Germany Could Be a Model for How We'll Get Power in the Future - National Geographic Ma... - 4 views
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The Shimizu Corporation, a Japanese construction firm, has recently proposed a plan to harness solar energy on a larger scale than almost any previously proposed concept. Their ambitious plan involves building a belt of solar cells around the Moon’s 6,800-mile (11,000-kilometer) equator, converting the electricity to powerful microwaves and lasers to be beamed at Earth, and finally converting the beams back to electricity at terrestrial power stations. The Luna Ring concept, the company says, could meet the entire world's energy needs.
Something about this reminds us of Desertec: ambitious, expensive (though not in the same league as the €400bn Desertec), and with a bunch of big name vendors involved (apparently - there is no sign of it on either Mitsubishi’s or IHI’s websites). It’s also a long way off and far from certain.
The 1GW station would involve four square kilometres of solar panels. It’s estimated to be about 2,000bn yen ($21bn) and 30 years away, and it would have to become much, much cheaper to get out there:
shared by Hans De Keulenaer on 26 Jan 09 - Cached
Imagine using only the energy from the sun to power your home. You would never have to pay an electric bill again and or be impacted by power outages. It may sound great, but there are numerous advantages to having a solar home that is on-the-grid when available.
shared by Hans De Keulenaer on 20 Jun 08 - Cached
Take a good look at panels that have been installed for several years and you will notice discontinuities and shiny areas where the components have been damaged and where the power production is reduced.
Though there are no visibly moving parts in a solar PV panel, there are many parts of the system where continuous chemical and physical reactions take place that can eventually lead to system degradation and failure.
Leaves and snow are particular nuisances for rooftop solar panels, but sand and bird droppings can be important in some areas as well.
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shared by Hans De Keulenaer on 08 Feb 08 - Cached
The Tindo bus is the stuff of car-free, green, geeky dreams: It epitomizes efficient urban transportation and energy use, and to top it all off, it’s free. Our friends at EcoGeek first tipped up off to the story.
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“We use one-fifth of the raw silicon material compared with traditional PV cells,” he says.
This can make a huge difference to the overall cost of producing solar cells
The ultimate goal is to make them 50 percent cheaper than existing cells by 2010, he says.
These work like car headlights but in reverse, ensuring that any light hitting the reflector is directed toward the sphere.
Also the solar units are so light weight that they can be suspended on steel cable lines rather than each having their own base connected to the ground. This rigging system allows for minimal land use disruption, 60 times less steel material and faster installation. The cables double as a control mechanism to align the units toward the sun.