Last Thursday, I left New York for DC to check out the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) held at the Washington Convention Center. Though my Amtrak train was a little slow in getting there, the show flew by in a flash.
I was hoping to leave the train delays of New York's subways behind, but the December cold seems intent on affecting all rails. Once in DC, I snagged a taxi (not the most environmentally friendly choice, but I was late!) and arrived at the expo. Composed of seven rows of exhibitors, the show was a pleasantly manageable size. I held off on looking at LED companies at first, figuring this would take up the majority of my time, and checked out what was going on in other areas.
One of the first displays I spotted was LEI Products' BB-100 Bio-Burner. I liked this technology because the fuels that can be burned are not just the usual biomass like wood and corn. An owner can also use locally available, inexpensive fuels normally considered "waste" - like tree trimmings and contaminated animal feed. I was given a short demonstration of the BioBurner; local biomass is deposited in the white container, and a rotating floor design eliminates bridging issues that occur in other feed systems. I looked closely and detected only the slightest movement going on underneath the biomass. A unique combustion technology and cyclone ash collection system eliminate smoke and spark issues.
The WIOSUN PV-Therm-180 - a solar panel over what looked like small light-show combined with a tub of water - was on display at New Age Energy, Inc.'s booth. The PV-Therm is a hybrid system that generates hot water while cooling solar electric cells - raising electric cell efficiency. The technology was developed by Solarzentrum Allgau (near Munich, Germany) from 2003-2008, and the company designed, manufactured, and installed many prototype systems. An automated production facility is slated to open in the U.S. next year.
I did end up talking to a lot of LED companies, so get ready to read about them in February's Lighting Technology eZine!
Finally, being a fan of reusable tote bags, I took a last discerning look around all of the expo loot, and settled on Schneider Electric's bright green and yellow design. It is now in my grocery store trip rotation.