From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com
Electricity ‘’microgrids’’ with small-scale solar-power and wind turbines, rather than big utility-scale facilities that spawn controversy, may become the big thing in green energy as technology and equipment make them more cost-efficient. There’s an example on tiny Appledore Island, in the Isles of Shoals, off New Hampshire.
There, amidst the screeching seagulls, reports The Concord Monitor, the Shoals Marine Lab, run by the University of New Hampshire and Cornell University, has mostly gotten off the diesel-powered generator it has long used and moved to solar energy, supplemented by a wind turbine. The electricity is stored in batteries, whose capacity has steadily improved in recent years even as they’ve become cheaper. The lab used to burn more than 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel a summer, Ross Hanson, the head engineer of the lab, told The Monitor, but “The last two summers that’s been about 1,500 gallons. We’re on track to probably cut that in half’’ with an upgraded solar system.
An ongoing challenge: Cleaning the bird poop off the solar panels: To read more, please hit this link: