ARTICLE: Designers Building Roadways That Generate Solar Power, By Zoë Schlanger / November 17, 2014 1:47 PM EST

I always wonder about photovoltaic (PV) cells. How much generating capacity degradation occurs over time due to dirt and grime accumulating on the cells’ surfaces? How important is it to keep them clean, and how clean? If you install them on a sloped roof, cleaning is hard and dangerous (and potentially expensive) enough; even worse to 2, 3 or 4-story roofs.

When you talk about parking lots and roadways, the problem becomes orders of magnitude greater: Tire detritus, oil and grease drippings from vehicles, dust and dirt washed out of the skies and the adjoining soils.

I’ve never understood how or if these things are calculated into life-cost, investment payback and/or energy efficiency.

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Go to article: Designers Building Roadways That Generate Solar Power, By / November 17, 2014 1:47 PM EST

Wind Turbines: “It’s always something” [VIDEO]

UPDATE, 4/30/2012: Along the lines described in this piece: NASA Satellite Measurements Imply Texas Wind Farm Impact On Surface Temperature

UPDATE: 4/9/2012: On Wednesday, April 11th, I’ll be doing a show on Energy Independence on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). You can read about the show and how to hear it here.

Since wind energy will be a topic of discussion, it seemed like a good time to re-post this piece, originally written by me in April of 2010.

– Mike

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It seems that wind turbines change how heat dissipates in the areas downwind of them, because they slow the wind as it spins their propellers. Once one begins to think about it, this domino effect makes perfect sense.
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