Future energy
Renewables, fuel cells, hydrogen, and efficiency

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Friday, May 28, 2004


What is an AGM battery: Background on absorbed glass mat battery products. In this battery design, acid is completely absorbed into microfiber glass mat separators which are sandwiched between lead plates and typically wound in coils. Advantages:

  • totally sealed and maintenance free design
  • more heat and vibration resistant
  • slower self discharge rate (longer shelf life). A wet battery discharges 15% a month, some AGM batteries discharge only 2-3% a month, so 6 months idle is no problem

Many vendors are online.

  2:52:37 PM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, May 27, 2004


Venture Capital Clean Tech Growth: Broad review of investments in clean technology.  "Sandy Selman, founder and managing director of Asia West, a small Westport, Conn.-based fund that specializes in Asian environmental investments, [says] he's been trying to convince institutional investors to do private equity investing in this space for years, but has not met with any success. But now venture capitalists are confident that the news from California [Calpers investment] will sway other limited partners. "I think you will see tens if not hundreds of large pension funds coming into this sector," says NGEN's Grubstein."  10:51:06 PM  permalink  


daily link  Sunday, May 16, 2004


Science.gov: "Science.gov is a gateway to authoritative selected science information provided by U.S. Government agencies, including research and development results"  11:00:15 AM  permalink  

Solar Roofing System: Marley Roofing is a major UK manufacturer of many kinds of roofing products. They have introduced a solar tile system.  "The Marley SolarTile™  was designed to integrate with the Marley Modern interlocking tile and is easily installed by fixing to standard batterns. .. Each tile has a PV laminate comprising of 10 BP Solar Saturn cells generating an output of 23Wp. Over the year a suitably orientated installation of 100 Marley Solar Tiles will generate enough electricity for a typical 3 bedroom household (excluding central heating and water heating).

Marley SolarTiles™ are easy to install, use standard battening and are completely modular to meet the requirements of any roofing application. The Solar Tile has just two parts, a Top and a Base. The tile top fits onto the base and contains the photovoltaic elements which generate electricity. The tile base fits onto the roof and provides the electrical connectors to the house wiring."  This would allow the substitution of new PV cells as they are developed.

  8:42:18 AM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, May 13, 2004


MTI MicroFuel powers RFID tags with tiny fuel cell:  Production to begin under contract this summer.  "MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. will supply the power source for a new product to be manufactured by Intermec Technologies Corp. and used in an inventory tracking system."  2:00:40 PM  permalink  


daily link  Friday, May 07, 2004


Krugman on oil supplies:  "the end [the energy crisis of the 1970's] has been widely misunderstood: prices went down not because the world found new sources of oil, but because it found ways to make do with less. During the 1980's, oil consumption dropped around the world as the delayed effects of the energy crisis led to the use of more fuel-efficient cars, better insulation in homes and so on. Although economic growth led to a gradual recovery, as late as 1993 world oil consumption was only slightly higher than it had been in 1979. In the United States, oil consumption didn't regain its 1979 level until 1997.

Since then, however, world demand has grown rapidly: the daily world consumption of oil is 12 million barrels higher than it was a decade ago, roughly equal to the combined production of Saudi Arabia and Iran. It turns out that America's love affair with gas guzzlers, shortsighted as it is, is not the main culprit: the big increases in demand have come from booming developing countries. China, in particular, still consumes only 8 percent of the world's oil — but it accounted for 37 percent of the growth in world oil consumption over the last four years.

The collision between rapidly growing world demand and a limited world supply is the reason why the oil market is so vulnerable to jitters. .. In a way it's ironic. Lately we've been hearing a lot about competition from Chinese manufacturing and Indian call centers. But a different kind of competition — the scramble for oil and other resources — poses a much bigger threat to our prosperity.

So what should we be doing? Here's a hint: We can neither drill nor conquer our way out of the problem. Whatever we do, oil prices are going up. What we have to do is adapt."

  8:50:35 AM  permalink  


daily link  Wednesday, May 05, 2004


VentureBlog: Tapping The Trillion Dollar Market: "Hard-headed venture investors have suddenly become environmentalists; there's money to be made in saving the world. .. Investing in the area has been growing more than 8% a year. After several false starts in the late 80's and mid 90's, is now the time to invest in alternative energy?"  The author notes that "The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) launched a new investment program that will invest up to $200 million in the burgeoning environmental technology sector during the next few years [that] will target investments in environmental technology solutions .. such as recycling; minimizing the use of natural resources; and reducing emissions, refuse, and contamination to air, water, and land."  It is part of a larger "plan to invest $1.5 billion of the state's pension funds in environmental technologies. State Treasurer Phil Angelides said the "Green Wave" initiative is aimed at helping the state improve financial returns, generate jobs and clean up the environment.  "I want to see California in the best position to reap the benefits of this growing sector of the global economy," Angelides said in an interview. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's largest pension fund, voted in March to invest $200 million in clean technology startups, and agreed this month to pump $500 million into environmentally responsible stocks and mutual funds."  2:46:27 PM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, May 03, 2004


Solar Thermal Hydrogen: Solarec trials 10m x 10m dishes to concentrate solar heat to split CO2, add water, and yield hydrogen.  Additional byproducts are commercially usable hydrogen and high grade heat for direct electricity production.  A supply of CO2 is split and rejoins repeatedly.  1:14:56 AM  permalink  

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Last update: 11/24/2005; 11:21:14 PM.
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