Tag Archives: solar power

Eclipse and Planning

How did California Grid Operators Manage the Eclipse? This is the kind of thing our power companies plan for… While school kids were gathered to “see the sun go out” others were making plans to provide power from list solar generation.
Grid managers knew exactly when the moon would transit the sun’s path, blotting out gigawatts of solar power generation along its path. California was not in the path of totality, but it was projected that the eclipse would knock out about 5,600 megawatts of solar power supplied by utility-scale power plants and rooftop solar panels. Utilities, however, were prepped and ready to replace the shortfall. IEEE has meetings and a monthly magazine that explains and discusses engineering and more.

TESLA & APPLE – Good Energy News


The electric carmaker is looking to change the energy industry with its new battery suite, announced in April. The wall-mounted lithium-ion Powerwall battery can be installed in a home to save energy by charging during the day and discharging at night, when the home’s energy demands are lower. Because it stores solar energy, it can also be used as a backup power supply during power outages. The Powerwall could be particularly impactful in Africa, where more than 600 million people lack reliable electricity. Instead, they rely on generators, which spew pollution. Tesla partnered with a solar kit distributor to sell the batteries in South Africa starting in 2016.


This year, Apple focused on cleaning up its supply chain. The iPhone maker’s U.S. operations and data centers are already powered by renewables, but a majority of its emissions are created during the manufacturing process.

In April, the company announced it would build 200 megawatts of solar projects in China, which, aside from making a dent in supply chain energy use, will also produce enough power to light hundreds of thousands of homes a year. The company is sharing best practices with its suppliers, like Foxconn, which will buy 400 megawatts of solar by 2018. When Apple’s new retail store opens in Singapore (its first in retail operation in Southeast Asia), it will operate entirely on solar. And starting in 2016, a solar farm in Monterey County, California, will power Apple’s new campus, all of its California offices, and retail stores.

Let It Shine!

Do you want to know more about solar energy… this is the book for you!
Do you want to know the history and politics of solar energy… this is the book for you!
Even as concern over climate change and energy security fuel a boom in solar technology, many still think of solar as a twentieth-century wonder. Few realize that the first photovoltaic array appeared on a New York City rooftop in 1884, or that brilliant engineers in France were using solar power in the 1860s to run steam engines, or that in 1901 an ostrich farmer in Southern California used a single solar engine to irrigate three hundred acres of citrus trees. Fewer still know that during the Renaissance Galileo and his contemporaries planned the construction of sun-focusing mirrors as the ultimate weapon to burn enemy fleets and towns, that Leonardo da Vinci planned to make his fortune by building half-mile-long mirrors to heat water, or that the Bronze Age Chinese used hand-sized solar-concentrating mirrors to light fires the way we use matches and lighters today.

In 1918 there were more than 4000 solar water heaters in California (…and heat conserving rammed earth buildings too! My Grandpa built one!) Full of interesting and thought provoking facts. This is a great new book, it covers questions I didn’t even know I had!! This new book does shine!– the editor

In this definitive history of solar technology, John Perlin tells a story that goes back more than six thousand years to when the Stone Age Chinese built their homes to make maximum use of the sun’s energy in winter. The book profiles the fascinating characters who made the solar revolution possible, revealing a group of unknown pioneers, like Gustav Vorherr, who opened up the first school of solar architecture in the 1820s, as well as solar advocates known for other accomplishments, such as Socrates, who 2,500 years ago gave a detailed discourse on designing passive solar homes.

With thirteen new chapters, LET IT SHINE is a fully revised and expanded edition of A Golden Thread, Perlin’s classic history of solar technology, detailing the past forty years of technological developments driving today’s solar renaissance. This unique and compelling compendium of humankind’s solar ideas tells the fascinating story of how our predecessors throughout time, again and again, have applied the sun to better their lives — and how we can too.

What people are saying:
“LET IT SHINE is the solar bible. Thank you, John Perlin!”
— Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute

“LET IT SHINE shows how today’s renewable revolution builds on the tenacious efforts of countless generations of innovators whose vision we may finally be privileged enough to bring to full flower.” — from the foreword by Amory B. Lovins, cofounder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute

“With remarkable depth, breadth, and precision, John Perlin lays out humankind’s long reliance on the sun before the carbon era and points the way to a healthy, comfortable, productive, resilient solar-powered world. There is more intelligence and common sense in this volume than in all the federal reports on energy of the last quarter-century combined.” — Denis Hayes, former director of the federal Solar Energy Research Institute and founder of the Earth Day Network

“The authoritative background story behind the worldwide solar revolution, LET IT SHINE is a story of human ingenuity and perseverance told with clarity and depth. The next chapter is ours to write.”
— David W. Orr, professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College and author of Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

About the author:
An international expert on solar energy and forestry, John Perlin has lectured extensively on these topics in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Perlin is the author of A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization as well as From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity. Perlin mentors those involved in realizing photovoltaic, solar hot-water, and energy-efficiency technologies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and coordinates the California Space Grant Consortium as a member of UCSB’s department of physics. www.john-perlin.com

Solar Decathlon in October

National Mall, Washington, D.C. — The Department of Energy is sponsoring a Solar Decathlon running on October 9-13 and 15-18th 2009!!   Twenty college and university teams are competing to make the best and most innovative solar home.

Entries are being accepted for 2010 now.