Posts Tagged ‘fluorescent light bulbs’

Lemoyne streets get new look in proposal

Pátek, Březen 16th, 2012

Lemoyne residents on March 5 turned out for a public meeting to review the proposed design for the second phase of the borough’s streetscape improvement project.

Presented by Christy Staudt, project manager for Traffic Planning and Design Inc., which is the consulting engineer for the project, improvements are proposed primarily on Market Street from Eighth to State streets, and on Seventh Street from Market to Willow streets.

Proposed improvements on Market Street include bicycle lanes, new concrete and brick trimmed sidewalks and upgraded bus stops.

The proposed design also calls for lighting, new plantings that would provide color in the winter and a school zone near Lemoyne Middle School.

The proposed elements on Seventh Street include one-way traffic going north from Willow Street to Market Street to increase pedestrian safety, walking zones and a flashing, pedestrian-triggered warning sign at the Seventh and State streets crosswalk.

Staudt said lessons learned from the first phase of the streetscape improvement project, which was completed in 2010, have been applied to the proposed phase two design.

Traffic-calming bump outs, an element of the phase one improvements, which some residents have said make navigating Market Street west of Third Street awkward, are proposed for Market Street in phase two.

But in phase two, the bump outs would be closer to the curb than those installed in phase one. The current proposal calls for fewer, to maximize parking.

The proposal also substitutes the brick crosswalks from phase one with pressed asphalt, which would resemble brick, but would be smoother to drive over.

Phase two of the streetscape project will be funded by a $1.5 million Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and a $100,000 Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority grant.

PennDOT and Lemoyne Borough Council have not yet approved the proposed design. Work could begin in the fall.

Microscopy Reveals ‘Atomic Antenna’ Behavior in Graphene

Středa, Únor 1st, 2012

Atomic-level defects in graphene could be a path forward to smaller and faster electronic devices, according to a study led by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

With unique properties and potential applications in areas from electronics to biodevices, graphene, which consists of a single sheet of carbon atoms, has been hailed as a rising star in the materials world. Now, an ORNL study published in Nature Nanotechnology suggests that point defects, composed of silicon atoms that replace individual carbon atoms in graphene, could aid attempts to transfer data on an atomic scale by coupling light with electrons.

“In this proof of concept experiment, we have shown that a tiny wire made up of a pair of single silicon atoms in graphene can be used to convert light into an electronic signal, transmit the signal and then convert the signal back into light,” said coauthor Juan-Carlos Idrobo, who holds a joint appointment at ORNL and Vanderbilt University.

An ORNL-led team discovered this novel behavior by using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy to image the plasmon response, or optical-like signals, of the point defects. The team’s analysis found that the silicon atoms act like atomic-sized antennae, enhancing the local surface plasmon response of graphene, and creating a prototypical plasmonic device.

“The idea with plasmonic devices is that they can convert optical signals into electronic signals,” Idrobo said. “So you could make really tiny wires, put light in one side of the wire, and that signal will be transformed into collective electron excitations known as plasmons. The plasmons will transmit the signal through the wire, come out the other side and be converted back to light.”

Although other plasmonic devices have been demonstrated, previous research in surface plasmons has been focused primarily on metals, which has limited the scale at which the signal transfer occurs.

“When researchers use metal for plasmonic devices, they can usually only get down to 5 - 7 nanometers,” said coauthor Wu Zhou. “But when you want to make things smaller, you always want to know the limit. Nobody thought we could get down to a single atom level.”

In-depth analysis at the level of a single atom was made possible through the team’s access to an electron microscope that is part of ORNL’s Shared Research Equipment User Facility.

“It is the one of only a few electron microscopes in the world that we can use to look at and study materials and obtain crystallography, chemistry, bonding, optical and plasmon properties at the atomic scale with single atom sensitivity and at low voltages,” Idrobo said. “This is an ideal microscope for people who want to research carbon-based materials, such as graphene.”

Pay-As-You-Go Solar Could Provide Clean Electricity to 1 Billion People

Čtvrtek, Leden 19th, 2012

Up to 1 billion people in the world still lack or have unsteady access to electricity. For these people, kerosene, a dirty petroleum product, is usually the fuel of choice–or more accurately, they have no choice. This US$36 billion a year industry often consumes 30 to 35 percent of poor families’ income.

Nevertheless there is hope – without giving Westerners the willies that we are going to kill the planet through carbon emissions. Solar energy, specifically solar printing, could be an answer. One company working on this front is Eight19, a UK company that provides printed plastic solar cells that are flexible, lightweight and can be used on a bevy of solar-powered applications.

Eight19 confronts the problem that the world’s poor face when choosing a fuel. While kerosene is relatively expensive, families are accustomed to purchasing the necessary fuel on an as-needed basis. Meanwhile clean energy options like solar power systems require payment up front.

IndiGo, Eight19’s pay-as-you-go solar power system, combines mobile telephone technology to provide pay-as-you-go solar. Users benefit from a unit that can light two rooms, and buy mobile phone credits that can then provide light for children’s homework at night or street vendors the ability to work when it is dark. The system is also scalable and can expand to cover more rooms if required by users. This high tech social innovation scheme provides countless opportunities at many levels.

Now, this social enterprise will ramp up its efforts with Solar Aid’s SunnyMoney, a solar lamp distributor in East Africa, through what they call the “Kickstart Sustainable Energy Fund.” Donations and interest-free loans from donors and impact investors will cover the first 4000 lighting systems to be installed in Kenya later this year.

