Posts Tagged ‘www.sunisthefuture.net’

3 September

Duke Energy Is Shifting From Nuclear To Solar!

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Below is a re-post from our sister publication, Windermere Sun.

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Thumb Up-1 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Solar Panels (photo by Neville Mecallef, presented at WindermereSun.com)

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

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What fantastic news for solar enthusiasts, climate scientists, and environmentalists! On Tuesday of this week, Duke Energy of Florida announced a settlement with Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC), equivalent to other states’ Public Utility Commission (PUC), to stop plans to build a nuclear power plant in western Florida. The utility, with the blessing from PSC, will instead invest $6 billion in solar panels, grid-tied batteries, grid modernization projects, and electric vehicle charging stations. This new investment plan will involve the installation of 700 MW of solar capacity over four year period in the western Florida region.

Duke Energy Florida may not have started building the Levy nuclear power plant, but it did have plans to order two AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. But now, with the dramatic decrease in cost of solar and increase in battery storage technology, Florida utility concluded that it is much more cost effective to invest in solar rather than nuclear. Last week, Duke told its PSC that it would have to increase rates by more than 8% due to increased fossil fuel (coal and natural gas) costs. But with the new investment plan directing the utility toward solar and storage, that rate hike will be  4.6% instead of 8%.


 


Even though the preparatory expenditure on Levy are now sunk costs, this new plan will save residential customers future nuclear related rate increases. Customers will see a cost reduction of $2.50 per MWh (megawatt-hour) through the removal of unrecovered Levy Nuclear Project costs, according to the utility. The 700 MW of solar may not cover the 2.2 GW (gigawatt) capacity of the Levy plant, but it does indicate the dramatic shift from nuclear power to more solar power.

Duke Energy of Florida serves 1.8 million Floridians and had been relying heavily on natural gas. This week Duke said it wants to raise its solar power capacity to 8% generating power in the next four years.

The parent company of Duke Energy Florida, Duke Energy, also pulled the plug on another planned nuclear power plant in North Carolina last week, according to GreenTechMedia. With continuing drop in solar cost and  improved battery storage technology, it is conceivable that Duke would choose the best option of increasing solar for its customers.


It is a turning point in the history of energy use, when utility and PSC are able to be weaned from  nuclear and move onto solar. Thanks to those who have worked tirelessly in researching, developing, and improving battery storage technology. For this is necessary in order for solar to be promoted from intermittent to reliable source of power.

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

~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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31 August

What Should We Do About This “New Normal”

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Below, is a re-post from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun.

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National Weather Service map with the new purple color to delineate high rainfall levels (presented at WindermereSun.com)

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

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With water and massive damage of Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, and the death toll from the storm reaching 30, the National Weather Service (NWS) had to add a new color purple to indicate the unprecedented rainfall level that has occurred during the Storm/Hurricane Harvey since its landfall at Rockport, TX, on last Friday. NWS added two purple shades to its map because the old scale topped out at more than 15 inches while the new limit tops at 30 inches. Even though this is the most powerful storm that has hit Texas in more than 50 years and the worst flooding disaster in U.S. history, many experts and meteorologists believe that climate change will continue to fuel massive storms like Hurricane Harvey in the future. As Houston is experiencing its third 500-year flood in 3 years and 25 separate 500-year floods have occurred across the USA since 2010, it is conceivable that this will be our new normal.

Below, you will find an interview by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now and discussion with David Helvarg, Executive Director of Blue Frontier, an ocean conservation organization, on the subject of how climate change is fueling massive storms such as Hurricane Harvey.

David Helvarg comments that these flood zones will become more water logged as the sea level rises at Texas and Louisiana coast, South Florida, etc. The prediction is such that there may be about 3-6 feet or more of sea level rise in the coming decades, with the continuing global warming. The two 10,000 year rain events in two years is becoming the new normal. Despite the Trump administration’s denial of climate change, there are many measures that individual states and cities may take in helping to slow down the climate change: installing more renewables such as solar and wind, transitioning into electric vehicles, reducing food waste and increasing local food productions, recycling, reusing, reducing, etc.

