Archive for April, 2012

Diesel Technologies Drastically Cut Emissions in Real-World Conditions

Posted on: April 24th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Matt Shipman | News Services | 919.515.6386

Dr. Chris Frey | 919.515.1155

New research from North Carolina State University shows that federal requirements governing diesel engines of new tractor trailer trucks have resulted in major cuts in emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) – pollutants that have significant human health and environmental impacts.

Diesel truck with sampling equipment attached.

 

“These requirements for new emission control technologies have increased costs for truck owners and operators, and we wanted to know whether there was any real benefit,” says Dr. Chris Frey, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. “We found that there is a huge reduction in both PM and NOx emissions.”

Frey and Ph.D. student Gurdas Sandhu used a portable emissions measurement system to sample exhaust from diesel trucks while the trucks were in use on roads and highways. The emission requirements apply to new trucks, meaning that trucks purchased in 2010 and trucks purchased in 1999 were subject to different emission requirements.

Frey and Sandhu found that a truck in compliance with 1999 standards emitted 110 grams of NOx per gallon of fuel used, and 0.22 grams of PM per gallon of fuel used. NOx is a significant contributor to low-level ozone, which adversely impacts respiratory health. PM also adversely impacts respiratory health and, because it is largely made up of black carbon, also contributes to global climate change.

Trucks in compliance with newer standards had far lower emissions. For example, a 2010 truck emitted 2 grams of NOx per gallon of fuel – a decrease of 98 percent. The PM emissions were 95 percent lower.

The NOx reductions stem from the implementation of exhaust gas recirculation and selective catalytic reduction technologies. The PM reductions are the result of installing diesel particulate filters into the tail pipes of diesel trucks.

“While these technologies are a significant investment for truck owners, this study shows that they are achieving a remarkable drop in emissions of contaminants that have meaningful health and environmental consequences,” Frey says.

The paper, “Real-World Measurement and Evaluation of Heavy Duty Truck Duty Cycles, Fuels, and Emission Control Technologies,” is forthcoming from Transportation Research Record, the journal of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Sandhu is lead author of the paper. The research was supported by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the National Science Foundation.

 
 
Note to Editors: The study abstract follows. It is published with permission of the TRB on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences. The TRB publications index is available at http://pubsindex.trb.org/.
 
 

“Real-World Measurement and Evaluation of Heavy Duty Truck Duty Cycles, Fuels, and Emission Control Technologies”

 
Authors: Gurdas S. Sandhu and H. Christopher Frey, North Carolina State University

Published: forthcoming, Transportation Research Record

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess the robustness of relative comparisons in emission rates between fuels and technologies to differences in real-world duty cycles based on in-use measurements of five heavy duty diesel vehicles (HDDVs).  The paper briefly reviews prior comparisons of biodiesel versus ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) with respect to emissions, recent changes in emission standards applicable to HDDVs, and typical emission control technologies used in HDDVs.  The study methodology includes field measurements with a portable emission measurement system (PEMS) and related instruments and sensors for five selected HDDVs operated in normal service by professional drivers on multiple roundtrip routes within North Carolina.  Duty cycles and emission rates are quantified based on manifold absolute pressure (MAP), which is an indicator of engine load.   Variability in engine load for each observed roundtrip is quantified based on the cumulative distribution function of normalized MAP.  The effect of variability in duty cycles on fuel-based emission rates for NO, CO, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter is evaluated.  Comparisons are made for emissions of three trucks operated on each of B20 biodiesel and ULSD.  Furthermore, comparisons are made among five trucks with model years ranging from 1999 to 2010 to illustrate the impact of different emission standards and emission control technologies on real world emission rates.  A key finding is that relative comparisons pertaining to fuels and technologies are robust to variability in observed duty cycles.

A Map For Navigating Sustainable Energy Incentives

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Author: Matt Shipman with NCSU News Services

“Renewable energy” and “energy efficiency” have become key terms in the home-owner’s lexicon – whether you’re buying a new house or renovating an old one. And the bewildering array of local, state and federal policies make it difficult to know whether you could be getting a rebate or tax incentive to install those solar panels you’ve been thinking about (it is almost Earth Day, after all). Luckily, there’s a website that pulls all of that information together in one place for you.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (better known as DSIRE) is an online resource that provides information on policies and incentives that support or promote the use of renewable energy or energy efficiency efforts. And it is as user-friendly as it gets. To get started, just go to the site and click on the state you live in. DSIRE is based out of NC State’s Solar Center. The program was launched in 1995 and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Altogether, DSIRE currently tracks more than 2,700 policies across the country. These range from rebates provided by utilities to federal, state and local tax incentives – as well as hundreds of other initiatives involving cold, hard cash. But DSIRE also tracks policies running the gamut from local green building standards to statewide renewable portfolio standards, which dictate the percentage of retail electricity sales a utility must generate using renewable energy sources.

