V appliances, including mobile phones, MP3 players, iPods, PDAs, and digital cameras.  Read More

Tidal power breakthrough

Bristol based renewable energy company Marine Current Turbines has completed the first installation phase of the 1.2MW SeaGen Tidal System at Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough - a site chosen for its combination of fast tidal current and ability to provide shelter from bad weather which may hinder the construction process. It is expected that the breakthrough power plant will be operational around mid-year with its massive 16m diameter twin rotors harnessing the tides to produce the equivalent amount of energy it takes to power 1000 homes. After its final assembly at the Harland & Wolff dockyard in Belfast, the crane barge “Rambiz” positioned the 1000 tonne structure onto the seabed 400m from the shoreline where it will be secured by four pins drilled to a depth of around nine meters.  Read More

April 4, 2008 Here’s a futuristic, car-related technology you won’t see in the next summer sci-fi blockbuster: the algae-powered automobile. Some varieties of the unicellular plant are being tweaked to produce of hydrogen, which can be used to power efficient, environmentally clean vehicles. Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory believe that algae’s ability to grow pretty much anywhere will enable it to be the energy farm of the near future.  Read More

Echoflex Solutions power saving switch

April 4, 2008 This card-operated wireless switch from Echoflex Solutions offers the hotel industry a solution for reducing energy waste by in unoccupied rooms.  Read More

Dimatix Materials Printer

April 3, 2008 Using FUJIFILM’s cartridge-based Dimatix Materials Printer (DMP), Konarka Technologies has demonstrated the world's-first fabrication of highly efficient solar cells using of inkjet printing technology.  Read More

Eco-friendly LED traffic lights

April 1, 2008 Many of us are being encouraged to make the switch from power-hungry incandescent lights to more eco-friendly illumination technologies like LEDs. In proof that this simple process yields big results, a Brazilian project which saw all of the incandescent-based traffic lights in a Sao Paolo suburb replaced with LUXEON LED-based lamps has delivered estimated energy savings of USD$240,000 and reduced municipal energy consumption by 1340 megawatt hours per year.  Read More

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