Forestry lab ups bar for green labs at UW

January 28, 2014

A soils lab that schedules fieldwork to minimize car trips, reuses sampling containers and recycles soils and leftover plant material has achieved the highest score yet in the University of Washington’s 10-month-old Green Laboratory certification program.

With an overall score of 95 percent, Tom DeLuca’s environmental and forest sciences lab has just topped the 93 percent previously earned by a UW Bothell chemistry instructional lab.

UW Tower Data Center Now ENERGY STAR Certified

December 9, 2013

The UW Tower Data Center is one of just 27 data centers in the country to have earned a 2013 ENERGY STAR Certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This recognizes reduced power consumption, lowered carbon footprint, and slower growth of future power needs. The Tower Data Center, operated by UW-IT, provides managed space, power and cooling of critical infrastructure supporting IT departments campus-wide. The UW is one of only two universities in the country to have ever received this certification.

Peak Oil May Keep Catastrophic Climate Change in Check

October 29, 2013

Even as governments worldwide have largely failed to limit emissions of global warming gases, the decline of fossil fuel production may reduce those emissions significantly, experts said yesterday during a panel discussion at the Geological Society of America meeting.

Conventional production of oil has been on a plateau since 2005, said James Murray, a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington, who chaired the panel.

Public Invited to Workshops on Tool Supporting Sustainable Biomass Energy Industry

September 30, 2013

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in partnership with the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (UW SEFS) will be holding four technical workshops on how to use the web-based Washington State Biomass Calculator – a tool for emerging sustainable energy businesses.

At the UW, smart grids put a lid on energy use

September 26, 2013

Since 2007, the Department of Energy has authorized billions in matching grants to fund smart-grid demonstration projects across the country. The University of Washington recently received $5.1 million of these funds to partner with Seattle City Light, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and McKinstry in the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, a $178 million venture spanning Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Regulating electron ‘spin’ may be key to making organic solar cells competitive

August 7, 2013

Organic solar cells that convert light to electricity using carbon-based molecules have shown promise as a versatile energy source but have not been able to match the efficiency of their silicon-based counterparts.

Now, researchers have discovered a synthetic, high-performance polymer that behaves differently from other tested materials and could make inexpensive, highly efficient organic solar panels a reality.