Archive for August, 2013

29 August

Hybrid Solar Lighting

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Did you know that about 13% of all residential electricity consumption in USA comes from lighting? So, in this post, I want to shed some light on a rather new technology in decreasing power consumption, Hybrid Solar Lighting, which combines the use of solar with artificial light, allowing  interior illumination by channeling sunlight through fiber optic cable bundles to provide solar light into rooms without windows or skylights, and by supplementing this natural light with artificial LED light as required/needed. The bundles are led from exterior or rooftop optical light collectors through small openings or cable ducts and carry the light to where it is needed.

This solar lighting system simply captures light from the sun and conducts it towards a room using optical fibers. One may use rooftop collectors or large mirrored dishes to track the sun. The collectors adjust to aim the sunlight onto 127 optical fibers which are conducted into a single chord. The optical fibers are flexible and can be connected into hybrid light fixtures that are joined to diffusing rods that disperse the light. A single collector can power up to eight hybrid light fixtures covering 1,000 square feet (93 m2). The hybrid lights also use artificial lighting which is mixed with the natural sunlight beamed in down the fiber optic chord. Photosensors focus on how much light needs to be generated to add to the natural light in order to keep a room illuminated at a constant brightness. When the sun is blocked by clouds around five percent of its sunlight requirement will need to be added. Hybrid solar lighting systems should be used in rooms with direct roof access.

Now, let’s take a look at a workshop by University of MD in how to utilize hybrid solar lighting for their Glenn L. Martin Hall to minimize power demand, reduce carbon emission, and move  closer to the sustainable future, video below (the best part is that the pay back period is only 3 years, shown at the end of this video. Where can you find an investment with that kind of pay back?! Fantastic!):


~have a bright and sunny day~

 

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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28 August

May Mike Cyr & Jeff Randall Rest In Peace

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I am sorry to have to interrupt our usual report of solar progress and bring you the sad news that’s just been released from SEIA & First Solar, below:

STATEMENT FROM JIM HUGHES, CEO FIRST SOLAR:

“The First Solar community was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of two associates in an accident near the Desert Sunlight Solar Project this afternoon.

Mike Cyr and Jeff Randall, both civil supervisors at the project, were in a single engine aircraft flying over the project when the airplane crashed near the site. The accident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. First Solar is cooperating fully with authorities.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Mike and Jeff’s families and loved ones. We are in contact with the families, and are providing our support in this difficult time.”

The above statement was received from:

Steve Krum, APR

Director, Global Communications

steve.krum@firstsolar.com

First Solar, Inc., 350 W Washington St, Ste 600, Tempe, AZ 85281 USA

www.firstsolar.com | T: 602 427 3359 | M: 602 315 3904

___________________________________________________________________________________

Apparently, on Monday afternoon of  Aug. 26, 2013, during the routine check (there was a storm on Sunday but no known storm on Monday), a Colorado River Station sheriff’s deputy and a Bureau of Land Management ranger were patrolling the Desert Center area east of Kaiser Road between Lake Tamarisk and the First Solar energy site, where they witnessed the small plane flying out of control and crashed. Later, they found the bodies of 41-year old pilot Mike Cyr and 35-year old passanger Jeff Randall (according to First Solar CEO Jim Hughes).  The plane was a 1971 Model AA-1A fixed wing with a single engine.

Plane model Grumman AA-1 series (AA-1A (1500 lbs) of 1971 became AA-1B (1560 lbs) Trainer in 1973)(wikimedia commons)

Personnel from Cal-Fire, Colorado River Station, BLM, the Coroner’s Office, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to investigate the crash.  The cause of the crash is still being investigated by the NTSB and FAA. Some basic investigation report information may be obtained from Deputy Julio Oseguera at 760-578-3195.

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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26 August

How Does A Solar Car Work?

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Some of our young readers/viewers/visitors are very interested in the World Solar Challenge 2013 and have written to find out more about how solar cars are built and how they work.  So I spent a good part of the day, digging through all of my accumulated videos and photos, looking for graphical images and videos that would help to satisfy their request.

