Sustainability Science
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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
Curated by PIRatE Lab
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California added more rooftop solar capacity in 2013 than in the past 30 years combined!

California added more rooftop solar capacity in 2013 than in the past 30 years combined! | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The previous record for rooftop solar was in 2012 with 500MW. Let that sink in: In a single year, as much rooftop solar was installed as during the previous 30 combined!
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'Military-Style' Raid on California Power Station Spooks U.S.

'Military-Style' Raid on California Power Station Spooks U.S. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

When U.S. officials warn about "attacks" on electric power facilities these days, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a computer hacker trying to shut the lights off in a city with malware. But a more traditional attack on a power station in California has U.S. officials puzzled and worried about the physical security of the the electrical grid--from attackers who come in with guns blazing.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

A more distributed, robust network of smaller scale energy  production and storage (perhaps via electric cars in garagee) would minimize the risk from both cyber attacks on central stations and from such "old school" attacks as this.

 

Sustainability has numerous benefits with few downsides, particulalry in the long-term.

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Electric cars may hold solution for power storage

Electric cars may hold solution for power storage | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
NEWARK, Del. — The thick blue cables and white boxes alongside an industrial garage here look like those in any electric-car charging station. But they work in a way that could upend the relationship Americans have with energy.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is what several folks have been talking about for several years now: electrical cars as a distributed/mobile energy storage network.  In theory, the only thing you need to do is make sure to plug your car into its charger when you are not driving it.

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Solarpod by Sunbird Solar

Solarpod by Sunbird Solar | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Sunbird Solar Ltd. is the leading manufacturer & supplier of portable solar energy generators with the advanced & competent Solarpod™ range dealt globally.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Interesting roll out at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

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New material harvests energy from water vapor

New material harvests energy from water vapor | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Polymer film could be used in artificial muscle and to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

While not ready for deployment yet, this has tremendous potential in all manner of low power, distributed systems such as sensor networks.

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Why You Might Buy Electricity From Elon Musk Some Day | TheAtlantic.com

Why You Might Buy Electricity From Elon Musk Some Day | TheAtlantic.com | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

At first glance, there’s nothing particularly Jetsons-like about Marco Krapels’ 1940s-era home in a prosperous suburb that lies in the shadow of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. Open the garage door, though, and it’s Tomorrowland.

 

Attached to the wall is a charging station for Krapels’ Tesla Motors Model S electric sports sedan. And next to the charger are two metal boxes that effectively render Pacific Gas & Electric, the 108-year-old utility that serves Northern California, irrelevant. One box channels electricity generated by the SolarCity photovoltaic panels on the house’s roof. The other, a 10-kilowatt Tesla lithium-ion battery pack, can store up to three days’ worth of carbon-free electricity generated by Krapels’ solar array. 

 

In other words, during the sunniest part of the day, when no one is at home and power demand is low, the Tesla battery pack can store the excess electricity for use in the late afternoon and evening when power prices spike. No dirty and expensive utility electrons needed.  “I should technically be able to function with solar and just the battery indefinitely as long as the sun shines,” says Krapels, a renewable energy financer.

 

And the cost? Thanks to California incentives that subsidize 60 percent of the cost of energy storage, Krapels is paying less than $40 a month for the battery pack as part of a lease deal with SolarCity, the Silicon Valley company that installed the solar battery system.

 

 


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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