GE just announced a big improvement in what it uses to make 16-, 17-, and 18-cubic-foot top-freezer refrigerators in Decatur, Alabama. After retrofitting its existing plant (to keep jobs in the states), GE swapped out HFC-134a as a foam-blowing agent in favor of using cyclopentane, a blowing agent with significantly less global warming potential.
The much-anticipated Honeywell Wind Turbine from WindTronics officially launches today, one day prior to Earth Day. This is a small wind turbine that we’ve mentioned extensively – here’s a video of one spinning. The launch is supported by a global network of distributors, partners, and retailers ready to sell the unique turbine from a starting price of $5,795, plus installation.
A new company, Switch Lighting, just introduced some new lights that look promising. The San Jose-based company has what it calls “the brightest warm light LED replacement available,” according to a news release, and we’ve been able to get access to a couple photos of the 75W bulb. The Cradle to Cradle bulbs — 40W, 60W, and 75W equivalents — have a self-cooling design that maximizes brightness and requires fewer LEDs.
Some folks are up in arms over Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which requires about 25% more efficient light bulbs starting in January 2012. The bi-partisan law phases out the standard Edison bulb in favor of better options like this upgraded light bulb. The Philips EcoVantage light offers an incremental improvement over the norm with 28% energy savings, a low price, and incandescent-style light.
California-based EchoFirst, formerly known as PVT Solar, makes an interesting Echo solar system that I noticed locally on the Solaris homes (Style A/Style B) in Daybreak, Utah. It’s the kind of system that could work wonders for a lot of homes because Echo delivers more than just electricity from photovoltaic panels. Echo captures air from under the panels to provide home heating, home cooling, water heating, and fresh air ventilation.
With Lightfair and other design shows in the works, I expect to see a few new products like this Flo light, which was designed by Foster + Parters for Lumina, a lighting manufacturer in Italy. Flo is an unobtrusive reading light with a dimmable 6W LED that outputs 475 lumens. The aluminum frame and head is planted with a steel base, and the head rotates 300 degrees for precise task usage. Flo joins a host of other LED task lamps on the market — I’ll post a price when it’s offered here in the United States.