Greentech Media covers seismic shifts in renewable energy policy and technology but the greening of industry comes in smaller, incremental steps as well.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are challenging incandescents and halogens in a variety of lighting applications – in the home
and on the street
. LEDs last longer, burn less electricity and produce less heat.
Now, LEDs are set to replace those emergency flares that burn at traffic accidents and that’s good for the environment and for emergency worker safety.
Ken Dueker is the founder and CEO of PowerFlare, a maker of innovative safety beacons. As a cop, he was, “annoyed at the traditional 'dynamite stick' roadflare and its safety to police officers and the public.???
The current low-tech emergency flare burns
for about 20 minutes and uses perchlorate as a propellant. (Perchlorate is also used in munitions, rocketry and fireworks.) Perchlorate is water soluble, really toxic
and when it rains, perchlorate is washed right into ground water and drinking wells. Some states have set a drinking water safety limit of two parts per billion of the stuff.
, a self-funded Silicon Valley start-up, is one of several firms trying to replace the traditional flare with LED-based-beacons marketed to the police, military, and first responders. In addition to the environmental reasons for switching, there’s also the issue of exploding police cars
and flaming policemen
Ken Dueker, PowerFlare’s CEO and his firm build a donut
-sized, ultra rugged LED beacon that is shipping in volume to a variety of customers. In order to prove that the device can withstand the rigors of the real world, Ken has unsuccessfully tried to blow it up with C4 explosive
and run it over with a fire truck
and a tank.
is a former Venture Capitalist and has learned enough from that experience to avoid VCs. He is also an active-duty reserve police officer with the Palo Alto California Police Dept and understands the risks of that job.
PowerFlare has already sold tens of thousands of their device to police departments, fire departments, private citizens, bicyclists and scuba divers.