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A Case for the Migratory Power Plant

 2018-12-11 By: Elroy Yao

Renewable energy has always faced the issue of supply and stability. Especially for solar and wind, it is impossible to secure a steady and strong enough supply of both energy sources at all times. In addition, as the number of people and energy requirements also increase significantly, power plants will have to increase in output or numbers. While increasing the output will require a more efficient & effective energy conversion methods & technologies, increasing the number of power plants will require a large amount of land that might be utilized differently or might not be available due to terrain constraints.


With these issues in mind, is it possible to create a smart power generation facility that is mobile, renewable, and most importantly, productive? Mobility might be the solution to the lack of supply and its stability. In fact, one of the reasons living organisms move is to find more resources. By copying the basic instincts of living organisms, it should be possible to increase the productivity of power plants. While limiting the green energy sources to wind and solar, it should be possible to build mobile power generators on land or water surface.


Energy on the Road


Consider all the vehicles running today on the roads; the cars, trucks, buses, trains, etc. Installing photovoltaic cells to these vehicles might not be the obvious solution to addressing the emission gasses issue from conventional vehicles; but it will definitely be beneficial to hybrids or electric vehicles. Not only will it be an environmentally friendly solution, it can also be an economic one.


Solar powered cars might still be far from reality, but it is very possible to use the solar cells to prolong its battery life; especially if there are more solar cells installed to it. Currently available solar powered vehicle include solar powered golf carts which are not street legal in many jurisdictions. In addition, many manufacturers or prototype makers only put solar cells on the roof of the cars, but this might be circumvented by one of the solutions offered by InnoVEX exhibitor Flexwave who offers transparent solar cells. This means it is possible to install solar cells on the automobile windshield or windows.


Power on the Float


This suggestion is inspired by one of the exhibitors of InnoVEX 2018, Akubic. In an interview conducted in InnoVEX 2018, Akubic introduced their water sensing solution; a self-propelled floating platform powered by solar and wind, with its own cloud & AI solutions. This technology opens multiple possibilities on green energy generation; such as a combination of more than one sources or even a multi-function mobile generator.


Single source green energy power plants might not be able fulfill the energy demands of the customers they are to serve, but what if the power plants harvest energy from multiple sources? For example, a combination of solar, wind, and water all in one mobile platform might be able to provide more energy. Of course, the idea of a mobile energy generator platform should not be taken as continuously mobile, but rather moving as necessary for a continuous power generation.


Mobile power generation platforms also offer more possibilities than conventional ideas. In recent years, floating farms have been suggested as a solution to mitigate global hunger; especially as the available land for agriculture continues to shrink. This will be very beneficial for areas with low landmass, but plenty of freshwater lakes and rivers; essentially creating a platform that feeds and electrifies.


Conclusion


Many technologies follow biology and nature to achieve their tasks and purposes. In terms of green energy, the issue of supply and stability are quite similar to a living organism’s food supply. Perhaps to solve the classic, yet persistent issue plaguing the green energy generation technologies, innovators can take inspiration from what living organisms do when food supplies deplete: move. Many experts agree that the global population will continue to grow and with it comes more scarcity: of land, energy, and resources among other things. As the resources decrease, while the demand for them increases; an ingenious solution is not an added value. It is a necessity. Of course, the solution listed is not the end all, be all; nor is it proven, but a radical idea is essential to appropriately address the issues and solve them.


See More Green Tech in InnoVEX 2019


Green tech is increasingly becoming a popular industry and also one of the main topics of InnoVEX 2019. Relating to this growing trend, InnoVEX will have a dedicated theme pavilion on green tech & its applications. Startups interested in joining can register here.


In addition, InnoVEX will host a saloon networking event on December 19 focusing on green energy. Register here to join the saloon.

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