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Hoosier pitches solar-power solution

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If the father of alternating current, Nikola Tesla, were still around, he might well give Jason Oliver a high-five.

Oliver, of Arcadia, has developed a novel way to generate alternating current from solar panels. It’s notable because photovoltaic panels produce direct current, which has to be converted to AC before running a household appliance or sent into the power grid.
 

OTB Tech Rectangular solar panels might be history if Arcadia inventor Jason Oliver’s round, “spinning disc” panels fly.

Conversion adds cost to solar power and results in energy loss.

Oliver’s patent-pending AC solar process is simple. He arrayed solar cells in a circular pattern. Above them is a spinning disc with slots that alternatively allow light to shine on the panels to produce an AC waveform.

Oliver is a candidate in General Electric’s Ecoimagination Challenge, which funds promising technologies. Public voting on ideas runs until Sept. 30 (http://challenge.ecoimagination.com).

“Just imagine the power if everyone had an AC solar generator on their home or business. The power savings during peak daylight hours would be enormous,” said Oliver, a master mechanic with a background as an electrician. He’s also a disciple of Tesla, who died in the 1940s.

Tesla, a former apprentice to Thomas Edison, proved AC to be superior over Edison’s DC format for power grids, in what may be Edison’s biggest failure.

More on Oliver’s device: www.acsolargenerator.com.

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  1. Why should citizens rates increase forever to basically reduce Dukes cost to operate in the future? They will have no meter readers, no connect/disconnect personnel and will need fewer lineman to handle the same number of customers. Add to that the ability to replace customer service by giving detailed information electronically. Why do we have to subsidize the cost cutting measures of a Public Utility?

  2. In response to Sassafras, I have to ask if you relocated directly from Bloomington to Carmel? First, as you point out, Carmel is 48 square miles. Do you think it’s possible that some areas are more densely developed than others? That might explain traffic density in some places while others are pretty free moving. Second, your comment “have you ever been to Chicago--or just about any city outside of Indiana?” belies your bias. I don’t know, Sassafras, have you never been to Nashville, Columbus, OH, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix? They’re not a lot different in density than Indy. One more thing…I understand these comment sections are for expressing opinions, so those of us just looking for facts have to be patient, but you mention “low-density” Indy. How many cities in the US comprise 400 square miles with about 10% of that still being agricultural? Those facts certainly can impact the statistics.

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  4. I thought that had to be the way it was but had to ask because I wasn't sure. Thanks Again!

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