Here’s a super cool “new to me” approach to concentrating sunlight: Microfluidics by Giant leap Technologies. They electronically squirt around channels of optical fluid in flat glass plates to guide sunlight, like tune-able liquid mirrors. This allows for high concentration without mechanically tracking the sun. One hesitation is that they are talking about mass producing these with 3d printing- 3d printing as a means of mass production always makes me a bit skeptical, even though it’s neat for prototyping. Of course the top image here is a computer render, this is still in the testing phase for sure Here’s another site describing...
It’s been very cold this week in the Hudson Valley, and our solar array hasn’t been able to melt itself free of the snow. Anybody out there have some special tricks to get rid of it? We’re missing some primo clear winter days up here- solar panels actually work better in the cold. A solar panel is in some ways just the cold side of a heat engine, just like the condenser in a steam power plant. The sun is the hot side, and energy can be harnessed because of the difference in temperature between the sun and our roof....
It’s a beautiful clear winter solstice here, just goes to show that even the shortest day of the year can offer plenty of solar power. Since our PV array was commissioned in June, it’s produced 3.571 megawatt-hours, which is around 350% the estimated usage of our kettles in that time. Now we are precisely tracking our usage for everything that goes into popping- heating, stirring, and ventilating- and we are working on displaying it on our website versus our solar production. This graph suggests that we’ll break even almost exactly today. We like data. Happy Holidays from our team!