Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

2 October

Puerto Rico Getting Help From Tesla Powerwalls + Solar Panels

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SEND TESLA (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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Within two weeks after Hurricane Irma swept over St. John (smallest of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands), a survivor used debris from a nearby home to spell out “SEND TESLA“. With significant loss of life, lack of drinking water, dehydration, food scarcity, and disappearing power grid in Puerto Rico, the humanitarian effort by Tesla stepping in to help was truly welcomed. Bloomberg reported that Tesla had been sending hundreds of its Powerwall battery systems to be paired with solar panels to help restore the power back to the battered island. The monumental destruction brought by hurricanes Irma and Maria on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in September is opening up the possibilities for companies such as Tesla to move in and establish a presence. Tesla sent representatives to the island to begin signing up survivors for solar services.

The Tesla company had already built solar energy production and storage “powerpacks” in the American Samoa and Hawaii. In case of Hawaii’s Kauai’i island, in Jan. of 2015, 80% of the peak daytime power demand at Kaua’i was met by solar energy and 22% of the daily average was met by renewable energy. With the help from Tesla, KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative) is leading the way on planet earth in our transition toward Renewable Energy Age! You may also be interested in these articles below regarding KIUC:

Tesla indicated that some of the systems (Tesla Powerwall+Solar Panels) are already in Puerto Rico and others are on their way. Bloomberg also reported, “The company (Tesla) has employees on the ground to install them and is working with local organizations to identify locations.” The Puerto Rico island is still mostly without without power.

Thanks to Tesla for bringing power/electricity back to some of the people of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Mia Farrow’s Twitter further reminds us of the BBC report of 55% of the people in Puerto Rico are without drinking water. Hopefully, President Trump’s visit tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017) to Puerto Rico will bring more attention, help, and water being dropped in by the U.S. National Guard to these Americans at Puerto Rico.

 

Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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~have a bright and sunny day~

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14 June

Trains, Powered By Sunshine, in Belgium and India

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The Swiss Solar Impulse 2 (solar airplane) and French solar rooftops have inspired me to look toward other forms of transport and surface areas to be powered by or used to generate solar energy. It’s fantastic that there had been quite a few interesting progress made in the area of trains. Case in point, the high speed train powered by solar energy, in the video below, was in service back in 2011 in Belgium:

The rail line between Antwerp and Amsterdam (about 80 miles) in Belgium was the first solar paneled train tunnel (about 2.2 mile long tunnel) in Europe that utilized 16,000 solar panels (costed $22 million for installation) to power the railway infrastructure and trains back in June (started on June 14), of 2011, bringing clean energy to trains. This Solar Tunnel project is expected to generate 3.3 megawatts of energy (equivalent of the average annual electricity consumption for 4,000 trains or about 1,000 homes). The project partner Enfinity also indicated that the tunnel is decreasing CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons annually. “It is the perfect way to cut the carbon footprint because the spaces used have no other economic value,” commented by Bart Van Renterghem, Enfinity former UK head. Other collaborators on this project were Belgium rail operator Infrabel and solar construction company Solar Power Systems.  This was a fantastic clean energy project because it is optimizing the previously idled space and once the installation is in place, there is to be no consumption of fuel or coal and at no cost to our environment.

About 4461 miles (or 7179 km) away, India is planning to massively  utilize the solar energy via its state-owned railway systems. With one of the largest railway networks in the world, running about 12,000 trains, 23 million passengers (practically the entire Australian population), and 3 million tonnes of freight daily, much energy is needed.   In 2012, the Indian Railways consumed nearly 3 million kiloliters of diesel oil  and about 14 billion kWh of electricity .  So, India’s railway minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu wants to control such a ballooning fuel bill by shifting toward alternative energy sources. Since the Indian Railway System is aiming to have at least 10% of its total energy consumption coming from renewable energy by 2020, the railway minister wants to incorporate more alternative energy sources to power trains. This is first done by solar powered lighting via solar panels mounted on the roofs of the trains. This is now being tested on a non-AC coach on the RewariSitapur passenger train.

Indian Solar Train photographed by Anil Kumar Chhatri or credit citymetric.com

Indian Solar Train photographed by Anil Kumar Chhatri or credit citymetric.com

The cost of installing panels on each coach is about Rs3.9 lakh (about $6,084), translating into savings of Rs1.24 lakh (about $1,934) per year, According to The Economic Times of India Times.  In the next few weeks, the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and the railway coach maker Integral Coach Factory will  be testing the solar  paneled coach under a variety of conditions. Besides the solar powered coach, the Indian Railways will also be building  solar power plants of about 8.8 MW (megawatts) in 200 train stations and some of its office buildings.

