Florida residents prohibited from using solar energy after Hurricane Irma

September 20, 2017 by  
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Millions of Florida residents lost power after Hurricane Irma raged through the state. But homeowners with solar energy installations couldn’t use them during the outage – or they’d be breaking the law. State code requires people to connect their homes to the local electric grid – and when parts of it were damaged after the hurricane , even those homeowners with backup solar power were legally obliged to sit in the dark. Florida Power and Light (FPL), which is one of the state’s major suppliers of electricity, has lobbied against letting people power their own houses with solar panels, according to Miami New Times. On their website , FPL says, “Operating your renewable system without the bi-directional meter can result in an inaccurate meter reading causing your bill to increase.” Related: Garbage from Hurricane Irma will now help power Florida Up to 40 percent of Floridians lost power after the hurricane. Residents were angered because under FPL’s rules, if its system goes down, solar power systems must be shut down as well. According to Miami New Times, state rules say customers must install a switch so their solar systems can be disconnected from FPL’s systems. But residents can’t flip the switch to power panels during a disaster. FPL can even disconnect solar panels from the grid without warning homeowners. Under FPL’s net metering guidelines, “Renewable generator systems connected to the grid without batteries are not a standby power source during an FPL outage. The system must shut down when FPL’s grid shuts down in order to prevent dangerous back feed on FPL’s grid. This is required to protect FPL employees who may be working on the grid.” Miami New Times says people have criticized FPL for spending money on lobbying rather than on hurricane-proofing grids. The Energy and Policy Institute found a FPL lobbyist drafting anti-solar laws for Republican state representative Ray Rodrigues this April. FPL contributed $15,000 to Rodrigues’ campaign. According to the Miami New Times, the Sunshine State trails behind other states in solar adoption due to power company influence. Via International Business Times and Miami New Times Images via The National Guard on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Florida residents prohibited from using solar energy after Hurricane Irma

Morpholios new Augmented Reality feature lets you sketch any space with the accuracy of a pro

September 20, 2017 by  
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Move over expensive trace paper— Morpholio just launched a new augmented reality feature to its flagship Trace app that makes it easier than ever to turn your iPad into a digital drafting board. Released after the launch of Apple’s iOS 11, the updated Trace app now offers a “Perspective Finder” tool that superimposes scaled grids on any image to let anyone draw a perspective drawing like a pro. The “AR Perspective Finder” was revealed alongside “AR Color Capture”, an augmented reality real-life color sampler, for the Board app. Developed for architects and designers, Trace is a drawing app that merges analog and digital by making it easy to accurately sketch and notate on a tablet. The two recently released features were made possible with ARKit, iOS 11’s new framework that lets developers create augmented reality experiences for the iPhone and iPad. “Drawing is experiencing a renaissance with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil,” says Anna Kenoff, Morpholio Co Founder. “Our app puts scale drawing at the center of the experience, letting designers work intuitively with an iPad Pro and their hands while not losing any accuracy in the process.” Using AR Perspective Finder is easy: once the iPad’s camera is launched in Trace , the new feature automatically overlays a perspective grid that the user can rotate to his or her liking. The grid modules can be scaled to different sizes and then locked in location to a vanishing point so that the user can rotate or move the iPad without losing the grid’s placement. Once an image has been captured, AR Perspective Finder lets you fade the photograph to make sketches more legible. Paired with an Apple Pencil, the app lets user draw crisp, clean, and accurate lines of different lengths and colors. Related: Smart architecture app lets you turn almost anything into a digital stencil In addition to the Perspective Finder, Morpholio launched AR Color Capture that works like a real-world Photoshop color sampler aimed at interior designers. It comes with Color Seed, a color-themed search feature that pulls up a catalogue of furnishings that match the sampled color. + Morpholio

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Morpholios new Augmented Reality feature lets you sketch any space with the accuracy of a pro

An engineer’s perspective on the renewable energy shift

September 16, 2017 by  
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A journey through the energy system transition that must take place to shift the planet away from the worst impacts of climate change.

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An engineer’s perspective on the renewable energy shift

Will electric vehicles take a bite out of the oil market?

August 7, 2017 by  
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Also, a debate about when and if “peak oil demand” will occur.

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Will electric vehicles take a bite out of the oil market?

Airlines will consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050

August 7, 2017 by  
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Manufacturers are engaged in a fast-paced fight to deliver efficiency gains that outstrip projected industry growth, says UTC.

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Airlines will consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050

Utility coalition invests in EV charging firm Greenlots

July 25, 2017 by  
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It’s another indicator of how critical electric vehicles could become to grid demand management.

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Utility coalition invests in EV charging firm Greenlots

Who needs ‘baseload’ power? (Or, let the markets do their job)

June 26, 2017 by  
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We should seize the opportunity presented by the Department of Energy’s grid study to ensure tomorrow’s electricity markets work in service of, not contrary to, our society’s goals.

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Who needs ‘baseload’ power? (Or, let the markets do their job)

Tesla to power ‘almost all’ Superchargers with solar after disconnecting them from the grid

June 9, 2017 by  
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Tesla wants the world to switch to renewable energy – and the company is leading by example by taking “almost all” of its Superchargers off the grid. The stations have been criticized in the past because they rely on dirty fossil fuels to power up electric vehicles. In response, Tesla founder Elon Musk announced that “almost all” Superchargers will be disconnected from the grid as solar and battery arrays are installed at the company’s 800 stations. Since the Superchargers were unveiled in 2012, Musk has been talking about adding on solar arrays. Now, he’s preparing to launch ‘Version 3’ of the Supercharger while deploying even more battery and solar systems – and he wants to take them off the grid. In response to a negative comment on Twitter, Musk said, “All Superchargers are being converted to solar/battery power. Over time, almost all will disconnect from the electricity grid.” All Superchargers are being converted to solar/battery power. Over time, almost all will disconnect from the electricity grid. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2017 As Elektrek reports , a recent study concluded that the average electric car in the United States now gets the same efficiency as a (non-existent) 73 mpg gas-powered vehicle . In retrospect, Musk could have made this point and ended the argument. However, he went one step further by unveiling the company’s ambition to take Tesla’s Supercharger network off-grid. Related: Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers The logistics still need to be worked out, as Tesla would need solar arrays as large as football fields at some stations. However, the intention has been set, and if Elon Musk has proven anything, it’s that he’s an innovative leader who consistently takes action. Expect to see improved Supercharger stations that are disconnected from the electric grid in the future. Via Elektrek Images via Tesla , Inside EVs

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Tesla to power ‘almost all’ Superchargers with solar after disconnecting them from the grid

Does the power grid have enough juice to keep up with EV sales?

May 10, 2017 by  
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EV sales can surge 75 percent this year, but concerns are growing that installation of public fast-charging points may not be keeping pace.

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Does the power grid have enough juice to keep up with EV sales?

The entire U.S. energy picture depicted in (almost) one chart

May 5, 2017 by  
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Last year, 66.4 quads of energy, or more than two-thirds of the total energy consumed, was rejected or given off as waste heat.

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The entire U.S. energy picture depicted in (almost) one chart

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