Luckily, during World Solar Challenge 2011 in Australia, I encountered some wonderful people working at RiAus (Royal Institution of Australia).

The Science Exchange of RiAus (formerly Adelaide's Stock Exchange building, The Science Exchange, Exchange Place, Adelaide SA 5000, photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

They’ve provided me the graphics and explanations showing the most important components of the Solar Car. Below, you will see the solar car design, intended to be aerodynamics and light while maintaining a large surface area to allow the maximum number of solar panels. These solar cars also have low friction tires and a sleek design to reduce wind resistance, below:

How Does A Solar Car Work (credit: RiAus, grapahic designer Carol Perkins, Royal Institution of Australia, in association with World Solar Challenge)

  1. Starting with the Sun: Solar energy, in the form of photons, radiates from the sun 150 million kilometers from earth.
  2. Solar energy becomes electricity: The photons hit solar panels mounted on the car. This energises the electrons in the panel causing them to move. The movement generates an electrical current. Solar car panels have a textured surface to maximize surface area to increase the amount of light energy that can be harnessed.
  3. Power storage: Batteries can store extra solar power in the form of chemical energy, which can then be fed to the motor when there is insufficient sunlight.
  4. Motor controller: The motor controller regulates how much power is fed to the motor. When the accelerator pressed, the motor controller changes the frequency of the electricity output. When the car is moving, electricity can be fed directly from the solar panels to the motor controller.
  5. The motor: Power reaches the motor, which is contained within the wheel. A typical motor includes strong magnets and a wire coil to carry the current. The interaction between the magnetic force and electric current generates motion.

RiAus (Royal Institution of Australia) is Australia’s unique national science hub, promoting public awareness and understanding of science. RiAus intends to make science fun, inspiring and accessible for all Australians. This is accomplished  by producing online content, public events, and education and teacher support programs. RiAus helps people discover the wonders of science, inspiring a new generation to learn and appreciate the importance of science in their daily life. To find out more about various projects at RiAus, please visit: www.riaus.org.au

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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22 August

B-7 of Blue Sky Solar Racing Team (of Univ of Toronto) Is Ready For World Solar Challenge 2013

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Now, for a look of B-7 of Canadian University of Toronto’s Blue Sky Solar Racing Team

B-7 of the Canadian Blue Sky Solar Racing Team of University of Toronto preparing for World Solar Challenge 2013 (credit: World Solar Challenge) between Darwin and Adelaide of Australia between Oct. 6-13, 2013

in the Challenger Class, let’s visit: https://www.facebook.com/blueskysolar . On Aug. 21, 2013, the team packed the B-7 and all necessary tools and parts into the shipping crate before starting on their 3-week journey to Darwin, Australia, for the World Solar Challenge 2013.

This is the fourth time for Blue  Sky Solar Racing team to participate in the World Solar Challenge (WSC). They continue to appear in WSC not just for the ultimate challenge provided by WSC but also for the invaluable opportunity to interact with teams from across the globe, to be motivated to build a better solar car for future challenges. Blue Sky members are composed of over 30 full time students with diverse academic backgrounds;they came together to design, build, and test their new solar car, B-7, for the past 18 months. Now, I’d like to share the most recent video posted at Blue Sky Solar Racing Team Youtube Channel, showing one (Break Stoppage Test) of the many tests that the team has been running prior to its departure  for the World Solar Challenge 2013 in Australia, below:


The goals for Blue Sky Solar Racing Team are stated below:

  1. Try their best to race as fast as possible in the upcoming race (WSC2013).
  2. Engage and learn from different teams as part of a global innovation community.
  3. Demonstrate and showcase Canadian, and U of T innovative spirit.
  4. Ultimately, to carry with them the experience and continue pushing boundaries and build faster, more efficient cars in the next two years!
  5. Be one step closer to their vision of the future of sustainable transportation.

