Alternate Home Energy

How Do You Sell Your House? With Solar Power!

斗地主达人Most people who go solar plan to remain in the home they are in for a while。 It’s the best way to take advantage of the years of free electricity their new solar array will generate once it is fully paid off。

 Staying in place is exactly what Joe Farjani and Laurel Millette did not do – but they found that even in leaving their first solar investment behind, the positive effects of solar stayed with them。

Their first array was installed in 2011, after sitting down at their Westford, MA home with a local solar sales rep and realizing solar was a smart choice。 “We just looked at each other and went, ‘Why do people not do this?’” Joe says。 Yet, just six years later they found themselves putting their solar home up for sale。

Selling Solar

Luckily, the positive energy from their solar super-charged more than just their savings on their electric bill。 They didn’t even have a chance to hold an open house – their home sold within 48 hours of being on the market。 “We did not expect it to sell that fast – especially in November!” says Joe。 He attributes the fast sell to the fact that the family who bought it were looking for a place with the ability to go off grid。 With the solar that groundwork was already in place。 “It was the perfect house for them,” he says。

While Joe and Laurel needed to pay off the remainder of their solar loan, their Westford home not only sold quickly, it went for $30,000 above the asking price。 Their experience corroborates a 。 Looking at home sales in 6 states, the study found that homebuyers were willing to pay a $15,000 premium for a home with an average-sized solar array, compared to a similar home without it。

A  found a similar result – on average, a median-valued home would fetch $9,274 more than its non-solar counterparts, and in some locations premiums for solar were even higher, upwards of $20,000. Significant energy savings paired with the ability to protect the environment makes purchasing an already solar home appealing. The  noted that energy efficiency features were important to more than 80% of homebuyers. “People are more aware of environmental issues and are willing to mitigate them,” says Joe. “Having solar adds value to your house!”

Solar: Take-Two

Just because they were moving didn’t mean that Joe and Laurel were prepared to leave solar behind them。 Joe called their salesman, Bob Morton, before they were even in their new house to give him the move-in date and set up a solar site visit。

In the intervening time, Bob had joined the team at ReVision, at the newly opened branch in North Andover, MA. “Bob’s really good at supporting his clients,” says Joe, explaining why he was determined to stick with him. He quickly found that the rest of the ReVision team was no different. “Everyone I spoke to was friendly, from the install team to the first person who came by the house to take measurements,” says Joe.

In addition, Joe was quite pleased with the final project. “ReVision does a great job as far as the appearance of the solar panels,” he says. “The electrical conduits are hidden from view. It just looks better – you can tell the installers know exactly what they’re doing.”

Saving with Sunshine

Joe thinks the great aesthetics are part of the reason why his neighbors in Harvard have been stopping by to ask about their solar。 He has already referred two of his neighbors to Bob, one of whom is having solar installed next month。 It’s also high electricity prices that drives interest, especially for young families。 “People are looking for ways to reduce those costs,” says Joe。 He knows first-hand that solar works – at their own home, their 40-panel solar array has winnowed a $500 summertime electric bill down to a $65 credit from their utility。

While the excellent savings are of course a motivator, for Joe and Laurel it’s also about knowing that they’re making a difference. “Solar just makes you feel good!” he says. They are intending to install battery storage within the next five years, and maybe someday in the future an electric vehicle will be in order.

In the meantime, Joe tries to spread the word as much as he can. “It makes good financial sense,” he says. “I always try to get people to buy in.” He wants his family, friends and neighbors to partake in the same benefits from solar as he and Laurel have. And as he can attest, even when life doesn’t exactly follow the prescribed plan, with solar in the equation things still tend to turn out pretty sunny.

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斗地主达人Tesla Will Obtain Battery Cells From LG Chem For Chinese Model 3 Production

Tesla has said all along it will work with multiple battery suppliers for the electric cars it manufactures in China, beginning with the Model 3 later this year and including the Model Y later。 #tesla #ev #electricvehicle #cars #teslamotors #car #elonmusk

Both cars will use advanced 2170 cells like the ones manufactured for Tesla by Panasonic at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

According to , Tesla has agreed to source at least some of those battery cells from LG Chem. The Korean company will manufacture the cells at its production facility in Nanjing, about 200 miles west of Shanghai where Tesla’s new Gigafactory 3 is under construction. Although work on the new factory was not begun until January 3, Tesla expects Model 3 production to begin there before the end of this year.

Bloomberg adds that Tesla is still in talks with CATL. Anonymous sources say the two companies are discussing technical specifications and that LG Chem was more flexible in meeting Tesla’s technology requirements. There are also rumors that Panasonic may be in the mix somewhere down the road. Representatives for Tesla, LG Chem, and CATL all declined to speak on the record with Bloomberg. LG Chem is now the world’s second largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries and intent on further increasing its market share.

