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Engineering Materials
3-Island Pacific Nation Goes 100 Percent Renewable
11/14/2012

Residents of Tokelau will get all their electricity from solar power and coconut-derived biofuel. Shown here is the solar energy installation on the atoll of Nukunonu. (Source: PowerSmart)
Residents of Tokelau will get all their electricity from solar power and coconut-derived biofuel.
Shown here is the solar energy installation on the atoll of Nukunonu.
(Source: PowerSmart)

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tekochip
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Platinum
Full Scale
tekochip   11/15/2012 4:10:11 PM
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What a terrific full-scale test.  I hope we hear more about this in the future and see how the system survives.


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Island unto yourself
Ann R. Thryft   11/15/2012 4:13:44 PM
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My comments about passive solar should also be accompanied by one about active solar, AKA solar cells and panels as currently designed and built. And that's the fact that there's more than one way to build a solar cell. Some are flexible, such as this one:http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=248975 as well as another that we'll be publishing a post on soon. So the application of such cells to windows and/or building surfaces of various kinds could take care of the urban density problem.

78RPM
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Re: Renewable Yes - Solar?
78RPM   11/15/2012 5:55:02 PM
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John, Yes, we know that wind farms are not great to look at -- and that they kill birds and bats.  Here's an idea for the industry.  Imagine placing many fan blades on a chain that runs on a vertical oval or circular track.  The track could have a wire grid around it to prevent bird strikes.  If oval, it could lie at a low profile near the ground.

Charles Murray
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Re: 90% solar
Charles Murray   11/15/2012 6:14:29 PM
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Sorry, I should have been more specific with my question, Ann. What do they do when the sun's not shining?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 90% solar
Ann R. Thryft   11/16/2012 11:39:57 AM
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Thanks for clarifying your question. I'm not sure the sun stops shining much in those islands. When it does, backup is provided by the generators, run on coconut oil. They also handle battery recharging.

Scott Orlosky
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Re: Full Scale
Scott Orlosky   11/19/2012 10:54:08 PM
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This is a terrific development. Hats off to a small island nation for being willing to take on this grand experiment.  It would be nice to keep tabs on this operation over the next few years.  Especially to see how it holds up to salt exposure and tropical storms.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Island unto yourself
Ann R. Thryft   11/20/2012 4:23:31 PM
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Nadine, thanks for that info and the link.

bobjengr
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100 PERCENT RENEWABLE
bobjengr   11/23/2012 10:37:40 AM
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I think this is admirable.    The three islands should be commended.  They saw a problem.  They made their plans for solution.  They actually did something about the problem and the results are tangible.  Now, for better or worse, they will have to live with the solution but having a system in which 150% of their electrical needs are met seems to be proof their solution was workable.  (Ann-would you mind sending your post to Congress--and maybe the Executive branch. They might see examples of government working together to do SOMETHING POSITIVE.)

Also Ann, do you know the name of the firm that designed the system? Possibility the University Fiji????  Great post.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE
Ann R. Thryft   11/26/2012 1:54:14 PM
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bobjengr, I didn 't see the name of the design firm in the source material. However, you might check the links we gave in the article to the website of PowerSmart, and to the feasibility report. It may be identified in one of those sources. (And I agree about those letters to Congress.)

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