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Art Museum Gets PV 19 Electric Aircraft Take Off 20 Grocery Goes Solar 24
Lurking Patrol Cars
Use PV to Run Radios
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is equipping its
fleet of 1,150 Ford Crown Victoria cruisers with
5-watt photovoltaic panels in an effort to improve
battery performance and conserve fuel.
Electronic equipment installed in each cruiser
drains the battery when the engine is off. The patrol
expects the solar panels to extend battery life and
conserve fuel because troopers won’t have to idle
the engine to operate radars and radios while sitting on stationary patrol. Expanded use of stationary
patrols reduced the patrol’s fuel costs 16. 4 percent
in fiscal 2008.
The solar panels are installed in the rear deck of
the cruiser, with direct wiring to the vehicle’s battery.
The patrol used recycled misprinted license plates to
fashion custom brackets for the panels. The panels
cost $36.99 each and should operate for five years.
Ohi O S TATE PATr Ol
To conserve fuel, solar panels are installed in the rear deck of this Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser,
with direct wiring to the vehicle’s battery.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) grappled with significant issues regarding renewable energy systems at its third International Conference on Energy
Sustainability, held in July in San Francisco. Keynote speaker
Dan Arvizu, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, called for the accelerated transfer of new technologies to
the marketplace, and Mark Little, director of global research at
General Electric, backed him up by listing a variety of potential
business opportunities in sustainable energy development.
The conference is growing fast. Attendance was up 40 percent over the previous year, to 325, and the schedule of sessions now makes it impossible to attend all of them. Highlights
included an outline of new high-efficiency techniques for heating and cooling large buildings, presented by professor Mon-cref Krarti of the University of Colorado; a presentation on
climate-change limits on energy systems by Trevor Demayo,
senior planning engineer at Chevron; a session about making
fuels from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide by professor
Aldo Steinfeld of the Institute of Energy Technology in Zurich;
and a review of energy storage options for utility-scale solar by
professor Jane Davidson, director of the Solar Energy Lab at
the University of Minnesota and an ASES Fellow.
Skyfuel gave a technical presentation on its SkyTrough
parabolic collector, and Chuck Andraka of Sandia National
Laboratories presented on his new optical characterization
tool, SOFAST, which may become an invaluable tool for
the concentrating solar power industry. — Allison GrAy
Solar World Donates PV System
to Haitian Clinic
SolarWorld’s Oregon factory in July shipped 10 kilowatts of
Sunmodules and supporting equipment to a rural village on Haiti’s
central plains. The system will power a medical clinic there.
The donation, including special off-grid power electronics, is part
of Solar World’s first project in the Americas under its Solar2World
initiative to supply off-grid solar energy to rural locations around
the world. The Solar Electric Light Fund ( self.org) is funding the
balance of the project costs. SunEnergy Power International
( sunepi.org) is managing the installation and training volunteers
and clinic staff to operate and monitor the system.
Solar World ( solarworld-usa.com), headquartered in Bonn, Germany, began West Coast operations in 1975 and now claims to be
the largest manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) technology in the
United States. Its factory in Hillsboro, Ore., plans to reach annual
capacity of 500 megawatts by 2011.
On arrival in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, SunEnergy Power International and distributor Green Energy were expected to transport
the system components and install them atop a Partners in Health
clinic in Boucan-Carré, northeast of Port-au-Prince. The clinic now
operates with intermittent power from an aging diesel generator
that requires frequent maintenance and costly fuel. Fluctuations in
electrical output can damage the clinic’s medical instrumentation.
The new PV system will supply most of the clinic’s electricity so
the generator can remain mostly off, dramatically cutting fuel use,
emissions and noise.