Solar car race kicks off 30th anniversary with a fresh challenge

This year, the race regulations are a clear sign of how rapidly solar technology is changing. Teams have to use a smaller solar collector than before: cars in the Challenger class can have no more than 43 square feet of solar cells versus nearly 65 square feet for the previous race, in 2015. That’s half the area allowed on cars from the original 1987 race. In other words, technology is advanced enough now (both in solar cells and the underlying vehicle designs) that you don’t need a sea of panels to keep a car running.

Source: Solar car race kicks off 30th anniversary with a fresh challenge

Renewable energy is becoming so cheap the US will meet Paris commitments even if Trump withdraws

Globally, the price of solar panels has fallen 50% between 2016 and 2017, they write. And in countries with favorable wind conditions, the costs associated with wind power “can be as low as one-half to one-third that of coal- or natural gas-fired power plants.” Innovations in wind-turbine design are allowing for ever-longer wind blades; that boost in efficiency will also increase power output from the wind sector, according to Morgan Stanley.

Source: Renewable energy is becoming so cheap the US will meet Paris commitments even if Trump withdraws — Quartz

A note about www.digitaltrends.com

Editorial Note:  This is the first time I had to deal with something like this.  Linking to a site is not against the law nor can anyone demand it be removed.  Here are two emails supposedly from www.digitaltrends.com.  The email lists three urls from bucktownbell.com, this site, but none of them reference the link he complained about.   Thus, this could be a bot email and Rob Wolfe at dtlinkoutreach@gmail.com could be spam or some kind of spear phishing attack on me.

So I took the post that linked to https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/china-floating-solar-power-plant/  down.  No big deal.    After the emails are links to other sites about China’s new solar power plant.  I found the story interesting.  This site is about articles I find interesting.

Now bugger off Rob Wolfe whoever you are!

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 18:55:53 +0000
From: Rob Wolfe <dtlinkoutreach@gmail.com>
To: Mark Anderson <mea@brandylion.com>
Subject: quick question
Parts/Attachments:
   1   OK     25 lines  Text
   2 Shown    26 lines  Text
----------------------------------------

Just a quick question Mark

- did you get my last e-mail?

I really need you to remove the link on

http://bucktownbell.com/
http://bucktownbell.com/?%C2%A0
http://bucktownbell.com/?%C2%A0&paged=2
http://bucktownbell.com/?author
http://bucktownbell.com/?author=2

going to my site at


https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/china-floating-solar-power-plant/

Can you please remove it ASAP?

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know

---
Rob Wolfe

------------- latest email -----------------
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2018 18:26:58 +0000
From: rob Wolfe <dtlinkoutreach2@gmail.com>
To: Mark Anderson <mea@brandylion.com>
Subject: Mark please respond
Parts/Attachments:
   1   OK     29 lines  Text
   2 Shown    33 lines  Text
----------------------------------------

Hey Mark

I really really need you to act on this.

You are linking to my site at


https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/china-floating-solar-power-plant/

from here

http://bucktownbell.com/
http://bucktownbell.com/?%C2%A0
http://bucktownbell.com/?%C2%A0&paged=2
http://bucktownbell.com/?author
http://bucktownbell.com/?author=2

I am very sure that this link is hurting my site in Google!

This means, retaining that link would hurt the reputation of your site as well, if we
need to include it in our link disavow request to Google.

So please remove that link ASAP and I'll make sure to not bother you again!

Thanks in advance!

---
Rob Wolfe
 Here are some better articles on this subject anyway.  Enjoy!

China Turns On the World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm

So why build solar plants on top of lakes and reservoirs? Fiona Harvey at The Guardian explains that building on bodies of water, especially manmade lakes that are not ecologically sensitive, helps protect agricultural land and terrestrial ecosystems from being developed for energy use. The water also cools the electronics in the solar panels, helping them to work more efficiently, reports Alistair Boyle for The Telegraph. For similar reasons Britain built a 23,000-panel floating solar farm on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir near Heathrow airport in 2016 to help power the Thames Water treatment plant.
Another blurb from an actual tree hugger site of all places:  World’s largest floating solar farm, now online in China
When I wrote about China and India being years ahead of their climate pledges, some commenters expressed skepticism. But whatever your views on how well we can trust official government statistics, one thing is pretty much undeniable at this point:

Renewable energy and clean tech are very big business in China and India right now.

