Green Building News

Hawaii Tinkers With Its Solar Formulas

Posted on January 30, 2015 by Scott Gibson

The electric utility serving the Hawaiian island of Kauai is well on its way to replacing generating stations running on fossil fuels with utility-scale photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) arrays that can handle a substantial part of the utility's peak electrical load.

The utility is in the process of completing a pair of 12-megawatt PV facilities at Anahola. When the second one is finished later this year, the facility will account for a sizable portion of the island's total 78 MW peak power supply. On some days, the island's solar arrays will meet 80 percent of the total load.

Energy-Saving Clothes Dryers Hit U.S. Markets

Posted on January 29, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Clothes dryers are the energy hogs of home appliances, accounting for 6 percent of total residential energy use and costing U.S. consumers $9 billion a year in power bills. Dryers use more electricity — an estimated 900 kilowatt hours a year — than either a refrigerator or a clothes washer.

Homeowners in Europe have long had access to dryers that use heat-pump technology instead of electrical resistance elements or gas burners to dry clothes. And now two manufacturers, Whirlpool and LG, are rolling out heat-pump clothes dryers for U.S. buyers.

The Internet of Things Takes Center Stage

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Scott Gibson

The International Builders' Show is a favorite venue for manufacturers introducing new tools and building products. The annual show, which just opened in Las Vegas, will draw tens of thousands of building professionals before it ends on Jan. 22.

A home show of a different kind opened a few weeks earlier, also in Las Vegas. But instead of I-joists and plywood, it was the "Internet of Things" — the digital world connecting appliances, mechanical systems and other home goods via the internet — that was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Solar Beats Utility Power in Many Cities

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Scott Gibson

In 42 out of the country's 50 largest cities, electricity produced by fully financed photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) systems would be cheaper than power purchased from the grid, researchers from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center said.

Their report, Going Solar in America, also found that in 46 of the largest U.S. cities, a fully financed system was a better investment than the stock market.

Study Finds Solar Panels Add Value to Houses

Posted on January 23, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Researchers ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory say that home purchasers are willing to pay more for a house that come with a photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) system.

In what was billed as the most comprehensive study to date, the report, Selling Into the Sun, found that buyers would pay an average of $4 per installed watt, or $15,000, for an average-sized system of about 3.6 kilowatts in capacity.

Duties on Chinese Solar Panels May be Cut

Posted on January 22, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A Department of Commerce review of steep import duties imposed on photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) panels made in China may result in sharply lower tariffs, but U.S. consumers aren't likely to see much benefit, Bloomberg reports.

The International Trade Administration, part of the Commerce Department, suggested in a preliminary report on Jan. 2 that the 2012 anti-dumping and countervailing duties should be reduced from a combined 31 percent to 18 percent, Bloomberg said.

House Members Ask for More Scrutiny of Solar Leases

Posted on January 22, 2015 by Scott Gibson

More than a dozen members of the House of Representatives have asked two federal agencies to look into claims that solar leases are being oversold to consumers, according to published reports.

Electric Vehicles Hit a Pothole in California

Posted on January 21, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Some electric vehicle owners in California think they've been sideswiped by changes to a utility rate plan that helped them pay for their photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) systems.

Flir Updates Thermal Imager

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Scott Gibson

The Oregon company that began selling an inexpensive thermal imager for an iPhone last year has announced an upgraded and more versatile model that will be available later in the year.

Flir introduced the new model of the Flir One at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Unlike the original, different versions of this one will work with both Apple and Android devices. It's scheduled to go on sale later this year at a price that has yet to be announced.

California Governor Ups Renewables Commitment

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Already committed to producing 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, California's governor announced a new goal of 50 percent renewable power by the year 2030.

Governor Jerry Brown said during his inaugural address that the new target was "exciting" and "bold" and essential in averting potentially catastrophic climate changes, but he didn't offer any specifics on how it might be accomplished, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!

Syndicate content