Solar Log 001

“Hey there. This is Max Remington, pilot of the interstellar cruiser, Tranquility… Or, well, I was, anyway. Looks like I’ve had a bit of a space accident and now I’m the proud squatter of an uncharted planet I’ve decided to name Solaris.”

“I always said I wanted a place with a view, but this isn’t exactly what I had in mind. My ship, once a majestic silver eagle soaring through the cosmos, is now little more than a crumpled aluminium can, a grotesque artwork against the alien landscape. Its wreckage is a stark contrast to this bright, sunny world. It’s like I’ve crash-landed onto a sunbather’s dream, sunlight 24/7. If I had my old Hawaiian shirt and a pair of sunglasses, it’d almost be like a vacation.”

“But I can’t afford to relax. The planet, though bright, is silent. It’s serene, but it’s a serenity of the grave. It doesn’t quite feel… right. Still, one thing’s for sure, I won’t be suffering from vitamin D deficiency.”

“And this sun, it’s not your regular old G-type main-sequence star. I’m an astronaut, not an astrophysicist, but the energy it’s pumping out is ridiculous. I’ve dealt with power shortages on ships before, rationing what little juice we had left for life support and essentials. But here, well, I’ve got power all around me. It’s like having access to my own personal commercial 30kW solar system.”

“I’ve been trained to survive in hostile environments, to thrive under pressure, but this, this is different. I’ve got no communication with the base, no immediate rescue coming. It’s just me, my ship, and a planet that’s apparently taken ‘sunshine state’ a little too literally.”

“My immediate priority is to get a power system up and running. There’s no guarantee that a rescue team will find me in time. But the sun here… it’s a goldmine of solar power. Using the ship’s damaged solar arrays, I could potentially mimic a commercial 50kW solar system installation. I mean, the panels are military-grade, but principles remain the same, right? It’s not like I’ve got a whole lot of other options.”

“So, here’s to the prospect of being the first man to tame an alien sun. Max Remington, signing out.”

The Energy of the Future

commercial solarWhat keeps me awake at night? Coal, probably. We just keep digging it up and burning it, and it’s doing all kinds of terrible nonsense.

The project that our science teacher gave us was something we’re worried about regarding the future…and something that gives us hope. So mine is pretty easy: coal, and solar energy. Not a fan of the first one, but I’m ALL about the second. Commercial solar in Melbourne has been gaining ground for years now, but only recently have people really turned it into an industry. Maybe they have the same feelings as me when it comes to burning all that coal? Doesn’t matter. When I see how many people are starting to rely on solar and wind power, it makes me feel a bit better about growing up here. Like, in this time period.

Man, it sucks being a teenager in 2017. The older people have basically destroyed the ozone layer, carbon levels are at an all-time high, sea levels are rising and then the polar ice caps might be melting. Jury’s out on this one.

Feels like I’ve taken over a shift at a hospital where in the last five minutes ten people have been sick, some guy is running around with a scalpel and the power has gone out. It’s like…thanks, older generation! I’ll just clean all this mess up, no need to thank me! It’s not like it’s all your fault we’re all in the mess in the first place because of your mistakes. 

We’ve got the tools to do it, though. My research has shown me that much, and it looks like solar power is going to be the next big thing. And then you’ve got stuff like the Tesla powerwall, which might just be the thing that solves the whole coal problem. Maybe. Research pending, but at least there’s actually something to research. Other than ‘we’ve wrecked the planet, whoops’.