Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023
    The Latest Energy-Efficient Technologies Showcased at CU Boulder Solar Conference

    An electric motorcycle with a 100-mile range, four-pane glass windows, and a remote-controlled water recirculation pump were among the energy-efficient technologies displayed at the University of Colorado Boulder. The university hosted the 52nd annual national American Solar Energy Society solar conference, featuring an electric vehicle show and workshop on energy-efficient technology.

    One of the highlights was Tobias Strohe’s electric motorcycle, which can travel 100 to 120 miles before needing a charge. Strohe emphasized that the motorcycle functions like a normal motorcycle without the range limitations typical of other electric models. He uses it for his daily commute and long road trips, where he can fast-charge it in about 40 minutes.

    The conference also featured speakers discussing the latest technologies for home installations. John Avenson, owner of Sustainable Architecture LLC, demonstrated energy-efficient solutions like four-pane windows that prevent heat from escaping homes. He also showcased a hot water recirculation pump that conserves and quickly delivers hot water to sinks and showers. Avenson recommended energy audits, adequate insulation, air particle detectors, and CERV fresh air machines to improve home energy efficiency.

    Bill Lucas, co-founder of GB3 Energy and a heat pump installer, discussed the advantages of heat pumps for heating homes in an environmentally friendly way. He explained that heat pumps work by converting cool air into warm air, making heat rather than generating it. Lucas also highlighted the harmful environmental effects of refrigerants used in traditional heaters and air conditioners, emphasizing the need for responsible refrigerant management.

    Sean Cunningham of Resolution Energy discussed the potential of heat pump water heaters, which can reduce a home’s energy consumption for water heating by 81%. He also mentioned the option of coupling solar thermal systems with small electric demand heaters as a cost-effective alternative to solar panels.

    Dave Ginley, a National Renewable Energy Laboratory Research Fellow and Chief Scientist, focused on the future of solar cells. He mentioned that tandem solar cells are being developed to increase efficiency by 5% to 10%. However, Ginley emphasized that the United States still has a long way to go in adopting solar energy to combat global warming and called for more supportive policies.

    The conference provided valuable insights into the latest energy-efficient technologies and emphasized the need for further advancements in renewable energy solutions.