Each month, approximately 175,000 unique users visit the DSIRE site. Some are homeowners, looking for rebates to mitigate the cost of installing solar panels or buying an energy efficient refrigerator. But the database is also used by state regulators and legislators to keep track of the changing policy landscape from state to state.

Businesses also use DSIRE, to ensure compliance with existing standards and to identify financial incentives for pursuing green initiatives. And the renewable energy and efficiency industry sectors use DSIRE to target markets with policies that are particularly favorable to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects – because those markets will likely generate more business for their companies.

So, if you’re thinking of pursuing some renewable energy or energy efficiency projects around the house, check out DSIRE. There may be a program out there to help you do it.

 

Written by Matt Shipman with N.C. State News Services

Mobile CARE awards recognize transportation emission reduction efforts

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Raleigh, N.C. – April 23, 2012 – The sixth annual North Carolina Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy (CARE) awards were announced Friday. The Mobile CARE awards recognize transportation emission reduction efforts that support alternative fuel and advanced technology activities and policies in North Carolina. The four awards were presented by N.C. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Ted Vedan at the Eco Driving to Electric: Clean Transportation Opportunities Abound session of the 9th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference held in Raleigh, N.C.

2012 Mobile Care Award Winners

2012 Mobile Care Award Winners

The Mobile CARE awards are part of a $3 million, six-year Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project lead by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University with funding provided by the N.C. Department of Transportation. The project focuses on three activities: education and outreach, emission reducing sub-awards and recognition of outstanding initiatives. “These awards present an important opportunity to recognize exemplary efforts made by individuals and organizations across the state to improve air quality,” said N.C. Dept of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. A panel of judges from the N.C. Dept of Transportation, State Energy Office and Division of Air Quality reviewed over two dozen nominations to select the 2012 award winners.

 

The individual effort award went to:

Jeff Barghout, director of transportation initiatives at Advanced Energy, is a pioneer in the electric transportation arena where he has spearheaded the N.C. Get Ready Initiative, piloted in the Triangle area and supported by a consortium of public and private partners. He currently leads Advanced Energy’s efforts on the N.C. Plug-In Vehicle Task Force, a statewide planning project to prepare for widespread deployment of electric vehicles.

 

The Fleet award went to:

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office for efforts that include converting 29 out of 200 Ford Crown Victoria cruisers in their fleet to run on clean-burning, domestically produced propane (LPG) autogas using a bi-fuel system that can operate of either gasoline or propane.  The success of 13 initial vehicles, partially funded through the N.C. Solar Center’s CFAT project, spurred the sheriff’s office to convert an additional 10 vehicles to LPG solely by utilizing confiscated drug money.

 

The Fuel/Technology Provider award went to:

 Holmes Oil Company, a Chapel Hill-based company that currently operates 21 convenience stores, three of which sell biofuel blends. Since 2004 the company has provided over 1.5 million gallons of E85 and B20 to the motoring public.

 

The Policy/Organization award went to:

Center for the Environment at Catawba College for serving as a leading example of how an organization dedicated to education and the environment can have a considerable impact on the air quality arena. The Center’s varied and innovative Campaign for Clean Air, facilitation of emission reduction programs and its intentional effort to help others replicate programs is particularly noteworthy.
 
Click here for a full description of the award winners.


About the North Carolina Solar Center

Created in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center, The North Carolina Solar Center, at N.C. State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. The N.C. Solar Center serves as a resource for innovative, clean energy technologies through demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource providing financial incentives and policies. Visit www.ncsc.ncsu.edu to learn more.  Twitter: @NCSolarCenter

 

Contact:

Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340, shannon_helm@ncsu.edu

Anne Tazewell, N.C. Solar Center, 919-513-7831, anne_tazewell@ncsu.edu

 

 

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9th Annual Sustainability Conference well underway in Raleigh

Posted on: April 19th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

The N.C. Solar Center is a proud sponsor of the 9th Sustainable Energy Conference that is well under way at the Jane S. McKimmon Center at N.C. State University. The conference runs Thursday April 19 and Friday April 20, with a line-up of keynote speakers, panelists and related events addressing critical energy and environmental concerns facing North Carolina.

