Posts Tagged ‘solar’

26 June

Tony Seba Guiding Us Through Our Transition Into Clean Disruptions

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Tony Seba, the Stanford Professor with 20+ years of solid operating experience in fast growing clean tech companies. He was the vice president, corporate development at “Utility Scale Solar, Inc.” where he helped the company grow from the garage-stage through growth strategy, fundraising, business development with plant developers and partners. He was the founder and CEO of PrintNation.com (a B2B ecommerce site which he established as the undisputed leader in its market segment, winning much top industry awards as the Upside Hot 100 and the Forbes.com B2B ‘Best of the Web.’ Seba led two venture capital rounds raising more than $31 million in funding from well-known venture funds, hired a complete management team, 100+ employees, and managed the development of strategic partnerships with some of the world’s top companies.

Tony Seba demonstrates “Why do smart people at smart organizations consistently fail to anticipate or lead market disruptions?” He helps us to understand why so-called experts tend not to be able to correctly make correct forecast about technological disruption. In these cases, the Clean Disruption of Energy & Transportation:

  • Technology Cost Curves: exponential growth, with example of lithium ion battery storage technology and solar PV costs
  • Technology Convergence: disruption caused by the convergence of several technologies, enabling functionalities that may not have existed in the past (2007 for smartphone.
  • Exponential Market Adoption S-Curve: upon reaching the tipping point, technological disruption would grow exponentially and continue to grow at a steeper rate (growing even more quickly). This phenomenon was/is observed in technologies such as colored tv, smartphones, tablet, and will also be true in solar and EV.
  • Business Model Innovation: examples such as Uber (started in 2009 and now has more bookings than whole taxi industry in USA), Didi, Lyft, Ola, AirBnb…

Five technologies (below), plus business model innovation  will be disrupting, within the coming decade, all of the energy and transportation system as we know it for purely economic reasons. It will be the: Clean Disruption of Energy & Transportation:

