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SEPCO's blog on all things renewable and green

10 Amazing Environmentally Friendly Websites

Posted by SEPCO

7/28/11 10:30 AM

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I love all things green and wanted to point out some of my favorite websites for more information. Go check these out and let me know which ones are your favorites or what websites I am missing. I’d love to expand my bookmarks with more information.  
  1. Care2 – if it is creating a more green lifestyle, eating healthier, or taking action into causes you like; Care2 provides information on just about everything.
  1. MNN Mother Nature Network – “Improve your world” is MNN’s motto and the site does just that. MNN has up to date news and information on environmental and social responsibility issues that encompass your family, health, lifestyle, business, community and planet.
  1. Eartheasy – not just a blog to read, but products to actual put to use to make your life greener. The blog is full of great advice while their store covers just about everything inside and outside the home.
  1. Chasing Green – a site that shows small things that can be done in everyday living to improve the environment, look no further. Chasing Green provides projects, discussions, and encouragement for finding simple tasks to make a change.
  1. Smart Planet – focusing on business, technology, innovation and energy, Smart Planet gives a view to major aspects on how to improve all aspects of the environment.
  1. Earth Techling – a consumer publication that focuses on all types of green technologies from clean energy, electric vehicles, green gadgets, and green buildings.
  1. Clean Technica (cleantechnica.com) – news and individual’s views on solar, wind, water, and geothermal energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs. They also have more specific sites to choose from for other green topics.
  1. TED – Ideas Worth Spreading is the only mantra of TED. A conference that brings people from technology, entertainment, and design together to talk about all topics. A Greener Future is specific to helping the environment and making the world a greener and self sustaining place.
  1. Global Cool – inspiring people to think and live differently through work with celebrities and entertainment to show people how to live a greener life and enjoy it.
  1. Treehugger – from becoming informed, interacting, to taking action, Treehugger.com covers news, solutions, and product information. There is tons of information available for any type of audience.
Well that wraps up my top ten. Leave me a comment below with information on your favorites so I can go check them out and report back.
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Topics: Green Ideas, Green Websites

The Difference Between Incandescent, CFL, and LED Lights

Posted by SEPCO

7/26/11 10:30 AM

376px Simple spectroscope resized 600Ever wonder why the same object can look different in various lighting? There are blue, white, yellow, red, and many other colors in the spectrum of every lamp. This is determined by the color rendition index, CRI, of that type of lamp. The higher the CRI, the more color the eye can see. Every type of light source has a different CRI which then makes whatever is being lit up look differently.

Even daylight has different CRI values. Depending on the time of day, what type of sky is present that day, and where the sun is positioned can even change how things look. A day with a clear blue sky will look different than the beautiful orange, pinks, and purples that exist sometimes at dusk. The CRI can change from 8000 Kelvins to 2600 Kelvins in a single day making the same object transform as the day goes on.

Different types of lamps (CFL, LED, Incandescent, etc.) with the same CRI can also have variance in the way they color things. A cool white fluorescent lamp has a reddish-yellow appearance while an incandescent fluorescent lamp has an orange color. Personally I have purchased a package of many lamps to have some looked bluer while others were more orange. This is probably rarer, but it can change the way things are seen in the light.

LED lights used to be blue. Technology is changing and you can now purchase an LED light with the full spectrum. This is done by putting the LED inside a color tube or container, or by changing the semiconductor materials used in the production process.

Finally, this not only affects how things are perceived by our eyes, but also changes how a photograph turns out. Not just the light being cast in the surrounding area, but also the lamp used for the flash can drastically change how a picture looks.

What other ways have you seen the CRI of a light change how things look?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simple_spectroscope.jpg (PIC)

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Topics: General Lighting, LED Lighting

SEPCO and the Star Spangled Banner United

Posted by SEPCO

7/21/11 6:58 AM

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A little while back an article was published about one of our solar lighting systems being used to light The Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry National Park. The flag is a replica of the original that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that became United States National Anthem.

The new solar powered LED light replaced the inefficient lighting eliminating utility bills. In addition to this it lights the colors of the flag much better and brighter and is a great way to showcase clean renewable energy.  The solar and flood lights are hidden from view to maintain the integrity of this historic site.

