The energy matrix examines the full spectrum of future energy sources and associated problems. It is meant to be a thought provoking publication for students who will be our future technocrats, engineers, and physicists. We will include concepts such as solar, DG, CHP and concepts that are not practical today such as ice engines. Send Comments to BilPat4342@AOL.com
Micro Power Distributed Generation
As solar electric panels gets cheaper, the question "What to do with the DC power they generate and what do when the sun don't shine, becomes an important question. The most economical solution is to simply sell solar power to the electric company during the day and buy it back at night. To do this a synchronous inverter costing $2000.00 plus is required to convert the DC power to 60 hertz synchronized and phase locked to the utility grid power.
The editorial below and the GIF animations to right suggests that a DC grid (separate wire) should be added to utility power poles to collect power from all solar and other micro power producers and sent back to a very large inverter owned by the power company. This could eliminate hundreds of micro power inverters and replace them with one large utility inverter or a motor generator if the utility prefers. The article below is intended for physics, technical, and engineering students (grade 11 - 14)
Micro Power Generation
This article and animation (center column investigates the feasibility of a separate DC grid for delivering electricity from home or farm micro power systems to the local electric utility. The resistors in simulation represent line resistance (.2 to 1.2 ohms). Line resistance was assigned during simulation setup but values are not shown. The Wind, Solar, and Cogeneration or Mini Hydroelectric power inputs to the grid are constant current generators. The Hexagon with the arrow indicating current direction is a CAD software symbol for a current generator.
Corn Solar Collectors
In our last issue Corn Solar Collectors article, I included some rough calculations showing that silicon solar collector farms collect far more solar energy. Reference A compares switchgrass cellulose based ethanol production to solar panels.
Note: All arguments with respect to ethanol versus solar cell technology imply the future existence of electric cars and a power grid for electric cars. For example electricity for cars should be made available at all US Freeway rest stops.
Japanese CHP for Home
Japan has over 15,000 Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units installed in Japan as of 2006. The Honda Micro-CHP system combines a 95% efficient natural gas furnace or boiler with the 85% efficient Honda natural gas engine/generator module. The generator module has a 1 kwHr output.
Index for all Editions
Simple DC to
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