And here and here and here and here ….

 

Tesla’s new solar energy station will power Hawaii at night

This is the first big project from Tesla and SolarCity since the acquisition. Both companies believe this station is the biggest combination solar panel and storage facility in the world. With approximately 55,000 solar cells spread over about 45 acres, it’ll be tough to find anything larger.

Source: Tesla’s new solar energy station will power Hawaii at night

World’s largest solar plant goes live, will provide power for 1.1M people

CSP uses either lenses or parabolic mirrors to concentrate the sun’s light onto a small point where water or another substance is heated.

The heat is used to create steam, which runs a turbine that produces electricity. In the Noor CSP, concave mirrors focus on molten salt, heating it anywhere from 300 degrees to 660 degrees Fahrenheit.

Source: World’s largest solar plant goes live, will provide power for 1.1M people

Currently, the Noor CSP can generate 160 megawatts (MW). But as additional phases are completed, in two years it’s expected to generate more than 500MW — enough power to meet the needs of 1.1 million Moroccans.

A Tower of Molten Salt Will Deliver Solar Power After Sunset

Solar power projects intended to turn solar heat into steam to generate electricity have struggled to compete amid tumbling prices for solar energy from solid-state photovoltaic (PV) panels. But the first commercial-scale implementation of an innovative solar thermal design could turn the tide. Engineered from the ground up to store some of its solar energy, the 110-megawatt plant is nearing completion in the Crescent Dunes near Tonopah, Nev. It aims to simultaneously produce the cheapest solar thermal power and to dispatch that power for up to 10 hours after the setting sun has idled photovoltaics.

Source: A Tower of Molten Salt Will Deliver Solar Power After Sunset – IEEE Spectrum

Tesla Battery Economics: On the Path to Disruption

At the utility scale, it may actually be even more disruptive. Tesla appears to be selling the utility scale models at < $250 / kwh. Multiple utility studies suggest that such a price should replace natural gas peakers and drive gigantic grid-level deployments.

Source: Tesla Battery Economics: On the Path to Disruption | Ramez Naam

Tentative Conclusion: The battery is right on the verge of being cost effective to buy across most of the US for day/night arbitrage. And it’s even more valuable if outages come at a high economic cost.

Researchers design bionic leaf capable of converting sunlight into liquid fuel

“We’re almost at a 1 percent efficiency rate of converting sunlight into isopropanol,” Nocera said. “There have been 2.6 billion years of evolution, and Pam and I working together a year and a half have already achieved the efficiency of photosynthesis.”

via Researchers design bionic leaf capable of converting sunlight into liquid fuel – Techie News.

Mayfield told CBS News that the exact same thing – turning electrons into biomass – has already been done many a times previously by using the same bacteria.

Who needs sunlight? In Arizona, solar power never sleeps

In a parabolic trough plant like Solana, the mirrors are curved inward, with a glass tube running along the deepest point, or trough, of each mirror. The tube is full of synthetic oil (also known as heat transfer fluid, or HTF). The concave mirrors concentrate light onto this HTF, heating it to 740 degrees Fahrenheit. The system is extremely efficient in collecting heat and concentrating it to a blistering level; when I asked what would happen if I touched the tube, the reply was a curt “Trust me, you definitely don’t want to do that.”

Once the oil is up to temperature, about 270 miles of pipe transport it to the power block, where the HTF takes one of two pathways, depending on Solana’s current needs.

via Who needs sunlight? In Arizona, solar power never sleeps | Ars Technica.

Artificial Photosynthesis Made Practical

If you want hydrogen to power an engine or a fuel cell, it’s far cheaper to get it from natural gas than to make it by splitting water. Solar power, however, could compete with natural gas as a way to make hydrogen if the solar process were somewhere between 15 and 25 percent efficient, says the U.S. Department of Energy. While that’s more than twice as efficient as current approaches, researchers at Stanford University have recently developed materials that could make it possible to hit that goal. The work is described in the journal Science.

via Artificial Photosynthesis Made Practical | MIT Technology Review.