Here are B-7’s Design Highlights:

  • weight:                            170 kg (without driver)
  • cruising speed:                75 km/hr
  • aerodynamic drag:           0.01 (Cd, plan)
  • chassis:                            carbon fiber monocoque
  • solar array:                      SunPower C60
  • maximum array power:   1.3 kW
  • max peak power tracker: custom made
  • battery:                             Li-ion, 21 kg
  • battery capacity:               5 kWhr
  • telemetrey:                        fully in-house
  • electric motor:                   DC brushless

For Blue Sky Solar Racing Team Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BlueSkySolarRacing

To inquire about the team’s Adopt a Cell Fundraising Campaign or making a donation to this wonderfully spirited team: http://www.blueskysolar.utoronto.ca/donate/instructions-to-donate/

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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21 August

Bridgestone Will Be The Title Sponsor For World Solar Challenge 2013

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I’ve just received the news of Bridgestone being the title sponsor for World Solar Challenge 2013, below:

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2013, Hand Shake Between Andrew Moffatt & Mark Warren

Bridgestone has announced it will be the title sponsor of the World Solar Challenge 2013 to beheld from Darwin to Adelaide from October 6-13.The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2013 will see a record 45 teams from 26 countries participate in a 3000 kilometre contest which crosses the continent using only solar energy to power the vehicles. The 2013 competition will be the 12th running of the event since 1987.“Bridgestone has a global commitment to continually working toward a sustainable society and the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge 2013 is a natural extension of this as it encourages and promotes investment and innovation in solar technology,” said Andrew Moffatt, Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand Managing Director.“It’s also a good fit because of the tremendous interest Australian motorists are now taking in technology that can lower the impact of their vehicle on the environment.“This is reflected in the success of our Ecopia low-rolling resistance range of tires which are continuing to grow in popularity with Australian drivers because of their fuel saving and environmental benefits,” Mr Moffatt said.

Chief Executive of the South Australian Motor Sports Board Mark Warren said the Bridgestone partnership continued the high standing of the World Solar Challenge on the global stage.“It is fitting that the naming rights for 2013 go to such a progressive company that cites within one of its corporate philosophies ‘Shinshu-Dokuso’ which I’m told means creative pioneering,”Mr Warren said.“In our 26 year history we too have aspired to be creative pioneers in our quest to realize the dream of the world’s first truly efficient solar electric vehicle. With the support of Bridgestone this quest is one step closer to reality.”The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2013 will feature three separate classes; the ‘Adventure Class’ for pre-2013 event cars, the ‘Cruiser Class’ for vehicles designed for practicality and the elite ‘Challenger Class’, which compete for line honors with the fastest overall time.

For Immediate Release Media contact: Kristy Macfarlane+61 8 8267 6888 or 0402 557 527Bridgestone Australia Ltd.196 Greenhill RoadEastwood, S.A 5063, AustraliaPhone: +618 8206 0200Fax: +618 8206 0399URL: www.bridgestone.com.au

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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20 August

Thank You, Jon Wellinghoff, For Clearing The Fog

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Thanks to our friends of the Nebraskans For Solar in sharing a very important link explaining why one of the country’s (USA’s) top regulators is so bullish on solar: FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff: Solar ‘Is Going to Overtake Everything

Sun Will Overtake Everything ( Generous Florida Sunshine, credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

Chairman of the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), Jon Wellinghoff, is quite aware of the rapidly changing energy landscape. During a sideline conversation at the National Clean Energy Summit last week in Las Vegas, Jon Wellinghoff commented, “Solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything….if a single drop of water on the pitcher’s mound at Dodger Stadium is doubled every minute, a person chained to the highest seat would be in danger of drowning in an hour.” That’s what is happening in solar. It could double every two years. This phenomenon is also recently concluded by MJ Shiao of GTM (GreenTechMedia) Research. In the graph below, this phenomenon of doubling in the next 2 1/2 years, the U.S. will double its entire cumulative capacity of distributed solar–repeating in the span of a few short years what it took four decades to deploy…description of the behavior of an exponential curve:

