Solar to the Rescue – Oceanic Plastic Recovery

A new solution to the Oceanic Plastic Trash Gyres has emerged, and it is made possible by Solar Power!

Solar Robotic Barges are a real and economic solution to the removal of the millions of tons of plastic now floating in massive Plastic Trash Islands.

Wolfgang Flatow has begun an awareness campaign to announce the solution to the World at Oceanic Plastic Recovery.

”  The concept is simple and makes economic sense:

  • Construct a fleet of  Solar Robotic Barges (SRBs).
  • Program SRBs to travel between the Oceanic Plastic Garbage Gyres and nearby ports.
  • SRBs scoop up Plastic Garbage at the Oceanic Plastic Gyre.
  • SRBs unload it at processing stations in ports around the World.
  • SRBs are remotely monitored and controlled via satelite.

Fuel costs and pollution are eliminated and salaries kept to an absolute minimum. “

The problem this solves is described here.


Moore’s Law and the Battery Tipping Point

Moore’s law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. The law is named after Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel Corporation, who described the trend in his 1965 paper.[1][2][3] His prediction has proven to be accurate, in part because the law is now used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development.[4] 


This staggering rate of development is driven by relentless and super funded R&D – it doesn’t “Just Happen”.

If battery technology were to improve at the same rate as computer technology from 1971, the energy density of a Ni-Cad battery of .04 kWh per kilo would today be some new whiz-bang battery capable of storing 400,000 kWh per kilo, recharge instantaneously, be dirt cheap and at the core of every form of electronic device, transport and industry.

So why is it that all we have today is the Lithium Ion Battery with a capacity of 0.17 kWh per kilo with only 4.25 times the capacity of Ni-Cad ?

You may think that battery technology presents some sort of special difficulty, but this is simply not the case.  Fitting a Terra-byte of data onto your fingernail IS a special difficulty.

The Battery problem is virtually identical to that of computers – miniaturisation.  It is well known that capacitors, a form of non-chemical battery that has unlimited recharge cycles and that can be re-charged instantaneously, are able to store electric charge in direct proportion to its ‘plate’ surface area.  Phenomenal surface area can be engineered with miniaturisation, similar to that used in micro-chips.

No, we do not have 400,000 kWh batteries, indeed we do not have energy devices that freely extract their energy from the seething quantum field, because the century old  energy monopoly has ensured that we do not have access to this sort of technology!  It utterly threatens their monopoly.

Yet, given Moore’s Law has held true for computing power, it seems reasonable that it should do the same for energy technology – in particular battery storage. Its is simply applying the same staggering rate of development funding and R&D as computer technology – and preventing it from being wiped out again…

In light of this, let’s follow the fortunes of some current battery developments, such as:

   The Texas UltraCapacitor

   The Titanium Dioxide Lithium Ion Battery

These are some harbingers of the real potentials latent in Battery Technology R&D.

The most dramatic and disruptive energy tipping point is battery technology.  A major game changer in this sphere will transform our World very quickly.

Using the UtraCapacitor, Electric Cars will have a range of 800+ km and recharge in minutes – as fast as filling up with petrol – and the batteries will outlast the car.  However, I predict much greater performance in the near future.

Combine this with Solar/Wind etc storage and all solar system owners can recharge electric cars – their own and passing traffic.

People can install extra solar and have a way of storing it and selling to transport instead of being stuck with grid feed in.

Of course, this is one of a long line of extraordinary energy developments that have in the past been mercilessly stomped out by the energy monopoly.  It is evident that the monopoly is resisting this tipping point with all resources at its disposal, which includes the manipulation of most Governments around the World.

Our Governments must be returned to service to its people, not the elite, not the energy monopoly.  All the solutions to the Worlds energy, monetary, food, health and pollution problems have already been discovered.  It is the will of the people that must assert itself and insist on the implementation of these solutions by its Governments and Industries.

How long will we accept the rule of the energy monopoly?

When will we insist that Moore’s Law is applied to solve all of our Worlds pressing problems?




Solar Tipping Point

18 hours of Sunshine on Australia is equivalent to our total World Wide Energy consumption for one year! We have seen a great expansion in our use of this Sunshine – surely Australia’s greatest asset. It is a great step toward our National Energy independence.

Being a free source of Energy accessible to all, Solar Energy naturally competes with all other forms of energy, especially the electric grid infrastructure. The rapid advances in Solar Technology coupled with plummeting cost have put Solar Energy on a collision course with Electricity Companies.

