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Toshiba installs 20,000 LED street lamps in San Antonio

2012-09-26 11:11:10 | energy saving light

Toshiba International Corporation (TIC) has announced that its TGT LED Luminaires will replace over 20,000 high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lamps in San Antonio, Texas. CPS Energy selected Toshiba’s roadway lighting after extensive investigation and experimentation with multiple LED luminaire options. The luminaire was selected for its product performance including the communications-enabled feature that allows connection to the Smart Grid.

The Toshiba TGT LED Luminaire uses 70% less energy than the HPS street lamps and has a rated life of 100,000 hours L85. The photocells have a rated life of 15 years, which means the TGT luminaire lasts up to 5X longer with a lower lumen depreciation than metal halide and 2X as long as HPS products.

San Antonio’s existing 250W HPS luminaires consume 310 system watts and are being replaced by Toshiba’s 100W 42-chip TGT LED luminaires. The luminaire features a very low life cycle cost based on its durability and low energy use.

“We were incredibly pleased with the quality of light from the Toshiba product. The change-outs implemented to date have resulted in a marked improvement on light distribution and color rendering,” said Richard Lujan, manager for Standards and Specification at CPS Energy.

In addition to the energy and maintenance savings, Toshiba TGT LED luminaires provide high color rendering, uniformity and small target visibility, all of which enhance public safety.

“We are committed to the value this product brings to the marketplace – not only as an incredibly energy-efficient, low-maintenance product, but as a superior light source that enhances visibility and contributes to a community’s improved quality of life,” said Peter DellaPezze, vice president of marketing and product development, TIC LED Lighting Systems Division. “We also value the relationship we have with CPS Energy as we work together to develop lighting solutions that take advantage of all the capabilities LED technology can offer progressive communities such as San Antonio.”

The new system is to reduce related lighting energy usage by 92 percent, save tenants and the building’s owner nearly $260,000 per year in energy and related operating costs, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1.2 million pounds, according to a news release. The new LED lighting will also allow custom light shows at the push of a button in support of tenants, holidays, civic and charitable groups, and other organizations looking to promote or commemorate special events.

Miami Tower rises 47 stories and offers 623,000 square feet of commercial space. The team of Jones Lang LaSalle, Philips Color Kinetics and LED Source identified the optimal LED lighting solution based on long-term operational savings and the fact that it reflected the commitment to advanced technology by the building’s owner, LaSalle Investment Management.

“This significant upgrade is just one of several projects planned at Miami Tower,” said Ty Spearing, LaSalle Investment Management managing director, in a statement. “Miami Tower has always been an iconic, easy-access downtown tower. Our goal is to re-establish Miami Tower as a leader in technology, architecture and design, environmental sustainability, and on-site amenities; all of which Miami’s top tenants demand.”

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“State of the City” relies on working together

2012-09-19 11:44:00 | energy saving light

Mayor Randy Rhoads gave a “State of the City Address” that was a litany of accomplishments for the last year.

Rhoads gave his third “State of the City Address” Sept. 13, without major announcements, instead he highlighted strengths of the city.

The event included videotaped talks of residents chosen to give their perspectives of the city which played during interludes of his speech. Rhoads said the new feature of their comments “added a perfect touch as only they could have had experienced.”

He began with admonition for cooperation he said makes Lee’s Summit successful and outstanding.

“The future depends on what we do today,” Rhoads said, adapting a quote from Mahtama Gandhi. “Together we make a far greater difference in our community that any one of us can alone.”

Rhoads said the city continues to identify “best practices” for government to improve services. He noted the Lee’s Summit Police Department last year completed accreditation, the Public Works Department this year got reaccreditation from the American Public Works Association and the fire department is in the midst of working on its national accreditation.

For two years the city has been undertaken Performance Excellence review for improving communications and efficiency and will soon be implementing the results.

“City staff has taken a long, hard and sometimes uncomfortable, critical look at our organization to determine what our organization is doing well, what we can build up, how best practices can be shared across departments and what are our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities,” Rhoads said. “We’ll wait, watch and see the results.”

On infrastructure, the city will begin renovating Lea McKeighan park, has replaced hundreds of feet of curbs and sidewalks and the Public Works Department has added a GPS tool to track snow removal to make that job more efficient. The Water Utility has started a new billing system that offers customers new options for payments.

