Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “conservation”

Energy Cost Webserver

Online LowTech Magazine has a privately-owned dedicated web server to run their sustainable magazine, powered by a 50 Watt solar panel and 0.17 kWh battery.

During the period under study (351 days), the solar powered website received 865,000 unique visitors. Including all energy losses in the solar set-up, electricity use is then 0.021 watt-hour per unique visitor. One kWh solar electricity can serve almost 50,000 unique visitors. This is all renewable energy and as such there are no direct associated carbon emissions.

If there is not enough sunshine, the site is offline. Yet the site was available for 98.2% of the time, with a downtime of only 152 hours over almost a year.

[] – How Sustainable is a Solar Powered Website?

Sound-Wave Airco

Airco’s are real energy guzzlers. A Dutch company from Enschede called Sound Energy has introduced a new thermo-acoustik device, the THEAC-25, that can cool with sound waves. No need for electricity or fossil fuel, yet waste heat is required. Is that cool or what?

In Dubai a machine of this kind is cooling air in order to retrieve water from it.

[] – Company site
[] – THEAC-25
[] – This Dutch Startup Converts Heat Into Cold Via A Stirling Engine, And Could Just Save The Planet
[] – Profile Kees de Blok
[] – Kees de BLok
[] – Deze Airco Koelt Met Warmte
[] – De airco die geen stroom vreet

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Google in Megawatt

Impressive picture from Google datacenter in Iowa. Here is where your google searches (three billion per day), youtube requests and gmail are processed, as well as in twelve other, similar data centers around the world. Power consumption world wide: 260 MW. It is Google’s policy to apply electricity from renewable sources and for this gets a best note from Greenpeace.

[google datacenter gallery]

Europe to consume 20% less energy in 2020

EU cabinet ministers responsible for energy matters have agreed today in Luxemburg on a number of measures to ensure that the EU member states will use 20% less energy in 2020. Corporations will be obliged to use 1.5% energy less every year.


Japan Asks For Power Usage Cuts

Welcome to the new reality of energy scarcity. If a highly advanced country like Japan asks its citizens to voluntarily cut energy use, one can be assured that something big is in the making. In western Japan energy consumers will be asked to reduce demand by at least 15% compared with peak levels in the summer of 2010 for the period from July 2 through Sept. 7. The power cuts are linked to the nuclear power stations that were taken off the grid after the desaster in Fukushima. There is no reason not to assume that this will be a recurring pattern in the years to come, until the moment arrives where electricity will be rationed.


London buses equiped with flywheels

[Source pic]
Pilot project involving 6 buses. Expected fuel savings up to 30%. If successfull, implementation on all 4,000 companies fleet buses could be considered. In essence, rather than wasting kinetic energy as heat in breaks, it is transformed in kinetic energy of a rotating flywheel (‘mechanical battery as it were’). This energy again is used to bring a bus up to speed from standstil and thus the bus engine saves fuel. Return on investment with current high fuel prices estimated to be five years.

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