Energy News Wrap

Smart grid, regenerative braking, New Jersey solar, real-time bus arrival schedules, smart appliances.

by / August 11, 2009

China Begins 10-Year Smart Grid Project
Recently, announced that China is in the planning stages of a smart grid project expected to be deployed over the next decade that will help prepare the country for a doubling of power demand and more effective use of renewable power generation.

Regenerative Braking Reduces Crane Power Requirements
When a crane hoists a 30-ton shipping container, it uses a lot of energy and requires a large engine. When it lowers the container, however, it must slow the descent. A better idea is to use the braking force to power up a flywheel that will contribute to the energy needed when the crane lifts the next container. Vycon's Regen Crane System operates that way and requires a smaller engine, uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions.

New Jersey Attains 4,000 Solar Energy Installations
New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine today announced that the state has 4,000 solar installations generating 90 Megawatts of power. The governor intends to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent and generate at least 30 percent of the state's energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.

When is Your Bus Coming?
New York City launched GPS-bus tracking and near-real-time schedule updates in a 30-bus pilot on the M34 and M16 routes. Information signs update every 30 seconds and display the number of minutes until the next bus arrives. "Knowing when your bus will arrive," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, "will make commuting more attractive, more convenient, and less stressful."

Appliance Manufacturers Weigh In on Smart Grid
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) recently submitted principles -- that clarify how appliances can effectively operate within a smart-grid environment -- to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST has "primary responsibility to coordinate development of a framework that includes protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of smart grid devices and systems..."  The AHAM submission was in response to a notice seeking industry comment on 16 smart-grid interoperability standards.  AHAM's principle positions include: an open standards format; smart appliance systems may support one-way and two-way communication; and the consumer will always have the option to override a power reduction command. AHAM also expressed concern that rate structures do not "incentivize or educate consumers."

Wayne Hanson Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government