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Murat’s Passive Solar House

Copy of article from magazine: ”Youth Techniques” 1993-10, page 5 Solar house stands in meadow near the famous resort town Teberda (in Karachay-Cherkessia).It was built by its owner: Murat Khatukaev, the scientist by profession and a craftsman by vocation, saves on fuel and electricity. Premises are heated by a “warm wall” and illuminated by mirrors system. The system is not too difficult: the light coming through the end wall, is reflected from the mirror placed under an angle of 45 °, and falls down from the ceiling. With regard to the heating system, it- in today’s terms – is the intellectual property of Murat. Silently, he grins, but nobody succeeded yet to unravel the secret. Some “merchants” came from the neighbouring region (after a short message in the local press), they studied construction (just without breaking the walls), did not understand anything and offered him to sell the “know-how”. Khatukaev refused … he is thinking about creating a corporate enterprise. He would gladly sell the ready houses at a reasonable price to those wishing to save on fuel. By the way, even in the most severe frosts the room temperature does not drop below 12°C. Well, for house without a stove is not bad! on the picture: Murat Khatukaev records temperature in the house...

The philosophy of the use of a rotor type wind turbine

Installations that use wind energy are classified by the position of the rotation axis as the ones of horizontal axis and vertical axis. The most widely spread are horizontally axial installations. This happened due to the rapid development of military aviation and shipbuilding in the beginning of 20-s of XX century. To finance the development of a theoretical base of aircraft and ship propellers, huge funds were allocated in the leading countries of the world such as USA, UK, Germany, Japan and the USSR. This funding has continued for nearly 80 years up to present times. The type of a modern wind turbine has been dictated by these circumstances, since impellers have been a byproduct of theoretical and practical development of propellers. Nowadays, anyone who is interested in windmills will say that the efficiency of horizontal axis impeller (blade wind turbine) is within 0.6 – 0.7, and «clumsy» vertical axis one- up to 0.39. However, the research of the author of this article refutes these parameters. Actually, the theoretical efficiency factor of a blade wind turbine, according to one of the founders of Fluid Dynamics E. Zhukovsky, is 0.593. The real efficiency of a modern wind turbine, according to independent experts, is 0.42 – 0.43, which is very close to the value of 0.39 of a vertical axis wind turbine. But, according to the author of this article, the unenviable fate of vertical axis rotors has been determined by their impracticality, especially in aviation. To determine the correct shape of propellers and to test them in laboratory conditions, wind tunnels have been created. Theoretical errors in the simulation in...

Types of Solar Panels

There are several types of solar panels that are being used by practically everyone right now. This is because of the general trend of people coming up with ingenious methods to harness the sun’s potential and utilize it as a renewable energy source. This bodes well for the future of energy utilization because, let’s face it, these types of solar panels are environmentally friendly, they do not require much tinkering, and they sometimes even work better than traditional panels. However, there are different types of solar panels. Each type has a specific purpose when it comes to different facets of human living, but just as well, all these panels are safe, renewable, and fast becoming popular. Here are a few of the most popular solar panels right now: The first type would be the monocrystalline panels. This type is made from a large silicon crystal, and moreover, this variety is considered to be one of the most efficient types of solar panels in harnessing sunlight and then converting it to electricity. However, it can be costlier than most other types. The reason for its efficiency, relative to other panel types, is because it works better in lower light conditions. Polycrystaline panels, on the other hand, are the most common variety of panel right now. Their appearance resembles shattered glass, but they are generally acknowledged to be less efficient than monocrystalline panels, and less costly to buy. Unlike a mono panel that only has one large siilcon crystal, a polycrystaline panel has numerous silicon crystals that are relatively smaller. Another popular variety is the amorphous panel. This type consists of...

Are We Halfway to Market Dominance for Solar?

Solar is now around 1 percent of global electricity generation. But that might mean we’re further along than you’d think. Solar power is on a tear. Cumulative solar photovoltaic electricity production is about to reach 1 percent of total global electricity production, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. In just a decade, solar power has gone from being a fringe technology for greenies to an almost-mainstream source of power, due to its increasing cost-effectiveness in many countries around the world. This is a remarkable evolution and demonstrates well why CitiGroup recently stated that the “age of renewables” is upon us. I’m going to go even further in this article, however, and argue, as I did recently with respect to electric vehicles, that this 1 percent of global solar penetration is far more important than you might think. Only 1 percent, you say? That’s tiny. But that 1 percent is actually halfway to the goal of market dominance when we consider recent growth rates and the likely growth rate in the future. I’ll explain below. Figure 1: Global Solar PV Capacity, Annual and Cumulative Source: IEA Ray Kurzweil, an American inventor and entrepreneur, formulated what he called the ‘law of accelerating returns’ after having studied numerous technology adoption curves. The classic example concerns computing power: Moore’s law holds that computing power will double about every two years while maintaining the same cost. Sixty years after former Intel CEO Gordon Moore made this observation, the law holds true, though we’re actually doubling now about every year. Kurzweil discovered, however, that Moore’s law is just the latest incarnation of a much longer trend, as the figure...

Is Your House Suitable for Solar PV?

Have you ever wondered whether your house roof is suitable for a solar photovoltaic installation? Follow a few rule of thumb points and get a better idea. In domestic situations, the roof is usually the most appropriate location to install solar photovoltaic panels. This is because the roof slope is at a convenient angle and high enough to avoid serious overshadowing problems. Roof Orientation The main feature that will determine your house’s suitability for solar PV is the orientation of the roof slope. Solar PV panels are best installed facing due south, but any orientation on the southern quadrant of the compass can be used, even as far as the south-east or south-west. At these extremes, the electricity generating capacity will be reduced by a small, but acceptable margin. Which Way is South? If you have a copy of the house plans, there will usually be a north point from which you can easily establish south. If you do not have drawings, you will need to locate the direction of south with a compass. Is the Roof Overshadowed? It is important to ensure there are no obstructions that will block the sunlight from reaching the solar panels. Even a small amount of shading can reduce the performance of the whole system, not just that of an individual shaded module. Looking from the same height as your proposed solar installation, and working from east to west, check there are no obstacles such as trees or buildings that can obscure the sun at its lowest winter height. Identify Obstacles You should take into account the future growth of trees and shrubs,...

Energy Efficiency Reduces the Average Energy Cost Per Square Foot in Buildings

In the midst of the current recession, cost cutting continues to be one of the key assignments given to business administrators at companies across the U.K. And, as economists point out, how companies conduct cost cutting can have an impact on the economy. At most companies, the easiest way to cut costs without compromising bottom lines is layoffs, which are also bad for the economy. There is, however, another way for companies to cut costs without chipping away at payroll: implementing energy efficient design. Long promoted by proponents of the green movement, the cost saving value of energy-efficiency is well known. However, most companies practice energy efficiency at a level that doesn’t generate a high energy efficiency rating. Instead of making systematic changes to outdated interior lighting systems and HVAC systems, companies often take smaller measures, such as replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs and turning off unnecessary lighting, which produces an annual utility bill that’s little different than if the measures hadn’t been taken. At some companies, taking small efficiency measures and not paying for energy-efficient retrofits is thought to result in the most money saved, which isn’t true. Although energy efficient retrofits can be expensive, most efficiency projects have a first-year ROI of 50 percent or more, which quickly turns energy savings into pure profit that impacts a company’s bottom line year after year. By implementing energy-efficient retrofits, companies can permanently reduce their annual utility bill by over 50 percent. To determine whether a building could benefit from energy-efficient retrofits, an energy efficiency consultant performs a building wide energy audit, which identifies problem areas and determines a...