Rhoads also remarked that the city’s demographics are changing, with more residents who are Hispanic, African-American or other heritages, leading into comments from Swapnam Kumar, a member of the Human Relations Commission.

Kumar said the commission has just finished a strategic plan for its mission of helping Lee’s Summit residents of all cultures understand one another.

“In today’s global age, diversity is very important and awareness of differences,” she said.

Rhoads touted the city’s sustainability plan, installing LED lights in the city parking garage and on traffic signals to conserve energy, and the police department using hybrid vehicles. He held out John Knox Village as an example of those kinds of improvements in the private sector.

Dan Rexroth, CEO of John Knox Village, in his recorded segment, said the retirement community has installed 618 solar panels and changed out 320 bulbs for street lighting for energy conservation, and many sites for recycling. “We’ve really only begun,” he said.

Rhoads said the city continues successful development and redevelopment, including the Licata’s Flowers and Accessories building which is nearly finished on 3rd Street and introduced a video of Jet Pabst, owner of A Thyme for Everything, a downtown cooking store.    

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SBA chief visits Sacramento entrepreneur's operation

2012-09-12 11:53:57 | energy saving light

Call it a woman-to-woman trade mission. Karen Mills, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, stopped in Sacramento Tuesday to tour McWong International Inc., which recently expanded into new Natomas headquarters, thanks to a $2.8 million SBA loan.

Her host: Margaret Wong, president of McWong International, a longtime U.S.-China exporter specializing in energy-efficient lighting systems, who's been touted by presidents, governors and mayors alike for her entrepreneurial efforts.

Standing next to a warehouse table of LED sensors and lighting components in McWong's 50,000-square-foot building, Mills lauded Wong as a "serial entrepreneur," who's grown her manufacturing and export business with the help of three SBA government-backed loans over the last 10 years. The company also develops waste-water treatment systems designed for Chinese cities.

Although SBA loans were Topic A, both women took the occasion to tout "insourcing," the return of jobs - particularly manufacturing - back to the United States from foreign countries. "The notion that manufacturing is dead in in this country is false," said Mills, whose office said the U.S. manufacturing sector added more than 400,000 jobs in the last two years.

Wong said her company is starting to bring some of its Chinese-based assembly work back to this country. For years, she and her Chinese-fluent staff have traveled overseas, where they employ several hundred Chinese assembly workers to put together energy-efficient lighting systems and components.

But China's burgeoning wages, currency valuations, shipping costs and other factors have made "insourcing" start to make economic sense.

"The timing is perfect for us," said Wong. "China's costs are rising, U.S. costs are lowering." Currently, her company is exploring a contract with PRIDE Industries that would use its disabled workforce in Roseville to assemble a number of lighting products that are currently manufactured overseas in China. "The comparisons are very encouraging ... we are moving forward to expand our assembly and manufacturing in Sacramento," Wong said.

Wong's SBA loan is one of three she's tapped in the last 10 years to expand her 25-person company. In the Sacramento region, SBA loans topped $226 million as of August 31 this year, which is still below their prerecession high of $407 million in 2007. Nevertheless, Mills said the lending environment is improving and the SBA is "pleased to see the momentum."

"Our job is to put the wind at your back," said Mills, whose Northern California tour included a Walnut Creek company that installs roof mounts for solar systems.

McWong's headquarters, purchased last December, consolidated the firm's former offices and a warehouse facility in West Sacramento and Woodland.

Mills' visit was partly to pump up the Obama administration's efforts to help small businesses. She touted the SBA's efforts to "streamline and simplify" SBA paperwork by deleting 100 pages of loan requirements. She also cited the administration's efforts to get a six-year extension of an SBA "innovative research" program that provides $2.5 billion for companies like McWong to apply for research funding.   

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Why I'm still going to buy organic

2012-09-07 11:45:40 | Scuba diving flashli

A study just released by Stanford University scientists has found that organic foods – produce, meat and dairy – are no more nutritious than non-organic or conventional foods. The study also reports that they are no less likely to be contaminated. They’re probably right. They examined more than 40 years worth of research on the topic; the study used no outside funding to avoid any “perception of bias”; and, well, they’re scientists.

