News

Will we set foot on Mars?

  This week's Question: NASA recently unveiled its new "Space Launch System," which will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment, and science experiments to Earth's orbit and destinations beyond. "Tomorrow's explorers will now dream of one day walking on Mars," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. NASA's rovers, too, continue to learn more about the makeup of the planet. What do you think? Will we set foot on Mars?  
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Read the September Issue of Solar & Wind Power

The latest issue of Solar & Wind Power has more new feature articles, application stories, tech briefs, videos, products, technologies available for licensing, and research news - all on the latest advances in renewable energy.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power
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C37.90.1: IEEE Standard for SWC Tests for Relays and Relays Systems Associated with Electric Power Apparatus

Two types of design tests for relays and relay systems that relate to the immunity of this equipment to repetitive electrical transients are specified. Test generator characteristics, test waveforms, selection of equipment terminals on which tests are to be conducted, test procedures, criteria for acceptance, and documentation of test results are described. This standard has been harmonized with IEC standards where consensus could be reached.

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Wind Turbine Placement Research Facility

Researchers from California Institute of Technology have been conducting a field tests at an experimental two-acre wind farm in northern Los Angeles County. The farm, known as the Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE), houses 24 10-meter-tall, 1.2-meter-wide vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) - turbines that have vertical rotors.

Posted in: GDM, News, Videos, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Wind Power
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Electronic "Bucket Brigade" Could Boost Solar Cell Voltages

If solar cells could generate higher voltages when sunlight falls on them, they’d produce more electrical power more efficiently. Ferroelectrics - materials with an overall electrical polarization - can develop very high photovoltages under illumination. Berkeley Lab researchers have now figured out exactly how this photovoltaic process occurs.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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MUTE: The Efficient City Car

MUTE, an electric vehicle from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), is an agile, sporty two-seater for regional road traffic. Its lithium-ion battery is designed to guarantee a range of at least 100 kilometers. When needed, a zinc-air battery serves as a range extender.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Transportation
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Will robot writers play a valuable role in newsrooms?

Code created by a start-up company called Narrative Science takes data, including sports statistics, company financial reports, and housing sales, and turns it into readable news articles. Supporters of this type of software note an increasing sophistication in the technology's ability to make inferences, understand language, and generate proper sentences. It could be used, they say, as a low-cost tool for publications to expand coverage when editorial budgets are tight. The combination of advances in its writing engine and data mining can also take computer journalism to another level by finding unexpected correlations. What do you think? Will robot writers play a valuable role in newsrooms? Yes or no?
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Boost for Energy Storage Systems

Batteries could get an upgrade from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovery that increases power, energy density, and safety while reducing charge time. The results could also have significance for applications in stationary energy storage systems for solar and wind power, and for smart grids.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Green Design & Manufacturing, Smart Grid
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Electricity and Carbon Offsets from Hog Waste

A system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy on a hog finishing facility converts hog waste into electricity and creates carbon offset credits. Google, which invests in carbon offsets to fulfill its own carbon neutrality goals, announced its endorsement of the project this week.

Posted in: GDM, News, Energy, Renewable Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies
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Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?

This week's Question: While companies debate the merits of cloud computing, the U.S. government has been weighing its own options. By gradually shifting to maintenance-free services that are based on the Internet and run by private companies, Vivek Kundra, the White House's former chief information officer, said that this kind of "Cloud First" strategy would consolidate data centers and save the government more than $3 billion a year. Others, however, note that the cloud has its own expenses, data protection concerns, and speed considerations. What do you think? Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?  
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