The Untapped Potential of Rooftop Solar Energy

Why don’t more people produce solar energy from their own homes? If you have a roof over your head you could also have solar panels producing energy. Save on the energy you pay for each month and use a source of energy which does not cause pollution to produce or deliver to your home.

I’m sure a lack of knowledge is a big part of the reason we don’t see more solar energy panels. There is also some feeling of making change, taking the time to learn about solar for the home and the cost and effectiveness of solar panels versus just leaving things as they are.

I think it would help solar energy if people were aware of how it all works and how it benefits themselves.

In the future we may see buildings with built-in solar power.

Apartments, office towers, tall condominiums would be smart to utilize all those windows as a source for collecting solar energy. Will someone come up with a way to turn windows into solar panels? Or, does this already exist? No one would want to give up their view but there should be some way to keep the windows functional while also harvesting solar power. I’ve seen ads fully covering the sides of city buses. But, from inside the bus you can still see out the windows due to small holes in the painted on ad. Could that also work for solar windows?

The answer to America’s energy problems could be right under our noses—or, rather, right over our heads. According to a recent study by the Energy Department’s Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), America’s rooftops are full of untapped potential. In fact, up to 39 percent of America’s energy could be generated just by installing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on urban rooftops.

Popular Science reports that NREL analyzed rooftops in 128 cities across the United States, representing about 23 percent of all buildings in the U.S., according to an NREL press statement. The researchers assessed the buildings’ suitability for hosting PV solar panels and measured how much power could be generated by each location. They found that 83 percent of small buildings had the technical potential to host PV panels on part of their rooftop areas, while 26 percent could host an entire rooftop’s worth of panels.

Source: 39% of America’s Energy Could One Day Be Generated by Rooftop Solar Panels | Mental Floss

More information: ConsumerAffairs solar energy guide

Pierced for Frameless Eyeglasses

It is a good idea. An option for people who don’t want to wear contact lenses on their eyeball but don’t like the frames of eyeglasses on their face either. Still, I feel squicked at the idea of having my face (other than ear lobes) pierced. So, as good as it could be for some people… I won’t be trading in my eyeglasses, with frames.

Image source: Never Lose Your Focus – All About Colored Contacts

A Stick in the Mud for Wind Power

The Vortex bladeless turbine uses the wind to vibrate instead of spin. That makes it cheaper, quieter, and more reliable than a bladed turbine.

Source: This wind turbine has no blades — and that’s why it’s better | Grist

My first question… Does it still create as much energy as the turbines with blades? (It doesn’t).

My next question… What about the birds? I can understand how birds and bats fly into them. The colour is meant to blend into the sky (for human sensibilities, not birds).

As far as noise, we parked right next to one here in Ontario. Turned off the car (the car made more sound than the turbine) and just listened for half an hour. It was very quiet. Out on a backroad, in the middle of nowhere, for awhile we felt apart from all civilization. That feeling of being still after the world has ended.

Without blades the new wind power could be very low maintenance and have far less parts to replace. That’s a good thing.

But, they do produce less energy. The solution offered in the article is to have more of them. Is this practical?

How many can be grouped together before they lose efficiency due to blocking the very wind they rely on? How many land owners are going to want a forest of these on their land? How long will it be before the same people who protested the noise of wind turbines find these have a persistent hum or vibration or some other problem which gives them headaches?

I’m not sure a lot of the complaining about wind turbines is really justified. At least the human complaining.

Bladeless turbines may be less deadly to birds and bats, but we can’t be sure of that.

What will happen with more turbines in the same area of land?

There are no perches for birds. We don’t want to encourage the birds to use them, yet a forest of wind turbines take up space without giving the birds a place to rest.

Of course, the bladeless turbines will also be a colour intended to blend in and not obstruct too much of the view, for humans. Birds may fly into these man made forests and not see what they flew smack into. To a bird a forest of nearly invisible tree stalks without perches or branches waving in the wind to show their location may not work out so well.

Could these ivory towers be made nature friendly at the risk of becoming less tolerated by humans who enjoy the energy produced by them? Could bird houses, bee hives and bat boxes be included? Could they be made mandatory? Would that be unsightly or just unnatural?

Arranged Marriages via Online Dating?

Not so long ago young women of my generation were thinking how awful an arranged marriage would be. Marrying (or even dating) someone chosen for you by someone else. A blind date with the expectations of changing your life for you.

Now we give this power to online dating sites. Match us up with their algorithms and theory of personalities and data of interests… is it really any different than an arranged marriage? Sure you have the choice of a second date but, as things get faster paced do we actually feel more in a rush to meet someone, get married and have a family? Are we using computer dating to put a rush on our lives?

At least when family arranged marriages they actually cared about the outcome. A computer will never think about you at all, not even the first time when it’s arranging your life.

Analog relationships are antiquated, she thinks. She never had a date that wasn’t proposed by CuePID scores.

But, as Grandma tells of her great romance, Jenna wonders what drew them together. After all, none of what attracted her grandparents can be captured in online profiles.

Gradually, Jenna’s feeling of freedom changes—into a sense of manipulation by stupid CuePID

via – NetAppVoice: Online Cupid — Not So OK [100 Words Into The Future] – Forbes.