Monday, August 20, 2012

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

United Airlines Signs On With Sustainable Aviation Group

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 11:16 PM PDT

United Airlines on Friday joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), a group which supports advancing commercialization and development of aviation biofuels.

Around 35% of the consumer demand comes from SAFUG representatives. As part of signing onto the group, United Airlines promises to look at advancing biofuels that will support sustainability standards. The airline will also collaborate as part of the group with top organizations to create biofuels certification criteria, and advance making aviation biofuels more attractive in the market.

“We are excited to collaborate with other industry leaders in our shared quest to advance sustainable biofuels,” Jimmy Samartzis, managing director of Global Environmental Affairs and Sustainability for United Airlines said in the statement.

“We will all benefit from our collective work to find solutions to make alternative fuel available at commercial scale and secure a sustainable future for aviation," he said.

The latest sustainability action by the US airline is just one of many recent initiatives it has engaged in to promote more environmentally friendly air travel. United was the first major US airline to successfully fly a commercial flight using advanced biofuels in 2011, after previous test flights in 2009 and 2010. It also plans to buy 50 million gallons in sustainable biofuels.

Source: PR Newswire
Image Credit: United Airlines Boeing 747 image via Shutterstock

Boeing Aims to Turn Cooking Oil Waste into Aviation Biofuel in China

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 11:05 PM PDT

Boeing, one of the world's largest aviation companies, is teaming up with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) in a bid to increase aviation biofuels in the emerging market country.

According to a recent article from Waste Management World, both companies will fund the project. The co-venture will be located in the COMAC Beijing Aeronautical Science & Technology Research Institute (BASTRI). The project will look at treating cooking oil and making it into a valuable aviation biofuel.

The centre will also look at advancing aviation biofuels and efficiency through air traffic management. It is all in a bid to expand the ever-growing need for China's aviation market, while making it more environmentally sustainable.

Consider some interesting facts from the Waste Management World article regarding China's ferocious appetite for flying:

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has forecast that passenger traffic in China will surpass 300 million this year and will reach 1.5 billion passengers by 2030.

Boeing said that it estimated that Chinese airlines will need to buy 5,000 new airplanes by 2030 to meet the extraordinary demand.

While there has often been criticism about flying’s big footprint, the importance of creating aviation biofuels will be the ultimate test of environmental sustainability in a globalized economy.

Source: Waste Management World
Image Credit: China Airlines Boeing 747 image via Shutterstock

DIY Solar (Yes, You Can!)

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 11:00 PM PDT

For those crafty people ready to jump from homemade clothing, furniture, and baby food, take a stab at a DIY solar power system.

MacOSJoey has come up with a step-by-step online manual of how to construct and modify your very own solar power system. He’s gone to the trouble to describe what you need, what to troubleshoot for and how to modify your system with additional batteries. He even posts all the stats you could ever wonder.

Goodbye, macaroni necklace; hello, sustainable power!

Source: Tree Hugger
Image: Cherkas via Shutterstock 

Fueling Stations of the Future Here Now

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 10:55 PM PDT

The 21st century’s just about sure to see the end of what, in terms of human evolution, has been aptly dubbed "The Fossil Fuel Era." The transition to cleaner, renewable forms of energy and power — be it for lighting, heating, cooling or industry — is (pardon the pun) gaining steam. And while gains are slower and more difficult to come by, the same can be said when it comes to transportation, that other major component of fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

A growing number of entrepreneurial companies — from multinational giants such as GE to small-scale newcomers, such as Tesla, A123, and a bevy of others — are hard at work developing electric, flex and hybrid fuel vehicles, as well as the infrastructure to support them.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales jumped 164% year-over-year in June. Sales of the Lexus CT200h increased 500%, while Chevy Volt sales surged 200% higher, according to the Kelley Blue Book Market Report.

There’s good reason to believe that this surge in the search and development of clean, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure will be different; that a drop in oil, gasoline and diesel prices won’t be enough to derail progess, as happened in the eighties and nineties subsequent to the oil crises of the 1970s. Two news items this past week provide supporting evidence.



Of Skypumps and Solar Trees

GE’s industrial division and Urban Green Energy (UGE) came out with word that the first installation of their Sanya Skypump is up and running at the headquarters of environmental services company Cespa near Barcelona, Spain. Integrating New York–based Urban Green Energy’s 4-kW vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) and GE’s DuraStation EV chargers, the Sanya Skypump points the way toward fueling stations of the future that gather all the energy they need from the wind.

Along a similar vein, San Diego’s Envision Solar announced it has successfully completed engineering and manufacturing of its first run of pre-cast concrete columns for its Solar Tree arrays. Parking lots are ideal sites for Envision’s Solar Trees. Combine them with EV chargers and you have a clean, renewable fueling station right where EV motorists need and want it.

The Sanya Skypump can fully charge EVs in 4-8 hours, using electricity produced by UGE’s 4-kW VAWT, which stands 42 feet high, according to the partner companies. Winds of at least 7 mph are needed to generate electricity.

Plans are in the works to install Sanya Skypump EV fueling stations in the US and Australia before year-end, GE and UGE say. Sites include shopping malls and universities, as well as other locations.

A big advantage of the Sanya Skypump wind-powered EV fueling station is its installation time. The entire system takes less than two hours to get up and running, the companies say.

Envision Solar’s new pre-cast Solar Tree concrete columns are part of its "Drag & Drop Infrastructure" product line, one that "offers much faster, more efficient deployment of Solar Tree structures," the company explains.

“We are continually leveraging technology to increase our efficiency and quality. We call this new modularized approach: Drag & Drop Infrastructure™ — creating the shortest possible time and ease for deploying the best solar shaded parking products in the industry with the least disruption in the field," Envision Solar president and CEO Desmond Wheatley elaborated.

"That means lower costs, lower risks, higher quality and higher customer satisfaction. We have to take these steps in order to efficiently meet the volume demands that our business development activities will be creating. We are in this to deploy thousands of Solar Tree arrays and we are going to have to be highly efficient to get that done.”

Manufacturing the concrete columns in a controlled environment enables Envision to produce the highest quality results. It also makes for much more efficient installations. The new Solar Tree columns enable Envision to install the solar PV structures in hours rather than the days or even weeks required for columns that are cast in place, director of Program Management Peter Seiler added.

Panasonic Wins Award for Solar Technology

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 08:52 PM PDT

Panasonic has received the Corporate Innovation Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for developing and commercializing high performance heterojunction solar technology (HIT).

Panasonic began working on developing solar cells in the early 1980s, and by 1987 were successful in mass producing HIT solar cells that were widely used in calculators. After solar cells became ubiquitous in calculators, other companies and researchers began applying solar cells to other devices.

Today, HIT cells are recognized to have a conversion efficiency of nearly 22 percent at mass production level. Panasonic produces about 6,000 megawatts of HIT solar cells every year, supplying Japan, Europe, and America.

The IEEE Corporate Innovation Award is given to any entity that has advanced electrotechnology in a major way.

Source: Business Wire

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