Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

SolarRoyal Reveals Solar-Powered Ventilation Fan

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 07:39 PM PDT

 

Solar Royal announced in July the SR1800, the company’s flagship solar-powered ventilation/attic fan which will retrail at just $369.

The SR1800 was developed "…because of the lack of aesthetics, technological features and value proposition previously available in the marketplace." said Roy Stocker, President of Solar Royal, LLC.
 

 
According to SolarRoyal, the “SR1800 is the best solar ventilation product in the marketplace today, and no other product offers all the features at such a value.”

At a retail price of $369, the premium SR1800 offers a recessable, 22-watt mono-crystalline solar panel, automotive grade brushless motor, 7-stage multi-lock panel angle positions, airfoil noise insulation, secure double-locking feature, continuous optimized airflow cowling for superior aerodynamics, elegant – low profile design, heavy duty construction, thermal switch, lifetime warranty option and more.

"Our company is committed to making "green" products more affordable while providing a product that offers everyone from the installer to end-user with the smartest solution for ventilating any attic or roof spaces for the best price." said Roy Stocker, President of Solar Royal, LLC.

Not only does the SR1800 lower energy costs by changing passive ventilation into active ventilation, but it also qualifies for the 30 percent Federal rebate program.

Source: SolarRoyal


CarCharging to Become Largest Public EV Service Provider in US

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 07:34 PM PDT

 
Public electric vehicle charging service provider CarCharging Group is hoping to acquire 350Green, an owner and operator of EV charging stations throughout the US, which would turn CarCharging into the largest public EV service provider in the US with more than a thousand EV charging locations.

The deal is subject to the negotiation of terms and is expected to be completed between thirty and seventy-five days after the definitive agreement is signed.

"Our acquisition of 350Green significantly extends CarCharging's footprint in providing EV charging services and infrastructure to support increased consumer demand and growing sales of electric vehicles," said Michael D. Farkas, CEO of CarCharging. "We look forward to providing our combined partners and clients, as well as EV drivers, with the highest level of service for their EV charging needs."

"Adding 600 EV charging stations in 20 markets to CarCharging network will create the most robust infrastructure network in the nation," said Mariana Gerzanych, CEO of 350Green. "This partnership will be highly advantageous to the EV charging industry and will contribute significantly to the overall growth of the market."

Not only would the merger increase CarCharging’s portfolio of charging locations, but it will also expand the company’s contracts with local municipalities including the City of Chicago, as well as extend the company’s penetration into the West Coast market.
 

 
If the acquisition goes through, CarCharging would end up having service contracts with nearly every major mall operator in the country, including major lines such as Walgreens and partnerships with Simon Property Group, the largest real estate investment trust in the country.

Source: CarCharging
Image Source: Richard Masoner


All-Terrain E-Bike Can Take on Mountains and More

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 07:30 PM PDT

 

Hanebrink’s electric extreme terrain bicycle excises the huffing and puffing out of pedaling steep inclines. This monster of an e-bike has 20-inch diameter tires, a 750-watt motor and battery range of up to 20 miles.

Hanebrink says the bike handles well on all surfaces, from snow to sand to pavement. The bike’s frame is aluminum and weighs about 85 pounds. There’s no obstacle too difficult for you on this beastly ride.

Source: Gizmag
Image: Hanebrink


Obama Admin Fast-Tracks 7 Solar/Wind Projects as part of “We Can’t Wait” Renewable Energy Strategy

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 07:28 PM PDT

 
The Obama Administration is putting seven solar and wind energy projects on “fast-track” review for federal permitting and review, part of President Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” strategy for catalyzing further growth in US renewable energy.

Spread across four western states, the projects have been deemed “nationally and regionally significant,” and the Obama Administration has set expedited target dates for completion of the federal review and permitting process. If they pass through successfully, the seven solar and wind projects would add another 5 GW (max rated) of clean, renewable power capacity to the national supply.

The Office of Management and Budget has been put in charge of overseeing the fast-track renewable energy projects that qualify to be included in Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” renewable energy strategy. The motivation is to oversee “a government-wide effort to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective, saving time while driving better outcomes for the environment and local communities,” according to the White House.
 