Without the common vision and collaborations from policy makers, such ambitious projects would not have existed. In India, it took the echoing  support between India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and railway minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu to enable such a solar project to become a reality.  Prime Minister Modi encouraged alternative energy projects by encouraging solar companies from around the world to invest $100 billion to reach its solar power capacity target of 100,000 MW by 2022 (about five times India’s current solar power generation capacity). He was also instrumental behind another ambitious project, World’s First Canal Solar Power Plant in India, in Gujarat, in one of our previous post.

I hope all policy makers and governing bodies will receive the support he/she/they/it need(s) during this critical transitional period in human history, onward and forward toward the renewable/solar energy future! For deep down, within all of our hearts, we know that Solar/Renewable/Clean Energy is the solution/answer to Energy-Pollution-Economic Prosperity-International Conflicts. The sooner we get there, the better it will be for us and our posterity. In our system of democracy, perhaps all of us may be able to help play a part in assisting our policy makers in arriving at the correct decisions or policies quickly.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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5 December

Hurray For Kaua’i & KIUC-Part II

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Below is an interview with Jim Kelly, the Communication Manager of KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative), who worked tirelessly in preparing for the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony of the 12 MW (the largest solar farm in the state of Hawaii).  More details of the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony may be found at Sun Is The Future at www.sunisthefuture.net/2014/12/04.


For better understanding of KIUC, it is worth mentioning that in the 1970s, Kauaʻi burned sugar cane waste to supply most of their electricity. Today, the majority of the Kauaʻi’s energy is produced by importing liquid petroleum. As of 2008, KIUC’s fuel mix was 91.9% fossil fuels, 7.6% hydroelectric, 0.2% biomass, and 0.2% solar. KIUC offers $1,000 rebates to residential customers who have solar water heating systems installed on their homes by Energy Wise Participating Contractors.

With about 30,000-31,000 customers on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii, KIUC is the only electric cooperative in the state of Hawaii. This 12 MW solar installation of Koloa Solar will enable Kaua’i to stop burning about 1.7 million gallons of fuel oil and reducing 36,000 tons of carbon emission per year. It is with a conscious decision to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel and to make the transition toward the clean and renewable energy future that the island residents invested in this project of $40 million (comparable to building a conventional power plant). With this investment, they will not only be able to lead the way in renewable energy use  on the planet earth now, but it will also benefit future generations of Kaua’i in sustaining the most clean environment for many decades to come.

Some background information about KIUC from Wikipedia below:

Kauaʻi Electric was incorporated in 1905 as a subsidiary of McBryde Sugar in order to construct a 2.4 MW hydroelectric plant on the Wainiha River. Kauaʻi Electric merged with Lihue Plantation’s Waiahi Electric Company early in the 1950s. Kauaʻi Electric became a division of Citizens Utilities Company in 1969. In the late 1990s, Citizens Utilities announced its intentions to divest from the electric utility business and a group of business leaders from Kauaʻi joined to found the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative. KIUC purchased Kauaʻi Electric Company on 1 November 2002 for $215 million.

In December 2009, KIUC participated in hearings regarding its plan to minimize the effects its operations have on three endangered Hawaiian birds, the ʻUaʻu, the ʻaʻo, and the Band-rumped Storm-Petrel

Yes, Kaua’i is definitely blessed with island residents who aim to live in harmony and spirit of conservation with Mother Nature. We will look forward to hearing/reading more about Kaua’i experience in the pursuit of a Clean and Renewable Energy Future!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, posted, and uploaded by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker and filmed by Michael Nunamaker

More related posts:

1. A Chat With KIUC On The Solar Paradise of Kaua’i

2. Kauai Is Going Strong With Solar in 2012-Be Empowered by Going Solar

3. Kauai Leading The Way For Solar In Hawaii

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26 August

How Does A Solar Car Work?

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

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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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9 April

Thanks To Nebraskans For Solar and NREL’s PVWatts Renewable Resource Data Center

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Thanks to our friends from “Nebraskans For Solar“, I was reminded of a wonderful resource to be shared here with you all, below:

NREL PVWatts Renewable Resource Data Center:

PVWatts logo of NREL

NREL’s PVWattsTM calculator determines the energy production and cost savings of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world. It allows homeowners, installers, manufacturers, and researchers to easily develop estimates of the performance of hypothetical PV installations.

The PVWatts calculator works by creating hour-by-hour performance simulations that provide estimated monthly and annual energy production in kilowatts and energy value. Users can select a location and choose to use default values or their own system parameters for size, electric cost, array type, tilt angle, and azimuth angle. In addition, the PVWatts calculator can provide hourly performance data for the selected location.

Using typical meteorological year weather data for the selected location, the PVWatts calculator determines the solar radiation incident of the PV array and the PV cell temperature for each hour of the year. The DC energy for each hour is calculated from the PV system DC rating and the incident solar radiation and then corrected for the PV cell temperature. The AC energy for each hour is calculated by multiplying the DC energy by the overall DC-to-AC derate factor and adjusting for inverter efficiency as a function of load. Hourly values of AC energy are then summed to calculate monthly and annual AC energy production.

