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Cooled Solar Cells Boost Efficiency: Engineers Invent Coating

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Engineers at Stanford cool solar cells, enhancing conversion efficiency[/title][fusion_text]A long-standing difficulty in the solar industry has recently been overcome by Stanford engineers – solar cells can now be cooled.

Shanhui Fan, Aaswath P. Raman and Linxiao Zhu of Stanford, together created cooling capabilities in the form of a transparent overlay. Solar cells lose efficiency at converting sunlight to electricity as they get hotter, so the transparent overlay radiates heat away from the solar cells, and even in full sunlight, assisting the cells to retain their conversion efficiency.

Cooler solar cells = more photons converted into energy!

Made of patterned silica material, the transparent overlay allows the solar cells to be powered by sunlight, while capturing and radiating away the heat as infrared rays. Also called “radiative cooling” by the inventors, the group published works last year in Nature about their ultrathin material that radiated infrared heat rays directly back toward space without warming the atmosphere – the same principles were applied to the solar cells to increase solar energy conversion efficiencies. During testing on Stanford’s roof, the new transparent overlay allowed visible light to pass through the cells, also cooling the absorber by up to 23 degrees Farenheit, which is a significant increase in cell efficiency by more than 1%.

 

The inventors believe they can scale their project for commercial and industrial use, and recommend that their transparent overlays be used in dry and clear environments.

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Our HVAC expertise

Let our experienced team of fully qualified HVAC technicians and A-grade control electricians increase the life of your assets, ensure smooth running business operations and reduced energy costs with our HVAC solution.

We are competitive and offer unparalleled servicing technologies, using the latest clout technology and stringent preventative management efficiencies. Contact us today and ask about your free energy audit![/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

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Australian Energy Consumption Report 2015

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Understand how your industry is using energy[/title][fusion_text]Wondering how your industry was consuming energy over the last financial year? We’ve pulled out the statistics you’d like to see.

Australian energy consumption overview:

  • Total Australian energy consumption dropped by 1% (to around 5,830 PJ)
  • Australia’s energy productivity (GDP / energy consumption) rose by 4%
  • Energy use declines in electricity generation and manufacturing
  • Consumption in mining and transport energy use rose
  • Coal production and exports continues to grow
  • Oil consumption dropped by 1%

Australia’s consumption of wind, gas and solar energy rose, with overall renewable energy generation increasing by 12% and accounting for around 6% of Australia’s energy use.

Oil continued to be the largest primary energy source in Australia, calculated at 38%, followed by coal at 32% and natural gas at 24%.

CFM-Air-Conditioning-Australian-Energy-Consumption-Aug-2015

Australian Energy Consumption by Energy Type

Australian energy production

  • Production of black coal increased by 8% (to 11,807 PJ), encouraged by new capacity for export markets
  • Production or uranium dropped by 38% (disruptions at Ranger and closure of Honeymoon mines)
  • Production of oil fell by 5% (declining production at ageing fields outweighed new supply)
  • Lower uranium and oil production outweighed growth in black coal
  • Energy production dropped by 4% (to 18,715 PJ)
  • Production of natural gas grew by 2%

Australian electricity generation

Electricity generation further declined by 1% to 894 PJ, due to continued decline in industrial and residential electricity demand, and is offset in part by continued growth in off-grid generation.

Although coal-fired generation declined by 5%, coal remained the largest source of electricity generation in Australia, at 61%. Natural gas comprised 22% of total electricity generation, with renewable energy comprising 15% of total generation in Australia. Majority of the growth continued to be seen in wind and solar energy. For the first time, the share of hydro energy fell below 50%.

Australian energy trade

There was a slight 2% growth in energy exports (to 15,658 PJ), due to the fall in uranium and crude oil exports. LNG exports also dropped slightly. Imports fell by less than 1% (to 2,275 PJ), with the decline in crude oil imports largely offset by a rise in the import of refined products.

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Australian Energy Consumption, Productivity, Intensity and GDP

All statistics relate to 2013-2014. More information available at the Office of the Chief Economist. See the full Australian Energy Update 2015 here.

