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    Entries in solar (5)


    Fun in the Sun

    Sometimes we want to take conservation very serious, because to be truthful, it is a serious matter. There is a lot at stake for our future and our childrens' future to want to reduce energy consumption. Sometimes though, something comes along that is just fun! Here is one of those things! The good people over at TreeHugger.Com compiled a list of unexpected and fun things that use solar power. I just wanted to share that list with you, because I found it interesting, and it brightened my day! Who know you could solar power a bee hive! Here ya go!

    Link of fun in the sun HERE!

    ---Justin J. Stewart


    Obama administration putting solar panels back on to the roof of the White House

    Tuesday, President Obama announced that solar panels would be reinstalled onto the roof the White House. President Carter placed solar panels on the white house during his presidency, and they were removed by President Reagan. Recently, President George W. Bush used solar power for maintenance buildings and heating the swimming pool on the grounds of the White House.

    Not only are solar panels being installed, but a solar hot water heater is also in the works for the modifications to the White House. While this is a large symbolic statement about the administrations commitment to energy conversations, it is worth noting that this is something that every home owner can look into. It is also something that local business owners and even Fortune 500 companies can look into and help us look forward to an energy independent future.

    ---Justin J. Stewart



    Football season starts tonight, and the Arizona Cardinals go green via Angie Fretz

    The NFL's season officially kicks-off tonight with Minnesota taking on New Orleans, in New Orleans, a city that has been pushed to the brink and continues to suffer. For tonight, I hope the people of New Orleans get a great game and receive a few entertaining moments to help them find some comfort and peace for a few minutes.

    This season the Arizona Cardinals will be powering every home game with 100% renewable energy provided by SRP. According to the SRP website:

    The Cardinals will be one of only a few NFL teams to play in a green-powered facility during the 2010 season. For each of the Cardinals' eight regular-season home games and two pre-season home games, SRP's EarthWise Energy program will provide 113,500 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy purchased by University of Phoenix. The renewable energy will offset electricity used in University of Phoenix Stadium — from the concession stands to the parking lot lighting to the scoreboards. This amount of electricity, 1,135,000 kilowatt-hours over the course of 10 games, is comparable to what 60 average homes in the Valley will use annually.

    The EarthWise Energy program for SRP puts 100% of the money towards building solar projects for non-profit groups. Recent projects have involved working with Habitat for Humanity and Sunshine Acres Children's Home. These are steps that can be made by large companies. Hopefully activities like these will lead to true renewable power for everyone in the state, including the University of Phoenix Stadium. Plus, with the Cardinals having 505,143 fans walk through their doors last year to check out a football game, that is 505,143 minds that can be opened up to renewable energy, just by being there in the stadium.


    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via Angie Fretz)


    Solar power transportation, at night?! The future of commerical air flight. via Kendall Crever


    Now, this is still far off, but pretty impressive. We are not going to be flying in carbon neutral planes tomorrow to go visit the aunts and uncles, but it could very well be in our life time, and the first steps are being put in place right now. A Swiss Company named Solar Impulse, has successfully tested a solar powered airplane that lasted in flight for over 26 hours, including through the night on July 7th and July 8th. Their overall goal is an around the world flight via solar power, and a trans-atlantic flight by 2012. The craft flew just over 28,000 feet above sea level, and the wingspan of 208 feet same as a Boeing 747-400. This was just a lightweight prototype, but it shows that the technology is sound by staying aloff for 26 hours. It set records for the longest and highest solar powered flight. How does the power work? According to the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, part of the U.S. Department of Energy:

    "The aircraft's nearly 12,000 silicon mono-crystalline solar cells—mounted on its wings and on its horizontal stabilizer—absorbed the sun' rays on the ascent and supplied the craft's four electric engines and lithium-polymer batteries, enabling Impulse to average about 26 miles per hour for the flight"

    The Solar Impulse HB-SIA in action, in the great blue yonder.What are the implications of this for you and I. Like I said before, these are babysteps, but they are important movements towards commercial aircrafts using this technology to create carbon-neutral flights for you and I. According to the Carbon Footprint Calculator at Terrapass a round trip for 2 to JFK Airport in New York from LAX Airport in Los Angeles would be about 3,468 pounds of CO2. If we can cut into that number in the future for normal passenger flights using this technology it would be a great victory. Right now the airline industry accounts for about 12 percent of all of the CO2 released into the atmosphere. This technology is a step in the right direction, and is exciting in a very nerdy type of way (the way I like it). I hope to see more developers get into this arena and hope to see solar panels on my flights in future years to come.

    Whole article from the EERE can be found here:

    Swiss Solar-Powered Plane Makes First Night Flight


    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via Kendall Crever)


    Solana Generating Station in Gila Bend, AZ gets federal funding via Kevin Fretz


    The Solana Solar Station in Gila Bend that has been drawn up for a few years has finally received federal funding to start building the project. This project was championed by many Arizonians that felt that solar power was the way to go in the state. Finally getting the green-light and the funds is a huge relief to those excited about the project.

    From the Arizona Republic:

    "The 280-megawatt plant will be able to generate enough electricity to serve 70,000 houses at once when running at full capacity, and will be able to make power during the peak hours of demand from about 4-7 p.m. when traditional solar panels generate little electricity the low light of dusk."

    The project will also add over 1,600 jobs to the Arizona economy, and use less water than the farmland that is currently there. The original website owner, Jay, was a huge fan of this project, and so was I when I first caught wind of it, and read about it. Looks like it will open in 2013. Here is a link to the article:
    ---Justin J. Stewart, link and news article via Kevin Fretz