Author Archives: spisharam

Algopack®, a natural material

Have been reading about and keeping tabs on the pacific garbage patch, new methods to keep the ocean clean, effects of plastic on the ocean life etc… Day before while reading articles online I came across this very interesting writeup about Algopack® shared by Captain Paul Watson of the SeaShepherd – a viable green alternative to plastic. It is manufactured in France by Algoe

Algopack®

With the price of petrol continuing to rise, Algopack® offers an alternative answer to plastic. Algopack offers a solution for reducing pollution from plastics, on land and in the oceans.
Algopack is capable of producing a rigid material made ​​from 100% based industrial waste from brown seaweeds. For their growth, seaweeds need no fertilizer nor pesticide and they need low amounts of water. They absorb and convert CO2 into sugar for growth and release O2, thus promoting the development of plankton. Seaweeds are not invasive and respect biodiversity.
At the end of the life cycle, the material is fully compostable and becomes a natural fertilizer.

(Read more about it here)

Seaweed

With the effect of the light from the sun’s rays, seaweed transforms CO² into the sugars it needs to grow. At the same time, it releases into the water a large quantity of oxygen.

The process of cultivating seaweed is unquestionably a positive thing for the Marine environment, as it allows CO² to be reduced and concentrated whilst simultaneously making available an energy that is ideal for the growth of plankton. The types of seaweed cultivated by Algopack® come from sources such as aquaculture farms.

Algoblend®

Reducing the percentage of petrochemicals by introducing seaweed-based products.

Extrusion

The granules, naturally brown in colour, can be mass-dyed according to projet requirements. You can receive bags of 25kg, Big Bags of 450kg or an Octoben of 450Kg.

Algoblend® represents a 25% energy saving in its production (compared to a polypropylene equivalent).

The Algoblend® granules are compatible with all the extruders on the market : there are no modifications required for your extruding machines, and you can use existing filters.

Any offcuts can be ground up again to be reused in the material.

Purging for cleaning can be freely carried out. The thickness of the sheets is between 300µ and 1000µ.

Thermoformage

Algoblend® sheets can be thermoformed without any particular modification to existing thermoforming tools. The material does not change either the impressions or the cutters. The material is also suitable for direct contact with food, and the degrees of permeability can be optimised to suit each particular application.

Injection

The material can be adapted to suit the preferred MFI settings. All existing moulds of any type can be used (hot manifold…). The material does not alter the imprint surface.

This material can be imprinted in line with existing processes

Looking forward Algae based products becoming more available and accessible in near future.

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Table Phare by Algoblend

As Capt Watson says “If the Oceans Die, we die”.

Sources for the article and to Read more about the products follow the links below :-

1.

2.

3.

 

Costa Rica produces 99% Electricity from renewable sources in 2015

CostaRica_Arenal_Volcano_(pixinn.net)

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in a statement that it achieved 99 percent renewable electricity generation in 2015, as per AFP reports. Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (English: Costa Rican Institute of Electricity) (ICE) is the Costa Rican government-run electricity and telecommunications services provider. Jointly with the Radiographic Costarricense SA (RACSA) and Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) form the ICE Group. The institute also said for 285 days in 2015 the country managed to power its grid on 100 percent renewable sources.

The path away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy in the small Central American nation is seen as aspirational for other countries wanting to cut fossil-fuel pollution blamed on global warming. Costa Rica is lucky to have a wealth of renewable energy sources to choose from. The bulk of its power generation comes from hydropower thanks to a large river system and heavy tropical rainfalls. The rest is made up of a mix of geothermal energy, which the country is also rich in, wind, biomass and solar power.

In December 2015, the UN Climate Change conference held in Paris (COP21) struck a landmark deal committing countries to cutting their carbon emissions. Whether Costa Rica’s renewable energy model can be implemented in other countries will depend on the topography and climate of the respected countries.

For Costa Rica, the more measurable results of its renewable energy success will be known by in the earlier half of this year (2016) when a full year worth of data will be available to compare with the previous year. By then, the largest hydropower plant in Central America should be in operation.