How does your energy consumption measure up?

Let us run a free energy audit to help you understand your energy consumption and how your business can run most efficiently.

We specialise in HVAC installations, 24 / 7 service, repairs and preventative maintenance programs for commercial and industrial sectors.

With more than 100 collective years of professional experience in the mechanical services sector, you can trust us to create the ideal HVAC solution that is comfortable for your colleagues and staff, and is as energy efficient as possible. Contact us today![/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

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Australian Guide: 7 Star Environmentally Sustainable Homes

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Australian Government’s YourHome resources for environmentally sustainable homes[/title][fusion_text]

Resources include an online suite of floor plans and elevations, designed for a minimum 7-star energy efficiency that help Australians save both energy and money, regardless of where they live. Floor plans have been drawn for every city in Australia, in three versions to accommodate for block size, and construction techniques specifically for single storey dwellings. See Melbourne’s YourHome plan here.

The designs have 7 key areas of focus for energy efficiency and reducing cost:

  1. Climate
  2. Natural ventilation
  3. Orientation
  4. Natural light
  5. Sun shade
  6. Liveability
  7. Thinking local

We have the expertise to help you improve energy efficiency and reduce costs for your home, from natural ventilation, passive heating and cooling, to the perfect HVAC solution for your home, whether new or existing.

After all, we are Australia’s HVAC specialists, so contact us for a free energy audit for your current home, or find out how we can help you achieve energy efficiency with an environmentally sustainable homes plan as part of your energy brief for architects and builders.

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Health Sector Air Safety Paramount

Product selection and maintenance critical for hospitals

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Gas v Electrical Air Conditioning?

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Gas or electrical air conditioning? Rising domestic gas prices leave this question on everyone’s lips[/title][fusion_text]A recent report (Report) prepared by Melbourne University department, Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI), examined the price of gas and electricity in running household heating across the eastern-Australian gas market, and forecasts the future of domestic gas in Australia.

Gas modelling

The Australian Energy Market Operator indicates that gas demand in easter Australia peaked in 2012 and has since, on a yearly basis, declined.

The MEI has modelled that gas demand will continue its decline and by 2025, gas use in Australia could fall to half the peak use of gas. The reasoning involves Australian households switching from their gas appliances (not just heaters) to electrical appliances, as the price of gas increases.

Increasing cost of gas

The increase in gas cost has been linked to flow on from Australia’s exportation of gas to Asia from Gladstone, QLD, and the high cost associated with producing coal seam gas. Amongst others, these factors are negatively impacting on the use of gas in both industrial and electricity generation sectors.

Reduced heating costs by 70%

The author of the Report, Tim Forcey, said that by switching from ducted gas heating to several reverse cycle air conditioners, he reduced his heating costs by 70%. Forcey, has more than 30 years of experience in industrial energy, and has worked with BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil, and assets including the QLD Gas Pipeline and the Bass Strait JV.

Electrical Air Conditioning: Impact on HVAC

For engineers, facilities managers and home buyers, there are important implications for infrastructure and planning, as there is less need to be connected to a gas grid. In the case of heaters, the Report found that reverse-cycle (or split system) are conditioners “are efficient renewable-energy generators Contrasting with the potentially-poor performance of ducted-gas, some non-ducted RCACs … achieve efficiencies of more than 500% when they capture up to 4.8 units of free, renewable-ambient heat from the outside air for every one unit of electricity applied … If the RCAC wall unit is located in the room directly where heat is needed, energy losses are minimal.” And, that split-system air conditioners “have the added advantage of providing space-cooling during summer and other warm-weather periods and as a result are already in place in millions of Australian homes.”

Our HVAC expertise

Our fully qualified and experienced HVAC technicians and A-Grade control electricians are on call 24/7 to service your commercial, industrial and domestic HVAC needs. Our rates, unparalleled servicing technologies (utilising the latest in cloud IT) and comprehensive preventative management standards will keep your business or home running smoothly. Contact us for your HVAC solutions here.[/fusion_text][/one_full][imageframe lightbox=”no” lightbox_image=”” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ hide_on_mobile=”no” class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][/fullwidth]

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Test Google Project Sunroof Technology

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Test Google Project Sunroof[/title][fusion_text]

Test Google Project Sunroof to understand how you can save energy use!

