Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Overexposed to the Sun

I first read about it yesterday in the B'More blog in The Sun and then the same story was later picked up by Explore Howard. This morning, in The Washington Post, Lori Aratani covered the story and on my way into work Elliott Francis on WAMU did a piece on it as well. Whoever handles public relations for ATR should get a gold medal.

ATR is the Columbia based company that developed a device that incorporates GPS technology with solar panels allowing the panels to track the sun thereby maximizing their ability to generate electricity. The first loco application of this is an electric vehicle charge station in the parking lot of the Wildwood Medical Building in Bethesda, over in MoCo.

In a recent post about residential solar installations I referenced an article in Wired Magazine where Bill Gates categorized solar power as “cute.” He posited that the benefits received from solar applications don’t necessarily justify the expense.

That certainly seems to be the case with these solar charging stations. According to The Sun blog post by Tim Wheeler, it was “developed through a $1.1. million clean-energy development grant, administered through the Maryland Energy Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy, using federal stimulus funds.”

Cute, but hardly sustainable.
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