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curt


May 31, 2012, 9:39 PM
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Too bad solar power will never amount to anything
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RenewableEnergyWorld.com wrote:
With the sun beaming overhead and the nation hard at work, Germany turned to solar like never before last Friday and Saturday as the nation's PV installations fed 22 gigawatts of electricity into the grid at one point, providing nearly half of the country's energy needs.

In doing so, Germany answered some critical questions as it reshapes its policy away from nuclear power and toward renewable sources like solar, wind and biomass. Chief among the concerns is how much intermittent solar Germany can seamlessly integrate into its grid without causing major disruptions.

During one 24-hour period, Germany’s PV accounted for nearly a third of the nation’s energy needs on midday Friday when the nation’s factories and offices were humming along, and then it approached 50 percent midday Saturday as residents enjoyed a sun-filled weekend.

The milestone comes at a critical crossroads for a country that is eager to move on from its dependence on nuclear power, but has been increasingly at odds over which path to take. If nothing else, the achievement is certain to add to the growing confidence that solar can fill much of the nuclear void. Germany currently gets about 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources, with solar contributing about 4 percent annually.

According to the International Economic Platform for Renewable Energies in Muenster, the power produced at its weekend peak was greater than the capacity of 20 nuclear power plants. The timing of the peak is particularly important since it comes during times when energy use is at its highest...

It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.

Curt


veganclimber


May 31, 2012, 10:08 PM
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Re: [curt] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.

Curt

Right now I'd settle for not moving backwards.


sbaclimber


Jun 1, 2012, 1:56 AM
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Re: [curt] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure


guangzhou


Jun 1, 2012, 4:37 AM
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Re: [sbaclimber] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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Except that solar farm could do very well in a flat desert.


sbaclimber


Jun 1, 2012, 5:01 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
Except that solar farm could do very well in a flat desert.
...which we don't have here, hence my post.
(edit, assuming you were actually responding to my post)


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on Jun 1, 2012, 5:25 AM)


rmsusa


Jun 1, 2012, 6:22 AM
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Re: [veganclimber] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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Backwards, it is.

Has anybody noticed that our government has just made both solar and wind installation hugely more expensive?

It now charges double digit tariffs at the border for equipment that was being sold to us at bargain prices. Now that makes a whole lot of sense. Crazy

Six companies complained and the government responded by raising prices for the whole country.


LostinMaine


Jun 2, 2012, 2:42 AM
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Re: [curt] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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Adding that Germany has about the same solar resource as Seattle or the panhandle of Alaska makes it even more laughable - if only it were funny.

http://seia.org/...Map_USandGermany.pdf


(This post was edited by LostinMaine on Jun 2, 2012, 2:43 AM)


hobgoblin11


Jun 4, 2012, 2:34 PM
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Re: [sbaclimber] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.


LostinMaine


Jun 6, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Re: [hobgoblin11] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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hobgoblin11 wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.

Though I can't argue with your storage comment, it should be blatantly obvious that our peak loads are during the day. Installing a multitude of decentralized solar arrays would most certainly shave the peak from centralized nonrenewable energy production facilities. People bitching and moaning about our grid's antiquity do nothing to solve the problems. Electrons don't give a damn what voltage source pushes them along the conductors, be it a natural gas turbine or a solar PV module.

Oh.. and though sunny southwest is a good spot for solar energy, it works everywhere in the US. I'm in central NY and happily powered by both a solar thermal array and a solar PV array.


chadnsc


Jun 6, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Re: [LostinMaine] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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LostinMaine wrote:
hobgoblin11 wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.

Though I can't argue with your storage comment, it should be blatantly obvious that our peak loads are during the day. Installing a multitude of decentralized solar arrays would most certainly shave the peak from centralized nonrenewable energy production facilities. People bitching and moaning about our grid's antiquity do nothing to solve the problems. Electrons don't give a damn what voltage source pushes them along the conductors, be it a natural gas turbine or a solar PV module.

Oh.. and though sunny southwest is a good spot for solar energy, it works everywhere in the US. I'm in central NY and happily powered by both a solar thermal array and a solar PV array.

