After a ban of telecom technologies from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a bipartisan group of senators in the US, urged the government to block the company from supplying solar energy generators to the United States.
Eleven lawmakers sent a letter on Monday to the Department of Homeland Security and Energy department to ban Huawei’s attempt to provide solar inverters that convert solar energy to power that can be used on power grids for U. S. energy companies.
In a letter, the senators said that these technologies are ‘vulnerable to cyber attacks’.
The letter was signed by Republican Senators John Cornyn, Richard Burr, James Risch, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Mitt Romney as well as Democratic Senators Mark Warner, Dianne Feinstein, and Independent Angus King.
“Both large-scale photovoltaic systems and those used by homeowners, school districts, and businesses are equally vulnerable to cyber attacks. Our federal government should consider a ban on the use of Huawei inverters in the United States,” the lawmakers said in a letter.
The company is considerably new in the solar power market. However, it has developed a new generation of low-cost inverters that can convert solar power to electricity from home systems.
In the past, the US has banned Huawei from supplying telecommunication equipment like routers and switches to US service providers after they accuse the company of violating U.S. sanction on Iran and conspiring to steal U. S. technologies.
Furthermore, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has recently said that Huawei ‘threatens the ability of Europe to work alongside with the US”.
“We have spent time not just in this ministerial of Warsaw last week where we had some real success,” he said. “But over the past months, we’ve been out around the world just making sure everyone had the same information, that countries understand the risk of putting this Huawei technology into their IT systems.”
Although faced with pushback from European countries, Trump Administration has been warning other countries of the potential risk the company might bring. /apr
Inductive Charging On Cell Phones and Cars, But Apple Wants True Wireless Charging
Toothbrushes have had a more advanced feature than most top of the line cell phones.
Inductive charging has been a standard on many high end toothbrushes since the 90’s. Just set the brush on the stand and it charges wirelessly from the magnetic base. The first major cell phone to accomplish the task was the Palm Pre in 2009 and we are just in the past year getting the technology on more phones.
Recently released phones from Nokia, Google and HTC are finally embracing the technology. Yes, you could have used the Energizer version or the PowerPad, but they required a bulky sleeve to be worn around the phone.
A new patent filed by Apple suggests that they are working on a wireless charging method that works truly over wireless. The abstract of the patent is below and explains the ability to charge via NFMR around a distance of 1 meter. Apple called the idea a “realistic and practical approach to wireless transferring.”
“Various embodiments of a wirelessly powered local computing environment are described. The wireless powered local computing environment includes at least a near field magnetic resonance (NFMR) power supply arranged to wirelessly provide power to any of a number of suitably configured devices. In the described embodiment’s the devices arranged to receive power wirelessly from the NFMR power supply must be located in a region known as the near field that extends no further than a distance D of a few times a characteristic size of the NFMR power supply transmission device. Typically, the distance D can be on the order of 1 meter or so.”
The most recent iPhone 5 omitted a wireless charging method. Apple could be waiting for this new wireless technology to be more feasible. Details are scarce, but it could be implemented into future Apple mobile products.
Qi charging is the current leading standard and it is featured in the Nokia’s Lumia 820 and 920, Google Nexus 4, Motorola DNA and HTC’s Windows Phone 8X. Older HTC, Samsung and Motorola phones featured the technology, but did not advertise them as so. Most of these, like the Palm, required the consumer to purchase a different compatible back to work with available chargers.
Toyota recently announced that the 2013 Avalon will be the first U.S. vehicle to include the Qi standard. It will allow any of the phones with built in Qi compatibility to charge by placing it on the console pad. Popular phones that are not Qi compatible have 3rd party sleeves that can be installed to achieve compatibility.
The main competition to the Qi standard is in the form of the Alliance for Wireless Power, or A4WP for short. This group consists of large companies that include Qualcomm, Samsung, SanDisk, PowerMat, Deutsche Telekom and Broadcom.
How long will it be until we can charge our phones while they are in our pockets or just near the source? No one really knows, but i’m sure most are anxious for the technology.
Apple wireless charging Patent
Apple filed for a patent for an inductive charging dock. Apple, to date, has not deployed a wireless charging system for its devices, but there is some speculation that it could introduce an inductive charging dock potentially for the next generation iPhone.
Annapolis Maryland Massive Substation Explosion Puts 46,000 Without Power During Outage [video]
People are all a buzz about the massive power outage that just hit Annapolis Maryland in Anne Arundel County. So far the total number of people without power in Maryland is up to 46,000 people. The specific timing of the power outage has people speculating and making jokes about the end of the world on December 21st, 2012 coming early to Maryland.
UPDATE: Baltimore Sun is now saying that the number is up to 70,000 homes and businesses in Maryland after a disruption to two main lines servicing the area.
Many people on Twitter are hashtagging their tweets as they talk about the Maryland transformer explosion with things like: #endoftheworld #itsstarting and more. While Twitter is sharing all the drastic and dramatic sides of the lights in the sky and the transformer explosion in Annapolis, official reports are more specific.
A radio station in Maryland WTOP 103.5 FM talked to Baltimore Gas & Electric and confirmed that it was, “two main feeders into Annapolis” that went down and that crews were en route to fix the problem. BGE didn’t confirm there were fires from the explosion.
If you think the flashing lights and dramatic social media statuses are all an “End of the World” Hoax for the Mayan 2012 day, YouTube videos show the explosions are definitely real. One video was listed by RideThaWave on YouTube and was simply titled, “Generators go outn Annapolis.” The explosion was quiet large and could be seen as red, blue, yellow and white flashes the lit up the entire sky until the entire city went pitch black into a dark cover. The men in the video showed people running after the explosion was over and commenting it wasn’t the end of the world from the Mayans but the New World Order.
