Energy Articles

Universal Intelligent Transformer

It's possible that one of the most important developments of the energy age will be the solid state transformer for power distribution.

This device will act as a 'power supply' for a building. It will deliver the voltages and frequency needed by different systems in the building the same way that a computer power supply delivers several different configurations of power to a computer motherboard.

Untangling the Grid-Tied Knot

The conventional Solar Energy system includes photovoltaic panels connected to the grid through an inverter. Even with all its flaws including inverter complexity, inverter losses, and an often daunting inter-tie approval process, it has been considered the best solution. Now, a not-so-new technology called "Direct Coupling" is gaining acceptance and popularity with the promise of increased efficiency, simplicity, and a design concept that is, by nature, sustainable.

Demand Response Programs

With unbundling of electric services at the heart of deregulation, electric utilities were faced with great uncertainty about their ability to recover stranded investments in electricity infrastructure. As a result, many utilities delayed infrastructure investments in new generation and transmission, leading to local or regional transmission bottlenecks and areas with inadequate generating capacity.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

The compact fluorescent lamp is a miniaturized fluorescent tube packaged with a built-in ballast in a standard screw base that can be installed in a conventional socket. They have a much longer life than incandescent bulbs - usually 7500-10,000 hours, but often as much as to 20,000 hours compared to 750 to 1000 hours for a standard incandescent.

At the Edge of the Grid

What do you think would have happened if, a hundred years ago, someone had invented a DC Power Transformer? Direct Current power in, electricity out -- any voltage, current, frequency, and phase.

Net Metering Laws in the US

How do I spin my electric meter backwards?

In 1978, the “PURPA” (Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act) was signed to allow organizations other than utilities to produce power. This means that if you generate power from any source, the utilities are required to buy it from you.