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A Cool Idea To Cut Lighting Costs May 24, 2007

Posted by solarpundit in Solar News, Solar Panel Technology, Uncategorized.
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Sunlight Solar hybrid solar lighting system

 

After reading this, I and many of my friends have stated “now why didn’t I think of that.”  Duncan Earl created a technology a few years ago that is now in the process of larger commercialization.  His company, Sunlight Direct, uses fiber optics and a roof-mounted solar collector to collect and distribute natural light inside of a building.  This technology can essentially replace much of the interior lighting of a building; as long as the sun remains shining. 

 

solar traker from Sunlight Solar

Duncan’s innovation is quite remarkable.  Essentially, his device consists of a solar collector that is mounted on the roof and connected to a collection of fiber optic cable.  The cable is routed to the interior of the building, and can be wired directly into existing light fixtures as well as attached to “light” switches within the room.  Sunlight that is collected in the collector goes through the fiber optic network and is used to power the “lights” within the building.  These lights can be turned on or off through the light switch.

Now there are a couple of caveats to Sunlight Direct’s products.  The first is that the system reduces the need for electric lighting, but does not eliminate it.  Fixtures will still need electric lighting to compensate for gray days, or night.  Also, running a fiber optic system into an existing building is as expensive as re-wiring it for electrical.  All in all however, I think it is a cool idea and a great approach for new construction to reduce electric usage.

Tags:  Sunlight Direct, Duncan Earl, Solar Collector, fiber optics, hybrid solar lighting

Governor fixed the Glitch May 14, 2007

Posted by solarpundit in California, Government, Solar News, Uncategorized.
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Governor Schwarzenegger changes legislationThis year there has been a significant drop in the number of
California solar rebate applications; and indeed, many small installers have suffered an slowdown in their business this year.  This is primarily due to an un-intended clause in the recent
California rebate policy that required rebate recipients to purchase time of use power contracts.   For a residential customer, this essentially made the cost per solar watt, the same as the peak rate (highest daily rate) from the utility.  The consequence of this is that power would cost more from a person who made the investment in solar, than it would from the utility.

Now this obviously is a contradiction to the Governor’s million solar roofs program which is an ambitious goal to cut California’s dependence on fossil-based energies.  In order to address this problem the Governor is rushing an amended bill through the California Legislature to fix the obvious fly in the ointment.  The LA Time story has the details of this change and the benefits that removing the problem-causing clause will have.

Personally, I commend the Governor for taking steps to address this issue.  I have been reading a number of solar blogs lately, and there seems to be discussion of conspiracy around the legislated loophole.   Regardless, I will do my part to make sure the million roofs number happens. 

Tags:  California, Governor, LA Times, Million Solar Roofs, Legislature, California Rebate

Be an agent of CHANGE May 10, 2007

Posted by solarpundit in Uncategorized.
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global_warming.jpgWe are at a tipping point in the way the world powers industry.  Every day we hear comments about record breaking weather, history-making natural disasters, and climactic events that have never been seen before.  We are at a tipping point, and it is time for each of us to become an agent of change. 

Solar Pundit is dedicated to being an agent of change in the solar power industry.  The old power utility model is quickly becoming obsolete as both governments and citizens set new policy on how power and energy is created, distributed, traded and used.    Both utilities and governments are now turning to solar and wind energy to support the needs of their customers and constituents.  The goal of the Solar Pundit is to share this transition with you, and to help be an agent of change.

 

TAGS: Solar energy, Pundit, Global Warming, Change