Saturday, February 23, 2013

LED Spotlight

We have further expanded our line of residential LED lighting by adding many new LED spotlights for different fixtures in and around the home. These LED lights have the potential to save up to 90% of energy costs associated with home lighting.

Our new LED spotlights provide for improved energy efficiency in the home and give customers more options when choosing new LED lighting.  The new LED spotlights are compatible with nearly any standard lighting fixture, with bases compatible with all major light sockets.  The average LED bulb reduces energy consumption by up to 90% compared with comparable incandescent bulbs.  The bulbs also come in many common mounts, ensuring the bulb will fit into your fixture.

“Our expanded line of LEDs allows One Stop Green to provide a more complete lighting solution for our customers,” says Greg Boyce, our COO, “and these spotlights are some of the most affordable and have some of the best quality in the industry.”

Our company, facilitates environmentally friendly improvements to residential  and commercial properties through distribution of green, energy efficient products and services. We offer every product needed for sustainable energy independence enabling homeowners, businesses and commercial property owners to master their usage by reducing waste and implementing efficient energy consumption methods. Our goal is to provide user friendly and practical long-term solutions to existing inefficiencies and our carefully selected products and professional installers offer a higher level of satisfaction and service for our customers. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

OptiBlend Fuel System

We now carry the OptiBlend alternative fuel retrofit system for diesel generator sets.  The OptiBlend alternative fuel retrofit system allows diesel generator sets to run off less expensive natural gas or other alternative fuels.

The OptiBlend displaces diesel with natural gas or other alternative fuels, without modifications to the internal components or the stock fuel management system. The OptiBlend dramatically lowers operational costs, increases back up runtime capacity, and reduces NOx, CO2, and PM emissions. When required, the system allows the engine to run on 100% diesel.

The OptiBlend system requires no internal engine modifications or OEM control system modifications to operate with a diesel generator set and maintains OEM power output.  It uses a dynamic gas control system which optimizes displacement at multiple load points.  This provides maximum operational savings compared with the original diesel generator set.

One Stop Green, LLC, facilitates environmentally friendly improvements to residential and commercial properties through distribution of green, energy efficient products and services. Our goal is to provide practical, long-term, and economical solutions for existing and non-existing facilities while remaining dedicated to the principles of sustainability. Our mission is to help consumers take control of their energy options so they can reduce their carbon footprint and do their part for the environment, while protecting themselves against rising energy costs and taking advantage of valuable Federal tax credits and deductions.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Increasing Costs for Those on the Grid

Note - This article is by the newest member of the One Stop Green Team, Max Schweber.

South Dakota legislators are backing a so-called “metering bill” that will adversely affect utility companies and regulators, along with their customers. The bill proposes a cost increase for utility companies. Currently, utility companies pay a wholesale cost on service for residents who produce their own electricity, mainly through renewable energy means. The bill would increase those companies’ costs from wholesale to retail, significantly increasing their cost structure

However, utility companies and opposing legislators claim that the increase in cost would be passed down to customers on the grid who currently rely on utility companies for energy. This would thereby anger the great majority of residents in South Dakota who will be paying even more to cover the cost of those not currently using the grid for electricity. Although the bill has been called a “long-shot” by several sources, there is still a possibility that utility prices will increase for the greater part of South Dakota residents.

To avoid this increase in price, people should consider the possibility of using renewable energy sources for their electricity and heating in their residences. Sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal are renewable and therefore allow the user to be self-sufficient. Being self-sufficient, not just in South Dakota, will reduce one’s utility costs, reliability on the grid, and long-term impact on the environment.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Renewable Energy – Maximizing Your Returns

Many utilities across the country have started tapping into renewable sources to help supply electricity to their customers.  CPS Energy in San Antonio, Texas, the utility in my hometown, has committed to renewable energy in a huge way by generating energy from both solar and wind sources.  They have almost 45 MW of solar power available and a high profile project for 400 MW that is in its early stages.  This 45 MW might not be much in supplying the overall needs of its customers daily, but that’s 45 MW that doesn't need to be generated by coal and natural gas power plants.  In addition, the CPS Energy Windtricity program is part of a partnership with wind farms in operation in west Texas, and customers using Windtricity have the added advantage of receiving LEED points for a home or business.