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SEPCO Solar Lighting Specialist, Joe O’Grady, worked directly with Fort McHenry’s Facility Maintenance Division to design a solar powered LED lighting system with the capacity to stand-up to the harsh coastal environment and provide ultra reliable power needed to illuminate this National treasure from dusk to dawn 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“It was an incredible honor to design a solar lighting system for the Star Spangled Banner—the significance of which really hits home every time I hear the National Anthem being sung at a sporting event”, O’Grady said. “Knowing that the Star Spangled Banner will be a focal point for the upcoming Bicentennial Celebration of the Battle of Baltimore in 2012 makes this solar lighting project all the more special”, O’Grady added.

Fort McHenry Article

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Topics: Solar Lighting, SEPCO News & Information, Flagpole Lighting

Benefits of Choosing Solar Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

7/19/11 9:01 AM

Solar Lighting at Night
Solar lights provide security and illumination in needed areas. A lot of the time those areas area located some place power is not available. Solar lights are a great alternative and a cost effective solution. They range from small one LED fixtures that run along a home’s driveway to powerful street and flood lights that can illuminate a 150’ area.

Solar lighting is great for many different reasons. It is a green alternative to traditional lighting, it is low cost and practically maintenance free, and there is no power bills associated with utilizing solar. There is no reason to extend the power grid or use underground wiring. Solar is also low voltage which makes it much safer for installation and maintenance. Finally, solar lighting is renewable and promotes sustainability; it does not require anything but the sun to operate.

Next time you are looking to light up an area, whether it is your back yard or a large parking lot, look into solar lighting as your first option and make an impact on both the environment and the area you are lighting. What other alternatives do you like for your lighting needs? Let us know, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Topics: Solar Lighting

13 Great Reasons to Use Solar Power and Solar Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

7/13/11 10:09 AM

Solar Energy

Ever wonder why solar is a great alternative to standard grid electric?

1. Green – Solar is green. Green is the new black. Enough said.

2. Renewable – Solar is a renewable energy source. The sun is always present and even the cloudiest days have some sun power available for the solar panels to soak up.

3. Available Anywhere – Solar can be installed anywhere, even when what it is powering is in the shade. No matter what the circumstance, if there is a sunny spot nearby the solar can be installed to power something remotely installed.

4. Durable – A silicon wafer is not durable itself, but stick it behind some glass and you have the making for something that can withstand a lot more of the elements.

5. Eco-Friendly – No harmful gases come from a solar panel.

6. Cost Savings – Solar provides cost savings by not having to pay for electricity.

7. Easy Installation – Solar panels are easy to install, typically only needing a few bolts to hold them secure and some basic wiring.

8. Low Voltage – Solar utilizes lower voltage, typically 12 Volts DC, which means safer usage and installation.

9. Energy Savings – Solar utilizes lower powered items such as LED / CFL lamps, lower powered electronics, etc. that do not use as much power as standard electric systems.

10. No Trenching – Got a parking lot that needs lighting but the cement has already been poured? Need to put in a camera that is across the road from power lines? That’s fine with solar since each system stands alone and can be mounted anywhere (see No. 3).

11. Battery Backup – Most solar systems today utilize a battery backup that allows for three plus days storage of the power needed to keep the system running. That way, if the sun goes out, you will still have power for a couple days. Let’s just hope the sun comes back on soon.

12. Dark Sky Compliant – Since solar lights utilize lower lumens per Watt they comply with dark sky lighting laws when used with certain fixtures.

13. Tax Credits / Grants – Who would’ve guessed, but the government wants you to be green. They are providing tax credits and grants to help with the purchase of solar, any renewable energy for that matter. So if Uncle Sam wants you to use solar it’s a good idea.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, Green Ideas, Solar Power

What Solar Power Tables Will Wirelessly Power?...Your Tools!

Posted by SEPCO

7/6/11 10:29 AM

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So there's this brand new direction flowing along side our obsession with the very best wi-fi products [1], and it's the best way to keep their electric batteries totally full. With a lot of the newer pads and tablet pcs, phones, and mobile computers the only common hassle is the most hassle-free method to keep them charged up. I started out questioning what I could do with many of these different units and now I ask myself what I would do with out them. I also worry every night whether I've got each one of them on their own proper wires and charging up for the day ahead.