The Electricity Companies and their wealthy owners have tremendous political lobbying power, which is currently in full swing against Solar. Their campaign is attempting to vilify Solar and place the blame of high power costs on Solar. This is pure boncus and political spin. It is however understandable – they are desperate…

We are at a threshold, a tipping point, in the way Energy is generated and distributed. Solar System Owners have become a vital and significant part of our National Energy Infrastructure and have made a tremendous contribution to its stability and independence. They deserve acknowledgement and respect for their contribution.

They are now also a strong voting force.

The Hybrid Sunshine Team respectfully requests that Government Ministers involved, and their colleagues, take the opportunity of the imminent review of the Renewable Energy Target to acknowledge existing Solar System Owners AND to ensure that the remaining Australians have an equal opportunity to contribute and invest in our Solar Future.

This turning point requires great courage in the face of the century old Fossil Energy Monopoly.

This is our great opportunity to build a 100% renewable energy economy.

Vote for a strong Renewable Energy Target!

(This message has been posted to Ministers Facebook Pages)

Solar Citizens

Well done Solar Citizens

An unprecedented campaign by Solar Citizens has led to reports that Federal Cabinet has rejected the Warburton review of the Target.

This comes 2 weeks after the Solar Citizen Campaign.

It is too early to chalk this one up.  Canberra is under pressure to drop the RET by vested interests.  

Nonetheless, I am awed by the passion and support shown by Australians for Solar and Renewable Energy.  This is a great day for Solar.

Let’s ensure Solar System Owners are treated fairly, that all Australian Residents have an equal opportunity to invest in Solar and share in its benefits.

After all, we have become a vital part of our energy infrastructure.  Our investments benefit the whole nation.

We have also become a strong voting force.

Congratulations to all involved!

We are being forced into Grid Defection.

Forced into Grid Defection

AGL has just increased its daily electricity supply (connection) charge by 66.1%


What ???

The supply charge is something you cannot counter by frugal use of electricity or installing Solar, it is a fixed charge. 

At the same time the cost per kWh has risen by (just?) 4.8%.

What justifies this astronomical 66.1% increase in Supply Charges?  AGL responded to my questions with “the increases have been approved by the ACCC”.

Should this trend continue, we will soon be paying more for being connected to the Grid then the power we use. 

This has significant and ominous implications for existing and prospective Grid Connected Solar System owners and the long term recovery of their solar investment.

The trend will force owners to consider off-grid strategies, escalating the growing trend of “Grid Defection”, where owners install Hybrid Solar, Wind & Battery systems and disconnect the Grid.

While some say this is some years off, it appears power companies are making moves NOW that force the issue.

Let’s put a 66.1% per year supply charge rise into perspective.  If repeated until 2020:

Year Daily Yearly
2013 $0.55 $201.59
2014 $0.92 $334.64
2015 $1.52 $555.51
2016 $2.53 $922.15
2017 $4.19 $1,530.76
2018 $6.96 $2,541.07
2019 $11.56 $4,218.17
2020 $19.18 $7,002.17

These are very important matters affecting our Energy Future.

We are holding Clean Energy Seminars bringing you solar & hybrid information, options and strategies.


World Circumnavigation by Solar Powered Plane – first flights


Solar Impulse Takes to the air.


With each of their great “firsts”, the adventurers of the last century constantly pushed back the limits of the impossible. Today, the drive to make new discoveries must go on, with the aim of improving the quality of life on our planet.

By writing the next pages in aviation history with solar energy, and voyaging around the world without fuel or pollution, Solar Impulse’s ambition is for the world of exploration and innovation to contribute to the cause of renewable energies, to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies for sustainable development; and to place dreams and emotions back at the heart of scientific adventure. 

By going beyond the question of energy, Solar Impulse would also like to encourage each and every one of us to become pioneers in our own lives, in our ways of thinking and behaving. 

Sunship 1 Designed and build by. Wolfgang Flatow

World Circumnavigation by Solar Powered Ship


Planet Solar in Brisbane, half way around the World on the World Circumnavigation.

Planet Solar in Brisbane


The initial objective of the PlanetSolar adventure was to demonstrate, through the success of the first world tour completed using exclusively solar energy, that today, we have the resources, the knowledge and technologies required to reduce our dependence on fossil energy.

From the conceptualisation of the project, the principal investor and owner of the boat Immo Stoeher wanted, after completing her world tour, to give the vessel a second “useful” life.

Since the success of the world tour, PlanetSolar has put this vision into practice and now operates the solar vessel for practical purposes. As both a communication, scientific or even educational platform, the vessel is now moving beyond her role as mobile ambassador for photovoltaic energy and is becoming a multifunctional tool just like the “Swiss army knife”!



Wolfgang Flatow and Raphael Domjan.