However, home and business owners can take matters into their own hands by setting up renewable energy sources for their own property.  Solar panels mounted on a roof or wind turbines on an open spot on the property can independently help power a home or business and reduce the load on the commercial utility grid.  To power an average sized home, the investment in renewable energy sources could be quite significant.  While the price for solar is now approaching $1 per watt of energy, that still means a 4kW system would still cost $4,000 just for the solar panels alone.  There is other equipment that needs to be purchased, permits, installation, and many other costs associated with going solar but these costs are quickly recouped within the overall lifetime of the panels.  Wind energy can be even more expensive per watt, but in windy areas, can pay off even quicker.  An advantage of purchasing your own solar panels or turbines is the incentives offered by many utility companies.  From the local utility to the federal government, there is the potential for many incentives to help offset the costs of the solar panels or wind turbines.

To make all of this more effective, home or business owners need to make their property more efficient.  There are many ways to help reduce energy use and increase efficiency to make new solar panels or wind turbines more effective.  One of the easiest ways to quickly cut energy in a home or business without major modifications is by replacing lighting with CFLs or LED fixtures.  CFLs reduce energy use by up to 75% over incandescent lighting, and LED fixtures can reduce energy use up to 90% over incandescent lighting.  In addition, the longevity of more efficient lighting means you won’t be replacing bulbs as frequently, offsetting the initial higher costs.  Updating the HVAC system is another quick way to improve home energy efficiency.  Energy Star certified products use very little energy compared to older air conditioning units, and there are incentives available when replacing an old, inefficient air conditioner.  Properly maintaining a home or business also helps improve efficiency and reduce costs.  By plugging leaks, an air conditioner or heater will be more effective and will only cool or heat where that air is needed.  Adding the proper amount of insulation also reduces how much an air conditioner or heater will work, which saves energy, money, and wear and tear on the unit.

When considering investing in a personal renewable energy source, it is more effective for home or business owners to first make sure their property is operating as efficiently as possible.  This reduces the amount of solar panels or wind turbines needed to achieve the desired results.  In the end, you will either end up buying less equipment or getting more equipment for the same price to power your home or business more effectively. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Living And Working In Sustainable Environments - Introduction

Note - This is a guest blog article by Klaus Bollmann.  Klaus is a 30 year veteran in energy conservation and is the Chairman and CEO of Ringdale, who manufactures our excellent line of ActiveLED Lighting.  We are happy to share his thoughts on our blog.

