This type of parking meter prints out a ticket you put on the dashboard. They are solar-powered and work on ambient light. Thus, no expensive underground cabling needs to be run to power them.
A primary reason for pay and display meters, is that another car can’t use your time if you leave with time remaining on the meter. Also, one machine can service hundreds of parking spaces.
EnviroMission is planning “world’s first large-scale solar thermal power station” which will generate a whopping 200MW. Their website has a useful animation about this type of tower works. It’s quite simple, low maintenance, and totally passive. All that’s needed is sun, a large tower with a turbine in it, and acres of transparent sheeting.
Another type of much more complicated solar towers, have been tested in Barstow. They use mirrors to reflect the sun to heat water, sometimes using “used molten salt, a combination of 60% NaNO3 and 40% KNO3, as an energy storage medium.”
It produces electric power competitively using just solar power. This amazing technology becomes even more cost-efficient the bigger the generating plants get. And that’s the kicker. The plant is simply a tall tube with a horizontal turbine in it. Sun heats the surrounding area, the heat goes up the tube and generates power. Simple, and brilliant.
Solar powered subdivision in Arizona – off the grid!
What is thought to be the nation’s first subdivision powered by solar energy and propane, a community of 487 houses that won’t be connected to the electrical power grid, east of Kingman <Arizona>
GreenWood Ranch Estates will offer modular homes on 5-acre lots. Each will be equipped to generate electricity by harnessing the 320 days of sunlight the area receives annually.
“I would tend to believe this is unique in terms of that number of homes,” said Byron Stafford, solar engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., a part of the U.S. Department of Energy. “There are other subdivisions (in California) where solar is an option, but the homes are not grid-independent.”