Posts by — techstar

Kodiak Power pack
by TECHSTAR on DECEMBER 5, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

Going out and about for a few days or living full-time away from Utilities, the Kodiak box from Outdoor Technology is one of the better power sources.
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Largest off-grid Building in North America – plan
by TECHSTAR on NOVEMBER 24, 2014 - 0 Comments in self-sufficiency

25,000 sq ft visitor center, digital planetarium; 30 inch telescope for public and school use, with additional telescope for astronomical research

A plan to build an Observatory equipped with Canada’s most powerful telescope in the Madawaska Highlands west of Ottawa could be completed in three years, said project founder, Frank Roy.

The facility will use a combination of renewable energy technologies to become the largest off-grid commercial building in North America, he said.

The observatory will be located far from regular utilities to escape the polluting light of cities and towns, allowing for better views of the stars. (more…)

Australian Micro-Grids challenge Utilities
by TECHSTAR on NOVEMBER 23, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

comm-powera3The penetration of rooftop solar in Australia tells the story of just how keen consumers are to generate their own electricity. But some are going a step further by managing the flow of their own energy usage through microgrids and smart grids.

“Once a household or business has a solar panel on the roof, or a home storage battery, they are no longer a passive consumer,” says Mark Coughlin (more…)

Hawaii Electric takes control of Oahu solar panels
by TECHSTAR on NOVEMBER 5, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

Utility companies control access to solar feed-in to the grid

Salt Lake homes, Oahu – hostages of local Utility

A Hawaiian Electricity Company is putting up huge obstacles to individuals who want solar panels on their roofs, driving many of them to go completely off grid.

The company says it has a plan to interconnect thousands of rooftop solar energy systems on Oahu by December 2015. But that has been put on hold because of safety and reliability issues. (more…)

Pro-democracy protesters go off-grid to evade police crackdown
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 - 2 Comments in off-grid-101

Firechat, Instagram, Whatsapp  outflank vicious government  crackdown in China

Going off-grid to beat Communist breach of charter

HONG KONG (CNN) — It was 10 PM on Sunday and 22-year-old Michelle Li, a dancer, saw Facebook updates of police tear gassing pro-democracy protesters in downtown Hong Kong. Within minutes, she followed online postings to the protest site itself — and soon had tear gas fired at her as well.

Only then did she peel her eyes from her mobile device. “While we were waging battle, we screamed out news to each other,” she tells CNN. “But before and after, I’d update people on the internet.”

It’s a high-tech response to a high-stress situation. Armed with top-of-the-line phones on some of the world’s fastest mobile networks, Hong Kong’s young protesters are able to organize themselves at a lightning pace older generations of activists could have only dreamed of. (more…)

Retired Engineer pimps his RV
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 - 2 Comments in energy

Winnebago adapted for solar power

93m miles to the Sun

Thomas “Tim” Lemieux lives in an unlikely showcase for green energy: a 1997 Winnebago recreational vehicle.

Scale a narrow ladder up the side of the motorhome, and a compact rooftop solar farm comes into view. Photovoltaic panels adorn the top, and even the front hood.

They are linked to a series of batteries that help distill and cool water for drinking. Excess water and power feed an evaporative “swamp” cooler that keeps the cabin comfy.
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The battle for DC power starts in Pittsburgh
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 - 1 Comment in energy

2014 OCT 4 Investment Weekly News — PITTSBURGH-

Is Pittsburgh to be home of a second War of the Currents?

In the late 1880s, Pittsburgh native son George Westinghouse (using the work and genius of Nikola Tesla) won the campaign to base the United States’ electric power grid on alternating current (AC). Thomas Edison, a proponent of direct current (DC), tried to paint AC as dangerous, but as things stood at the time, an AC grid was cheaper and more efficient, could carry electricity over longer distances, and was easier to build-so it prevailed.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Bopaya Bidanda, John Camillus, and Gregory Reed think that it might be time to redirect our attention to direct current. (more…)

New hybrid generator
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 - 1 Comment in off-grid-101

UK Digger and Tractor manufacturer, JCB has launched its first hybrid diesel-electric generator set, supposedly intended for the off-grid market. But it does not allow for renewable energy inputs.

JCB claim to have developed an “intelligent,” hybrid generator. Based on the QS generators, there are 24 high-capacity, deep-cycle battery cells stored in the base of the unit. The batteries are charged by the generator itself during periods of higher load, when the engine is operating most efficiently. (more…)

How to keep solar generators running at night
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

* Promises more effective thermal heat storage than current methods

* Company expects quick market penetration

* Says can match fossil fuel-fired power plants on price

NEGEV DESERT, Israel, Sept 22 (Reuters) – An Israeli solar power company, Brenmiller Energy, says it has developed a new, more efficient way to store heat from the sun that could give a boost to the thermal solar power industry by enabling plants to run at full capacity night and day. (more…)


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