How floating turbines could harness the awesome power of the tides

Ross Jennings for The Conversation:  The world’s tides contain enough energy to power the entire UK’s electricity consumption. And, since it effectively harnesses the moon’s constant and predictable gravitational pull, tidal power overcomes one of renewable energy’s classic problems – the fact you never know quite how much sun, wind or rain to expect. Now, underwater windmills positioned just below the ocean surface could be a major breakthrough for tidal power. Costly technology and inaccessible locations have thus far held things back. Large, heavy and expensive turbines mounted on the seabed have been developed, but these are aimed at commercial scale developments. Tidal power needs its equivalent of the rooftop solar panel. Imagine then a wind turbine, but underwater, and not fixed to the seabed – these so-called “mobile floating turbines” are a cheaper and more adaptable alternative to big, fixed developments. Most floating turbines look something like this:   Cont'd...

Key Challenges Google's Project Sunroof May Face

Whether Google's Project Sunroof will be a hit or a miss, only time will tell. Nevertheless, the technology is brilliant and this move from Google could make this firm a leading one in the global solar industry.

Concentrator Photovoltaics: The Next Step Towards Better Solar Power

By Lauren J. Young for IEEE Spectrum:  Today’s concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technologies have shown promising potential for more efficient solar power. The latest systems are said to be capable of handling the power of a hundred suns. Yet prototypes have failed to compete with cheaper flat panel solar systems that dominate the market. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) is determined to push CPV to the next level. On 24 August, at the Clean Energy Summit, U.S. President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Ernest Monizannounced a program called MOSAIC that will invest $24 million into CPV solar technology development. Why can’t today’s CPV systems compete? The concentrators can only convert direct sunlight into energy, missing out on the large fraction of sunlight diffracted by clouds and the atmosphere. Manufacturing costs of concentrator apparatuses have also prevented CPV from reaching mass production.   Cont'd...

Float Zone Silicon Solar Panels - 60% less expensive and 25% more efficient

By conducting ion implantation with a particle accelerator, Rayton can produce 20 solar panels using 20x less silicon than what is typically used to create just one.

Lead Battery Recycling

Why it is the most successful reclamation system on the planet.

NASA Seeks Proposals for Extreme Environment Solar Arrays

NASA's space technology program is seeking proposals to develop solar array systems for space power in high radiation and low solar energy environments.  In the near future, NASA will need solar cells and arrays for multiple applications in robotic and human space exploration missions. Because these systems were traditionally developed for operation near Earth, there is a need to develop new solar array concepts as NASA considers missions that require exposure to more intense radiation environments and travel ever farther from the sun.  NASA hopes to solicit proposals for the development of promising technologies to increase solar cells that will work under low intensity, low temperature and high radiation environments. Proposals will be accepted from U.S. organizations, including NASA centers and other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, industry and nonprofit organizations.

Iran is building the Middle East's first geothermal power plant

Iran is building the Middle East’s first geothermal power plant at the foot of an inactive volcanic peak as the country is racing to meet a runaway demand for electricity by its growing population.  The pilot station in northwestern Meshguin Shahr in the Ardabil province is projected to come on stream in the next two years, putting Iran in the club of two dozen nations with the geothermal power generation capacity. The 50-megawatt project is in line with Iran’s bid to expand its clean energy mix which is dominated by fossil fuels. Geothermal power is cheaper and more reliable than other renewable energy sources, such as thermal or hydro power.   Cont'd...

Is Hydrogen The Key To Clean Fuel?

Essentially what we do is take hydrogen-rich materials and combine them with a polymer to make a plastic-like material that we can extrude or press into pellets or rods.

Record Levels of Solar Power Production Were Seen on a Global Scale During the Year 2014

This has coincided with the UK oil and gas industries posting record loses in profitability during the same time frame.

The U.S. Just Approved One of the World's Biggest Solar Power Plants

Todd Woody for TakePart.com:  The federal government on Monday green-lit a 485-megawatt solar plant that would generate enough carbon-free electricity to power 180,000 homes when it comes online in the Southern California desert. During the Great Recession, that was nothing unusual about billions of dollars in federal stimulus money fueling big green dreams of carpeting the Mojave Desert with giant solar power plants on government-owned land, a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s efforts to fight climate change. That land, however, often turned out to be home to desert tortoises, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and other endangered wildlife. Many of those projects went belly-up in part because of fierce opposition from environmental groups. That prompted an effort by the federal government to be “smart from the start” about where it allowed big renewable energy plants to be built. So the Blythe Mesa Solar Project, which was approved Monday, will deploy tens of thousands of solar panels across 3,587 acres of already disturbed or fallow farmland where wheat, alfalfa, and citrus had been grown. No desert tortoises will be harmed.  Cont'd...

How Merthen Manor Heats Family Home And Six Cottages And Saves £20,000 Per Year In Fuel Bills

The biomass district heating system provides heat and hot water to the whole estate throughout the year, predictable fuel bills, income from the renewable heat incentive (RHI), and a 43,000kg reduction in CO2 emissions per year.

Book Discussion - Harness the Sun

For a long time, solar power was viewed as a privilege reserved for the elite. Today there are lots of ways to make solar affordable to homeowners pretty much across the income spectrum.

Plug-and-play battery seeks to upstage Tesla

By Morgan Lee for the San Diego Union Tribune:  It looks like a simple floor lamp, or a sleek picture frame on the wall.  Inside lies a tantalizing future for household energy storage -- a 2 kilowatt-hour battery that plugs into a standard wall outlet and can keep an electrical circuit hot for several hours or more if a power outage strikes. The unproven concept for a plug-in-play battery was introduced Thursday by San Diego-based Orison during a forum at the University of California San Diego. Len Hering, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Energy, praised the 2-year-old startup's efforts in a news release. Orison CEO and co-founder Eric Clifton, drawing on seven years of experience in green technology startups, believes the battery tower and wall unit can play a prominent role in the emerging Internet of Things, providing the energy-storage equivalent of the Nest smart thermostat. "The way we look at it, we are the Nest of the energy industry," he said. Clifton believes that other early household battery entries -- most notably the Powerwall from electric car maker Tesla Motors -- miss the mark on bringing energy storage to the masses. Tesla's hefty home battery has to be professionally mounted and hardwired into household circuity, potentially involving inspections and permits. With Orison's batteries, you don't have to own a home, or even live in one, Clifton said. The batteries fit in with an apartment dweller in Manhattan.   Cont'd... ​

Indian airport becomes world's first to run entirely on solar energy

ROSE TOUP BUCHANAN for The Independent: An Indian airport has become the world's first to run entirely onsolar energy . Cochin International Airport, in the south of India, inaugurated a massive 45-acre solar plant on Tuesday. The plant, made up of 46,000 panels, will provide between 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity every day (totalling 12 megawatts of power alongside pre-existing solar panels ), according to a release from airport authorities. It has been a long-running project: the airport first installed panels on the roof of its terminal in 2013 and has gradually expanded the initiative. Cont'd...

The Efficient Use of Concentrating Solar Power Technology

Many concentrated solar power plants could be built within the next several years. A single plant can generate 250 megawatts or more, which is enough to power about 90,000 homes.

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