Category — ENERGY

Charge your phone with this foldaway windmill
by TECHSTAR on APRIL 14, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY, MOBILE

Forget plugs – you can now charge your mobile with a portable WIND TURBINE:the Trinity propeller harnesses breezes to power up a phone and other USB devices.
Created by American electricians Einar Agustsson and Agust Agustsson, the power station folds into a 12-inch cylinder when not in use. (more…)

Off grid hiccups


A while back my current deep cycle batteries began to get weak, they would charge up quickly and not hold much of a charge, unfortunately the batteries are the part of the off grid system that need to be replaced on a semi-regular basis. I am hard on my batteries, that has never been a secret. This next week I plan on buying four 6-volt deep cycle golf cart batteries. In the past I have used marine type deep cycle batteries, they are more heavy duty than regular automotive batteries, but aren’t near as hearty as golf cart batteries.

As my current batteries began getting weaker and weaker, it began creating problems with my inverter, causing it to go into fault mode for a few seconds, meaning it would cut off the power during that time, it only did it during the day when the batteries were charging or fully charged, never at night, it took me a while to figure out where the problem was. (more…)

Battery life easily exceeds manufacturers estimates
by TECHSTAR on MARCH 19, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Recent research just released from Zaragoza University, Spain, by VerticalNews show that battery life, crucial to the economics of off-grid energy – can easily exceed or heavily undershoot the manufacturers estimates.
It all depends on how well you maintain your batteries. IF you baby them along, never falling below 50% power and charnging the regularly, then you can double the life expectancy. (more…)

Electricity disintermediated
by NICK ROSEN on MARCH 7, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

The Economist report on off-grid power

Energy Bunny, Happy Bunny

Economist newspaper runs a story today on off-grid power – saying its the future and the old utility model is dying.

Utilities’ profits are under threat as never before says The Economist – bible of the financial community in London and New York.

“Who needs the power grid when you can generate and store your own electricity cheaply and reliably?”

General Electric has recently opened an off-grid division bringing together parts of its transport, aviation and engines divisions, to meet what it calls a “$100 billion opportunity”. GE recently installed 24 lorry-engine power generators in Algeria, providing 30MW of power. It took six months, “but we could have done it in ten days,” claimed Lorraine Bolsinger, the corporate bullshit artist who heads GE’s new division.

Morgan Stanley predicts that ever-cheaper solar and other renewable-energy sources, combined with better and more plentiful batteries, will allow businesses and homes to cut out the middle man — the electricity providers. (more…)

Wind power 11% of UK energy, and rising
by NICK ROSEN on MARCH 5, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

The UK’s wind power industry is breaking records EVERY MONTH after storms battered Britain this winter.

According to the latest figures, wind energy met 11 per cent of total electricity demand in February, breaking the previous 10 per cent record set in December 2013.

It is the relative supply security offered by renewable energy that the new figures underline, against the backdrop that Russia could respond to sanctions over the Ukraine by restricting gas supplies to Europe. (more…)

UK energy firms kept £400m when customers closed accounts
by AMY SUAREZ on FEBRUARY 28, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Electriity companies are thieves

Big six thieves

The “big six” energy firms have been told to hand back more than £400m owed to customers when they switch accounts and forget to reclaim overpayments from regular monthly payments.

Credit left in customer accounts when people and businesses move or switch suppliers has accumulated over the last six years, energy regulator Ofgem said today on BBC Radio.

The energy regulator, which says its estimates are the minimum owed, has called the amount “unacceptably large”. Industry lobby group UK Energy claimed that it can be hard to trace customers who move, but did not deny that they never even try.

Ofgem thinks 3.5 million domestic and 300,000 business accounts are affected. (more…)

New type of battery ready for market
by TECHSTAR on FEBRUARY 27, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Jay Whitacre - inventor

Jay Whitacre – inventor

While Tesla revolutionises the business model for batteries, the basic product remained the same. Now a small upstart company has come along with a brand new way to store energy, a new chemistry. It will hasten the death spiral of the traditional grid.

The novel battery uses a water-based electrolyte that allowed developer Aquion Energy Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.; to achieve a low-cost and safe battery with long cycle life, although more suited to stationary energy-storage applications because of large size. The Aquion battery technology, now entering its commercial launch process, employs an aqueous sodium-sulfate electrolyte. (more…)

Tesla Motors aims to disrupt the $1tr electricity industry
by TECHSTAR on FEBRUARY 26, 2014 - 2 Comments in ENERGY

Tesla Motors Inc. might be on the verge of disrupting two industries—autos and batteries say analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Tesla this week is expected to announce with corporate partners a plan to build a new battery factory that would take in raw materials and produce finished batteries, lowering its cost of buying and assembly individual battery cell components. Mr. Jonas said Tesla’s battery cell production has the potential to make it a major competitor in the electrical grid storage business.

Chinese solar farm $2m crowd-funding
by TECHSTAR on FEBRUARY 20, 2014 - 2 Comments in SOLAR

A state-backed firm teamed up with Chinese online financiers to fund off-grid solar facility in Qianhai, near Shenzen, southern China.

United Photovoltaics Group, controlled by state-backed finance-to-logistics conglomerate China Merchants Group, aims to raise 10 million yuan through what it claims to be the world’s first megawatt-scale, off-power-grid solar farm project funded by an internet “crowd fundraising” platform. (more…)

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