My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alternative Energy and Solar Power - Transformers

Monday, September 13, 2010

Alternative Energy and Solar Power - Transformers

Oft did I wonder why the setting Sun
Should look upon us with a blushing face:
Is’t not for shame of what he hath seen done,
Whilst in our hemisphere he ran his race?

Lyman Heath, On the Setting Sun

Fashion Night Out (FNO) is going to be another success, ode and tribute in toast to Novia McDonald Whyte and The Jamaica Observer. I, John Public, like both the new date, Friday September 10th 2010 as well as the fact that simultaneously, we are being mentioned around the world in the same breath as New York (shout out to the Big A), Paris, London and other International locale in sync with this Vogue Magazine initiative.

The Jamaica Observer has finally linked us to as stated in the article “Observer secures Vogue endorsement for Fashion's Night Out”, published Sunday August 15th 2010 by The Jamaica Observer.

What can I say, as of the time of writing this article on Friday September 10th 2010, the only words I can use to describe the scenes island wide: Absolutely fabulous. But wouldn’t it be more fabulous if solar power were integrated into the current crop of motor vehicles coming out of Detroit?

John Public surmises that it is very possible, oweing to the fact that by the Summer of 2011, All-Electric Vehicles will be trending heavily with Americans in a show of support for President Barack Obama’s Economic Stimulus package to get the American Economy moving as opined in the article “The Electric car might be the perfect Second ride”, published  August 3rd, 2010, 4:35PM EST By Ed Wallace, WALLACE'S WORLD, BusinessWeek. Cheers…..

From major Infrastructural Work as stated in the article “Barack Obama announces $50bn infrastructure plan”, published 6 September 2010 18:15 GMT , BBC World News, tax breaks for businesses that employ Americans exclusively as well as to please Republicans planning a takeover of Congress as stated in the article “Obama to introduce another business tax cut”, published Saturday August 7 2010 By Ed Henry, CNN Senior White House Correspondent, CNN News.

Most relevant to my dissertation, emission and MPG (Mile Per Gallon) regulations that punish Automakers for making cars that have lower than expected emissions and mileage standards and give rewards in the form of subsidies to Consumers and Automakers to encourage the adoption of All-Electric Vehicles this coming summer of 2010 as intoned by the article  Will 'fun-factor' or mandates drive electric car sales?”, published March 6, 2010 1:56 PM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

The United States of America is going Green to wean itself off a dependence on Foreign Imported Oil, as is the Jamaican Economy with its adoption of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) as stated in the article “Government eyes LNG cure for energy problems”, published Wednesday June 16 2010 by Laura Redpath, Senior Staff Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

John Public, a Jamaican, can tell the future: next year in 2011, it won’t be Apple iPhones that will be all the rage, but All-Electric Vehicles. I can see Brian Coley, Executive Editor of CNET and Car Tech host groan as these “progressive” eclectic electrics get Americans plugged into saving their Economy. John Public goes for a test drive in a Chevy Volt……….

The trending towards All-Electric Vehicles is not just about Government of the United States of America policy to get Americans jobs in the Silicon Valley and Manufacturing Industry that have traditionally gone to the People’s Republic of China as stated in the article “Obama: Clean energy's Venture Capitalist-in-Chief”, published August 5, 2010, 5:00PM EST By Mike Dorning, POLITICS & POLICY, BusinessWeek.

Neither is it about a return to manufacturing, putting pride in the statement “Made in the USA” and putting  money back in peoples’ hands and innovation on their minds thereby solving the problem of Research and Innovation for Export to the People’s Republic of China as stated in the article “The Other U.S. Energy Crisis: Lack of R&D”, published June 17, 2010, 12:01AM EST by Peter Coy, POLITICS & POLICY, BusinessWeek and in the prior article “America's Green innovation Problem”, published May 3, 2010, 4:41PM EST By Rob Atkinson and Devon Swezey, BusinessWeek - VIEWPOINT.

It is really a reflection of the power of the Media and how the President of the United States of America has used it. The Obama Administration has tapped into a deep seated dislike for the Oil Industry that exploded on Tuesday April 20th 2010, the day the Deep Horizon Oil Rig of the Coast of Louisiana blew its top and he has played his cards well ever since like a true Maverick (1994).

Even down to battle with Big Oil-swilling Judge as stated in the article “Judge blocks Gulf offshore drilling moratorium”, published Tuesday June 22, 2010 By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer, Yahoo! News who had blocked Barack Obama initial declaration to end Big Oil’s hold on the American Economy as stated in the article “Obama: End dependence on fossil fuels”, published Wednesday June 2010, By JULIE PACE, Associated Press Writer, Yahoo! News.

The environmental arguments are flimsy, as people care more about cost than performance, especially as Consumer perception about All-Electric Vehicles centered on performance and cost issues, as John Public surmises and not necessarily buying an All-Electric Car for its “gadgetry goodness”.

