When the manager of a lower Manhattan office building opened his electric bill recently, he saw a change for the better. The 11th floor, occupied by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), used 64% less electricity for lighting, resulting in a savings of more than $10,000 per year. Making the Con Edison bill savings possible: installation of an energy-efficient lighting system, and the useof new energy-saving personal computers in the 1901-vintage building. The lighting system for the 23,000-sq-ft space consists of energy-efficient electronic ballasts and fluorescent lamps mounted in highly reflective deep-ceiling fixtures. The lights produce less glare on computer screens. Occupancy sensors turn them off when employees leave a work area for more than 10 minutes. In addition, window ceiling monitors sense changes in natural daylight and adjust lights to save energy on sunny days. In addition, use of EPA "Energy Star"-certified computers reduces energy use 23% over standard computers. FAX Jackie Turner at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) at (650) 855-2900.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.