Cumulative U.S. DG PV Installations at Year End, 2000-2015 (Chart: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight)

Wellinghoff continues, “…geothermal, wind, and other resources will supplement solar. But at its present growth rate, solar will overtake wind in about ten years. It is going to be the dominant player. Every body’s roof is out there.” And other resources have not seen declining prices like solar has. He added, “Solar PV is $0.70 or $0.80 per watt to manufacture. Residential rooftop is $4 to $5 per watt. But they are going to drive that down to $2 and then to $1 per watt.” Wellinghoff also mentions that advanced storage technology also promises lower costs in the future. He said, “Once it is more cost-effective to build solar with storage than to build a combustion turbine or wind for power at night, that is ‘game over’. At that point, it will be all about consumer-driven markets.”

Wellinghoff emphasized, “Even though the FERC oversees wholesale markets, utilities, and other jurisdictional entities at the wholesale level, the consumers needs to be our major concern….if FERC does not ensure the grid is ready to integrate the growing marketplace demand for distributed solar and other distributed resources, we are going to have problems with grid reliability and overall grid costs.” Transmission infrastructure will be able to keep up with solar growth. The big changes will be at the distributed level where FERC has less influence, he explained. But the commission has been examining the costs and benefits of distributed generation (DG) in wholesale markets. “Rate structures need to be formulated in ways that fully recognize the costs and benefits of distributed resources. In many utility retail rates, a disproportionate amount of the fixed costs are recovered through a variable rate. That is problematic, when a lot of people go to distributed generation….the net metering controversy can only be solved by fully allocated, fully analyzed cost and benefit study of distributed resources….distributed solar can be captured and realized by the distribution utility that is not currently being paid to PV system owners because they have not been analyzed, quantified, and monetized.”

Below, a video of The Hill’s ‘Energy Efficiency, Reliability, and the Smart Grid’ Briefing, with Jon Wellinghoff:


Wellinghoff noted, The Crossborder Energy study in California concluded the benefits of DG are near retail rates, “If utilities say that study is wrong, let’s get their studies and the studies from the solar side, and let’s have a hearing, let’s have a full discovery, and let’s have a full litigated process. That’s what regulatory commissions at the federal and state levels are for, to put all that data on the table and see what the accurate answers are.”

Wellinghoff explained that FERC isn’t involved in that process because it is a retail rate issue. “But DG and distributed solar can be wholesale grid resources if a wholesale grid operator can access those resources and have some control over them. What FERC has to do is ensure these distributed systems get recognized and compensated and integrated into the wholesale grid.”

Introduction of more competition is definitely the goal Mr. Wellinghoff has in mind, “I would do a full analysis of anything not now competitive, like the distributed system, and then try to ensure I could recover costs in a way that adequately reflected all costs and benefits for all users….the sales of retail energy, capacity, and ancillary services should all be competitive and coupled with the wholesale grid….Consumers should have access to and be able to respond to five-minute wholesale prices. They should have the opportunity–not the requirement, but the opportunity –to respond to those prices and modify their loads and usage to lower their energy costs. The result would be an optimized use of the grid.”

To learn more about Jon Wellinghoff, please feel free to refer to links below:

  1. FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff Stepping Down
  2. Departing FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff: A Day in the Life of the Grid

I want to clarify: FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff submitted his resignation letter to President Barack Obama in May of 2013. A former Nevada utility regulator, Wellinghoff served as chairman of the energy panel since 2009 and has been a commission member since 2006. Senate Energy Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon says that Wellinghoff launched important investigations to protect consumers from manipulation of energy markets and pushed to increase renewable energy supplies.

