Posts Tagged ‘wind power’

Please see the article by Sam Carana on how a larger grid, yet a simultaneously more locally-run grid, can be implemented.  The purpose is to capture as much of the electricity being generated as possible while keeping a local level of control, to try to avoid undue influence by those who fail to understand the details of energy policy.  Read about how many parts of Europe already have surplus electricity, and how countries are linking their grids together to improve efficiency.  Part of the rationale for such arrangements in Europe is that countries which generate a lot of electricity from wind can necessarily control when that electricity is most plentiful, but they don’t want it wasted.  At the same time, such European countries may need electricity from other sources, say hydroelectric plants in a neighboring country, when wind power isn’t sufficient.  Similar arrangements could be made throughout North America.  See what Sam has to say!  He gives lots of sources for his comments and information.

The cost of solar and wind power installations keeps dropping, for the most part, with occasional, temporary price rises in the solar area if silicon supplies are an issue. The following links all point to a site that offers information on practical solutions and tax rebates in different regions.

Here are a few ways you can bring solar power to your own home with the help of expert installers:

1.1kW Grid-Tied Solar Electric System

1.9kW Grid-Tied Solar Electric System

Here are a few ways to bring wind power to your home:

Air Breeze Land Wind Turbine

Skystream 3.7 Grid Tie 1.8kW Wind Power System

Here is a battery to store the clean power you generate:

Xantrex XPower 1500 W/60 AH BATTERY

I hope that you find these resources useful.

© James K. Bashkin, 2008

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What is a plug-in hybrid? It is a car that runs on electricity via a battery that you can charge by plugging into a regular electrical outlet. These cars, being hybrids, also have gas tanks that can be used to power the car and recharge the battery, giving you what some might call the best of all world’s (assuming mass transit, bicycling or walking aren’t options). Best of all would be to burn no liquid fuel, but plug-in hybrids allow us to reach, or closely approach, this ideal in many cases.

What is different about plug-in hybrids? The plug! Current commercial hybrid cars use batteries, but they inconveniently keep a barrier between you and the electric company. You have to burn gasoline (petrol) to charge the battery.

How can you buy a plug-in hybrid? You can buy a hybrid car “off the shelf” and have it converted to a plug-in hybrid. This service is available in the US, the UK and elsewhere. Plug-in hybrids may be available directly from Toyota by 2010. For more information on plug-in hybrid cars, the following sites are very valuable: Plug-in Partners, Plug-in America, Hybrids Plus (a manufacturer of plug-in hybrids in the US). See also the DVD “Who Killed the Electric Car?”, read the book “Plug-in Hybrids: the cars that will recharge America”, and read the blog “plugs and cars”. The site “What Green Car?” provides information about plug-in hybrids for consumers in the U.K.

What are the running costs of plug-in hybrids? Estimates suggest that the transportation costs are equivalent to gasoline at $1.00/gallon.

Don’t forget that purely electric cars and trucks and buses are also available in the US, the UK, and elsewhere. For example, in the US, Tesla Motors, Volt and Phoenix Motor cars offer a range from trucks to sports cars. I wrote a recent, short post on very small and inexpensive electric cars being made for India.

I’d like to hear about other plug-in hybrid and electric car options in the US and around the world, and people’s reaction to (a) the low cost of plug-in hybrids coupled with the security of a gas tank if you need it, vs. (b) purely electric cars, which now have long range driving ability as well as high power (in some cases).

Don’t forget that you can couple electric cars or plug-in hybrids with solar and/or wind powered electric systems for your home or work-place to minimize or eliminate the use of liquid hydrocarbon fuels like gasoline/petrol, ethanol, etc. You can even run your home off your car battery!

© James K. Bashkin, 2008

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An environmentally friendly technology using temperature differentials in the Tropical Ocean combined with other technologies could enable global Hydrogen distribution, by Mahesh Basantani for Inhabitat.

“Ocean waves are already being used as a source of renewable energy, but could differences in water temperatures in the sea be our next source of green power? A decade old idea to generate renewable electricity for the globe with offshore, floating ‘Energy Islands’ could soon become a reality. The concept – creating artificial islands to collect wind, wave and solar power in the tropics – is based on the work of Jacques-Arsène d’Arsonval, a 19th-century French physicist, who envisioned the idea of using the sea as a giant solar-energy collector.”

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While considering this story, I also urge you to read Sam Carana’s articles on the distributed electrical grid, a hydrogen economy and electric cars.  He offers compelling arguments to do away with liquid fuels, coal and nuclear power as soon as possible, and to invest in solar, wind, and geothermal power industries that are supplemented by the use of biomass to generate hydrogen (the cleanest of fuels, I would say).

© James K. Bashkin, 2008

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Large wind energy power project to generate more jobs for Kern County and boost local economy.
Oak Creek Energy is located in Mojave, CA and is a wind energy pioneer, beginning with one of the first wind farms built in California in early 1982.  I felt I needed to include more along the lines of “let’s act, not whine.”

However, there have been environmental concerns about harvesting the desert in one way or another (i.e. solar farms).  This is because under some plans, the Mojave desert will simply disappear and the ecosystem will be destroyed.  So, let’s hope that, when the final details are worked out completely, reasonable approaches have been devised and taken.

NOTE: THIS LINKS TO A PDF. If you are on a slow connection or just don’t want to view the PDF, please don’t click. Thanks to Mark Laymon on DIGG for finding this. Jim

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