• Category Archives: Alternative Energy

    SolFocus inks down $100 million for world’s largest solar CPV project

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    After penning down superlative terms like fastest and greenest, it is now time to bring our eco-readers’ attention to a project that flaunts the tag of being the largest. SolFocus, the makers of solar concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems, has signed a 100 million dollar ($103 million to be precise) deal with EMPE Solar. This mega project will help to generate substantial energy for a population of 40,000 folks. It involves installation of more than10 megawatts of CPV power at sites in southern Spain. Already basking under the success of their recently completed smaller projects in Spain for the Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems, SolFocus aims to carry on their lead in this field by spreading their expertise on a larger scale. Though the company is modest enough to declare that this the largest CPV project in Europe, the eco-buzz is that it will be the largest in the world. Roll over for a brief account on the functioning of CPV system.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on November 5, 2008
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    Solar power satellite can light up whole of California and more

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    With depleting oil reserves and swelling energy costs, it is time to hunt for alternatives that assure power in abundance. Solar powered and wind powered villages and towns aren’t new concepts. But energizing much larger areas like big states and countries with sun’s energy is a bright thought! And Ben Bova, president of the National Space Society, intends to revive Nicola Tesla’s theory of wireless power. He hopes that the to-be president of the United States commissions a $1 billion solar power satellite for NASA. The satellite would harness energy directly from the sun and broadcast it back to a receiver on Earth using microwave frequencies. Unlike the solar power generators that are currently set up, this kind of satellite is estimated to power up millions of homes with non-stop flow as it will not be affected by cloudy or rainy days. Also the source is not exhaustible and the process will involve no wastage or emissions.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on November 4, 2008
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    Orthopedic knee brace to power up gadgets on the go

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    Coming up with innovative ideas to harness alternative energy is the latest fad. And the latest ingenious attempt is the Bionic Energy Harvester. Designed by the researchers at Simon Fraser University, this device is actually an orthopedic knee brace that can be worn to assist ailing knees. Being absolutely light in weight, this wearable device can actually harvest energy as its helps in moving about with ease. A pair of such a brace can extort up to 13 watts of power. Practically speaking, one minute of walking will generate about half an hour of talking on a mobile phone. Though such an invention may not appeal to common man, it is certainly a boon for those who are dependent on such braces.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on November 4, 2008
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    Earn money by powering the grids with electric vehicles

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    Reverse back the budget-killing reality of spending money to run a car with the latest concept of earning money off the same car. Bless Stein who has come up with this idea of powering the national grid with the electricity generated from the electrical vehicles (EVs) when not in use. This ground-breaking concept is dubbed, vehicle to grid (V2G). It is based on the fact that most of the cars are not being used and spend about 90 percent of their time motionless. Such an income generating scheme is boon for folks who walk to work or make the best of public transport and let their cars rest in garages.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on November 3, 2008
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    Newlyweds convince guests to fund for their solar dreams

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    What would you do if you had to raise 12,300 to turn your new home into a solar powered green house? Well you could beg borrow or steal them but, how about taking an inspiration from this entrepreneurial couple who used their gift registry to collect funds. The couple in their early thirties had to afford a solar system to power their 800 sq. ft. condominium, the idea came to them when they sat down to plan the gift registry for their September 2007 wedding. The couple then set out to educate family and friends about the benefits of going solar – and how a contribution to the 1.7-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system they wanted to install on their condominium rooftop would empower them to create the sustainable lifestyle they yearned to live. The majority of their 75 wedding guests enthusiastically contributed to their solar fund. A State of Illinois solar rebate check further helped reduce the total costs by a good 30% and a federal tax credit yielded $2,000. The two incentives offset the solar system cost by about 50 percent. That was just the finance, now came time to convince the homeowners association, Sarah and husband Kiril made several promises to the association:
    1. No penetrations of the roof membrane,
    2. Keep wiring out of sight and
    3. Contain system components (the AC disconnect, for example) within their respective condominium unit.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on September 11, 2008
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    Japan plans massive floating generators which generate power and provide food