In 1977 I tried to get into alternative energy, mainly because Uninterruptible Power Supplies were not available and computers did not like frequent power failures, so was considering fuel cells as using hydrogen and oxygen to create electrical energy appeared to me a good way of creating electrical energy without environmental impact. Siemens in Germany held significant patents on that technology so I contacted the patent holder within Siemens only to hear "we are in nuclear energy right now - we have no wish to further develop or make fuel cell technology available to anyone" - that was that. So in 1978 I went on to my city to get planning permission to add Photo Voltaic (PV) solar panels to the roof structure, as I wanted to produce my own electricity, when the local authority came back to say "you can do that but be advised we will also cut you off all other utilities, water, sewer and refuse collection" - and that was that.
Now times have changed but a little of that attitude still persists today. Energy providers that were trusted with the management of federal funds will apply them only to schemes that will keep the dependence on the energy provider. For example, offer re-distribution of federal funds for grid connected Solar PV generation only but not for off-grid solar. Although, both equally save generation requirement, in fact the off-grid solution saves more than the on-grid solution. Also grid connected systems have a separate meter that the electricity company charges you, the supplier, a monthly additional meter rent so they can measure what you have provided. They also control what they are willing to pay to you for the generated energy and their contracts often force you to provide a minimum amount of energy a year keeping you responsible for the upkeep of the solar panels and inverters. So bottom line - using the grid for storage is a raw deal.
Many people I asked believe that a sustainable working environment means sweating in overheated rooms in the summer and chilling in the winter, having dim light and going back to poorly lit neighborhoods. Well, that is no longer the case if you are willing to employ the latest in technology and controls managing your energy use automatically. I found that despite the availability of sustainable technology that assists in achieving sustainable work and living environments the biggest obstacle is that people believe it is too good to be true and the second biggest obstacle is that people do not like change, even is the change is for the better or has no negative qualitative impact.
I am working and living in a super-efficient environment, which has been created in part from components of the company I worked for and from other commonly available goods like high-efficiency insulation of walls and ceilings, painting the roof and walls white on the outside (we live in Texas), 3000 gallon sealed underground water tanks for the air conditioning system, LightSpace Management and Building Automation Controls.
Working in this environment is actually a pleasant surprise as the rooms are adequately cool in the summer and warm in the winter, the lighting is adjustable to the level the people working in the area are comfortable with. This means sometimes a little less and sometimes a little more light depending on the task at hand, the mood and the supplemental daylight available. Conference rooms where you just walk in and the light comes on, the air condition turns on to higher level dealing with additional heat to be removed. Hallways that dim if nobody occupies them. Hot water produces cold in the water loop that can be used by the air conditioning system to cool another room. Cold storage and server farms that heat the buildings in the winter. All this is not utopia but possible today at insignificant extra cost as systems that facilitate such designs have become more developed.
It is easier to plan and build sustainable structures than to convert existing structures to be super-efficient. However, either way it is far easier than getting a man to the moon. Things to consider on a new build are summarized below and detailed in separate articles in this series:
Hopefully soon electrical companies will embrace low voltage wiring more than they do today and I have to re-write this paragraph. If you can separate your home or office wiring into three categories, 48V-DC low voltage (LV) for Lighting and 48V-DC Air Conditioning, 120V-AC for computers and wall sockets, 240V-AC for Air Conditioning and Heating. The lighting should be LV wiring to a central point where you can have the power supplies for the lighting, a good lighting technology the LED will never fail but the Power Supply using current available technology eventually will.
Load Balancing
In some environments energy providers offer significantly lower rates at night times if you already have a DC battery system for your PV or Wind generator you may be able to supplement with cheap grid energy. We have compiled the electricity providers in North America allowing such arrangements.
Energy Storage
If you use Solar PV, Wind or both you need to have a space for batteries, preferably accessible from the outside so that you can change and maintain batteries conveniently. There are a number of battery types suitable for short-term storage and repeated discharge and a compromise between cost and performance has to be made.
To be super-efficient means you have to do things differently which, unfortunately today, a run-off-the-mill Air Conditioning Contractor will not subscribe to. To convert an existing system can be challenging, not insurmountable but definitely challenging. The Mechanical Challenges Section is divided into Equatorial Plus/Minus 30 and North and South of 30° as there are different challenges depending on the climate region that the system has to operate in. A third section deals with fresh air and plenum ventilation.
Building Fabric
The fabric of the building matters little to the efficiency and can be metal, artificial materials, or natural products like wood or stone or a combination thereof, whatever is the most cost-effective in your region and for your purpose.
Insulation Materials
The insulation material between your outer fabric and your sheet-rock wall is what matters. The most efficient material available today is called an Aerogel, this is not a brand but the type of material which has extreme durability and heat insulation properties within the likely operating temperatures in any environment on planet Earth. There are water repellant varieties of the material which are best for regions where high humidity and dampness are main features of the local climate.
What Is Right For Your Region
I like to classify the world into two major regions, from the Equator to 30° North and South and the region above 31° North and South. Conventional and sustainable systems do not apply to the sub-arctic or arctic regions of the World.
Return Of Investment
The number of misinformation and the excuses used by propagates of the consume society to obscure or redefine the meaning of Return Of Investment or ROI is mind-boggling. There is only one scientific way for ROI which will be discussed in this article ROI of Sustainable Environments, which clearly shows the payback can be significantly better than any conventional planned obsolescence model.
Klaus Bollmann is a 30 year veteran in energy conservation, resource saving innovative products for a sustainable environment. Click the link If you are interested in Ringdale DC Systems high performance 48V DC products or ActiveLED 48V DC capapable lighting systems.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not All LED Lights Are Created Equal

One Stop Green Editor's Note:  This article is written by CEO of Ringdale, Klaus Bollmann, whose company manufactures the longest lasting LED lights in the world.

