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Friday, 24 April 2015

Floating Solar Power Plants in Japan

3300 MWh floated solar power plants

Floating solar power plants in Japan
The two floating solar power plants have been constructed in Kato cities of Japan i.e. Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond. Thefloating solar power plants become successful with the assist of two partners, Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation with persistent efforts. Such solar power plants have a capacity of 3300 MWh annually and having ability to provide electricity to 920 houses.

The electricity generated through floating solar power plants is safe and build in the context of Fukashima incident happened in 2011. The most important thing with such type of solar power plants is that they generate more electricity than the roof based equivalent. The reason is the efficiency losses due to increase in temperature for panels situated on roof but in this case the solar panels are cooled constantly with the underneath water.

The modules were installed on a platform of high density polyethylene having the ability to withstand condition of typhoon and also help solar modules to float on surfaceof water. The area covered by floating solar power panels is large thus results in impeding algae growth and also reduces water evaporation.

The future plan is to boast 50,000 modules on a Yamakura Dam reservoir and having a capacity of about 15,635 MWh annually.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Energy Efficient Windows

Energy saving windows (Facade) 

Energy efficient windows
The offices in the building with lots of glass windows provide a great view for the employers but from energy efficiency point of view it is not economical. This is because of the sunlight that pours into the office thus results in raising the inside office temperatures and leads to operate the air conditioning for cooling.  The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology in Germany has done a research on this issue and able to create a light blocking facade on mirrors that will not allow light to enter into office. The facade was developed in coordination of Fraunhofer with Weissensee School of Art in Berlin.  

It was designed by one of a student named Bára Finnsdottir. The façade was an array of circular shaped small umbrellas made of a fabric type material with wires running through them. Such wires are made up of an alloy of nickel- titanium. When sunlight strikes on these umbrellas the wires heated up and allow the circular shaped umbrellas opened up till the sunlight disappears. Such façade has the characteristics of open and close according to intensity of light. So the façade become translucent as sunlight disappears or the clouds came in thus allowing the circular discs to be shut down.

Such kind of façade can be easily retrofit on surface of glass windows and also within the pane in case of double door windows. The façade can be designed in different shapes and sizes and can only be used to cover the desired area of a window.      
More research is going on in making façade of such kind of material that will absorb such thermal energy and release it during night in order to generate electricity from it or by using flexible solar cells in front of windows as a facade that will withstand such closing and opening position.

The demonstration of that technology as a working prototype will be shown on 13 to 17 April 2015 at a industrial trade show of Hannover Messe.