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    Japan realizing its massive future energy needs has decided to build ECO rigs that are generators which measure 1.2 miles by 0.5 miles that ground various alternate energy collectors like solar arrays, wind turbines and other green sources. Each of these Eco Rigs could produce around 300 megawatt hours of power, scientists even estimate that strapping three such Rigs could produce enough energy as a standard Nuclear power station. The power generated from these ECO-Rigs could be used to fuel colossal underwater banks of LEDs which could use these platforms as nurseries for specially selected seaweed that absorbs carbon dioxide and feeds fish and plankton. Deep-sea water that is rich in minerals will enhance the seaweed growth. The wind turbines will power pumps that will then draw the water to the surface these rigs which will be unmanned and comprise several hexagonal platforms.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on September 2, 2008
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    Air Compression Energy finds new financial backing

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    Air Compression Energy is a unique form of energy generation which so far has found little takers, but the recent inflation in fuel rates has made even this as a better alternative. Air Compression Energy is produced by first compressing air inside underground caves with the help of electricity (not produced by the caves but from an outside source) then when the cave is pressurized the air is released then spinning turbines to generate electricity. Although this technology has been around for some time, it hasn’t found many investors until now. PSEG Energy Holdings have announced to invest $20 million in the development of this power generation system along with storage expert Michael Nakhamkin. They will jointly lead the way to promoting this wind generation technology by using the caves once occupied by vast reserves of oil and gas. They hope to make ACE as popular as conventional wind turbine energy. BCC Research says that the US market for wind systems will be worth $60.9 billion in 2013, up from $11.2 billion this year.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 29, 2008
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    World’s biggest solar power plant in California could reduce as much carbon emissions as by 90,000 cars

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    California’s largest utility company- Pacific Gas and Electric has signed deals to build the world’s two biggest solar plants that would supply electricity to 250,000 homes and reestablish the United States as the global leader in solar power, officials said Friday. Pacific Gas and Electric will use the two massive solar facilities to help it meet state requirements to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. PG&E has signed contracts with two Silicon Valley firms, Optisolar and SunPower, to build the plants in the sunny central California coast city of San Luis Obispo, which is almost equidistant from the state’s two population centers San Francisco and Los Angeles. Optisolar will build a 550-megawatt solar farm using thin-film photovoltaic panels, while SunPower will build another 250-megawatt plant on former farm land, PG&E said, adding that the OptiSolar plant alone could reduce as much carbon emissions as by 90,000 cars.
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    Energy sector officials said that the new project is so large that it would double the entire installed base of solar power generation in the United States. The world’s largest solar facility is currently in Spain with a23-megawatt generation capacity, while a 154-megawatt station is under construction in Australia.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 17, 2008
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    Wal-Mart and others fit solar panels on rooftops

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    Don’t think that the biggies of the retail business are going eco-conscious for no reason at all. There always is an ulterior motive as far as they are concerned. Recently giants like Wal-Mart Stores, Kohl’s, Safeway and Whole Foods Market have fitted their roofs with solar panels to generate electricity on a large scale. They need to complete all the installations before the Dec. 31 deadline to take tax advantages for these projects. The trade analysts state that these projects could produce enough power to help reduce total electricity demand and depending on the location and weather, the solar panels generate 10 to 40 percent of the power a store needs. Whatever the motive, I vote in the favor of such tax benefits if they result in such eco-friendly endeavors.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 11, 2008
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    Texas goes green on King size wind power project

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    Texas has been given preliminary approval for a $4.9 billion plan to build transmission lines to carry wind power from West Texas to urban areas such as Dallas. Citizens will pay an extra $3 to $4 each month on their electricity bills for the next few years. The plan will account for enough lines to carry 18,000 megawatts (MW) — a serious amount of electricity. The state currently generates 5,000 MW, so these lines will leave plenty of room for growth. Citizens will pay an extra $3 to $4 each month on their electricity bills for the next few years. The plan would also be the biggest investment in clean energy in U.S. history.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on July 29, 2008
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