Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Apr 21 2012

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Tweeting the energy conference

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Follow @Tuftsenergy2012 today to get live updates from the Tufts energy Conference!

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Apr 16 2012

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Tufts Energy Competition Finalists

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These five finalists will be competing to win money to implement their ideas. Best of all, you get to vote! That is, if you’re at the conference

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A Split Junction Solar Concentrator for More Efficient Electricity Generation

Dante DeMeo. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2013
Corey Shemlya. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2013
Abigail Licht. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2016
Chandler Downs. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2013
John Chivers, BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2014
Advisor: Thomas Vandervelde, professor of Electrical Engineering

We propose developing a split-junction solar concentrator, where energy is produced from two separate photovoltaic cells which each focus on different portions of the sun’s light. We will examine and evaluate a prototype design which originally started as an electrical engineering senior design project and develop a more commercially viable model. We will examine and optimize each aspect of the design including solar tracking, mirror configuration, photovoltaic cell selection, etc. We will test the solar concentrator using commercially produced cells to evaluate its performance under real world conditions, and determine its feasibility as a concentrating PV system for utility scale or residential production.

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Giving Students the Chance to Choose Their Energy

Mae Humiston. BA Anthropology, expected 2013
Simon Metcalf. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2013
Joshua Metersky. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2014
Sarah Eilenberg. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2013
Hannah Garfield. BS Civil Engineering, expected 2014
Advisor: Chris Rogers, professor of Mechanical Engineering

This project would raise awareness about sustainable energy at Tufts by designing, building, and installing a kinetic sculpture above the causeway between Olin and Fletcher. The sculpture would incorporate some number of conventional turbines and/or an aeroelastic flutter-based generation system toprovide electricity to a demarcated “clean outlet” in Olin lounge. Olin and Fletcher naturally funnel thestronger winds passing over Walnut Hill into their interceding corridor, resulting in frequent high-velocitywind conditions despite close proximity to the ground. The fixture, outlet, and signage would serve as simple reminders that even the smallest changes can help our energy situation.

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Efficient Hygiene Initiative: Bringing Ecological Sanitation of Thottiypatti

David Riche. BA Quantitative Economics and International Relations, expected 2014
Kelsey Sanborn. BA Geology and Environmental Sciences, expected 2014
Sunaina Basu. BA Psychology, expected 2014
Meghan Bodo. BA Economics and International Relations, expected 2015
Advisor: Karen Kosinski, lecturer, Community Health

India aims to provide a sustainable alternative to open defecation in our partner village, Thottiyapatti, by constructing Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan) toilets. EcoSan converts waste into fertilizer, while minimizing disease transmission and encouraging resource reuse. EcoSan toilets work by separating urine and feces through a specially designed squatting pan and collecting them for composting and subsequent use. With the addition of lime or ash, feces dry into manure within six months. Diluted urine replaces synthetic chemical agricultural fertilizers that are energy-intensive to manufacture and ecologically damaging. The system is simple and self-sustaining: water and treatment facilities are not required.

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Solar Powered Uninterruptible Power Systems

Jonathan Torn, Fletcher School. MALD expected 2012
Ahmed Malik, Fletcher School. MIB expected 2012
Advisor: William Moomaw, professor of International Environmental Policy

The issue of power shortages is widely prevalent throughout South Asia and particularly in Pakistan. In order to have power when grid electricity is not available, many households and small businesses use Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS). UPS are devices that store a small amount of power from the grid for use during power outages. They are made up an inverter hooked up to a battery. We want to introduce low-cost, user-friendly solar power as a backup solution in urban areas of Pakistan that suffer from power cuts. We will achieve this by retro-fitting existing UPS.

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Ocean-Based Algae Energy

Baoguang Zhai. BA Economics and Environmental Science, expected 2014
Casey Barlett. BS Civil Engineering, expected 2014
Brian Hayzlett. BS Mechanical Engineering, expected 2013
Farhan Shaukat. BS Electrical Engineering, expected 2012
Alfred Waich. MS Civil Engineering, expected 2014

Ocean Based Algae Energy generates algae biofuel by growing algae on the oceans. Our group has studied algae biofuel and believes that algae has the potential to become a sustainable form of biofuel. We have invented a system that grows algae in the ocean. Our solution solves three critical problems current algae energy industry faced: severe space limitation, water cost and nutrition cost. This is a sustainable approach that can make algae biofuel competitive and a revolutionary energy solution that could turn the vast ocean into farmlands for humanity. Algae energy could become “the next oil” in the twenty first century.

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Apr 16 2012

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Four days until TEC!

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This year’s energy conference, “Transforming the Energy Debate: From Challenges to Solutions” promises to be fascinating. The keynote speakers bring experience from the state of Massachusetts to private sector to the United Nations. Panels ranging from the future of fossil energy, to the role of energy in development, to the nexus of water and energy,  promise to educate and inform. Innovative energy companies will present what they do at the showcase.

Do you have your tickets?

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Mar 28 2012

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Want a taste of last year’s conference?

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Check out this article from the Tufts Daily to learn more about highlights of this year’s conference.

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Mar 28 2012

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Tufts Energy Conference Tickets!

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Tickets are available through tuftsenergyconference.com or through our Eventbrite page. Early-bird registration ends this Wednesday, get your tickets now!

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Mar 28 2012

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TEC Keynote Speaker Announcement

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From Marketing Director Geoffrey Finger:

 

Barbara Kates-Garnick, Undersecretary for Energy of the state of Massachusets, will be delivering a keynote at TEC 2012. Energy Undersecretary Barbara Kates-Garnick’s experience has spanned public and private arenas in the energy, regulatory and public policy sectors.