 

Following are the solar energy projects put on the “We Can’t Wait” fast-track:

The two fast-track wind power projects are:


Nissan Wants Electric Taxis in London — One More Win for the e-NV200

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 07:26 PM PDT

 
Nissan has done quite a bit with the greener and cleaner side of public and private transportation. Between the Leaf and the e-NV200 and the assorted paraphernalia, Nissan has been showing up in various cities around the world to show the market that electric vehicles work perfectly well in the real world, thank you.

London Taxi - e-NV200

The company isn't abandoning its conventionally-powered vehicles, though. The NV200 – the base for the electric version, of course – with its relatively low carbon emissions, has been tasked as the new taxi for London.

Carbon Emissions Down (But Not Out)

As CleanTechnica readers may know, the NV200 has already been hailed as New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow." The 1.5 liter 4-cylinder diesel engine with a six-speed transmission gets over 50 miles to the gallon, which is particularly helpful in determining its eligibility to scoot professionally around London. The fact that its carbon emissions are way below London's traditional black cabs doesn't hurt, either.
 

 
The regular version isn't lacking in cargo or passenger space, but the London version is supposed to have room for 5 passengers (three way in the back, and two on fold-down seats facing the rear). That space will also be helpful for passengers with limited mobility and their equipment. The rear seat can be moved back and forth as well, to increase or decrease the amount of room devoted to luggage. There's even no front passenger seat – that's meant to carry more suitcases.

The most exciting part of the plans – and, of course, the part covered in the absolute least detail – is the inclusion of the electric version. The city of London and Nissan are collaborating to put electric taxis on the streets of London in the shape of the e-NV200. How awesome is that?

Excited? Curious? Couldn't care less? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Oekonews.at
Image Credit: Nissan


Denmark Presents: The QBEAK EV

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 07:23 PM PDT

 
Tiny little electric vehicles make a lot of sense for people living in urban environments – and (tell the truth, now) how many of you live in a city? Even with a relatively short range, small electric vehicles thrive in their natural habitat of slow speeds, many stoplights, and lots of traffic.

Of course, then you have something like the QBEAK out of Denmark. The QBEAK is a tiny, boxy electric car from Danish electric vehicle manufacturer ECOmove, developed according to the motto "Small Urban EV." It's not an original motto, but it's certainly a relevant one.

You and Your Environment Both Matter

ECOmove is working under the assumption that the driver matters, the driver's comfort matters, and the impact the car has on the environment matters. The QBEAK is therefore equipped with two zero emission electric motors, 35.4kW each for a total of 70.8kW of potential power.
 

 
Those electric motors give the little car a top speed of 75mph (don't give me that look, you know perfectly well the speed limit in the city is well below 50) and a range of 186 miles. Part of what helps give the QBEAK that impressive range is its weight – it weighs less than a thousand pounds. 937lbs, to be more precise.

One would expect, given the weight and the repeated use of the word "little" that the QBEAK is, in fact, rather small. One would be mostly right – it's only 118" long. It is, however, a boxy 69" wide, and 65" tall (that makes it somewhat bigger than a Smart Fortwo, if you're curious, but not by much), which means that yes, traffic will see you coming.

Check out the video:

ECOmove is currently taking reservations and plans to start delivery in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Source: Green Car View
Image Credit: Green Car View


Walmart Reveals 1st Industrial On-Site Wind Turbine Project

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 09:22 AM PDT

 
The Red Bluff, California Walmart distribution center was revealed as its first on-site industrial sized wind turbine pilot project.

With a height of 265 feet tall, along with a diameter of 250 feet, the new GE 1.0 megawatt (MW) wind turbine will create close to 2,200,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) yearly, the statement said.

Foundation Windpower, as part of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Walmart, will manage, install and own the turbine. Meanwhile, Walmart will buy the power under the agreement.
 

 
It's also expected the PPA will provide energy savings, along with a guaranteed price for the electricity created.

In the statement, Greg Pool, senior manager of renewable energy and emissions at Walmart, and project manager of the Red Bluff Installation, had this to say on the project:

“We are using every tool in the tool box as we work toward our goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and wind energy is an attractive technology for Walmart.”

