Solar power – our endless fuel pump

Solar Power Panels

Image credit: ucsusa.org

In recent times there has been an even bigger drive for renewable energy than ever before. This has also given rise once again to the solar power car. It could be due to the global warming phenomena or maybe we finally realised that the sun is in fact our biggest energy source and it’s free. At least in theory it is but putting in place the technology to store sufficient amounts of energy is the challenging part. Continue reading

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon backed by government review

Swansea_Bay_Tidal_Lagoon_conceptNearly 2 years after the project confirmed equity funding, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon has just been backed by a government commission review.

Former UK energy minister Charles Hendry has been gathering evidence for the independent enquiry for almost a year and as part of that review has visited all the potential sites and held various discussions with the industry. That report says that the project would make a strong contribution to the UK’s energy supply.

There were a host of other conclusions in the report, but some of the headline ones were: Continue reading

Can floating turbines improve the renewable energy sector?

floating turbinesCan floating turbines operated further out at sea harness more wind power and improve the renewable energy sector?

This was the idea being explored and piloted off the coast of Norway in 2009 and after 6 years of successful operations the company behind that pilot, Statoil, took the decision to invest in building the world’s first floating wind farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

They will be installing a 30 MW wind turbine farm on floating structures at Buchan Deep, 25km offshore of Peterhead. The turbines will harness the wind and provide energy to approximately 20,000 mainland homes. Supply of that electricity is anticipated to start towards the end of 2017. Continue reading

Solving the congestion and emissions problem

traffic congestionBack in March this year London was set to see the introduction of 5 all electric double decker buses capable of driving up to 190 miles in day on one 4 hour overnight charge. The 5 buses joined a fleet of single deck electric, hydrogen and hybrid buses as part of the effort to reduce emissions in the city centre.

At the other end of the country Stagecoach are operating all electric bus services in Inverness and having worked with manufacturer Optare have managed to extend the range of miles the vehicles can do. In addition to running on electricity, these buses also feature electric heating systems rather than the standard diesel ones. This makes them the UKs’ most efficient electric buses in terms of kWh per mile and they fist of their kind. Continue reading

Solar Impulse 2 crossed the Atlantic non stop

solar impulse 2Solar Impulse 2 left New York on Monday 20th June and landed in Seville, Spain on 23rd June at 7.30 am. The total flight time was 71 hours and 8 minutes and now means that the aircraft has crossed both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Solar Impulse 2 is attempting the first renewably powered circumnavigation of the globe and is now nearing the end of its 35,000km journey. The trip started in July 2015 and will finish back at the starting point in Abu Dhabi. The immediate next steps are to negotiate a route back to Abu Dhabi via Egypt or Greece.

Solar Impulse 2 has a wingspan of 72m and weighs more than 2 tons. It is powered by more than 17000 solar cells and achieves an average speed of 75 km/h.

Just like the Bloodhound project, the Solar Impulse 2 team are providing an educational platform around their project, giving resources to schools and universities as well as providing opportunities for live hangouts with members of the team. Continue reading

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