Sunday 7 October 2018

Building homes as power stations, but in the service of their residents not power companies! by Robin Burn IEng. FIMMM

Power to and from the people

The subject of production of  power in the form of electricity has been discussed on this blog on a previous occasion and the author is pleased to report that the United Kingdom Government has increased the amount of development support, for the future construction of nuclear powered electricity, from already available small pressure water reactors technology.

It has recently come to this authors attention that experimental development of mini power generators closer to home is well under way. (1) 

The same source advises that "new solar power installation in the UK hashalved for the second year running in 2017 with new solar capacity falling to 4.1 GW in 2015 to 0.95 GW in 2017"

The report lists barriers to solar investment, claiming that 'Operation of inflexible centralised power generation technology is often still being strongly over-subsidised,like the UK's Hinkley Point C nuclear plant,while self-consumed solar power is being inappropriately highly taxed.

The mini power generation stations proposed are in fact the homes of the people 

The experimental work,is being carried out by academics and researchers  from Swansea University UK,who have shown that,given the right circumstances,using existing and industry approved construction techniques,along with solar power generation,and lithium ion battery storage systems,can generate more power than can be used. To date an experimental prototype mock up has produced half as much electricity again over consumption.

The progress of technology,being applied to the production of more efficient solar power collectors, both in cost and conversion efficiency,makes for a more sensible means of the generation of electrical power.
Usage of energy is at the source of production,eliminates the need for inefficient,transmission systems vastly increases carbon reductions and decreases the use of non renewable fuels and is not  subjected to power outages of any form.

As such technology is incorporated into house building practise, costs will reduce with the increased usage of new technology. Thisidea has been suggested for the Neath Port Talbot area of the Swansea Bay City Deal

Artist's impression of the new homes

A transfer of government subsidies to reduce house building costs incorporating "in house" power generation,rather than build new power stations,will, by default, give rise to much needed house building programmes.

New research is being carried out to improve solar power to electrical power conversion rates reducing manufacturing costs,by printing of  solar cells onto plastic film,and the use of new material for solar cells.
Improved energy conservation by better insulation as well as improving power storage techniques systems make for more energy efficient . Up to now green energy has been exploited by various subsidy grabbers and financiers, often to the detriment of those whose homes can produce power.

Time now to give real "Power to the people !"

  1. Source;Materials World, Volume 26, Number 8


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