Politics & Production

Tesla is wise not to put all its battery eggs in one basket in China, where politics have an outsized impact on commerce. Two years ago, China refused to allow Hyundai and Kia to import any cars with batteries made by LG Chem in South Korea, according to 斗地主达人. It was only after the companies agreed to power their electric cars with battery cells manufactured by CATL that the ban was lifted, according to the report.

Because of the need to switch suppliers, the Hyundai Kona Electric is only now becoming available in China. And the move by Chinese authorities was no doubt instrumental in LG Chem’s decision to build a battery factory in China.

Why would authorities slap Hyundai and Kia around while smiling benevolently on Tesla? President Xi Jinping does not return our phone calls, so we can’t be sure, but clearly Tesla enjoys some special status with the Chinese government。 For whatever reasons, no other foreign manufacturer seems to enjoy such a close relationship。

The Trouble With Tariffs

As Donald Trump and Xi Jinping play “mine’s bigger than yours” in their ongoing tariff fight, China announced today it will reimpose a 25% tariff on cars imported from the US on December 15. According to  the new tariffs will impact Mercedes and BMW the most. Both German companies export US-made cars to China. Ford will also suffer, as will Tesla with regard to its Model S and Model X vehicles, which are manufactured exclusively at the factory in Fremont, California.

In response, the unstable lunatic in Washington, DC, sent the stock market into a selling panic by tweeting an “order” for all US companies to cease doing business in China forthwith. The Dow shed 600 points as soon as the tweet appeared.

The question now for Tesla is how will the new tariffs affect the cars built in the Chinese factory in Shanghai beginning later this year? According to  the first cars will be knockdown kits made in Fremont and shipped to Shanghai for final assembly。 Tesla does something similar with its factory in Tilburg in the Netherlands。

No one knows the answer to that question at the moment。 Is a knockdown kit assembled in Shanghai subject to the new tariff? It’s simply too early to answer that question authoritatively。 Given Tesla’s special relationship with the Chinese government, we can only hope the cars exiting Gigafactory 3 will be exempt from the new tariff。 It is to be hoped the business community will give the puling potentate of Pennsylvania Avenue the fickle finger of fate and ignore his insane order completely。

What Do We Know?

We know that Model 3 cars will begin rolling out the door at Gigafactory 3 before the end of this year, God willing and the creek don’t rise, and that those cars will have battery cells manufactured in Nanjing by LG Chem. We know that battery cells from CATL or Panasonic might be used in locally produced Model 3s and upcoming Model Ys at some point in the future. And we know that the tariff situation is a muddled mess at the moment. When we know more, you’ll know more.

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About the Author

 Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. His motto is, “Life is not measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away!” You can follow him on  and on .

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New Electric Motor Could Boost Efficiency of EVs, Scooters, and Wind Turbines

The Hunstable Electric Turbine by Linear Labs can generate two to five times the torque of existing motors in the same-size package, the company says

斗地主达人Makers of , e-bikes, or —and the owners who love them—tend to focus on batteries, and how much better their vehicles become as batteries shrink in weight, size and cost.

But electric motors are the often-overlooked aspect of that equation.  says its electric machines could revolutionize automobiles, wind turbines, and air conditioners as well as robotics, drones, and micromobility vehicles.

斗地主达人The Ft。 Worth, Texas–based company has invented what it calls the , or HET。 The patented HET, the company claims, can generate two to five times the torque of existing motors or generators, in the same-size package。 Torque is the amount of work that a motor or engine produces, typically measured on a per-revolution basis。

“We believe we’ve built an entirely new class of electric motors, and that hasn’t happened in maybe 30 years,” says , the company’s founder and chairman.

Hunstable was formerly CEO of UStream, a video streaming and hosting company (now known as ) that IBM acquired for US $150 million in 2016. Brad’s father and company CTO is an inventor and electrical engineer, who worked in the nuclear power industry for  and . And Linear Labs began about five years ago as a father-and-son project. Among its roughly 20 full-time employees, the company counts former employees of , , and .

The Hunstables tick off myriad design and technical advantages for their HET, which they define as a 3D circumferential flux, four-rotor permanent magnet motor. Unlike typical designs, the synchronous DC motors have no superfluous end windings, so 100 percent of their copper material goes into energy conversion. A typical motor’s copper content could be reduced by 30 percent, while generating equivalent torque, they say. So for a given torque level, the HET consumes significantly less energy than competing designs.

