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Innovation Series - March 17, 2009

The State of Energy Storage
Innovations, Development and Investments
in (trans) Portable Applications
Home Energy Efficiency Series: Part 3 "Residential Solar Hot Water and Wind" March 10, 2008, 7:30 PM, 1625 Mass. Ave, Lexington, MA
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston November 19-21, 2008.
EARTH DAY - April 22, 2008
Building Energy 08

The Practice of Sustainability: Tools, Actions & Solutions.
Massachusetts Power Shift
MIT Energy Showcase
2008 Spring Benefit
June 1-5, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Ceres Conference 2008: Building Leadership, Creating Solutions
Date: April 29 - 30, 2008

EPA plans to institute mandatory national GHG registry

March 11 -- Large businesses across the United States could begin reporting their annual greenhouse gas emissions to the federal government within the next two years under a proposal unveiled by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
Jackson unveiled agency plans on March 10 for instituting a mandatory national greenhouse gas registry that would require about 13,000 facilities nationwide to tell the EPA how much carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases they emit each year. The reporting system, which would exclude smaller businesses that are not major emitters, would account for 85% to 90% of all emissions, according to agency estimates. 
First Atlantic testing biofuel jumbo jet.

As airlines race to develop an alternative to jet fuel (the price of oil is now almost $100 a barrel!), Virgin Atlantic Airways tested a biofuel-powered jumbo jet on Sunday. But while it may sound like a green idea, recent studies find that almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels. How could that possibly be?! 
Better Batteries

Better Batteries The dawn of the hybrid car—not to mention $4-per-gallon gasoline—shows the importance of fuel-saving batteries. At the head of the class is A123. This Watertown, Massachusetts, start-up has a $148 million venture capital war chest that fueled a nanotech breakthrough: a battery that charges faster, holds more power, and is safer than anything out now. A123 is already taking orders for lithium batteries that turn a Toyota Prius into a plug-in machine clocking 100 miles per gallon; and by 2010, they will power GM’s Chevy Volt.

A123 Systems developed MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang’s nanophosphate material into electrodes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The size difference between these particles and those found in conventional lithium-ion electrodes provides increased power without loss of safety or battery life. 
Did you know?

In the United States alone, buildings account for:
  • 65% of electricity consumption
  • 36% of energy use
  • 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 30% of raw materials use
  • 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually)
  • 12% of potable water consumption

  • Did you know?
  • Fuel cells were discovered more than 160 years ago by a Welsh judge, Sir William Grove. First used commercially by NASA in the 1960s during its Apollo space missions, they’ve been utilized on U.S. Navy submarines since the 1980s.
  • As far back as 1897, 30% of the residents of Pasadena, California owned solar water heaters. Photovoltaic (PV) cells were first developed in the 1950s for use on U.S. space satellites.
  • Wind farms took off in the early 1980s. At that time, the state of California owned 80% of the world’s wind capacity.
    Secretive EEStor Granted Patent for Ultracapacitor Technology

    on December 16th EEStor was granted a US patent for their EESU. The patent is a highly information-rich document that give a remarkable insight into these potential devices. EEStor notes “the present invention provides a unique lightweight electric-energy storage unit that has the capability to store ultrahigh amounts of energy”.

    The core ingredient is an aluminum coated barium titanate powder immersed in a polyethylene terephthalate plastic matrix. The EESU is composed of 31,353 of these components arranged in parallel. It is said to have a total capacitance of 30.693 F and can hold 52.220 kWh of energy. The device is said to have a weight of 281.56 pound including the box and all hardware. Unlike lithium-ion cells, the technology is said not to degrade with cycling and thus has a functionally unlimited lifetime. 
    EEStor’s Batteries Enlisted for Battlefield

    EEStor, the much-talked about ceramic battery maker, has signed an exclusive international rights agreement with military-industrial giant Lockheed Martin to integrate EEStor’s Electric Energy Storage Units (EESUs) into military applications. This is a big win for the stealthy Cedar Park, Texas-based battery maker founded in 2001. EEStor’s claims of making a ceramic batteries that have 10 times the energy density of lead-acid batteries with 1/10th the weight and volume at half the price were met with a due amount of skepticism back in 2006. Since then the company has been tight-lipped about their potentially revolutionary technology. 
    Talkin' 'bout an auto revolution

    Toronto-based Zenn Motor Company (ZENN is an acronym for “zero emissions, no noise”) is developing a fully functional electricity-fuelled vehicle that’s on track to make the biggest inroads in this currently niche market.

    “If we introduce a car that’s as good as or better than the ones it replaces, the belief is that consumer demand will follow,” Clifford says.

    Due out late in 2009, the CityZENN will have a top speed of 125 km/h and a range of 400 kilometres. And, once plugged into a regular outlet, it will recharge in fewer than five minutes.

    As well, the CityZENN’s approximately $30,000 price tag will make it competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles. 
    Two state buildings aim for “zero net energy”

    March 11, 2009 -- The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has announced plans to make two of its buildings meet “zero net energy” specifications. The new buildings using this treatment include the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, called MassWildLife, in Westborough, as well as the North Shore Community College’s Health and Student Services Building in Danvers. 
    Portland Architecture: Getting electricity from rivers without ...

    March 12 -- By Brian Libby

    Before the industrial revolution and the invention of electricity, communities all over the world had water mills that relied on river currents turning turbines (a wheel in the water) to produce products like flour, lumber and textiles. ... Imagine a series of individual turbines that look and function like wind turbines, only they're buried under the Willamette River or the Columbia River in a way that's benign to the local wildlife habitat and shipping lanes? … 
    Alternative Energy Events

    Alternative Energy Events promote saving energy Sunday, October 10, 2010 By DIANE LEDERMAN dlederman@repub.com AMHERST - October is the time of harvests and Halloween, but environmental groups here are calling October Energy Awareness Month as well and are sponsoring activities all through the month. In devising the myriad events, "we just wanted to put it on people's radar to think about things" when it comes to conserving, said Stephanie Ciccarello, the town's energy conservation coordinator. "There's always more that people can do." Ciccarello and the town's Energy Conservation Task Force has been working with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, which she said "has been incredibly helpful." So this year "we've expanded the offerings to make it better." Highlights include an evening of "Energy Awareness through the Arts" being held at the Hitchcock Center on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The event features a dance performance by Alicia Morton called "Celebrating Minimalism." Amherst Regional High School students Solomon Goldstein-Rose and Jonathan Simonds will show films they produced on energy conservation, among other highlights. "It's just a fun night, a good family outing," Ciccarello said. On Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Merrill Science 4 at Amherst College, people will have the chance to learn about what the town's two colleges and the University of Massachusetts are doing to reduce their carbon footprints because what they are doing "ultimately impacts the quality of life." Other highlights include a workshop on "Asthma, Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency" at Cowls Building Supply Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. Health officials will also be there to talk to people. Circcarello said people will be able to learn about products to help them improve air quality. For people who want to become energy efficiency leaders in their neighborhoods, there's a workshop Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. sponsored by Cozy Home Performance that "will train people to be community leaders ... to show them the tools that can be used to help" their neighbors save energy. The month's activities end Oct. 28 with a presentation by Hampshire College professor Steven Roof called, "Climate Change: What's Happening Now?" in Bangs Community Center at 7 p.m. "Roof does climate research and he'll talk about where we are now with climate change and what we can expect in the future," Ciccarello said. For a complete listing, see the town's Web site at www.amherstma.gov or contact Ciccarello at ciccarellos@amherstma.gov.  
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