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Electricity and electric power is one of the most significant factors facilitating economic development. This is due to increased uses of electricity in all sectors of economy. However, the main challenge has remained how to generate and harness electricity that is on high demanded with its demand increasing daily at a high speed. There are numerous sources of electricity that are generated using different machines and tools. Wind, solar and geothermal sources are a good example of sources of energy. These have been the main sources of electric energy that were being used since long time ago, in spite of the fact that there are many other sources. Heat or motion is also a good source of electric power. It was not until 1985, when micro power was initiated that this source came to use. Micro power has been of huge significance to all countries where it is being harnessed. However, while other people believe that micro power has affected economy positively, others believe that it has dragged behind economic development, hence, leaving the question on whether micro power has positive or negative effect on the economy. This study is, therefore, aimed at analyzing impact of micro power on economy.
Micro power refers to the job that is being done by researchers at numerous universities which are undertaking to create very minute electric producers and major movers or tools to convert heat or movement to electricity, for use near the generator. These devices provide the guarantee of a source of power for moveable electronic devices that are lighter in mass and have longer working duration compared to batteries. Micro power is different from micro generation with regard to universities, mobility and milliwatts or watts, compared to individuals, kilowatts and homes (Wang et al., 2006). There are different laws that have been implemented by different countries across the globe to help regulate the amount and rate at which electricity is generated and supplied using the micro power. According to the law, currently, the tariff rate applicable to <4kW VP systems remains at 43p/kW, and it has been ruled by the court that the 12 December reference is illegal. This has facilitated easy and smooth generation and supply of power within different cities. (Singh et al., 2003)
Use of Technologies in Micro Power
Silveira & Flandre (2004) assert that, in order to generate and supply adequate electricity, micro power has adopted the use of several technologies that are used to generate and distribute electric power. These technologies have been of immense significance, as they have facilitated quick conversion and supply of electricity in many different countries. Technologies used in micropower include:
Disruptive Technology, Innovative Solutions
According to Sturman et al. (2005), Micro Power Technologies Inc. is a developer of solar, wireless surveillance solutions that have won award. Its mission is to transform the surveillance camera deployment, economics and reliability by orders of magnitude via troublesome technology. A comprehensive video surveillance system that redefines the wireless surveillance market by eradicating problems of the past has been designed by micro power’s innovative research and development team (Lenk, 1996).
Dunn & Worldwatch Institute (2000) states that IP security cameras no longer need a wired power source or have undependable wireless operations. Last year’s technologies are no longer limiting camera placement currently. With micro power’s solutions, applications that were never considered previously because of economics are now becoming a reality. Micro power products are supplied in the commercial, government, retail and public utility markets (Liu & Rice University, 2009).
According to Meindl (2007), the parts of every turbine engine including the combustion chamber, turbine engine, and the turbine rotor, are manufactured from engraved silicon, more like incorporated circuits. These tools hold the pledges of 10 times used to work by a battery of similar mass as the micro power unit, and related competence to huge utility gas turbines (Scheer, 2004). Furthermore, researchers have by far thrived in manufacturing the sections of that kind of micro turbine out of six imprinted and staked silicon wafers, and are working towards incorporating them into a performance engine regarding the dimension of the US district coin.
At Georgia tech, researchers have constructed a micro producer 10 mm wide that rotates an attraction over a range of twirls constructed on a silicon fragment. The machine rotates at 100,000 revolts per minute, and generates 1.1 W of electrical power, enough to run a mobile phone (Heavner et al., 2002). Their objective is to generate 20-50 watts, enough to operate a laptop. Scientists are also constructing a hydrogen generator on a silicon flake, which can transform methanol, gasoline or diesel into energy for a microengine or a small fuel cell.
Fuel cells for the armed forces which will burn up hydrogen to power transferable electronic equipment like night vision spectacles, communication equipments, and computers is being developed by professor Sanjeev Mukerjee. A sealed unit of methanol would be applied to generate hydrogen tooperate a small fuel cell for up to 5,000 hours in Sanjeeve’s system. It will not be heavy like rechargeable batteries required to supply similar power output, with a long time of running (North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Advisory Group for Aeronautical Research and Development, 2007). In prospect years, the same technology could be enhanced and enlarged to power vehicles.
Brandon (2003) stipulates that it was recommended by the National Academies’ National Research Council in the year 2004’s report that such micro power sources should be examined by the U.S. military for powering electronic equipments to be carried in future by soldiers, because batteries competent the sensors, computers and communication gargets would add significant weight to the trouble of infantry soldiers. The future idea of the U.S. military envisages a 2W-20W micro turbine fueled by a liquidity hydrocarbon that is used to control communications and wearable heating/cooling gears for up to six days on 10 ounces of fuel.
Factor Facilitating or Hindering Development of Micro Power
Dudney et al. (2008) stipulates that one year following the time limit for transposing RES Directives, under which the European Union targets to attain 20% of renewable sources of energy by the year 2020, how properly has member states are prepared in plummeting bureaucratic obstacles to the growth of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy? This question has been answered by a PV LEGAL in a latest report, analyzing 12 major countries. The outcomes are decidedly combined. However, enhancements have been witnessed in some countries. For instance, in France, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal, development of residential system is much faster. Factors that have facilitated the reduction of time needed to process requests include; internet registration systems, one-stop superstore systems, and less severe permitting requirements. Nevertheless, the image is not as brilliant elsewhere in Europe (Liu & Rice University, 2009). Excessively onerous bureaucracy is the cause for requiring an implausible 89 weeks to construct a profitable rooftop system in Spain. Nearly half of the expansion cost of a scheme is represented by complying with these rules and grid linking processes. This is the same case in Bulgaria and in the United Kingdom.
According to Plante & Nordhill (2011), there are still quite a few obstacles around the network association for fixing bigger than 4kW and constructing control needs for home fixings that ought to be addressed, even though there has been significant development in the UK towards the elimination of managerial barriers. Elimination of unnecessary lawful and administrative hurdles will be a major factor in bringing down the installed cost of PV, assisting the industry to decrease its reliance on financial support over time and raising affordability. This is in accordance with Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the micro power council, one of the PV legal partners (Horowitz & Hill, 1989).
In summary, micro power has had many positive impacts on modern economies. It is facilitating the rapid economic development and living standards among different groups of people across the globe. Unlike initially, where it was thought that micro power would have numerous negative effects on the people’s lives and economy, micro power has proved to be a significant factor facilitating economic growth and improving life of all people across the world. Unlike initially, where people were relying heavily on electrical power generated from water or wind, micro power has eased accessibility and use of more appropriate sources of electricity.
Electrical energy can now be stored and transported from one region to another, due to advances made by micro power. Micro power has helped to reduce over reliance on rechargeable batteries that in most cases cannot support machines like laptop. Improvement have been made and are still being made to ensure that micro power can run big machines, like laptops, and that they are also used in the U.S. Army, so as to ease time and resources wasted initially (Senger & University of Michigan, 2008). Thus, when looking at all these facts, it is apparent that micro power is of great significance, as it can help to improve nearly all sectors of our daily lives. Its positive impacts are being felt by everybody across the world, regardless of class or race.
Governments are also heavily involved in this section with a sole purpose of facilitating its growth and development (Lee & University of California, Berkeley, 2008). They are changing the certain rules and regulations governing this special program. They are encouraging researchers and even support them to carry out more research, so as to come up with one solution that will help to guide and manage generations, supply and use of micro power by individuals, groups of individuals, governmental and nongovernmental organization. Once this is attained, this program was facilitated rapid economic development and improves living standards of citizens who will adopt it.