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World’s Largest Solar Bridge on The River Thames in London

 
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Dr. N. Subramanian
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Location: Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:19 am    Post subject: World’s Largest Solar Bridge on The River Thames in London Reply with quote

World’s Largest Solar Bridge Crosses The River Thames in London
by Allison Leahy, 10/07/11


London's largest solar roof is now under construction -- and it's set on a bridge! The massive 6,000 square meter array photovoltaic array is currently being installed by Solarcentury on the Victorian-era Blackfriars Bridge in London. The project is on track to become the world's largest solar bridge - when completed, Blackfriar's roof will hold 4,400 individual photovoltaic panels and produce around 900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year.

Over 100 bridges, 20 tunnels, and six public ferries cross the River Thames, but only Blackfriars will shine in photovoltaic glory. Solarcentury is working in conjunction with other public transportation and facility upgrades to reduce pollution and congestion, improve the passenger environment, and act as a catalyst for regenerating some of London’s more deprived areas. Lengthening the station’s deck will require 14,000 tons of new materials. In an effort to keep environmental impact to a minimum, hefty loads will be transported by barge instead of via London’s crowded roads.

Originally built in 1884, Blackfriars station is overdue for the retrofit, which will bring this steam-era railway into the 21st century and give travelers direct access to key local attractions including the Globe Theater and the Tate Modern. The station’s redevelopment is part of Network Rail’s £5.5 billion Thameslink program, which aims to improve the interchange between the national rail and the London Underground. Once the upgrade is complete, as many as 24 trains will be able to run the tracks every hour, nearly doubling the station’s capacity. Upping the amount of north-south traffic along the Thames will be a good thing when the 2012 Olympics come to town.

“Station buildings and bridges are fixed parts of our urban landscape,” said Derry Newman, Chief Executive of Solarcentury in a statement, “it is great to see that this one will be generating renewable energy every day into the future. For people to see that solar power is working is a vital step towards a clean energy future.”

Brisbane may have a solar-powered footbridge and there are plenty of other green bridges out there, but Blackfriars Bridge is set to hold the record for the longest — at least for now.

Read more: http://inhabitat.com/worlds-largest-solar-bridge-crosses-the-river-thames/worlds-largest-solar-bridge-crosses-the-river-thames-2/?extend=1
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abhio
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Joined: 08 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Dr N S Sir,


900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year = only 102.7 kW power!
Is it really worth paying such a huge premium and covering such a large area to give the power equivalent of one DG set?

No easy answers to environmental questions, I'm afraid.

Regards,

_________________
A S Oundhakar,
Principal Engineer,
Invictus Consultancy Services,
Mumbai
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anshugoel
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

abhio wrote:
Dear Dr N S Sir,


900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year = only 102.7 kW power!
Is it really worth paying such a huge premium and covering such a large area to give the power equivalent of one DG set?

No easy answers to environmental questions, I'm afraid.

Regards,


Per unit cost of electricity (each unit is 1 kWh) in US ranges from 6.5 c to 8.5 c.
(This is only cost of electricity - distribution charges are extra - ranging from 20 % to 40 %)


In India cost estimate is about Rs 5/ to Rs 8.5/ (please correct for local variation).
(In India it may include distribution charge also)

900,000 kWH implies just 58,500.00 to 76500.00 USD worth of electricity is generated every year.

Installation Cost is not given anywhere - But it should payoff in about 10 - 15 years. That may not be so bad.
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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Er Abhio,

Note that there is an initial expenditure, the energy is free for ever and no CO2 emissions, no power cut, and require min. maintenance.

In India we have so much sun shine and we are not using it properly, though i believe there is Govt. subsidy for Solar power. Each house should be powered by Solar energy and we should dump Nuclear energy (which is very dangerous and even now no solution exist to safely discard the spent fuel) and the dirty Coal based energy (which produces lot of CO2 as well as flyash, which is harmful- we are using only less than 10% of flyash in Concrete in India)

Take care
Regards
NS
abhio wrote:
Dear Dr N S Sir,


900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year = only 102.7 kW power!
Is it really worth paying such a huge premium and covering such a large area to give the power equivalent of one DG set?

No easy answers to environmental questions, I'm afraid.

Regards,
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abhio
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Dr N S Sir,

Unfortunately, the energy is not free forever. The life of photovoltaic cells has not been well established, but is usually less than 20 years. In fact, I have read that the energy output of a photovoltaic cell over its entire life is less than the amount of energy required to manufacture it! That is not to say that we should not look at solar energy at all, but a drastic increase in the efficiency and life of solar cells is required before it can become a viable option.

Subsidies for the use of solar energy are also not the best solution as they tend to subsidise efficient manufacturing processes rather than research into improving the performance of solar cells as a class.

Sorry for the pessimistic view, but there just don't seem to be any easy answers.

Regards,
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admin
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Friends,

I see a healthy and informed debate here. The value we associate to environment is not well defined and assumes different levels in different strata of life.

For example in our country where large population is hand to mouth, there is less value associated to clean air or clean water, than the current immediate needs of survival eg. to food and shelter.

For developed countries where people do not have survival issues, the value associated to environment aspects is large than other cases. So social spending and affordability and sustainability of greener energy initiatives vary from country to country based on economic status.

How ever , environmental issues are not the ones which we can say "This your issue" and that is "Mine issue". You can not draw lines in the air or water. If it gets dirty it gets dirty for all ultimately over the time irrespective of economic status of people across the globe.

Hence combined efforts of all countries should address to issues of environment as the "mother earth" is common to all. The answers like Abhio said are truly difficult and answers should vary from place to place. Something that may be wonderful in UK may not be even feasible in another country, not specifically India.


There should be a logical share of responsibilities for various countries. A global monitoring body should be there which will watch the implementation of environmental standards. Share of responsibility should be higher with richer countries and lower with poorer countries with measurable ways are there like Carbon Foot print / Emissions measured from a country , contribution to global warming or green house gases, should be used to fix responsibilities keeping in mind economical issues. Its  been an issue of debate and often richer countries have not done enough to the proportion of their share in pollution.

A relevant link is here.

A informative read "Climate pacts should be flexible"
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/article2526154.ece
http://www.globalclimateagreement.org/
http://climaterealityproject.org


Air and water symbolizes life, the value of life is same for all, its a common ground we all walk on, we have to protect it in order to continue playing the game of life. Experimentation, measures , small or big, expensive or inexpensive must be taken, in order we prevent the environment, all kind of expenditures are justified, given that we fix the responsibility in correct and justifiable manner. Don't we use oxygen cylinders to breath when we have lack of clean air or difficulty to breath, and yes that comes at much higher cost than the freely available air , we still do, because we value life. The day we start giving environment similar value that associated  with food and shelter , we will find it easy to take the overhead of protecting environment. Everything in life needs maintenance, from roads to railway lines to phone lines to computers.. Why not we maintain earth, air and water? The cost incurred in medications of ailments caused by breathing bad air and drinking dirty water and the cost of lost lives caused by pollution should be thought of when implementing an environment protection plan.

Just some quick personal views.

Best Regards

Sanjeev
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