Yes, it is interesting. I didn't mean to sound bolshy!
My Spanish is not really up to posting comments on Sekano's website, but I guess Caesar could do it. He's very knowledgeable about wind generators as he did a project on renewable energy. We once spent about an hour parked beside two massive low-loaders, one of which was carrying part of the tower of a "mill" whilst the other carried one of the blades. That blade was so big that at first I mistook it for part of a racing yacht's hull! Caesar examined both items enthusiastically from head to toe and I even had to photograph the wiring diagram for him!
I'm not at all sure that a high pitched noise would really work, but I do believe that there must be something - lights, sounds, smells, vibrations in the air... or something else - which would persuade the birds that flying near these things is a bad idea.
I agree that vast acres of solar panels are not exactly pretty - but, again, I'd rather see acres of solar panels, and know that they're doing the planet some indirect good, than see empty, unspoilt acres and know that there are poisonous gases lurking invisibly in the air above.
As you probably know, there are people who insist that the manufacture of solar panels uses more power than they will ever generate. I doubt if it's true; if it were true then surely the electricity boards in Spain wouldn't use them, as they would cost more money to purchase than they ever made? Either way, my Alternative Energy Expert tells me that someone in New Zealand has now come up with something far cheaper and much more efficient : a means of producing electricity from chlorophyll ! Neat ! And to think that the plants have been doing it all along !Solar cell technology developed by Massey University’s Nanomaterials Research Centre will enable New Zealanders to generate electricity from sunlight at a 10th of the cost of current silicon-based photo-electric solar cells... Dr Campbell says that unlike the silicon-based solar cells currently on the market, the 10x10cm green demonstration cells generate enough electricity to run a small fan in low-light conditions – making them ideal for cloudy climates... The Centre’s new director, Professor Ashton Partridge, says they now have the most efficient porphyrin dye in the world and aim to optimise and improve the cell construction and performance before developing the cells commercially... He says the ultimate aim of using nanotechnology to develop a better solar cell is to convert as much sunlight to electricity as possible.“The energy that reaches earth from sunlight in one hour is more than that used by all human activities in one year”.
The solar cells are the product of more than 10 years research funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070405171830.htm
Apparently there's a chap at an American university who is experimenting with spinach powered solar panels. No, this is not a wind-up!:An electronic device that uses spinach to convert light into electrical charge has been developed by US researchers.Shuguang Zhang at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, and research collaborators integrated a protein complex derived from spinach chloroplasts with organic semiconductors to make a solar cell that could be combined with solid state electronics.Chloroplasts are structures in plants cells, packed with chlorophyll - the substance that gives leaves their green colour and allows them to photosynthesise."Nature has been doing this for billions of years," Zhang told New Scientist. "This is the first time we've been able to harness it."
The resulting cells are much thinner and lighter than existing solar panels and could eventually be used to make much more efficient panels, says Zhang.http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6434
There is also another, similar process which uses haemoglobin."Expected cost is a tenth of the price of a silicone based solar panel"
say the chaps in NZ, but, in fact, this stuff doesn't even need to be made into solar panels; it can be mixed into paint or into cloth. It's so thin that it's transparent and so it can even be laid into glass window panes! Green tinted panes or, presumably, red ones, depending on whether you go for chlorophyll or gore. I'm not sure that I'm too keen on that idea, but I'd be very happy to have a green boat with green decks and green sails...“The next step is to take these dyes and incorporate them into roofing materials or wall panels. We have had many expressions of interest from New Zealand companies,” Professor Partridge says.
Perhaps we could have green and red T-shirts which power our mobile phones and lap-tops.
Maybe we could even have blood / spinach coloured cars which are powered by their paint-scheme!
It all sounds much too good to be true, doesn't it?The system is far from perfect, however. The peptides used only keep the protein complex stable for about three weeks and the cells convert only 12% of light to electrical charge. But Zhang says efficiency could be boosted dramatically by layering numerous cells on top of one another, as they will still let some light through.
"This is an interesting piece of basic scientific research," says Devens Gust, at Arizona State University (of Zhang's project). "However, it is a long way from this experimental device to any practical applications."
So, in the meantime we'll just have to keep on with the "windmills" and find ways to keep the birds away.
P.S. For something truly controversial, on the energy source scene, try this: http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn12346-renewable-energy-could-rape-nature.html