Solar panels are all very well, but what Britain really needs is a rain panel. While on sunny days the UK can produce more than 8GW of solar energy, enough to meet almost a quarter of its demands, on dull days during winter output falls below 1GW. Scientists in China claim to have solved this problem with a device that can turn from harvesting the energy in the sun’s rays to capturing the mechanical energy from falling raindrops. They say that the technology could be incorporated into electricity-generating raincoats that power the wearer’s gadgets while they splash through a downpour.
Times 15th March 2018 read more »
Dalston’s Rio Cinema launches £40,000 eco-bid to become the UK’s first solar-powered picturehouse. Bosses at the iconic independent picturehouse in Kingsland High Street have teamed up with campaign group Hackney Energy, and will launch the campaign on Saturday with a stall outside. The cinema’s last fundraiser in 2017 to pay for a second screen smashed its target, with £125,000 donations. It spurred on “all sorts of people” to get in touch, “offering different things,” according to executive director Oliver Meek – including Upper Clapton firm Athena Electrical, which donated some of their disused solar panels. A battery storage system is needed to make them work, and money raised will also pay for scaffolding and labour to install 55 panels on the roof. Solar energy generated during the day will be stored in the batteries to power the cinema’s projector at night. The eco-drive could save about 8,000 tonnes of carbon every year.
Hackney Gazette 14th March 2018 read more »