Company studies of existing automotive platforms, including the Tesla and the Toyota Prius, show that the motors could increase driving range by more than 10 percent; or allow those cars to carry relatively smaller battery packs to deliver equivalent range. The HET itself is spectacularly efficient, generating up to a claimed 150 newton meters (Nm) of torque at just 3,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), in a Prius-size packaging envelope.

The company’s permanent-magnet tech requires no rare-earth metals。 The motors generate such robust torque that, in most applications, no gearbox reduction is necessary。 The system incorporates a purely electronic transmission, which reduces energy losses and, at production scale, could trim at least 45 kilograms (100 pounds) from vehicle weight。 Complexity and costs for engineering and manufacturing drop along with it。

 Ninebot ES4 motor.

The resulting Segway enjoyed a 50 percent increase in range, and four times the torque, which boosted the vehicle’s top speed and allowed it to climb a steep 20 percent grade。

“You’ll see us in a micromobility application, with air-cooled motors, within one year,” Fred Hunstable says.

The Hunstables add that with 45 percent of the world’s electricity eventually flowing through an electric motor, decisive gains in power and efficiency could have untold benefits in energy savings and performance。 One example: The company estimates that, in a large, , the HET could save 80 metric tons of weight, millions of dollars in costs, and lift efficiency by 3 percent。

“We feel we’re part of a smarter, cleaner energy movement, with applications way beyond mobility,” Brad says.

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Giant Turbines Propel Boom in Wind Energy

The wind industry is growing, literally. American wind developers are installing increasingly large turbines, capable of generating twice as much power as their predecessors and opening up new areas of the country to wind development. The trend arrives at a … #windturbine #wind

critical time for the industry。 The production tax credit, a federal subsidy, is set to end at the end of the year。 But unlike in previous years, when wind development ground to a halt when subsidies dried up, industry representatives are predicting only a modest slowdown。

“We are confident we will remain one of the most competitive forms of energy,” said John Hensley, vice president of research and analytics at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a trade group。

Among the reasons for the sunny outlook: improved turbine technology. Today, only six land-based projects with a combined capacity of 767 megawatts employ turbines with a generating capacity of 3.5 MW or higher. The majority of today’s turbines have a capacity between 2 and 3 MW.

Turbines with a capacity of 3.4 to 3.6 MW accounted for 14% of all installations in the second quarter. And orders for larger turbines are starting to add up, according to AWEA’s most recent . Some 22 projects boasting a combined capacity of 3,907 MW reported buying turbines with a listed capacity of 3.5 MW or greater in the second quarter of the year, a 35% increase over the first three months of 2019.

Developers in the United States only first started ordering 4 MW machines in the third quarter of 2018. Orders for those turbines increased to 2,190 MW in the second quarter, AWEA reported.

The advantages of larger turbines are several. Larger turbines mean fewer towers are needed to generate the same amount of electricity, decreasing projects’ costs and the size of their footprint. That opens areas of the country like the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast, where open land is at a premium, to wind energy, Hensley said.

“The 4。5 MW turbines can power twice as many homes as the average turbine in the last few years,” said Celeste Wanner, a senior analyst at AWEA。

斗地主达人Overall, the pipeline for new wind projects continues to grow. Roughly 41 gigawatts of new wind capacity was under construction or in the advanced stages of development during the second quarter of 2019, an industry record.

Texas continues to lead America’s wind-building boom. The Lone Star State already boasts 25.6 GW, and the local grid operator recently reported that turbines there had generated more electricity than coal through the first half of the year (, July 23). AWEA’s figures show that even more wind is on the way. Another 7.6 GW is under construction in Texas, while 1.4 GW is in advanced development.

斗地主达人The question for the industry is how much growth levels off after the production tax credit terminates. The impact of the subsidy’s end likely won’t be immediate, as many companies will still be able to qualify for the federal money, provided they began construction before the end of the year.

AWEA is projecting a short-term slowdown but expects other factors will ultimately boost the industry。 They include falling costs and strong consumer demand。 Corporate power purchase agreements represented slightly more than half of all wind contracts in the second quarter。

Ultimately, the industry has benefited from the recent policy certainty, with the PTC laying the foundation for the industry to reduce cost, Hensley said.

“We’re seeing the fruits of our labor coming to fruition in the next couple years,” he said.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at .

Solar-irrigated farms face an unexpected threat in Zimbabwe: hungry elephants

MASHABA: When one of Zimbabwe’s first solar mini-grid systems was installed in this drought-prone village near the Botswana border in 2016, residents thought their problems were solved。#solarenergy #solar #solarpower #solarpanels #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #gogreen #gosolar

Cheap, clean power ran pumps that kept the community’s wheat, maize and vegetable fields a sea of green even as climate change-fueled droughts parched the surrounding landscape.

