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Energy R&D

Floating Power Plant Supplies Energy for Resort

Linda Hardesty

Vancouver-based Water Wall Turbine has selected The Switch to provide a 500 kW full-power converter for its floating power plant, which extracts potential and kinetic energy from large, fast moving water currents for conversion into electricity. The Switch will supply its first 500 kW converter in October 2014 for Water Wall Turbine’s prototype project, which   …Continue Reading


More than Half of US Companies Project Increased Energy Efficiency Investment in 2015

Karen Henry

Schneider Electric has released the results of a recently commissioned survey of 301 energy leaders across the United States. The results reveal that three quarters of decision-makers at US companies have invested in energy efficiency programs in the past 12 months, and 56 percent project their investment in energy efficiency next year will be more   …Continue Reading


Flare Gas Captured, Used to Power Drilling Rigs

Linda Hardesty

A joint venture between GE and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels announced the expansion of a pilot project to capture flare gas and use it to power up to six of Statoil’s drill rigs and one frac fleet in North Dakota. Statoil, which is involved in oil and gas exploration, has been trialing the Last Mile   …Continue Reading


Canadian College Opens BioEnergy Research Center

Karen Henry

Confederation College recently celebrated the grand opening of the Ontario Power Generation BioEnergy Learning and Research Centre (OPG-BLRC). The OPG-BLRC offers opportunities for demonstration, training and applied research related to biomass energy, including fuel quality and emissions and combustion efficiency. Through the OPG-BLRC, Confederation College will be developing a market for biomass in northwestern Ontario   …Continue Reading


DOE Awards $8M for Microgrid Projects

Karen Henry

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $8 million for microgrid projects to help cities and towns better prepare for extreme weather events and other potential electricity disruptions. The projects will bring together communities, technology developers and providers, and utilities to develop advanced microgrid controllers and system designs for microgrids less than 10 MW.   …Continue Reading


Wavelength Conversion Particles Increase Solar Output

Linda Hardesty

Hitachi Chemical will begin selling wavelength conversion particles for solar encapsulant sheets that help increase the conversion efficiency of solar cell power generation. Hitachi says a mass-production system has been established to begin sales. These wavelength conversion particles consist of phosphors contained within acrylic resin particles, and work by converting short wavelength light (ultraviolet light)   …Continue Reading


Remote Sensing Product Reduces Yaw Misalignment, Improves Turbine Performance

Karen Henry

A collaborative research project at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has shown that the Wind Iris nacelle-mounted light detection and ranging (LIDAR) from Avent Lidar Technology effectively identifies wind turbine yaw misalignment, allowing users to improve wind turbine performance. This is the first independent scientific field study validating the benefits   …Continue Reading


NY Spends $40M on Microgrid Contest

Linda Hardesty

New York is hosting a $40 million NY Prize Competition to inspire a new generation of local power by challenging New York businesses, entrepreneurs, and electric utilities to design and implement community-based microgrids. The competition aims to inspire new plans for protecting and strengthening the electrical system in the face of major storms. Administered by   …Continue Reading


Spray-On Solar Cells Offer More Efficient Fabrication

Karen Henry

Residential Architect magazine has reported on a new method of fabricating solar cells: spray painting. A team of researchers at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom is the first to fabricate perovskite solar cells using a spray-painting process. Perovskite is a mineral made of calcium titanium oxide. Perovskite-based solar cells are created much   …Continue Reading


MIT Investigates Energy-Salt Nexus

Karen Henry

There is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy where the river meets the sea, according to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT. The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) and found that such a system could potentially power a coastal wastewater treatment plant   …Continue Reading


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