Archive for December, 2012

Programmable Thermostats and more Energy Efficiency Tips from CQI

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Today, homeowners are constantly striving to make their homes more energy efficient and thus save money. And there are numerous products on the market capable of reducing your home’s energy consumption. One of these products is a Programmable Thermostat, which allows homeowners to more efficiently control their energy use.

By just turning your thermostat down (7-10 degrees) or off when you are asleep or away, you could see significant savings on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat allows you to do this automatically, according to a pre-set schedule. You simply set times when your HVAC system is on, off, or working in a diminished capacity.

According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), a programmable thermostat can save homeowners as much as 10% a year on their heating and cooling costs.

Programming your Programmable Thermostat

It is important to first consider your schedule. When do you normally go to sleep, get up for work, go to work, get home from work, etc.? Schedule your programmable thermostat accordingly. But in order to achieve the highest possible savings without sacrificing comfort, have your thermostat turn down the temperature right before you go to bed, turn back up right before you wake up, turn down right before you go to work, and turn back up before you get home.

You will not notice the temperature difference, but your wallet will!

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit today!

CQI Associates has saved our public and private commercial clients well over $1,500,000,000 based on our energy and environmental program and project saving recommendations.

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Benefits of Solar Energy: Tips from Maryland Energy Consultants

Friday, December 14th, 2012

From government agencies to the private sector, the last decade has seen a significant rise in solar power investments, aimed at leveraging additional sustainable and renewable energy sources for common use. With the global push towards seeking green alternatives to power our homes and businesses, staying up-to-date on the benefits of solar energy is a worthwhile endeavor.

Solar power produces a photo-electric effect by harnessing electrons emitted by certain compounds like metals when they have contact with light, or photons. Solar panels use energy channeled through photovoltaic cells – which issue electricity by way of sunlight converted into a flow of electrons.

Here are just a few of the reasons solar power is such a compelling energy source:

1. So long as the sun keeps shining, solar energy can be renewed an innumerable amount of times, cutting down on the need for use of non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, which are used to power our cars, machines used in product manufacturing, and the like.

2. Solar panels, especially those that make use of technologies that minimize reliance upon the sun’s schedule, can make homeowners and businesses more self-sufficient by decreasing the need for conventional electricity suppliers.

3. Providing additional incentive to utilize solar power, many local and federal governments provide rebates and other monetary enticements for those who install solar panels or solar hot water systems.

4. Homeowners and businesses who invest in solar panels will see a quick return, and as an added bonus, any electricity produced that isn’t needed for powering their building can be sold back to utility company for electricity credits.

5. Solar electricity produces zero emissions, and solar panels are unobtrusive, require little maintenance, and produce silent energy that can be used to power buildings everywhere.

CQI Associates is a leading provider of energy and environmental consulting, servicing Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, and Illinois.  We consider it our responsibility to provide energy and environmental management services that allow our clients to increase profitability by minimizing operating costs. From small businesses to national accounts and private residences, CQI offers solar, wind, and renewable energy project development and operation that make for sustainable energy solutions.

To learn more about our energy management, auditing, certifications and more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit today!

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Solar panel brief history and overview

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Solar Power News: Creating Green Storage Solutions for Renewable Energy

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Solar energy has a sunny outlook as a renewable energy source, and energy industry experts are seeking to make this type of energy more accessible with technology that will cause it to be less reliant on the unpredictable whims of Mother Nature. For the average consumer, this translates to a more affordable and reliable means of solar powered energy, allowing homeowners to become self-sufficient when it comes to powering their homes.

A team of professionals at Harvard University, spearheaded by engineers and chemists with the goal of creating a storage battery to harness solar energy, has been awarded a year-long $600,000 innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program. The endowment makes up a small part of the $130-million “OPEN 2012” program, offered through ARPA-E, meant to facilitate the production of groundbreaking energy technologies.

The goal behind transforming the battery system for renewable energy storage, deemed a “flow battery,” is to provide economical, grid-scale electrical energy storage based on small, environmentally conscious organic molecules. Because solar power is considered an intermittent energy source due to its dependence upon weather and the sun’s power, stationary storage of solar power needs to be made better available. In so doing, reliance on nonrenewable fossil fuels as a source of energy will begin to decline, making more sustainable solutions viable for energy consumers.

Flow batteries are rechargeable fuel cells with the capacity to store vast amounts of electrical energy as liquid chemicals, meant to be externally stored in tanks in order to allow designers to autonomously size electrochemical conversion hardware and chemical storage tanks. These pieces of equipment are responsible for setting topmost power capabilities and energy capacities, respectively.

In order to create a cost-effective storage solution for renewable energy sources like solar power, the team at Harvard working under the ARPA-E’s grant is attempting to utilize small, organic, plant-based molecules  that can be artificially synthesized economically as a chemical and used for storage in flow batteries. The team expects its approach to reign over existing flow batteries with its potential for higher power density, increased efficiency, economical chemicals, and safe means of storage. Should the project succeed, the Harvard scientists anticipate their work to make renewable energy like solar power more accessible due to the ability to make the energy available at all times, rather than only intermittently.

Flow batteries have the potential to help facilitate the transition from fossil fuels to a more sustainable means of producing energy.

How will this technology trickle down to benefit consumers of solar power? The improved flow battery will translate to greater reliance on solar energy to power homes, reducing the need to source energy from conventional utility suppliers, creating greater access to economical energy solutions. Want to learn more about how solar powered energy can benefit you? Tune back soon to read about the advantages of solar power!

The energy experts and consultants at CQI Associates are at the forefront of providing economical and eco-friendly energy solutions. To learn more about our energy management, auditing, certifications and more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit today!

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Greener Storage for Green Energy

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