There had been more than 1,200 people who died amid flooding in Bangladesh, Nepal, and India. This year’s monsoon season has brought torrential downpours that have submerged wide swaths of South Asia, destroying tens of thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals and affecting up to 40 million people. Aid organizations are warning that this is one of the worst regional humanitarian crises in years, with millions of people facing severe food shortages and disease caused by polluted flood water. Flood victims in southern Nepal say they have lost everything. Below, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now speaks with Asad Rehman, Executive Director of “War on Want“. Director Rehman has worked on climate change issues for over a decade.

To see what actions Central Floridians in Orlando (esp. Mayor Dyer and his team) have been pursuing in their effort to slow down the climate change, please view our previous post on Florida Climate Summit at Orlando in August, 2017. Perhaps you can also initiate and/or encourage people in your communities to transition into renewables such as solar and wind, electric vehicles, recycle, reuse,  reduce food waste and increase local food productions. Our home planet Earth is in need of our help. We need to slow down the climate change in order to prevent millions of people on earth becoming homeless.

Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com

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We Need Fair Value of Solar

 

~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 August

Daniel Kammen Resigns From Science Envoy of U.S. State Department

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This is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun.

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Daniel Kammen, Distinguished Professor of Energy of UC Berkeley and former Science Envoy of U.S. State Department (presented at WindermereSun.com)

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

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UC Berkeley Distinguished Professor of Energy Daniel Kammen resigns from his post as Science Envoy of the U.S. States Department, citing that he believed it to be President Trump’s failure to denounce white supremacists and neo-nazis and for U.S. to depart from Paris Climate Accord. His letter of resignation spelled out “impeach” by the first letter of each paragraph.

Professor Kammen feels Secretary Tillerson needs to speak truth to power and not cave in to climate denial environment. He further comments that it is utmost important for U.S. to remain competitive economically and politically on world stage by addressing climate change, carbon tax, and renewable energy with distributed stand point.

For more about Daniel Kammen’s work, please refer to: his web site at Berkeley.


Below, is excerpts from wikipedia, on Daniel Kammen, in italics:

Daniel M. Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley and a former climate Science Envoy for the State Department. He holds a dual appointment at the Energy and Resources Group (part of the College of Natural Resources) and the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is also a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their report, Climate Change 2007, assessing man-made global warming. Kammen was elected a permanent fellow of the African Academy of Sciences in 1998 and, in 2007, received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Commonwealth Club of California.

On September 9, 2010, Kammen was appointed chief technical specialist for renewable energy and energy efficiency at the World Bank.

In 2016, he was selected as a U.S. Science Envoy by the United States State Department.

Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com

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

 

We Need Fair Value of Solar

~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

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22 August

Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

This is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun.

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You can watch the Total Solar Eclipse Event from: https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive/#NASA+TV+Public+Channel

Total Solar Eclipse observed from USA on Aug. 21, 2017, with the help of NASA (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Total Solar Eclipse (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Map of the Total Solar Eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017 (Attribution: Wolfgang Strickling, presented at WindermereSun.com)

Chart for Solar Eclipse (Attribution: Fred Espenak of NASA GSFC, presented at WindermereSun.com)

Diamond Ring of the Total Solar Eclipse, last bit of corona ring and last flash of the sun give us the “diamond ring” effect (presented at WindermereSun.com , with the help of NASA)

Diamond Ring of the Total Solar Eclipse, last bit of corona ring and last flash of the sun give us the “diamond ring” effect (presented at WindermereSun.com , with the help of NASA)

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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You can watch the Total Solar Eclipse Event from: https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive/#NASA+TV+Public+Channel

Did you drive or fly to one of the cities along the route for observing total solar eclipse? Did you avoid the crowd by watching live stream for the event, or were you simply oblivious of the Total Solar Eclipse event today? There were so many people trying to reserve for flights to one of the cities along the route of total solar eclipse above that a coach plane ticket between DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) to Nashville costed $6000 last week. Hotel rooms were quickly running out that all of the hotel rooms along this route were fully booked last week that the last single room was going for $6000 for 4 nights at Oregon State University area. This is the only reason that I am reporting the event from Florida rather than Oregon State University today. The next total solar eclipse in the USA will be on April 8, 2024, only 2422 days away. The next total solar eclipse outside of the USA will be on July 2, 2019, with the path of totality running through South American countries such as Chile and Argentina, according to NASA. If you missed today’s event, perhaps you’ll be interested in one of these two future events.

