Archive for the ‘#grid’ Tag

The Secret to Solar Power – NYTimes.com   Leave a comment

Silicon Valley has done a great job of talking about its disruptive potential, but there is something truly disruptive about solar: a fully distributed model of energy generation. We currently rely on the centralized hub-and-spoke delivery systems of the utilities, many of which are outdated and suffer tremendous losses as electricity travels from power plants, along transmission and delivery lines and into our businesses and homes. There is a massive infrastructure of regulation and enforcement in the energy market to underwrite the utilities; it’s one of the most highly regulated and noncompetitive markets in the country. Imagine a world in which homeowners and business owners are miniature power plants, with the full ability to sell power back to the grid at retail prices — power, literal and figurative, would be wrested from the hands of monopolistic, polluting utilities and their ancillary industries: mining, fracking and the like.”

AN: a USA centric article but applications apply to any country…getting power to residences and commercial entities can diversify the grid….and set up for smart grid tools…

via The Secret to Solar Power – NYTimes.com.

The revenge of Thomas Edison | Smart Shift | Executive | Financial Post   Leave a comment

“London • At the start of the 20th century, inventors Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla clashed in the “war of the currents.” To highlight the dangers of his rival’s system, Edison even electrocuted an elephant. The animal died in vain; it was Tesla’s system and not Edison’s that took off. But today, helped by technological advances and the need to conserve energy, Edison may finally get his revenge.

The American inventor, who made the incandescent light bulb viable for the mass market, also built the world’s first electrical distribution system, in New York, using “direct current” electricity (DC). DC’s disadvantage was that it couldn’t carry power beyond a few blocks. His Serbian-born rival Tesla, who at one stage worked with Edison, figured out how to send “alternating current” (AC) through transformers to enable it to step up the voltage for transmission over longer distances.

Edison was a fiercely competitive businessman. Besides staging electrocutions of animals to discredit Tesla’s competing system, he proposed AC be used to power the first execution by electric chair.

But his system was less scalable, and it was to prove one of the worst investments made by financier J. Pierpont Morgan. New York’s dominant banker installed it in his Madison Avenue home in the late 19th century, only to find it hard to control. It singed his carpets and tapestries.

So from the late 1800s, AC became the accepted form to carry electricity in mains systems. For most of the last century, the power that has reached the sockets in our homes and businesses is alternating current.

Now DC is making a comeback, becoming a promising money-spinner in renewable or high-security energy projects. From data centres to long-distance power lines and backup power supplies, direct current is proving useful in thousands of projects worldwide.”

Full article continues to go further in- depth,,,,,

via The revenge of Thomas Edison | Smart Shift | Executive | Financial Post.

Posted December 26, 2011 by arnoneumann in Thomas Edison

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