Imagine What Great Benefits That Will Bring To Us All If We Have A Great Solar Wall… Or How About Many Great Alternative Energy Walls?

English: The Great Wall of China, near Beijing...

English: The Great Wall of China, near Beijing in July 2006. This is a section of Mutianyu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please note before reading this blog post:  Whenever I mention of a lord, I don’t say a lord is representing a country or an entity.  Instead, I mean a lord is the energy itself.  For an example, oil lord equates to oil itself.  Got it?  Also, I don’t pretend to be an expert in oil, because let me say this — I’m not an expert in oil matter.  Instead, I just have a lot opinions about oil in general, and some of my opinions are definitely inspired by other people’s opinions.  Anyhow, my opinions might be just that, but let us see what will actually be as time progresses.  Also, when I speak of Great Solar Wall or great whatever wall, it’s just a metaphor…

Here is an outrageous imagination on my part, but let see how outrageous it would be OK?  As oil prices become evermore expensive, people begin to wonder what on earth has contributed such volatility in the oil market.  I think oil prices have always responded to any volatility in the world that has to do with oil supply and demand.  An example of one oil volatility among many oil volatilities in the world would be a country somewhere, which is the main supplier of oil, suddenly cutbacks the production of oil supply.  In the case of a major oil supply cutback, oil prices would be skyrocketed unless the demand is going to be less depending on oil from this point on or the oil supply is once again replenishing the so called oil quotas (i.e., different from oil reserves in my opinion as oil quotas are to fulfill the oil demands for whoever and on the moment of notice).  So, it’s clear that the world is totally depending on oil as if oil is the cocaine of a cokehead.

Without oil, the world won’t be able to operate as usual.  This means economies will shrink and so on.  With oil is being so ridiculously in charged of the livelihood of the world, people have began to realize that we need alternative energy to counterbalance the all too powerful oil lord.  We are looking for the new lords that can help the world to say no to oil lord from time to time, because without being able to say no to oil lord the world will be totally depending on oil with no end in sight.  So, people are hoping that the combination of hybrid, fuel cell, wind, natural gas, solar, and other fringe technology might just be enough to boost their confidence in saying no to the oil lord from time to time.

So far though, alternative energy lords aren’t yet capable in challenging, let alone overthrowing, the oil lord in any shape or form.  Nonetheless, we have to ask the question, what if the alternative energy lords know what to do.  I think this means the alternative energy lords have to go for broke!  So, I imagine the solar lord has to put up a Great Solar Wall which is as long or even longer and much wider than the Great Wall of China to harness enough solar — to make the oil lord sees that his days are numbered.  Other alternative energy lords should also go for broke.  Of course, the question is, will there be any devastating major impact (i.e., negative impact) for the environment if one or more alternative energy lords go for broke?  If the scale of justice for the environment assures us that the lords of alternative energies will do more good than harm, then we should be relentless in cheering and voting for the lords of alternative energies.

I think, more energy lords come onto the battle field the better for the world as the bloodshed will be lessen.  There will be check and balance and people don’t really have to go to war for any single energy lord.  Any lord that is promising peace will be the lord of our time, right?  To make this even more clear, simply put that if we can rely on the lords of alternative energies more, we don’t have to listen to the oil lord who is always attracting wars.  When nobody is listening to the oil lord anymore, he will not be able to attract enough supports for wars.  With less wars, the world will race ahead for more prosperity and peace!  With less wars, the world will race ahead and transform the 21st century into a marvelous, golden century.

If we have a marvelous, golden 21st century, then many current problems of ours will be solved.  I imagine that a golden 21st century would allow creativities and jobs to prosper.  In order for such prosperity, alternative energy lords will have to work extra hard as the oil lord isn’t somebody who can just be bulldozed over.  So, I guess my imagination of a Great Solar Wall  — or we can say that we need a Great Alternative Energy Wall in general — will be the solution to our current major world problems.

The major world problems are probably stirred up by the implication of wanting to secure more oil for a growing economy or a developed economy, thus promotes oil scarcity and so on.  So I say, let us go for broke!  We and the alternative energy lords must go for broke and go for broke fast or else we will not have time to stop the much bigger and more dangerous, oncoming wars for oil.  Nobody needs a crystal ball to predict wars can break out in our near future if major developing nations are desperate for more oil.  In fact, I should not even use the term developing nations, because it’s too loosely of a term.  I should use the term of oil desperate nations.  By using the term of oil desperate nations, we can include the developed nations, that just as desperate for oil as other oil desperate nations, to the long list of oil desperate nations.  The longer the list of oil desperate nations the more conflicts in the world will play out.  It will not be a pretty picture for all!