If the program progresses smoothly, the circulating revenues that it generates should be one step in broadening solar lighting (and the all-important) mobile telephone recharging throughout the region.

Eight19 announced a Kickstarter campaign this week at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With countries like the UAE taking a more active role and providing more international aid, this is one such solution that can offer countless bang for the buck . . . or the dirham. From the Middle East to Latin America, solar as a service could build wealth and clean the local air–and boost countries’ goals to achieve increased energy independence.

Low Snowpack Affects One-Third of State’s Water Supply

Pátek, Leden 6th, 2012

California’s mountain snowpack is among the driest on record for Jan. 3, the California Department of Water Resources said.

The mountain snow that melts into reservoirs, streams and aquifers in the spring and summer provide approximately one-third of the water for the state’s households, farms and industries.

“Fortunately, we have most of winter ahead of us, and our reservoir storage is good,” Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowinsaid.

Benicia residents who want suggestions on how to save water have until Jan. 31 to have a free energy audit done on their home.  The audit includes a survey of water usage and how it can be lowered.  The audt is free to homeowners but the program ends at the end of the month.

According to home energy consultant Kate Latham of Wattzon, the company doing the audits, homeowners who take advantage of the free audits are seeing about $110 in yearly savings and receiving about $100 worth of energy saving devices like compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Homeowners can also qualify for rebates from the Solano County Water Agency.  The rebates help pay the cost of water saving appliances and for changing landscaping from turf that needs lots of water to low water use plants and hardscape.

The ten day forecast on weather shows little chance of rain in the Bay Area but indicates there is a 40 percent chance of snow in the Tahoe area on Saturday.

Manual and electronic readings Tuesday determined the snowpack’s statewide water content is 19 percent of the Jan. 3 average and only seven percent of the average April 1 measurement when the snowpack is normally at its peak before the spring melt.

Readings were taken Tuesday morning at four locations at elevations between 6,500 and 7,600 feet near Echo Summit in the Sierra.

The snow depth was zero at the 7,600-foot Alpha station and 7.1 inches at 6,700-foot Lyons Creek.

Electronic readings indicate the water content in the northern mountains is 21 percent of normal for Jan. 3 and 8 percent of the April 1 seasonal average, according to the DWR.

Water content in the central Sierra is 13 percent of normal for Tuesday’s date and five percent of the April 1 average.

The southern Sierra numbers are 26 percent of average for Jan. 3 and nine percent of the April 1 average.

On Tuesday, the Department of Water Resources said the snowpack water content statewide at the end of an unusually dry December is only 24 percent of normal for that date. On Dec. 27, 2010, the statewide snowpack water content was 202 percent of average.

Super 8 - Ukiah, CA Awarded EPA’s Energy Star Label!

Pátek, Listopad 18th, 2011

Ranking in at least the top 25th percentile of energy efficient hotels in the country, the Super 8’s Energy Star label is truly outside validation for the sustainability efforts it has been implementing over the past several years. With its recent renovation, the hotel has thought of everything to foster an environmentally friendly impact. Given the hotel’s surrounding home – the great redwood forest & Californian wine country – its no wonder why this lodging venue has chosen to help preserve its community. From a 100% organic breakfast to an electric vehicle charging station, the Super 8’s commitment to sustainability goes far beyond reducing energy consumption.

“Due to the increasing climate change and energy crises the need for environment friendly hotels have increased,” the hotel’s management explains, “we maintain our stand, not just because we have to, but because we feel responsible for creating a place where all things are found in their original, base, unaltered form. A Green hotel is not just fashion, but it’s the need of the hour that can help retain and extend the beauty of the place where it is situated. Super 8 Ukiah makes every effort to make it a perfect example of a friendly co-existence where neither nature nor our guests are disturbed due to the other’s presence.”

Super 8 Ukiah conducts efficient waste disposal, energy and water saving strategies, recycling throughout the property, purchasing habits, and many designated eco-initiatives. In addition to this they have linen reuse program for stay over guests and other recycling programs. All rooms are cleaned with eco-friendly chemicals provided by Ecolab and all our lighting, laundry equipment, ice machines, printers are energy star compliant and our pool utilizes a Salinization solution to eliminate harmful chemicals.

Some of the other practices that are rigorously followed include programmable timers and occupational sensors for light systems, use of old news papers for cleaning, double panned Low E windows, employee carpooling, proper disposal of fluorescent light bulbs, and further precautions to assure energy efficiency.

“The accomplishment of becoming an Energy Star Labeled property should not be underestimated” stated Scott Parisi, President of EcoGreenHotel “The average hotel in the country is rated a 50 out of the possible 100 score derived from the Energy Star Benchmarking. The Super 8 achieved a score over the minimum 75 needed to be Energy Star Labeled.”

EcoGreenHotel salutes the Super 8 – Ukiah for its achievement and is proud to be associated with this establishment’s sustainability endeavors!

EcoGreenHotel supports and provides sustainable solutions to the hospitality industry ranging from individual boutique hotels to a broad spectrum of brand properties. Our clients range from individual owners and investors to management companies nationwide. EcoGreenHotel supports hotels to identify energy efficient strategies that reduce a property’s energy usage and overall environmental impact.

As owner’s agents and through our vendor neutral approach, we find the right technologies, products and solutions to deliver the best quality and value for all our clients. We specialize in identifying and taking advantage of incentives, grants, rebates and loan programs that are available through federal, state and local agencies.