Especially as a car is a rather large purchase in a Recession battered Economy as intoned by the article  Will 'fun-factor' or mandates drive electric car sales?”, published March 6, 2010 1:56 PM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech and stated in the article “Survey: Consumers intrigued by electric cars”, published March 19, 2010 8:53 AM PDT, by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Prices on par with regular vehicles would them as common as washing machines or cell phones as hopefully opined in the article “Will electric cars spread like cell phones or washing machines?”, published May 14, 2010 11:49 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Deloitte Consulting indicated an adoption of All-Electric Vehicles in the United States of America of 2% to 5.6% by 2020, numbering between 285,000 and 840,000 units. Using the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S, both All-Electric Vehicles another analyst Credit Suisse estimates 335,000 All-Electric cars by 2020 while Citi forecasts more than 1 million (1,000,000) and the Traffic Safety Administration says 750,000. 

Deloitte consultant Rebecca Ranish puts in perspective, comparing the adoption of All-Electric Vehicles to washing machines and dryers, which were luxury items until as she put it, “The telephone, the radio, the refrigerator were all reliant on infrastructure to support adoption and in some cases may have been slowed by infrastructure. Electric vehicles will have a similar series of challenges”.

And like the Apple iPhone, consultant Robert Hill is quoted as saying that “There are plenty of early adopters, but the real question is about the early majority. That segment is big enough to start a mass adoption curve, indicative of a typical market driven by early-adopters, much like smart phones were back in early 2007.”

The installation of the first Industry standardized Electric Charging Station by Coulomb Electric in the Big Apple otherwise known as NYC (New York City) with plans to install 4,600 such chargers in Austin, Texas, Detroit; Los Angeles, New York; Orlando, Florida, Sacramento, California, the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Redmond, Washington and Washington, D.C as stated in the article “First public EV charging station opens in NYC”, published July 15, 2010 1:47 PM PDT by Liane Yvkoff, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

Possibly these charging stations are locatable using an App installed such as on the Apple iPhone, Google Android or Blackberry smart phones as stated in the article “Network Web-Savvy EV-charging stations on tap”, published June 2, 2010 7:57 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech is a sign.

Certainly didn’t hurt when Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America slid behind the wheel of a Chevy Volt as stated in the article “Obama slips behind the wheel of a Chevy Volt”, published July 16, 2010 12:52 PM PDT by Suzanne Ashe, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

But another trend, as yet indicated by any of the bloggers whose articles I have cobbled together in my dissertation, is the coming integration of solar power into regular Otto Cycle vehicles with an aim to take over the functions of powering such things as the radio, air conditioning and the car electronics rig i.e. in Dash navigation and trickle charging the batteries to boot.

Solar Power technology baked into electronic goodies inclusive of car electronics is not a new idea, as Apple has been toying with the idea of integrating solar technology into its lineup of electronic gadgets as hinted in its past Patent Office filings as stated in the article “Apple eyes gadgets with built in Solar panels”, published January 22, 2010 7:46 AM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech. This is further asserted in the article “Apple patent bid combines Solar with touch screen”, published June 7, 2010 6:31 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Thus in retrofitting cars with solar panels, it may be as simple as integrating them into the roof of vehicles using flexible solar panels as stated in the article “SoloPower trumpets certification for flexible solar modules”, published September 7, 2010 8:30 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News or even just spraying them on into the nearly five thousand (5,000) coats that a typical car gets when being spray painted.

This is based on a recent development by Solexant, a company that pioneers sprayable solar panels based on nano-particle technology as suggested in the article “Solexant funded to print thin-film solar cells”, published June 4, 2010 8:50 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Even the windows and their tint can be made into solar panels, courtesy of this sprayable solar panel nanotechnology breakthrough by Solexant as stated in the article “Spray-on films turns glass into Solar panels”, published August 19, 2010 1:09 PM PDT by Juniper Foo, CNET News - Crave.

The Alternator to charge car batteries may be completely eliminated and made obsolete from motor vehicle design if Solexant’s and SoloPower’s Technology can be licensed to automobile manufacturers, a simple design change achievable before the Summer of 2011 and easily adaptable to any motor vehicle, resulting in a dramatic increase in the mileage of most motor vehicles, as a huge of the load is taken off the power train by its separation from the car’s internal electronics.

In summary, something I rarely do, I, John Public, predict that before the gadget madness begins in the Summer of 2011 from All-Electric Vehicles, Automakers, in a bid to appear “progressive”, may in short order begin integrating solar panels and other technology into cars, thus for the first time in Automobile Design history: separating a car’s Electrical System from its Engine System, lowering their MPG ratings and thus complying with both emissions standards as well as Federal and States regulations on mileage and emissions

Possibly they may garner Federal tax breaks and put a few hundred thousand American Autoworkers to the clock, retrofitting cars with ergonomically aesthetic solar panel installations.

That is a few hundred Americans at work, in exchange for Federal Tax Breaks. This is not mentioning the millions that will be employed to retrofit vehicles to use flex Fuel engines on the proviso for Tax breaks from the Federal Government to Automobile companies.

Americans, transform!! Auto Bots, roll out!!

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