Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

Pages with tag Renewable Energy

  • Building the SOLN1-2000 Watt Capacitor Solar Generator <p>Supercapacitors are like batteries because they store electricity, but they're different from batteries because the electricity is not stored as a chemical reaction. Supercapacitors are capacitors, but super, meaning they hold far more energy than regular capacitors. Capacitors store energy between metal plates that are separated by an insulator, and are used in pretty much every electrical gizmo to smooth out electricity, store bits of electricity here and there in a circuit and so forth. In some cases capacitors are used as primary energy storage -- for example some photography flashguns have a large capacitor that's charged up from a battery to emit a huge flash of light.</p> <p>This video shows a Supercapacitor system built with easy-to-assemble modules with built-in balancers, that is charged from regular solar panels, and can drive regular 120 volt equipment from an inverter. The system is small and lightweight, but provides great energy storage capability.</p> <p>With the system shown here, he went to a remote site and ran a cement mixer and various power tools all day long straight off sunlight and a small solar array.</p>
  • The Breakthrough in Solar Energy <p>Renewable electricity with Wind and Solar is quickly becoming financially viable as the cheapest form of electricity production. The cost curve is falling rapidly thanks to production efficiencies as the manufacturing volume rises, and as the manufacturers grow more and more comfortable with producing the technology. The cost is low enough, that in some places, it is cheaper than natural gas electricity without subsidies. </p> <p>Case in point, Dubai, in the middle of the Oil-Rich Persian Gulf, is building out a massive solar farm that's slated to expend to 800 megaWatts within a few years. In the middle of the Persian Gulf region, they're able to build solar at a cost cheaper than natural gas. Let that sink in.</p> <p>In the USA we did elect a government full of climate change denying fossil fuel loving leaders. But the economics dictates a different solution. The economics says that the future is renewable electricity.</p> <p>One of the voices in this documentary points out that the price-cost-curve for renewable electricity is dictated by manufacturing efficiency, while the price-cost-curve for fossil fuel electricity is based on the price for the resource. With renewable electricity the resource is as endless as the Sun. With fossil fuel electricity the resource is limited, and the price for that resource goes higher the more you extract, simply because as fossil fuel resources reach depletion extraction is more expensive.</p> <p>Another case story is an island in the Canary Islands. They have a high cost of energy because there is no local energy resources. Their goal is moving 100% to renewable electricity, with local energy storage, organic produce, and electric vehicles. Once accomplished more of their money will stay on the island, as opposed to the current situation where money is shipped off the island to buy fossil fuels. In other words, locally produced renewable electricity can produce great economic goodness.</p> <p>The more renewable energy is deployed the less need there is for wars -- since in many cases wars (especially in the current time period) are often to do with resources. The whole mess in the Middle East is, after all, a war where the West seeks to protect access to the fossil fuels in the Middle East.</p>
  • US Department of Energy is Accelerating the Clean Energy Revolution The US Department of Energy has for decades led development of clean energy technologies. According to David Friedman, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, since 2008 their group has contributed to a massive cost reduction in clean energy technologies, that drove massive adoption. One hopes that under the new political administration, the Dept of Energy will keep up the good work. This video was published in March 2017, after the new political administration came to office, which might be a good sign. On the other hand, it was filmed on January 8, 2017, before the new political administration came to office. The date is important given the radical shift in policy currently underway, and the budget cuts threatened at the Dept of Energy and EPA and other agencies. This new political administration seems dedicated to undermining the clean energy revolution described in this lecture. The lecture outlines some truly excellent reasons for continuing that revolution.