Advertisement
The Efficiency Zone
Subscribe to The Efficiency Zone
View Sample

FREE Email Newsletter

Light Bulbs and the Madness of Energy Efficiency Regulations

September 11, 2009 12:16 pm | by Dr. Peter Thornes, Dublin Ireland | Blogs | Comments

Europeans (like Americans) choose to buy ordinary light bulbs around 9 times out of 10 (European Commission and light industry data 2007-8). Banning what people want gives the supposed savings that are "good for them"—no point in banning what people don’t want! If new LED lights—or improved CFLs etc—are good, people will buy them—no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (little point).

Unravelling external Power-supply regulations

September 11, 2009 7:14 am | by Gary Bocock, Technical Director, XP Power | Blogs | Comments

With the aims of reducing energy wastage and improving distribution-network stability, regulatory authorities within the EU and US have been steadily introducing a series of measures that power-supply and equipment designers must consider. In the first instance, these measures specifically target no-load consumption and conversion efficiency for external power supplies of up to 250 W

Incandescent ban highlights issue of forced obsolescence

September 9, 2009 7:41 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The mad scramble to obtain incandescent bulbs ahead of the EU ban highlights a controversial practice—the forced obsolescence of old technologies. R&D, combined with market forces, often collude to bury legacy tech. But should government speed up this process? How important is consumer choice?

Advertisement

White Light Key to High-efficiency LED TV Applications

September 8, 2009 10:23 am | by by William Carrera, Senior Technical LCD Manager, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

Backlight technology continues to markedly improve, day after day, making it possible to design LCD panels as thin as a picture frame. Many thought that the use of OLED technology would be the only way to provide ultra-slim TV sets, but this year Samsung’s introduction of a new type of LED (light emitting diode) technology completely changed that thinking.  Now, there are LED LCD TVs with depths as thin as 1.2 inches.

$300 Million Earmarked from Stimulus Bill for Alternative Energies

August 27, 2009 7:38 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

On Wednesday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the appropriation of $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the Clean Cities program. The aim of the program is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and speed the development of alternative energies. A major priority is creating the infrastructure necessary to support nationwide fleets of advanced technology vehicles.

Global Warming or Global Cooling?

August 24, 2009 10:43 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Gentlemen, start your debating—according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the July average was the highest recorded ocean temperature in 128 years. July’s worldwide average of 62.6 will revive the global warming debates, inasmuch as some will cite this as evidence of climate change.

Simple Light Load Control Meets the New Energy Efficiency Standards

August 17, 2009 7:36 am | by Kevin Turchin, FAE Manager, ROHM Semiconductor USA | Blogs | Comments

Energy efficiency standards have typically concentrated on two ends of the spectrum – full load efficiency and standby power. As a result, popular PWM buck regulators available today demonstrate high efficiency at full load (>80%) levels and incorporate standby circuitry to comply with the <1W and lower initiatives. Improved efficiency at all operating points is an important concern in the design of next generation “green” products.

A Bold Claim: Chevy Volt Gets 230 MPG

August 11, 2009 6:53 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….well, you know the rest. When Raser Technologies claimed their re-jiggered Electric Hummer got 100 miles per gallon, I thought they fudged a few numbers. But for GM to claim 230 MPG for the Volt…well, that’s taking a trip to fantasyland, with magical goblins and unicorns.

Advertisement

July sees big jump in fuel efficiency of new cars

August 11, 2009 6:22 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | Blogs | Comments

Cars and light trucks sold in July got more miles per gallon than those sold in previous months, say researchers, who credit the Cash for Clunkers program. The average mileage for new vehicles rose from 21.4 miles per gallon in June to 22.1 mpg in July. That may not sound like much, but it's

Printable Solar Panels on the Cheap

August 6, 2009 12:40 pm | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

One of the hottest trends in power is “conductive ink”—that is, ink that conducts electricity. Thus, we’ve seen the emergence of ultra-thin power solutions such as Fraunhofer Research Institution's silk-screened batteries. One of the variants is printable solar cells, a technology still in its infancy. But the US Air Force, in conjunction with Plextronics, has developed what they purport to be a “significant step forward in printing inexpensive solar cells.”

Industry groups sue over NYC e-waste recycling law

July 30, 2009 6:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) have filed a legal challenge against a New York City law mandating door-to-door collection of e-waste. Local Law No. 13, taking effect July 31st, forces all electronic manufacturers doing business in NYC to provide free door-to-door collection services for covered equipment.

Nissan Unveils New E-Car Prototype

July 28, 2009 9:19 am | Blogs | Comments

Nissan Motor today previewed its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based prototype. It also showcased a sophisticated EV-IT system developed to support electric driving 24/7. The dedicated EV platform is comprised of a highly rigid body, high-performance motor, compact lithium-ion battery with high power output and energy capacity.

North Carolina Town Going Green With LED Technology

July 22, 2009 5:58 am | Blogs | Comments

Philips Lumec has been chosen by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of western North Carolina to light their downtown streetscapes with their environmentally responsible LED lighting solutions. In doing so, they clearly place this town of 14,500 residents, located on the South end of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in the vanguard of communities choosing environmentally responsible LED lighting technologies.

