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[#] Sat May 25 2013 22:01:39 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Until solar cells can be produced that can produce more energy over their lifetime than is consumed in their manufacture ... nothing will come out of it. Perhaps it will get used in some remote locations where hooking up power is unfeasible.

[#] Mon May 27 2013 04:26:19 EDT from triLcat @ Uncensored

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I think that some solar panels produce more energy than was used to make them in just 7-8 years (unless, of course, they break down before that...) Right now, the only really feasible use for solar energy is the for heating water - we have a solar panel on our roof that heats our bath water - the solar panel costs maybe $200 and it's been providing most of the hot water for the household for the past 8 years (there's an electric backup). 



[#] Mon May 27 2013 19:19:46 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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the 'produce the energy they cost' figures flipped when they switched from 99.999 % clean silicium (the same used to make computer chips)  to 99.9 clean silicium - which is produced the same way as steel.

btw, (ok, its at least partly because of waranties that you can sell your electric energy), A collegue of mine said - putting the money on the roof currently gave him a better ROI than on the bank account; and while photovoltaik eventualy will reach a financial break even after 10 years solar termic applications maybe after 20 years...

To make it worth while you would also need to run your washer with the hot whater - you simply don't have the use for that much hot whater at the time you get it.



[#] Tue May 28 2013 02:55:28 EDT from triLcat @ Uncensored

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For hot water, it's not a photovoltaic or whatever. It's basically just a magnifying glass that heats your water. To heat water for the family's baths on a regular basis costs more than $200/year.

 



[#] Tue May 28 2013 11:16:03 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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yep, seems as if they're not available that cheap over here... otoh, even IG managed to do s.th. similar?



[#] Tue May 28 2013 14:35:15 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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I haven't done any solar projects ... too much up-front cost. There are some tax incentives available but even with those it's still a big investment.
And the electric utility does everything they can to get around their legal requirement to accept the sale of energy back onto the grid.

[#] Tue May 28 2013 16:19:59 EDT from zooer @ Uncensored

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I have a buddy that put solar panels on his home and he purchased a Tesla car. He says the panels produce more
energy than his family consumes. (I will have to verify this) During the day he is producing electricity,
feeding the grid and rolling the meter backwards. At night he uses power from the grid. He considers it
never having to pay for fuel for his auto.

[#] Tue May 28 2013 16:35:38 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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What was the up front cost?

[#] Tue May 28 2013 19:20:48 EDT from vince-q @ Uncensored

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Heh.

zooer - I hope your buddy lives long enough to recoup the upfront cost of "feeding the grid." Everyone I know who has considered that has come to the conclusion that in order to "feed the grid" you must either be independently wealthy or resigned to the fact that you will also be FEEDING THE BANK. A solar installation sufficient to do what your buddy seems to have done runs around FORTY GRAND. And that Tesla costs about as much.

Going Green means DOING WITHOUT THE GREEN.

I'll stay with what I'm doing.

And in the end, let's compare bank accounts <evil grin>.

[#] Wed May 29 2013 15:11:12 EDT from zooer @ Uncensored

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The Tesla car.... it cost a lot more, and the bastard has done well. He always mentions the goverment
rebates... which I think are great when you can afford to buy a $60,000 car that the Obama administration is
willing to give you a few thousand dollars of tax payer money.

One thing I didn't like was when the power goes out the solar panels do not generate electricity. I thought
that was odd. He said it is so the panels do not back feed the grid in case there were linesmen working. It
didn't make sense to me, but I just nodded.

[#] Wed May 29 2013 15:36:32 EDT from vince-q @ Uncensored

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One thing I didn't like was when the power goes out the solar panels do
not generate electricity. I thought

I am fairly sure that particular 'quirk' is directly related to the method used to interface the solar panel(s) to the utility grid.

From a technical standpoint, it is a trivial matter to allow the panels to continue to generate electricity if the grid is not available, and just not "feed" the power to the (non-available) grid, but only th the battery-bank normally used to store the power on premises - keep in mind that the home does not use electricity directly from solar panels, but only through a system of DC-toAC power inverters that are connected to a battery-array. The solar panels charge the batteries, if the batteries are fully charged, the solar panels (through the inverter system) feed energy back to the grid, and if the grid is not available the panels could then, and only then, be switched "away" from all of that to sit idle.

Sounds complicated when you read it; in appliction, it is rather simple and nothing more than designing the right switching system.

[#] Thu May 30 2013 13:13:43 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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That's true.  A grid tie inverter watches for an existing sine wave coming from the grid, to which it can synchronize its own output.  If it doesn't see one, it produces no output.

A regular inverter will blindly produce output but you can't tie that into your main panel.



[#] Thu May 30 2013 13:17:04 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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FEEDING THE BANK. A solar installation sufficient to do what your buddy

seems to have done runs around FORTY GRAND. And that Tesla costs about


Taking your numbers at face-value because I don't know any better, and assuming the 40,0K is funded by a mortgage refinance at 3.891%, your monthly payment increases by $230.13 (and your property tax bill by some $42.)

Not quite worth it at present prices, but if your assumption is that nominal energy prices will continue in their upward march over the next 30 years, you could come out ahead...

[#] Thu May 30 2013 21:27:38 EDT from vince-q @ Uncensored

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Calculate the break-even time. It's damn near an ETERNITY...

[#] Fri May 31 2013 11:31:55 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Considering that the currently available photovoltaic panels are rated for 10 years of 90% or better output, followed by 10 years of 80% or better output, with an average service lifetime of 30 to 35 years ... it seems unlikely that ROI will ever be realized at current prices.

It's going to take a technology breakthrough to make solar a feasible mainstream energy source.

The obvious breakthrough would be for biologists to develop an organic substrate that duplicates photosynthesis, absorbing sunlight/CO2/H2O and releasing a liquid fuel.



[#] Fri May 31 2013 15:22:41 EDT from vince-q @ Uncensored

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The obvious breakthrough would be for biologists to develop an
organic substrate that duplicates photosynthesis, absorbing
sunlight/CO2/H2O and releasing a liquid fuel.

Well... they do have something rather close. And it all developed without any help from biologists!

COWS + FOOD ==> FERTILIZER + METHANE + MILK + MORE COWS

Now *that* is a self-renewing energy/food source!!!!!

[#] Sat Jun 01 2013 19:16:26 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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So, burn your cows in your cars.

[#] Sun Jun 02 2013 01:34:45 EDT from triLcat @ Uncensored

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Too bad we can't use methane for fuel...

 



[#] Sun Jun 02 2013 07:19:37 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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Sun Jun 02 2013 01:34:45 EDT from triLcat @ Uncensored

Too bad we can't use methane for fuel...

 

why not? i.e. the rotzkocher did similar ( http://www.autogas-freun.de/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=3523 ) 60 years ago.

the only problem is ... howto catch the farts and burps.



[#] Sun Jun 02 2013 07:20:38 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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Sun Jun 02 2013 07:19:37 AM EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

 

why not? i.e. the rotzkocher did similar ( http://www.autogas-freun.de/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=3523 ) 60 years ago.

the only problem is ... howto catch the farts and burps.



Harness my uncle or any of my 3 brothers.  That should power a couple hundred of those things, anyway.....



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