NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, January 9: iTURBINE? APPLE STUDIES THERMAL STORAGE FOR WIND; SOLAR BUSINESS CYCLES TO SMOOTH; TWO WHEELERS PLUG IN

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: ARE NATURAL GAS AND RENEWABLES THE FUTURE OF TEXAS' POWER GRID?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: COULD FERC PUT A PRICE ON CARBON?
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN GEOTHERMAL REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS IN THE WEST?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT THE E3 STUDY OF NEVADA NET ENERGY METERING REALLY SAYS
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE ROLE OF RENEWABLES IN THE NEW EPA EMISSIONS RULE
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: SMART INVERTERS: THE SECRET TO INTEGRATING DISTRIBUTED ENERGY ONTO THE GRID?
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • Wednesday, January 09, 2013

    QUICK NEWS, January 9: iTURBINE? APPLE STUDIES THERMAL STORAGE FOR WIND; SOLAR BUSINESS CYCLES TO SMOOTH; TWO WHEELERS PLUG IN

    iTURBINE? APPLE STUDIES THERMAL STORAGE FOR WIND Apple's wind turbine technology uses heat, not rotational energy to generate electricity

    Mikey Campbell, December 27, 2012 (Apple Insider)

    “In a rare non-computing related patent filing…Apple proposes a wind turbine that generates electricity from converting heat energy rather than rotational energy created by the rotation of the unit's blades…[A]n application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the "On-demand generation of electricity from stored wind energy," [described] an invention wholly dedicated to solving problems of variability associated with the alternative energy production method.

    “The application, filed for in June 2011, notes that most contemporary wind turbines convert kinetic energy from wind into mechanical energy, or in some cases electricity…[W]ind energy is…converted into rotational energy through a drive shaft, which then powers machinery or, more recently, electric generators…[To mitigate wind’s variability] the filing proposes a system that converts rotational energy from the turbine into heat, which is then stored in a ‘low-heat-capacity’ fluid. From storage, heat can be selectively transferred to a ‘working fluid’ that is used to generate electricity during lulls in wind activity.”

    “In some embodiments, heat is generated from the friction created between blades connected to the rotor shaft and the low-heat-capacity fluid, such as mercury, ethanol or an inert gas, in which they are immersed. Thermal energy is stored in an insulated vessel. A thermally insulating component like a radiator or conductive rod can be used to selectively transfer heat from the low-heat-capacity fluid…[to boil water to create steam] which rotates a turbine connected to an electric generator.

    “According to the patent application, the ‘on-demand’ electric generation system can reduce costs associated with natural variations in wind supply. Further, the method can be used as a replacement for current conventional energy storage methods such as batteries…Whether Apple plans to deploy such a wind turbine system is unclear, but [it] is investing heavily in alternative energy sources…”

    SOLAR BUSINESS CYCLES TO SMOOTH Quarterly PV Demand Cycles Set to Become Less Turbulent

    Micheal Barker, January 2, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “As solar PV incentive policies continue to be reduced and installed system prices decline, strong cyclic changes in quarterly demand will start to [disappear]…In a policy-driven environment, policy adjustments often cause large surges in quarterly demand as c customers and developers rush to secure incentives before they are reduced.

    “…[T]his can lead to a dramatic surge in end-market demand with the final calendar year quarter often becoming the ‘make or break’ quarter for annual shipment targets…[T]he PV industry has followed this trend for the past few years…[I]f year-end demand does not meet expected levels…[manufacturers’ inventory can be] surplus to demand at year end…[while] installers and developers try and delay new purchases until current inventories are depleted or prices have become more attractive.”

    “In 2012, demand was more evenly distributed across the four quarters than seen in previous years…[and] there is every possibility that these demand trends will be repeated in 2013 also…However, the shift to more stable quarterly demand is largely a global phenomenon. At the country level, demand phasing can still vary dramatically. For example, Q4’11 demand in Germany accounted for 45% of annual demand in 2011; in China, Q4’12 demand made up almost 60% of China’s 2012 annual total.

    “As PV demand sees increasingly global contributions - and is driven more by project economics than by government policies - quarterly demand will resemble the phasing seen in 2012. This more stable demand profile will assist in stabilizing manufacturing production levels, with a gradual shipment increase each quarter accounting for the overall annual PV demand growth…[T]his would definitely represent a strong shift from the boom-and-bust patterns…[and be] a step in the right direction ahead of supply-demand rationalization…”

    TWO WHEELERS PLUG IN Electric Motorcycles and Scooters; Market Drivers and Barriers, Government Policies, Technology Issues, Key Industry Players, and Global Demand Forecasts

    4Q 2012 (Pike Research/Navigant)

    “Sales of e-scooters and e-motorcycles have shown slow but consistent growth over the last few years, resulting in sales volumes in many regions that are high enough to be attractive to new competitors, but not large enough for breakaway market leaders or profitability yet…

    “…The one exception is in China, where e-scooters and e-motorcycles represent a much more mature market, selling in the millions of units for several years. In 2012, the Chinese market accounted for 81% of the global e-scooter and e-motorcycle market.”

    “The significantly lower operating cost and falling prices of e-motorcycles and e-scooters have grown interest from fleet customers like delivery companies, police and security forces, and even taxi services in some regions…

    “As these products provide more robust features, including longer range capability and higher speeds, demand for e-motorcycles and e-scooters will accelerate even more quickly. Pike Research forecasts that annual sales of e-motorcycles and e-scooters will reach 18.6 million by 2018…”

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