Chuck Ross

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Entries Tagged as 'Energy technology'

Hybrid Technology: It’s Not Just for Cars

February 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

Conversations about renewable energy often come down to a comparison — solar versus wind, for example, or hydroelectric versus geothermal — as though one technology, alone, could provide the single answer to our need for safe, emissions-free electricity production. However, a new utility-scale approach to renewable-energy generation is turning this idea on its head, bringing [...]

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Current Technology: Interest in Direct Current Increases

February 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

DC power is becoming a player again, in settings ranging from high-voltage transmission down to commercial-building and data-center distribution systems. In many cases, its revival also has brought back the Edison versus Westinghouse either/or debate, as though DC’s newly re-appreciated qualities will somehow push AC aside. But what we likely will see moving forward will [...]

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Validating the Smart Grid

January 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

While the smart grid has been the topic of much conversation lately, specifics on what this supposed technical marvel will do, cost or look like in actual utility installations have been notably lacking. The largest smart grid demonstration project to date has just gone live in the Pacific Northwest to provide those specifics. It could [...]

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Made in America Making a Comeback

January 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

With doom and gloom being the predominant message regarding U.S. manufacturing these last few years, it’s somewhat surprising to hear news of optimism in that sector lately. But suddenly, companies seem to be rediscovering the appeal of the “Made in America” label, even when attached to high-tech products that seemed lost forever to a maze [...]

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Two Needs, One Turbine: Combined Heat and Power Could Help Reduce – and Meet – Energy Demand

November 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

It’s no news that coal-fired electricity generation is in decline in the United States. Falling natural gas prices and increasing pollution regulations are combining to put aging plants in many states out of business. While natural gas-fired generation likely will pick up much of the slack, energy-efficiency advocates say more efficient and distributed generation should [...]

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Partner Up for Profit: Working With an ESCO

September 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

With commercial and residential business still lagging in many parts of the country, electrical contractors seeking a bottom-line boost may find better luck in municipal and institutional projects. Owners in this sector often are more concerned about lowering long-term operating costs than short-term payback and are investing in large-scale energy-efficiency upgrades. But your entry into [...]

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Charged for Success: Residential Energy Storage Installations Grow

August 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

U.S. solar-panel manufacturers might be hurting these days, but installers’ business is going gangbusters. In 2011, more than 1,800 megawatts (MW) of utility, commercial and residential capacity were installed, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), more than doubling 2010’s record figure of 877 MW. The Solar Electric Power Association says 89 percent of [...]

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Take a Load Off: Taming the Plug Load

June 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

“Plug load” is the hot topic in the energy-efficient building design field these days. Unlike insulation, multipane windows and improved heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) performance, this energy-efficiency strategy directly affects the work of electrical contractors. Contractors who work in the commercial sector, especially, will be hearing the term repeatedly. Read this article as it [...]

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Giving Efficiency Its Due

June 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing

Energy efficiency is often the ugly stepsister in alternative-energy conversations because quantifying its potential effect is difficult; how do we determine the real value of all those avoided kilowatt-hours? Two current efforts to answer this question are drawing on a fast-growing digital resource—data—and they could help decision-makers compare and document efficiency’s environmental value against other [...]

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Wired: One Word Describes the Transmission Construction Forecast

March 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

Business still may be slow for many electrical contractors, with much of the construction industry remaining in the doldrums, but electrical pros specializing in major transmission work are experiencing a boom. Utilities and other transmission-line developers are scrambling to upgrade line reliability and bring mandated solar and wind energy to market before a number of [...]

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