Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spinning The Meter Backwards

you can spin your meter backwards and seamlessly connect to your utilities grid. Sell your electricity back to your utility company and receive a return on your investment. It's a no brainer! Premier power USA - Solar Roof Tiles

What has happened since 2004?
SAN FRANCISCO -- The shingles that help to protect you from the elements could soon help to keep your lights on. Solar companies have developed light-absorbing roof tiles as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to solar panels. WIRED NEWS

What has happened since 2005?
A major new market -- there are solar BIPV roof tiles. Rather than mounting separate solar panels on a rack on top of a roof, BIPV shingle designs interlock with roof tiles and shingles to provide an aesthetic, seamless look. Focus On Roof Tiles

How Solar Works
Bavaria Solar Park is one of the world's largest photovoltaic arrays, covering 62 acres and using 57,600 photovoltaic panels. As the turnkey system provider for the deployment, PowerLight was responsible for the project's development, design, deployment, and on-going operation. The PowerLight PowerTracker® System was installed in three solar plants in Muehlhausen, Guenching, and Minihof, Bavaria, for a total capacity of 10 MW. PowerTracker technology enables the panels to follow the sun, resulting in significantly more electricity production than possible with fixed ground-mount systems. All three plants began producing electricity in 2004.

I thought the whole point about generating Solar and Wind Turbine energy is that it is free, minus the cost of installing the panels and unforseen maintenance costs. I recall ten to twenty years ago, ecological groups were calling for sustained investment in developing ecological alternatives to hydrocarbons. At the the time, the calls for investment were not to produce a central power plant for free energy, but to create local and individual initiatives in generating electricity within the community for the community. Since then independant firms have worked to develop their own solar panels and small wind turbines without much encouragement from the population at large.

I am watching how the energy industry are developing "Energy Farms", "Wind Turbine Farms" and "Solar Farms", where millions of people pay the energy producers for their free energy. I am watching this and I am thinking, stupid, or what?

Equally frustrated - back in 2006:
Multi-function solar roof tiles. An Industrial Design graduate at the University of Western Sydney has devised a roof tile that heats water and generates electricity using the Sun's rays.

The designer is Sebastian Braat and his hope is to see a greater up take of solar technology around the country. "It's frustrating to see cutting edge solar technology being developed in Australia but not being implemented widely in our cities," says Sebastian.

"There are ever-expanding housing estates with hundreds of thousands of square metres of concrete tiles currently soaking up megawatts of solar energy and doing absolutely nothing productive with it.

ZNet - Solar Energy News - - EU-Solar Portal