  • Batteries: Li-on battery costs dropping exponentially (cost dropped 14% per year between 1995 – 2010, 16% per year between 2010 – 2014, due to other industries’ (IT, Electronics, Automotive, and Energy) investment). With more investments continue to come from BYD, Foxconn, Samsung SDI, Dyson, and 12+ megafactories coming online by 2020, cost curve, cost will continues to drop about 20%  after 2014. Furthermore, the grid works like a just-in-time supply chain without inventory. This inefficient use of assets designed for peak is waiting to be disrupted. NextEra Energy CEO Jim Robo   commented, “Post 2020 there may never be another peaker built in the U.S.” In Feb. 2017, Southern California Edison contracted the system to meet PEAK Demand  needs using battery technology following its Alyson Canyon natural gas leaks. Tesla’s 80 MWh system was built in 88 days that no natural gas peaker could have competed.  There are also business model innovation that treats storage as a service, reducing utility bills by 10%. By 2020, it will cost American families about $1.2 per day for a full day of electricity storage. People will do this because it will save people money, purely for economics.
  • Electric Vehicles (EV’s): Consumer reports gave Tesla Model S an evaluation of 103 out of possible 100 for Car of the Year in 2013. Electric Vehicle (EV) is 5x more energy efficient than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). It is also cheaper to transmit/distribute electrons than atoms, therefore EVs are 10x cheaper to charge/fuel than ICE vehicles. EVs are also cheaper to maintain (ICE vehicles have 2000+ moving parts whereas EVs have 18-20 moving parts). EVs lifetime is about 2.5x greater than ICE vehicles. In 2017, GM’s Chevy Bolt EV has 200-mile range and costs $37,500 whereas Tesla Model 3 has 215-mile range and costs $35,000. By 2025, every new vehicles will be of EV.
  • Autonomous Vehicles: the biggest disrupter. The World’s first self-driving taxi debuted in Singapore in 2016. Uber’s self-driving fleet arrived in Pittsburgh in August of 2016. 33 corporations are investing billions  and working on autonomous vehicles. Tesla also announced that by the end of 2017, all Tesla vehicles can go from CA to NY without needing human controls (level 3).  Elon Musk also said that Tesla will be able to  transition to level 5 (fully self-driving, no pedals nor steering wheel) in 2019. Two technologies making autonomous vehicles possible: 1. LIDAR (laser+radar) price dropped from about $70,000 in 2012 to $1,000 in 2014, and $250 in 2016, and soon to be $90. 2. Super computing power priced at $46 million in 2000, $59 in 2016. These technologies are improving at 1,000x in the next 8 years.  Open source is also responsible much of the growth in the future.
  • Ride-Hailing:Transportation As A Service” initiated from a think tank founded by Tony Seba, a disruption of transportation. Reason behind this concept: most American family spend about $10,000 to own and use a car per year that is only used about 4% of the time. Disruption: 1. electric vehicles 2. self-driving 3. ride-hailing. These are convergence of multiple business and technology models. The day the regulatory agency approves the autonomous vehicle is the day when the cost of per mile transport will be 10x cheaper for transport as a service than it is to own a car for consumers. Consumers will be giving up car ownership and henceforth the collapse of ownership of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles and IO (individual ownership) of vehicles. Therefore there will be 80% fewer cars on the road, parking lots, and insurance for vehicles. Annual demand for new vehicles will also decrease by 70% and demand for oil will also decrease by 2021 (around the time when oil costs about $25 per barrel).
  • Solar: example: Denmark’s Copenhagen International  School generating 50% of its power need from solar (even the side of the building is part of this solar power plant). Solar PV cost dropped from $100./W in 1970’s to $0.33/W now. This is about 303x improvement. Globally, solar installations have doubled every 2 years since 2000. At the time of Tony Seba’s presentation, solar represented 1.5% of the power generation (it is now about 2%). If we use the 1.5% to calculate, at the doubling rate every 2 years (1.5%, 3%, 6%, 12%, 24%, 48%, 96%), it would only take 6-7 doublings (or 12-14 years) to reach 100% of the world’s energy generation (around 2030). Since 1970’s, the price or cost all conventional resource-based energy sources (such as oil, natural gas, or coal) have gone up by 6x-16x while solar has gone down by 303x. The cost of solar will continue to drop. According to Deutsche Bank, solar will be below Grid Parity for 80% of the global market by the end of 2017, meaning 80% of the solar world market will be at or below utility rate. According to PWC, 69% of corporations (Apple, Facebook, etc.) are actively pursuing solar purchase because it makes economic sense to go solar. Solar growth rate will accelerate. By 2020, it is expected that the cost of rooftop solar will cost less than the cost of transmission, without any subsidy for solar. Central generation will be obsolete. There will be no other form of energy generation that will be cheaper than “solar+storage”. By 2020, it is expected that the solar growth rate will really take off. Utility scale solar will drop below 3 cents per kWh (nothing will be able to compete with solar at 3 cents per kWh). Solar at 5.8 cents per kWh is competitive with oil at $10 per barrel and gas at $5 per MMBtu. In 2016, solar costed: in Chile was at 2.91 cents per kWh (unsubsidized) & Dubai at 2.99 cents per kWh. In 2016 Dubai PPA at 2.42 cents per kWh (unsubsidized). Tucson Electric has just announced that Solar+Storage PPA at 4.5 cents per kWh. It no longer makes sense to build peaker plants when solar generation costs so much less. Distributed solar, due to economics, will make sense and will become the rule. In Australia, 25% of the homes are already using solar (it costs 12  cents for transmission while solar cost 7 cents to generate in Australia)

Economics is already here: Unsubsidized Solar & Autonomous EVs are No Longer the Transition but Disruption For Our Energy & Transportatioin! Tipping point will be around 2020.

Besides pure economics, think of the: decrease in pollution, slowing in climate change, decrease in international conflicts, and increase in local job opportunities as a result of these disruptions! Bravo For Clean Disruptions!

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

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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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2 November

Let’s Delay The Flood-Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 in November

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Below is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun:

Muir Glacier, Alaska (credit: NASA)

Muir Glacier, Alaska (credit: NASA)

"New Normal" of Sea Ice (credit: NASA)

“New Normal” of Sea Ice (credit: NASA)

Polar Bear crosses Arctic Sea facing shorter sea ice season (credit: NASA)

Polar Bear crosses Arctic Sea facing shorter sea ice season (credit: NASA)

Thawed area under Greenland ice sheet (credit: NASA)

Thawed area under Greenland ice sheet (credit: NASA)

 

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

VOTE “NO” ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION

Amendment 1 May Block Out The Sun ,

We Need Fair Value of Solar, Not Amendment 1

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

I originally planned on posting another topic today, but after a short discussion on Amendment 1 of Florida with some people I’ve just met at NEC (National Entrepreneurship Center) , I would like to remind our fellow Sunshine Staters/Floridians that we have serious responsibility in assuring the growth and development of Solar Industry (utility scale as well as distributed solar) here in Florida, for solar energy is the solution to not just for the energy crisis but also environmental pollution, international conflicts, and climate change. Given that state of Florida is frequently visited by hurricanes, we need to insure the development of distributed solar (solar rooftops). Therefore, it is utmost important that we should Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 ! For further explanations as to why we should vote “NO” on amendment 1, please refer to one of my earlier posts, Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 In November!!!