Thank you, Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, for your clarity and effort! It is truly appreciated by us consumers and earthling.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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19 August

“Stella” of Eindhoven University of Technology of New Cruiser Class at World Solar Challenge 2013

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Allow me to introduce you to the world’s first solar-powered family car, Stella,

Stella of Solar Team Eindhoven of TU/e (Technology University of Eindhoven) (credit: World Solar Challenge 2013)

that will be racing across Australia, between Darwin and Adelaide, from October 6-13, 2013, during World Solar Challenge 2013. Yes, the Eindhoven University of Technology

Einhoven University of Technology of Netherlands

have unveiled Stella recently. It resembles a squashed, wingless airplane, with the capacity to seat four people, a trunk, intuitive steering  and solar panels on the roof that will provide power for a range of 600 kilometers (373 miles) per charge. Stella is one of the solar car entries in the new Cruiser Class of the World Solar Challenge, with the goal being practicality rather than speed, reflecting the growing interest in commercially viable solar cars.

A team of 22 students from the  Eindhoven University of Technology of Netherlands, was responsible for the creation of Stella. Stella has an aerodynamic design using light weight material such as carbon fiber and aluminum. It will be getting the official certification for road use, becoming street legal and be ready for sale in Europe.

Below, is the video of First Ride of Stella Presentation by STE (Solar Team Eindhoven) students at Eindhoven University of Technology:


For better understanding of World Solar Challenge 2013, please visit www.sunisthefuture.net/2013/08/18 and www.worldsolarchallenge.org

 

To better appreciate the history of World Solar Challenge, please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Solar_Challenge

To find out all the teams in Michelin Cruiser Class of World Solar Challenge 2013, please visit:  http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/about_wsc_2013/2013_team_list

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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18 August

Announcing the Upcoming World Solar Challenge 2013

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Fellow Solar & Car Race Enthusiasts,

I simply cannot contain  myself when I heard the news! 2013 is going to be an amazing year for the World Solar Challenge (WSC)! The CEO of the South Australian Motor Sports Board, Mark Warren, announced on World Environment Day, June 5, 2013, not only the new classes and regulations for WSC, but the largest number of entries EVER in the history of World Solar Challenge! Yes, the new WSC is set to sizzle with the record breaking 43 teams from 24 countries, preparing to take on the Aussie outback in the 3,000 kilometre journey from Darwin to Adelaide between October 6-13, 2013.

The New Regulations of World Solar Challenge 2013 (<—click)

The three new classes (provided by WSC2013) are:

  1. Challenger Class: The slick, single seat aerodynamic vehicles making up the ‘Challenger class’, will be contested between the mostly big budget, solar powered elite, and line honours will go to the first car to travel 3,000 kilometres in a single stage across Australia under solar power. A major difference this year, however, is that they’ll have to do it on a four wheels, not three.
  2. Cruiser Class: This class is in deference to those teams who commit to the ideals of building a car that will never be the first across the line. Their goal is not speed but practicality. Inspired by the 2009 German entry, ‘Bo-Cruiser‘ and their successor ‘SolarWorldGT

    SolarWorld GT of Germany at World Solar Challenge 2011 at Adelaide, Australia (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

    which circumnavigated the globe, teams in this class will be seeking to employ advanced technology and materials to create more traditional road vehicles. The cruisers will have the option of overnight charging at select locations and will be scored according to their energy efficiency and practical design features by a panel of judges.

  3. Adventure Class: This class targets first time entrants often with lower budgets who are still developing their solar technology and encourages participation and learning on a global stage Route Map of World Solar Challenge (3,000 km between Darwin in the Northern Territory and travels the Stuart Highway to Port Augusta and then via Highway 1 to the finish line in the City of Adelaide in South Australia, October 6-13, 2013)  As we await for this inspiring event of 2013, let me share an interview with the event organizer, Mr. Chris Selwood, during World Solar Challenge 2011, about the premise behind the World Solar Challenge, below:


 

Winning team of World Solar Challenge 2011, Tokai University's TokaiChallenger 2 from Japan, First to arrive at Victoria Square of Adelaide, Australia in Oct. of 2011 (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

