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Top Solar Gadgets from 2011

Posted by SEPCO on 12/29/11 9:30 AM

I was going through CoolThings and noticed they had quite a few interesting solar gadgets that they wrote about in the last year. Here are the top solar gadgets that I found on that site and a few others.

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Topics: Green Ideas

Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 4

Posted by SEPCO on 12/27/11 10:58 AM

Bioenergy was first discovered to be able to be used for combustible engines in 1826 by Samuel Morey. He used readily available alcohol to power the engines, but due to the popularity of steam engines and lack of funding, his work on using alcohol was pushed back. Also, with the onset of high taxes during the Civil War on alcohol, the uses of alcohol were drastically reduces as a source of energy and light. It wasn’t till the mid to late 1900’s that the use of alcohol and the production of other biofuels actually started to take off.

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Topics: Green Ideas

Always Use Protection on Solar Systems

Posted by SEPCO on 12/22/11 9:30 AM

Solar lighting and power systems are a great way to showcase a green alternative to standard lighting and power options, but the solar needs to be protected. Solar cells are delicate and need additional protection from wind blown debris and vandalism. Since they are typically mounted on a pole, the backs are exposed to all types of things that can harm the solar cells.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, Solar Power

Award Winning Solar Lighting Project for West Colfax, CO

Posted by SEPCO on 12/20/11 9:30 AM

The West Colfax, CO Business Improvement District recently installed eleven SEPCO Promenade Series solar power lighting systems to illuminate walkways throughout its downtown district.  Beyond sustainability benefits, West Colfax was able to save a considerable amount of money in the sense that the off-grid Promenade solar lights did not require West Colfax to incur additional expense of tearing up streets/sidewalks as the means to extend AC-power grid to the solar lights.  Better yet, the decorative design of the solar lights added aesthetic appeal to the overall project.   For these reasons and more, the installation of eleven SEPCO Promenade Series solar lighting systems played an instrumental role in helping West Colfax Business Improvement District win the Governor’s Award for Best Sustainable Downtown Project—the details for which are outlined below.

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

Solar and LED Lighting: A Perfect Combination

Posted by SEPCO on 12/15/11 9:10 AM

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Topics: Solar Lighting, LED Lighting

Eco-Friendly Holiday Tree Ideas

Posted by SEPCO on 12/13/11 9:30 AM

So I have been reading a lot of article on eco-friendly ideas for your holiday trees and I thought to put them all in one spot. Go read the original articles Real vs Fake Christmas Trees and A Truly Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree and let me know your thoughts.

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Topics: Green Ideas, Holiday

Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 3

Posted by SEPCO on 12/8/11 9:30 AM

Hydropower has been used for many centuries for many different applications including milling, moving water, irrigation, etc., but in the 1878 the first hydroelectric power generator was developed by William George Armstrong. By 1881 the Schoelkopf Power Station No. 1 near Niagara Falls started to produce power followed by the Edison hydroelectric power plant in 1882. The development of hydroelectric power began to take off. By 1886 there were a total of 45 hydroelectric power plants in the US and Canada and by 1889 there were 200 in the US alone. That’s a lot of power plants!


Hydroelectricity is generated in many different ways, but all use the force of water moving to turn propellers or turbines to generate electricity. These turbines generate electricity through a generator and the power can be fed to the grid or to a specific application. Seems pretty simple.

There is a downside to hydroelectric power generation. There can be great damage to ecosystems and land areas around a dam. Siltation can cause a dam to fail and the flow shortage due to a drought can cause the amount of water available to be less than normal causing a lower power generation. Then you have methane gasses that are released in tropical areas, having to relocate those who live in the projected area of development, and failures that can occur.

So during the industrial revolution, hydroelectricity was developed and put into place, but maybe not in the best of ways. But what if we had taken it to the next level? What if we had found ways to maximize the power output so that other forms of power generation weren’t needed? Or what if we had learned how to generate electricity earlier then the late 1800’s? Or made it safer so the issues that are involved in hydroelectric power aren’t as great or even exist at all?

Would tidal power be in use in more areas? I think so. The tides move all around the world so no coastal area would be without power. What about rivers? We may have been able to develop safer and smaller forms of power generators that could reside within the ecosystem instead of taking over the area changing the flow of the river.

History of Hydropower DOE

Hydroelectricity

History of Hydropower & Water at Work 

 

Want to read Part 1? Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 1

Or how about Part 2? Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 2 

Here's the latest Part 4: Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 4

 

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Topics: Green Ideas

Subdivision Mailbox Solar Lighting to Show Green Initiative

Posted by SEPCO on 12/6/11 9:30 AM

Many subdivisions provide mailbox clusters for thier condo owners. These mailbox clusters, usually under a roof structure, require lighting for the security of the residences. Power is not always available where these mailbox clusters are located and the cost of trenching and running electric to the area can be a costly expense. Solar power is the perfect option.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, SEPCO News & Information, Building Structure Lighting

Top 6 Documentaries on Climate Change: Need for Green Energy

Posted by SEPCO on 12/1/11 9:30 AM

We've all heard about global warming and the need to develop green, renewable energies.  We are in the midst of an oil crisis that is destroying our ecosystem and leaving permanent scars on the Earth.  It's easy to hear something like this and feel that these problems are too complex to do anything about, and besides, someone else will figure out the solution.  Right?

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Topics: Guest Post, Green Ideas

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