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Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Sustainable Geometry

Among the other specific topics that I write about  this one is about rebuilding our civilization with a new geometry for land use, transportation, social services, finance, manufacturing, energy production and use, and governance.

We have the convergent conditions of a new millennium, accelerating climate change, the collapse of our global banking and finance systems, and a worldwide population that is fast approaching 7 billion people.

What we have done in the past will not sustain us in the future. That which we have employed up to now has not necessarily been bad, but in light of current events and processes, we cannot permit ourselves the delusion that we need not change.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Solar Parking Lots

While the forces of Fossil Fuels and Alternate Energy battle it out in the public square, there is a quiet revolution going on that is making the change over slow and steady. The complete change over and cessation of fossil fuel usage is still decades away, any new demand can be met by small installations that take the edge off the overall demand and make it possible for the utility companies to not have to build billion dollar plants of their own.

When an electricity user chooses to generate its own electricity with an o-site alternative such as PV solar or wind turbines, they make it possible for the utilities to concentrate elsewhere and sell their electricity to their remaining customers. Their need to invest billions in nuclear plants, or to modernize coal fired plants is greatly diminished.

This example is a plant in Maryland not far out of the NE quadrant of Washington, DC. They covered their employee parking area with PV panels. The primary benefit is electricity. The secondary benefits are the cars no longer bake in the summer sun and the parking area in not covered in deep snow in the winter.

This is not the only installation of this type in the area. Only a mile or so away is this other recent installation of PV panels over the parking lots.

These installations can also be added to the roofs of the buildings, but a bit more Engineering might be necessary due to increased roof loading. There are huge facilities all over the nation that can be fitted with PV panels thereby benefiting both the company and the environment.

Legislation gets the ball rolling in many such changeovers, but the sustaining principles are what will make and keep our energy usage sustainable.

Parking lots and building roofs are not the only land areas that can be "solarized." Aqueducts and long drainage channels can be covered. Aqueducts benefit from lower evaporation of the water while it is flowing to the locations where it will be used. Floating PV installations can cover parts of reservoirs. There are many more such locations.

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Author's Note: The book cover images in the side margins of this blog are my own publications of eBooks available at both Amazon and B&N. Please take a moment and go to the sites and read about them. Then if you like it, buy one or two.