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cargo ship powered by solar panels

Some of the solar panels we sell end up on cargo ships to get to the customer’s destination. Wouldn’t it be cool if the cargo ship that transported our solar panels, was powered by solar cell technology itself? The world’s first cargo ship to partially power its propeller with solar panels left it’s harbor in Kobe, Japan this week, according to AFP. The goal of using solar panels that produce electricity to propel the ship is to reduce fuel costs and cut carbon emissions when product manufacturers ship off their exports. Surprisingly, the cargo ship named Auriga Leader was developed by an oil distributor called Nippon Oil Corporation and Nippon Yusen shipping company. The solar array on top of the cargo ship consists of 328 solar panels. These are the same type of solar panels you would use to power your home or business. The 40 kW solar electric system can provide 2% of the ship’s required energy to power the propeller. You need a lot of energy to move a cargo vessel, so for a 40 kW solar electric system, 2% is quite impressive, wouldn’t you agree? The shipping industry has been under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint because they are a big contributor to releasing green house gasses into the environment. As a country, Japan has the second most solar capacity installed compared to the rest of the world, since Japan is an island, they have been straying away from foreign oil for quite some time. Every year solar panels become more efficient, in the near future the entire cargo ship could be powered from solar panels, what do you...

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Top 10 Vampire Loads to Kill

It’s too bad you can’t kill vampires that feed off your electric bill with a wooden stake through the heart. Vampires also known as phantom loads are electrical devices that consume power even when they are turned off. Vampires are small loads that consume power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The constant consumption adds up to significant amounts on your monthly electric bill. Solar Power best practices recommends you should become more energy efficient before installing solar panels, to get the maximum benefit out of your solar electric system. You can use a smart power strip to kill the following top 10 vampire loads: 10. Video Game Console9. Radio8. Cordless Phone7. Answering Machine6. Microwave5. TV4. VCR3. Dishwasher2. Cable TV Box1. Home Security System Vampire Loads are costing U.S. consumers 3 billion dollars per year! Unbelievable, isn’t it? How much is it costing you? Have you came up with any interesting ways to kill your vampire loads? If US consumers set a goal to reduce their vampire loads this year, it would be one massive economic stimulus, wouldn’t you...

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There’s no free lunch, or is there?

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in conjunction with the Pima County Public Library in Marana, Arizona, a city near Tucson is offering a FREE workshop called “Solar Power 101” a community education series on Solar Energy. The workshop will discuss the potential for solar energy in the state of Arizona….Congresswoman Giffords, a member of the House Science and Technology Committee will kick off the workshop by speaking about extended and increased federal solar tax credits moving forward in 2009 and Arizona’s potential as a national leader in solar energy. The solar workshop will help people learn how they can work with their utilities to obtain rebates for installing a solar electric systems. Plans will be presented about new Green Building programs and they’ll cover topics such as financing and installing residential solar electric systems. If you’re in the area and are interested in learning about the basics of solar power, click on this link for more info and RSVP for the solar workshop. I think more cities and local governments should put together free educational workshops for its residents, because through my experience a lot of customers want to go solar, but there are so many questions and hurdles the process can be overwhelming, don’t you agree? Solar Energy workshops will increase adoption rate solar power technology but why aren’t more local governments around the nation offering free solar...

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Solar Panels breakthrough or exaggerated claim?

One reason why solar panels are confusing to install is because they put out DC power…that’s why you need an inverter which converts DC into AC power, which is the type of electricity our appliances and devices use. Typically there are losses in energy when converting DC to AC. EOS Renewable Energy Technologies claims that they have developed a breakthrough photovoltaic extraction method called XPX technology that can change the way solar electric systems work. According to the company with XPX technology a solar panel can be developed with an integrated printed circuit board (PCB) device which can not only harvest unstable energy but output the electricity in AC, thus eliminating the need for inverters. A solar panel that you could potentially connect right into grid. The company says XPX technology will allow a solar electric system to produce 10-20% more kWh. Pretty bold claim this company is making, don’t you agree? Directly connecting solar panels to the grid, you would eliminate the DC to AC conversion loss and would reduce the final cost of a system because the solar electric system would be inverterless. Do you think solar panels of the future will produce AC...

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lower gas prices does not mean cheaper electric rates

“The solar business must be slow since gas prices have plummeted.” many are asking me these days. Many people don’t realize the price of gas and your electric rates are not related. When was the last time your electric rates when down? In fact, electric rates hikes have been announced in the Southern California Edison territory. There are a lot of costs involved for your electric utilities to generate and deliver electricity to you, plus most electric utilities do not use oil for electricity generation. Prices of airplane tickets and groceries have not decreased even though gas prices much cheaper, have they? With solar technology evolving rapidly and raising electric rates announced, an investment in a solar electric system is getting better not...

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