Posts Tagged ‘solar power’

16 August

Costa Rica May Be Small, But With Big Ideas

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Did you know that last year Costa Rica was able to run on only clean renewable energy (from hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, and biofuel) for 299 out of the 365 days in 2015? In order to get to the finish line during our marathon of transitioning toward a clean and renewable future, we need to address the issue brought up by Monica Araya of Costa Rica. It is important for us to also move onto electric transportation vehicles in order to achieve healthy and clean future for our future cities. It is important to break free from vehicles running on fossil fuel.

As the temperature arrives at its highest level since the recorded history of homo sapiens, as the suicide rate of Indian farmers  and farmers from elsewhere continues to rise, and various other signs and symptoms associated with climate change picking up its respective pace, there is greater need to slow down the climate change, CO2 emission, and to speed up our transition not only to solar and renewable energy sources, but also to EV (electric vehicles). We all need to act fast! Have you started researching for your EV’s?

~have a bright and sunny day~

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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

Hanergy Charging Toward The Solar Electric Future!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Harmonious Sunshine (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Harmonious & Collaborative Sunshine (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)


(Please click on red links & note magenta)

The aggresive Chinese NEA in the previous post has inspired me to have a closer look at some of the current Chinese effort toward solar energy.  Interestingly,  some new development regarding Hanergy Holding getting ready to launch five models of solar-powered cars in October this year got my attention, for I’ve had a history of covering the solar car events since 2011.

Hanergy is a privately held Chinese multinational renewable energy company founded in 1994 by Li Hejun  (its current chairman and CEO). Its headquarter is in Beijing. It is active in solar, wind and hydropower generation and is one of the world’s largest thin-film solar power company. Hanergy was ranked No. 23 in the 2014 list of 50 Smartest Companies by MIT Technology Review, noting “the Chinese energy company is snapping up advanced solar technologies at fire-sale prices.”

As the market share of thin film photovoltaic panels is expected to decline each year to 2017, according to one of the NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly report, it is not surprising that Hanergy has been further exploring and expanding into other clean energy territories such as auto sector.  Considering the fact that transportation vehicle is one of the main contributing factors for CO2 emission and particulates pollution any where on planet earth, Hanergy Holding is likely to continue to have tremendous impact toward cleaning our earthly environment in the future.

Solar Charging Station (credit: Hanergy)

Solar Charging Station (credit: Hanergy)

Hanergy was on the top of Tesla‘s list of collaborators for the first PV Supercharger station in China. Two solar PV charging systems designed and manufactured by Hanergy Solar Group (at Tesla’s request), were showcased in April, 2014, by Tesla. Finally, some body has taken up on Elon Musk’s offer of Tesla’s patents for free! Plans for Tesla’s supercharger network in China will continue to roll out in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Tesla’s founder Elon Musk said: “In the future, Tesla will work with partners to build supercharger network. The first charging station in Beijing was built in cooperation with Hanergy Solar Group. Tesla will continue to invest in the construction of superchargers in China, aiming to quickly expand the network.” Elon Musk also noted that large investments will be brought into China for the building of seven Supercharger networks.

The two solar PV charging systems showcased were somewhat different, as indicated in the press release at the time, below (in italics):

The Beijing carport, a mobile carport designed to be assembled and transported, adopts Hanergy’s GSE flexible thin-film solar modules. The Shanghai carport will be a fixed structure, and adopts Hanergy’s MiaSole CIGS high-efficiency modules. The first phase of both carports has been completed.

The PV charging system by Hanergy Solar Group protects vehicles like ordinary carports, while (at the same time) converting sunlight into electricity (via) its solar rooftop. At the same time, the system charges the electric vehicle through its energy storage system. The system uses the CIGS thin-film PV technology, the most advanced in the world. With conversion rates peaking at 20.5%, this technology offers light weight, flexibility, excellent low-light performance and advanced packaging. More importantly, no fixed column is required, which significantly reduces the cost.

Vice President of Hanergy Global Solar Power and Application Group, Ms. Zhang Qingliang, stated: “Hanergy has been actively exploring ways to utilize its thin-film photovoltaic technology to provide solutions through technological innovation and cross industrial integration. We have been working with multiple domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers to integrate solar, and is also researching on energy storage, photovoltaic car roof and other solar-automobile applications.”