So much B.S. in your statement I don't even know where to start . . .


hobgoblin11


Jun 6, 2012, 1:07 PM
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Re: [chadnsc] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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Solar farms take up a A ALOT of space... and its EXTREMELY expensive to transfer that power from where its collected to where its needed.

Putting the issues with the grid aside (as they are significant issues but only part of the problem) you have the political and environmental issues with not only the farms but the massive number of power lines needed to move that power.. the substations.. the roads.. the vegetation management.

Some people forget just how BIG So Cal really is and the hundreds of miles you have to cross to get the power from where your allowed to build to where its needed.

Im very close to this issue professionally. If you want solar power expanded in the US.. especially in California.. you need to reduce all the regulations and environmental requirements to build the infrastructure.


(This post was edited by hobgoblin11 on Jun 6, 2012, 1:08 PM)


hobgoblin11


Jun 6, 2012, 1:48 PM
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Re: [hobgoblin11] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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Here is an article backing up much of what Ive said and goes into some technical detail

In reply to:
With a steep growth of power generation from photovoltaic (PV) and wind power and with 8 GW base load capacity suddenly taken out of service the situation in Germany has developed into a nightmare for system operators.


Figure 1
The peak demand in Germany is about 80 GW. The variations of wind and PV generation create situations which require long distance transport of huge amounts of power. The grid capacity is far from sufficient for these transports. The result is a remarkably large number of curtailments of RES (Renewable Energy Sources).

•Wind power peaks seem not to be simultaneous with PV peaks. This means that PV does not add its full peak capacity to the grid problems during high wind periods.
•The main part of the German wind power is installed in the northern part of the country while the main part of the PV capacity is installed in Bavaria. The nuclear moratorium has created the most serious supply problems in the southern part of Germany. This observation suggests additional PV generation to relieve the supply problems.
•PV generation cannot reduce the need for peak capacity. The reason is that there is no PV generation during the evening peak load.
•The regulating work which must be made by controllable power sources grows considerably with the growth of wind power and PV. TenneT is one of Germany’s 4 main grid operators. In the TenneT area a calculation for April 2011 has shown that wind power alone would extend the regulating range by more than 50%, while the actual combination of wind power and PV has doubled the regulating range.


http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9205


Now there are a few things they dont mention and thats peak grid capacity and its sensitivity to input from unreliable sources. Even if the German infrastructure was capable of the required transport.. the constant variation in PV would reduce overall grid capacity to the lowest denominator resulting in brownouts and rolling blackouts.


LostinMaine


Jun 6, 2012, 4:52 PM
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Re: [chadnsc] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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chadnsc wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
hobgoblin11 wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.

Though I can't argue with your storage comment, it should be blatantly obvious that our peak loads are during the day. Installing a multitude of decentralized solar arrays would most certainly shave the peak from centralized nonrenewable energy production facilities. People bitching and moaning about our grid's antiquity do nothing to solve the problems. Electrons don't give a damn what voltage source pushes them along the conductors, be it a natural gas turbine or a solar PV module.

Oh.. and though sunny southwest is a good spot for solar energy, it works everywhere in the US. I'm in central NY and happily powered by both a solar thermal array and a solar PV array.

So much B.S. in your statement I don't even know where to start . . .

Start at the beginning and tell me where I've gone astray.

I'm curious why you've bolded my statement about my house being powered by both solar PV and solar thermal.

I also find it interesting that you think solar would not shave peak demand from something like a coal or natural gas facility.


LostinMaine


Jun 6, 2012, 5:04 PM
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Re: [hobgoblin11] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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hobgoblin11 wrote:
Solar farms take up a A ALOT of space... and its EXTREMELY expensive to transfer that power from where its collected to where its needed.

Agreed. Neither of those are deal breakers, though, since we have space and it is only expensive relative to highly subsidized fossil fuels.

In reply to:
Putting the issues with the grid aside (as they are significant issues but only part of the problem) you have the political and environmental issues with not only the farms but the massive number of power lines needed to move that power.. the substations.. the roads.. the vegetation management.
Agreed. I'll never claim that moving to alternative energy sources is not without negative aspects. There is no free lunch.