Historically, some of the total solar eclipses at:

  • October 22, 2134 B.C.: one of the earliest recorded solar eclipse appeared in Shu Ching, an ancient Chinese book of documents. The ancient Chinese believed that a solar eclipse was the result of a large dragon eating the Sun. It was the job of two royal astronomers Hsi and Ho to predict such events so that people could prepare bows and arrows to fend off the dragon. But Hsi and Ho shirked their duties and got drunk, so they were beheaded by the emperor.
  • May 28, 585 B.C.: A total solar eclipse brought about an unexpected ceasefire between two warring nations, the Lydians and the Medes, fighting for control of Anatolia (modern day Turkey) for five years, according to ancient Greek historian Herodotus. During the Battle of Halys, aka Battle of the Eclipse, the sky suddenly turned dark as the sun disappeared behind the moon. Interpreting this inexplicable phenomenon as a sign that the gods wanted the conflict to end, the soldiers put down their weapon and negotiated for a truce.
  • 29-32 A.D.: Christian gospels say the sky darkened after the crucifixion of Jesus. It is possible that the event may have coincided with a solar eclipse. Historians have tried to pinpoint the death of Jesus, using astronomical records of solar eclipse in the years 29 C.E. or 32 C.E.
  • May 5, 840: Louis the Pious, the third son of Charlemagne, inherited a vast empire in what is modern day France after his father died in 814. His reign was marked by dynastic crisis and rivalry between his sons. Being a deeply religious man, Louis became terrified of punishment from God after witnessing a solar eclipse. According to the legend, he died of fright shortly afterward.
  • May 29, 1919: Sir Arthur Eddington tested Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity during a total solar eclipse. Einstein had theorized that massive objects caused distortions in space and time. Eddington confirmed that starlight bent around the sun by measuring the position of certain stars relative to the eclipse.

 

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s disk, as seen in this 1999 solar eclipse. Solar prominences can be seen along the limb (in red) as well as extensive coronal filaments.(Photo Attribution: I, Luc Viatour, Presented at: WindermereSun.com)

 

Chart for Solar Eclipse (Attribution: Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC, Presented at: WindermereSun.com)

Map of Solar Eclipse (presented at: WindermereSun.com)

Map of the Solar Eclipse 2017 USA (created with Eclipse 2017 Android App, Geodata from OpenStreetMap (Attribution: Wolfganag Strickling, Presented at: WindermereSun.com)

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

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How many of you had “observing a Total Solar Eclipse” on your bucket list? It was in totality only within a band across the entire contiguous United States ( covering: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina). The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918 eclipse.

Map of the Solar Eclipse 2017 USA (created with Eclipse 2017 Android App, Geodata from OpenStreetMap (Attribution: Wolfganag Strickling, Presented at: WindermereSun.com), covering: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the Sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth’s surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometers wide. This eclipse is the 22nd of the 77 members of Saros series 145, which also produced the solar eclipse of August 11, 1999. Members of this series are increasing in duration. The longest eclipse in this series will occur on June 25, 2522 and last for 7 minutes and 12 seconds.

The total eclipse will have a magnitude of 1.0306 and will be visible from a narrow corridor through the United States. It will be first seen from land in the US shortly after 10:15 a.m. PDT at Oregon’s Pacific coast, and then it will progress eastward through Salem, OR, Casper, WY, Lincoln, NE, Kansas City, Nashville, TN, Columbia, SC, and finally Charleston, SC. Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide. People who descend upon this “path of totality” for the big event are in for an unforgettable experience. A partial eclipse will be seen for a greater time period, beginning shortly after 9:00 a.m. PDT along the Pacific Coast of Oregon.