Want an example of oil desperate nations?  China is one.  Want another one?  India is another one.  For your information, population size does matter a lot when it comes down to measure the oil desperation of a nation.  This is especially true when a desperate oil nation is growing its economy and modernizing its cities in a big big way.  We also have to consider that United States is another oil desperation nation, because the fact is that United States always has the need for more oil so its economy can keep on churning or perhaps growing even more.  I fear though, China’s oil desperation level will definitely be much much greater than United States’ oil desperation level.  Once again, it’s about the economy growth potential of China and its population size.

I think China is a perfect example of an oil desperate nation.  Eventually, China will need much more oil than anyone else in the world to keep its economy grows the way it is now, because China economy at the moment is untouchable in term of GDP growth.  You can also say GDP growth isn’t a true measure of a growing economy, and the true measure of a growing economy should be of GDP that was calculated from PPP (Purchasing Power Parity).  Well, once again, China also has strong growth in PPP.

You might ask why China will be more desperate for oil than India even though India is almost comparable in population size.  Well, I think as long China is able to create a more vibrant economy than India as how China economy is doing so far, oil desperation for China is just going to continue to grow much bigger than India in time.  So it seems that India might have less headache than China in the area of oil desperation unless India can outgrow China in economy sometime in the future.  Perhaps, GDP, which derived from PPP, can truly show why China is growing much more than India in economy, thus oil desperation for China is greater.  To put it bluntly, however wrong I might be I think at the moment oil is tightly tied into every economy of the world.  We can also make an observation such as this — both oil and economy do need each other to grow.  Sadly to say, I don’t think alternative energy is anywhere near in replacing the dominating position which the oil lord has at the moment.

At the moment, it seems that the oil lord is able to meet the oil demands of the world.  Nonetheless, some of us do believe that the oil lord had seen his oil production capacity peaked sometimes back.  No matter if this is true though, we humans know one thing, nothing is unlimited.  Even the sun itself one day has to die out, and we know no human can survive on planet earth if the sun dies out.  So to put this bluntly, human intelligence told us that oil won’t last forever.  This is why we should not be so complacent about this.  Perhaps, whatever few signs there are that suggest oil production capacity has peaked, we should fear for the worse that will come straight at us in the near future.  I think one example of the few signs that suggest we are experiencing peak oil (i.e., oil production capacity has peaked) would be the continuous higher oil prices.

If we are too complacent about oil scarcity in general, we might not be able to leave behind a working energy market in which our children will be able to rely on for their prosperity.  This is why I think the alternative energy lords must jump into the rescue and go for broke.  If the alternative energy lords go for broke, even things might not pan out the way we hope, at least we might have more choices in alleviating the oil desperation problem.

Have we ever asked ourselves what will happen if the oil lord runs out of oil?  If there is such a scenario, I can only imagine the world population of 7 billions people will dwindle rapidly as foods and other major necessities become scarce in the face of not having enough input energy (i.e., input energy which creates the basic necessity outputs that the large human population needs for survival).  With hindsight, I think we can safely say that oil has always been the hand that has help increased the world population.  It’s 7 billions and counting.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

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Europe’s Solar Pride, Gemasolar To Power Up To 25,000 Homes Day And Night

According to the video below, Europe has the first solar plant in the world that generates energy 24/7.  It means this solar plant will generate power even the sun goes to sleep.  They call this plant as Gemasolar, and it took $410 million to build it.

The magic for Gemasolar to keep on going throughout the night, when the moon shines romantically up high and the stars naughtily light up the sky in shapes of astrological beasts and what not, is that it has a backup giant thermal energy storage (i.e., thermal battery) in a shape of a tall, vertical tower which stands in the middle of the plant.  This giant vertical shape thermal storage tower stores molten nitrate salt tank, and then huge amount of gigantic, high quality mirrors that surround the tower would beam rays of solar energy onto the top of the tower to generate enough heat so the steam turbines would be activated.

In a nutshell, the molten nitrate salt would store enough heat to drive the steam turbines throughout the night time.  According to Gizmodo, Gemasolar can power up to 25,000 homes and reduce around 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide that got released into the atmosphere per year.  To know more about Europe’s first solar plant which runs 24/7, please check out the video on Gemasolar right after the break.

I don’t know enough about solar technology in general to know better, but I be bold even though I might be so wrong!  I think it would be better to erect buildings to support mirrors such as Gemasolar that surround Gemasolar-like thermal storage towers so the environment can be enhanced with architectural aesthetic and practical applications such as housing and the like.  Why not construct buildings of relevant sections of towns and cities in circles of mirrors and thermal storage towers in the center of each such architectural circle to create free energy for everyone.  I be darn, even the tower could be useful somehow such as a hotel in a shape of a skyscraper which also acts as a giant thermal storage tower.  Nonetheless, such architectural marvels need to be safe so the inhabitants won’t have to worry about health risks!  What do you think?