To better understand the need of urgency for our earthly transition toward renewables, I’d like to share some videos below:

    • Before The Flood of National Geographic:

    • ‘Chasing Ice’:Time-Lapse Cameras Capture Rapidly Melting Glaciers:

To watch the movie “Chasing Ice“, click HERE ( to rent SD $3.99, to buy SD $9.99)
Yes, I believe that once each individual is out of the fog of confusion, he/she will choose the right way in helping to reach the solution. In this case, quick transition to renewables such as Solar and Wind Energy is what we should all aim for. Remember to share with your fellow neighbors, family members, friends, to Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 and be more conscious of how you live and how you vote. For such actions would help to determine the survival of millions of our fellow earthlings.


I’ve received quite a few response from this post through various social media, mostly positive and supportive. But there were few responses that are not supportive. I appreciate those who are on the opposing side to take the time to respond because it helps me to better understand where their belief came from. For example, one of the opposing side remarked below (in italics):

1.  Looks, via net metering, non solar folks are having to pay for all the grid upkeep. Solar users pay nothing. You somehow say that not receiving this large subsidy is unfair. Not penalizing others so you can sell your product that can’t stand on it’s own is some how bad? You better learn to stand on your own. We are sick of holding you up.

My response: Firstly, I am not selling any solar product nor services and there is no discussion about subsidy here.  I am simply a conscientious American and Floridian who cares about the planet earth and fellow Floridians and would like to see Homo Sapiens to occupy this planet for as long as possible and as few Floridians to become homeless as possible. If insisting on Floridian solar installers to pay extra fees (under Amendment 1), it would encourage solar users to go completely off grid. This would increase more difficulty for the grid (because if more solar users are connected to the grid the more they can help to relieve the grid pressure and reduce the cost or need of additional power plants to be build…this would help to reduce the utility cost for every one!) So, it would be wise for utility and Floridians to try to entice solar users to be connected to the grid rather than implementing measures to encourage them to go off grid. In terms of fairness, I believe it is not fair to have legislation to insist that you pay for the mortgage or rent of your neighbors when you are not using the house of your neighbors. This is the issue that is being addressed: why should solar users pay for the grid if they are not using it? It would be much wiser for every one to treat one another fairly, because only under sphere of fairness, cooperation is more likely to occur. This is why we need our regulatory agency to conduct research on Fair Value of Solar: http://windermeresun.com/2016/09/08/we-need-fair-value-of-solar-not-amendment-1/

2.  This is pure crack. For all you fear mongers, how can you change the climate? The change in climate is normal and has been doing so for billion of years since the world was created. nothing can be done to change it, GOD’s CREATION IS PERFECT!!!

My response: It is the rate (how fast) of change that we are addressing because when it changes too quickly, human beings are not able to respond fast enough;therefore you end up having frequent flooding in Miami and some of the island countries are in the process of disappearing (so they have to look for homes for their people), as Floridian coastal residents….As for changing the climate: did you know that scientists can already modify/change weather conditions? The dramatic increase in CO2 emission is one of the main contributing factors to increased rate of climate change and global warming. The CO2 emission is due to human activity and our standard of living. So, it is our responsibility to try to slow down this rate of change if we care at all about our fellow human being (the poor in Africa, Asia, Europe, and USA/Florida). For it is the poor who will be paying the price of the wealthy who can afford to easily move to a different location. The irony is: it is those of us in the wealthy developed nations that have contributed the most to increased rate of climate change.  Don’t you think your God would want you to help your fellow human being, by slowing down the climate change and be fair to all ?

