An interesting quote in this article: "With solar tracking moving heavily toward simpler, less expensive single-axis solutions to reduce costs". Another article from today (9/17) talks about mounting solar panels on robotic technology. It looks like they are actually implementing both ends of the spectrum.
I agree that we won't outgrow petroleum and other fossil fuels, Bobjengr. As alternative fuels become less expensive, fossil fuels will also go down in price -- demand will decrease. Plus, some fossil fuels such as natural gas are already dirt cheap.
Ann, The key with control technology advances in solar is to help with the dual problem the technology faces: efficiency and reliability. The critical measure for solar is the ability to achieve system payback to justify the initial investment. Obviously this means efficiency of the solar system in terms of energy production, but the systems also need to perform reliably in difficult environmental conditions for 15-20 years. That's why this focus on optimizing solar inverters is important; it addresses both concerns.
Rob--I agree completely. I don't think we will ever "outgrow" our dependence on petroleum or other fossil fuels but we must continue developing alternative sources of energy. I think our future depends upon it. Any improvement in existing technology is the correct and proper course to follow. Right now I'm listening to a local radio station telling me there are 24 countries, mostly in the Middle East, with citizens demonstrating in front of our embassies and consulates. They don't seem to like us at all for whatever reason. That feeling won't go away anytime soon. Also, I just paid $3.82 per gallon to fill up my Toyota Pre-runner. Fifteen gallon tank. We can all do the math. I have no idea as to where the gas prices might go from here. One of my clients is heavily invested in the production of biofuels. I think in the long run, he really has a winner.
Mydesign, Al may have a different answer, but the point of increasing efficiency in any solar energy, or other alternative energy, technology is to make it easier for people to switch from traditional petro-based energy technologies.
Al Presher, solar energy is abundantly available in all corners of earth and about 99.9% such energies are wasting without any usage. Only a small portion of it is converting to power using various solar photovoltaic cells. So far I hadn't though any optimization technology in solar energy conversion because its free and abundantly available in our nature.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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