The problem with their research, as I see it, is that they asked the wrong question. No one has really seriously claimed that organic foods are more nutritious. And earlier studies on this very subject have already stated what the Stanford researchers were “surprised” to discover. To me, they missed the point. Their central question was kind of like asking if LED light bulbs are any quieter than conventional ones, or if fuel-efficient vehicles are any shinier than gas guzzlers.

Because while organic foods may not be more nutritional than conventional foods, they are definitely healthier. First, there are the pesticides applied to conventional produce. The study recognized this, but said that pesticide levels were all within safety guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, an impressive number of studies question whether the EPA’s levels are strict enough.

Organic foods are healthier for the people who grow them, too. Exposure to pesticides is a constant threat to the well-being of farm workers. Animals raised organically for food also generally lead healthier, happier lives. And finally, there’s the planet itself. Chemical run-off, waste production, and depletion of the soil from the monoculture approach of industrial farming all place a huge burden on the environment.

Here’s why this matters so much. In an age in which more and more of our information comes from sound bites, easy-to-digest nuggets like “organic foods are no more nutritious than conventional foods” have more weight than they deserve. I first saw this story in the elevator at my office this week, telling me nothing more than the above with “Stanford scientists report…” attached to it. Armed with one authoritative-sounding little slice of a bigger story, it’s easy to pass up the usually more expensive organic option at the grocery store, figuring it makes no difference. It’s also easy to skip the farmers market, to fail to support legislation aimed at helping local farmers or protecting farm workers.

Even The New York Times story on the study, a reasonably balanced piece that also quoted a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, did so under the overreaching headline “Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce.”

All this said, in our household we don’t buy strictly local or organic either. Our decisions are driven by convenience and cost just like everyone else’s. But we’re buying more organic these days, from local sources when possible. It all starts with asking the right questions.

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LED Lantern runs on salt water, doubles as a USB charger

2012-09-05 11:38:07 | energy saving light

Ever since the earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan last year technology has been developed to help if such an event were ever to occur again. One of the biggest problems to overcome in Japan was a lack of power, which has led one Japanese company to create a light that runs purely on salt water.

Green House Co. Ltd. has developed the LED Lantern (GH-LED 10WBW), which contains no battery, instead replacing it with a water bag. A mix of 350 milliliters of water and 16 grams of salt allow the lantern to act as a light source for up to 8 hours. After that, you just refill the bag for another 8 hours of light.

The LED Lantern functions by using the salt water as an electrolyte. Once placed inside the lantern the solution works with magnesium and carbon rods to produce the necessary power for the light. The magnesium rod also needs replacing, but works for at least 120 hours and replacing it with a new rod is thought to be a simple task.

The luminous power of the light is rated at 55 lumen, but the lantern isn’t just limited to acting as a light source. On its casing you will find a USB port, allowing you to plug in and charge other devices. So if you are stuck in a power outage at night you can use the LED Lantern to light the way while it charges your smartphone.

Green House is expected to release the LED Lantern before the end of September in Japan. The one thing not yet know is the price, but due to the limited parts it uses I can’t see this being a very expensive device, but it’s certainly one lots of Japanese households will want to have ready in a cupboard just in case

Cree has been especially busy, unveiling three new products in the past few days. The company announced THE EDGE high output LED series, introduced 150-mm 4HN silicon carbine epitaxial wafers, and expanded its product offering with very low basal plane dislocation 4H silicon carbide epitaxial wafers.

Providing the utmost in safety for such applications as auto dealerships. The EDGE high output area and flood light LED luminaires use 50 percent less energy in most applications compared with the high output sources previously used such as 1000 watt metal halide solutions. Looking at new cars at night used to be problematic at best. THE EDGE provides much better color quality to showcase inventory after dark.

The solution is based on NanoOptic technology that delivers light where it’s needed. Its thermal management qualities enhance reliability and provide more than a decade of near maintenance-free service. THE EDGE reduces energy and maintenance while improving performance and illumination. Contact company for pricing and delivery.

High quality, low micropipe 150-mm 4H n-type SIC epitaxial wafers feature uniform layers as thick as 100 microns. The 150-mm diameter single crystal SIC substrates enable cost reductions and increased throughput. Available in limited quantities. Contact Cree for pricing and availability.

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