At the opening of the session, at 9 a.m. on Thursday April 19, Rob Gramlich, the senior vice president of the American Wind Energy Association, spoke about North Carolina’s opportunities for wind energy expansion on the heels of the report of Gov. Bev Perdue’s Scientific Panel on Offshore Energy that noted the state’s coastal areas have the greatest potential for wind energy on the east coast. Also, in the last couple of weeks it was reported that there are plans for a 20,000 acre, 150 megawatts wind farm in Pamlico County. It would generate enough electricity for 30,000 to 40,000 homes. There are also plans for two other wind projects — an 80-megwatt project near Pantego in Beaufort County and the proposed 300-megawatt Desert Wind Energy project in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.

At noon on Thursday (April 19) Dr. Nick Hamon, head of sustainability for Bayer CropScience North Americawill discussed the company’s sustainability efforts as well as how it is strengthening the sustainability platform for the organization and leveraging Bayer Environmental Systems sustainable development initiative.

On Friday April 20, at the 9 a.m. session, Dan Peaco of LaCapra Associated will deliver an update on how North Carolina has performed five years after the renewable energy standards were adopted (2007) and what needs to be done to continue to make progress. North Carolina is the first state in the Southeast to adopt a renewable energy portfolio as part of its mix sources for electric power production.

The concluding keynote address will be delivered by John Hanger, the former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under former Gov. Ed. Rendell. Hanger is also a former commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. , making him one of the few leaders with major policy making authority in both utility and energy as well as environmental agencies. In his role as head of the Department of Environmental Protection, Hanger was in charge of permitting and regulation of gas drilling in Pennsylvania. He led a complete review of regulations governing gas drilling and enacted major new rules governing drilling of wells as well as the withdrawal of water for drilling and the disposal of drilling wastewater. He has been a key source of information on natural gas exploration, meeting with Gov. Perdue and other top North Carolina policy leaders.

In addition to the speakers and panels, there will be three other events:

Thursday April 19 at 10 a.m. – Dedication of two electric vehicle charging stations at the McKimmon center in front of the Solar House.

Friday April 20 at the entrance of the McKimmon Center – display and exhibit of 10 alternative fuel vehicles.

Friday, April 20 during the Eco-Driving to Electric-Clean Transportation Opportunities Abound session at 10:30am, the 2012 Mobile CARE Awards will be given to all award winners.

 

To stay in touch with what’s going on at the conference: Twitter #SEO2012

View full agenda

Clean Energy Connections event today in Wilmington, N.C.

Posted on: April 19th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Please join us for a dynamic discussion on ‘Advancing NC’s Clean Energy Future’ as a part of N.C. Sustainable Energy Association’s educational event series, Clean Energy Connections. The interactive discussion will highlight renewable energy policy and market developments in North Carolina.  The accessibility, demand and cost of renewable energy in the state will be discussed, as well as how energy efficiency plays a vital role in advancing clean energy.

Speakers include Steve Kalland, Director of the N.C. Solar Center, and Ivan Urlaub, Director of NCSEA.  Cape Fear Community College’s Sustainable Technologies program is sponsoring this free event.  Register now and be a part of the conversation!

 

Register now for ‘Advancing NC’s Clean Energy Future’ Clean Energy Connections - Wilmington, NC

 

Date: May 23, 2012
Time: 4pm-6pm
Place: NHC Arboretum, Auditorium room
Address: 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC
Registration required

 

For more details, contact -

Suzanne Gooding
NC Sustainable Energy Association
Community Education and Relations Specialist
Eastern NC
910.471.1322

Raleigh drivers get personal pit stop from legendary NASCAR fueler ‘Gasman Choc’

Posted on: April 18th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Drivers can fill up with E85 at $2.85/gallon

 
 
WHO:

Danny “Chocolate” Myers, legendary NASCAR gasman, and Curator, Richard Childress Racing Museum

Chris Bender, Director, Government and Public Affairs, Novozymes

Marcy Bauer, Engineering Extension Specialist, North Carolina Solar Center

Kokila Amin, Secretary, KarGO Corp

 
 

WHAT:

Legendary NASCAR gasman and host of Tradin’ Paint, (the popular racing show on Sirius-XM NASCAR 90), “Chocolate” Myers will pump patrons’ E85 ( 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) fuel, sign autographs and help raise awareness about flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) and renewable fuels for E(arth)-85 Day. The station will offer E85 at $2.85/gallon and have several new FFVs on display including the public unveiling of the new Novozymes ‘Zymobile’ – a colorfully-wrapped Dodge Charger promoting advanced biofuels made using the Franklinton, North Carolina company’s enzyme technology. FFVs are capable of operating on E85, gasoline or any blend in between.