The Reventazón Hydroelectric Project, located in the eastern province of Limón, is expected to be ready for operation by end of January 2016.The ICE is currently taking measures to protect land along the south, east, and western portions of the future lake, and are reforesting a strip of land around the lake’s perimeter. This is a commendable course of action that we wholeheartedly support, but it will not be sufficient to guarantee the future integrity of this critical biological corridor. The Reventazon Hydroelectric Project aims to set a high standard for large development projects by engaging with the community and taking unprecedented environmental steps, but are they doing enough? Significantly more strategic reforestation will be required to maintain safe migratory access through the corridor.

The citizens of the country have benefited from the cost of energy actually falling by 12% this year and the institute expects it to keep falling in the future. It’s important to remember that Costa Rica is a small nation. It has a total area of about 51,000 square kilometres, which is about half the size of the US state of Kentucky, and it has a population of only 4.8 million people. Furthermore, its primary industries are tourism and agriculture, rather than heavy, more energy-intensive industries such as mining or manufacturing. Costa Rica is an inspiration as the right steps in the right direction.The Central American nation is just one of many nations around the world that is getting behind renewable energy.

Recently, India, the world’s third-largest carbon polluter, unveiled a plan that aims to make its economy more energy-efficient and to cut carbon emissions. In this significant shift, the Indian government said that it also intends to produce about 40 percent of its electricity in 2030 from “non-fossil-fuel based sources” such as solar, wind, and hydropower.

Try this Quiz to check if your opinion is informed by Science of Climate change

Reference
http://www.grupoice.com/wps/wcm/connect/a892130047b68c02b1b8bf59b6c2010c/infograma.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
treehugger.com
inhabitat.com
thejaguarproject.com
CSMonitor.com
wikipedia.com
miamiherald.com
Thumbnail image – Arturo Sotillo(Wha’ppen) Flickr via CC

World’s first Solar Road opens in the Netherlands

The world’s first solar pathway “SolaRoad” has become a reality in the Netherlands. Since it is the Dutch, one should expect them to create a cycling road first up, and they did just that!! It is the first road that simply put, converts sunlight into electricity. Instead of the blacktop one sees toughened glass surface (a centimeter thick), under which lies the solar modules. This is the first section or the pilot road and is to be tested to learn how it can be made streamlined and more efficient.

Image Courtesy www.Inhabitat.com

The solar panel sections being laid down

is in Krommenie, (suburb of Amsterdam) along the provincial road N203, next to the Texaco garage on the railway trackside. It is 70 meters (approximately 230 feet) long right now and will be extended to 100 meters (330 feet) by 2016. SolaRoad has been developed by a consortium consisting of TNO, the Province of North-Holland, Ooms Civiel and Imtech Traffic&Infra. The Dutch Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs officially opened SolaRoad to the public on The 12th of November 2014. The minister and his assistant rode a bike to inaugurate the road. The whole width of the pilot road is not paneled. One half is paneled, while on the other half different options for topping the road are being tried out.

Image Courtesy SolaRoad Website

Inaugural Ride By Minster Kamp

The idea of a Solar road which could convert sunlight into usable energy has been around in all seriousness since 2009. There was also a TedX talk on the same topic by Scott Brusaw at TEDxSacramento follow the link to the video.

The skeptics still feel that not being able to tilt the solar panels to follow the sun would reduce productivity by a close to 30%. Same thing can happen if a thick layer of mud, dirt, snow or ice covers the surface. These things will all be answered when the road is tested in real time. Last but not the least is the cost factor – building a road 100 meters long has cost close to $3.5million!!

Image Source SolaRoad Website

Solar Roadway Aerial view, left hand side is the solar part and the right hand side has the different top layers being tried

As per the SolaRoad website – SolaRoad is a pioneering innovation in the field of energy harvesting. It is a unique concept, which converts sunlight on the road surface into electricity: the road network works as an inexhaustible source of green power. SolaRoad is sustainable and can be used in practice in many different ways. SolaRoad is being developed as prefabricated slabs. It consists of concrete modules of 2.5 by 3.5 meters with a translucent top layer of tempered glass, which is about 1 cm thick. Underneath the glass are crystalline silicon solar cells. The top layer immediately shows an important difference from the traditional road surface. It has to be translucent for sunlight and repel dirt as much as possible. At the same time, the top layer must be skid resistant and strong enough in order to realize a safe road surface. This is one of the technical challenges of SolaRoad.