As Hanergy continues working with three domestic and two foreign companies on solar powered cars, it will be interesting for us to keep our eyes on what 5-models of solar cars that will be unveiled in October of 2015.  With an earthly population of over one billion people, China will provide a huge potential market for future solar cars. The collaboration between Hanergy and Tesla in solar electric cars and supercharging stations will bring forth not only the vehicle of Solar Energy Age, Cleaner Environment, but an important appreciation for multinational collaboration.  This is truly the kind of success through Harmonious Collaboration that our planet needs more of on our way toward a brighter, healthier, and better world.

P.S. The English edition of China’s New Energy Revolution by renewable energy advocate and Hanergy Chairman Li Hejun is now available for purchase in bookstores across the U.S. as well as in e-book format.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed via sunisthefuture@gmail.com“”.

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics: www.sunisthefuture.net

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20 February

Every Four Minutes, Another American Home or Business Goes Solar!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below)

Credit: America Supports Solar-Solar Power Advocacy Network (shared at Sun Is The Future at www.sunisthefuture.net)

Want to share this letter with you, below:

Dear Susan Sun,

The numbers are in: on January 24, more than 3 million people played a part in National “Shout Out For Solar” Day.

The following week, even President Obama gave a personal “shout out” for solar during his State of the Union speech, which was seen by nearly 35 million Americans.

By all accounts the first annual “Shout Out For Solar” Day was a huge success. We are thrilled that so many of you joined us, adding your collective voices (and Facebook feeds and Twitter handles!) to the celebration of solar’s record-shattering 2013 and to look forward to a sunny 2014.

We’ve been saying it all along: America Supports Solar. In fact, nine out of ten Americans think we should be getting more of our energy from the sun. With that in mind, we launched a new website: AmericaSupportsSolar.com, to help all of you – our solar supporters and advocates – better understand the important role solar energy plays in our economy and our environment.

Please take a moment to check out the new site and share it with your friends.

And thank you again for your support!

 

Ken Johnson,
Vice President
Solar Energy Industries Association

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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27 September

Demonstration Against Austerity Measures In Madrid, Spain

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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On the eve of September 26, 2012, around 7:30 P.M., I arrived in the center of Madrid, Spain (for coverage of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012), in  midst of an excited crowd, full of tense emotions and discontentment.  My tired body trudged through what seemed like sea of humanity, dragging my luggage,  after the taxi cab driver refused to continue on due to demonstrators gathered to protest against  Spanish government’s announcement of Austerity measures (confirmed by several other travelers from Sweden) just announced on Wednesday, September 26, 2012.  I immediately became more alert, noting good segment of the crowd with worried look on their faces, mostly in their 20’s-30’s and occasional above 40’s, some smoking cigarettes while  looking down on the ground, some conversing in high pitched intensity level, periodic chanting and singing came in waves, scent of beer here and there…I did not detect any sense of danger or violence, just apprehension and the oppressive melancholy. I suspect these demonstrators had not carried any malice;they were simply frustrated and tired,  and out of the sense of desperation and lack of hope, they were letting out their steam/scream the only way they knew how….later I’ve discovered that some other Youtube clips only showed the worst segment of the demonstration.  During the fours hours that I’ve observed the demonstration, both the demonstrators and the police of Madrid were not particularly violent. I observed some police cars actually going out of their way to avoid hurting demonstrators.  I believe the worst clips seen on Youtube probably occurred during the last half hour between 11:30 P.M.-midnight, when the police cars were trying to clear the street of demonstrators.  Below, demonstrators were seen in Plaza De Las Cortes, Madrid, Spain, on the eve of September 26, 2012:


