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To Greenbuild We Will Go!

With the tremendous growth of the Greenbuild community, the Greenbuild 2010 Conference occupied the entire McCormick Place West in Chicago, Illinois. As one of the first cities to adopt LEED for public buildings and the city that is home to more LEED-certified buildings than any other, Chicago is truly committed to leadership as a "next-generation" city – the perfect place to celebrate being part of Generation Green. Together, we will define what the future looks like in cities and towns around the world! Nextek was proud to be at the Greenbuild Conference in the EMerge Alliance booth showing off our new Power Server Module Model 1600 C-2 that was running the DC power to the booth!

Nextek at Greenbuild 2010

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Nextek Participates in Connected Vehicle Trade Association Summit

The Connected Vehicle Trade Association in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Transportation and SAE International hosted The Second International Summit on the State of the Connected Vehicle with a Primary Focus on Policy and Strategy for Deployment. The first day emphasized policy, funding, issues and strategies to accelerate deployments regionally and internationally, and the second day addressed near term business opportunities, vehicle to grid connectivity and insurance telematics. The Summit brought together senior executives and policy officials from government and industry with responsibility for the deployment and operation of Connected Vehicle programs systems and products. Presenters from Europe, Asia and North America provided perspectives from their respective regions. In addition, major corporate business leaders from automotive companies, the technology supplier community and communication companies discussed the business and partnering opportunities in this rapidly evolving environment. This event will brought together the international public and private sector leadership with responsibility for deployment in the connected vehicle environment.

Paul Savage, Nextek CEO, was a featured speaker at the event and brought his expertise on DC power solutions and vehicle to grid connectivity.

Specific questions the summit was expected to answer include:

  • Deployment schedules including costs, product and service introduction schedules and installation projections locations
  • International variations on business models for vehicle and roadside deployments
  • Regional perspectives of deployment, policy, and business models
  • Near term and longer term benefits regarding congestion, safety, environmental issues and economic development
  • Wide area connectivity and other networks, and the interface of DSRC to ITS networks
  • Highlights of short term business opportunities in the US and internationally.
  • New development in Insurance Telematics and data analytics
  • Updates on the advances in vehicle to grid connectivity

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Nextek Enters GE's Ecomagination Challenge

GE’s Ecomagination Challenge is a $200 million call-to-action for businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students to share their best ideas and come together to take on one of the world’s toughest challenges – building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century. Organizations and individuals may enter as many ideas as they wish in the three categories: Renewables, Grid Efficiency and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings between July 13 and September 30, 2010. VOTE FOR OUR IDEA BY CLICKING BELOW:

Use Power How and Where it is Generated

The idea: Nextek Power Systems has a simple yet ingenious upgrade to conventional power delivery that applies directly to all categories of the GE Challenge. Nextek’s innovative Direct Current microgrid can be deployed incrementally, improving the overall efficiency, sustainability and reliability of the Smart-Grid and the loads it serves.

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Connectivity Week 2010, Santa Clara, California

Connectivity Week is a collection of events that together focus on the application of Information Technology (IT) on the energy challenges facing the world, challenges as illustrated by climate change and the need for sustainability. Spanning all the major industries and energy consumption areas of commercial, residential, industrial and infrastructure, conference sessions at Connectivity Week explore how IT can be leveraged towards the new energy paradigm facing the world.

Also located at Connectivity Week are a conference and an exposition on key enabling technologies and applications required to make the future energy vision a reality.

Designed for government planners, technology companies, facility developers and owners, consultants and academia – Connectivity Week is an opportunity for stakeholders to network, share “best practices” and develop ideas to solve the world’s energy issues.

Our own Liang Downey was there for the week taking in all of the sights and sounds. According to Liang she often heard “DC power? Yes, I’ve heard of that and it makes sense!” She said it was an incredible opportunity to meet, network and discuss future partnerships. Much is being done in the energy sustainability arena and it’s an exciting time to be involved.

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Nextek Presents at Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association Event

On February 25, 2010, Paul Savage spoke to a group of industry leaders at a Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association "Speaker Program".  The talk focused on "the Emerge Alliance for DC Power Distribution".  The group was given the opportunity to hear about Nextek's exciting partnership with Armstrong and our DC Flexzone ceiling grid as well as other interesting DC news.  We would like to thank Altair Engineering, who hosted and Ilumisys who sponsored this well-attended event.  Thank you!!