In reply to:
Some people forget just how BIG So Cal really is and the hundreds of miles you have to cross to get the power from where your allowed to build to where its needed.
Agreed. Looking at something like Nevada Solar One CSP facility is interesting. This is the type of thing worth considering. Las Vegas is a huge power drain. Though the Solar One plant isn't going to handle a significant portion of the day-time load, it has shaved the peak load down from its previous levels. Its an example of where solar development can continue to occur since the lines have already been run and are not yet maxed.

In reply to:
Im very close to this issue professionally. If you want solar power expanded in the US.. especially in California.. you need to reduce all the regulations and environmental requirements to build the infrastructure.
As am I. I was one of two speakers for this conference regarding producing, storing, and transmitting renewable energy with our current grid system.
https://www.halfmoonseminars.com/files/1637-10363B.pdf


I don't think you and I are in disagreement based on what you've written.


curt


Jun 6, 2012, 5:11 PM
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Re: [chadnsc] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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chadnsc wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
hobgoblin11 wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.

Though I can't argue with your storage comment, it should be blatantly obvious that our peak loads are during the day. Installing a multitude of decentralized solar arrays would most certainly shave the peak from centralized nonrenewable energy production facilities. People bitching and moaning about our grid's antiquity do nothing to solve the problems. Electrons don't give a damn what voltage source pushes them along the conductors, be it a natural gas turbine or a solar PV module.

Oh.. and though sunny southwest is a good spot for solar energy, it works everywhere in the US. I'm in central NY and happily powered by both a solar thermal array and a solar PV array.

So much B.S. in your statement I don't even know where to start . . .

Hopefully you can extract your foot from your mouth more elegantly than it went in.

Curt


LostinMaine


Jun 6, 2012, 5:12 PM
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hobgoblin11 wrote:
Now there are a few things they dont mention and thats peak grid capacity and its sensitivity to input from unreliable sources. Even if the German infrastructure was capable of the required transport.. the constant variation in PV would reduce overall grid capacity to the lowest denominator resulting in brownouts and rolling blackouts.

This is an interesting one, specifically with PV. There is no refuting that the sun goes down each night. This is specifically why no single renewable energy system will work as a stand-alone. When you consider a suite of wind and solar (ignoring the sticky mess with hydro and biomass) operating, the two do have the ability to stabilize the rolling blackouts. Unfortunately, you need a large number of wind facilities to be sure there is a base load. Otherwise, we would be subject to specific regions that are or are not windy at given times. If you have enough facilities, the capacity factor rises high enough to be a consistent base load. This is described very well in Ackermann's Wind Power in Power Systems text. It opened my eyes for base load stability on large scale, unstable grid networks.


curt


Jun 6, 2012, 5:24 PM
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Re: [hobgoblin11] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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hobgoblin11 wrote:
Solar farms take up a A ALOT of space... and its EXTREMELY expensive to transfer that power from where its collected to where its needed.

Putting the issues with the grid aside (as they are significant issues but only part of the problem) you have the political and environmental issues with not only the farms but the massive number of power lines needed to move that power.. the substations.. the roads.. the vegetation management.

Some people forget just how BIG So Cal really is and the hundreds of miles you have to cross to get the power from where your allowed to build to where its needed.

Im very close to this issue professionally. If you want solar power expanded in the US.. especially in California.. you need to reduce all the regulations and environmental requirements to build the infrastructure.

Your comments appear more applicable to CSP than PV solar power. Concentrating plants need to be very large to make economic sense--and along with that size come transmission issues. PV on the other hand, works very well in small, distributed installations (like rooftops) where transmission is no longer an issue.

Curt


chadnsc


Jun 6, 2012, 6:24 PM
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Re: [curt] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
chadnsc wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
hobgoblin11 wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.

Though I can't argue with your storage comment, it should be blatantly obvious that our peak loads are during the day. Installing a multitude of decentralized solar arrays would most certainly shave the peak from centralized nonrenewable energy production facilities. People bitching and moaning about our grid's antiquity do nothing to solve the problems. Electrons don't give a damn what voltage source pushes them along the conductors, be it a natural gas turbine or a solar PV module.

Oh.. and though sunny southwest is a good spot for solar energy, it works everywhere in the US. I'm in central NY and happily powered by both a solar thermal array and a solar PV array.

So much B.S. in your statement I don't even know where to start . . .

Hopefully you can extract your foot from your mouth more elegantly than it went in.

