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Farmers in Japan can now generate solar electricity while growing crops on the same farmland. This co-existence or double-generation is known as “Solar Sharing” in Japan. The concept was originally developed by Akira Nagashima in 2004, who was a retired agricultural machinery engineer who later studied biology and learned the “light saturation point.” The rate of photosynthesis increases as the irradiance level is increased; however at one point, any further increase in the amount of light that strikes the plant does not cause any increase to the rate of photosynthesis.
By knowing that too much sun won’t help further growth of plants, Nagashima came up with the idea to combine PV systems and farming. He devised and originally patented special structure, which is much like a pergola in a garden. He created a couple of testing fields with different shading rates and different crops. The structures he created are made of pipes and rows of PV panels, which are arranged with certain intervals to allow enough sunlight to hit the ground for photosynthesis.
Based on the tests conducted at his solar testing sites in Chiba Prefecture, he recommends about 32% shading rate for a farmland space to reach adequate growth of crops. In other words, there is twice as much empty space for each PV module installed. Takazawa installed 348 PV panels on a small 750 square-meter of farmland. PV panels are installed on pipes, which are 3-meter high from the ground. Rows of PV panels are installed every 5 meters. Under the PV system, Takasawa’s father has been cultivating peanuts, yams, eggplants, cucumbers, tomatoes, and taros and will cultivate cabbages during the winter. These vegetables are sold at a nearby street and consumed by his neighbors.
Many have questioned stability and durability of the PV structure for solar shared family. Nagashima stated that his systems, which are made of thin pipes without concrete footings, even withstood strong winds and earthquakes during the Fukushima Tsunami disasters in 2011. These systems are extremely lightweight and installation of PV panels are spaced out, allowing air to flow through between the panels. This will eliminate concern that the panels will receive wind load and be blown away, therefore, reducing the need for complicated and expensive mounting hardware.
KINGSTON — This city is getting into the solar power business, and it’s not costing taxpayers a dime, Mayor Troy Beets said.
In a cooperative venture with a Nashville company, 200 solar panels are being installed behind the city’s water treatment plant on Highway 58 South, the mayor said after a brief ceremony Tuesday at the facility.
Another 800 panels will be put in place in July on a 1.38-acre tract of city-owned land off James Ferry Road near the plant.
“Our only skin in the game is the property,” Beets said.
Combined, the 1,000 panels should generate the equivalent of enough electrical power to operate the water treatment plant, which has about a $6,000-a-month electric bill.
The proposed rule for REAP has been posted to the Federal Register at the link below. The proposed rule will revise the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) found in 7 CFR part 4280, subpart B. There is now an opportunity to comment on this regulation in order to provide suggestions to potentially change components of the program. Please review this document closely and if you have any comments to make, please do so. There is instruction within the document to provide your public comment on the program. The deadline for public comment is June 11th.
Go To: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-04-12/pdf/2013-07273.pdf
Some of the changes:
The Agency is proposing to allow the purchase of refurbished renewable energy systems and the retrofitting of an existing renewable energy system as eligible projects under this subpart.
For energy efficiency improvement projects, the Agency is proposing ensuring that energy efficiency improvements use less energy on an annual basis.
Simplifying the energy efficiency improvement technical report; simplifying the technical report for renewable energy system projects with total project costs of $200,000 or less
Snow and solar cells aren’t mutually exclusive, according to a Michigan Technological University scientist. Photovoltaic panels can be well worth the investment even if you live in a winter wonderland.
True, a layer of snow can cause a solar-cell blackout for awhile. But not many locales enjoy heavy snow for more than a few months. And even in the bleak midwinter, panels don’t usually stay snow-covered for long.
“Sometimes snow actually helps solar cells,” says Michigan Tech’s Joshua Pearce. He’s referring to the albedo effect, when sunlight reflects off snow. It can make a panel generate more electricity in the same way that it gives skiers sunburn on sunny winter days.
“In most cases power losses are minimal, even in snowy Canada,” Pearce said. However, the group has developed a model that can be used to design the most efficient photovoltaic systems, no matter how much snow is in the area.
reference: Released: 10/24/2012 5:00 PM EDT Source: Michigan Technological University Newswise
Brazetek.com is the largest internet distributor of solar water to air, brazed plate, and shell & tube heat exchangers. The website’s product selection, competitive pricing and free shipping option has made it an online destination of choice for residential, commercial, or industrial heat transfer solutions. This is our first solar thermal business member.
A master limited partnership (MLP) is a business that is taxed as a partnership but whose shares are traded like stock on a market. Because MLPs have access to capital at a lower cost and a more liquid financial approach, this makes them very attractive to private investment. Currently, only oil, natural gas, coal extraction, and pipeline projects are allowed to qualify for MLPs. This bill would simply amend the federal tax code to allow investment in renewable energy projects in the same way.
You will pay for the workshop using PayPal or your credit card. The cost for the dinner buffet, the manual and the instruction is $30 for everyone except for TSEA and TREEDC members who will have a $5 discount. The cost is kept as low as possible so sign up today and get a confirmation by email.
The Knoxville Utilities Board oversees over 400,000 customers in Knoxville and the surrounding counties. It is seeking qualified applicants. If you meet the following, think of applying especially if you are passionate about the type of fuel used to generate your electricity..
Applicant must be at least 25 years of age.
Applicant must have resided in Knox County for the past three consecutive years.
Applicant cannot be an elected official or an employee of the City of Knoxville or any municipality, county government, or state government except for a Notary Public, a member of the National Guard of the State of Tennessee, or employee of public education.
Applicant may not be an employee or retiree of a utility or energy company.
Applicant cannot be related to a KUB employee where the relationship is as close as third degree by blood, adoption, or marriage.
KUB is a progressive utility that gets its electricity from TVA and so indirectly, you will have a voice in the future of the types of energy we choose. The application can be found here. Fill out the form and submit. Applications must be received by 5 pm on September 13th.
I was going to apply until I came to the exclusion of being a retiree of a utility having retired from TVA.