Harnessing the Power of the Sun
August is the hottest month of the year. Temperatures continue to rise, reaching new highs, bringing extreme heat waves, increased fire activity, and drought as the soil bakes and dries out.
Thousands and thousands of people have died this year across the globe from the extreme heat. The increase in temperatures can be directly related to how our climate is changing.
Everything is connected
Do you remember the children’s ditty “The foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, the leg bone is connected to the hip bone, the hip bone is connected to the back bone, …..”?
The changes to our environment are all connected as well.
Climate change is a direct result of too much CO2 being released into our atmosphere. The excess amount of carbon is acting like a blanket around our beautiful planet, and interrupts the natural flow of energy from the sun to the earth and back out to the atmosphere.
Think of it like inhaling and exhaling. The earth is inhaling the energy from the sun, but when we try to exhale the blanket around the earth blocks the exhale, and the build up of CO2 is creating a domino effect of problems.
The increased temperature is causing the glaciers to melt, raising our sea levels and warming the ocean water, which impacts the ability of the ocean to absorb the CO2, and changes the wind currents which impact our local weather patterns, which changes our climate.
The solution is obvious, we need to reduce the amount of CO2 we are emitting to get the balance back so nature can freely inhale and exhale again. But getting to the solution is not so easy!
Solar offers renewable clean energy solution
Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Developments in solar technology are finding new ways to harness the energy of the sun. Genus published the following list of solar powered inventions.
1. Solar Powered Water Purifier
To make the most efficient use of solar energy, this innovative equipment is very beneficial. This water purifier, made by Suryagen Renewables, is fitted with the latest technology, which makes it easier to purify sea, river, pond, well and rain water. This economical device is beneficial for areas where only polluted water is available. With the use of solar energy in this device, the polluted water evaporates and steam is collected as pure water. It can get 1.5 liters of pure water from 3 liters of polluted water daily. This has been ranked amongst most efficient and innovative solar powered inventions.
2. Solar Powered Tree
This solar powered tree, manufactured by the Central Mechanical Research Institute, can meet the electrical needs of 5 houses and requires very little space. Photovoltaic panels have been placed on steel branches to convert sun rays into electricity. These solar energy trees generate 10 to 15 percent more electricity than the solar plants affixed to the ground. With the help of this tree, the battery backup system can also be charged, which can provide up to 2 hours of electricity at night. In this tree, there are tiny water pipes, installed for automated cleaning, so that dust can be cleaned off the branches. Villages and small towns have a high demand as well as need for such innovations as power cut is a persistent issue.
3. Solar Air Conditioner
This product is a cutting-edge innovation in the field of solar energy because ACs are installed in most houses and offices these days. Also, due to high power consumption, many people often face high electricity bills. The cost of electricity is not the only concern though. Ordinary air conditioners produce CFCs that are harmful for the environment. However, with a solar AC, you will not only protect the environment, but also get to reduce electricity bills. If you use solar air conditioner instead of a regular AC, your electricity bill can be reduced by up to 20-30 percent.
4. SOL laptop
Counted among the best solar powered inventions for good reason, these laptops require a charging time of only two hours and can function smoothly for 8-10 hours. People who often travel for work or students who use laptops can easily benefit from this invention. These laptops are fitted with solar panels at the back.
5. Solar Outlet
This device runs on solar energy and is also called window socket. You can install it at the window of your home or office. With these devices running on solar power, you can charge various electric devices easily.
They conclude their list with “Apart from the innovations mentioned above, there are many other inventions that can change the way the world works. Due to rapid technological development, vehicles running on solar energy have also been invented, which will eliminate dependence on petrol and diesel and will also help in environmental protection. Along with this, solar paints, solar pots, solar roads, solar stadiums, solar cameras, etc. are the various inventions that are becoming popular worldwide and their use can bring down pollution levels. Considering the serious problem of climate change, it is necessary that the maximum number of solar powered devices be used.”
Warm Heart has gone solar!
Warm Heart has taken the leap and installed a solar system on their campus. Located in a rural area of Northern Thailand, they are the first in their community to go solar. They are hoping to lead the way for others in the community to follow their lead.
The property has several buildings, dormitories that house 40 children, an office for the staff, a volunteer office, kitchen and dining area (lots of kids to feed!) and several other buildings.. Co-founders Michael and Evelind also live on the property, and are involved in the day to day operations at Warm Heart.
Situated in a rural part of Thailand reliability was often an issue, with power going off on a regular basis.
The new solar system provides a reliable source of energy at a cost savings of around $7,000 a year (to put that in perspective, that is equal to 256,207 baht!)
Impacts of global warming are here
As we head into the hot season the rising temperatures will continue to have an impact, setting off a chain of events that we will have to deal with down the road.
If you are struggling with the heat, here are a few common sense ideas published by EcoWatch that can help you stay cool. There are no magic solutions offered, but check to see if you are taking advantage of these cooling tips:
If you live in the United States and are considering going solar Renogy has published a guide “Everything You Need to Know About Solar Tax Credits“.
Together we can make a difference
As we focus on new innovations and technologies that embrace clean energy we have a fighting chance to reduce the impact of global warming. The best part about it? Clean renewable energy also saves money and provides access to areas around the world who have not had the luxury of electric in the past.
It will take time, but as long as we all keep moving forward, making adjustments to our habits and lifestyles together we can make a difference.
Today, right now, the most important thing we can do is support carbon removal projects. We need to start bringing down our excess carbon levels, like, yesterday!
Around the World
We are happy to share stories from around the world of how communities are embracing biochar and contributing to healing our earth with biochar projects.
Have a good summer, and try to stay cool!