Reducing Load

  • Notifact Corp. (Fairfield, NJ) has contracted with Invensys Energy Solutions, a unit of Invensys Building Systems (Loves Park, IL) to provide the Albertson’s supermarket chain with Internet-based remote control of lighting systems at 250 locations throughout California. The real-time communications capability will enable Albertson’s to turn the lights on or off at any or all locations instantly, allowing it to meet the California Public Utility Commission’s (CPUC) 30-min window for participating in the curtailable load rebate program.

  • Voltage Reduction Plan

  • A method called conservation voltage reduction could help reduce blackouts in California this summer. It consists simply of utilities slightly reducing the voltage delivered to customers from 120 V down to 116 to 118 V. A recent test cut power demand by about 2%. There is some concern, however, that if voltage is dropped too low, it could cause damage to appliances.

  • New Energy Computer

  • IBM announced that it has built a supercomputer dedicated to researching vehicle fuel efficiency and other energy-related issues. The computer will be installed at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oakland, CA. In addition to studying fuel efficiency, the computer will also be used for global climate modeling and for research into fusion energy.

  • Solar Power

  • What is said to be the world’s first factory for dye-sensitized solar cells has been opened by Sustainable Technologies International (Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia). The cells use a dye-impregnated layer of titanium dioxide to generate a voltage, providing the capability for low-cost solar energy, says the company.
  • TerraSun LLC (Tucson, AZ) has announced the development of a new type of photovoltaic power module. The patented technology is based on a transparent, light-controlling holographic element on glass that can deliver concentrated, spectrally selected light to focal zones on the device. The selective use of sunlight is said to allow light not needed for power to pass through the modules, enabling the units to be integrated into buildings as skylights.
  • Publication date: 07/02/2001