• Category Archives: Alternative Energy

    Rice Mill in California installs 1Megawatt solar array

    Although the picture shows a totally cultivable land concretized and converted into a solar farm, this is somehow a green solution to the energy crisis that we face today. Far West Rice Mills in Nelson, Calif., on Wednesday dedicated a one megawatt solar array that will provide three-fourths of its electricity. The Global energy crisis have hit business bottom lines hard, that’s the reasons Corporations and agribusiness invest in these systems to get a predictable electricity price over several years, to keep a check against rising prices.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 19, 2008
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    US and India join hands for emission free power generation

    The US and India both rely on coal for its power generation needs; the US has now initiated a 10 year joint venture to produce and share technology for emission free power between both countries. FutureGen is a $1Billion a year plan to build a zero-emission, coal-fired electric and hydrogen production plant. It aims to integrate advanced technologies in coal gasification, extracting hydrogen from coal, power generation, carbon dioxide containment, and geologic storage. Around 55% of India’s total power consumption is based on coal. Last year, 500 million tons of coal was used for power generation in India.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 19, 2008
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    Sapphire energy launches green crude

    A start-up alternative energy firm has announced that it has found a way to convert sunlight, CO2 and microorganisms such as algae into gasoline. The San Diego, Calif.-based company also disclosed that it has raised $50 million from Arch Venture Partners, Venrock, and the Wellcome Trust. The company, they say, started with 3 friends discussing a very interesting question: “Why is the biofuel industry spending so much time and energy to manufacture ethanol — a fundamentally inferior fuel?” The friends – a bioengineer, a chemist, and a biologist – set out to recruit the best minds they could find to collaborate with them on the project, and the results speak for themselves. They developed a unique platform using sunlight, CO2 and microorganisms such as algae” to produce the fuel, without the use of arable land.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 11, 2008
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    Siemens to soon open its first US wind R&D centre

    siemens_logo.jpg Siemens Energy will be soon opening its first U.S. based wind turbine R&D competence center in Boulder, Colorado. The facility is expected to employ an estimated 50 people and will focus on atmospheric science research, aerodynamic blade design, structural dynamics, wind turbine dispatch prediction and reliability. The new Siemens R&D Center is expected to create 12-15 green-collar positions in the first year, followed by 5-10 additional careers every year thereafter, resulting in approximately 50 new positions by 2013. Most employees will be new hires with a PhD or master’s degree in the desired disciplines.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 5, 2008
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    Shell stations to be soon pumping hydrogen

    hydrogen_fuel.jpg The fuel crisis has many switching to the alternative transport solutions, but finding a station that sells hydrogen or is capable to charge your electric vehicle in a jiffy is very rare. That could soon change as Shell is planning to sell hydrogen fuel from its gas stations in LA, as part of a research program run by the US Department of Energy in conjunction with GM. Shell’s hydrogen is created on-site with an electrolyzer, but all parties agree that this is only a short-term solution. Shell will build a few more stations on its own in the next few months, and they will be part of “mini networks” of hydrogen filling stations that will hopefully help spark mass production of fuel cell vehicles. These are needed in big cities since the only emission would be water, but paradoxically, the source for the hydrogen is fossil fuels.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 5, 2008
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    ElectraTherm – Green energy generated from industrial heat

    electratherm_green_machine.jpg The options we have now-a- days for alternate energy seem to be expanding at a fierce pace. A typical home solar installation can generate between two and four kilowatts, while Google’s solar array at its corporate headquarters–considered the largest in the U.S.–is 1.6 megawatts. Now a company called ElectraTherm has developed a 50-kilowatt machine that uses industrial waste heat as its “fuel.”The machine uses an organic Rankine cycle to heat liquids which are turned into a vapor that turns a turbine to make electricity. The thermoelectric effect has been known since the early 19th century. But the idea of making electricity from heat appears to be getting more attention.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 3, 2008
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    Italy could soon make Europe Solar powered

    No one knows lighting like the Italians, its no wonder that the best chandeliers are from Italy. The countries energy requirements are rising, like the rest of the world, but it hasn’t been able to get on the solar power bandwagon yet. The hindrance has so far been the confusion over prices and maintenance cost involved. However the mayor in a small town in Milan has managed to light up a cemetery with a photovoltaic plant composed of 18 solar panels, providing the cemetery with free lighting and saving 20% on the billing cost. Enel SpA, Italy’s largest utility, and Sharp Corp., a leader in solar power technologies have joined hands to set up joint solar power generation plants in Italy, which are expected to have an output capacity of more than 160 megawatts by the end of 2011 and supply 81.500 Italian families with energy.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 2, 2008
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    Norwegian oil company to build World’s first full-scale floating wind turbine

    State-controlled Norwegian oil company StatoilHydro has decided to build the world’s first full scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and test it over a two-year period offshore Karmøy. StatoilHydro has developed HyWind based on floating concrete constructions familiar from North Sea oil installations. The rotor blades on the floating wind turbine will have a diameter of 80 metres, and the nacelle will tower some 65 metres above the sea surface. The floatation element will have a draft of some 100 metres below the sea surface, and will be moored to the seabed using three anchor points. The wind turbine can be located in waters with depths ranging from 120 to 700 metres.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on May 26, 2008
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    Data centers switch to intelligent switches

    Not everyone knows about the massive amount of energy that is needed to keep websites online and active. In 2006 U.S. Servers and Data Centers Gobbled Up 61 billion kWh, now that’s a lot considering that most users that time didn’t go beyond checking their emails and maybe watch a few YouTube videos. Today however YouTube isn’t a recent discovery, it now has many competitors diving for attention. Microsoft Research’s Networked Embedded Computing group is working on a very promising concept: A combination of physical sensors in the server room and software algorithms to make individual computers sleep or wake up depending on demand.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on May 23, 2008
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    Korean Village 100% solar powered

    While most of us are happy having a solar cell in our calculators and often dream of owning enough solar cells to power our home, a small village in Korea has already done it. The village Donggwang gets 100% of its power from the sun. The village is located on the semi-tropical island of Jeju-do. Near the village, Halla Mountain, a volcano and the tallest mountain in South Korea, rises from the island’s center amidst a patchwork of small farms. The village’s forty houses and the school all have large solar panels covering their roofs. A typical roof will have a two kilowatt solar installation. In 2004, the government subsidized the solar systems in Donggwang, paying 70% of the installation fees. Now if only our govt realizes the harm to the environment the older forms of energy production make and lose its selfish obsession with making money providing the most basic of energy requirements.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on May 22, 2008
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