energy efficiency

Clean Energy Technology Commercialization Portal

Posted on September 22, 2010. Filed under: energy, energy efficiency, research & development, tech transfer |

 Courtesy of the US Dept. of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) comes a Technology Commercialization Portal which could be considered a one-stop shop for technology transfer opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency arenas.

The Technology Commercialization Portal enables you to find patents and patent applications for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and a growing number of technology marketing summaries, all developed by U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and participating research institutions.

 The EERE Technology Commercialization Portal currently contains almost 200 technology marketing summaries, almost 12,000 patents available for licensing, and just over 3,000 patent applications.  The technologies covered fall into one of fourteen categories:

  •  Advanced Materials
  • Biomass and Biofuels
  • Building Energy Efficiency
  • Electricity Transmission and Distribution
  • Energy Analysis Models, Tools and Software
  • Energy Storage
  • Geothermal
  • Hydrogen and Fuel Cell
  • Hydropower, Wave and Tidal
  • Industrial Technologies
  • Solar Photovoltaic
  • Solar Thermal
  • Vehicles and Fuels
  • Wind Energy

There’s a nice story about this portal in the August/September issue of Innovation – “Introducing a Portal to Make Technology a Lot Easier“.  This could be a very useful tool.  I like it!  —nks

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NIST proposes smart grid standards but is that enough?

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: energy efficiency, science & technology | Tags: , |

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued a first release of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, version 1.0.

The 75 standards (with room for more), roadmap, and preliminary identification of cybersecurity needs contained in the document are all essential to moving forward.  However, as the Netherlands recently learned, science and technology are not sufficient to move a policy forward.

As reported by Datamonitor, privacy concerns derailed the Netherlands initial efforts to require the use of smart electricity meters.  Public concerns about privacy and security must be addressed, andthe public must see a strong benefit to offset concerns if such efforts are to become wide-spread andeffective.

A good reminder that public policy is not just about the science and technology and that public attitudes should be factored in early and often. –nks

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More on A123 Systems (Batteries)

Posted on April 14, 2009. Filed under: automotive, energy efficiency, manufacturing | Tags: , |

Yesterday’s blog reported on Chrysler’s decision to use A123 Battery Systems for it’s planned electric vehicles and hybrid plug-ins.  Here’s more about A123, courtesy of SME’s April14 Daily Executive Briefing, taken from an April 13 Wall Street Journal article:

 GE Investing Another $15 Million In A123 Systems. The Wall Street Journal (4/13, Johnson) Environmental Capital blog reported, “General Electric is pouring another $15 million into battery maker A123 Systems, the seventh time GE has put money into the MIT offshoot,” and “the $69 million invested by GE and others will let A123 expand factories to ramp up production of auto batteries.” The investment, noted the blog, “has as much to do with the future of electricity as with the future of automation.” The company said that “not all the money will be used to build futuristic cars: ‘The funding will also support A123’s efforts to develop applications for the smart grid, such as utility-scale energy storage.’” The blog pointed out that “finding a cost-effective, reliable way to store the intermittent electricity produced by wind farms and solar panels would make it easier to use a lot more clean energy.  –nks

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Chrysler chooses U.S. based battery supplier

Posted on April 13, 2009. Filed under: automotive, energy efficiency, manufacturing | Tags: , |

A123 battery module

A123 battery module

MIT’s Technology Review reports that Chrysler has chosen A123 Batteries, based in Watertown, MA, to provide batteries for its planned electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. A123 is reportedly building factories in Michigan to build the batteries.  According to the story, this could help promote an advanced battery undustry in the U.S.

The vehicles. too, will be built in the U.S., according to Chrysler.  All good news, in a small way, for U.S. manufacturing, iespecially if Chrysler survives the current economic crisis.

A123 was selected, in part, because it is U.S.-based, and also because the battery modules are supposed to be easily adaptable to various vehicle models.  Another benefit – the technology lends itself to relatively simple battery packs.  Much more detail in the story.  –nks

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“The allure of alternative energy”

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: energy, energy efficiency, research & development |

A recent special edition of Innovation reports on an alternative energy summit held in December 2008.  Read the keynote address and the panel discussion on each of the following topics:  nuclear energy, biofuels, solar, wind – and the overarching issue of transmission. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D, NM; Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee) outlined his goals for the committee in his opening remarks.  An informative issue! –nks

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