The first two patrons to fill up after 11:00 a.m. will be awarded a pair of tickets to the NASCAR Charlotte race over Memorial Day Weekend, courtesy of Novozymes.
 
 
WHEN:

Friday, April 20, 2012
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 
 
WHERE:

Crown Express Mart
1210 New Bern Ave, Raleigh

 
 
WHY:

April 16-22 is Earth Week, with April 22 celebrated as Earth Day. As gas prices continue to climb higher into the peak driving season, consumers need to know they have a choice today at the pump. American-made biofuels can have between 60-90% less CO2 emissions than gasoline, generally help reduce the price of a gallon of gasoline, and E85 capable flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) are available today at no extra cost to take advantage of using this high blend of ethanol fuel.

Auto manufacturers are offering over 60 FFVs makes and models in 2012 and have pledged to increase production annually. According to RL Polk in 2011 there were over 236,000 FFVs in North Carolina. There are currently 20 service stations in the state that offer the high blend of renewable fuel. The Crown Express Mart is the only E85 station in Raleigh.
 
 
 
About the North Carolina Solar Center
The North Carolina Solar Center, at N.C. State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. The N.C. Solar Center serves as a resource for innovative, clean energy technologies through demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource providing financial incentives and policies. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center visit: http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCSolarCenter
 
About Novozymes
Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries, we create tomorrow’s industrial biosolutions, improving our customers’ business and the use of our planet’s resources. With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes’ bioinnovations improve industrial performance and safeguard the world’s resources by offering superior and sustainable solutions for tomorrow’s ever-changing marketplace. Read more at www.novozymes.com
 
About Kargo Corporation
Kargo Corporation owns and operates the only commercial service station in the City of Raleigh that offers renewable fuels such as ethanol (E85) and biodiesel (B20) in addition to diesel and three grades of gasoline to the motoring public. The New Bern Avenue Crown Express Mart Station is the alternative fuel choice located on the New Bern Avenue thru-fare convenient to downtown Raleigh, Wake Med hospital and I-40. www.KarGoCorp.com
 
 
CONTACT:
Paige Donnelly, Novozymes, 919-218-4501, pagd@novozymes.com
Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340, shannon_helm@ncsu.edu
Kokila Amin, Kargo Corportation, 919 454-1474, kargo_corp@yahoo.com

NC Voters Embrace Energy Efficiency Solutions

Posted on: April 17th, 2012 by shannon No Comments
2012 Energy Issues Public Opinion Poll

A 2012 energy issues poll found a vast majority of North Carolina voters are embracing energy efficiency efforts to save on household expenses. Of the 703 registered voters who were surveyed, 87.7 percent said they supported making energy efficiency efforts to meet North Carolina’s growing energy and electricity needs. Fallon Research conducted the statewide survey for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA).

$82.8 Million in Energy Savings

Voters’ attitudes on energy efficiency align with a statewide push to reduce energy usage and keep money in taxpayers’ pockets. In the last fiscal year, North Carolina’s Utility Savings Initiative saved the state’s taxpayers more than $82.8 million, according to a report by the North Carolina Energy Office.

This program helps state agencies, the University of North Carolina system, the state’s community colleges, public schools and county and municipal governments reduce their use of energy, water and other utilities. Since the Utility Savings Initiative was launched in 2003, the state has avoided more than $417 million while investing $11.5 million into utility savings improvements in North Carolina government and university facilities.

Statewide Survey

NCSEA’s statewide public opinion poll was conducted March 26-29, 2012, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.69 percentage points. North Carolina voters were surveyed via landline and cellular phone numbers on their support or opposition to a number of energy-related questions.

Fallon Research is a polling and communications firm that has previously worked with numerous groups in North Carolina, including the NC Realtors Association, NC Home Builders Association and Triangle Transit Authority, in addition to political candidates and independent expenditure groups across the nation.

“Our poll results are very revealing. The results show that amidst our economic recovery, an overwhelming 88% of North Carolinians spent money on ways to save energy last year. This is supported by results showing North Carolinians want to gain more control over their monthly energy bills,” said Ivan Urlaub, NCSEA Executive Director. “We are seeing and hearing the same across the state – consumer awareness of how to save money by saving energy is rising. This is a reasonable market response to the rise in utility rates and bills over the past five years. The market for energy efficiency solutions has really taken off in North Carolina, and we expect to see continued strong job growth and investments in North Carolina’s energy efficiency industry throughout the remainder of this decade as rates and bills rise further to pay for more than $20 billion of new power plants and increasing fuel costs.”