But the verdant fields have attracted a new problem to Mashaba: herds of hungry elephants.

As drought makes grass and other fodder harder to find, elephants have begun invading the village’s tempting irrigated fields, destroying crops and irrigation canals and exasperating farmers。

“We have to stand guard in our fields all night from 6:30 pm till 3:30 in the morning. We beat pots, tins, pans, drums or anything that makes noise to chase away elephants,” Daniel Nyathi, a farmer in Mashaba, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As well, “every night we make bonfires on the edge of our fields, shine torches and rev a tractor all night, hoping that might scare the elephants,” said Nyathi who heads the 42-hectare (104-acre) Rustlers Gorge irrigation project, which serves 2,800 local households.

According to Mashaba residents, up to 60 elephants now appear to see the village’s irrigated fields as one of their main sources of food.

Elephants have been an occasional problem in the village’s fields, especially since 2017, as conditions have grown drier, they said. But the invasions have intensified dramatically as the solar irrigation project has taken off, they said.

Win Sibanda, one of the Mashaba village leaders, said he feared the near-daily elephant invasions into the community’s fields mean farmers won’t get much of a harvest next month if the problem isn’t addressed.

Right now, “the only practical solution is for the farmers to keep guard and chase them out”, he said。

“If the elephants number less than five, villagers can easily deal with them. But the challenge is when the whole herd enters the field. No one dares provoke them because that is more dangerous,” he said.

LESS RAIN, MORE FIGHTS

As worsening droughts lead to more challenging conditions for farmers and wildlife in southern Africa, such confrontations are expected to become more problematic as irrigation projects pop up to help communities adapt to drier conditions.

斗地主达人Sithokozile Nyathi, 36, whose farm with her husband Daniel lies within the Rustlers Gorge irrigation project, said the village had been transformed into a “green belt” with the introduction of the solar mini-grid。

The $3.2 million solar project was funded by the  in conjunction with the OPEC Fund for  Development and  as part of efforts to promote universal access to modern energy in rural areas.

The grid’s 400 solar panels power several irrigation projects, Mashaba’s primary school, a local clinic and a small business center with four shops and an energy kiosk, said Shepherd Masuka, a project officer with Practical Action, a development charity that supervised the project’s construction。

Sithokozile Nyathi said the system has allowed farmers to earn a steady income from their crops, rather than simply depending on increasingly unreliable rainfall。

“Each morning we walk 2 miles from our homesteads to the irrigation scheme to work the whole day in the fields,” she said.

But now farmers are having to work nights as well, just to try to keep elephants away, she said.

LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS

To try to find a solution, residents are working with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), which oversees the country’s wildlife.

Kwanele Manungo, who helps manage work by the authority in southern Zimbabwe, said a team of game rangers were dispatched to Mashaba in July to address the elephant problem.

The rangers advised digging one-metre-deep trenches around the irrigated fields and using a traditional technique of putting piles of smouldering cow dung along their perimeter。

Manungo said the team, which was in the area for a month, “ended up leaving the place because elephants did not come back”. Community members were advised to call again if they had further problems.

“In the worst scenario, we shoot down a leader of the menacing elephants or scare them off using firecrackers,” she said。

But Practical Action officials said more “lasting solutions” to elephant invasions of irrigated farmland needed to be worked out.

Tinashe Farawo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said the authority sometimes runs short of government funding for its wildlife management programmes and is forced to self-fund.

斗地主达人That can mean farmers seeking help have to spend their own money to transport and feed game rangers, he confirmed.

Zimbabwe made $2.7 million selling 90 elephants to  and Dubai between 2012 and 2018, in an effort to reduce the numbers and earn income, Farawo said.

斗地主达人“We believe in sustainable utilisation of our resources, and these elephants must pay for their upkeep,” he said in a telephone interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

斗地主达人According to ZimParks data, the country can accommodate about 55,000 elephants but now has about 85,000. The rising numbers are likely one driver of the increasing farm invasions, officials said.

Farawo said conflicts between people and animals had led to 200 people losing their lives in Zimbabwe over the past five years.

At a May elephant summit in Botswana, southern African countries whose land is part of the Kavango-Zambezi transfrontier conservation area – which includes parts of Botswana, Zimbabwe,  and Zambia – said their countries are home to the largest population of African elephants.

Officials at the summit said they would coordinate efforts to survey elephant populations to monitor them.

斗地主达人They noted that as elephant numbers grow in the region, conflicts between the animals and people are increasing as a result of climate change pressures and increasing competition for limited resources.+

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