Source:  http://gizmodo.com/5848411/the-worlds-first-solar-plant-to-generate-electricity-even-at-night

LCD Displays Are Now Can Be Used To Charge And Recycle Energy For Plethora Of Compatible Devices

NPR has a piece on professor Yang Yang of UCLA, lead researcher in charging devices with LCD displays, and his team of researchers claim that they have discovered a way to allow LCD displays to recycle energy and recharge devices using solar power at the same time.  Don’t underestimate this technology, because any device with LCD display can be recharged by using solar power.  Furthermore, this same technology allows devices to use solar power and other energy means more effectively since the LCD screen features a function which devices can recycle energy effectively, consequently leading to using less energy than ever before even though technically the devices can demand the same or even more energy as usual.  The challenges for profesor Yang Yang and his team of researchers are not to downgrade LCD image quality and how to bring their discovery to the market effectively so the mass can take advantages of this new discovery/technology.  Check out the link below to play the audio or read more about professor Yang Yang’s project.

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/21/139830561/solar-charging-phones-without-a-93-million-mile-cord

Not Exactly A Review, But What About Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750?

When I was still a teenager, I remembered I had a calculator that used solar power.  The unfortunate thing about that calculator was you could not use it in the dark.  I remembered how that calculator went dark when I had my hand over it solar cells.  That was almost two decades ago, and it was the technology of the past.  Nowadays we are much more sophisticated in our way of harnessing solar power.  Sadly, we have not been dedicated enough to make solar power affordable or efficient enough for everything, but I’m glad at the least there are products out there starting to use solar power as primary power source.

One solar product in particular that I like to talk about is Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750.  I like to talk about it, because it’s a solar product and I probably had seen it inside Best Buy.  Not beating around the bushes, I’ve not used Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 or have ever owned one myself.  Nonetheless, the idea of never again of having to switch batteries or recharge them batteries for a wireless keyboard is just so attractive.  How about saving money from not buying batteries?  After seeing it, I went online and searched for any review such as whether people loved it or hated it.

As I dug around the web, I found many favorable reviews about Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750.   Here is one of the favorable review I landed on as I dug around the web.  If this keyboard is actually working the way the many people have described, then this is one awesome solar keyboard.  It’s thin and convenient as you never need to worry about changing battery.  It could be charged by any light source and stay powered for three months in total darkness.  I think product such as Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is an inspiration for futuristic products, because it harnesses the power of the sun.  Now we can dream on about solar car, solar house, solar this and solar that for the mass.  The solar car part, I think they have it, it just not yet ready for you and I!

Portable Solar Power For Your Home

Homeowners who spend a load of electricity know the pain when the bills arrive.  Modern technology tends to be greener somewhat, but the addiction of modern technology is something that cannot be tamed easily which contributes to evermore power consumption.  On a cold winter day, if a house isn’t insulated enough, the heater, powering by electricity, has to run at length and shoots the bill skyward.  Vice versa is true for a hot summer day.

We all know how expensive solar electricity is, because getting an adequate roof solar panels to be installed would cost somewhere around $15,000 to $30,000 or however more.  Average homeowners definitely want to save themselves from huge electricity bills, but the upfront cost of solar electricity is a shocker.  Even with homeowners who think they can stay within the same home for long term know they only begin to save real money with their expensive solar electricity setup after how many years long of which I cannot surmise, but the future is always full of uncertainties — how do one expects to be in the same home?

A Washington-based start-up company, Clarian Power, is looking to change the way people consume power.  Clarian Power’s approach looks attractive.  This company promotes SmartBox Plug-in Solar.  The unit is portable, because homeowners can move the unit anywhere.  The installation looks easy enough as it only requires you to plug the unit’s components into the outlets.  Clarian Power claims that SmartBox Plug-in Solar has a built-in circuit protection so homeowners would be safe from operating their units.  They also claim the units are almost maintenance free since there’s no moving part, and so each unit should last for decades.  The cost of the unit is probably under $1000, but it’s unclear at the moment since the products aren’t yet made available; it seems SmartBox Plug-in Solar will be available in stores sometimes in 2011.

Clarian Power’s SmartBox Plug-in Solar does look attractive, but homeowners still have to do the math and experience the real thing themselves before they know how much money they can actually save on electricity bill every year.  After all, what homeowners want is to save money.  I don’t want to make the wrong assumption that SmartBox Plug-in Solar will save its user a load of money.  I’ll leave the truth of that to SmartBox Plug-in Solar users who will be able to gauge the real cost or saving.  I insist SmartBox Plug-in Solar’s portability is attractive.  Nonetheless, if the cost of the unit itself is dampening the quick turnaround of saving money, I fear it will be just another solution of novelty.

Update:  Unfortunately, the video for this particular product on YouTube was pulled or made into private viewing only by the video uploader!  You won’t be able to view this video now!