The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 41.6 seconds at about 37°35′0″N 89°7′0″W in Giant City State Park, just south of Carbondale, Illinois, and the greatest extent (width) will be at 36°58′0″N 87°40′18″W near the village of Cerulean, Kentucky, located in between Hopkinsville, KY and Princeton, KY. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the Southeastern United States since the solar eclipse of March 7, 1970, which was only visible from Florida.

 

 


A partial solar eclipse will be seen from the much broader path of the Moon‘s penumbra, including all of North America, northern South America, Western Europe, and some of Africa.

The August 2017 eclipse will be the first with a path of totality crossing the US’s Pacific coast and Atlantic coast since 1918. Also, its path of totality makes landfall exclusively within the United States, making it the first such eclipse since the country’s independence in 1776. (The path of totality of the eclipse of June 13, 1257, was the last to make landfall exclusively on lands currently part of the US.

If you are interested in observing this event (total Solar Eclipse), below, in italics, is excerpt from “Eye Safety During Solar Eclipses” from NASA:

The Sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse. Partial eclipses, annular eclipses, and the partial phases of total eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions. Even when 99% of the Sun’s surface is obscured during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the remaining photospheric crescent is intensely bright and cannot be viewed safely without eye protection [Chou, 1981; Marsh, 1982]. Do not attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!

Generally, the same equipment, techniques and precautions used to observe the Sun outside of eclipse are required for annular eclipses and the partial phases of total eclipses [Reynolds & Sweetsir, 1995; Pasachoff & Covington, 1993; Pasachoff & Menzel, 1992; Sherrod, 1981]. The safest and most inexpensive of these methods is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the Sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening. Projected images of the Sun may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. Binoculars can also be used to project a magnified image of the Sun on a white card, but you must avoid the temptation of using these instruments for direct viewing.

The Sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose. Such filters usually have a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces that attenuates ultraviolet, visible, and infrared energy. One of the most widely available filters for safe solar viewing is a number 14 welder’s glass, available through welding supply outlets. More recently, aluminized mylar has become a popular, inexpensive alternative. Mylar can easily be cut with scissors and adapted to any kind of box or viewing device. A number of sources for solar filters are listed below. No filter is safe to use with any optical device (i.e. – telescope, binoculars, etc.) unless it has been specifically designed for that purpose. Experienced amateur and professional astronomers may also use one or two layers of completely exposed and fully developed black-and-white film, provided the film contains a silver emulsion. Since all developed color films lack silver, they are always unsafe for use in solar viewing.

Unsafe filters include color film, some non-silver black and white film, medical x-ray films with images on them, smoked glass, photographic neutral density filters and polarizing filters. Solar filters designed to thread into eyepieces which are often sold with inexpensive telescopes are also dangerous. They should not be used for viewing the Sun at any time since they often crack from overheating. Do not experiment with other filters unless you are certain that they are safe. Damage to the eyes comes predominantly from invisible infrared wavelengths. The fact that the Sun appears dark in a filter or that you feel no discomfort does not guarantee that your eyes are safe. Avoid all unnecessary risks. Your local planetarium or amateur astronomy club is a good source for additional information.

In spite of these precautions, the total phase (and only the total phase) of an eclipse can and should be viewed without filters. It is crucial that you know when to take off and put back on your glasses; see Eye safety during a total solar eclipse

Two spectacular events signal the boundaries of totality: appearance of the diamond effect and Baily’s beads.