3.  The worst hurricane and flooding in Miami was 1926 when over 6,000 people were killed. Miami Beach is subsiding due to pumping out trillions of gallons of water over the last century. Sea level has risen about 9″ in each of the last 3 centuries and is not increasing no matter what AlGore is telling you. All of the alarmist are making dire predictions that never happen. James Hansen, the Father of Global Warming predicted in 1988 that in 25 years, Manhattan Island would be under water. That was 2013 and the actual sea level went up several inches. Did you know that most of Manhattan is lower than most of Florida. The US has not been struck with a major (Cat 3 hurricane or higher) in over 4,000 days. Media hype used by people who make their living from global warming. 18,000 years ago (a wink in geologic time), sea level was 270 feet lower than now and Florida was 900 miles wide. Chicago and NY were covered with over a mile of ice. Global warming has been going on in spits and starts since then and the notion that man kind is increasing the rate is not proven. Fear mongering is used to sell stuff by agenda driven people.

My response: I have been an engineer and a math professor for over 20 years. I am not selling any solar product or services, just a conscientious American and Floridian who felt compelled to try my best to help my fellow human being on planet earth by slowing down the climate change via advocating for solar energy and modifying my life style. If Amendment 1 is passed, it will very likely be able to destroy solar industry in Florida. Yes, climate has always been changing, but now we are particularly concerned about its rate (how fast) of change that will potentially be increasing the frequency of hurricanes (such as that of 1926). We had just been visited by Hurricane Matthew (up to Category 5 at certain parts of FL) within the last month. You need to view this film by Leonardo DiCaprio, explaining much about the issue of climate change, encouraged by Pope and UN and various scientific communities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M To give hope and optimism for our future generations, we need to play an active part in helping to slow down the climate change and encourage the growth of solar/renewable energy industries.If you are not afraid of truth and reality, you need to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M

VOTE “NO” ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION

Amendment 1 May Block Out The Sun ,

We Need Fair Value of Solar, Not Amendment 1

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
Gathered, writtened, posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
info.WindermereSun@gmail.com
http://www.WindermereSun.com
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Twitter: @WindermereSun

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

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

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14 October

New Taiwan’s Ambitious Solar Plan

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Taiwain, Taipei, Taiwan Strait (Public Domain)

Taiwain (the island at right), Taiwan Strait (Public Domain)

Dragon-shaped Solar Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (credit:http://imgur.com/a/duB8w )

First Solar Powered Stadium in the World: Dragon-shaped Solar Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (credit:http://imgur.com/a/duB8w )

Dragon-shaped Solar Stadium in Kaoshung, Taiwan (credit: Peellden)

Dragon-shaped Solar Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (credit: Peellden)

Dragon-shaped Solar Stadium in Kaoshung, Taiwan (credit: Peellden)

The First Solar Powered Stadium in the World: Dragon-shaped Solar Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (credit: Peellden)

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Positioned with People’s Republic of China to the West, Japan to the Northeast, and the Philippines to the South, Taiwan is the most populus non-UN state and the largest economy outside of the UN.

Taiwan maintains a stable industrial economy as a result of rapid economic growth and industrialization, which has been dubbed the Taiwan Miracle. Taiwan is one of the Four Asian Tigers and a member of the World Trade Organization and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The 21st-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. Taiwan is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, and human development.

This beautiful island of what used to be called Formosa, is progressive in many ways.  In May of 2016, Taiwan has elected its first female president, Tsai Ing-Wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Soon after the election, the new government formed by the DPP announced its ambitious plans to install 20GW of solar, while phasing out nuclear.  Installing 20 GW of solar would mean using land on the island or in a country  where land is an expensive commodity. The new government is tackling this issue by releasing 10,000 hectares of government controlled agricultural land for utility scale PV installations and dual use systems. Its policies also enable water-based solar installations.

Early in October of this year, Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy issued its plan for Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT) in 2017.Within this plan:

  1. the residential rooftops (1 kW to below 20 kW) would receive a FIT of NT$6.103/kWh (US$0.193/kWh)
  2. the ground-mounted PV power plant would receive a FIT of US$0.144/kWh
  3. the floating solar power plants would receive a FIT of US$0.156/kWh

As some of the solar companies in USA such as First Solar and Sun Power, many  Taiwanese formerly dedicated solar cell producers are shifting their attentions or businesses to also include manufacturing modules and  PV project developers. One can imagine that such a shift will pick up its speed as the new FIT system becomes implemented in 2017.

