- A Solar Powered Army of Energy Managers
- Cleaner Fuel for the Big Ships of the Seas
- Report Continues Good News for Renewable Gasoline and Diesel
- Despite Headwinds, US Clean Energy Industry Continued to Create Jobs in 2Q
- iPhone Device Reveals Whether Your Food Is Really Organic
Posted: 21 Aug 2012 11:57 PM PDT
Smart and Green Energy for Base Camps
The Army had been slowly but steadily introducing portable solar power and other new energy equipment at forward operating bases on a piecemeal basis. The new initiative, called SAGE for Smart and Green Energy at Base Camps, steps it up a notch with an integrated, camp-wide approach that relies on a heavy dose of user engagement.
SAGE got under way last summer at the Base Camp Integration Laboratory at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. The 150-person camp consists of a 10-acre compound that includes energy efficient shelters and other buildings, waste reduction systems, solar power for hot water, graywater recycling, and a power management system that includes a microgrid and energy storage.
The goal of the SAGE experiment is to test whether energy savings of up to 60 percent are possible at camps of up to 3,000 soldiers.
An Army of
Posted: 21 Aug 2012 11:35 PM PDT
According to George N. Harakas, Ph.D., these large vessels have slow-speed engines specifically designed to burn the inexpensive “bunker fuels” that are, literally, the bottom-of-the-barrel residue from the petroleum refining process.
Harakas and colleagues from the Maine Maritime Academy and SeaChange Group LLC developed a fuel by adding two ingredients to low-sulfur diesel to produce what they call Bunker Green fuel, a member of the Eco-Hybrid fuel family.
Laboratory tests conducted at the Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory (METEL) at the Maine Maritime Academy demonstrated that the fuel produced 15 percent lower emissions of soot-like particles and 26 percent less nitrogen oxide pollutants.
Harakas concluded that Bunker Green fuel could help the shipping industry reduce air pollution to meet these IMO regulations, especially for older ships.
Posted: 21 Aug 2012 11:28 PM PDT
"These results are essential in establishing the credibility of a process that may seem too good to be within the realm of possibility," said Martin Linck, Ph.D. "However, we are moving steadily toward having multiple demonstration-scale facilities in operation by 2014, with each facility producing a range of 3,500-17,500 gallons of fuel a day from non-food plant material. We will be designing commercial-scale facilities that could produce as much as 300,000 gallons per day from the same kinds of feedstocks."
The new technology is termed Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion (IH2), and it involves the use of internally generated hydrogen and a series of proprietary catalysts which jump-start chemical reactions that otherwise would happen relatively slowly, or not at all.
IH2 uses practically any kind of nonfood biomass material to produce gasoline, jet fuel, or diesel fuel. Anything from wood, cornstalks and cobs to algae, aquatic plants, and municipal waste.
Linck explained some of the differences involved in IH2:
The smaller of the two plants has a capacity of just one pound of biomass per hour, and can produce anywhere between 72 and 157 gallons of fuel per ton of dry, ash-free feedstock.
The second plant, larger, can handle more than a hundred pounds of biomass per hour, and is designed to operate continuously.
"Full commercial scale will be dependent on client location and feedstock specifics," Linck said. "Our preliminary engineering estimates are using 2,000 ton per day of feedstock, but this will depend on feedstock type. For example, municipal solid waste plants may be smaller, and plants converting wood may be larger.”
Source: American Chemical Society
Posted: 21 Aug 2012 11:20 PM PDT
Applauding the clean energy employment gains made in the US in the second quarter of the year, E2 also notes that the looming expiration of the federal production tax credit (PTC) is already dampening further gains in the wind power sector.
In its latest "Clean Energy Jobs Roundup" report, E2 tracked 12 wind power generation project announcements that it has estimated will create some 2,300 jobs. That compares to the 31 wind power projects announced in 1Q with a likelihood of adding more than 9,100 green jobs to US employment rolls.
Good News and Bad News
Following are the top 10 US states for 2Q clean energy job creation, according to E2:
1. California (16 projects announced with 20,879 possible jobs)
Other key findings in the report include:
A full copy of E2′s second quarter "Clean Energy Jobs Roundup" is available free for download on its website.
Posted: 21 Aug 2012 11:16 PM PDT
Soon you will be able to immediately find out if that pricey organic salad you ordered for lunch is worth it. Lapka Electronics is debuting an iPhone accessory that detects whether your food really is organic, or its organicity.
Lapka’s "personal environment monitor" is a suite of four stylish sensors that connect to your iPhone through the headphone jack. The sensors measure organicity, radiation, electromagnetic fields (EMF), and humidity. An app then displays the information on your screen. The elegant set is powered entirely from the iPhone and doesn't need batteries or charging.
Even the owner of a local New Jersey catering company who I’ve worked with admitted that the app could come in handy. The company offers organic menu choices and can use the app for quality control – before their iPhone-toting customers do.
The Lapka radiation sensor measures radiation with precision, down to the particle level, and is considered professional grade. The app interprets the results for you based on your environment, so that you get an accurate idea of how concerned you should be. Lapka is smart enough to know the difference between transient radiation on a plane flight and excess radiation in places such as your home.
The EMF sensor measures the strength of electromagnetic fields and will even suggest areas in your environment that have the lowest levels.
The fourth measurement, humidity, is more about comfort than safety. It combines humidity and temperature readings into one comfort rating using a database of what people consider ideal for your environment.
The app’s data presentation is just as impressive as its leap into organic food testing. It tells you what the measurements mean and suggests a course of action based on how far out of normal range the readings are.
For the visually inclined, the app has a second method of showing results. According to Fast Company, a more abstract readout displays a red pool of particles that accelerate as levels rise. You can share this environmental snapshot with people who don’t have the app.
Lapka took great care with the aesthetic design of the set. "Since this is a healthcare and environmental product, we used organic materials like wood and ivory-like plastic, it will look better with time … it'll become your very own, personal talisman," Creative Director Vadik Marmeladov told Fast Company.
Fortunately, you won’t have to wait long to see it for yourself. The product is in final production stage and can be ordered later this year. The suite of peripherals will sell for about $220, and the app will be a free download from the App Store.
Image Credit: Lapka Electronics
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