Advertisement

LED Controller Features 'In-Situ' Temperature Compensation

July 22, 2009 5:42 am | Blogs | Comments

Leadis Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: LDIS), an analog and mixed-signal semiconductor developer of LED drivers for consumer electronic devices, today announced sample availability of the LDS9001 and LDS9003, two new LED controllers featuring Leadis' patent pending LED-Sense(TM) Temperature Compensation engine. This innovative feature allows for direct in-situ monitoring of the LED junction temperature without the need for an external temperature sensor

Institute Unveils OLED that is 75% More Efficient

July 20, 2009 1:37 pm | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has purportedly created an Organic Light Emitting Diode that is 75% more efficient than previous models. Led by Prof. Kyung-Cheol Choi, the KAIST team discovered a new type of surface plasmon enhanced OLED. KAIST explains their finding thusly: “For surface plasmon localization, silver nanoparticles were thermally deposited in a high vacuum on cathode.

GE Targets Net Zero Energy Homes by 2015

July 17, 2009 5:21 am | Blogs | Comments

GE announced today that by 2015 it is developing a turn-key product portfolio that will empower consumers to build — both new home builders and existing homeowners — to efficiently consume, manage and generate electricity to enable an overall net zero annual energy.

Coming Soon: Silk-Screened Batteries

July 14, 2009 10:36 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Who knew those shady vendors hawking silk-screened t-shirts at tourist traps were leading the tech revolution? Actually, that claim belongs to the Fraunhofer Research Institution, but who’s keeping track? The German institute has developed a printable battery that is produced using a silk-screening process similar to that used in t-shirts.

IMEC announces new partnerships and a new pilot line for its solar cell research program

July 14, 2009 7:29 am | Blogs | Comments

IMEC announced that it has established new partnerships with solar cell material and equipment suppliers. These companies, including MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., Leybold Optics Dresden GmbH, Roth & Rau AG, and Mallinckrodt Baker B.V., have concluded joint-development agreements with IMEC in the frame of IMEC’s newly launched wafer-based silicon photovoltaics industrial affiliation program (IIAP).

Survey Reveals Contractors as Influencers for Adoption of LED Lighting

July 13, 2009 10:04 am | Blogs | Comments

A recent survey of electrical and lighting contractors demonstrates their importance in the specifying and recommendation of LED lighting products for building projects. According to the survey respondents, contractors are involved in recommending LED lighting more than 70% of the time. Yet a majority of respondents said they would be interested in receiving more training on product installation, benefits, and layout

World's first fuel cell aircraft takes off in Germany

July 7, 2009 7:35 pm | Blogs | Comments

The world's first piloted aircraft capable of taking to the air using only power from fuel cells took off in Germany Tuesday, producing zero carbon dioxide emissions, its makers said. "We have improved the performance capabilities and efficiency of the fuel cell to such an extent that a piloted aircraft is now able to take off using it," said Johann-Dietrich Woerner from the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Next-Gen Incandescent Bulbs Revive Old Debates

July 6, 2009 9:56 pm | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Those writing incandescent’s obituary may want to stay their pen. The NY Times reports on the efforts towards modernizing the “Edison lightbulb.” Leading the pack is Philips’ Halogena Energy Savers, purportedly 30% more efficient than similar incandescent bulbs. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act sounded the death knell for traditional incandescents. While it doesn’t ban incandescents, it does set wattage limitations and other restrictions

China blasts US climate bill

July 2, 2009 11:56 am | Blogs | Comments

China said on Thursday that it was "firmly" opposed to provisions in a new US clean energy bill that will make it easier to impose trade penalties on nations that reject limits to globe-warming pollution. "China is firmly opposed to such measures," vice foreign minister He Yafei told reporters in Beijing. "We are firmly against such attempts to advance trade protectionism under the pretext of climate change. It is not conducive to world economic recovery. It serves nobody's interests."

Obama's Climate Leadership Faces Test at G8 Forum

July 2, 2009 10:03 am | by Jeff Mason | Blogs | Comments

President Barack Obama, buoyed by a domestic victory on climate policy, faces his first foreign test on the issue next week at a forum that could boost the chances of reaching a U.N. global warming pact this year.

EPA Approves State-based Auto Emissions Standards

June 30, 2009 7:46 pm | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

To follow up on an earlier story, the EPA has granted California’s request for exemption from federal tailpipe emissions standards. The decision is effective immediately for California plus 13 other states and Washington DC. It allows them to regulate emissions for model years 2009-2011, one year before the federal standards take effect. Says EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, “This decision puts the law and science first…this waiver is consistent with the Clean Air Act as it’s been used for the last 40 years

Firm Delivers 60 Megawatts of Power From Landfill Gas

June 30, 2009 7:49 am | Blogs | Comments

Providing usable electrical power from waste, Innovative Energy Systems (IES) has developed a clean energy solution that recovers methane gas from landfills and converts it into electricity.

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading