• Category Archives: Alternative Energy

    New breakthrough in clean energy – A hummingbird-inspired flapping wind turbine

    In Tyer Wind’s opinion, scientists’ ability to precisely apply human and animal movement understanding to the working of machines has not met with much success so far. Ordinary and not so effective turbines have therefore dotted the wind energy sector. By leveraging his self-pioneered 3D Aouinian kinematics, Anis Aouini therefore decided to disrupt and revolutionize that space with a unique wind turbine, modeled on articulations of the hummingbird, a bird that exhibits ‘sustained hovering’. The final outcome is an impressive new breakthrough – an ingenious flapping wind turbine from Tunisia.

    World’s first solar panel road officially opened in France’s Normandy village, as part of clean energy trial

    One kilometer and 2,800 square meters of solar panels in French village Tourouvre-au-Perche was officially inaugurated by Ségolène Royal, France’s Minister of Ecology, on December 22, 2016. Marking the launch of the world’s first solar panel road, this is also part of France’s ultimate aim to cover 1,000 kilometers of roadways with solar panels. Royal stated that she’d like to see solar panels installed on one in every 1,000 km of French highways.

    Solar technologies that are brightening our future

    Solar power and its associated technologies have traditionally been expensive, inefficient and difficult to maintain.  Nevertheless, since its early years it has been vastly improved by innovators who are finding new ways, and improving old ways, of harnessing the power of our sun.  The following are a few of these innovations that are giving this renewable energy source a bright future.

    India now houses the largest solar power plant of the world, massive enough to power 1,50,000 homes!

    Winning over the title of the world’s largest solar plant at a single location from California’s Topaz Solar Farm, is India’s Kamuthi Solar Power Project in Tamil Nadu. Having been completed two years ago, the former has a capacity of 550 MW, while Kamuthi augments our country’s generating capacity by a whopping 648 MW, and is expected to be powerful enough to provide electricity to 1,50,000 homes.

    Chile has generated so much solar power that is dishing it out for free!

    Think about it. If open land across the world were used to harness solar energy, we wouldn’t require to pay for it. This ideology is yet to be adopted by most governments from across the world and Chile has proven to the world just why. The country’s central grid has increased to 770 megawatts, which is four times the power it harnessed in 2013. An additional 1.4 Gigawatts will be added to the same this year. With a total of 29 solar farms and 15 still in development Chile has more power than it can leverage, as a result, it is giving a free, clean energy out. The northern grid is the one that will be benefitting the most from this while the southern regions are yet to experience the benefit of this power distribution. This is on account of a bifurcated power grid.

    MIT’s Soofa solar benches charge phones in New York

    Soon, sitting down on a park and reading your favorite novel will be a lot more fruitful for you. Especially, if you have a phone that tends to juice-out sooner than your patience for reading. Due credit for this should be given to the minds at MIT Media Labs. They have devised a bench that solar charges phones and New York City will be benefitting from five such installations. The benches aren’t a new deal for the rest of the land though. They were first launched in Boston but soon spread to 12 states and five countries. The benches can seat up to three people and also includes an environment sensor that keeps you update with conditions outside. It is made from sustainably-sourced materials to be a truly eco-friendly means of charging your phone and taking some time off.

    World’s largest solar power plant goes live in Morocco, serves 1.1 mn people

    Behold, the largest solar power plant in the world is here and it’s functional. Cutting down carbon emissions of 760,000 in a year, the $9 billion Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant paves the way for clean energy in the European market. Built with funds from the World Bank, the plant is located in Morocco’s Souss-Massa-Draa area. Other than the ecological benefits, the plant has also created 1,600 jobs during construction and will continue to create 200 jobs during the operation phase. This giant plant will increase the installed capacity of solar power stations from 22 MW in 2013 to 522 MW in 2018. Thanks to the plant’s capability of storing energy in the form of heated molten salt, energy production will be on even after sunset.

    Kyocera set to create world’s biggest floating solar farm in Japan

    What happens when you do not have enough land to lay out solar panels? You construct them on water. That’s the idea for places that are always short of open land for panels. The project by Kyocera will see about 5,000 homes being powered up by solar panels. The idea was expressed a year ago, however, construction of the floating solar farm commenced only recently. The farm will be situated on a reservoir at Japan’s Chiba prefecture which is at the Southeast of Tokyo. Kyocera plans to construct 50,000 solar panels that will dish out 13.7 MW power making this the biggest floating solar farm in the country. There is a chance that the farm will also be the world’s biggest floating power generator.

    Iceland unveils the IceWind CW1000 capable of withstanding higher wind speeds

    Iceland already is as green as a country can get, given the fact that this Nordic island nation runs on 100 percent renewable energy. This however hasn’t stopped these jolly folks for looking for new ways to generate renewable energy. Icelandic inventor Saethor Asgeirsson recently came up with a one-of-a-kind wind turbine that can withstand higher wind speeds, unlike the conventional wind turbines that fair terribly in such situations. Called the IceWind CW1000, this bulky wind turbine is capable of handling Iceland’s high wind speeds that can touch 40 miles per hour on an average day and 112 miles per hour on a stormy day!

    Akon’s Lighting Africa program successfully brings solar energy to 600 million Africans

    Last year, Akon conceptualized and launched the inspiring Akon Lighting Africa initiative that aimed at bringing solar energy to millions of homes in Africa. It’s been a year now and the project has been a roaring success for the singer with 1 million solar powered street lamps and domestic solar panels installed in over a million households in Africa. His endeavor has enhanced the standard of sustainable living across 14 African nations. To give a further boost to his movement, the program introduced the Solar Academy in Mali’s capital, Bamako, through which African engineers were taught the art of solar power harvesting.