Test Google Project Sunroof to understand Google’s latest initiative for helping you find out what is involved in getting solar panels installed and running on your roof. Project Sunroof uses Google’s expansive data resources to map and compute the most ideal solar plan for you.

How does Project Sunroof work?

To test Google Project Sunroof go to the Project Sunroof home page and type in your address. Note that you can only test addresses in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno CA and Greater Boston MA in America. To experience the technology, why not try entering an address in this test region?!

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Project Sunroof located your address using Google Maps, and combines this information with other databases to generate your personalised roof analysis! Information taken into account includes:

  • Aerial imagery and maps from Google’s databases
  • 3D modelling of your roof and roof size
  • Identification of any shadows cast by nearby structures or trees
  • All the possible sun positions over a year and amount of sun hitting your roof
  • Any historical cloud and temperature patterns that might affect solar energy production
  • Your electricity bill and electricity use

Your energy savings calculated

Your personalised report from Project Sunroof uses current solar industry pricing to calculate the cost of leasing, taking our a loan or buying solar panels out right, allowing you the information you need to choose the course that best suits you.

Project Sunroof technology is also geared to compile any incentives that will impact your final cost, including any federal and state tax credits, any utility rebates and renewable energy credits and net metering.

Compute your savings

 

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Australia’s First HVAC Rating Tool

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]HVAC Rating Tool Available Online[/title][fusion_text]

Attention: all building managers, owners and HVAC personnel

HVAC energy use accounts for 40 – 60 % of energy use in commercial office buildings.

Use Sustainability Victoria’s HVAC rating tool to find out how efficient is your organisation’s energy use is. This free online benchmarking tool, Calculating Cool, can help you reduce HVAC related energy use by up to 40%. Non-residential HVAC energy use consumes 9% of all electricity produced in Australia, and contributes by almost 4% to Australia’s national greenhouse gas emissions.

The HVAC rating tool takes into account both qualitative and quantitative data inputs to measure your HVAC energy efficiency. The HVAC rating tool also identifies potential areas for improvement, including maintenance, documentation, tuning, commission and user satisfaction.

You can use the online HVAC rating tool alongside national programs like NABERS and Green Star, and identify HVAC use areas to improve ratings.

We manage commercial and industrial HVAC systems in office buildings, manufacturing and industrial estates, apartments and more. We manage the process from consultation, design, installation to servicing and maintenance of the HVAC system with our team of qualified technicians. See our projects here.

We can help reduce your HVAC system energy use. Ask us how!

Access Sustainability Victoria’s brochure here and Calculating Cool Tool here.[/fusion_text][/one_full][/fullwidth]

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HVAC News: Solar Power and Renewable Energy

New research shines solar power in community hands

Independent research conducted by Ipsos has informed new best practice community consultation guidelines for renewable energy and solar power.

Australian Renewable Energy Angency (ARENA) contributed $153,000 towards Ipsos to help fund the research task.

The research revealed that Australian’s strongly support renewable energy and want to be involved in energy spending decisions. The new best practise guidelines will help the solar energy industry to better communicate any impact on the economy and environment, as well as on nearby communities.

The research further reveals that in order to gain community support, solar project stakeholders must clearly communicate the efficiencies able to be achieved with solar power endeavours, any employment opportunities, project timelines and information about the area of land that is required.

Key HVAC news facts from research:

  • 77% of Australians believe that solar energy is a significant source of energy that can help meet our needs
  • 60% of Australians agree that funding for renewable energy facilities should be prioritised over non-renewable sources
  • 63% of Australians believe that solar power will reduce carbon emissions
  • 53% of Australian’s believe that solar power will have a positive impact on our environment

We specialise in HVAC solutions, tailored to your needs. Keep In Touch and stay abreast of HVAC news!

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