Energy News January 2023

Are Southern California students and teachers breathing clean air?


The air purifier in teacher Andres’ classroom at MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School in Santa Ana was installed in 2021. But the first time the light went red no new filters could be found, a result of supply chain woes. Now, about two months after installing a replacement, the warning signal is back.

Andres, a sixth-grade math teacher who’s taught in the same class, Room 7, for 30 years, said the air problem isn’t just about COVID-19.

“We have mold issues,” she said. “There are issues like this all over the county. Some of these schools are old.

“Teachers just want to know that the air quality is good,” she added.

The issue isn’t trivial, or misunderstood. Studies have linked dirty air inside of schools — particularly in communities with dirty air outside of schools — to a variety of health conditions and learning delays. It’s also known that a proven, cost-effective way to clean up school air is to improve a school’s ventilation system.

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abstract, multi-colored grid painting

Standardized Metrics to Quantify Solar Energy-Land Relationships: A Global Systematic Review

Recently published journal article by EGG student Alex Cagle seeks to unify disparate reporting efforts on solar-energy land interactions. This effort will standardize research methods to create a better understanding of the comprehensive impacts of solar energy installations on society and for researchers to utilize the totality of data to better understand, characterize and inform solar energy development.

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Aerosol spray nozzle in unfinished home

LD+A Research Matters: Smart & Clean Exterior Lighting for the Community


Researchers at the California Lighting Technology Center are addressing the integration and demonstration of exterior lighting systems with on-board solar generation, battery storage and advanced controls with funding provided by the California Energy Commission’s EPIC program. In other words, “smart and clean” exterior lighting systems.

The research emphasizes how to best leverage mature, demand-side technologies to create a fully integrated, easy-to-install, low-maintenance system that reduces strain on California’s electricity grid. Lighting design practices used with this research prioritize engagement with residents and business owners through local community studies and technology demonstrations in priority communities. Pursuing an inclusive, community-focused relighting strategy can increase safety and use of outdoor areas.

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