This article is an introduction to the world of LED Lighting and Controls. I will follow up with more articles specific to various lighting and control issues that you may have in your environment. The technology discussed is truly leading to a sustainable lighting environment guiding away from the consumption model.
In 2007 anyone who could put a white LED onto a Printed Circuit Board tried to sell a light bulb replacement. Having been involved with laser diode design and in specific blue lasers in their early stages I had a high curiosity whether those devices could replace the light bulb or fluorescent tube.
Like others we attempted to make a light bulb replacement only to find out that the cost of the technology is still very high and in order to justify that cost the device would have to be more efficient than a fluorescent tube and keep its light output for a very long time to get a return of investment.
Deeply understanding the quantum physics involved I knew that the junction where the light is created, that is deep in the solid state structure, had to be kept rather cool to not get damaged over time by heat and to perform with high efficiency.
When we saw all players not to care about efficiency or keeping their devices cool but to try and develop a light bulb with a slightly longer life but not too much longer, the opportunity arose to make a very long lasting light fixture. We are talking 10 years plus without light degradation or change in color.
Fortunately we also came from the networking arena so we developed a protocol of communication between the light fixtures that allows uniform dimming over an infinite number of devices by one low cost dimming device.
Imagine that in future a supermarket does not have to change its light fixtures every 3 years but can leave them in place for 15 years or more, no more light bulbs or tubes to be replaced.
Oh by the way, LEDs do not have Mercury like fluorescent tubes and "Energy Saving" lamps. The wattage on the fixture is the actual wattage consumed unlike your "Energy Saver" bulb that consumes 30..50% more than advertised.
To further cement commitment to the environment manufacturers should recycle all their product as long as the user finds a way to get it to a recycling centre and guarantee to pay back to the customer a recycling value on return. All parts of our light fixtures are 100% recyclable and in fact the aluminium in our lights is 100% recycled aluminium.
However, it is difficult for the non-specialist person to understand that not all LED devices are created equal and to recognize what is marketing hype and what is real. The DOE or Energy Star are not helping as they lag years behind technology and generally support the consumption model brands rather than lasting and really efficient technology to the point of being hostile to new and better technologies.
Our struggle is to educate that LED is not always better but good LED product like ActiveLED are better than any other LED or conventional lighting product in the market today. In conclusion, not all LED light fixtures are created equal and only very few have a non-consumption model. Our brand ActiveLED has all light fixtures guaranteed to be designed to last more than 10 years while maintaining their light output and efficiency of its power supply also known as drivers.
Klaus Bollmann is a 30 year veteran in energy conservation, resource saving and innovative products for a sustainable environment.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Greening My Apartment

I recently had the pleasure of moving into a new apartment and my goal has become to make it as green as possible. One of the first elements I look to address is the lighting. Why lighting first?  Lighting is one of the easiest ways to cut energy use in a home.  There are 2 ceiling fans with 3 light sockets each on them, and the apartment came with 60W incandescent bulbs in each socket, equaling 180W of total lighting per fixture!  I simply replaced those 60W incandescent bulbs with 13W CFLs.  The 3 CFLs in the fixture equal less energy use than one of the incandescent bulbs, which means I get nearly instant savings.  Even more attractive was my utility company’ offer to cover some of the cost. You see, my local utility company offers rebate program for switching to CFLs, so I get money back for making my apartment more energy efficient. Everyone, including the environment and perhaps most importantly my pocket books, win in this scenario.

Obviously lighting is the first choice, but what other ways can I make my apartment more efficient?  Well, your AC use plays a big part of that.  Living in Texas means it’s HOT, and I mean HOT! So you can imagine it’s hard to ever want to lay off my AC, but I generally try to manage my air conditioner use to when I am actually in the apartment. Now I like it COLD, but when I am leaving the apartment, I turn off of change the AC setting to Auto so as to limit the amount of time its in operation.  In addition, I use ceiling fans and other fans to help move air around the house and keep it cooler.

Another way to keep my energy bills down is to take advantage of natural light.  I specifically chose an apartment that has ample light so I can just open the blinds and naturally light my room. This contributes to the energy savings I already generate when I switched to CFL bulbs as they are only on in the evening.

Finally and perhaps the most literal way to make my apartment ‘green’ is to bring in some plant life. Plants offer a natural filtration system and the fresh air does wonders for my indoor air quality. A few plants not only add to the d├ęcor, but bring in some much needed freshness to my apartment!

What are some ways you make your home more Green and efficient?  Tell me, maybe I’ll borrow some of your ideas and adapt them to my own apartment.  I’m going to try and blog more, so are there any topics you would like me to write about?  Let me know in the comments below!