The premise behind the SolaRoad project is very optimistic and will make a huge difference if taken to a financially viable level. Right now the pilot road has been built at a cost of close to $3.5Million and the test period is three-years, various measurements will be taken and tests performed to enable SolaRoad to undergo further development. The goal is to utilize energy the road produces to run street lights homes etc…

So Yeah!! now there are solar paneled Bicycle lanes in the Netherlands, check them out next time you are in Amsterdam!! IMHO It is a step in the right direction, may be somewhere in the future one of Nostradamus’s predictions will give way to glass snakes enveloping the earth in the place of black snakes!!

Want to see a video about the SolaRoad? Check it out below >>

Source –

SolaRoad Website

 

Ivanpah – The World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant

On September 24th it was announced that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System produced its first output of energy when the Unit 1 station was synchronized to the power grid for the first time. Achieving this critical “first sync” is a major milestone for the project, which is jointly-owned by NRG Energy, Inc., BrightSource Energy, Inc. and Google.

ivanpah-solar-thermal-1

Some Interesting facts:

  •  Upon completion, Ivanpah will be the largest solar thermal power tower system in the world.
  • Electricity from Ivanpah will avoid millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants – the equivalent of taking 70,000 cars off the road.
  • The project will create more than 2,100 jobs for construction workers and support staff and 86 jobs for operations and maintenance employees in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in local and state taxes.
  • Named after the Ivapah Dry lake in where it is located.

The stations Power tower technology includes large Heliostats that track the sun throughout the day,solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator. Power generated from Ivanpah’s initial sync testing will go to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which has a power purchase agreement for energy produced out of the plant’s Unit 1 station. ivanpah-solar-thermal-2

Located in California’s Mojave Desert, Ivanpah is the largest solar thermal plant in the world, spanning 3,500 acres of public land. Once fully operational, the 392 megawatt (377 megawatt net) plant will generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes annually. Ivanpah’s three power tower units will also nearly double the amount of commercial solar thermal energy capacity now operating in the United States.

 

Read More about it HERE

DIY Mother’s Day Gifts!

It is Mother’s day again! I would think every day should be mother’s day and am sure my mom would agree =) I have been wondering what to do for mom this year. I being into green living have changed the way I do gifts for people close to me: I tend to make something special, useful and pretty {Mom likes pretty =)}

I have a list of 10 DIY projects I found online which you can create without much effort and please mom every day! Not just mother’s day =)

  1. A tee shirt tote for grocery shopping (this I find real easy and plan to do it ) – You know that favorite teeshirt you really don’t want to throw away though the edges have started fraying? This is the kind of project that tee was waiting for! It will help mom carry her groceries from here on forward. She will be happy you are rid of the tee and you will be happy it is still around! I love how simple it is to make. Follow This Link to the complete tutorial.

    Image courtesy Inhabitat.com

  2. Gardening – for the Green Thumb momma: Hanging garden for Mom done the Japanese way (Kokedama). I saw this and thought this would really be fun to do. It adds greenery to your living space even if you live in an apartment and are cramped for space. The author suggests using orchids in the mix; but I plan to stick to begonias and ferns (shade loving plants). You will also need sphagnum moss and bonsai soil (Akedama). Follow the Link for the whole tutorial.
  3. A DIY Laundry Bag in Mom’s favorite colors! – This is one cool tutorial if stitching is your thing. My mom has a small hoarding issue, so finding materials to work with will be a breeze for me. I plan to use a nice solid bed-sheet which is strong enough and colorful enough to her liking. The tutorial details how to make it very precisely. To check out the whole tutorial Follow this link.
  4. Candy Wrapper Jewelry – This is just too cool! I could not believe at first that it was candy wrapper which made such colorful beads!! The method is really simple and the result gorgeous! The wrappers are cut as per the template provided and rolled on toothpicks to create the beads! Ecouterre has the amazingly simple tutorial to create these one of a kind jewels, check it out here.
  5. Kitchen Essentials from stuff you already have – I really liked this idea because it was something mom could use for a long time and my mom never likes throwing away things, so I can pretty much find all the raw materials in her pantry/store room for sure. The Girl creative blogger has used clothes pins, an empty plastic canister, some glass marbles, dish cloth etc to create a basic kitchen essential set. She has used her creativity to make the everyday items look beautiful. For the detailed tutorial follow this link.