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Fascinating Lecture by Thomas Friedman

I was glad to join Debra Jacobson, the Co-Director of the George Washington University Solar Institute, at Thomas Friedman’s lecture on her campus last week. Friedman, a New York Times Columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author based his talk on his book Hot, Flat and Crowded and focused on the need for an Energy Technology (ET) Revolution. This, he says, needs to be forceful and eventful, like the IT revolution was, leaving companies like the Digital Equipment Corporation in its wake. He argues that there needs to be, necessarily, stranded ideas and assets in this revolution, like old utility business models and a few veins of coal, I am guessing. The force of Mr. Friedman’s talk was exciting for me because it’s sounds like a good preamble to our business plan to bring solar PV to commodity use through DC Microgrids. Higher efficiency for renewables and stored power, greater independence and choice for customers, benefits for the grid as it’s designed today are all consequences of this shift, which sounds like a revolution to me. Guest Blogger: Paul Savage, CEO, Nextek Power Systems

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Paul Savage at the Green Building Power Forum

Last week Paul Savage, Nextek CEO, participated in the Green Building Power Forum put on by the Darnell Group, this year out in Santa Ana, CA.  It’s the third GBPF; the first was in Anaheim, the second in Tokyo.  While the attendance was flat (apparently a good sign amidst the economic doldrums) it was an indicator of swift movement in the DC power realm.  The EMerge Alliance was a sponsor along with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Roal Electronics from Italy.  Big news was the bump in attendance from Japanese corporations.  Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu, NTT Facilities and JETIA were all there, following their successful conference in Tokyo a few months ago, where it was announced that the country was adopting a 380 volt DC standard for data center applications.  Now – in the Japanese press anyway – several demos of DC single family homes are underway.  The US had just one building materials manufacturer in attendance.  We have plans to build a DC model home soon with some top-drawer US partners, hopefully some collaboration with our Japanese colleagues and some German outfits that have cut the path on modern passive strategies for ultra efficient building design.

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Nextek CEO to be Featured at MSSLA Event

Nextek Power Sytems CEO, Paul Savage, will be the featured speaker at a Michigan Solid State Lighting Association networking event on February 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm. at the Altair Engineering Headquarters, 1820 East Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48083. The topic is: “The EMerge Alliance for DC Power Distribution” and it will be focused on the benefit to LED technology vendors. Please join us! DTE Energy is a founding member of MSSLA.

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Nextek Heads to Anaheim for Green Building Power Forum

This month Paul Savage, CEO of Nextek Power Systems, will be headed to Anaheim, California to participate in the Second Annual Green Building Power Forum sponsored by the Darnell Group. This year's forum will consider all aspects of building power including both high-voltage and low-voltage DC distribution, hybrid AC and DC distribution architectures, and DC microgrids. Our very own Paul Savage will be participating in a round table discussion titled "How to Accelerate the Adoption of DC Power Distribution".  Other events sponsored by the Darnell Group have been very successful, including the DC Building Power Japan conference this past December. This first annual conference included numerous important "firsts" including the first comprehensive review of DC power architectures for homes, data centers and microgrids. The first joint meeting of the EPRI DC Power Partners and the Japan DC Power Industrial Partners. The approval of a provisional standard for 380v DC data centers and the first public tours of high-voltage DC powered data centers...very exciting news!

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We're Headed To Phoenix For The Greenbuild Conference.

As EMerge Alliance members, we plan to attend and promote our mission at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on November 11-13, 2009, in Phoenix, AZ. The main theme of this year’s event is how green building can and must come home to all people, as it will boost the quality of life on main streets across the country and around the world. This conference, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), brings together more than 25,000 people each year to advance the conversation about how we can build a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-effective, energy-efficient, water-saving green buildings. The conference will begin with a powerful Keynote address by the honorable Al Gore followed by a performance by Grammy winner and environmental activist Cheryl Crowe.

Although the poor economy has reduced attendance at events like this all year, the Greenbuild Expo anticipates large crowds and enthusiastic participation. And it’s no wonder: with a community of 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations that employ some 14 million people, and more than 131,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010.

We’ll be there November 10th, in the EMerge Alliance booth (booth #2252, from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.) discussing and demonstrating the benefits of the new EMerge Alliance Standard: the first roadmap for the utilization of safe, low-voltage DC power in commercial interiors. This new industry standard allows the buildings of today to adapt to the needs of tomorrow by defining critical physical and electrical requirements that help achieve energy efficiency through the use of DC power distribution.

We look forward to spreading the word about DC power to the thousands of green building enthusiasts we’ll meet at this exciting, innovative and influential conference.

For detailed information about the new EMerge Alliance Standard, visit www.EMergeAlliance.org.

For more information about the conference, visit www.greenbuildingexpo.org.

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Promoting Hybrid Power Distribution At IMFA.