To better understand such a group/country of wonderfully resilient people, I will share some videos about this beautiful island, Formosa or Taiwan, below, with you:

 

 

Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
info.WindermereSun@gmail.com
http://www.WindermereSun.com
http://www.facebook.com/WindermereSun
http://www.youtube.com/c/windermeresun
http://www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture/Windermere-Sun
Twitter: @WindermereSun

 

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at info.WindermereSun@gmail.com
~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Photographed, gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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16 April

1366 Technologies May Truly Be A Solar Constant ?!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

 (Please click on red links & note magenta)

Watching the list of solar energy companies to appear and disappear over the years is almost like watching a revolving door….as solar energy industry continues to evolve. Yes, cost and efficiency are the two areas where many solar companies are concentrating their energy and effort in at the moment.  In recent years, many companies are directing their effort toward kerfless technology. One of these companies, 1366 Technologies, is worth keeping an eye on. The company’s name is referenced to the solar constantrepresenting the watts of solar energy that hits each square meter of the surface of the earth. It is  a company based in Bedford, Massachusetts that has developed a technique to produce silicon wafers by casting them in their ultimate shape directly in a mold, rather than the prevailing standard method in which wafers are cut from a large ingot.  The company aims to manufacture multi-crystalline silicon wafers, the building blocks of solar cells, at half the cost of current methods.

Traditional solar technologies may be replaced by thin and kerfless wafter technologes (credit: Smallman12q/Wikipedia)

Traditional solar technologies may be replaced by thin and kerfless wafter technologes (credit: Smallman12q/Wikipedia)

1366 Technologies casts wafers with a conventional thickness from molten silicon, creating a more uniform wafer quality than the current industry standard. (credit: Bob Frechette of 1366 Technologies)

1366 Technologies casts wafers with a conventional thickness from molten silicon, creating a more uniform wafer quality than the current industry standard. (credit: Bob Frechette of 1366 Technologies)

The company used a $4 million grant obtained from the United States Department of Energy‘s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program in December 2009 to fund research over an 18-month period. Grants from ARPA-E are designed to provide money to relatively small projects offering the potential for high-payoff results in fostering advanced techniques. 1366 Technologies was able to announce eight months into the grant period that it had achieved success in its casting technology, in which molten silicon is poured directly into a mold to produce wafers in their final form, a square 6 inches (15 cm) on each side that is 200 micrometers thick and are then extracted from the mold using a proprietary technique to ensure that the wafer doesn’t break while being removed from the mold. In traditional methods, wafers of this size are cut from a large single ingot or crystal, in an approach that leaves as much as half of the original silicon ingot as waste.


Below, a video that was published back in 2009 on the basics behind silicon-based solar cell technology by 1366 Technologies:


David Danielson, program director for solar energy at ARPA-E said that “early indications show this could be one of our great success stories.” ARPA-E’s first director Arun Majumdar estimated that current techniques generate solar power at a cost of $4 per watt, and that bringing down that cost to $1.50 per watt could lead to the widespread adoption of solar energy (solar industry is evolving very fast and is currently already at the cost level of slightly over $1.00 per watt). Company president Frank van Mierlo estimated that solar power generated using wafers from 1366 Technologies would be cheaper than power generated using coal. The company is now on their third generation of wafer-producing machines, which are full-sized, industrial line machines. The company will open a commercial-scale factory in upstate New York, slated for completion in 2017. This plant will start producing 50 million wafers annually, totaling 250 megawatts of output. It will eventually scale to 600 million wafers and 3,000 MW of annual production.

1366 Technologies has raised $70 million in capital to commercialize their innovation, from such investors as South Korean Hanwha Chemical, a major user of silicon wafers, as well as from Ventizz Capital Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.


As the revolving door continues to rotate during Solar Evolution/Revolution, perhaps the name of a solar constant will bring forth a  longer stay than other abbreviated variables.

 

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

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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14 March

Looking Into The Future With Elon Musk

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

 (Please click on red links & note magenta)

Just received a video that I trust all of us Solar Enthusiasts would enjoy, below, esp. from these three segments:

  1. 1. 0:48-2:05
  2. 7:50-9:10
  3. 12:25-13:40

Elon Musk concurs with our effort and interest in helping our planet Earth to transition into Solar/Renewable Energy! He is definitely our Peops!
In this next video, below, please especially note these segments where Elon Musk discusses carbon tax, battery technology, solar/renewable energy, and our sustainable future.

