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Linked up energy

Posted 18/10/2011 by sevans

When considering renewable energy there is a tendency to talk about each particular alternative as if it is totally independent of any other potential energy source. When solar energy is discussed photovoltaic and water heating tend to be talked about separately as if they are not linked by the single source of their energy input – sunlight.

Recently, however, the first combined PV and solar heating systems have begun to appear. Such systems are starting to meet the energy usage requirements of most buildings. Whether those buildings are homes or offices and workplaces, they all require electricity for lighting, and possibly air conditioning, and some means to provide hot water as well as general heating. Combined systems offer a potentially effective and efficient option based on solar energy.

But renewable fuels are never discussed in connection with the generation of solar energy – they are transportation fuel alternatives. But all too often it is forgotten that they too share the same basic energy source – the sun.

So a recent announcement in the US provides an example of how solar energy might be used to provide both electricity and feedstock for the production of alternative bio-based fuels.

In Pittsboro, North Carolina, Miraverse Power and Light, a construction contractor; Piedmont Biofuels, a biodiesel producer and manufacturer of small-scale biodiesel production units; Southern Energy Management, which provides utility-scale PV systems; and a vegetable grower, Piedmont Biofarm, have come together through their Solar Double Cropping project to use the same land area for the production of both electricity and sustainable food crops at the same time.  

The project combines an elevated array of solar panels installed by Southern Energy Management above a field belonging to Piedmont Biofarm, which has been experimenting with crops that can be harvested at ground level. The array is nine feet above the ground to encourage the growth of crops that thrive in semi-shade. And while the initial work has been conducted with food crops, there is no reason why the same approach could not be used on marginal land where non-food crops could be grown exclusively for biofuel production.

As co-founder of Southern Energy Management Maria Kingery is reported to have commented: ‘We love this project because it challenges us to think about land use, climate change and where our food comes from, all at the same time.’

Neil Eisberg - Editor

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  • Anonymous said:
    15/10/2013 07:13

    my brother sent out these crmisthas cards . the front was him and his wife wearing matching v-necks each holding their babies also wearing .. matching v-necks . phot shopped across the bottom was a tag that said *LagOnnis (our last name) like he is trying to brand our family name and have exclusive credit for the family name . On the back of the card . He has four paragraphs talking about how many vacations he went on this year, all of these amazing job offers pouring in and states He likes where he is working right now very much but still enjoys the amazing job offers that are pouring in. He says despite the economic downturn he moved into a much bigger and better house in a more family frienddly neigborhood . We live in an area where every house cost about on million and up . it's not hard to find a family friendly neighborhood here. When facebook isn't enough he created a mind blowing blog page so you can find exclusive details all about him and his family at their very own website. He also says how his two kids aged 11 months and two years old have a personal chef. Just upscaling everything Like honestly I hope those two infants have a personal chef they would die if nobody cooked for them. They are expecting another child and they said We are expecting a new child Next year our family is going to be bigger and better! And at the bottom they signed they're LagOnnis And didn't say they're names or anything . Just the corporate brand idea they're projecting out. Is this to much? I feel in the economy we are in right now saying how many vacations they have been on, the bigger and better house they moved into while other people in my family are facing forclosures or are struggling month to month, I feel it is just very unsensitive and rude. And, I am not jealous either. I have things I can brag about but I don't believe in this bahavior so I don't do it. What do you think? Also, my other brother installed solar panels on his roof, and this crmisthas card brother took all the credit saying he installed all the solar panels and never mentioned any help from my other brother . And I get it, my other brother didn't help seeking any praise or approval but clearly this Christmas card brother is seeking praise and approval so it is annoying to me .. And . Matching grey V-Necks? Come on. Lifes not all rainbows and butterflies stop faking it.Ok so I was pretty irriated when i wrote this. It's not a million dollar and up area it's more like $900,000 and up but all the money aside . Just the way he is being so formal with his family and talking about how great he is IN THIRD PERSON point of view . So you think it's it's to much? You think I would get away with it? lolI agree with all of these responses .. The one person that said there is a lot more going on then what they tal about Agreed. It seems picture perfect on the outside but deep down inside of that family structure there is clearly insecurity. I agree everyone has one of those in the family And yes Matching V-Necks. What the hell.I have to admit .. I sent out my own Christmas card this year . After getting this years crmisthas card and seeing that it is bigger than last years I decide to send out a card that looks similar to theirs but I am mocking the **** out of them. On the front I am holding my dog, I am looking really good but I am making a funny face and under my picture (I am awearing a grey V-Neck) I wrote See reverse for exclusive details all about me!!!!!! and I on the back I ran all over them I hope next years card either 1) Doesn't come at all or 2) Is drastically tuned down. The back clowns them pretty bad. I sent it to everybody The opening sentence to my Christmas Card is Hello Everybody, I know you all have been waiting for this years status report and I thank you all for being patient. I'mdoing extraordinary. Last year, (despite the ecomic downturn) I went on so many vacations. And when I say so many, it's relly an understatement. lol. http://gflomjoj.com [url=http://wjuodhetja.com]wjuodhetja[/url] [link=http://irnzlm.com]irnzlm[/link]

  • Anonymous said:
    14/10/2013 07:40

    I tend not to comment,<a href="http://yftgalobtv.com"> heewvor</a> I browsed a few responses here Renewable DIY Blogspace | helping you harness the power of nature. I do have a couple of questions for you if you do not mind. Is it simply me or do some of the remarks look like they are coming from brain dead people? And, if you are posting on other online social sites, I'd like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you make a list of all of all your social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  • Anonymous said:
    13/10/2013 06:39

    it costs a lot of money, unfortunately. im iolnvved with a project at the moment which is awaiting planning consent. we need power on a farm. to have mains electricity installed would cost a385,000. we are having a wind turbine, coupled with solar panels, and the necessary battery bank to store the power. even then, we may have to have a small diesel generator as absolute backup although we would rather not if at all possible. the lowest cost that we can achieve for this is a328000, and that is after any grant awarded and by doing all of the work ourselves except the actual connection and testing. it will take at least 15yrs to recouperate the money at todays electricity prices.its sad really, we have all this talk about going green and renewable energy, but how many people can put their hands in thir pockets for such amounts and then wait so long for the benefits? for the purposes of your project, you need to cost out for your power scource, cable,storage, and power converter.

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