Random Solar News for October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

Tonight I have a fairly random collection of solar power related articles for your browsing pleasure.

The first and arguably most important is the recent availability of high resolution renewable energy maps to the general public.  These maps provided by 3Tier (http://firstlook.3tiergroup.com/solar/) cover all of the western hemisphere.  The article is here on Cleantechnica.com (http://cleantechnica.com/2008/10/13/making-high-resolution-renewable-energy-maps-free-to-the-masses/#more-1289).

Excerpt: “The maps provide enough resolution so countries and organizations can begin to look at the potential wind and solar resources at a regional level. The solar map is based on 11 years of half-hourly high resolution (roughly 1 km) visible satellite imagery that has been processed to create 11 years of hourly values.

This is exciting because it provides a resource to define and guide policy for governments and other local and regional players.  It can show the potential of a previously seeming marginal investment and get projects approved!

The next article has been covered in several places, the discovery of black silicon.  This is a BIG discovery because it represents a potentially large increase in overall efficiency in all things that relies on light sensitivity. This not only covers solar panels, but also night vision technology, digital cameras and many other things. The article is at Gizmodo.com (http://gizmodo.com/5062412/black-silicon-discovery-could-change-digital-photography-night-vision-forever)

Excerpt: “With the accidental discovery of “black silicon,” Harvard physicists may have very well changed the digital photography, solar power and night vision industries forever. What is black silicon, you say? Well, it’s just as it sounds. Black silicon. It’s what this revolutionary new material does that’s important, starting with light sensitivity. Early indications show black silicon is 100 to 500 times more sensitive to light than a traditional silicon wafer.

Next we wander into the not so main stream, the solar powered WIFI hotspot!  Now this is actually pretty neat and I would hope that my city would install a few of these to help out the downtown free network! Courtesy of EcoWorldly (http://ecoworldly.com/2008/10/03/brazilian-professor-invents-solar-powered-wifi-access-point/)

Excerpt: “A professor in Brazil is helping to bring solar powered wireless internet to communities in need. The low-cost “access point in a box” he has created needs no internet connection, electricity, or assembly to function. It is being tested on lamp posts in a number of locations. Innovations such as these are becoming more common around the world, and are leveling the economic playing field and creating countless benefits for people who could otherwise not pay for the internet.

My last 2 articles tonight have to do with actual shelters who’s design is solar driven.  The first a the Solar Umbrella House (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/solar-umbrella-house-awesome-green-design-completely-lit-and-powered-by-the-sun/) from the Ecofriend.com site.  Supposedly this house is 100% powered by solar.  It certainly is a gorgeous place.

Lastly is a product I ran across for those of you who like to rough it but can’t leave you electronics behind.  By a company called Power Film Inc. (http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/products/military/armytents/index.htm) comes the Solar Field Shelter.  Apparently designed to recharge a bank of batteries in the field that would allow you to run even a refrigerator!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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