  1. 8:28-9:30
  2. 24:45-28:20
  3. 31:54-33:30
  4. 40:00-41:00

Our coverage on Elon Musk will continue in the next episode/post.
~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
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

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15 February

Dramatic Move In Solar Inverter Technology

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Just spent part of the day learning about Solar Edge’s (NASDAQ: SEDG) HD Wave Inverter Technology. This novel power conversion topology may potentially represent one of the most significant advancements in solar technology in the past 20 years. Inverters of a solar energy system converts the solar power into usable energy and its functionality is determined by the size, reliability, and efficiency.

To borrow part of the wikipedia explanation (in Italics): A solar inverter, or PV inverter, or Solar converter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical BOS–component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary AC-powered equipment. Solarinverters have special functions adapted for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection.


To have a better understanding of how the new HD Wave Inverter Technology differs from the traditional systems, let’s take a look at the internal view of a traditional solar inverter, with many large capacitors (blue cylinders seen in the photo below) used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform (diagram below The Guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter) . The new HD Wave Inverter technology eliminates the need for the electrolytic capacitors. It also uses less magnetics and fewer cooling components, smaller, lighter, with higher efficiency, and greater reliability.

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform. Russell Neches - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rneches/2541181118/

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform.
Russell Neches – http://www.flickr.com/photos/rneches/2541181118/

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic (Source:

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic

Most of the reports I’ve come across discussed the space and weight that will be reduced as a result of replacing those traditional large capacitors (blue cylinders in photos above). In reality, it is even more critical the fact that the replacement by the new HD wave  technology (thin film technology) means much lower chance of failure and may potentially allow the inverter to last as long as the complete solar system itself. Keep in mind that, now, most of the solar panels have warranty period of about 25 years, batteries typically have limited warranties of 5-10 years, and inverters have coverage of 5-10 years. So, if one takes all into consideration (longevity as well as the reduction of space, weight, and transport cost, etc.), this new HD Wave Inverter technology may potentially massively (greater than 50%) reduce the cost of inverter and overall solar system.

This is a perfect example of why cost of solar systems may continue to drop despite the fact that much had already occurred (cost of solar had already dropped tremendously these past 5 years). So, let the growing demand of solar to continue. We are ready for a sunny world!

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

Any suggestions, concerns, questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

For more on solar energy topics, please feel free to check into links below:

http://www.sunisthefuture.net

http://www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

http://www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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1 February

Elon Musk’s Warning For Mankind

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

This is the message from Elon Musk: For the sake of future of earthlings and human kind, let the oil prices not be the most significant determining factor for future of EV industry. Let us not sacrifice the future of earth for the present. Let us not continue putting so much carbon into the atmosphere. Sooner or later we will all have to transition into an electric future. It is much better for the planet earth that we transition sooner than later into the solar electric future.

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

Any suggestions, concerns, questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

For more on solar energy topics, please feel free to check into links below:

http://www.sunisthefuture.net

http://www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

http://www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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30 January

Time To Evolve Energy Policy For Nevada

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on energy after a tour of a Solar Panel Field at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country with nearly one million solar panels powering 17,000 homes, in Boulder City, Nevada, March 21, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on energy after a tour of a Solar Panel Field at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country with nearly one million solar panels powering 17,000 homes, in Boulder City, Nevada, March 21, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

(Please click on red for more, below)

Yes, I’m well aware of what’s been happening in Nevada and can fully appreciate the frustration of solar folks out there. But I waited because I wanted to see the reaction of people from Nevada. I trust that there are sufficient number of people all over the country now who are in support of a clean environment and renewable future that there would be plenty of reactions about the recent decision of Nevada PUC (Public Utility Commission, the regulatory body that sets rules for the state’s electricity, gas, and water utilities). What I do not understand is how Nevada PUC reached the decision to cut net metering rates and increase the residential PV owner rate ($40 per month) payable to the state utility, NV Energy. Does Nevada PUC realize that such an attempt to stifle solar energy industry in the short term may actually speed up the rate of destruction of NV Energy in the long run? Or perhaps Nevada PUC simply does not understand sufficiently the overall changing landscape of energy use to propose more effective measures to adapt to the changing need.

The signs and shouts of “Don’t tax the sun!”, “Sandoval stole my sunshine!“,”Solar lives matter!” of hundreds of residents of Las Vegas were heard throughout the country! Those angry protestors outside of the Nevada’s PUC were led by celebrity actor Mark Ruffalo, who shouted, “Let’s make life uncomfortable for them, for the Governor, for the PUC. Because they’re wrong!”