    Image courtesy Creative Girl

  6. The ruffle flip flop sandal for the hip mom – I saw this tutorial a little while back and thought it will make a neat adult sandals too. The tutorial converts a flip flop into a ruffled sandal. One could use it to renew a broken flip flop or to dress up a new plain one. Either way for the detailed tutorial .
    follow this link.  
  7. A ruffled clutch to go with it from Flamingotoes – She has transformed an old basic clutch to a stylish hip ruffled clutch with a few bits of fabric and stitching. It will go perfectly with the ruffled sandals above and will sure make mom smile when she heads out this summer. Follow this link to the detailed tutorial.
  8. DIY Picture tiles – I love this idea, a few pictures of the grandchildren and old pictures of her kids when they were young adorning the refrigerator should make every mom teary eyed with happiness =). All you need are digital pictures you want to print out, a few tiles (or use foam boards just in case you can’t find tiles), Printer, Scissors, Glue and magnets! Voila you have a perfect surprise! For the detailed tutorial follow this link. Like the Author says you will never buy a photo frame again =)
  9. Easy Flower vases from left over milk bottles (or any bottles with interesting shapes) – Remodelista a blogger has this amazing tutorial to reuse glass bottles and turn them into chic flower vases. She uses yarn from the store in her projects – I do think we could use any yarn left over from a knitting project etc… I used the yard from an old sweater which was fraying at the ends and loved the result. To make your own bottle flower vase follow this link.
  10. Bird feeders – Well I have one for you if mom has finches in her garden check out this link and this one which uses a juice or milk carton to create your very own feeder as a gift for mom.

When thinking about buying something for mom, I try sneaking in questions to figure out what she “needs” or “wants”… There is really nothing that she will mention and whatever I get her, I know she feels happy about it and says that over and over about how wonderful the gift is, but by the end of the next month that gift will also join all the other “stuff” my siblings and I have gifted her over the years.

So this year I thought I should make something for her (see when I make something for her she gives it a special place: not amongst the “stuff”.

So I will be making one of the things from this list I compiled, hope you find something too!

Happy Mother’s Day to you and your Mom! Cherish Mom’s every day!

Mobilize The World – Earth Day 2012

Happy Earth Day fellow earthlings! Today 22nd of April 2012 is the 42nd Earth Day. Earth – Our Blue planet unique in our solar system for supporting life, which has for millions of years sustained evolutionary changes and survived, is facing man made issues which threaten the very fabric of her future. At least on this day we need to take a look at ourselves; the way we live, the way we have an impact on our surroundings and be conscious about what we can do to reduce our carbon footprints

Earth Day: The History of A Movement

Each year, Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it.

Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.

The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

In 1990 it was revived again when Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder.

Much like 1970, Earth Day 2010 came at a time of great challenge for the environmental community. Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to a strong narrative that overshadowed the cause of progress and change. In spite of the challenge, for its 40th anniversary, Earth Day Network reestablished Earth Day as a powerful focal point around which people could demonstrate their commitment. Earth Day Network brought 225,000 people to the National Mall for a Climate Rally, amassed 40 million environmental service actions toward its 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green®, launched an international, 1-million tree planting initiative with Avatar director James Cameron and tripled its online base to over 900,000 community members.

The fight for a clean environment continues in a climate of increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. We invite you to be a part of Earth Day and help write many more victories and successes into our history. Discover energy you didn’t even know you had. Feel it rumble through the grassroots under your feet and the technology at your fingertips. Channel it into building a clean, healthy, diverse world for generations to come.

courtesy Earthday.org

What Can I Do?

Each one of us can make a difference in our own way. A few simple steps to get one started is listed below:

1. PLEDGE A GREEN ACT AND GET THE NUMBER OF GREEN ACTS TO 1BILLION

2. Donate to Save Yasuni national Park – a preserve in the Amazon Rain forest on the Ecuadorian side. In 2007, with the discovery of large oil deposits in the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini field (ITT field) located northeast of the Park, President Rafael Correa presented before the United Nations the decision to keep oil at ITT field underground indefinitely, if the international community cooperates with Ecuador providing at least half of the profits that the State would receive in the case of exporting oil.

Ecuador is committed to maintain indefinitely untapped the 846 million barrels of oil reserves in the ITT field, located in the Park. The international community will participate with a financial contribution, creating a capital fund to be administered by an international trust, with the participation of the State, Ecuadorian civil society, and contributors.

