The U.S. Air Force has big plans for renewable energy development over the next 15 years, and we’ve just had a sneak peek at it all. One of the proposals that have had us hooked is the space solar stations the Air Force is planning. These will beam energy generated from the sun directly back home to planet Earth as well as space satellites. The exact technologies that will be used to wirelessly transfer energy from these solar-energy-collecting stations to the earth however are yet being perfected. Also, the Air Force currently has just 27 kilowatt (kW) arrays for satellite power and is looking to expand out on the same with this future proposal. We wish the U.S. Air Force all the luck it needs in this endeavor of sending clean renewable energy to our planet right out of space!
Category Archives: Alternative Energy
A bunch of researchers from the Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials have come up with a new way to generate small amounts of energy. Using a fabric called Power Felt made from “tiny carbon nanotubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers, this fabric generates energy from changes in temperature. Meaning, a simple touch could generate a trickle of energy. Using the principals of thermoelectric, the Power Felt fabric seems to be a promising way to power up smaller devices if used to create clothing. Also, these fabrics could wind up as car seats and generate substantial amounts of energy for automobiles, given that people do tend to wriggle and move about in their seats while travelling, helping generate some clean green renewable energy in the bargain!
With the world turning to greener renewable energy sources of energy to power up, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Authority too decided to sway to the greener side and has hooked up the Chattanooga Airport to solar panels. By Atlanta-based Inman Solar, the installation covers a whopping 4.5 acres and trickles in green energy for the airport’s use. These high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules were developed by Suniva, also an Atlanta-based solar company. Since completion in December, the installation has already generated 90,000 kilowatt-hours of power and saved 62 tons of Co2 from entering the ecosystem, making the Chattanooga Airport a green place to fly.
Trading firm Marubeni has decided to put the Japanese winds to better use and is currently drawing up plans for a wind farm of the coast of Fukushima. Wind farms have worked well to keep the Japanese grid alive in times of natural calamities that have struck in the past, pulling down nuclear plants in the bargain. Now, Marubeni will begin work on a 1GW floating offshore renewable energy generating plant that will add some clean and green energy to the Japanese power grid. Also, the Japanese government will lend a helping hand with funds for the initiative, while companies like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nippon Steel Corp, and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding will lend their support too.
Apple has been making an effort to stay green since quite a while now, and has just released its 2012 Environmental Report, with its Maiden data center in focus. This data center in North Carolina will soon sport the largest end user-owned solar array in the United States and will cover an area of about 100 acres. All this will help generate 42 million kWh of green renewable juice annually, while Apple also plans to build a 5MW Fuel Cell facility alongside it. The 20MW installation will help Apple wipe off its carbon footprint to quite an extent, and will further help the manufacturers of iOS devices to stay eco-friendly.
Nature tends to inspire, and these fabulously green streetlamps we just stumbled across speak volumes. Called the “Mango”, these streetlamps are drawn along the lines of mango leaves and were developed as an eco-friendly lighting solution for Indian streets. In essence an LED lamp concept that uses rain and sunlight to generate energy to power on, these street lights look great and are energy efficient too, helping pull the load off the Indian power grid. By designer Adam Mikloski, these lamps use solar energy with integrated solar panels and collect rainwater too. Presented for the India Future of Change Design Competition, these beautiful concept streetlights could soon adorn Indian streets in the future!
Solar-power harvesting facilities don’t really need to be an eyesore, proved the company AROA. Developers of some pretty aesthetically-beautiful installations that generate enough energy to power up thousands of homes, AROA has now set up its second energy-generating Solar Tulip power tower in Spain. The flower-shaped tower is in all essence a concentrated solar power (CSP) electrical generator and uses less water than steam solar generators. The facility sports 50 mirrors that track the sun and heat the bulb to a whopping 1,000 degrees centigrade that in turn expands air through a turbine to generate electricity. Priced at $550,000, the plant will add a touch of green renewable energy to the electricity grid in Spain.
Solar energy soaking systems could soon get cheaper and could work as a boon for developing nations who have no connections to electricity grids whatsoever with this new development that featured in the Scientific Reports a short while ago. Researchers today are working on creating a chemical that can be mixed with green plants to create a paintable biophotovoltaic material that could harness the energy of the sun! Without the need of sophisticated laboratory equipment and the like, this material could very well be painted on the roofs of houses in developing areas, helping people living there generate energy from renewable sources like the sun! A mix-up of biology and electronics, the chemical helps use the photovoltaic abilities of plants for the betterment of humankind.
BMW’s Zentrum Museum has now gone greener than ever with the automaker completing a one-of-a-kind solar installation that will completely power up the facility. Spending a whopping $500,000 for the same, BMW installed 400 solar modules in front of the museum, each capable of soaking in 240 watts worth of solar juice. The installation generates about 96,000 watts, enough to power up the sprawling 24,000-square-foot facility. And that’s not all. BMW has also installed three electric charging stations to juice up electric cars at the museum and we applaud the automaker’s efforts to go a darker shade of green.
India will now play home to an eco-friendly initiative, also the first of its kind in the nation called the REAP. The Renewal Energy Assisted Pump, developed by BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, a subsidiary of BSES, in collaboration with IIT Delhi, uses solar energy to power up its water pumping system. At a total cost of just Rs. 4,00,000 (approximately $8,075.29) including the solar panels, the system could revolutionize the way homes, residential societies and industries pump water in the near future. The REAP system is easy-to-install and uses a submersible pump hooked on to solar panels and requires very low maintenance. This new development makes solar energy even more reliable for day-to-day use and is a fantastic way to bring home a clean supply of water without punching holes in the ozone.