The PVWatts calculator is available in two versions. Site Specific Data Calculator (Version 1) allows users to select a location from a map or text list of pre-determined locations throughout the world. Grid Data Calculator (Version 2) allows users to select any location in the United States.

The PVWatts calculator was developed by NREL’s Electricity, Resources, and Building Systems Integration Center.

Thanks to NREL’s PVWatts and Nebraskans For Solar, we will have a better chance in reaching a brighter tomorrow !

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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27 March

More On FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)

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Allow me to share with you some very informative articles on Feed-In-Tariff:

I. Renewable Energy at What Cost? Assessing the Effect of Feed-In-Tariff Policies on Consumer Electricity Prices in the European Union, by Christopher A. Klein, MA. Feed-In Tariffs have emerged as the dominant policy instrumental for supporting electricity from renewable sources in the European Union during the last two decades. This paper examines the effect of such feed-in-tariffs on consumer prices for electricity.

II. Learning From The German Transition To Renewable Energy, by Julius Fischer. German policy makers played a crucial role in the evolution of feed-in-tariffs (FITs) for renewables. FITs are the most elegant and effective policy instrumental in incentivizing renewable energy deployment in a cost-effective manner. Germany also has an impressive record of success in deploying renewable energy (esp. solar), and set high targets of efficiency improvement and renewables deployment. It is clear that we can use German example to show that renewable energy can and does create jobs and lower costs. The discourse surrounding the energy transition has ranged from whether the grid expansion can keep up with renewable energy deployment to whether the grid liability can be maintained  (and yes it definitely can), and whether shutting down nuclear power in Germany will only result in imports of nuclear power from France or the Czech Republic (it hasn’t). There are also questions of whether household electricity consumers or industry should pay less, and whether the energy transition can be done cheaper.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, summarized, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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11 March

World’s First Canal Solar Power Plant in India

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I’d like to switch gear today to focus on an interesting solar project that took place in India; not only did it help to generate electricity, but it also helped to conserve water by reducing evaporation. This is the Canal Solar Power Project that was launched in Gujarat to use 19,000 kilometre long network of Narmada canals

World’s First Canal Top Solar Power Plant in India

(near Chandrasan village of Kadi taluka in Mehsana district, near Ahmedabad on Sanand-Kadi road) across the state for setting up solar panels to generate electricity. This project was the first of its kind, the first canal-top solar project and it will generate 16 lakh units of clean energy per annum and also prevent evaporation of 90 lakh litres of water annually from the canal. The project virtually eliminates the requirement to acquire vast tracts of land and answers the challenge to both energy and water security by limiting evaporation of water from the 750 meter long canal. An official statement said, “It would eliminate the need of 11,000 acres of land required for a solar project of this magnitude and save 2 billion litres of water annually.” On April 25, 2012, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi dedicated this world’s first canal-top 1 MW solar project on Narmada branch canal network, to the national grid at Chandrasan in Mehsana district. He called this pilot project an innovative merger of “jal and urja shakti” for a greener tomorrow.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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2 April

What Is Solar Cell (5)

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

Dear readers/friends, I hope you will stay with me for 3 more posts (up to What Is Solar Cell (7)) before we move on to another topic in solar energy. Thank you for your patience.

In the previous post, you have seen that Boron and Phosphorous may be used to as dopping material to be added to Silicon in the process of making semiconductor material for solar cell. But there are also other alternatives.  As a matter of fact, instead of silicon, gallium arsenide (GaAs) is another possibility.  GaAs based multijunction devices are the most efficient solar cells to date, reaching 42.3% by the triple junction metamorphic cell.  High-efficiency multijunction cells were originally developed for applications such as satellites and space exploration.  Triple junction GaAs solar cells were also being used as the power source of the Dutch four-time World Solar Challenge winners Nuna in 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Scientists and engineers are constantly looking for alternatives that would help to increase efficiency and decrease cost.  Most commercially available solar cells are capable of producing electricity for at least 20 years without significant decrease in efficiency.  Typical warranty given by panel manufacturers is for a period of 25-30 years, without having output falling below a specified percentage of the rated capacity. So, there are products and technologies that need to be tested and validated.  In U.S., NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), located in Golden, Colorado, established in 1974 and began its operation in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute, tests and validates solar technologies.

Keep in mind that there are three reliable certifications of solar equipment: UL, IEEE, and IEC.

  1. UL: Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization established in 1894 and has its headquarters in Northbrook, IL.
  2. IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (read I-triple E) is a non-profit professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation related to electricity. (45% of its members are located outside of US).
  3. IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission is a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies.

Now, I have a clip for you at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRqmTpozPYA or simply click below:

 

Stay tuned at the same bat channel…more will be in store for you…

Please feel free to leave comments or questions.

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
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