“Powerwall is a home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels, or when utility rates are low, and powers your home in the evening. It also fortifies your home against power outages by providing a backup electricity supply. Automated, compact and simple to install, Powerwall offers independence from the utility grid and the security of an emergency backup.”
Each digital wind farm begins life as a digital twin, a cloud-based computer model of a wind farm at a specific location. The model allows engineers to pick from as many as 20 different turbine configurations – from pole height, to rotor diameter and turbine output - for each pad at the wind farm and design its most efficient real-world doppelganger. “Right now, wind turbines come in given sizes, like T-shirts,” says Ganesh Bell, chief digital office at GE Power & Water. “But the new modular designs allows us to build turbines that are tailor-made for each pad.”
But that’s only half of the story. Just like Apple’s Siri and other machine learning technologies, the digital twin will keep crunching data coming from the wind farm and providing suggestions for making operations even more efficient, based on the software’s insights. Longtin says that operators will be even able to use data to control noise. “If there is a house near the wind farm, we will be able to change the rotor speed depending on the wind direction to stay below the noise threshold,” he says.
Renewable energy firm Urban Green Energy installed two wind turbines inside the metal scaffolding of the tower. The turbines will produce 10,000 kilowatt hours, enough to power the the first floor, home to restaurants, a souvenir shop, and exhibits about the history of the tower.
The turbines are part of a plan to reduce the environmental impact of the tower. The group that runs the tower is also installing rainwater collection systems, LED lights, and solar panels on the tower.
But, wait, as the old infomercials said, there's more to Solar Roadways than just free daytime electrons. Silicon in a roadway brings intelligence and opportunity. You don't really want to paint over photovoltaic cells with lane markers, so LED lighting will serve that purpose, making the lines easier to see at night, and able to change as traffic conditions dictate (or turn off when nobody's around). They can even provide real-time warning signs for upcoming traffic hazards.
Since snow also kills the power collection, heating elements will melt and dry the road, greatly improving safety, slashing plowing budgets, and building the case for this technology in the northern latitudes where less solar energy can be collected. Built-in pressure sensors could detect animal or pedestrian traffic, triggering illumination and warning messages. Finally, the smart panels will know when a neighbor gets damaged and summon a crew to quickly swap out the 110-pound panel. The latest design envisions 2-foot-wide hexagonal panels supported by a roadway underlayment similar to normal roads, the whole works sloped to drain water into a trough with an adjacent cable run that carries power and smart-roadway wiring. These troughs could also be sized to accommodate telecommunications and power cabling, eliminating fragile and unsightly overhead lines.
Just as Toyota is working to replace the gasoline in its cars with hydrogen fuel cells, Japanese companies are leading the charge to convince homeowners they’re better off using hydrogen to power their lamps and TVs, too. The electricity is generated by so-called energy farms, or ene-farms, about the size of a refrigerator. They’re made by companies such as Panasonic and Toshiba and sold by leading utilities, including Tokyo Gas. Ene-farms dangle the promise that the most abundant element in the universe will offer a safer, cleaner, more efficient alternative to nuclear power or fossil fuels. Because a standard home unit costs about $16,700, most consumers have been hesitant to buy.
Since commercial sales began in 2009, more than 100,000 Japanese households have installed generators that use hydrogen. That’s a long way from where the government wants to be. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set a goal of 5.3 million hydrogen-powered homes, roughly 10 percent of Japan’s total, by 2030.
Start with the fact that it’s a plug-in hybrid powered by a high-revving V-8 mounted behind the cockpit and two electric motors. Armed with a 6.8 kilowatt-hour, liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery pack, this futuristic arachnid can not only outrun the mighty Turbo, it can also slide around town silently without a single chug of petrol. Think of it as the Toyota Prius of the Bizarro World.
Scattered throughout remote Cajamarca state, 3,900 homes were granted solar panels, a model for a rural electrification program that President Ollanta Humala hopes will reach two million people in 500,000 homes in isolated villages throughout the Andean highlands and Amazon rain forest by 2018. About a third of Peru’s rural population has no electricity.
The program is getting under way as Peru hosts United Nations-sponsored climate talks this week in Lima, where solar power is one of the renewable energy sources that officials from nearly 200 countries are pressing to help lower C02 emissions.
In 2009, Williams developed a racing flywheel mechanism called a Kinetic Energy Recovery System, capable of capturing energy generated by Formula One cars during high-speed braking, storing it, then delivering it back to the wheels when drivers needed an extra kick of acceleration.
Starting this month, Williams will begin installing huge versions of its energy system at wind turbines around the islands. The units will store excess juice and channel it back to residents, stabilizing the power grid and eliminating the need for the generators, as well as limiting blackouts.
The Messrs. Grose intend to outfit the microbrewery with stationary bikes wired to produce the energy needed to brew beer. They estimate that Joe Sixpack can pedal at a rate to produce two to three beers an hour. Customers can shed calories and save energy before kicking back to drink some of the beer they helped create.