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 of National Geographic:
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
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:
the residential rooftops (1 kW to below 20 kW) would receive a FIT of NT$6.103/kWh (US$0.193/kWh)
the ground-mounted PV power plant would receive a FIT of US$0.144/kWh
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:
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 constant, representing 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 siliconwafers 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)
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 KoreanHanwha 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.
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 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/
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
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
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 betweenNV 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:
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 email@example.com
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-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, 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 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)(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 email@example.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:
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:
I attended PV Taiwan 2015 in Taipei World Trade Center-Nangang Exhibition Center in Taipei, Taiwan, because of a previous promise. In my book of life, it is important to keep one’s words or promises.
The event organizer was very astute in combining PV Taiwan-TIGIS-Laser Taiwan 2015 into one conference/exhibition event because there is much cross-over among these three industries. 2015 PV (Photovoltaics) Taiwan & 2015 TIGIS (Taiwan International Green Industry Show) open concurrently for the first time at Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall, creating the most comprehensive and complete platform for Green Energy Industry in Taiwan. The event lasted between Oct. 14-16, 2015.
As I got close to the exhibition center on Oct. 14, 2015, I realized that there would be some serious VIP attending this event because the building was surrounded by security guards. As it turned out, the VIP is the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou.
The 12th/13th President of Taiwan or R.O.C. (Republic of China), Yingjeou Ma.(credit: jamiweb)
Not only did President Ma give an encouraging opening address, he also took a quick tour of the exhibit with his entourage, caught in this video above (at 4:53 mark of the video). It is clear that President Ma appreciates the relevance of solar/renewable industry at this juncture of human history. He understands that we human kind needs to get into the clean, renewable, and solar energy. His attendance was truly a morale boost for all of those in solar industry and in attendance.
This is a very well organized event where media/press are treated well. The main difference between PV Taiwan and SPI or Intersolar is that PV Taiwan has greater emphasis in manufacturing components (such as material and equipments) whereas SPI or Intersolar tends to emphasize more on finished product. It is apparent that a lot of Taiwanese and Chinese solar businesses are in collaboration with other European companies (such as German companies). I believe Taiwanese business people, as a group, is extremely versatile and collaborative. They also understand the importance of education and research for solar industry’s future. It is an event worth attending for all solar businesses that want to connect with others from different parts of the world.
Taipei, Taiwan, has presented itself as a world class city, where order, cleanliness, and smart planning and designs may be found every where. Taiwan is truly a beautiful place, a wonderful island where services are the tops, best (cleanest and easiest to navigate) mass transport (MRT), and people are extremely friendly! Taipei, Taiwan, is a city where one doesn’t need to speak/know Chinese/Mandarin and still be able to get around the city because all signs and metro announcements are in both English and Chinese. It is truly an international city. To take a look at this lovable city, check out these videos below:
Any questions, comments, and concerns may be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
More videos regarding PV Taiwan 2015 will be uploaded later.
~have a bright and sunny day~
gathered, photographed, video-recorded, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at email@example.com
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics: