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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Never a better time to unplug in South Africa
by MARESE on NOVEMBER 30, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

Soaring utility costs and power blackouts are pushing more and more South African homeowners to find new ways of living.

Warnings earlier this month that power utilities would be implementing rolling blackouts in light of collapsed coal storage depots prompted communities to consider installing power-saving devices or arrange their own power supply. (more…)

In UK and US – fears of winter blackouts
by NICK ROSEN on NOVEMBER 24, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

Utility power companies fail to meet their obligations

Remember this? NYC 2004

PANAPRESS & D Tel: – What does New York City have in common with London? They are both threatened by ageing power plants and failing Nuclear reactors that might plunge the world’s twin financial centres into darkness if there was a cold snap.

What makes us think the City that is so great they named it twice could be on the edge thanks to a power plant some 300 miles away on the shore of Lake Ontario?

The answer lies in a little-noticed, highly technical document filed in August with the state Public Service Commission. (more…)

Competition for off-grid ideas
by LINDSAY on NOVEMBER 24, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

Solar turtleWWF South Africa is hoping for more entries into its annual Climate Solver Awards. The competition is a chance to show off innovative technologies geared towards reducing carbon emissions and boost energy access. Entries to the competition are open until January 30.

One of last year’s winners was SolarTurtle. The brainchild of company Ugesi Gold, which operates out of Stellenbosch, the aim was to give people affordable electricity off the grid. Packaged in a shipping container, the container unfolds during the day to charge numerous battery packs via solar power. These battery packs can be taken to where they are needed to provide electricity to power lights or appliances. (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…)

IEA confirm mega-trend to off-grid power
by BOB on OCTOBER 2, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy
photovoltaic panels continue to plummet, falling by a further 60 per cent for household rooftops and 70 per cent for power companies

Maria van der Hoeven – IEA boss

Energy harnessed from the sun is predicted to displace fossil fuels by 2050 as the cost of solar cells plummets

Solar power will reach commercial “take-off” within a decade and displace fossil fuels to become the world’s biggest source of electricity by 2050, according to stunning new forecasts from the International Energy Agency.

The IEA said the cost of photovoltaic panels would continue to plummet, falling by a further 60 per cent for household rooftops and 70 per cent for power companies even after the dramatic gains of the recent years. (more…)

Water-cooled solar panel
by NICK ROSEN on OCTOBER 2, 2014 - 0 Comments in energy

IBM technology for watercooling solar panel being used in new sun=tracker to deliver clean water

Bruno Michel at IBM made the breakthrough

A new solar harvester that can provide power and clean water is in the works. Its hardly suprising that panels can overheat in the very sun that powers them, and the innovation is a way of cooling the panels.

Its manufacturers claim that the Sunflower could soon become the first “drop-in” machine to provide renewable energy, water and heat to off-grid communities in remote regions. (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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