Cheaper Charge

Simple and straightforward these sustainable energy saving measures put some green in your wallet.

10. Fan Favorite. During winter months, run the fan in reverse on a low setting. Because hot air rises, you can direct the warmth back down to where you need it most, allowing you to turn down the thermostat.

9. Programmed Thermostat. A programmable thermostat (about $35.00 at any local home improvement store) should pay for itself in less than a month. Turn the heat down 1 degree and saves is 3% energy savings. Turning the AC up 5 degrees is a quick 15% savings on utility bills. In a year, you can save $1000 on cooling and more than $150 in heating.

8. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees and if you leave on vacation go even lower. Significant amounts of energy are wasted heating water up to a high temperature. This simple step can save you another 10% on your bill. Squeeze out more efficient heating by adding insulation to your hot water tank and pipes.

7. Humidity helps your house feel warmer over winter months. Add a room humidifier to add moisture to dry air or put small pans of water on top of radiator vents or heaters.

6. So Fresh and so Green Clean. Most clothes can be washed on a cold cycle and hung on drying racks instead of put through the dryer. Minimize your dryer time with smaller loads and a low- or no-heat setting. Cold cycle washing will save about $60/year and air drying, an amazing $120! Clean your dryer vent before each cycle and add another $34 in your pocket each year.

If its time for a new washer and/or dryer, go with front loading models. They are Energy Star rated and much more efficient than top loading machines.

5. End Energy Vampires. Unplug appliances that are not in use. Don’t think you can remember to unplug the coffee maker and computer? Plug things into a power strip and then switch it off before you leave or go to bed. You can save more than $75 each year.

4. Enjoy your fire place, but remember to turn down your thermostat so your not just blowing hot air with energy saving. With wood-burning fireplaces, be sure the damper is closed when not in use to prevent cold air from sneaking in.

3. Sunrise room service. Open blinds and curtains on south-facing windows to allow for passive solar heating. If its summer or a cold night be sure to close window coverings to prevent additional heat from coming in, or going out.

2. Close doors to rooms that you don’t use, and to closets and stairways. This will help keep areas in frequent use warmer, and will reduce your overall heating or cooling needs. Outside lighting can be on movement sensors to save energy outdoors.

1. Install compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in place of incandescent bulbs. CFLs contain mercury and must be properly disposed with Household Hazardous Waste not in the trash. Take your sustainable to the next step with LEDs which have a warmer glow like incandescent bulbs and don’t contain harmful chemicals like CFLs. Anyway you save with energy and utility bills is a bright idea.

Green Tech Talk
Twin Creeks TechnologiesHyperion is cutting down on the competition.

The Hyperion has the potential to make single-crystal wafer facilities up to 90% more efficient and reduce demand for other wafer manufacturing equipment. A solar-factory based around Hyperion can produce cells for less than 40 cents a watt, or nearly half of the price of conventional systems today.

Using a technique called Proton Induced Exfoliation, high-energy protons (or hydrogen ions) are embedded into “donor” wafers (wafers of silicon, germanium or other single-crystal materials) where they form a uniform layer beneath the surface of the donor. The physical attributes of hydrogen, combined with the conditions created by Hyperion, permit the ions to penetrate the surface of the donor wafer without changing its inherent properties and characteristics.

When heated, the ions then lift an ultra-thin layer called a lamina from the donor wafer. The lamina becomes a production wafer and can be processed into thin solar cells or semiconductor devices. To use an analogy, the ions act like a scalpel and carve thin, identical and functional wafers from the donor.

A single donor wafer can be reused repeatedly to create multiple laminae. So far Twin Creeks has lifted 14 laminae from a single donor wafer in its labs with Hyperion and produced solar cells on ten laminae lifted from a single donor wafer.

While the ultra-thin wafers produced with Hyperion contain only a fraction of the material required for a standard wafer, the solar cells, LEDs or devices produced from the Hyperion lamina provide similar or better levels of performance as devices than the original wafers. This is innovation and efficiency at its best, making more devices with less material.

Although others have experimented with producing thin wafers, Hyperion is the only production-ready system that can produce thin lamina in volume today.

A single Hyperion 3 system, commercial-scale manufacturing tool, can process over 1.5 million thin wafers per year, enough for more than 6 megawatts worth of solar cells. While Twin Creeks will initially concentrate on silicon wafers, Hyperion can be employed to produce thin crystalline wafers made from other materials. Solar panels made with this ion cannon will be cheap enough to challenge fossil fuels.

Additional Resources on Hyperion:
Twin Creek Technologies Hyperion Proton Implantar
Silicon Solar Cell Optimal Thickness

For more energy efficient ideas be sure to Lighten Up

If you enjoy this Green Yourself Tip be sure to check out the full episode about this issue

Season 2 – Ep. 3 Blown Away

(Wind Energy)

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