Sprout technology vying for award

Published 12:32 am Friday, January 13, 2012

The technology behind the Sprout Weather Kiosk next to the North Carolina Estuarium has been nominated for an Innovative Technology Renewable Energy Excellence Award by Renewable Energy World.

Late last year, with support from the Energy Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce and many others, Washington installed its kiosk Dec. 9.

The Sprout Weather Kiosk includes technology — developed in eastern North Carolina — that has been nominated for a renewable energy-related award. (WDN File Photo/Mike Voss)

“Please help us beat the rest of the country and draw attention to a product designed and manufactured in our own backyard,” reads an email from the city.

To vote for Sprout (as its referred to on the list of nominees), visit http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/awards/2012/vote.

The winner will receive the Readers’ Choice Award at the Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards ceremony, which takes place during the Renewable Energy World North America Conference & Expo in Long Beach, Calif., Feb. 14-16.

The kiosk is used to educate students and others about wind power and solar power. It includes solar panels, a wind turbine and weather station. It is designed to withstand winds up to 130 mph.

It was invented by a team of architects, boat-builders and engineers from eastern North Carolina, two of which live in Washington.

“The data generated from all three components serves an exhibit to educate students and the general public,” reads a city memorandum. “The integrated information appears on an intuitive dashboard to help connect weather to the renewable energy it can produce. The stand-alone kiosk is powered by its energy systems to go anywhere with minimal infrastructure coordination. The Sprout kiosk connects technology and information seamlessly transforming the process for learning about clean energy. The full size components are easy to see and Sprout displays real time data on its screen and through a web-interface to any location.”

“At Sprout Energy, we recognize the tremendous need to demystify renewable energy and have it become more familiar in daily life. People are hearing a lot about clean energy, but not many have experienced it up close or can connect it to the weather around them,” reads a blog on the Sprout Energy Corp. website. “We know from our conversations with students and other passer(s)by that conversations about renewable energy often turns to a conversation about consumption and further energy efficiency. Those conversations are the ones that we hope will impact new energy choices.”

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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