- Reminder: Enter to Win $200 Whole Foods Gift Certificate & More
- Nissan’s Electric Leaf Becomes a Van: The e-NV200
- Mission Africa — 3000 Miles in an Electric Car: or, Xavier Chevrin Is Manlier Than You
- Solar Power in a Suitcase for Medical Situations
- HyperSolar Envisions Solar Powered Hydrogen “Farms”
- 22.24 GW of PV-Solar Output in Germany — New Record!
Posted: 27 May 2012 02:43 AM PDT
Just a reminder that you’ve got another day and a half to enter our giveaway of a $200 Whole Foods gift certificate and more goodies. All you have to do is comment on the original post about the giveaway telling us what you think most rocks about the Mitsubishi i.
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Posted: 27 May 2012 02:06 AM PDT
Nissan Building Quirky and Cute e-NV200, Starting Next Year (via Gas 2.0)
Okay, Gas2 readers, it's rhetorical question time: Do you remember Nissan's electric van? The one where it looked like they chopped off the front end of the Leaf and stuck it onto a metal box? (Because that's more or less what they did.) It seems to be more or less done testing and actually slated…
Posted: 27 May 2012 01:59 AM PDT
Frenchman To Take EV 3000 Miles Through Africa And Prove Rest of World Chicken (via Gas 2.0)
If a Frenchman can drive an electric vehicle 3,000 miles through Africa, you can certainly handle driving an EV the fifteen miles to work and back, plus around the city for shopping. Just driving through Africa is generally some sort of adventure; whether it's the relatively tame massive potholes…
Posted: 27 May 2012 01:58 AM PDT
She was shocked by the lack of resources available for medical treatment during her visit, so when she returned home she set about trying to come up with solutions.
Her husband works in the solar industry, so he began to experiment with various combinations of solar panels and small lights to invent a portable solar kit that could be used for medical field trips in Africa. Solar power and a small battery system seemed to be the best choice, because villages in rural areas are off-grid but there is abundant sunshine during daylight hours for recharging batteries. Also, small lights could be stored in the same suitcase kit for transportation and protection during trips.
Today, their suitcase solar kits are used in nearly 200 medical clinics in various locations across the planet. Initially, the kit was designed for use in obstetric situations, but now can be employed in any medical emergency or healthcare event.
Key components of the system are solar panels for generating 40 or 80 watts, LED lighting for medical tasks, chargers for batteries and cell phones, and a 12-amp-hour sealed lead acid battery. There are also outlets for 12V DC electronics. This system can also be expanded to accommodate 200 watts of solar panels and a 140-amp-hour sealed battery.
About 15,000 mothers each year are now provided emergency medical care 24 hours a day because of the solar suitcases. Reportedly, over 350,000 mothers die from pregnancy complications each year.
Additionally, these small portable lighting systems don’t generate air pollution by burning kerosene, and don’t have the same potential to start accidental fires.
If you are interested in supporting We Care Solar, you can donate on their site.
Image Credit: We Care Solar
Posted: 26 May 2012 04:21 PM PDT
Last year the solar company HyperSolar, Inc. filed a patent application for a solar powered system that creates renewable methane gas from water, which it has been testing out at California’s Salton Sea. Just last week, the company announced that it has completed a proof-of-concept prototype for a solar-powered hydrogen generator, so this looks like a good time to check in and see what they’re up to.
Everything you need to know about hydrogen
Hydrogen can be produced from plain water through a reaction touched off by electricity. However, it takes a significant amount of energy to split hydrogen atoms from water molecules. If the energy in question is a fossil fuel then hydrogen is a wash in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
An emerging solution is to develop hydrogen production systems that are integrated with solar power, essentially mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis.
One notable example of this approach is MIT researcher Daniel Nocera’s solar powered “artificial leaf,” which is based on a small solar module the size of a playing card.
Plastic bags, solar power and green hydrogen
Hypersolar’s system goes even farther down the size spectrum, using tiny particles consisting of a nanoscale solar device and a protective plastic coating.
The particles float in water, and the coating enables them to function in hostile environments including sea water, wastewater or stormwater runoff. That gives the system a leg up on conventional hydrogen systems, which require purified water.
The reaction takes place at ambient temperatures, so it can take place in a low-cost glass vessel or even an ordinary plastic bag.
For the proof of concept prototype, Hypersolar used a baggie placed in wastewater from a pulp and paper mill.
A little help from hydrogen friends
Hypersolar recently partnered up with the UC-Santa Barbara College of Engineering to bring the technology closer to commercial development, with a focus on using municipal and industrial wastewater as feedstocks. Potentially, the system could be scaled up to form sprawling hydrogen “farms.”
When they’re ready for another announcement, we’ll be sure to check in again.
Image: Courtesy of Hypersolar.
Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey.
Posted: 25 May 2012 09:30 AM PDT
To start, I will take a short look at Thursday’s record, which was historic to say the least. At about 12.45am, solar peaked at 20,097 MW. Throughout the day, it produced about 167 GWh of electricity.
That sure sounds like a lot, and it is a lot, especially considering that Germany consumes 1,200-1,400 GWh during a typical day in May.
So, 167 GWh, about 12% of the total electricity consumption, is coming from PV-Solar in a highly industrialized country. I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like cool news.
I’ll write more on Friday’s and coming records later, but wanted to get this news out asap.
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