Diamond Ring of the Total Solar Eclipse, last bit of corona ring and last flash of the sun give us the “diamond ring” effect (presented at WindermereSun.com , with the help of NASA)

  • Diamond Ring: it is a product of the final moments of the pre-totality partial phases and their post-totality resurgence.
  • Baily’s Beads: Sir Edmund Halley is credited with observing the first Baily’s beads during the eclipse of April 22, 1715. They were also observed by Maclaurin from Edinburgh during the annular eclipse of March 1, 1737 and by Williams from Revolutionary War America on October 27, 1780 from just outside of the totality. But it was Francis Baily’s widely disseminated description of the phenomenon during the annular eclipse of May 15, 1836, that led to their bearing his name thereafter. It was explained by Baily that shortly before second contact of a total eclipse, the opposing horns of the slender crescent sun begin to converge on one another. At the same time, the tenuous solar atmosphere becomes visible against the darkening sky, shining out around the edge of the moon where the sun has already been covered. The combination of this “ring” of light and the single brilliant “diamond” of sunlight where the horns are converging creates a most striking appearance, the diamond ring. The effect lasts for a very short time. Soon the horns of the solar crescent close completely, and the diamond ring begins to break up, to be replaced by an array of brilliant beads of sunlight caused by the sun shining through valleys and depressions on the moon’s leading limb.

 

Total Eclipse Viewing Events (source: wkipedia), below:

Oregon

Idaho

Wyoming

  • Casper, Wyoming – The Astronomical League, an alliance of amateur astronomy clubs, will hold its annual Astrocon conference, and there will be other public events, called Wyoming Eclipse Festival 2017.

Nebraska

Missouri

Illinois

Kentucky

Tennessee

North Carolina

Georgia

  • Rabun County, Georgia – Multiple events occur across Rabun County, including the OutASight Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party with astronomers from Georgia State University. Other events will be held at Tallulah Gorge State Park, Black Rock Mountain State Park, and other locations in the county.

South Carolina

Viewing from outside the United States

Canada

A partial eclipse will be visible across the width of Canada, ranging from 89% in Victoria, British Columbia to 11% in Resolute, Nunavut.

Central America, Mexico, Caribbean islands

A partial eclipse will be visible from Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.

Europe

The boundaries of the sunset partial eclipse in Western Europe. Calculation with EclipseDroid with atmospheric refraction.

In northwestern Europe, the eclipse will only be visible as a partial eclipse, in the evening or at sunset. Only Iceland, Ireland and Scotland will see the eclipse from beginning to end; in the rest of the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal, sunset will occur before the end of the eclipse. In Germany, the beginning of the eclipse will be potentially visible just at sunset only in the extreme northwest of the country. In all regions east of the orange line in the map, the eclipse will be invisible.

Online Viewing Events

 

Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
~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

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19 August

Space X’s Dragon Successfully Completed the Delivery Mission!

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This is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun.

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Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at WindermereSun.com)

 

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at WindermereSun.com)

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

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As I’ve promised some of our readers, I will try to cover as much of the Space X launches, as often as possible!

For those of you who are not as familiar with Space X, Space X designs, manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. It was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology by Elon Musk, with the ultimate goal of enabling human/earthlings to live on other planets.

For my solar and sustainable living friends, yes, I believe one of the components of sustainability of earthlings is space exploration. So, I also have friends and readers from this area and intend to also cover news and information about our space travel, space technology, and inter-galatic intrigues.Space X launched the delivery mission on Monday, August 14, 2017, on a Falcon 9 rocket. The CRS-12 Dragon spacecraft was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Monday, August 14, 2017, at 12:31 EDT (16:31 UTC). The mission is sending a robotic Dragon cargo capsule on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.

About eight minutes after the launch, the first stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 came back to earth, touching down at Space X’s “Landing Zone 1” at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sitting next door to Kennedy Space Center.

