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Alternative Materials

A Green Glossary

There are a lot of buzzwords when it comes to the environment these days.  For some of the stuff, it's hard to figure out what it all means.  What is carbon offsetting really?  What are photovoltaic panels?  Why am I seeing products boasting that they're BPA-free and PVC-free?

Here's a list of some of the green terms you might be hearing these days, from A to Z.  Well, actually, it's from A to X, because I couldn't think of anything for Y and Z!... read more

Do electric cars really help the environment? Are they 'green'?

Are hybrid and electric vehicles batteries a Green alternative or add hazardous chemicals to our landfills?

Visiting the West-Coast Green conference in San Francisco this past week confirmed the feel-good and coolness of electric vehicles. Photo from hybridcars.com: Photo from hybridcars.comPhoto from hybridcars.com: Photo from hybridcars.com

I would definitely be a happy camper if I win the electric bike or electric tricycle raffle!... read more

Interview with Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar - Renewable Plastics In Solar

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Dr. David Lee, Chief Executive Officer of BioSolar.  Dr. David Lee founded BioSolar in 2006 in an effort to make renewable materials for the packaging of photovoltaic cell converters.  Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.  It was a wonderful interview that provides insight into the company's mission, research and commercialization. 

I am going to start off by asking about your previous work experience.  You have worked for Applied Reasoning Systems Corporation and RF-Link Technology, Inc.  Both of those did not have anything to do with solar industry.  One was an Internet software company and the other a wireless technology corporation.  What made you take the leap into solar technology?

Actually, it is not a long story.  I majored in electrical engineering for my bachelors, masters & Ph.D.  One of my hobby projects was solar technology, especially the material science side of it.  Even though I ended up getting a Ph.D in communications science, my interest level has always been there.  

My first job was at a defense contractor where we designed satellite communication systems for the U.S. government.  I was a systems engineer.  The job of the systems engineer is to oversee the entire project.  That involves many different disciplines, not just communication systems disciplines but also different sub-systems that constitute the entire project.  My background was much more broad than what most people think.

You mentioned my experience in RF Technology.  It was a wireless technology company that dealt with both terrestrial and wireless communication devices.  Applied Reasoning was a software development company.  It also had a lot of space technology related implications in its application. 

I did not simply start the idea of a solar company all of a sudden.  I always had the dream of making solar technology something we can all take advantage of. 

... read more

Great New Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell

I found this a really cool and short video concerning a new type of fuel cell produced by Fuelzell, a german company.  Interesting technology that will be important in construction, farm and transportation equipment.

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Clean Coal: Myth or Reality?

CBS's 60 Minutes program did an expose piece on clean coal.  This piece is so interesting because it really states that clean coal may be an impossibility.  I believe this topic is probably one of the most important in the 'green' movement today.  Should resources be spent on researching clean coal or is that money better spent implementing and improving proven renewable resource energy?  Find a short clip below and follow this link to view the entire segment at the 60 minutes website.  Discuss.

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