 

Kates-Garnick was appointed by Governor  Deval Patrick after serving several years as  an independent consultant in academia and  private business. Most recently, she advised  the Polytechnic Institute of New York  University on issues related to urban systems,  clean technology, energy policy and  entrepreneurship.

 

Her previous energy positions with the  Commonwealth include serving as a former  Department of Public Utilities (DPU)  commissioner and member of the Energy  Facilities Siting Board, and as a DPU director responsible for developing Massachusetts’ first natural gas deregulation policy.

 

Kates-Garnick’s private sector achievements include serving as an officer at KeySpan where, as corporate affairs vice president, she developed energy policy strategy and directed the governmental communications and community relations teams.

 

Kates-Garnick earned her PhD at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and an undergraduate degree in political science at Bryn Mawr College.

 

Kates-Garnick will be giving the closing keynote for TEC 2012.

 

Two additional keynotes will be delivered. Kevin Book, Managing Director at ClearView Energy Parters, will open the conference with a keynote speech titled “Greening up in the ‘Golden’ age of Gas.”

 

Dr. El-Ashry, senior fellow at the UN Foundation, will deliver a keynote titled “Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development.”

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Mar 27 2012

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One year after Fukushima

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Last year in March, a Tsunami led to the worst nuclear disaster in recent years. As this article shows, there were significant costs associated with the meltdown, with tens of thousands of people still unable to return to their homes today. In light of the wave of anti-nuclear sentiment that has taken hold, Japan is now deciding what its energy future will look like, as 30% of the country’s electricity currently comes from nuclear power.

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Nuclear power occupies a unique space in energy generation – on the one hand it is a low-carbon source of energy, and offers promise in the fight against climate change, while on the other hand it has been criticized for its potential to cause catastrophic damage, as well as being very expensive and requiring long-term storage for radioactive waste. What future do you see for nuclear energy? Is it an important part of a transition to low-carbon sources of energy? Is the heyday of energy from the atom already past?

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Mar 12 2012

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Fighting energy poverty with distributed electricity

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Thanks to Hannah Henderson for sending on this article from the economist. It discusses Cambridge University spin-off company Eight19′s model for bringing distributed solar energy to families in developing countries.

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Mar 08 2012

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TEC Energy Challenge Deadline – March 15th

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The Tufts Energy Conference announces the second annual Tufts Energy Competition – a celebration of innovative student-driven solutions to energy challenges. Winners will receive up to $3000 to implement their action or research project to address a key energy issue. The goals of the Tufts Energy Competition are:

+ to support students to implement projects that explore solutions to key energy issues,

+ inspire interdisciplinary research and collaboration at Tufts,

+ and provide greater visibility of Tufts engagement in energy-related disciplines and fields.

Semi-finalists will be asked to present an overview of their project at the 2012 Tufts Energy Conference and winners will be selected by the conference audience.

Apply today! http://www.tuftsenergyconference.com/energy-challenge/

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Mar 07 2012

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Tufts students participate in Department of Energy Better Buildings Case Competition

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The following paragraph was written by Michael Baskin, who participated in the DOE Better Buildings Case Competition:

The US Department of Energy (DoE) sent out a press release (below) yesterday on the Better Buildings Case Competition that took place this past Thursday-Saturday in Washington DC. The DoE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) held the competition under its Better Buildings Initiative, which has set the US national goal of increasing building energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. A team from Tufts University competed along with and against 18 other universities. Preparation and announcement of the competition began in early December with a conference call held by the DoE. Students volunteered to be part of the team in January, with the competition lasting the month of February and student teams meeting and working on the cases in their spare time. Tufts students were from several different schools including The Fletcher School, Engineering, and UEP, and included both graduates and undergraduates. Each university was assigned two of four real-life cases provided by private and public partners for teams to analyze and propose solutions for. Tufts was assigned the City of Houston Case and the Hotel Case. Prof. Bill Moomaw agreed to serve as an advisor to the team, in line with the DoE mandate of no more than one faculty advisor allowed for each university. Teams submitted a ten-page written proposal and a powerpoint presentation for each case, and parts of each team were able to travel to Washington DC to present their reports this past week. In an awards ceremony Friday afternoon, the DoE announced winners for Best Proposal and Most Innovative for each case, although the Tufts teams did not win in their respective cases. US DoE Secretary Chu presented the awards to the winning teams and spent close to an hour with all of the participating students answering questions. Students were also able to attend a panel discussion on municipal energy efficiency efforts Thursday evening held at the National Building Museum, were given the opportunity to tour an energy efficient hotel Saturday morning, and participate in a self-guided tour of the White House Saturday afternoon. Tufts Student travel to the competition was partially funded by a travel grant from the Tufts Institute for the Environment.

The Tufts students who participated included:

Hotel Case

Johnathon Torn (The Fletcher School)

Jack Carter (Engineering)

David Murphy (The Fletcher School)

Roxanne Tully (Engineering)

Ravi Kaneriya (The Fletcher School)

Stephanie Flores (Engineering)

Houston Case

Samantha Weaver (UEP)

Michael Baskin (The Fletcher School)

Elizabeth Treseder (The Fletcher School)

Benjamin Chamberlain (Engineering)

Winnie Wong (The Fletcher School)

Below find the DOE press release:

Secretary Chu Announces Winners of Student Competition to Promote Energy-Efficient Buildings

March 5, 2012

As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the winners of a competition that challenges collegiate students to develop and present real-world solutions to boost the energy efficiency of buildings across the country. Secretary Chu recognized the winners of the Better Buildings Case Competition, part of the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge, at an event at the White House Friday afternoon, and congratulated them for their efforts to tackle some of the most common and stubborn barriers to improving energy efficiency. The winners included Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, The George Washington University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Colorado Denver, and University of Southern California.

Full story

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