Curt

Meh.

I know a great deal about the applications of solar power and the bolded statements from LostinMaine's post are simply not true.

Solar can shave a bit off the peak demand but not enough to make a difference in the U.S.

Solar does not work well everywhere in the lower 48 states. Now a combination of wind and solar power cold work very well throughout the U.S.

Finally while I'm sure that some of LostinMaine's power comes from solar there is no way it is a majority. Hell it's not even 10% of his total power consumption. Well unless he's living in a small (under 700sf.)passive solar house that is implementing PV.

All that being said I still think solar is a great energy source and has great potential for the U.S. I would like to see further development and implementation here in the states.

I would love it if EVERY building / home that I designed would have some form of solar energy collection be it heat, hot water, or electrical power generation.


curt


Jun 6, 2012, 9:03 PM
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chadnsc wrote:
curt wrote:
chadnsc wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
hobgoblin11 wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.

Though I can't argue with your storage comment, it should be blatantly obvious that our peak loads are during the day. Installing a multitude of decentralized solar arrays would most certainly shave the peak from centralized nonrenewable energy production facilities. People bitching and moaning about our grid's antiquity do nothing to solve the problems. Electrons don't give a damn what voltage source pushes them along the conductors, be it a natural gas turbine or a solar PV module.

Oh.. and though sunny southwest is a good spot for solar energy, it works everywhere in the US. I'm in central NY and happily powered by both a solar thermal array and a solar PV array.

So much B.S. in your statement I don't even know where to start . . .

Hopefully you can extract your foot from your mouth more elegantly than it went in.

Curt

Meh.

I know a great deal about the applications of solar power and the bolded statements from LostinMaine's post are simply not true.

Solar can shave a bit off the peak demand but not enough to make a difference in the U.S.

Solar does not work well everywhere in the lower 48 states.

Sounds like you could use a little education regarding solar. Did you even read the article I posted to start this thread? Germany met 50% of its mid-day electricity requirement last Saturday from solar power alone--some 22 GW. And, as LostinMaine correctly pointed out, Germany has average solar irradiance (insolation) similar to that of Seattle, WA. Solar can go a long way toward meeting the US peaking demand, if implemented as aggressively as it has been in Germany. Of course, that means some of our neanderthal politicians must be willing to move away from their current strategy of "drill, baby, drill."

Correct module selection helps, of course, if you happen to live in a locale with predominantly low-light conditions. CdTe modules and other thin-film options are superior producers of electricity on cloudy days.

Curt


LostinMaine


Jun 7, 2012, 3:13 AM
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Re: [chadnsc] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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chadnsc wrote:
curt wrote:
chadnsc wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
hobgoblin11 wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
curt wrote:
It's really a shame that the US can't be as forward thinking as Germany.
Especially considering that the the States has some quite large areas of otherwise relatively *unusable* land.
One of the issues being discussed/debated with solar energy here is what land can be used for solar farms.
Unfortunately, the most attractive land for solar farms (i.e. flat) is very often the same land which would otherwise be used for farming. Unsure

A lot of the open deserts in Southern California ir prime for it.. unfortunately everytime someone tries to build.. fucking eviro tards scream about some turtle or desert beetle being inconvenienced.

The other problem is the grid cant "store" solar power.. and the grids capacity is sensitive and proportional to how much power is fed into it at any given moment.

Its real cute how people scream about solar but have no freaking idea how the grid actually works or why its so difficult to manage from the utitlies standpoint on a large scale.

Comparing the US grid in scale and complexity to Germanys grid is like comparing the innards of a 747's innards to a WWII era fighter.

Though I can't argue with your storage comment, it should be blatantly obvious that our peak loads are during the day. Installing a multitude of decentralized solar arrays would most certainly shave the peak from centralized nonrenewable energy production facilities. People bitching and moaning about our grid's antiquity do nothing to solve the problems. Electrons don't give a damn what voltage source pushes them along the conductors, be it a natural gas turbine or a solar PV module.

Oh.. and though sunny southwest is a good spot for solar energy, it works everywhere in the US. I'm in central NY and happily powered by both a solar thermal array and a solar PV array.

So much B.S. in your statement I don't even know where to start . . .

Hopefully you can extract your foot from your mouth more elegantly than it went in.

