RP Siegel

RP Siegel
RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.
Rain Mountain LLC
14 620
Rochester, NY

Posts by This Writer

1 year 7 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) SolarCity is the nation’s largest solar provider. Among the reasons for that are some of their innovative, community-oriented programs, like their GivePower Foundation which provides a free solar system and battery to a school without electricity for every MW of solar that they install. Through interactions with some of the communities they work in, they came to realize...

1 year 8 months ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - With the solar investment tax credit (ITC) recently extended for five years, it would seem that the coast is now clear for the solar boom to continue expanding at an ever-accelerating pace. After all, with these tax credits in place, coupled to the fact that solar prices continue to fall, the solar option just keeps getting more attractive to homeowners from coast to coast. The biggest question...

1 year 8 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) -- Most people think that concentrating solar thermal (CSP) power plants must be large and expensive. Systems are generally based on very large steam turbines with a high overhead cost that can only be amortized over large scale production rates (typically 50-100MW, or more). This amount of power requires thousands of reflectors spread out over a large area. That means it will most likely be sited in some remote area, far from where the power will be used, thereby subject to significant transmission losses.

Aora Solar has developed a different kind of CSP technology that breaks out of this mold.

“Our strategy,”...

1 year 8 months ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - Just about every start up has to face the dreaded “Valley of Death,” the time that comes after they have demonstrated their idea and before they are producing it at significant scale and generating revenue. Generally speaking, money has been borrowed, payments are due on rent, employee salaries, commercial licenses and various other expenses. If the borrowed money runs out before significant revenue starts coming in, then it’s usually game over.

Furthermore, when the product you are hoping to replace, is not only mature, with a massive infrastructure and active investment that has, despite soaring demand,...

1 year 8 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - While few were looking, and while there seemed to be little energy news beyond the occasional automotive announcement (which most people dismiss as a futuristic longshot), fuel cells have quietly been finding valuable niches, particularly in the industrial world.

A recent report by the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association says that 9% of Fortune 500 companies and...

1 year 9 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - While there can be no question that the agreement reached in Paris was historic, and by most measures successful, there were those that felt that without having implemented a global carbon tax, it fell short of the mark. These folks, whose numbers include Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and Greenpeace’s Kumi Naidoo, did not waste any time to seize the moment to come out with a fresh call for a “...

1 year 9 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Once the COP21 agreements are hammered out and signed, there will surely be celebration that the words point to commitments that whole world is finally taking the problem seriously and that the pace of progress will undoubtedly be increased. It won’t be perfect, but it will certainly be the best agreement we’ve had yet.

Then there will be the morning after, when the party’s over, when we all wake up and get back to work and try to figure out, what exactly are we going to do now. Let’s take a look at what some countries that, while clearly not the largest emitters, have taken action early and effectively, and...

1 year 9 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Mostly, we think of the Internet, the cloud and the explosion of mobile technology as things that save us energy: letting our fingers do the walking, avoiding unnecessary trips, being more precise when we do go looking for something, and buying online. And for the most part, that is the case. Those UPS trucks running up and down your street, even though they are bigger than anything you’re driving (I would hope), they are running a specific route that passes near your house anyway. That makes them more efficient...

1 year 10 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - In many ways, Africa has taken a technological leap over the rest of the world, with cell phones ubiquitously deployed and mobile payment system well entrenched. The only problem is that with all this great technology, there is hardly any place to plug it in.

Since most people are off the grid, they have to pay to charge their phones and the amount they pay is extremely high. According to Scientific American, it typically costs an African as much to charge their phone once as we would spend...

1 year 10 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Here is a great example of the changing of the guard in the energy sector. Concerns about air pollution, cost, and theft have led telecom companies in China to swap out their diesel generators and replace them with vanadium flow batteries as a power source for their rapidly expanding cellular network.

The company providing the batteries is Imergy Power Systems. I spoke with Imergy President and COO Tim Hennessey. He said that by...