Here is the response from one of the Nevada residents to Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada PUC about the recent Nevada Solar ruling, below:

The new fee of $40 per month won’t only apply to new solar customers, but also to the 12,000 or so people who already own solar panels. As a result of this  new decision, selling solar in Nevada will no longer make economic sense for solar installer such as Solar City, cutting 550 jobs from Nevada to be relocated to more solar-friendly states during the first week of January this year. Other solar installers such as Vivint Solar have similar plans, which will translate into loss of thousands of jobs from state of Nevada if such a poor decision is not remedied or reversed. Sunrun even filed an open records request for communication between NV Energy employees, lobbyists, Gov. Sandoval and his staff, and current PUC Chairman Paul Thomsen.  After Sunrun’s request was refused, Sunrun sued Sandoval.

 I believe in order for all of us, the energy consumers as well as the power generators, to evolve during this period of transition, we all need to learn, collaborate effectively, and be willing to evolve to the next stage of human history. I believe what we need is better understanding of feed-in-tariff at Value of Solar. In order to be able to step into the next stage of the game and be fair to all parties involved and/or be able to establish stability in our grid or potential future microgrids, I’d like to offer some information and words of wisdom by those who have already put much time and energy into studying the energy generation and management issues. Please allow me to share what Karl Rabago and Toby D. Couture have concluded,  below:

    1. Discussion of the Importance of Value of Solar with Karl Rabago

    1. Expanded Discussion on Value of Solar
    2. Words of Wisdom/Reminder From Our Value of Solar Friend, Karl Rabago
    3. In-Depth Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy With Toby D. Couture

Much remains to be seen and learned before Nevada PUC regulators’ next hearing on February 8, 2016. I hope they will make attempt in consulting Karl Rabago and/or Toby D. Couture before the next hearing.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

any questions, suggestions, and concerns will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

http://www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

http://www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture


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27 October

Please Support These Solar Car Teams

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

After much careful consideration, I’ve decided to still post this piece on “Please Support These Solar Car Teams“. I want to clarify that these teams come from  cultural backgrounds that do not complain much nor easily request for assistance from others.  Therefore, none of the teams nor their team leaders had asked me to post this piece. It is based on other sources and my personal observations that had brought me to the conclusion. I would also like to remind every one that the goal of these challenges, whether it be World Solar Challenges, American Solar Challenges, Abu Dhabi Solar Challenges, SaSol Solar Challenges of South Africa, the purpose is to stimulate learning opportunities, exchange ideas to stimulate the growth of Solar Energy, and help our future generations to transition into  solar energy quickly. In order to help our planet to transition into a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable place to live in, we need to help all continents and countries to transition into EV (Electric Vehicle) and Solar Energy Age. So, I am taking this opportunity to shout out to electric vehicle companies such as Tesla Motors, Nissan, BYD, Ford, General Motors, etc. to ask for assistance for these teams in whichever way possible.

First: the two new solar cars from South Africa- Sirius X25 of North West University and Hulamin-iKlwa of University of Qwa Zulu Natal are the first and only two entrants from Africa. Both of these two teams are on very tight budget. They represent our hope for the solar future in the African continent, a place with much future growth potential.

WSC2015-Sirius X25 of North West University from South Africa (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

WSC2015-Sirius X25 of North West University from South Africa (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

WSC2015-Hulamin-iKlwa of University of Qwa Zulu Natal from South Africa (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

WSC2015-Hulamin-iKlwa of University of Qwa Zulu Natal from South Africa (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Second: first entrant from China-Sun Shuttle of Beijing Institute of Technology entered for the second time. Contrary to what some other bloggers presumed, Sun Shuttle hardly had any support this time. It’s amazing that they actually made it to WSC2015! For the good of the planet, it is critical for the Chinese to transition into EV (electric vehicle) and Solar EV future, because China is inhabited by one fifth of the earth’s population. A cleaner China will translate into a cleaner planet earth!

WSC2015-Sun Shuttle from Beijing Institute of Technology of China (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

WSC2015-Sun Shuttle from Beijing Institute of Technology of China, with Professor Zhang You-tong (with sunglasses) and students (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Third: Aurora of Aurora Vehicle Association has entered every World Solar Challenge since 1987 until this year (2015). Apparently Aurora’s loss of its garage workspace further led to dramatic decrease in membership of the organization. It would be a pity not to see Aurora of Aurora Vehicle Association, the most competitive entrant of our hosting country Australia, in the future. It would feel as though part of the tradition of World Solar Challenge has been lost.

