Vermont beginning plans to build the state’s largest solar power project, the Navy testing Algae-based fuels in their ships, and a new Honda plug-in vehicle to be showcased at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Vermont’s Largest Solar Farm Begins Construction
A Vermont firm has accepted a contract to install what will become the largest solar array in the state. AllEarth Renewables received the deal to build 382 AllSun Trackers at a solar farm in South Burlington, Vermont. Construction is planned for early next month.
“This project was made possible through incentives that the State of Vermont passed last year to spur the development of new renewable energy generation,” said David Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables.
He cites Vermont’s low energy rate as the necessary economic incentive to fuel projects like his. The design of the AllSun Trackers uses a GPS system to track the movement of the sun throughout the day. This maximizes the amount of solar energy captured; in fact, it is predicted that the South Burlington Solar Farm will produce 45 percent more electricity than others of its caliber that use simple solar panels. Once completed, the project aims to power 400 Vermont homes.
Navy Tests Algae-Based Fuels
Winston Churchill revolutionized his country’s navy when he switched from coal to oil powered boats. Now, the US Navy is on the brink change as they test algae based fuels. The Navy tested a 49-foot gunboat with the energy efficient fuel and reported that the boat ran smoothly. During the test, the boat had a half tank of diesel blended with another half tank of algae-based fuel. The tests are the first step in meeting the Navy’s goal to run its fleets using renewable fuel and nuclear power by the end of the next decade. In accordance with the plans, they want to release their first green submarines and planes by 2016 using a blend of nuclear power and biofuels.
Honda to Unveil New Hybrid Concept
Honda’s line of green cars, which includes the Insight hybrid and the Jazz hybrid, is going to add another member to its family. Honda currently leads the market with its FCX Clarity, a fuel-cell-electric-powered car. Their new concept will be displayed at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show and details will be shared at a press conference scheduled for November 17. The new concept will use a plug-in hybrid, much like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt.
School Buses Powered by Propane
Small school buses in Portland, Oregon are going to hit the road with propane-powered tanks. Buses in the city have been powered by propane rather than fuel since 1983, but now even the smaller ones will be able to run on alternative energy. The new Type-A propane engines for the smaller buses will reduce costs up to 50 percent for the school district and will emit up to 24 percent fewer greenhouse gasses. The buses also comply with all safety rules and they are even more puncture resistant than gasoline tanks. In addition to the propane, the Collins Bus Company is also working on producing buses that run on hybrid technology.
Yale Introduces Energy-Saving Device
A Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring device, proposed by Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology, can help consumers save on their energy usage. By identifying the amount of individual electricity used in voltage and current, the meter can help homeowners reduce their energy consumption. Inventions that have attempted the same goal in the past have failed to account for the various operations of electric devices in the single-family home. Researchers say it can be extremely difficult to quantify the exact usage of electricity. However, the Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring device has machine-learning algorithms embedded into it so that it can match signals against an existing array of programmed devices.