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Harbor Freight drills recalled

BY Ken Clark

Cordless drills made in China sold at Harbor Freight Tools from April 2008 through May 2012 are the subject of a recall.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the black rigger switch of the Harbor Freight Tools Cordless Drills can wear down over time and allow for metal to make contact with other metal, causing an overheating or burn hazard.

The product has a 19.2-volt rechargeable battery pack.

Harbor Freight Tools has received one report of a drill overheating and burning through the handle of the unit, which resulted in a consumer receiving a minor injury.

About 108,000 products are affected by the recall.

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In Texas, a solar program expands

BY Ken Clark

ImagineSolar, a licensed solar and smart grid education and advisory services company in Texas, established a training partnership with Ideal Power Converters (IPC), a developer of power converter solutions. 

IPC has patented a new breakthrough power converter topology that will improve both energy and cost efficiency for solar inverters, grid storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, according to both companies. IPC’s initial product is a 94lb 30kW 480VAC PV inverter with 96.5% CEC-weighted efficiency. It can lower inverter shipping and installation costs by 90% compared with conventional transformer-based inverters. 

"We are excited to work with the outstanding team at ImagineSolar," said Paul Bundschuh, CEO for IPC. "ImagineSolar will conduct a lab using our inverter technology and will provide insight into the advantages of bi-polar system design."

ImagineSolar establishes training partnerships with leading manufacturers, distributors, installation companies, training and accreditation organizations to ensure that their courses use the most current technologies and best practices for the solar and smart grid industries.

"IPC is transforming the PV, grid-storage, and electric vehicle fast charging markets with their game-changing Universal Power Converter Platform(TM)," said Michael Kuhn, ImagineSolar Founder and CEO. "This is a great match with our focus on system solutions for the solar and smart grid industries." 

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SFI sets conference date for 2013

BY Ken Clark

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Annual Conference has been set for Sept. 17-19, 2013, in San Antonio. 

According to its website, the SFI is based on principles promoting sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.

The 2012 conference was held in Milwaukee. 

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