The writer of the Jan. 3 letter “Incentives for less energy” exhibited several misunderstandings about how solar collectors work.
First: Heat sinks. Solar collectors are not a significant collector of heat and do not raise local temperature. In Germany they install them over parking lots to provide cool shade. For real heat sink activity we want roads, parking lots, dark roofs, of which we have plenty.
Second: scorched birds. That is not the photovoltaic installations that we see all over the place. The writer was confusing solar panels with large, industrial installations of parabolic mirrors that beam collected light at towers to boil water. The concentrated beams heat the air they pass through and can kill birds. There are a few of those installations out west, not here in North Carolina.
Third: Birds hitting the blades of windmills is a problem, though not as much of a problem as leaving lights on at night in tall buildings. A new windmill design that encloses helical blades in a turbine inside a tube addresses that issue and conceivably will be the wind installation of the future.
Never miss a local story.
Must read past headlines. Must research rumors.