Curt

Meh.

I know a great deal about the applications of solar power and the bolded statements from LostinMaine's post are simply not true.

Solar can shave a bit off the peak demand but not enough to make a difference in the U.S.

Solar does not work well everywhere in the lower 48 states. Now a combination of wind and solar power cold work very well throughout the U.S.

Finally while I'm sure that some of LostinMaine's power comes from solar there is no way it is a majority. Hell it's not even 10% of his total power consumption. Well unless he's living in a small (under 700sf.)passive solar house that is implementing PV.

All that being said I still think solar is a great energy source and has great potential for the U.S. I would like to see further development and implementation here in the states.

I would love it if EVERY building / home that I designed would have some form of solar energy collection be it heat, hot water, or electrical power generation.

Now this is funny. Instead of saying what you think, a far better approach would have been to ask me about my systems first so that you won't get nearly the egg on your face. However, you'll shrug it off and bounce back full of steam.

My home is an 1800 sf ranch construction with my wife business in our basement. I am heating and energizing approx. 2400 sf year-round. We operate on approximately 600 kWh/month during the winter and 400 kWh/month during the summer. We have a wood gasification and solar thermal combisystem tied to a 550 gal hot water storage tank running an in-floor radiant system and all of our domestic hot water. We only burn wood between December and March, the solar system does the rest. Our domestic hot water tank heating unit has been turned off for 3 years since solar does the rest.

Doing some quick math for you, we use about 6000 kWh/year of electricity. We have no additional energy source to the house (e.g. fuel oil, propane, natural gas). Our house is about 90% offset with a 4.2 kW solar array that is mounted over our wood shed. In central NY, each kW of solar optimally oriented produces about 1100 to 1200 kWh of electricity each year.

Now just stop your "LostinMaine probably.." BS and take the opportunity to learn something before writing it off.

Now to address the meat of your ridiculous comments. Solar can and does work everywhere in the lower 48. Anywhere there is irradiance, PV modules generate voltage and current. The only thing that changes is economics. Since there is more irradiation in the SW US, solar energy for a given system will be less expensive there (assuming a world with no incentives). Any claim otherwise is ignorant about the technology (as you have so ambitiously demonstrated).

To claim it cannot shave the peak not only shows ignorant of the technology, but ignorance of power demand. Our largest power demand in the US comes during the late afternoon during the summer, thanks to all of the AC units in the Southeast. Doing the simplest awning mount solar PV units would do two things: reduce the cooling load from shading the south side of the buildings and produce electricity, which reduces demand from the grid.


chadnsc


Jun 7, 2012, 6:34 AM
Post #21 of 56 (3216 views)
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Re: [LostinMaine] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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That is quite the system you have there LostinMaine!

I'm sorry that I made a snap judgement about your solar use, for that I apologize. It was quite educational to read about your use of solar and the system you've incorporated into your home.

I am a huge fan of solar and wind power (where it is applicable and economical). One thing that I communicated poorly and was influenced by my location (Northern MN) is the economics and feasibility solar for norther climates. As you said:

LostinMaine wrote:
Solar can and does work everywhere in the lower 48. Anywhere there is irradiance, PV modules generate voltage and current. The only thing that changes is economics. Since there is more irradiation in the SW US, solar energy for a given system will be less expensive there (assuming a world with no incentives). Any claim otherwise is ignorant about the technology (as you have so ambitiously demonstrated).


As you stated in the southern U.S. solar works great and can seriously reduce peak power usage. Unfortunately that cannot be said for the rest of the U.S. Now I'm not saying that solar won't work in say upstate NY, CO, or MN just that it will cost more and won't be as efficient as say a system in TX or AZ. Properly designed and installed solar can still be viable source of energy in the northern U.S. it's just that it's harder to do and the payoff is around 10 to 15 years vs. the 3 to 5 years in the southern state.

In summary solar can work in nearly every location in the U.S. However the cost and efficiency of solar is dramatically effected by it's location and climate.

This is not to say that the entire U.S. shouldn't be implementing solar power, quite the opposite in fact. It is my personal view that increased use of solar power in the southern U.S. would induce greater development of the technology and make it more economical, efficient, and piratical for use throughout the U.S.


