| clean air regulation advances
Department of Energy Needs Your Help
By ROBERT UKEIlEY
Robert ukeiley (rukeiley
@ igc.org) is a lawyer
who represents environmental nonprofits in
Clean Air Act litigation
affecting energy issues.
Iusually write about the u.S. environmental Protec- tion Agency (ePA), its actions impacting renewable nergy and energy efficiency (Re/ee) and how we
can help ePA come up with better outcomes. But ePA
isn’t the only federal agency affecting Re/ee. The u.S.
Department of energy (DOe) is obviously another one.
DOe does a lot more than loan guarantees. For example, DOe implements the energy Policy Conservation
Act, which sets national energy-efficiency standards
for consumer products and commercial and industrial
equipment, including battery chargers and external
power supplies. DOe must set standards to achieve the
maximum feasible improvement in energy efficiency.
For instance, DOe recently proposed to amend the
efficiency standard for some external power supplies,
and to create new standards for other external power
supplies and battery chargers. The department invited
public comments and held a public meeting on these
standards (see tinyurl.com/eCPchargers — it’s a large
PDF download). DOe does not mention solar at all in its
proposal. Yet, solar-powered battery chargers are clearly
feasible — they’ve been in wide use in off-grid applica-
tions for decades, by the private sector and government
Solar and Biodiesel Van Takes Film Production Off-Grid
It’s commonplace to see motorhomes equipped with solar panels — RV dealers sell and install them all the time.
Commercial vehicles are something else. In Los Angeles,
a firm providing production equipment for movie shoots has
customized a luxurious motorhome into a combination editing
suite and dressing room, able to operate off-grid 24 hours a day
thanks to a 1.5-kilowatt photovoltaic array with biodiesel hybrid
The Verde production bus designed and built by Quixote
Studios uses six roof-mounted Astronergy 245-watt modules
feeding a bank of six 245-Ah Deka AGM batteries through an
Outback charge controller. The batteries can put out 7 kw con-
tinuously through an Outback inverter.
12 June 2012 SOLAR TODAY solartoday.org
Copyright © 2012 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.