Researchers in the U.S. and Switzerland have recently developed a solar prototype that can turn the suns energy into fuel. The reactor uses concentrated solar thermal energy to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, or carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen. To date, the device has only proven 0.7 to 0.8 percent efficiency, however, its researchers believe it has the capacity to become commercially-viable at 19 percent efficiency.
In other solar news, a bakery in California is using photo-voltaic (PV) panels to provide nearly 40 percent of its power. Alvarado Street Bakery has installed more than 1500 solar panels which provide 404 kilowatts of power.
For those of us who won’t be visiting California in the near future, an all natural desserts shop will be opening in Lakewood, Ohio this spring. The shop will offer tasty treats made from mostly local, organic and/or sustainable ingredients.
With the beginning of the new year, Operation Mustard Seed (OMS) wanted to take a minute to share a few updates about Project: Boil the Ocean.
But first, some house-keeping: OMS has a new telephone number (440-941-2849) and address (17804 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, Ohio 44107). Both have been updated on our “Contact Us” page.
Preliminary project budgets, specifications, and schedules have been drafted for Project: Boil the Ocean, and will provide our direction for 2011. Rather boring stuff to talk about, but many project managers will understand how important these tasks are for any successful undertaking, including our project’s pursuit of energy sustainability.
We are developing a controls and data acquisition software program in Java. Once complete, the program will be used with PC interface hardware to record the data from sensors. This will serve to prove that solar thermal energy can actually be used to economically exploit seawater resources. It will also be used to automate the power and production systems that we will develop for Project: Boil the Ocean. Currently, we’ve completed about 25 percent; a working version should be ready by summer.
Testing and development have begun for a novel power generator that will have no moving parts. We don’t currently have an estimated time frame for this project, nor can we project our success with producing a useful generator. Stay tuned…