On Wednesday, August 16, 2017, at 6:52 am EDT (10:52 UTC), the uncrewed Dragon Spacecraft was captured by astronauts using International Space Station’s robotic arm-Canadarm2, as the two spacecraft were flying over the Pacific Ocean, just north of New Zealand. The Dragon cargo ship was filled with more than 6,400 lbs (2,900 kg) of supplies, science experiments and food and yes ice cream for the space station’s Expedition 52 crew. After the successful delivery and receiving the “Congratulations on a job well done,” message from astronaut Andreas Morgenson of the European Space Agency being radioed to the station’s crew from NASA’s Mission Control in Houston.Below, U.S. Commercial Cargo Craft (Dragon Spacecraft) arrives at the International Space Station:

Video was taken back in 2012, of the Hatch Opening Between Dragon & ISS (International Space Station), below:

Space X so far has 14 such rocket landings and the company has reflown two landed boosters to date. It is the goal of the company and Elon Musk to develop fully and rapidly reusable systems in order to dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration.

For a view of the International Space Station and how it works, here is a HD documentary of tour inside the International Space Station (ISS) shown by NASA Astronaut Sunita (Suni) Williams. She describes how the station is divided into two pressurized modules, floating to each as she demonstrates scientific instruments, brushes teeth, drinks water and using the bathroom, all in zero gravity. Sunita “Suni” Williams is an American astronaut of Indian-Slovenian descent holding several spacewalking records by a woman, below:

If you think this is pretty cool, enjoy exploring, and like math and sciences, you may like to consider becoming an astronaut some day and/or join the Planetary Society or at Planetary Society!
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~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

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6 August

Cutest Solar Power Plants On Earth-Shaped As Pandas

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Below is a repost from our sister publication, Windermere Sun.

Artist rendering of Panda Solar Power Plant at Datong, China (credit: China Merchants New Energy/Panda Green Energy, presented at: WindermereSun.com)

Panda Solar Power Plant at Datong, China (credit: China Merchants New Energy/Panda Green Energy, presented at: WindermereSun.com)

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

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As China continues to grow and develop, energy and pollution are important incentives for China to steer toward the renewables at a lightening pace. As solar generation becomes cost-competitive with electricity from fossil fuels, China rolls out the world’s biggest investment in clean energy.

One of the energy firms in China, Panda Green Energy Group Limited (formerly known as the “United Photovoltaics Group Limited”), has come up with an aesthetically pleasing way to promote the development of solar energy by arranging solar panels at a solar farm to resemble the image of China’s national treasure, the panda. Panda Green Energy’s panda solar power plant in a city of Datong in northern Chinese province Shanxi, with capacity of 100 MW once fully connected (some estimated that in 25 years, it would have generated 3.2 billion KWh, reduced 2.74 million tons of carbon emissions or 1.06 million tons of coal throughout China). The solar panda was constructed in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in tackling the problem of need for renewable energy in China. In June of 2017, Panda Green Energy Group Limited announced that its first panda shaped solar power plant (of 50 MW covering 248 acres, with the black part composed of the more efficient monocrystalline silicone and the grey and white part being the thin film solar cells) was officially connected to the grid in Datong, Shanxi.

This panda solar park is set to become a national monument and home to an education center aiming to teach young people from all over China about the importance of renewable energy and sustainable living. According to Reuters, Panda Green Energy is planning on launching more panda-shaped power plants (some estimate about 100 panda-shaped solar power plants), both inside and outside of China.

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

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26 June

Tony Seba Guiding Us Through Our Transition Into Clean Disruptions

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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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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13 June

Top U.S. Diplomat Resigns After Trump’s Paris Climate Agreement Decision

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Four days after President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the top American official in China, David Rank, tendered his resignation, citing the president’s decision. Rank, who served 27 years in the foreign service, sits down with Judy Woodruff in his first interview since stepping down.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Solar Powered Flying Pods of Transit X Are Coming!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Below, is a repost from our sister publication, Windermere Sun.

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Transit X passenger view (credit: Transit X)

Transit X in Boston (credit: Transit X)

Transit X pod with family (credit: Transit X)

Transit X viewed from sidewalk (credit: Transit X)

Florida Transit X (credit: Transit X)

 

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
(Please click on red links & note magenta)

After a week of reporting on Trump affairs, I really have to thank Dave Finnigan (of jugglingedge.com) for bringing to my attention a much more refreshing topic, a solar powered, quiet, clean, and efficient mass transit system, developed by Transit X.