LostinMaine


Jun 7, 2012, 8:58 AM
Post #22 of 56 (3188 views)
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Re: [chadnsc] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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chadnsc wrote:
I'm sorry that I made a snap judgement about your solar use, for that I apologize. It was quite educational to read about your use of solar and the system you've incorporated into your home.

No worries. Sorry if it seemed like I had a knot in my panties, but I spend a large part of virtually every day trying to convince people that solar does work anywhere in the US (though at a cost).

In reply to:

As you stated in the southern U.S. solar works great and can seriously reduce peak power usage. Unfortunately that cannot be said for the rest of the U.S. Now I'm not saying that solar won't work in say upstate NY, CO, or MN just that it will cost more and won't be as efficient as say a system in TX or AZ. Properly designed and installed solar can still be viable source of energy in the northern U.S. it's just that it's harder to do and the payoff is around 10 to 15 years vs. the 3 to 5 years in the southern state.

We agree on most everything in your last post. I did want to point out one thing, though, that is bolded above. Not that is a huge deal, but solar PV systems are actually more efficient in northern climates than southern climates. This is because they can operate at cooler temperatures, which means electrical resistance is lower, which means a higher total proportion of incoming solar energy is transmitted to electricity. Unfortunately, southern states have a better total solar resource, so they still get substantially more energy out of them, negating loss of efficiency.

Done being a nit-picker, leaving my soapbox, and heading out canoeing.


curt


Jun 7, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Re: [LostinMaine] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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LostinMaine wrote:
We agree on most everything in your last post. I did want to point out one thing, though, that is bolded above. Not that is a huge deal, but solar PV systems are actually more efficient in northern climates than southern climates. This is because they can operate at cooler temperatures, which means electrical resistance is lower, which means a higher total proportion of incoming solar energy is transmitted to electricity...

One slight correction: The solar cell temperature effect isn't really related to electrical resistance. In fact, at higher operating temperatures, the band gap of the semiconductor material decreases--causing the cell current to increase as lower energy photons can then be absorbed. The degradation in overall cell performance comes from the increase in the equilibrium electron population--which in turn increases the dark current, which reduces the open circuit voltage of the cell. The net effect is a reduction in overall cell efficiency because the loss in output voltage more than offsets the gain of the additional carriers.

Curt


LostinMaine


Jun 7, 2012, 1:56 PM
Post #24 of 56 (3141 views)
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Re: [curt] Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
We agree on most everything in your last post. I did want to point out one thing, though, that is bolded above. Not that is a huge deal, but solar PV systems are actually more efficient in northern climates than southern climates. This is because they can operate at cooler temperatures, which means electrical resistance is lower, which means a higher total proportion of incoming solar energy is transmitted to electricity...

One slight correction: The solar cell temperature effect isn't really related to electrical resistance. In fact, at higher operating temperatures, the band gap of the semiconductor material decreases--causing the cell current to increase as lower energy photons can then be absorbed. The degradation in overall cell performance comes from the increase in the equilibrium electron population--which in turn increases the dark current, which reduces the open circuit voltage of the cell. The net effect is a reduction in overall cell efficiency because the loss in output voltage more than offsets the gain of the additional carriers.

Curt

Good catch!

I haven't thought about the P-N junction at the cell level in quite a while. I immediately went to the system level, thinking about wiring in conduit in warmer conditions, inverter efficiency decreasing, inherent increases in conductor resistance with increased temperature, internal battery resistance (for those systems they are needed) and so on.

Silly me not thinking of the I-V curve. bah.


Partner rrrADAM


Jun 7, 2012, 5:53 PM
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Re:Too bad solar power will never amount to anything [In reply to]
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One thing many fail to consider is that generation sources need to be relatively close to their consumers, as energy is lost in transmission, and the longer the distance the larger the loss... In the US is averages just less than 7%, and that is over relatively short distances (generally <100 miles, rarely over 200)... It would get much larger at 1000+ miles (Nevada ---> the East of the Mississippi, where the bulk of the population is), or 2,000+ to the North East.


Now, given that, compare the sizes of Germany (smaller than Montana) and the US.


Note... I am all for PVs, but it is not a silver bullet. There is no one silver bullet.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Jun 7, 2012, 6:03 PM)

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