3. Spare a Dollar For a Tree –  The Canopy Project -Earth Day Network planted over 1 million trees in 16 countries in 2010 under the Avatar Home Tree Initiative, a project supported by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

4. Please, save a little water daily, during all water related activities (turning off water while brushing your teeth, showering instead of soaking in the tub, using the dishwasher instead of hand wash… options are unending)

5  Please, plant at least a Native tree annually at your home or community (a native plant garden too will help)

6  Please, keep off electric appliances a few minutes daily (switch off lights when you leave a room, use CFLs)

7  Please, suspend travel by personal car once a day (Car share, walking short distances, using public transport, bicycling… again options galore!)

8  Please, keep a day in a week luxury free (reduced consumption is reduced carbon footprint, using only what we NEED)

9 Please, do not throw away the waste wherever you like (Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!)

10 Please, No more junk food

11. Please, save one minute to think on Climate Change and Environment (a minute a day will in all probablity lead to more green actions =)

12. You Can Reduce CO2 Emissions, support organisations which plant Native trees worldwide.

13. Spread awareness – talk about it with your friends and family. After all we all share the Earth and we all share the responsibility.

 

Happy Earth Day everyone, off to do my bit.

 

SOURCE : http://www.earthday.org/

The Solar Bottle Bulb

I have been meaning to write about this project for months now, just got around to it today. Back in September of 2011 I read about Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light) project in Manila powered by pop bottles and bleached water! A bottle with water is enough to light up a small room. In the poor neighborhoods of Manila shacks have dark roofs and hardly any daylight. Many of the homes are not connected to the electric grid and in third world countries continuous power availability is not a given.

This year i.e 2012 is the year they plan to complete lighting 1 million homes using this green technology. The clear water disperses the light in all directions through refraction, which can provide a luminosity that is equivalent to a 55-watt electric light bulb, according to the MyShelter Foundation.

The idea behind the Solar Water Bulb is the brainchild of Alfredo Moser a mechanic from Sao Paulo, Brazil; who came up with it during the 2002 power shortage in Brazil to light up his workshop for working during the day! Like Plato said Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

MIT students have been instrumental in spreading the usage of this simple and virtually free technology to the third world countries as a remedy to light up dark areas during the day without windows! They disperse light to all the corners of the room unlike skylights which are pretty much unidirectional.

How to Make Your Own Solar Bottle Bulb?

Raw materials Needed
1. 1 liter Pet Bottle
2. Galvanized iron corrugated or flat roofing sheet size 9″ x 10″
3. Chlorine (10ml per liter)
4. Steel Brush or Sand Paper
5. Snipping tools to cut the sheet
6. Pliers to fold the sheet back
7. Rubber Sealant or Epoxy resin – to seal and attach the bottle
8. Screws to attach it to the roof securely
9. Filtered water

Directions

On the galvanized roof sheet piece cut a circle 2mm smaller than the diameter of the bottle. Make small cuts perpendicularly along the edge and fold them upwards. Take the bottle and rub the sides to make it rough enough for the glue to adhere. Pass the bottle through the hole and hold in place using the folded edges of the sheet (1/3rd of the bottle above the fold). Apply glue to the bottle and the folded edges to seal and attach them together. Now pour 10ml of Chlorine into the bottle and top it up with filtered water. Close the lid tightly.

Now cut a hole on the roof of the shack where the light is needed. Apply sealant or epoxy resin around the opening to cover an area equivalent to the 10″x9″ sheet. Press it down and secure with screws. The bottle top which will be exposed to the elements needs to be protected (use plastic tubing and sealant to protect it). The Solar Water Bulb is ready and spreading light. The bottle light is believed to have a life of up to 5 years!!

How Does it work?

Simple: water diffracts the light, letting it spread throughout the house instead of focusing on one point. The chlorine keeps the water clear and microbe-free.

Positive Attributes – One can make on ones own Solar Bottle Bulb from waste materials! It can be installed any place world over where there is a roof. It is easily portable and yes, there are a huge number of households world over which do not get enough light during the day.

For e.g 360 million people in India lack access to electricity!!

Negative Attributes – Does not work during night when people do need light. The bottles sticking out of the roof is not very aesthetically pleasing 🙂

I am amazed at the possibilities such a simple idea provides – It is Green, Eco friendly, Cost effective and Practical! Try it out!

