There is compelling new evidence that well designed standards for energy consuming products can drive innovation and save consumers enormous amounts of money over the life of those products. This is a thesis that I have expressed support for on more than one occasion.
A new report entitled “The Efficiency Boom” is the work of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and a multi-stakeholder group called the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (“ASAP).
The report takes a retrospective look at the various energy standards that have been adopted since the 1980s as well as potential new or updated standards in 34 categories (e.g. industrial boilers, dishwashers, microwaves, computers, televisions, lighting fixtures and so on). The energy and dollar savings from these standards are truly impressive.
Left to Right: Appliance with Veneer glass; 75” Smart 3-D TV by Samsung; AUO’s 32” Metal Oxide TFT OLED; 85” 8K4K Super Hi Vision by Sharp.
At this year’s FPD International show the displays on exhibit were larger, thinner, of higher resolution, smarter, touchable and energy efficient. In this blog post I’ll attempt to give you a glimpse into the latest and greatest display technology I saw on exhibit at the show.
Thunder storms and muggy weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Solar Decathletes in Washington, DC last week. The teams representing 19 universities from around the world competed to build the most energy efficient, affordable and attractive solar-powered home – not easy given the conditions!
Active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays have been available on high-end smartphones for a while now, and there has been a lot of speculation about when we’ll start to see tablet devices equipped the same screen technology. I would like to take a closer look at why AMOLED technology is so hotly anticipated.
OLED displays use an alternative pixel-lighting mechanism compared to liquid crystal display (LCD) - a mechanism that is simpler in concept and offers advantages over LCD, but introduces numerous technological challenges that display manufacturers are working to overcome.
As solar fabs expand and leverage their scale and manufacturing capacity, one of the major challenges manufacturers face is achieving greater operational efficiency to lower costs. Implementing productivity and manufacturing efficiency programs can help. I’ve met with several solar manufacturers from around the globe and have seen firsthand how they use and benefit from these types of programs.
Proudly sporting their university colors, 19 teams opened the front doors of their solar-powered homes to the public for the first time last week at the official launch of Solar Decathlon 2011 – a biannual competition managed by the U.S. Department of Energy.
After two years of planning, many sleepless nights, and crash courses in construction, the university teams competing in this year’s Department of Energy Solar Decathlon are ready to build!
The Team Meeting to kick off the competition brought all the students together for the first time for final instructions, a good meal, and pep talks on Tuesday evening. I was pleased to represent Applied Materials, a sponsor of the Solar Decathlon, at the event to share our company’s pride in the teams’ accomplishments to date and our interest in learning more about their solar-inspired innovations during the decathlon which runs through the end of this month in Washington, DC.
One of the most important technical conferences for the solar industry, the 26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC), will take place this year in Hamburg, Germany. The conference is expected to attract more than 900 companies and solar organizations from around the world. Additionally, timing of this year’s 26th EU PVSEC coincides with the European Commission’s plan to announce new initiatives to foster innovation in key energy technologies.
As the world’s #1 provider of solar PV equipment, Applied Materials will once again participate in this year’s EU PVSEC September 5-8th and will discuss new product announcements, advanced solar manufacturing techniques and technology, as well as participate in a number of technical visual and oral presentations.
Now, here’s an interesting fact. In addition to reducing your electricity bills and enhancing the value of your house by an average of $17,000, putting solar on your roof actually keeps your house cooler. That’s according to a research team led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.
Typically, the sun beats down onto a roof, pushing heat through the roof and inside the ceiling of a building. But when solar panels are in place, the panels take the direct hit of the sun and filter the heat. The effect is even greater when the panels are mounted and tilted, allowing air to circulate below the panel and further dissipate the heat. The researchers determined that solar panels reduce the heat reaching the roof by 38%, making the building’s ceiling five degrees cooler under solar panels than under exposed roof.
I recently attended the Bay Area premiere of a powerful and sobering film entitled “Climate Refugees,” a 2010 Sundance Film Festival Selection. Filmmaker Michael Nash visited 47 countries over the space of nearly two years documenting the extraordinary human toll that climate related disasters are causing. The number and scope of these stories is sadly long: the narrow sandy atolls of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean that are about to be engulfed by rising sea levels; the millions of Bangladeshis that are crowded into the slums of Dhaka after being displaced by cyclones; the Africans trudging for miles to find water and scratching out an existence as the once huge Lake Chad quickly dries up; the rural Chinese living in makeshift tents as both flooding and creeping desertification destroy their homes; the melting glaciers in Alaska that are imperiling time honored Native American traditions and livelihoods; and the wrenching social and economic changes wrought by Hurricane Katrina in our own backyard.
California's pioneering 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) bill, authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, passed the California Assembly yesterday, sending a measure to Governor Brown’s desk – which he is expected to sign. The new standard will increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 33% by 2020.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) look great. They have a long lifetime. They are environmentally benign. And if that weren’t enough, LEDs used for displays and illumination save serious amounts of energy compared to the incumbent technology they aim to replace.
LEDs consume so much less energy that governments around the world are phasing out the use of incandescent bulbs. The implication of this is huge for energy savings. A new report released by the Department of Energy analyzed market segments where LEDs are competing or are poised to compete with traditional light sources (e.g., incandescent and fluorescent) for general illumination applications, outdoor lighting, and consumer electronic displays. The report findings include the following powerful statistics: