solarpowernow

Residential Solar Power Makes Sense For Multiple Reasons

solarpowernow:

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Switching to solar power is not only the right thing to do environmentally,  it also makes great financial sense. For many homeowners it can be the difference between spending $20,000 or $40,000 over a 20 year period. That’s right, for many Americans conventional energy can easily be twice as much, especially as utilities keep increasing rates.

fuckyeahursulavernon

My father, who is an Arizona old-school Republican,* is goin’ to court. For environmentalism. I’m so proud.

He has solar panels on his house, on the principle that if you live in Arizona, it’s a waste not to. They’re not huge—basically, they heat his pool. His homeowner’s association told him to take them down. He pointed to the law on the books saying that no homeowner’s association can prevent the putting up of solar panels. They got an attorney.

One of the many hereditary traits Dad and I share is that we are mellow, almost catatonically laid back people, but if you manage to piss us off, we have been known to get just a wee bit stubborn. Which is why Dad located the attorney who took the last case of this sort all the way to the Supreme Court, and who is willing to do it again.

So now, Dad’s in the newspaper (he was on the front page!) and his phone is ringing off the hook with other people suffering from HOAs, and he’s writing letters to the editor in wounded tones saying things like “If we’re supposed to reduce our dependance on foreign oil, what’s better than free sunshine?” and generally enjoying the heck out rousing the rabble.

It’s unlikely, of course, that this second case would actually go clear to the Supreme Court, but Dad’d do it if need be, being a believer in the principle of the thing. (The thought of 200K legal fees if he lost gave him pause, but Mavis, who’s intestinal fortitude I have praised before, said “No. They Have Annoyed Me.” This is the sort of ground where angels fear to tread.)

Ursula Vernon (via fuckyeahursulavernon)

PutSolarOnIt!!!

afp-photo
afp-photo:

GREECE, Corinth: The world’s largest solar-powered boat, “MS Turanor PlanetSolar” sails through the Corinth Canal near the town of Corinth on July 28, 2014. The boat arrived to Greece as part of a joint archaeological project focused on underwater exploration off one of Europe’s oldest human occupation sites, the Franchthi cave in the Argolid, southeast Peloponnese. The project is taking place in one of Greece’s richest archaelogical areas, the Argolid, known for its major palatial complexes in the Bronze Age that include Mycenae and Tiryns and later, classical-era city-states and sites like Argos and the ancient-theatre site of Epidaurus. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE GACHE

afp-photo:

GREECE, Corinth: The world’s largest solar-powered boat, “MS Turanor PlanetSolar” sails through the Corinth Canal near the town of Corinth on July 28, 2014. The boat arrived to Greece as part of a joint archaeological project focused on underwater exploration off one of Europe’s oldest human occupation sites, the Franchthi cave in the Argolid, southeast Peloponnese. The project is taking place in one of Greece’s richest archaelogical areas, the Argolid, known for its major palatial complexes in the Bronze Age that include Mycenae and Tiryns and later, classical-era city-states and sites like Argos and the ancient-theatre site of Epidaurus. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE GACHE

txchnologist

New Technology Could Boost Solar Cell Efficiency By 30 Percent

txchnologist:

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by Ker Than, Inside Science

Scientists looking to boost the efficiency of solar panels are taking a fresh look at an exotic physics phenomenon first observed nearly 50 years ago in glowing crystals.

Called singlet fission, the process can enable a single photon of light to generate two electrons instead of just one. This one-to-two conversion, as the process is known, has the potential to boost solar cell efficiency by as much as 30 percent above current levels, according to a new review paper published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

Singlet fission “was originally proposed to explain some weird results that were observed in fluorescent organic crystals,” said the study’s first author Christopher Bardeen, a chemist at the University of California, Riverside. “It received a lot of attention in the 1960s and 1970s, but then it was mostly forgotten.”

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