Archive for February, 2013

Solar Energy, Drip Irrigation, and Revolutionized Farming Methods

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Solar energy has been making waves (or should we say, rays?) in the way energy is consumed and produced, and now it’s beginning to bring change to rural and underdeveloped areas. In Benin, a small country in West Africa, photovoltaic panels are powering drip irrigation systems in the district of Kalalé, which has made strides in improving their food production.

The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), launched a plan in 2007 to put solar-powered drip irrigation systems in two dry and rural West African villages, Dunkassa and Bessassi. Combining two forms of technologies – solar power and drip irrigation – that had known success separately but were not often used in conjunction with one another, SELF helped bring water to the arid areas so crops could get the water needed to thrive.

With the dry season making up half of the year in Benin, the country has had a deficit of fresh vegetables, contributing to ongoing issues related to malnutrition and sickness, especially in children.

Traditionally, drip irrigation systems have been powered by diesel engines that bring reservoir water through pipes and to the plant roots. SELF envisioned these irrigation systems running off of solar power in an economical fashion. Though the dual solar-irrigation systems cost around $25,000, according to SELF, the ROI is seen in two to three years. The conclusion? Though the initial overheard costs are higher, solar still proves to be cost effective over time, especially with the rising prices of fuel.

With a grant from National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge Initiative, SELF is moving forward to shed more light on the situation in West Africa, bringing solar systems to homes, schools, health clinics, and more. It’s one step towards bringing their solar integrated development model to the developing world.Over time, this technology will be utilized in the United States to provide similar benefits by leveraging solar power in innovative ways.

CQI Associates implements solar, wind, and renewable energy projects for public and private clients all around the country, and is committed to developing economical, green energy plans to create a more sustainable future.

To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

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Sources:

Solar Energy Brings Food, Water, and Light to West Africa

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The State of the Union Address, Energy Consumption, and Environmental Impact

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Obama’s State of the Union Address sparked continued discussion of energy reform and the ongoing debate about climate change. Here’s our rundown on what the president has proposed as a part of his agenda this past Tuesday.

- Obama called Congress to action to issue legislation that seeks to quash carbon pollution while promoting the production of clean energy.

- Taking the energy crisis and rising environmental concerns seriously, Obama expressed his intention to develop executive actions in conjunction with his cabinet to make strides in reducing pollution, dealing with the effects of climate change, and rapidly evolving the sustainable energy market.

- Talk of an Energy Security Trust is in the works, which would use revenue from federal oil and gas production to fund research and technology to end the need to use oil as automotive fuel.

- Obama also announced his intention to promote the development of cleaner-burning natural gas with Congress’ help in order to protect the environment.

Whatever may happen in the upcoming term in terms of advancements in energy and environmental care, one thing’s for sure: you don’t have to wait until legislation is made to keep up with more sustainable energy practices. The energy consultants at CQI can help public and private clients alike to optimize energy consumption, reduce environmental liability, seek out renewable energy sources, and more.

To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

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Sources:

In State of the Union Obama Targets Energy, Climate

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Why the Power Went Out at the Super Bowl

Friday, February 15th, 2013

When the power went out after the half time show at the Super Bowl, it was easy to jokingly place the blame on Beyonce’s lit-up song and dance routine complete with holographs. And while it’s possible that her powerful performance caused the power to go out, putting the grid on overload just like when too many appliances run in the same room at once, experts predict that it’s unlikely.

Though the cause of the blackout at the Super Bowl is still being investigated, many believe it has to do with a piece of equipment failing and thereby causing a short circuit, which in turn lead to a circuit breaker opening and disconnecting power to a part of the stadium circuits.

The Superdome’s energy provider, Entergy, quickly released a statement during the Super Bowl blackout saying that it was still servicing the area and that the problem was related to an electricity abnormality. Later, both the Superdome and Entergy issued a joint statement revealing that the equipment that monitored electrical load “sensed an abnormality in the system” (Source). Once the irregularity was detected, the circuit breaker, as is standard, opened a breaker to cut power to part of the Superdome – this is meant to prevent fires caused by overheated wires.

Though Entergy cannot reveal how much electricity was being used at the time of the blackout during the Super Bowl, what we do know is that prior to the event, Entergy agreed to donate carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from the high-energy use. Including NFL hotels, the Morial Convention Center, and the Superdome during the week of the game, an anticipated 3.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions were expected to be produced. So while you’re cheering on your favorite team and chowing down on chips next year during the Super Bowl, take a moment to remember exactly how much energy is being used so the game can go on.

To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

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Sources:

What Caused the Super Bowl Blackout at the Superdome?

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Why LEED-Certified Buildings are Worthwhile

Friday, February 1st, 2013

LEED Certification: it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A third party evaluation process, LEED is meant to improve building performance while facilitating healthy environments for its occupants. Providing a set of guidelines that support building owners and operators in producing green building design, construction, and maintenance, the LEED program is recognized on an international scale.

Here are some concrete ways in which LEED-certified buildings provide environmentally friendly spaces that simultaneously save money in the long run. LEED-certified buildings…

  • Reduce operating costs while increasing asset value
  • Cut down on waste that winds up in landfills
  • Conserve both energy and water
  • Provide healthy, non-toxic spaces for occupants
  • Diminishes harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualifies building owners for tax rebates, zoning allowances, and additional incentives in many areas across the States

 

For business everywhere, a LEED-certified building can lend a hand in boosting bottom lines. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified buildings yield the following measurable savings:

New Construction:

Operating costs – lower 13.6%

Building Value – increases 10.9%

ROI – improves 9.9%

Occupancy – rises 6.4%

Rent – increases 6.1%

Existing Building Projects:

Operating costs – lower 8.5%

Building Value – increases 6.8%

ROI – improves 2.5%

Occupancy – rises 1%

Rent – increases 19.2%

Those numbers are real, and CQI Associates, a forerunning energy and environmental management consulting company can help your business leverage those savings with our LEED Certification and Green Building Certification Project Management in Maryland, Washington, DC, and nationwide.

To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

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Sources:

LEED

LEED is good for business

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