Transit X in Boston (credit: Transit X)

Transit X passenger view (credit: Transit X)

TransitX-3m-slides for MIT Solve from Mike Stanley on Vimeo.
c
TransitX Indiegogo video v2 from Mike Stanley on Vimeo.
Can you envision our future world, where commuters would have access to wait-free, pollution-free, and accidents-free commute, 24/7 available, autopiloted within cities, beside highways, and along rail corridors? It is a privately-funded surface transportation network with the convenience, capacity, and cost that would offer much relief for our current buses, trains, cars, trucks, and short flights. With our current earthly population of over 7 billion, growing toward 9 billion, we will be needing much help with our current transporting system. Transit X pods may be the perfect solution for our 21st century transportation network, beyond what the Jestsons sic-fi cartoon offers, by having its autopilot feature and seating from one to five. It would also be a great way to help reduce the rate of climate change.

 

Transit X pod with family (credit: Transit X)

Transit X’s solar powered pod system has many advantages:

Headshot of Mike Stanley, founder and CEO of Transit X (credit: Transit X)

  1. It is 100% solar powered, with solar cells on the track providing the energy to charge pods, and therefore providing carbon-free and zero pollution.
  2. It is fast, with nonstop travel at 45 mph (72km/h) along main pods and 135 mph (217 km/h) along highways.
  3. It is much safer than our current roadway system, about 100,000 times safer, according to Transit X founders.
  4. It is affordable and with comparable fares to conventional mass transit. Private financing is possible even with low population density (350 people/km squared)
  5. Cities and towns can apply now to begin service in 2019. Installation is fast and not disruptive to neighborhoods. The first pilot will be ready in Boston, MA by end of 2018.

Below, is a video of an interview of Founder and CEO of Transit X Mike Stanley, by Jay Sugarman:

Interview with Founder and CEO of Transit X from Mike Stanley on Vimeo.

Transit X for Oct 27 Transit Technology Day from Mike Stanley above.

 

NBC Boston Bridgewater from Mike Stanley above.

About three weeks ago, Mike Stanley was here in Central Florida to give a demonstration/talk about Transit X, for Osceola County Commissioner Transportation meeting, Orlando City Commissioner (of District 4) Patty Sheehan, and Orlando City Director of Sustainability Chris Castro.  Subsequently, Dave Finnigan gave a two minute presentation to Metropolitan Orlando about Transit X, and also briefed Carolyn Fennell (of Airport Authority), Nicole Liquori (CEO of Sunrail), Eric Johnson (CEO of Lynx), and Laura Kelley (Director of Central Florida Expressway Authority) about Transit X.

Allow me to share a blueprint of the Florida Transit X Way, below:

Florida Transit X (credit: Transit X)

While we anxiously await for the first Transit X pods to be running in MA by the end of  2018, innovators, solar enthusiasts,  and potential investors of Central Florida and other parts of the world are strongly encouraged to  get in touch with Mike or Dave Stanley, via:

This is the way of the future! For those of you/us participating in its realization may help to save our planet earth!

 

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

~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

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26 May

Special Report On Trump’s Meeting With The Pope

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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

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Pope Francis since March 13, 2013

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

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On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, President Trump had the opportunity of meeting the Pope Francis in person, later stating the meeting being “honor of a life time“.

One thing one can say about Trump: he is not rigid. About a year ago, the Pope Francis commented that Candidate Trump’s call to  build a wall (instead of a bridge) is not  Christian. Trump respond angrily, saying “for a religious leader, to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.” But today, the Pope Francis and President Trump met each other with open hand shake. Pope gave Trump his encyclical, where he makes a passionate case for fighting climate change. At meetings today, the Vatican urged Trump not to drop out of the Paris Accord/Paris Agreement on climate change. President Trump promised to consider Pope’s request and said, “I won’t forget what you said.” Let’s hope that President Trump was truly moved by  Pope Francis and will reconsider his position regarding climate change. Thank you, Pope, for being persuasive and helping the planet earth.

 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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