Energy Efficiency Poll Results

This is the second consecutive year, NCSEA has polled North Carolina voters to gauge consumer attitudes on energy issues. Last week, NCSEA released a portion of its poll results about renewable energy sources and the cost of energy. Click here to see those results.

  • Amidst the slow recovery from the recession, more than 88 percent of respondents spent money to become more energy efficient last year, more than 21 percent of respondents to the poll spent more than $1,000 last year on ways to save energy.
  • Only 4 percent of respondents used a utility program for some or all of their improvements, while much larger 62 percent of respondents entirely self-financed their efficiency improvements. More than 19 percent used a combination of both. This is staggering, given our state offers no energy efficiency tax credits.
  • 87.7 percent support energy efficiency, such as installing energy saving light bulbs, programmable thermostats or Energy Star-certified appliances
  • 88 percent have taken steps (in the past year) to make their homes more energy efficient to reduce usage and monthly bills
  • 70.9 percent used personal/family funds to pay for energy efficiency improvements and 21.5 percent used a combination of personal or family funds and an energy efficiency program offered by their utility. The chart below shows a breakdown of respondents by partisan registration.

WRAL now making power in Garner

Posted on: April 16th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

GARNER, N.C. — WRAL-TV is now an electricity producer.

Parent company Capitol Broadcasting Company installed a 1-megawatt solar farm at the site of WRAL-TV’s main broadcast antenna in Garner to generate electricity and will sell it back to Progress Energy Carolinas.

Over the course of a year, CBC expects to generate enough power for about 100 homes.

WRAL.com paired the solar farm launch with a web page where anyone can monitor the cloud conditions, shade and temperature impacts on the energy generated in real-time, along with an explanatory graphic on how solar power works.

Progress is purchasing the electricity as part of its state-required mandate to generate power from renewable sources. Lloyd Yates, Progress president and chief executive officer, said the CBC site is part of a larger effort to increase the use of solar as an energy source.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The solar array is the first in the state to be constructed around a TV station tower.

“We make it company policy to be as innovative as possible when it comes to our investments and our impact on the community,” said Jim Goodmon, president and chief executive officer of Capitol Broadcasting Company. “We hope our solar array at our Garner satellite station will be utilized as a learning tool for everyone from school children to executives in similar industries to learn about renewable energy.”

Installation was done by Baker Renewable Energy.

Offshore wind forum to highlight NC’s potential

Posted on: April 13th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

With the federal government set to identify suitable areas of the Atlantic Ocean for offshore wind farms, a federal official will be in Raleigh next week to give a status update on the review.

The offshore wind forum, to be held at Meredith College on April 18, will feature wind power advocates, academics, government officials and a documentary film maker.

Marcilynn Burke, acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Interior, will provide an update on her agency’s review of acceptable sea waters for wind power development. Burke oversees the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which handles offshore wind leases.

Last year the bureau restricted large portions of the ocean as unsuitable for development because they conflicted with military, environmental, shipping or other priorities. That decision disqualified waters selected by a wind developer for a potential offshore wind project that will now have to be relocated to another part of the ocean, once the feds identify appropriate tracts.

Also speaking at the forum will be John Williams, assistant secretary for Energy, N.C. Department of Commerce; Brian O’Hara, president of the N.C. Offshore Wind Coalition; John Bane, professor of Marine Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill; and Art Howard, a photographer and videographer who will preview a video he made for an upcoming PBS segment for Earth Day.

The presentations are free and will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m at the Kresge Auditorium, 3800 Hillsborough St.

 

Written by John Murawsi, Raleigh New & Observer

Third Party Sale of Electricity subcommittee meeting held April 12th – see the presentations!

Posted on: April 12th, 2012 by shannon

The North Carolina House authorized a subcommittee in September 2011 to study Third Party Sale of Electricity.  The subcommittee, lead by representative Ruth Samuelson, met for the second time on Thursday April 12, 2012.  The meeting provided the opportunity for many stakeholders to present information to the subcommittee regarding third party sales of electricity. The North Carolina Solar Center’s Senior Policy Analyst Brian Lips kicked off the presentations with an overview of what third party sales are and where they are allowed and in use in other parts of the country. Other presenters included representatives from the state’s investor-owned utilities (Progress, Duke, Dominion), as well as ElectriCities, Bosch, Fort Bragg, NC Sustainable Energy Association, Solar City, and the Electric Cooperatives.  The presentations are available on the Third Party Sale of Electricity Committee web site.