Energy

Lifestyles of the High and Low GHG Emitters

Where should you live to most reduce your carbon footprint? It seems obvious that city life with smaller homes, mass transportation, and easy access to shops and restaurants is preferable to the suburbs with its cars and bigger homes. But how about the benefits of rural areas where people grow their food and live closer to the land? What about regional climate, income and energy price differences? A recent analysis by Jones and Kammen (2013)…

Intergenerational Differences in Carbon Emissions

Changing people’s carbon emission patterns requires first understanding the differences in behaviors and corresponding emissions levels between different groups of people. A recent paper by Chancel in the journal Ecological Economics investigated the differences in carbon emissions between different generations in the U.S. and France. The author examined carbon emissions by American and French

Light Management Key to Reaching Solar Cell Efficiency Limit

In 1961, the Nobel Prize-winning co-inventor of the transistor, William Shockley, and his colleague, Hans Quisser, identified the theoretical maximum conversion efficiency of a solar cell. They called this the “detailed balance limit,” because maximum efficiency would occur when photons absorbed from and emitted to the sun were in the proper balance. This theoretical limit has been beyond the…

Benefits Outweigh Costs of Massive Renewable Energy Deployment

The power grid is a massively complicated network of generators, power converters, and transmission lines controlled through the cooperation of numerous private corporations and local and international agencies. Grid operators rely on long and short-term “to-the-minute” weather predictions and other inputs to predict demand and prevent disruption. Government policies and economic constraints of the coming decades require the grid in the United States (and elsewhere) to become even more intelligent, interconnected, and efficient.

New Design Innovation May Keep Solar Manufacturing Prices Trending Down

Dramatically lower prices for raw silicon (Si) have reduced the cost of solar power modules (panels). For total power system cost to continue to fall, however, new methods are required to produce high efficiency silicon solar cells that minimize material costs and processing complexity. Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy recently demonstrated a method for high-efficiency silicon that may do just this.

"The Future of Energy", with Burns & McDonell

In celebration of Engineering Week: 2014, Mr. J. Brett Williams- Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Northeast region -  and Mr. David Boers – Associate and Program Manager in Burns & McDonnell’s Transmission and Distribution division- will provide students with a comprehensive view of the electric generation and transmission market and its evolution into the 21st century.

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