We were in Orlando, FL, this week to give a presentation at the International Facility Management Association’s (IMFA) World Workplace 2009 Conference & Expo, an annual three-day educational and networking event focused on the future of the built environment. This multi-national, multi-disciplined forum covered workplace challenges, trends and new products and services impacting the workplace throughout 2010 and beyond. Topics included energy efficiency, techniques for protecting your business from workplace data breaches, and methods for cutting facility costs and increasing productivity.

We were there to check out what’s new in the industry and to host a presentation called “A hybrid approach to building power: adding DC to power to interior architecture” with our EMerge Alliance partners Brian Patterson, of Armstrong World Industries, Paula Ziegenbein, of OSRAM SYLVANIA, and Joel Zwier, of Steelcase Inc.

Our presentation covered a variety of power distribution issues and demonstrated how AC/DC hybrid coupled power systems:

  • Embrace trends in alternative energy;
  • Enhance efficiency, flexibility and sustainability;
  • Offer better reliability and lower energy costs.

In short, we explained that AC/DC hybrid systems offer benefits to: the community (in the form of easier access to alternative energy sources); building owners and facility mangers (in the form of decreased installation costs, increased sustainability and easier reconfigurations); and to individuals (in the form of safety, reliability and flexibility). This hybrid approach to power distribution is the way of the future as it provides an easy, efficient way to produce, distribute and use power in an increasingly DC driven world.

To learn more about the World Workplace 2009 expo, or for a complete list of conference details, visit www.worldworkplace.org.

For more information about the importance of DC power, visit the Emerge Alliance website at www.emergealliance.org.

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Nextek Promotes DC Power At GridWeek 2009

Nextek’s Chief Technical Officer, Ben Hartman, was in Washington, DC last week to attend GridWeek 2009. Sponsored by the GridWise Alliance and the Department of Energy, GridWeek is an annual event that gives organizations and businesses the opportunity to focus on the Smart Grid and its development across the nation. The Smart Grid is important to the Nextek community because once the infrastructure is in place, it will enable the same rapid deployment of innovative services that we saw after mobile wireless and the Internet appeared in the 1990’s. The overall aims of the Smart Grid are to improve stability, security, efficiency, demand response and the integration of distributed resources such as renewables. The Smart Grid alone will not achieve these goals just as the Internet itself doesn’t make a Google, eBay or Amazon. Rather, the Smart Grid is the Energy Internet that will foster the development of new services that can easily set incentives for customers to save energy and money, often without their direct intervention or inconvenience.

Customers will be able to connect Solar Photovoltaic arrays and small wind turbines more easily. Utilities will be required to provide standardized data to customers (and authorized third parties) that shows historical and real-time consumption, what tariff the customer is on and what other tariffs are available. Perhaps most important, utilities can provide pricing signals in real-time to customers who are in a Critical Peak Pricing period (usually a hot summer afternoon) giving them an opportunity to be eligible for bonus payments if they reduced their load during those few hours.

US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu and US Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke were the featured keynote speakers of the event and many industry experts were also there to educate the attendees about how the Smart Grid will be created and implemented (i.e. its infrastructure), as well as how it will integrate distributed generation technologies such as solar PV, small wind and fuel cells. Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt was also there and compared the emergence of the new energy grid’s infrastructure and applications to the tremendous upheavals that transformed the wireless and internet world during his watch at FCC.

Here at Nextek we feel that the Smart Grid won’t be nearly as smart or efficient, until it provides consumers with an easy way to integrate the power they pull from the grid with power generated from distributed generation and renewable sources such as solar PV, wind turbine and fuel cells. What this will do is provide consumers with a way to use alternative energy sources and energy storage at peak demand times – reducing their costs as well as reducing demand at the utility, thus negating the utility’s need to build additional power plants to meet that demand.

With Nextek’s Direct Current (DC) building networks, we take and use all the power when, where and how it is created. DC from solar photovoltaic arrays goes directly to fluorescent and LED lighting, DC-input variable speed drives for fans and pumps, as well as all the electronics in the building. Battery storage, a natively DC device, can be used to back up this DC network during black-outs or even during those critical peak pricing events to reduce the load you demand from the utility. Batteries on a DC network are inherently more efficient because you do not have to convert their power from DC to AC to use them.

So we’re all for the Smart Grid and the efficient distributed generation sources that will be incorporated into our national system soon. But we also need to think about when, where and how this power is generated and used. It turns out that Edison was right! Keeping power as DC within the building is a better way to meet the high energy demands of our increasingly digital world.

For more information about GridWeek 2009, visit www.gridweek.com.

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