Even though my intended coverage for this trip to Spain was only for Solar Decathlon Europe 2012, I felt an obligation to record this moment in history…et voila…my friends…after all, Austerity measures will also impact the renewable energy.  The desperate determination of the Spanish people fighting against the consequences of the economic crisis and tight austerity measures also had presented itself in another form.  Apparently one mayor, Angel Vadillo, of a small Spanish community (Albuquerque, a municipality with a population 5,500 in Extremadura in the west of Spain), has been on a hunger strike for two months in front of the Ministry of Industry in Madrid.  As it turned out, it was solar power that kicked off Vadillo’s unusual protest in the first place: in January, Spanish Industry Minister Jose Mauel Soria cut all subsidies for new projects relating to renewable energies.  Albuquerque had staked its future in solar energy for the past two decades;five new facilities with a capacity of 250 megawatts had been planned prior to the subsidy cuts. With these plans being shelved, “That means that we will lose some 850 jobs,” said Vadillo.  It was estimated that the measure will cost approximately 10,000 jobs across the country.  Vadillo hoped to force the minister to at least take a seat at the negotiating table.  He began his mission by walking the 600 kilometers (311 miles) from his constituency to Madrid.  After the Minister of Industry refused to receive him, he decided to camp outside the building.  When that too failed to get him any result, he stopped eating on June 11 , 2012.  But now, Mayor Vadillo has become visibly emaciated, though his resolve still intact.  “I drink eight liters of honey water every day…that keeps me sharp,” he said.  An ambulance stops by to check on his health daily.  Even though one of the medical personnel commented that it’s become critical, but Vadillo intends to keep going.  Mayor Vadillo had long become a symbol for Spanish people’s struggle against the consequences of the economic crisis and tight austerity measures.  Once he had made his hunger strike public, Minister of Industry Soria did consent to a single meeting with Mayor Vadillo.  “Our talk was more of a monologue. I explained my position and the minister didn’t say a word except that I should reconsider my position.” Vadillo said.  Mayor Vadillo admits that solar subsidies in Spain had long been on the generous side and he wants to be able to negotiate a feasible solution through discussion with Minister Soria.

What I believe as the valuable take-away lessons for solar/renewable energy from our September 26, 2012, post of the Scottish (UK) experience and the recent Spanish experience are:

  1. The cost of Solar Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program would be best not coming from the government subsidies but  from the rate payers (consumers) in a tiered fashion, such that those of lowest tier (lowest power consumption and/or income) would not need to pay for the added cost due to solar FIT.   Rest of the electricity consumers would bear a slight increase in their annual bills proportionally thus allowing electricity utilities to buy renewable energy generated from green sources at above-market rates set by the government.
  2. It would be advisable to start the Solar FIT low, close to the avoided cost level, so to be able to approach the situation carefully and cautiously, and  reassess the situation (optimal Feed-In rate) at specific intervals  to avoid budget/financial difficulties.
  3. It is important not only having the representative(s) from the consumers/people, from the government, but also from the power/utility companies present at the negotiation table for any discussion involving electricity/power use.  It is of benefit to all (people, government, and utility companies) that the optimal method and rate would be implemented because it will be beneficial for the utility companies to continue having consumers/people connected to the grid.  It is certainly true that the government is at its best when  its people are able to live with hope and harmony.  Willingness to listen on the side of the government would be instrumental in arriving at this goal.
  4. It seems feasible/optimal to introduce regulation to require solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems) when/where it is already a foregone conclusion that this would be an economically feasible approach in building design.  Perhaps it is time to start the discussion in considering implementing this as part of the building code.  DO NOT FORGET SOLAR THERMAL !!!  IT IS VERY FEASIBLE TO INSTALL SOLAR HOT WATER HEATING SYSTEMS EVEN BEFORE INSTALLING SOLAR PV !!!

~may we all be able to have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

Related Articles, below:

  1. ctpost.com: Spain, Greece launch austerity plans to secure aid
  2. garrigues: current situation and possible regulatory austerity measures in the Spanish renewable energy industry
  3. feed-in-tariffs in the United Kingdom

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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22 August

Understanding the Sun

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Dear Friends & Viewers/Visitors/Readers,

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Yes, as I’ve titled our previous post, dated Aug. 20, 2012, The Most Intensely Heated & Dangerous Relationship Research Project: Improving Earth’s Future Environment-Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) & Green Fuels, full appreciation of our relationship with the Sun will be forever paramount for Earth’s environment, energy, communications, climate/weather, and last but not least, Earth’ s longevity.  This bubbling, boiling, fireball in the sky at ninety-three million miles (149.6 million kilometers) away, supporting almost all life on Earth by photosynthesis and driving Earth’s climate and weather ….matters a great deal to us earthlings.  Some modern experts of the Sun are predicting the most violent solar activities in our modern history.

