Power Up Without a Plug

July 30, 2010 by  
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A Virginia company called Evatran has debuted their prototype for an EV charger that works without plugs, cables or a flow of electricity between the vehicle and the charger. This new charging system doesn’t work by magic, but by induction.  To recharge an EV with this system, the vehicle pulls up to the charging station and parks over a floor-mounted parking block.  An adapter fitted to the vehicle and the parking block both contain metal coils that become aligned by magnetic sensors.  The control tower for the charging station converts electricity into the right frequency for the charger and when the coils are aligned, the electricity creates a strong magnetic field in the parking block’s coils that induces a flow of electricity in the coils in the vehicle’s adapter, which charges the battery.

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Power Up Without a Plug

New York State Drafts Major Solar Thermal Plan

July 29, 2010 by  
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New York has big plans for solar thermal heating.  A new program paves the way for the installation of one million systems by 2020, amounting to a 2 GW capacity. In New York, where winters get mighty frosty, 60 percent of energy consumed in buildings goes to heating and hot water, so this new plan could have a major impact.  The state could see annual savings of 6 million gallons of oil, 9.5 million cubic feet of natural gas and 320 GWh of electricity.  The financial savings would amount to $175 million each year. These systems would be spread among residential and commercial buildings throughout the state, making hot water and creating steam for heating systems, with residential buildings making up a much larger chunk at 70 percent of the systems installed.

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New York State Drafts Major Solar Thermal Plan

Microsoft Hohm Launches Real-Time Wireless Meter Reading

July 28, 2010 by  
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Users of Microsoft’s Hohm energy management software can now access real-time meter readings from anywhere with a wireless signal.  The company has partnered up with Blue Line Innovations, which will provide a wireless sensor that links your meter to your Hohm account. While the online Hohm service has been free, the Blue Line upgrade will cost extra.  It’s $250 for the package, which includes the sensor that mounts to the meter, a wireless in-home energy monitoring device and a WiFi gateway.  But the benefits include being able to see energy usage data in real-time and make adjustments, like turning off lights or electronics, if needed. Before now, users could monitor their energy use only through analyzing past data provided by their utilities or by manually entering information from energy bills.  This upgrade will likely show the true value of energy management software :  the ability to instantly see the impact of your energy use, at any time, any where

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Microsoft Hohm Launches Real-Time Wireless Meter Reading

California Breaks Ground on Nation’s Largest Wind Farm

July 27, 2010 by  
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A huge 3-GW wind project planned for outside of Los Angeles has received a boost in funding and is now on track to be operational by next year.  The Alta Wind Energy Center will be the largest wind project in the country, capable of powering 600,000 Southern California homes. Terra-Gen Power LLC, the company building the project consisting of five separate wind farms, just secured $1.2 billion in funding, which has kicked construction into high gear.  The project just broke ground today in the Mojave Desert foothills, just 75 miles north of Los Angeles.  The first phase, which will produce about 570 MW, should be up and running by next year, while the full project will be completed in about a decade

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California Breaks Ground on Nation’s Largest Wind Farm

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