WSC2015-Aurora of Aurora Solar Vehicle Association with its loyal member and Chairman Martin Brook (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

WSC2015-Aurora of Aurora Solar Vehicle Association with its loyal member and Chairman Martin Brook (email: martin.brook@aurorasolarcar.com)(credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I hope all electric vehicle companies, solar enthusiasts, car enthusiasts, or simply any one who is interested in protecting our planet from pollution and accelerated climate change would reach out to these universities and organizations mentioned above, to show interest in helping these solar car teams.

More posts about World Solar Challenge 2015 will be coming.

As I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier post:  If any solar car team needs to have a fund raising campaign, Sun Is The Future would be gladly help  in letting the world know about your fund raising campaign. But it is crucial that individual solar car team would set up their own campaign and provide their own web site with appropriate contact information before contacting Sun Is The Future at sunisthefuture@gmail.com . Sun Is The Future will help to promote campaigns but would not be involved with the collection of donations.

You may also be interested in these posts from the past, below:

100% Electric Vehicle and 100% Solar By 2030

Discussion of the Importance of Value of Solar With Karl Rabago

Expanded Discussion of Value of Solar

In-Depth Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy With Toby D. Couture 

“Solar Tsunami” Shared by the Effervescent Professor Jose Cordeiro of Singularity University During World Future Society 2014 

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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22 October

Winning Solar Cars of World Solar Challenge 2015 On Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red and note magenta)

It’s a beautiful sunny day (Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015) for all the Solar Cars to head toward Adelaide, Australia. While the red carpet is being set up for these winners,

Red Carpet awaits for all the Solar Cars of World Solar Challenge 2015 (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Red Carpet awaits for all the Solar Cars of World Solar Challenge 2015 (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

the solar energy users/drivers, clouds start to disperse to allow the sun shine through. The first solar car that arrived is Nuna8 of Nuon Solar Team (Team #3 from Netherlands) and the second is the Red One of Solar Team Twente (Team #21 from Netherlands). Followed by Tokai Challenger of Tokai University (Team #10 from Japan) in the third, Aurum of University of Michigan Solar Car Team (Team #2 from USA) in the fourth, Punch One of Punch Powertrain Solar Team (Team #8 from Belgium) in the fifth, Arctan of Stanford Solar Car Project  (Team #16 from USA) in the sixth, and MegaLux of GAMF Hungary (Team #23 from Hungary). Video below is a record of all of these winning solar cars (each solar car is allotted 2 minutes of presentation) that arrived at Victoria Square in Adelaide, Australia, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015:


After having covered the World Solar Challenge for the third time/sixth year, I have to declare that the Dutch (from Netherlands) really know how to party and race solar cars! Not only are the first two places being occupied by the Dutch, Nuon Solar Team is coming in first this year and last time (2013).Their enthusiasm is infectious. Their energy level is uplifting. For centuries, the Dutch have had to deal with much of their endowed geographic position below the sea level. Such rigorous trials and tribulations may have contributed to their engineering prowess reflected in their design for solar cars. So goes the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This year one person, Professor Wubbo Ockels, from the Nuon Solar Team, is conspicuously missing. After talking to the team members, I found out that Professor Ockels passed away in 2014. Professor Ockels, we hope that you are enjoying World Solar Challenge 2015 from up there, cheering and laughing with all of us. In his memory, I’d like to invite you all to view this post and visit www.happyenergy.com .

Tokai University and University of Michigan have been perennial top finishers for many years. Stanford University’s Stanford Solar Car Project,  Punch Powertrain Solar Team, and GAMF Hungary have all made great strides. These teams have given much hope for all of those who participate in World Solar Challenge. As the world of solar energy technology continues to evolve, much remains to be seen for future races. For example,  perovskite-based solar technology may bring huge gains to solar cells in the future. If interested, please refer to these  links below for more on perovskite-based solar technology:

  1. Dr. Christopher Case (of Oxford PV) Discusses Game-Changing Future Transformer of Solar Power Generation-Perovskite Based Solar Cell Technology
  2. Dr. Henry Snaith Believes That We May Have Entirely Clean Energy In Five Years
  3. Perovskite Solar Cell Technology of Oxford PV-the Potential Gamer Changer

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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