“We found the perfect environment for an installation with the Red Bluff project – good wind conditions and open land that we own.  As a result, we expect to reduce our energy costs from the day we flip the on switch. Should the technology at Red Bluff prove successful, Walmart will evaluate the potential for large-scale turbine installations at other distribution center sites in the United States.”

The on-site wind turbine at Walmart's distribution centre is just some of the sustainable development initiatives the large corporation has spearheaded lately in its drive to push renewable energy use. Some other projects include the recent 100th solar installation in California, 348 Mexican Walmart stores being supplied by wind power, and 26 fuel cell sites in California providing local energy to Sam's club and Walmart stores.

Source: Stockhouse.com
Image Credit: Red Bluff, California Turbine via The Walmart Greenroom 


California’s Hydroelectricity Production Is Vulnerable to Climate Change

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 09:15 AM PDT

 
California achieves on average about 15 percent of its electricity generation from hydropower, with 75 percent of this hydroelectricity coming from stations at high elevations. However, as the climate changes, the amount of water storage these stations are capable of will diminish as precipitation turns from snow into rain, affecting the state in summer when it needs these hydro stations the most.

In short, California’s hydropower is specifically vulnerable to climate change.

Distribution of hydropower plants in California.

These are the findings of a report released July 31 by the California Natural Resource Agency and the California Energy Commission, and led by Kaveh Madani, a former postdoctoral research scholar in UC Riverside's Water Science and Policy Center who is now currently an assistant professor of civil, environmental, and construction engineering at the University of Central Florida.

"Climate change is expected to affect the quantity and timing of water flow in the state," Madani said. "Under dry climate warming, the state will receive less precipitation, with most of it as rain instead of snow, impacting hydropower supply and operations."
 

 
The problem is that of the more than 150 high-elevation units, most of which are located in Northern California and the Sierra Mountains, the majority are not built for their storage capacity, focusing rather on hydroelectricity production and not other benefits such as water supply and flood control.

"If California loses snowpack under climate warming, these high-elevation reservoirs might not be able to store enough water for hydropower generation in summer months when the demand is much higher and hydropower is priced higher," said Madani. "California might, therefore, lose hydropower in warmer months and hydropower operators may lose considerable revenues."

Madani, who led UCR's only research team for CEC's third climate change assessment studies, explained that the major cause of revenue loss is that hydropower prices are expected to decrease in colder months of the year and increase in warmer months.

"The big problem is that hydropower will be less available when it is most needed and expensive: in the summer months," he said. "A warmer California needs more electricity for cooling in summer months and less electricity for warming in winter months. This means that hydropower pricing patterns will be affected by climate change. It is important to analyze climate change effects on this renewable energy source early on to figure out what strategies are available to adapt to the new conditions and thereby minimize the potential negative impacts of climate change on hydropower."

Madani explained that, on average, California could lose up to 20 percent of its hydropower generation under dry climate change, which can result in 8 to 18 percent reduction in hydropower revenues for producers.

"Our results do not yet suggest that we need to build more dams in California for hydropower generation," said Madani, who was recently selected as one of the 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering in 2012 by the American Society of Civil Engineering. "But they suggest that hydropower, a highly valuable energy source, may be less available. So we have to look for clean replacements and we have to reduce our energy demands as much as we can."

Madani’s focus on the effects climate change is having on California’s hydropower began when he was a graduate student at UC Davis, where he helped develop an "Energy-Based Hydropower Optimization Model" (EBHOM) that covers more than 150 high-elevation hydropower units in California which helps prescribe the best operation policies in response to the changes in climatic conditions.

Madani developed a new version of the model that can estimate changes in hydropower pricing and demand in response to temperature changes.

"It helps us consider the effects on supply and demand simultaneously," Madani said of the model's new version.  "But modeling studies have limitations that need to be addressed as more data become available and the science improves.  Future studies need to have a closer look at the environmental side of this problem. Changes in operations of the high-elevation systems should be done after careful consideration of all possible environmental damages."

Source: University of California, Riverside


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