Chuck Ross

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Entries Tagged as 'Energy technology'

Form Ranks: Army Working With Industry in Renewables Initiative

February 28th, 2012 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is the nation’s biggest energy customer, and it wants to cut its bills. The DOD’s armed services all have initiatives underway to reduce energy use and increase adoption of renewable technologies, in both overseas operations and at stateside bases. In one of the most ambitious efforts announced to date, [...]

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Looking Ahead: Researchers Power Up Ideas for Energy’s Future

December 28th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Alternative-energy watchers are to be forgiven for feeling a bit edgy when it comes to promises of market-shifting technologies. After all, that’s just what California–based Solyndra suggested U.S. Energy Department lenders could expect less than a year before the company went belly-up this summer. But this failure certainly hasn’t stopped researchers in university labs across [...]

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Clean up on Aisle 9: Supermarkets Line Up for Efficiency-Boosting Fuel Cells

October 28th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Walk into your local supermarket in mid-August, and the electricity consumption surrounds you. The combination of overhead lighting, air conditioning, cooler refrigeration and all those freezer compartments make that round-the-corner temple to the food pyramid (or the new food plate) one of the biggest energy hogs in town. To help manage high operating costs and [...]

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2011: The Year of the LED?

July 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Any given year has its predictions. If you’re reading this article, the world as we knew/know it didn’t end on May 21—one of the most publicized predictions for 2011. In Chicago, Cubs fans may yet again be asserting that next year will be the year their team goes all the way. In the lighting industry, [...]

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Urban Scale

June 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

The term “microgrid” has been a part of broader smart grid conversations for several years, but definitions have varied. Campus-sized projects have brought these electrical-systems-in-miniature to universities and military installations, but some smart grid advocates argue developers are thinking just a bit too small. Think urban scale, they say. Two prototype projects now underway are [...]

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Fukushima: Re-Energizing Nuclear-Safety Concerns

May 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

As the aftermath of Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami unfolded, many became mesmerized by photos and videos of desperate workers struggling against time to keep the disastrous situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant from becoming even worse. Clad in protective gear, they wrestled with fire hoses and power cables in an effort [...]

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To Infinity and Beyond

February 20th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

In some ways, it seems as though nuclear power plants are the Energizer Bunny of electric-generating technology—they just keep going. Constructed between 1969 and 1996, the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors were licensed initially for 40 years of operation. Almost 60 of these plants already have been granted operating licenses for an additional 20 years, and [...]

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It’s Not a Gas – Electric Vehicles Are Here

September 20th, 2010 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

An electric car seems like such a simple, almost childlike, concept—you plug it in, charge it up, and it goes. But manufacturers and engineers leading the introduction of large numbers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles over the next several years are finding the effort to be surprisingly complex. Electrical contractors, though, could find widespread opportunities [...]

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More Than Just a Meter

August 20th, 2010 · No Comments · Feature writing

The term “smart grid” is getting a lot of use these days, with related stimulus funding reaching into the billions of dollars and the popular press promising Jetsons-like advances; it has been predicted to enable our control of home appliances from our office desktops and allow us to supply electricity back to the grid and [...]

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Direct to Connect

June 20th, 2010 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Buildings that can make their own energy have long been a goal for environmentally motivated architects and engineers, but the means for doing so have mostly been limited to bulky solar panels and wind turbines high enough to raise the ire of almost any community’s zoning board. Now, however, a new generation of photovoltaic curtainwalls, [...]

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