Things to watch out for or remember-

Make sure you seal the roof properly to avoid water damage.

Cover the bottle cap to make sure it does not disintegrate.

It only works during the day when there is sunlight.

Sources:

Isang Litrong Liwanang

Cheap Solar Panel Using Hydrogen Ion Particle Accelerator

Solar panels which cost less than fossil fuels? Yeah! That can be reality if Twin Creeks’ photovoltaic cells created using a hydrogen ion particle accelerator become widely used. For Solar energy to become competitive with conventional grid power, the cost production — including modules, electronics, and installation – will need to drop to $1 per watt and the cost of modules will have to drop to 50 cents per watt. It is not possible with conventional technologies. Solar cells used in everything from watches to Power generators use monocrystalline substances like silicon, germanium, silicon carbide or gallium nitride. And because of the way they are manufactured all the cells contain more material than needed.

TwinCreeks Technoogy says their goal was to find a lower cost option for Solar power generation which would entail grid parity.
Hyperion is a manufacturing method developed by Twin Creeks Technologies which reduces the size of the wafer considerably and increases output. With the completion of their latest generation Hyperion 3 toolset, they have a production system that can produce ultra-thin wafers less than one-tenth the thickness of conventional silicon solar wafers. Hyperion can fundamentally change the cost structure of many other industries that rely on high-cost, single-crystal wafers for their devices.

The Benefits of reducing the size of the wafer is as follows:

  • Reduced Cell Manufacturing Costs – Solar cells produced with Hyperion thin Si processing are nearly 50% less expensive to manufacture.
  • Reduced Capital Expenses – Hyperion makes your existing investments in poly-silicon, ingot growing and wafering equipment up to 90% more efficient. If you need to expand, you can count on a 50% reduction in capital to make the same number of wafers.
  • Predictable Si costs – By consuming fewer materials per module, manufacturers are less exposed to swings in commodity prices. Manufacturers can better insulate themselves from fluctuations in spot and contract prices for silicon and other materials.
  • Flexible Format Cells – Solar modules produced with Hyperion thin Si lamina are bendable, allowing manufacturers to package solar directly into roofing materials to reduce packaging, installation and shipping costs.
  • The “Greening” of Solar – The solar industry consumes large amounts of energy and creates waste by-products from the polysilicon, ingot growth and wafering process. Through thin Si efficiencies, environmental “footprint” is reduced. When you make your thin Si lamina with Hyperion, your raw material is water used to produce hydrogen ions.

Source: http://www.twincreekstechnologies.com/

Nokero N200 A Green Solution to Light Up Nights Worldover

In a world where 1 in 4 humans lives without access to electricity, and you and I pretty much can’t exist without it an economically viable solution to light up the nights is a blessing, no less. Nokero N200 is a small and effective solution for a large problem! Nokero (No kerosene!) was formed in June 2010 by inventor Steve Katsaros to develop safe and environmentally-friendly solar products that eliminate the need for harmful and polluting fuels used for light and heat around the world and most importantly, are affordable to the communities that need them.

Nokero Introduction

Nokero lamps are an all-in-one solar system that is already completely and successfully replacing kerosene lamps and paraffin candles in places all around the world where  electricity is not a given. Best of all, their lighting products are more economical than any other lights of the same kind.

Nokero performance:

  • A typical kerosene lamp emits about 10 lumens of light, similar to Nokero.
  • Nokero is made in a high-quality factory, has its CE certification, and is built to last 5+years when properly cared for.
  • Nokero’s battery lasts 2-3 years, and is replaceable for about $1 US.
  • Nokero is bulb-shaped, so it’s easy to identify what it is and how it works – anyone can use it.
  • Pivot technology allows for maximum efficiency – the solar panel can pivot toward the sun to increase insolation rates.
  •  The most affordable solar light of its kind
  • Quality design and construction
  • The best commercially available solar panels
  • High-temperature battery works efficiently in all climates

About Worldwide Kerosene Use

  • A quarter of humanity still obtains illumination via fuel-based lighting, usually Kerosene or “Kero”.
  • Usage is expected to shrink only slightly by 2030 (from 1.6 billion in 2006 to 1.3 billion in 2030), and is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Fuel lighting is widespread in well over 100 countries.
  • Typical kerosene users burn their lamps for 1.5 hours a night
  • The Nokero N100 lasts about 2 hours a night on one day’s charge.
  • The Nokero N200 lasts 6-plus hours a night on one day’s charge.

