HOT update on solar, salt water and wind energy
Some interesting updates in the alternative energy sphere: osmotic power, solar powered flight and solar bike power, wind power in Scotland, plus some info on a new solar panel roof design. Fascinating to see how those involved in the creation of alternative sources of energy are using their brain cells and the inspirational ideas they’re coming up with – and inspiration for those of us who would like to see more renewable energy sources. Envision an eco-coastal town that produces all its own energy. Zelly Restorick brings us up to date on developments in this exciting – and essential – area.
Something to interest all salty seaside dwellers!
Here’s an article explaining osmotic power as being created by “the transfer of salt ions between two types of salt water when they make contact through a membrane”. Osmotic Power Using Salt Water Is Newest Form of Alternative Energy by Elizabeth Montalbano, writing for Design News.
Here’s real encouragement for all of us who envision a future of less polluting air travel. The crew and everyone involved in Solar Impulse’s Round The World Flight are justifiably thrilled: they’ve proven that solar powered flight is possible. They have announced:
“We flew 40,000 km without fuel, a first for energy. Emotions, tears, relief, exhilaration is running through the team right now after completing the first Round-the-World solar flight.
“The solar airplane has now made it full circle around the world, proving that clean technologies can really achieve the impossible.”
For much more info and ways to get involved, check out Solar Impulse.
Solar powered bike
And for a town renowned for its creative cyclists, here’s a genius idea from Treehugger for solar powered bikes.
Producing energy from carbon dioxide?
One thing we appear to have a surfeit of is carbon dioxide – and here’s how some researchers are working on converting it into fuel, by using simulated sunlight to power a solar cell that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel.
This article is by Elizabeth Montalbano, featured in Design News: Novel Solar Cell Uses Sun to Convert Carbon Dioxide Into Burnable Fuel
All Scotland’s energy demands powered by wind for the day
Read the ZME Science report here: Scotland just powered itself completely from wind power the entire day
Crystals that turn vibrations into electricity
And if the car continues to dominate as a mode of transport, here’s how to generate energy from the vibrations of vehicles driving on the roads.
Read the ZME Science report here: California’s highways will generate electricity from cars driving over them
New solar panel design
Jeremy Leggett, ex-pupil at William Parker School in Hastings, is a solar entrepreneur, spreading the word about products connected to sunlight and renewable technology. As someone who owns a solar fountain and a motion sensor solar outside light and still finds them to be an amazing piece of energy magic, I want to share some info about the solar company Leggett founded: Solarcentury.
Jeremy Leggett describes himself as a ‘writer, social entrepreneur, founder of Solarcentury and SolarAid, chair of Carbon Tracker, climate and energy activist, historian, futurist and investor’. More Solar Century info here and Jeremy Leggett’s connection here. Jeremy Leggett also has his own website: Energy & Climate: History, Futurology and Investment.
And let me assure you, I’m not connected to his company in any way. I heard about this man when he came to Hastings to give a talk for Transition Town Hastings about carbon consumption.)
Earlier in the year, SolarCentury launched a new design of solar roof panels: a domestic solar system called Sunstation, a black solar PV unit designed to be integrated into a roof, which is being positioned as an alternative to rooftop solar arrays that are rejected by some households on aesthetic grounds.
Please feel free to share your solar power energy experiences (below): it would be interesting to hear about solar systems and how they function in the real world, beyond the marketing.
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