Archive | December 2016

Tour A (Wind) Turbine

Get an exclusive and entertaining look inside of a wind turbine. Simon and Andy strap GoPro’s to their heads and guide you as they travel 270 feet up to the top of a turbine at the National Wind Technology Center in Golden, CO.

 

Mexico’s Big Wind And Solar Power Push

The Government of Mexico says it expects the country to have 20 times the current level of installed solar capacity by the end of 2019.

Mexico’s Energy Secretariat (SENER) published a Progress Report last week on the status of clean energy in the country (note: the Government also considers nuclear as “clean”).

SENER says the country reached an installed capacity of 20,160 MW of clean energy assets by the end of June; an increase of 6.29 percent over June 2015. At June 30, clean energy represented 28.39 percent of the total national capacity and in the first half of the year generated 30,586.81 GWh; 19.68 percent of total generation.

As a result of auctions, wind capacity is expected to triple in the years ahead, with 2,456 MW installed capacity at the end of 2018 and another 3,857 MW at the end of 2019 .

Growth in solar PV was approximately 100 MW between June 2015 and 2016. Solar power is about to get a significant boost and it’s expected that by the end of 2019, 5,400 MW of capacity will have been installed – 20 times the current capacity.

Inauguration of Universidad Anáhuac de Querétaro solar farm (September): Image: Gob.mx

A major contributor to the increase of solar energy capacity in Mexico are two auctions. The first will see 1,691 MW of capacity installed and the second, 1,853 MW.

Mexico has set clean energy targets of 25 percent by 2018, 30 percent by 2021 and 35 percent by 2024.

“It should be noted that Mexico has an enormous potential in renewable resources, and thanks to the reforms implemented in the energy sector, barriers have been eliminated that impeded the development of new projects and technologies, achieving significant growth in the installation and development of new projects,” says SENER (translated).

Earlier this year, the USA, Canada and Mexico committed to achieving a target of 50% clean power across North America by 2025.

In related news, it was recently suggested that the wall U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wishes to build between the two countries should instead be a “border of solar panels”, which Homero Aridjis and Professor James Ramey state would benefit both countries and alleviate a range of binational problems.

“Mexico and the U.S. would be connected by a truly beautiful wall ― a symbol of unity, visible even from space,” they say.

A Look At The Benefits Of Green Solar Energy

Lets contemplate the benefits to be of green home energy including passive solar energy and the micro-generation of renewable energy for homes amongst others.

Every 15 minutes the sun produces enough power to supply our current energy needs for an entire year. Because of its distance from the equator, the United Kingdom only receives 60% of the solar energy received at the equator. This energy equates to between 900 to 1200 kWh per square meter per year.. This energy is equivalent to the energy production of 1000 power stations.

The energy coming from the sun fluxes and wanes depending on the solar activity. The less sun spot activity on our sun the less energy emitted.

Interestingly enough the number of sunspot-free days suggest that solar activity is heading towards its lowest level in about 100 years’. The low level of sun spot activity may suggests that the Sun may be moving into a hibernation-like state, with the obvious question of whether this will have any major consequences for us on Earth.

We have no way of knowing what the climate in any region of earth will be in the future therefore, instead of putting all our eggs in one basket, we SHOULD be putting our money into possible adaptation for both global warning and global cooling. And I know which I would prefer.

Anyway I digress…

To really understand and exploit the benefits of green solar energy, one needs to understand how solar energy is harnessed.

Green solar energy can be divided into two types i.e. thermal (heat) and light.

Thermal energy is considered passive solar energy. The use of passive solar energy in housing involves the placement of the building for optimum benefit, the building design and position of suitable building components to make full use of sunlight for day-lighting, passive heating, and/or passive cooling. Apart from saving energy, the primary benefit of a passive solar home is the improved comfort of its occupants.

Thermal energy is harnessed through the design and materials used to construct a building.

The building gathers energy from the sun the old fashioned way; by allowing it to stream in through the windows…

A passive solar home or building can get a full quarter of its heat from the sun alone through the integration of the appropriate ratio of windows to a south facing wall (if you live northern hemisphere)whilst using heat retaining materials, for example brick and stone, and a little intelligent design. That same thermal energy can also be used to heat water for solar hot water systems.

In a passive solar house window placement and sizes are crucial as they can affect the heat gain or loss during various months of the year.

When designing and planning a passive solar home the ultimate goal is to have a home that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Passive solar home energy systems can easily be integrated with active solar systems.

A passive solar system functions best in an energy efficient home with a well designed mechanical system.

It is rather unfortunate that the principle of passive thermal energy are hardly ever used in the mass production of housing.

In a energy efficient home a passive solar system should never be considered as a stand alone system to saving energy.

To reduce the need to use lights within the home during the day tubular skylights along with sky tubes and solar tunnels can be used.

The suns rays can be captured by the photovoltaic cells of solar panels to create electricity.

For the majority of home owners the reason to use renewable home energy is to reduce their utility bills. Constructing a green solar energy system can come with a large initial investment, however they generally pay for themselves within a few years by providing either supplemental electricity or all of the electricity to your home or business.

Building your own solar panels, participating in government refunds and net metering, in which you sell unused electricity back to the power company, can reduce the cost of implementing a green solar energy system.

In addition, green solar energy systems require little to no maintenance after installation, as most have no moving parts.

You don’t have to construct the whole solar energy system in one go, you can easily construct solar panels in modular sections and incorporate them into your home energy system whenever you complete a new panel.