Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #115

11 March 2008

News from Around the World

According to a report in Scientific American (21 Feb 2008):

"PV power would cut air pollution, including the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, by nearly 90 percent if it replaced fossil fuels.

Environmental engineer Vasilis Fthenakis, a senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., and his colleagues examined the four most common types of PV cells. Even taking into account the low efficiency of thin-film solar cells or the energy needed to purify silicon for the other types of PV, all proved to entail significantly fewer emissions in their entire life cycle than the fossil fuels needed to produce an equivalent amount of electricity.

In fact, most of their dirty side derived from the indirect emissions of the coal-burning power plants or other fossil fuels used to generate the electricity for PV manufacturing facilities.

These four types of solar cells pay back the energy involved in their manufacture in one to three years, according to an earlier analysis by the same team. And even the most energy-intensive to produce, mono-crystalline silicate cells with the highest energy conversion efficiency of 14 percent, emit just 55 grams of globe warming pollution per kilowatt hour - a fraction of the near one kilogram of greenhouse gases emitted by a coal-fired power plant per kilowatt-hour"

More information about energy payback.

Kyocera Production Targets

Kyocera Solar announced late last year that it plans to increase annual production of PV from the current 180 megawatts to 500 megawatts by 2011. That's enough to put a 1kW solar system on some 500,000 homes each year!!!

Queensland - A Solar Future

The Queensland government has announced it will bulk-buy 1,000 solar power systems to drive down the price for homeowners and tackle climate change.

The idea came out of the 16-member Premier's Council on Climate Change, that met on Wednesday for the first time since it was formed in December 07.

Only 446 Queensland homes use grid-connected solar power systems, compared to 2,045 in South Australia, 1,166 in Victoria and 1,007 in New South Wales.

One wonders how/where they are going to find installers to connect all these systems???

On another front, Premier Anna Bligh has just announced that the solar feed-in tariff for solar power sent to the grid would rise to $0.44/kWh from July 1 08. This is a great boost to the industry.

High Wattage CFLs

We are now stocking some high wattage 230V CFL-type fluoros for use in large rooms. They have a standard Edison Screw base. The available wattage are:

55W equivalent to 250W of incandescents 65W equivalent to 300W of incandescents 85W equivalent to 400W of incandescents

The colour temperature is 4000K (which is mid range between warm and cool).

Air Conditioners

It has been suggested, just as all swimming pool installations have compulsory safety fencing, that all air conditioning installations should have compulsory solar panels!! Both are saving our children's futures, and the panels are assisting with peak load requirements, caused by all those air conditioners in the first place. Not sure how `compulsory´ it will become - but it´s a good thought to put out there.

Solar Cookers - have arrived!!

Our new shipment of Solar Cookers has just arrived!

They are improved models from the same manufacturer. The box cooker comes in an attractive red moulded fibreglass `suitcase´. The fragile mirror in the old models has been replaced with an unbreakable polished stainless steel reflector. They come with 4 stainless steel pots cooking pots - all ready for your first meal!

We also have a new model of 1 metre dish for those of you wanting to make large meals - e.g. stew for a dozen or more people. We will put more pictures of the dish cooker on our website this week.

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.