Nuon Solar Team from Netherland at Adelaide, Australia, 2nd winning team at World Solar Challenge 2011 (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We threw down the gauntlet asking designers to push the limits of new technology and innovation by creating three new formalized classes. We wanted to ensure our event remained at the forefront of technology driving experienced teams and industry sponsors to exceed past results and at the same time inspire newcomers. Their response has been a resounding, bring it on!” Mr. Warren said. “We now have the makings of our most competitive field ever-in terms of time, speed, energy efficiency and innovation. All our top contenders are back to chase line honors. The changes also mean teams in both Challenger and Cruiser classes will be competing in brand new cars.” “Last year’s winners from Tokai University in Japan Tokai Challenger are looking for their third straight victory and former champions, Nuon Solar Team from the Netherlands, who had to be satisfied with second in 2011, are working furiously on Nuna 7, vowing to fight until the finish to get the gold back to Delft University. Of course, there is also the US Solar Champion Michigan team Quantum of University of Michigan still trying to best their third place result,” he said.

Quantum of University of Michigan Solar Team, 3rd winner at World Solar Challenge 2011 at Adelaide, Australia (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

The event director Chris Selwood commented that this year’s top three are not a foregone conclusion, with all eyes on new countries such as China and returning entrants such as Saudi Arabia.

World Solar Challenge 2011 Saudi Arabia King Fahd University Wahj Team (Seraaj) (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You never rule out the Aussies either, who are back with a vengeance this year with teams in every category. The only state to field two teams is NSW

Australian Sunswift UNSW Solar Team Sunswift IV at Adelaide, Australia, during World Solar Challenge 2011 (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

and I’m told first time entrants from the University of Western Sydney don’t put too much stack in history. Sunswift from the University NSW are also confident they have the aerodynamic expertise and innovative design to win in their Cruiser category although the TAFE SA team will be doing their best too.

Australian SolarSpirit at Adelaide, Australia, during World Solar Challenge 2011 (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

Melbourne’s Aurora team, competing in the Adventure Class are likely to be one of the lightest competitors and will be chasing the fastest qualifying time in their No 87 Aurora Evolution,

Australia's Aurora Vehicle Association's Aurora Evolution during World Solar Challenge 2011 at Adelaide, Australia (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, photographer)

so numbered to signify they’ve not missed an event since the Challenge began in 1987. New Queensland team, Arrow, hopes experience from seasoned campaigners will build a legacy for others to follow,” Mr. Selwood said.

There will be more posts & videos coming every week between now and World Solar Challenge 2013. Keep coming back to Sun Is The Future for more on this amazing event!

For more information on this unique event, please visit: www.worldsolarchallenge.org

For more photos, videos and future updates on World Solar Challenge 2013, please also refer to : www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture , www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture, www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture, and www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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15 August

Hurray! Finally, the Re-installation of Solar Panels on the White House Roof!

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FINALLY…. the Obama administration  started the reinstallation of solar panels on  White House roof this week,

White House south facade

after initially pledging to do so almost three years ago, in October of 2010. On Thursday, August 15, 2013, we have words from the White House official, “The White House has begun installing American-made solar panels on the First Family’s residence as part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.” The retrofit will also include updating building controls and variable-speed fans. “The project will help demonstrate that historic building can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades,” according to the official’s email.

Over the years, there had been various solar advocates clamoring for installations of solar panels on the roof of the White House;to name a few, Rhone Resch of SEIA (seen below in the video of 2010) and Bill McKibben of 350.org (report below):

In 1979 President Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter, the first U.S. President who installed solar panels on the White House roof in 1979

 

installed solar panels on the roof, but was later taken down by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. “No one should have ever taken down the panels Jimmy Carter put on the roof,” 350.org founder Bill McKibben said in an emailed press statement. “But it’s very good to know that once again the country’s most powerful address will be drawing some of that power from the sun.”