Another video titled, “Annapolis, MD Explosion” shares some profanity as someone sees the explosion on the other side of their house. The people in the video start laughing about the end of the world. Many videos from around the Maryland area are being released in real-time through Twitter and YouTube. We’ll share the videos and some tweets that people are sending out below:
Generators go out in Annapolis
One comment on this specific video said, “Out here in Annapolis it was VERY bright…like daytime, red blue and yellow. All my neighbors drove away screaming. People were on their porches just staring in awe…being the eve of 12/21, I’m sure I can speak for many people when I say we had second thoughts like “wow, the world is really going to end!” LOL”
Another comment just a couple of minutes ago said, “Nice shot! I’m in West Annapolis and saw the sky glowing from this…apparently the substation across from Annapolis Mall “blew up.””
Annapolis, MD Explosion
Annapolis, MD: Crazy Lights in the sky.
Sky was flashing, and there’s a huge power outage on the night before December 21, 2012!
Apocalypse Near Annapolis
Crazy colors on the horizon. What the heck was that?
Tweets from the Annapolis Explosion:
BREAKING: Large power outage leaves customers in the dark from Crownsville to Annapolis. No word yet on the cause of the outage.
— 99.1 WNEW(@WNEWNews) December 21, 2012
— Victoria R Coley (@VictoriaRColey) December 21, 2012
Oh good all of Annapolis’ power is out due to giant flashing lights in the sky… That’s not terrifying at all.
— P.H. Beats (@phbeats) December 21, 2012
Confirmation from BGE’s Twitter Account on the Outage:
@traderboone At approx 9 p.m., we lost service to 2 main feeder lines into Annapolis area.
— BGE (@MyBGE) December 21, 2012
Wind Tower Tariffs Disappoint China, Makes US Wind Energy Manufacturers Celebrate
The opposing sides are in complete difference with one side celebrating and one side opposing and condemning new tariffs on wind turbine towers. Multiple trade groups in the United States were celebrating new United States Commerce Department findings that Chinese & Vietnam manufacturers were selling wind turbine towers below the cost of production.
This is not the first time that import tariffs for anti-dumping measures were put in place by the Commerce Department. In May of 2012 tariffs on Chinese wind towers were hit with a 26% tariff that showed they were serious about underpricing the towers to gain an edge on the market.
Stated in a green energy publication called ThinkGreenDegrees.com they said the Commerce Department was raising tariffs all the way up to 73% on wind turbine towers and Vietnam would see rates of 60% on import duties. The markets seemed to react positively to the news of this new tariff increase when a major Wind Energy manufacturer’s stock rose by 13% just hours after the ruling.
On the other side of the world manufacturers in China and Chinese officials are incredibly upset with the new restrictions and duties on exporting their wind technology to the US. Liu Huijuan, the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery & Electronic Products has expressed that the accusation that the wind towers were dumped on the US market under production costs. Ms. Liu told the WSJ, “We are extremely unsatisfied and disappointed with the U.S. decision. The U.S. is trying to protect their own industry amid an economic downturn, without considering the development of the whole industry chain.”
This is a blow to the wind industry in terms of China’s export divisions because of their recent increase in producing towers for American wind farms. It was stated in RechargeNews.com that, “China exported $222.08m in towers to the US in 2011, more than double $103.57m the previous year and up from $177.73m in 2009.” More than doubling their output to the US this could clearly slow down that transition.
Specific duties / tariffs were placed on wind tower imports on companies with different rates. A company called Titan Wind Energy will receive a duty rate of 20.85%, Chengxi Shipyard will get 30.93%, Guodian United Power Technology Baoding and Sinovel Wind Group will get 26.25% and all other Chinese manufactured wind turbine towers will get a default duty rate of 72.69%.
This all comes at a time when the Wind Industry faces challenges on the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit. It is all coming down to politics with an election year boiling to a head before the election with the Mitt Romney Campaign publicly against Wind Energy PTC. The Des Moines Register interviewed the Mitt Romney campaign spokesman, Shawn McCoy which said, “He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits.”
The Obama Campaign has made their position clear with quotes of support showing up in the North American Wind Power publication stating from President Obama, “So I’m here today because, as much progress as we’ve made, that progress is in jeopardy,” he said. “If Congress doesn’t act, those tax credits that I mentioned – the ones that helped build up the wind industry, the ones that helped to bring all these jobs to Newton – those tax credits will expire at the end of the year if Congress doesn’t do anything. If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit. Jobs will be lost. That’s not a guess – that’s a fact. We can’t let that happen.”
While the focus of this article lies with wind turbine towers the bubbling trade war between the United States and China goes much deeper and more serious in other areas. Another area where a lot of contention is rising is in the solar manufacturing business. The European Union is not sitting on it’s laurels either as they have been watching this trade war closely and have been pushing back passing tariffs as well. The solar companies in China have been warning of a coming trade war with the EU and things don’t look to be getting better. Reuters is covering the dispute saying that, “China’s solar firms warned of a trade war on Thursday, calling on the Chinese government to strike back against an anti-dumping complaint filed by rivals in Europe, but the Europeans said they would not be put off by retaliation threats.” What good will come from all of these disputes remains to be seen. Many think the disputes will only slow down the renewable energy sector.
US to impose tariffs on Chinese made wind turbines From May 2012
In Beijing, environmentalists and an industry group slammed the US Commerce Department’s decision to impose import duties on Chinese wind-turbine towers.
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