Is it hot in here...?
Watch ten years of the Sun doing its thing in this 61-minute-long high-def timelapse video. The footage comes from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) which captured an image of the Sun every 0.75 seconds from June 1, 2010 to June 1, 2020,. Impressive!
From its orbit in space around the Earth, SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data over the past 10 years. This information has enabled countless new discoveries about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system...
This 10-year time lapse showcases photos taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, which is an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that shows the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer — the corona. Compiling one photo every hour, the movie condenses a decade of the Sun into 61 minutes. The video shows the rise and fall in activity that occurs as part of the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and notable events, like transiting planets and eruptions.
screengrab via NASA Goddard Read the rest
LA's next source of energy: a massive solar panel and lithium battery array in the Mojave, operated by 8minute Solar Energy, and capable of supplying 6-7% of the city's energy budget, with four hours of nighttime use. It will cost an eye-poppingly low $0.03.3/kWh, cheaper than natural gas.
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Joey Hess designed the first Fridge0 a year ago: it uses a standard chest freezer with added thermal mass, a simple controller, and a photovoltaic panel that effectively stores sunshine as coldness, obviating the need for expensive backup batteries. The Fridge0 is an advance on traditional off-grid 12v solar fridges that assume that solar panels are expensive and inefficient; by exploiting modern PV technology, Hess says "A kilowatt of solar panels provides enough power to run a conventional fridge on even most cloudy days, and costs less than a commercial offgrid fridge." (via Kottke)
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Iowa State Representative Gary Carlson [Rfirstname.lastname@example.org] introduced House Study Bill 185, co-drafted by lobbyists for Midamerican Energy, one of Iowa's regional energy monopolists, with a long history of trying to subvert the "net metering" rules that allow Iowans to put solar panels on their roofs and sell power back into the grid when they are generating more than they are using.
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Malawi's "barefoot engineers" are a group of eight local women who received solar engineering training in the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India and returned home to install solar systems for poor and/or rural women.
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Clifford Burgoni wanted to sell his system for cleaning 86,000 solar panels, so he made a cool drone video of the gear in operation. Read the rest
Better than Jesus, this cute, solar-powered owl is twitching away on my dashboard.
I've always wanted to have a bobblehead on my dash, and I still don't! This owl comes close tho! He twitches his center section about once every second, when in moderate to direct sunlight. As my '87 Vanagon shakes so much, and the suspension is rather whimsical, Twitchy doesn't need the sun to move around.
The marketing says Twitchy is 'dancing' but he seems to just be really, really edgy.
Solar Power Motion Toy - Owl, Dancing via Amazon
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It's a political no-brainer for Trump, who gets to clobber the renewables market, rattle his saber at China, extend the viable economic life of climate-destroying hydrocarbon fuels (like coal) and rile up the libs.
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When the wind is blowing, the great plains could generate enough power to supply all of America, but storing and moving energy to supply those places where the wind isn't blowing, the sun isn't shining and the tide isn't coming in is a significant technological challenge that we're still figuring out.
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Florida Power and Light's grid did not fare well under Hurricane Irma, despite the company's assurances that it had spent billions hardening its systems after 90% of its customers lost power to 2005's Hurricane Wilma. Read the rest
...But California keeps green-lighting more natural gas plants, thanks to hydrocarbon industry pressure on state regulators, who operate at cross-purposes to the legislature and its targets for renewables. Read the rest
I am very happy with the solar power solution I've adapted for my van camping needs. I can power all my toys! Read the rest
My latest Locus column is "Fill Your Boots," in which I talk about how scientists, sf writers, economists and environmental activists have wrestled with the question of abundance -- how the "green left" transformed left wing politics from the promise of every peasant living like a lord to the promise of every lord living like a peasant. Read the rest
I'm looking for feedback on this solar panel. I am looking to charge a 37 qt ARB portable fridge while rolling about Baja in my Vanagon. I believe this panel, with good sun, should out put more than enough power to run the fridge.
The Dometic fridge that has been in my VW for 29 years has sucked for 29 years. It barely gets cold enough for cans of soda.
Forums on line claim the fridge peaks around 1.5Ah use on hot days, and this panel should deliver (80w/18v) 4.4Amps. My smallish deep cycle battery is a 44Ah unit. I'm hoping that 6hrs of strong sun a day will get me to just around 24hrs of power.
Unless I get flagged off in the comments, I'm going to order one tomorrow or the next day, and run a test load on the system at my house this weekend. I can't be sure to have strong sun in the SF Bay Area, however.
ALLPOWERS 80W Foldable Solar Panel Sunpower Solar Charger with iSolar Technology via Amazon
ARB 37 Quart Fridge/Freezer via Amazon Read the rest
The government of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand imposing an energy-company-backed tax on people who put solar panels on their homes. Greenpeace's petition in support of sustainable, renewable power was delivered with a catchy, angry song by Tiki Taane. Read the rest
For $20 I really like this new Matone dual USB battery pack! I haven't found anything better at this price.
The Matone battery is a great combo. I've tried water and damage resistant batteries, and solar charging units -- but this is the Bartles and James of outdoor USB power banks.
At 10000 mAh advertised, I can get around 1 3/4ths full charges on my iPhone 6 with this battery. It seems a bit low, but is certainly enough juice for my needs. Keeping a cellphone running Waze going on an all day motorcycle trip. Charging with the solar panel is slow as there isn't a lot of surface area. I'd consider solar to be an emergency only kinda thing, and not to rely on it for regular charging.
This'll certainly be the battery I use for this Spring's road trips.
Matone® Portable 10000mAh Solar Battery Charger Shockproof, Dual USB output via Amazon Read the rest
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was on track to deliver deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 ("more than the current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries combined") but because India specified that the solar panels for it were to be domestically sourced, the USA sued it in WTO trade court and killed it. Read the rest