According to wikipedia:

The Sun is gradually becoming more luminous (about 10% every 1 billion years), and its surface temperature is slowly rising. The Sun used to be fainter in the past, which is possibly the reason life on Earth has only existed for about 1 billion years on land. The increase in solar temperatures is such that in about another billion years the surface of the Earth will likely become too hot for liquid water to exist, ending all terrestrial life.

Solar Evolution (wikimedia commons)

Solar Life Cycle (wikimedia commons)

Sunlight is Earth’s primary source of energy. The solar constant is the amount of power that the Sun deposits per unit area that is directly exposed to sunlight. The solar constant is equal to approximately 1,368 W/m2 (watt per square meter) at a distance of one astronomical unit (AU) from the Sun (that is, on or near Earth). Sunlight on the surface of Earth is attenuated by the Earth’s atmosphere so that less power arrives at the surface—closer to 1,000 W/m2 in clear conditions when the Sun is near the zenith.

Zenith (wikimedia commons)

Actual Sunset (wikimedia commons)

Actual Sunrise (wikimedia commons)

Solar energy can be harnessed by a variety of natural and synthetic processes—photosynthesis by plants captures the energy of sunlight and converts it to chemical form (oxygen and reduced carbon compounds), while direct heating or electrical conversion by solar cells are used by solar power equipment to generate electricity or to do other useful work, sometimes employing concentrating solar power (that it is measured in suns). The energy stored in petroleum and other fossil fuels was originally converted from sunlight by photosynthesis in the distant past.

 

We are living in a world that is increasingly susceptible to space weather disturbances.  Many interconnected physical processes strongly influenced by solar variability, affect the health and safety of travelers in space and the habitability of alien environments.  This science of the Sun-Solar System Connections is termed “Heliophysics“.

Based on NASA’s rich history of exploration of the Earths neighborhood and distant planetary systems, we are developing the quantitative knowledge needed to help assure the safety of the new generation of human and robotic explorers. The Heliophysics Program has been completely reevaluated to address the needs of the Vision for Space Exploration.

NASA’s future research and exploration within its Heliophysics program aims to explore the Sun-Earth system to understand the Sun and its effects on Earth, the solar system, and the space environmental conditions that will be experienced by explorers, and to demonstrate technologies that can improve future operational systems.  Hear! Hear! Let’s optimize our use of the Sun’s energy and learn to protect ourselves from its potential hazards. Below, we see how NASA uses high resolution images of the sun and modeling of solar storms, to improve our ability to predict when solar storm hits and how it will affect our daily lives. NASA’s study of sun’s variability, solar storms, and solar wind will also increase our understanding of Sun’s  effect on Earth and Earth’s magnetic field.  The most important researches of Heliophysics program concerns our daily lives:  effects on satellite and ground communications, aircraft navigation systems, power grids, etc. Let’s take a look at the three broad science and exploration objectives of NASA’s Heliophysics Program in the video clip below: to open the frontier to space weather prediction, to better understand the nature of Earth in space, and to safeguard the journey of exploration.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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9 July

Solar Power Evolution

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Dear Readers and Friends,

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.

I came across an interesting graph on the evolution of solar power/technology today in an article by Sebastian Anthony in ExtremeTech,

History of Solar Power/Technology

started from the lucky finding by Alexandre Becquerel in 1839,  a current was generated when an electrode in a conductive solution was hit by sunlight . Then came the first solar cell, at 1% efficiency, produced by Charles Fritts in 1883.  It was in 1904, Albert Einstein published a paper on the discovery of the photoelectric effect, followed by a flurry of photoelectirc advances until AT & T Bell Lab created the first modern silicon solar cell in 1954.  Between 1950s and 70s cost (about $250 per watt) and efficiency (10%) were two important factors preventing solar power to be the major power player.  But today, the solar power industry has brought the cost/price per watt down to around $3 and at-home installations are becoming more common.   In 2010, even President Obama ordered the installation of solar panels and a solar hot water heater at the White House. It will simply be a matter of few years when solar power will overtake coal in terms of cost and efficiency. As  storage battery technology advances and the fact that solar power is the much cleaner technology (therefore, at a much lower environmental cost) and the technology least likely to generate warfare among nations, solar power/technology does appear to be the best choice for the future of planet earth.

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

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.org

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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