 

Economics:

  • The average user spends 5% of their income on lighting fuel.
  • Off-grid lighting users spend $40 billion per year (about 20% of all global lighting expenditures) yet receive only 0.1% of total lighting services.
  • Nokero pays for itself within weeks or months (depending on region) when replacing a kerosene lamp.
  • Recent market research has shown these users’ willingness to pay $6-$15 for solar LED products.
  • Better light creates improved study conditions, leading to a better overall economy for the host nation. (One report stated that study time of students rose from 1.47 hours to 2.71 hours per day, with a positive effect on school performance, when using LED lighting rather than fuel lamp lighting).
  • Off-grid businesses rank “improved lighting” highest among a set of improvements desired for their premises.
  • Those who buy a product take more care of it than those who are given a product.
  • Traditional solar home systems cost $300 or more and require installation.
  • Typical “hurricane” lanterns cost about $5US in most regions.
  • Battery-powered LED flashlights are available in some areas for about $5, but 87% of users had problems within 6 months.

Health:

  • Inhalation of fumes from fuel lamps is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes a day.
  • Exposure to single-wick lamps exposes user to 10 times more particulate matter (PM) than ambient health guidelines.
  • More than 1 million people per year die in fires started by fuel-lamps and lighting materials.
  • Indoor air pollution is responsible for the death of 1.6 million people every year—that’s one death every 20 seconds.
  • Long-term inhalation of hydrocarbons, including kerosene fumes, results in central nervous system damage, including loss of cognitive functions, gait disturbances, and loss of coordination.
  • Other health risks include burns, complications from fires or explosions, child poisoning because of inadvertent consumption, exposure to unburned fuel, and compromised ‘visual health’ because of sub-standard luminance levels.

Environment:

  • 1.3 million Barrels of oil per day consumed by fuel lighting.
  • 190 million tons of carbon dioxide released into atmosphere.
  • This is the equivalent of 30m cars.
  • One Nokero bulb can save 0.77 tons of CO2 during its lifetime.
  • Other fuels:
  • Kerosene is not the only fuel used for light.
  • More than 7% of households in Tanzania burn wood for light.
  •  20% of homes in Ethiopia burn biofuels (non-kerosene) for light.

Kerosene facts and information are sourced from The Lumina Project

Nokero N200 is the latest from Nokero and is a simple easy to use solution for most lighting issues at home or while camping.

Some interesting facts:

In most countries, the Nokero N200 pays for itself in 15 days to 2 months by eliminating the need for expensive candles or kerosene.

The Nokero N200 also makes an ideal camping light, or a portable RV light, emergency light, or marine light.

It brings 6 hours of light per night on “low” and 2.5 hours of light per night on “high”,* but it can be charged for multiple days in a row to extend its lighting time.

The battery will last for 1.5 years, and can be replaced to keep the bulb lasting for years.

Energy production and distribution has been a costly and polluting exercise world over. We all await a day when renewable energy can be produced in a cost effective way so that the nights will be lit world over.  Nokero N200 is a step in the right way for more details and to buy check out  Nokero N200

 

Teenie Micro Solar Cell From Semprius

Pin Sized Solar Cell from Semprius

Picture courtesy Inhabitat website

 

Semprius just unveiled an teenie solar cell that is half the size of a pinhead, which when combined with powerful inexpensive lenses can concentrate sunlight more than 11,000 times and convert it to electricity!

Semprius has been a leader in Concentrated solar research and development. In 2008 they had come out with a method to slice monocrystalline solar wafers thin enough to be flexible and partially transparent but still maintain their high solar efficiency. The slender silicon slices are then imprinted onto a substrate using Semprius’s patented microtransfer printing process.

Semprius’ patented micro-transfer printing technology brings for the first time, high performance semiconductors to virtually any surface, including glass, plastic or metal substrates or even other semiconductor wafers. By liberating the semiconductor devices from their traditional substrates, Semprius technology enables the construction of a wide variety of new products with large-area, thin, and lightweight form factors, high reliability and low cost. The resulting circuit devices have levels of performance comparable to the original semiconductor.

 

Smaller and more efficient! Wonderful news for Solar and alternative energy market; if only it were affordable sooner.

Read the entire article here