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Smart-Grid solutions and sustainable software

A Smart-Grid is defined as an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. It can be referred to at a city level, county, state, or national level, or even throughout a continent. The grid supports electricity generation, electric power transmission and distribution.

Other terms for Smart-Grid are smart electric grid, power grid, intelligent grid, FutureGrid, microgrid, intergrid and intragrid.Original photo from FreeFoto.comOriginal photo from

Smart grids use digital technology to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. Software is a critical component to successful Smart-Grid operations. Software standards, security and Open Source/Open Access methodologies have been gaining traction as the solution to Smart-Grid software applications: they are sustainable, cost effective and collaborative.

The Open Source initiative and Free Software methodology are two movements that focus on everyone’s right to use software.

products freely without paying the high costs required by the software companies. They also focus on the principle that the software source code must be available to everyone to modify, enhance, distribute or port to new environments.

Open Source is an architecturally driven approach that is not linked to a particular software company and can be applied at the strategic and enterprise levels as well as in tactical projects.

Using open source software enables the concept of FISDev, a Framework for Integrated Sustainable Development, which helps organizations move towards a software development approach focused on Sustainable Development.

Read more about Green software and sustainable software design.... read more

Electric Vehicles also mean bikes and tricycles

Tricycles for adults? Electric bikes as a replacement for cars?

Two and three wheel electric powered bikes, also referred to as ebikes, motorized bicycle or light electric vehicle (LEV), have been gaining popularity. The market for ebikes is growing faster than the one for cars and trucks and it's one of the booming Green sectors.

Motorized bicycles are powered by an electric motor (in the past, some used a small internal combustion engine) and they are distinguished from electric motorcycles and scooters by being capable of being powered by pedals alone, if required.

Electric bikes and tricycles have the potential to revolutionize transportation in our neighborhoods, places of work, and ‘going’ around town. A significant percentage of car rides are for short trips to local destinations, running errands, accessing your town’s shops or business districts, getting to medical appointments, riding to work, etc., often with only one person in the car.

Touted as a substitute to automobiles, electric bikes and trikes enable us to drive a car significantly less. In some cases it may replace a car altogether.

As a transportation mode, ebikes have a direct impact on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Automobiles contribute to air, water, and noise pollution. The motored bike’s footprint is so minor when compared to that of a midsize car, which creates thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in its manufacturing process and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an additional 20 pounds per gallon is burned while driving.... read more

Telecommuting to go Green

Telecommuting seems like a pretty sweet deal.  Working on your laptop on the couch in sweatpants with your cat keeping you company?  Not bad! The perks of telecommuting go beyond the relaxed environment and not having to brush your hair.  It can also really help the environment.

The average American spends 49 minutes a day commuting.  Unless this commuting time is spent on bike, foot, or public transportation, it can really take a toll on the environment.  (And your health!  A study in Los Angeles showed that 33% to 45% of all the pollution that commuters were exposed to in a day came from their commute.)

Not all jobs are conducive to telecommuting, but many are, and your boss might be more receptive than you think.  PlanetGreen even has tips on how to approach the subject with your boss.

To make an impact, you don't even need to work from home full-time.  ... read more

Clean Tech applications: Ride share and carpooling

Remember how hitchhiking was an accepted mode of transit in America years ago? Well, now we have ride sharing. With approximately ¾ of commuters driving alone to work in the U.S. every weekday, alternative transportation modes bring many benefits.

Photo by dreamstime.comPhoto by

Ride sharing is a simple way to save money, reduce one’s carbon footprint, provide opportunities to network and expand one’s contacts, reduce driving stress, as well as pleasant. Find friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are traveling the same way you are – for school, work, events or leisure – and share a ride.

There are several variations of sharing transit: carpooling, where pool members use their own private cars. Ride-share also refers to members jointly share the costs of a rented car; or sharing a ride in a hired vehicle with a hired driver, like a shared taxi, shuttle, vanpools, etc.... read more

What is 'green' software design? What is Open Source development?

What does green have to do with software developers and software engineers?

How can the Information Technology (IT) industry improve its green credentials?         

Devising high performance computing, i.e. developing ‘smarter’ software to exploit parallel, multiprocessor architectures will inevitably mean more efficient use of hardware resources and better coding techniques.

Another major aspect of green software is sustainable software development and the use of Open Source methodologies.

... read more

Solar Energy Products Help Create A Greener Life

With this current recession everyone is looking for ways to save a couple bucks. One way that benefits a person's pocket book and the Earth is by using products that are powered by Solar energy.

Some small solar energy chargers that are used to charge cell phones, ipods, video game consoles, digital cameras, or PDAs seem to be the "fan favorite" of the masses are the Brando USB Solar Charger, the FreeLoader Solar Charger, and  the Solduis Solar Charger. These prices of these products range from 70 to 90 USD.

Brando Solar Charger... read more

Go Green Giveaway at

AccessoryGeeks, a California-based company that sells electronics accessories, is involved in a Go Green Campaign.   Currently, they have a giveaway in place, where people send pictures or videos of themselves doing something green.  You can win all sorts of really great accessories, from Bluetooth headsets to iPhone cases.

... read more

Sprint & Samsung Debut Eco-Friendly Phone

Sprint & Samsung recently debuted an amazing new phone this past week. The phone, aptly titled Reclaim, seeks to turn our cell phone obsession into something more; a green opportunity.

Sprint & Samsung ReClaim, Eco-Phone

What makes this phone so special is that green, sustainable thinking touches every part of the design process. For starters, the phone itself is made out of bio-plastic from corn. The phone's packaging is a tiny box and phone tray made from recycled material, while soy-based ink is used on printed materials. The charge also gets in the act, alerting users when the phone is fully charged and the charger may be removed from the socket.

On the technical side, the Reclaim features built-in stereo Blue-tooth, Sprint's One Click feature for simple Web navigation, a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard, a 2-megapixel camera with 3X zoom, and 6 hours of battery life.

... read more

Shut down the computer or leave it on?

Shut down the computer or leave it onYears ago, I heard that shutting down your computer and then booting it up again takes up so much energy that it made more sense, from a green standpoint, to leave it running.  People also claimed that shutting down and rebooting  wears out the power switch, drive motors, and other computer components at a quicker rate.... read more

Making your electronics last

I've got a closet in my house that is an electronics graveyard.  Dead cell phones, laptops that didn't pay to repair, and 2 desktop computers circa 2000.  I didn't know how to properly dispose of these things, so I just stuck them into a closet where their only current purpose is catching dust.... read more

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