GreatPoint Energy Makes a Great Point

by Alexander Flores

GreatPoint Energy has discovered a way to produce low-cost, clean natural gas from biomass, petroleum coke, and coal utilizing its patented Bluegas catalytic hydromethanation process. This Bluegas is able to operate at a much higher efficiency than competing technologies while benefitting from lower capital intensity, a superior environmental footprint, nearly complete carbon capture, and a significantly lower cost of production. The natural gas produced can be transported through existing pipeline infrastructure while remaining much less expensive than liquefied natural gas. By being completely interchangeable with drilled natural gas, it also can be used for power generation, residential and commercial heating, and the production of chemicals. Continue reading

Smart Source with Skystream

by Alexander Flores

Xzeres, a small corporation based in Wilsonville, Oregon has developed a cost-efficient, compact, and all-inclusive personal wind generator designed to function in very low winds (10−12+ mph). This personalized wind turbine known as the Skystream has a height of 52 feet, a weight of 170 pounds, a rotor diameter of twelve feet, a swept area of 116 feet, three reinforced composite fiberglass blades, a slot-less, brushless permanent magnet alternator, a battery charge controller kit, a braking system with electric stall regulation, and comes with Skyview monitoring software. Continue reading

Ice Energy: As Cool as Energy Storage Gets

by Alexander Flores

Ice Energy, a privately held company based in Santa Barbara, CA, has developed a cost-effective air conditioning utility known as the Ice Bear. Essentially, the Ice Bear’s primary function is to convert a power-guzzling air conditioner into a more efficient hybrid that consumes 95% less energy during the peak of the day. This supplementary energy storage unit is compatible with 85% of all commercial air conditioning units and simply stores energy at night when electricity generation is cleaner, more efficient, and less expensive, then delivers it during the day. The Ice Bear works in conjunction with refrigerant-based, 4-20 ton package rooftop systems common to most small or mid-sized commercial buildings. One could simply think of an Ice Bear unit as a battery for an air conditioning system. But just how does it work? An Ice Bear unit consists of a large thermal tank, which operates in an Ice Cooling mode and Ice Charging mode to make ice at night to use for cooling the following day. Continue reading

Solazyme Seeks Solutions

by Alexander Flores

Solazyme, an up and coming company from south San Francisco is pursuing a vision to improve our planet and human life by producing sustainable, high-performance oils and ingredients derived from the microalgae that accumulates in countless places. Solazyme is attacking some of today’s biggest issues such as sustainability, resource scarcity, and resource traceability by identifying oil profiles that can improve both performance and longevity of products. These oil profiles are then produced with microalgae, providing alternatives to petroleum, vegetable oils, and animal fats. Solazyme’s products may be useful in personal care, industrial usage, food, and fuel industries. Their main oil-producing microalgae strain was originally discovered over a century ago on the sap of a chestnut tree in Germany and was carefully selected after approximately over ten thousand screenings of other strains. Continue reading

Potential $6 Billion Annual Savings Opportunity via LED Outdoor Lighting

by Alexander Flores

The rise of LED lighting has increased over recent years and can be seen almost everywhere these days. From car lights to house lights, from TV panels to Christmas lights, LED lighting is slowly, but surely paving the way to an energy efficient lighting future. A typical LED bulb uses 80 percent less energy than a standard incandescent light bulb and will last up to 25 years, which is why many are pushing to substitute them to light the ways along streets and highways. LED lights are also directional light sources in which well-designed fixtures can point the light exactly where the light is needed and prevent light from going where it’s unwanted. It costs approximately $10 billion worth of electricity to power the 100 million or so outdoor lights across the United States, which is equivalent to the power consumed by 6 million homes. Continue reading

Ideal Shift from Gasoline to Hydrogen Fuel Cells

by Alexander Flores

The main alterative for gasoline fuel and battery electric vehicles is one involving the utilization of hydrogen fuel cells. Just how do these hydrogen fuel cells work? Essentially, each fuel cell is an anode and cathode with a proton exchange membrane sandwiched in between. Hydrogen from an onboard tank would enter the anode side of the fuel cell, while oxygen in the atmosphere would enter the cathode side. Once the hydrogen molecule encounters the membrane, a catalyst forces its split into proton and electron. The proton would then move through the fuel cell stack as the electron follows an external circuit, delivering an electric current to the motor and other parts of the vehicle. The proton and electron would join again at the cathode side and combine with oxygen to form water as the main emission. This fascinating science and technological application has many automakers relieved since sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids are slow. Continue reading

Potential $8-Billion Green Energy Initiative for Los Angeles

by Alexander Flores

As of September 2014, an $8-billion dollar green energy project has been proposed to link one of the nation’s largest wind farms to one of the world’s biggest energy storage facilities. This first initiative of its kind in the United States was strung together by four companies: Duke-American Transmission Co., Dresser-Rand, Magnum Energy, and Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, in hopes to provide large quantities of clean electricity to the Los Angeles area by 2023. This project in particular would involve the construction of one of the largest wind farms in Wyoming and one of the largest energy storage facilities in Utah with a 525-mile electric transmission line connecting the two sites. Continue reading