This is an interesting way to reuse a soda bottle and literally help brighten the day for poor villages in the Philippines.
“Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light), is a sustainable lighting project which aims to bring the eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bulb to disprivileged communities nationwide. Designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Solar Bottle Bulb is based on the principles of Appropriate Technologies – a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities.”
The headquarters of Applied Materials in Sunnyvale California has completed its parking lot solar panel system installation. This system provides 2.1 megawatts of energy, which is currently the largest solar power deployment at a corporate facility in the United States. The panels are provided by Sunpower and are equipped with solar cells manufactured using Baccini technology. Baccini is a European company that specializes in manufacturing tools for solar that Applied Materials bought earlier in the year. By having the solar panels above the parking lot, it provides for a great canopy over cars. It is much better to park under solar panels than under trees since solar panels dont leak tree sap all over your car.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co is buying 800 megawatts of solar power that will be able to power 239,000 homes. This will be the country’s first utility-scale photovotaic plant. The two companies providing the power will be two bay area companies, OptiSolar and SunPower and the panels will be installed in San Luis Obispo.
Photovoltaic power is a solar technology that converts sunlight into electricity using silicon-based panels. They are planned to be used in 2013.
Inveneo is a nonprofit organization that brings telephony, computing, and the internet to underdeveloped countries. Inveneo designs and delivers tools of information and communications technology (ICT) to organizations that provide vital services such as healthcare, education, economic development, and relief to rural communities. Inveneo provides open source software and hardware products that use low power and can operate on a 12volt car battery. The 12 volt battery can also be charged using alternative energy sources such as solar, or wind power.
For example, some places in Africa have very limited electricity and the electricity bill can also be pricey. Inveneo provides solar panels that charge up a car battery which can then power up a computer for up to 48 hours. Using a low power computer and LCD monitor can save a lot more on energy use and can be a more efficient alternative than providing old donated PCs with CRT monitors. Older computers and CRT monitors use a lot more power and over time, you can make up the costs of purchasing the low power computers from the difference in electricity saved. Having solar panels can also be more cost efficient than paying for electricity as it can cost up to $20 a day in certain locations in Africa.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will be building 3 solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which will generate enough electricity to power more than 375,000 homes. The plants will be creating solar thermal energy, using mirrors that focus sunlight on centralized towers and boil the water within the towers to create steam which will then turn turbines. The steam once cooled, can be reused again as it flows back to be boiled again. The solar plants will be designed and built by BrightSource Energy Inc of Oakland and the first plant is planned to open in 2011. PG&E would buy the power from the facilities to feed it back into our power grids. One of the benefits of using solar thermal energy is that the heat energy can be stored cost effectively, efficiently, and the energy can be created on demand as opposed to using solar panels which can only create power when the Sun is shining. Solar Thermal plants are a great way of using natural resources to provide electricity but the costs are currently still really high as producing the plants will cost around $2 to $3 billion.