When the techie items firstly hit the scene there were wires attached with the Flash plug-ins on the computer. This appeared like a quite innovative thought in my opinion originally. I was an admirer of the benefit with which one could simply connect the accessory in during the night while checking out email. Regrettably, like several things, this soon became a problem. How can I get my accessory with me throughout the house if it needs to stay plugged in at the portable computer?

Later followed the USB wall adapter. I went researching one of these soon once my 1st smart phone purchase. I wanted to plug it in to the wall in my bed room and so I would have it with me during the nighttime, but I did not have anything but the Usb charging cord to charge it. The next thing I realised, the wall adapter was coming with most of the units I acquired.

Over the last months, I have started to study and experience details associated with wire less recharging mats. From what I seen at first, they were needing special cases for the products to work with them. Just recently, this was removed. The world of wire-less recharging is getting ready to bust wide open.

We should instead put a pin in that theme. We will be back very soon. In the meantime, we need to talk about the significance of alternative concept [2]. Lots of naysayers to environment friendly tech will tell you it's tree-hugging talk to get individuals to acquire more expensive units and that it's all a silly effort mainly because none of the bad consequences are seriously taking effect. Whether or not that is true, the only issue with that argument is how many folks are in the earth. As a consequence of the amount of people existing on the planet and the number of them using coal and gas driven electrical energy, we have started to have a challenge. Now think of the number of them that will have kids and how that will grow the amount of men and women consuming electric energy and non-renewable fuels. The only possible reliable thing to try is for hi-tech to supply natural ways at the present that can become environmentally friendly preferences later [3].

With that said, ladies and gentleman, I introduce to you the 1st eco-friendly method to power wi-fi all of your portable products, Panasonic's innovative solar-powered wireless recharging table. Due to be revealed at the end of 2011 or early 2012, the brand new table will use solar powered energy accumulated by the solar panels on the face of the table to power the items placed on the table!
This is the potential future of a renewable photovoltaic technology that is Qi enabled.

What is Qi you may ask? Qi has been created by the wireless power trust as a standard specs to be implemented by the makers of recharging accessories, like our completely new table, and the products which they will charge, like your brand new smartphone that is touchscreen display enabled, reads information and has a foldout full-sized key board. This completely new Qi technological know-how has only been known since the beginning of this period, but everyone seems to be looking forward to swift integration and a score of gadget launches. Using Qi with older wifi gizmos is assured, and we will undoubtedly be listening more about Panasonic's innovative solar-powered wire-less recharging table and some other Qi facilitated chargers sooner.

If you want to learn more about solar energy and the way to integrate it in your life I would like to offer you these additional
articles:

- [1] Here you can review more in detail the information relating to the photovoltaic table. Geek.com is a blog site that is focused on tech news articles with discussion. It was the first to report the reports about the Panasonic's photovoltaic table (Photo Credit)

- [2] Here you could have a clear analysis concerning how to use solar powered energy to charge most unit's electric batteries (i.e. mobile phone, car batteries, etc...). If you are not in a position to spend the money for the expense to install a residential photovoltaic system, it might be a good beginning to introduce you to solar panels. 12voltsolarpanels.net is a 100 % free blog site managed by Hettie. She gives you her activities with www.12voltsolarpanels.net to help people create the transition from a full-time electrical energy dependence to a beneficial energy efficiency suggesting solar powered energy to people that need small battery chargers.

- [3] If you possibly can spend the money for the investment to setup solar panels for use on your property (or are eligible for solar tax credits or rebates), here some articles to help you see how solar energy panels work and the way to include them in your daily life. Poolsolarpanels.org is a non profits web site that is focused entirely on pool heating. Rosalind (the blog writer) uses to say that it is usually the initial step when choosing to employ solar powered energy. Most people begin with swimming pool solar panels and find out how solar panel products function, then want to go to photovoltaic for electric power.

About the Author:

Doctor Zara Dobson Twitter is a former post doctoral scientist at the College of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She received a qualification in computing research and high-tech, and proceeded her research study into a Ph.D. working in the Biomedical and Multi media Information Tech at the University of Sydney, Australia. She was a rater for several leading journals in the sustainable energy field i.e. "Renewable Energy World". From '05 to the present she is a guest writer for sustainable energy online sites, personal blogs and community forums.

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Topics: Guest Post, Solar Gadgets

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