CleanTech OC Daily - 9/26/12

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Echelon, a smart grid and control networking company from San Jose, has just launched a set of new software apps that will provide utilities with some fundamental services: distribution transformer monitoring, outage detection and low-voltage network loss detection, all via Echelon’s smart meters and the network that controls them. Echelon will join others in the smart meter space like Silver Spring Networks and Elster who also provide multi-functionality to customers.

According to Michael Grunwald in his new book The New New Deal, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – or the stimulus - was “the biggest and most transformative energy bill in U.S. history.” The stimulus directed $3.2 billion to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants program and enabled many California cities to cut their energy bills by investing in energy-saving upgrades.

Sharp has unveiled a new see-through solar panel that is designed for balcony railings or as windows in tall buildings. The glass, while see-through up close, creates a privacy screen from farther away and acts as a heat shield. While lower efficiency than traditional panels, Sharp’s panels are generating energy in parts of a building that would typically consist of ordinary glass or metal. The panels will go on sale in Japan next week, but a plan for release in the U.S. has not been disclosed. 

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