Optimizing solar energy projects

(Gordon Hoffman) #1

I know the sunlight gets a little scattered in the heavier atmosphere on the ocean so a field of mirrors might be tough to pull off, but there a many concentrated solar projects that can work. When I thought about tracking the sun throughout the day I wondered about the logistics of having a solar side of the floating island and have the entire island rotate to track the sun. You would have a shady side which might be advantageous also. Could turn back and forth in 24 hours, or rotate around 360 degrees in 24 hours.

(Chris) #2


The site is in German, so you’ll have to translate, but the Gemini house was designed to rotate with the sun.

(Gordon Hoffman) #3

Thanks Chris, I can imagine a floating village easily doing this. Greenhouses too.

(John) #4

It would be easier, less expensive and maintenance intensive to put the seastead in an area where the naturally occurring current kept it oriented in the correct direction, most of the time? Then if you really wanted to have a tracking system it would only have to work on one axis.

(Nick Gencarelle) #5

Yes it would be pretty easy to steer the island into the needed direction, and boats normally anchored head into the direction of the wind. A dome top could make the panels easy to slide on a track to the optimum position.

(Nick Gencarelle) #6

I now have a distributorship agreement for a very effective solar thermal panel combination. It is a hybrid, PV-T panel which generates 400W electrical and 1600W of thermal energy -pretty great for a 4x8 foot panel !

We also are doing a new storage using a phase change solution so that we store tons of energy on sunny days and give it off when needed keeping temperatures nicely controlled. 3 inches of this material in its packets is equal to over 12 inches of concrete mass storage.
With my cork based stucco and plaster we control moisture and help insulate. I have applied the cork render paint to my basalt fabrics and it can be bent back and forth hundreds of times without a crack. Waterproofing and insulating, natural and green. Welcome aboard anyone interested please give me a call.
401-481-8422 Nick



Is there a link to the specs on the solar panels and necessary peripherals, such as output, dimensions, needed coolant flow rates and physical supporting structure? What kind of cost is involved? Granted, optimum angle of incidence will be determined by latitude, but, for anything with plumbing, a relatively fixed position is generally necessary. Joints wear and leak, hoses harden, etc.

(Gordon Hoffman) #8

I had some bad luck in the 80s with eutectic salts used in solar heat storage - corrosion. I’d like to learn more about the very large seawater flow batteries. It could leak, or you could dump it for additional maneuverability if you needed to go elsewhere sort of quickly. I will call you soon.

(Nick Gencarelle) #9

Well to alleviate any concerns about coolant etc. our panel actually is not a solar hot water panel, but a solar thermal hot AIR panel. Now with a 400 W PV on it. We cool the PV panel and the incredibly well insulated black box with internal venting design and a simple fan moves heated air (currently configured for a 75 degree F temp rise at 75 cfm) but we are more in the 90 degree rise with around 100 cfm. So no leaking water or seals. It is a 4’x8’ panel and multiples can be connected together. Also, each panel mitigates one ton CO2e per panel/ year. We are starting with 400-430W PV, 96 cell panels ( 55.5" by 77"), and supplementing with our proprietary thermal technologies previously developed on the air panel to generate the 2kW, combined, per panel. We have the fastest payback and lowest cost carbon mitigation of any renewable technology ever installed. Now in our investigations of using the organic natural phase change materials we can charge the material during sunlight hours and have nighttime use very affordably. Less than $1,600 per panel.

(Nick Gencarelle) #10

These are not salts but organic natural ingredients like coconut that go from liquid to gel and extract heat when turning liquid and give off heat when turning to a more solid gel.

(system) #11

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