Bill McKibben, the 350.org Climate Change activist who has urged the White House to reinstall solar panels on its roof over the years

In 2010, McKibben brought attention to the issue when he discovered one of the panels of White House roof of 1979 being used to heat water for  Maine’s Unity College  cafeteria. In September of 2010, McKibben and Unity College students returned the panel to the White House, asking for it to be reinstalled. Although the request was denied at the time, the White House announced the solar panel bid one month later. Even though this installation took quite a while to come to fruition, McKibben seemed optimistic with administration’s renewed interest. “Better late than never,” the activist commented in a recent statement.

As global warming becomes widely recognized as a serious issue, solar advocates every where are hopeful that politicians and policy makers will look to solar and renewable energy as the alternative energy source that will enable the slowing of the global warming. We remain optimistic and keep working steadfastly toward our goal of transitioning into the renewable and solar energy age of the future! Hopefully, more of you will be visiting-signing-sharing the Renewable-Fit For Sunshine State petition above. For we believe that all of us would like our future generations to inherit a clean, healthy, and war-free planet earth from us.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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14 August

Open Source of Hyperloop, Composite of Shotgun-Air Hockey Table-Concorde Concept

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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Wow, have you heard about the exciting idea Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla Motors & SpaceX) has been floating recently (in the initial “Alpha” design released on Aug. 12, 2013)? It’s a solar-powered, high speed, inter-city elevated transit system, Hyperloop, that could take passengers and cars from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30-35 minutes?! Elon Musk has the vision of Hyperloop transporting people (and cars) via aluminum pods/capsules enclosed inside of steel tubes. This is what he envisioned as the ‘fifth mode’ of transportation: an alternative to boats, aircraft, automobiles, and trains.

Hyperloop pod carriage's major components (designed by Elon Musk)

Musk described the design looking like a shotgun with the tubes running side by side for most of the journey and closing the loop at either end. The tube is partially evacuated to reduce friction. The capsule or pod carriage rides on a cushion of air forced through multiple openings at the capsule’s bottom, further reducing friction. The capsules would be propelled by linear induction motors placed at intervals along the route.

Hyperloop tube (look at the solar panel on top of the tube!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These tubes would be mounted on columns 50 to 100 yards apart and the pods or capsules inside would travel up to 760 mph.

Musk thinks the Hyperloop can avoid many of the land issues because the tube will be elevated and paralleling I-5 corridor (the direct freeway between L.A. and San Francisco) for most of its length. Farmers would access their land between the columns instead of having swaths of their land blocked by train tracks. The “Alpha” proposal estimates  the Hyperloop could be built for $6 billion with pods/capsules for passenger only version or $7.5 billion for larger pods holding both people and cars. It is designed to link cities less than 1,000 miles apart (if above 1,000 miles, the cost would be prohibitive) with high inter-city traffic, such as LA to San Francisco, NY to D.C., NY to Boston. Let’s take a look at this fifth mode of transportation, in the video below:

Some of the positive features of Hyperloop:

  • speed: four times as fast as California’s proposed train
  • lower cost: at one tenth the cost of CA’s proposed train and lower cost than a plane ride
  • safety:  safe distance between the pods would be about 5 miles, fitting 70 pods between LA and San Francisco, leaving every 30 seconds…as getting a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland
  • comfort: less lateral acceleration than a subway ride, without turbulence or sudden movements of an airplane, therefore supersmooth
  • more convenient
  • immune to weather
  • sustainably self-powering (solar powered)
  • resistant to earthquake
  • not disruptive to those along the route

Please refer to Elon Musk’s Blog on Hyperloop.

But is Musk revealing his dream too soon?  Apparently Elon Musk is too busy building Tesla and SpaceX to be able to get to Hyperloop. So, the design of Hyperloop will become available to the world,  Open Source! The model will open up universal access, offering the opportunity for world collaboration and redistribution of the design and improvements to the design.

I cannot wait to see the realization of this design, compositing the shotgun-air hockey table-concorde into this fifth mode of transportation. The future is full of realizations of the impossible! Here We Come!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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