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Gamifying Good Humaning
Solar-paneling canals would not only produce renewable energy for use across the state, it would run the water system itself. “By covering canals with solar panels, we can reduce evaporation and avoid disturbing natural and working lands, while providing renewable energy and other co-benefits,” says environmental engineer Brandi McKuin of the University of California, Merced, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, lead author on the paper.
Ironically enough, the performance of solar panels falls as temperatures rise. In a solar cell, photons from the sun knock electrons out of atoms, producing an electric current. When a panel gets too hot, that puts electrons into an already excited state, so they don’t create as much energy when dislodged by photons. Spanning panels over canals would, in a sense, make them water-cooled, boosting their efficiency. “And additionally,” McKuin adds, “shade from the panels mitigates aquatic weed growth, which is a major canal maintenance issue.”
I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers,