Solar Technology?

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Oneonine

Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Oneonine » 13 Sep 2010, 19:05

Battery technology is certainly moving forward in leaps and bounds.

I heard there are solar panels that work even on a dull day now too.

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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 13 Sep 2010, 20:08

I would like to see more environmental responsibility displayed by the companies who sell us these products claiming they are the solution to 'saving the planet'
I would too.

I would expect them to use solar to power their machines, factories and such at the very least. Mining trash is ok, but definitely use solar to convert it to the road base.
It is a trade off in some ways, we either mine rock for roads or sand for solar roads. I would have to consider it an idea which would work for smaller communities at first.

Solar-thermal does not have these problems, and can go a long way in some cases. Where geothermal cannot work as well, solar thermal heating can save a lot of fuel and coal.
Otherwise, geothermal is good.

I am setting up to go solar for my shop first, taking it to zero carbon footprint, then I will do the home.

One thing at a time.. :warm:
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Corwen » 14 Sep 2010, 00:48

I would expect them to use solar to power their machines, factories and such at the very least. Mining trash is ok, but definitely use solar to convert it to the road base.
It is a trade off in some ways, we either mine rock for roads or sand for solar roads. I would have to consider it an idea which would work for smaller communities at first.
Since a panel sometimes takes 10 years to make back the energy used in its manufacture, to be powered by solar the manufacturers would need an awful lot of solar panels, 10 panels for each panel they make each year- so assuming a factory made 10,000 panels per year it would need to be powered by 100,000 panels... and how would they power their factory while they made the 100,000 panels they'd need to power their factory? 8-)
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 14 Sep 2010, 13:06

They will use the same energy to make asphalt, that will never return the energy.
It is a chicken or the egg thing, and they thus must start somewhere, and of course make them much more efficient, with more effective results and methods.
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Sep 2010, 14:47

They will use the same energy to make asphalt, that will never return the energy.
It is a chicken or the egg thing, and they thus must start somewhere, and of course make them much more efficient, with more effective results and methods.

Was just reading in a magazine how some municipalities in the U.S. are smashing up their ashphalt and returning to gravel roads to save money.
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 14 Sep 2010, 15:56

I live on a gravel road, and it is a maintenance issue, we have a truck calcify the road bed and then it holds up fairly well.
The gravel road discourages most from using our road as a short cut.

We also use the ground up road that is from repaving the highways to chip and tar back roads, thus recycling the stuff.
I don't see anyone tearing up roads to make them gravel, at least not here.
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Sep 2010, 16:18

I don't see anyone tearing up roads to make them gravel, at least not here.
They specifically mentioned Michigan:

http://www.wwmt.com/articles/roads-1363 ... nties.html
Some Michigan counties have turned a few once-paved rural roads back to gravel to save money.

More than 20 of the state's 83 counties have reverted deteriorating paved roads to gravel in the last few years, according to the County Road Association of Michigan. The counties are struggling with their budgets because tax revenues have declined in the lingering recession.

Montcalm County converted nearly 10 miles of primary road to gravel this spring.

The county estimates it takes about $10,000 to grind up a mile of pavement and put down gravel. It takes more than $100,000 to repave a mile of road.

Reverting to gravel has happened in a few other states but it is most typical in Michigan. At least 50 miles have been reverted in the state in the past three years.
It was in a rather depressing article in Maclean's Magazine called "Is America Turning into A Third World Country" http://www2.macleans.ca/
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Dendrias » 14 Sep 2010, 16:41

The county estimates it takes about $10,000 to grind up a mile of pavement and put down gravel. It takes more than $100,000 to repave a mile of road.
How could someone possibly save money by grinding up existing roads and repaving them at these costs? Might there be a reason for grinding and repaving?
That's for one mile, but have You seen the roads in the video? You can see a day's travel ahead!

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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 14 Sep 2010, 17:00

Its a slow go to convert from common wealth to personal wealth and as the comments express, the democratic party wants to set up another "package".
Trouble is the package is for government and union workers only.

I don't see anything for solar or wind in these stimulus packages, just a bunch of caulk and duct tape :-)

November is coming, so I have to hold out just a little longer, build a moat, :whistle: stuff like that. Then finally the stranglehold on our economy will loosen up.
I still am frustrated by the republicans, always making excuses and blame.

We need a druid party, with tea or beer as our options. We already have a tea party, why not beer? :wink:
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Corwen » 14 Sep 2010, 21:02

The US is already a third world country as far as many indicators show.
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 14 Sep 2010, 21:09

Glad I don't go by your indicators :o
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby DJ Droood » 16 Sep 2010, 15:56

The nation's poverty rate jumped to 14.3% in 2009, its highest level since 1994, and the 43.6 million Americans in need is the highest number in 51 years of record-keeping, the government said Thursday.
Not good news for anyone in the Western world...the Mother Ship is leaking.....is it too late for massive Infrastructure retooling? Are the resources even available? There was lots of cheap energy to convert into jobs 50 years ago...are we experiencing entropy?
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 16 Sep 2010, 20:39

A total restructuring, definitely.
Rental business is just about history, unless you sell diamonds for a living.

My own changes have relied on keeping the tools over all this time, and now I am very glad I did. Easy management jobs, middle management and such are gone. The pudding is over and we are getting back to the meat or potato living this country has and must revive.

I looked and looked, three years or so ago, to expand into a place in town, only to see disaster with every contract as the result. Nothing looked like it could or would pan out over a five year projection. So I instead, built on my own property. I am thinking the powers that be that I did. Now, people are coming to me looking for work.

The "live in the suburbs, commute to work" lifestyle might just be changing to what is now called "locavore"
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby DJ Droood » 17 Sep 2010, 04:16

The "live in the suburbs, commute to work" lifestyle might just be changing to what is now called "locavore"
I just googled locavore..great word!
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 17 Sep 2010, 18:37

It even a new word , all the better.
Got this estimate a day ago.
Not really impressed. :shrug:
System Size (kW) 7.770 42 SunTech 175 185 Watt Panels
Solar kWh Generated Per Year 9,713 Per PV Watts
SYSTEM COST $42,657 Estimated Fully Installed Cost
Federal Income Tax Credit ($12,797) Federal Income Tax Credit (30%)
SYSTEM NET COST $29,860 System Cost less Solar Incentives
SYSTEM SAVINGS
Electricity Savings - Annual - 5 Yr. Avg. $1,599.26
REC Income - Annual - 5 Yr. Avg. $2,403.96 VA Renewable Energy Credits
Annual Solar Savings $4,003.23
Return on Investment Cost
Solar PV Economic Analysis
9/15/2010
13.4% Avg. Solar Savings Return on Net Payback Year 7.6 At 5.2% Electrical Rate Increase per Year*
SOLAR COST CONTROL 114.4% Annual Electric Costs $3,500
Annual Solar Savings (Avg.) $4,003
HOME VALUE & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Home Appraised Value Benefit - Year 1 $31,985 Every $1.00 saved = $20 in home value
Pollution Offset - CO2 Saved Per Year - Tons 10.10 1.3 tons per KW per year * System Size
I will research some more.
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Oneonine

Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Oneonine » 17 Sep 2010, 18:59

Someone said on a forum once that there are all sorts of eco-friendly technologies available in America, some in use, and working well, but there has been little uptake, even with goverment grants to go with it.

The oil barons want the oil to run out and be worth a fortune before we uptake better technologies, and suppress some inventions too, I heard.

Or was that a recent episode of The Deep... :???:

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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 29 Sep 2010, 23:36

I see a few things:
Everything has been made to run on electric power, your A/C, your lights, your ... well ... everything.
Hi voltage is converted to high amps at the transformer near your home to power it all. (With the exception of natural gas & oil systems)
So... right now we are kind of stuck, making things work requires electric power, even natural gas and oil appliances require an electric fan or such to operate. Few exceptions exist, like a gas water heater, however, The dishwasher is purely electric. You get a hot shower, hot water, but past that..
If your water is from a well, then no electricity, no water. Community systems pump at pump stations, and either pump or fill large tanks.

Supplemental systems, wind or solar are weak at making electric power. They however are not weak making power of other kinds.
Simple as it seams, this technology has been around for centuries or longer.

We have grown lazy, accustomed to power on demand, when we like it, how we like it and so on. Imagine...
Going to bed at dark, not wanting light or power. Our ancestors did it....and got up at sunrise.
Making candle power.. from candles.

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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby wolf560 » 30 Sep 2010, 07:49

Hello All,

I appreciate the thread of this as I have decided upon solar Power in my new home.
you have all given me a lot to think about and I thank you one and all.

The state in which I live offers a $15,000 - $20,000 rebate if I purchase the solar power systems and have them installed in the next six months.. The cost for this normally is roughly $31,000 - $45,000 but you can also ask for a short-term loan so that you don't pay it off all at once. I will probably be out of pocket about $10,000 all told. My savings in electricity bills will reach this level in the first 6-7 years depending upon "normal usage". Even factoring int he loan amount, the savings should balance out in less than ten years and I plan to live here for at least the next 20 or so.

The system I have decided upon will produce an average of 50 Kwh per day and so reduce my normal expenditure of 90-110 by nearly 50%. Anything over my use of power will be applied as a credit towards my once annual bill. I will still get the bills each month after the installation is complete, I just dont pay until January.

I was sparked into researching the different things that go into the solar cells that are now on the market and although the silicosis is a factor it is not a big one. The silicone mining happens regardless of the solar power (which accounts for very little of the silicone need in the first place). The new Asynchronous Silicone used in the latest solar panels is almost 1% of the silicone used in previous models even ten years ago. Silicon is used in so many products it is better not to list them here.. http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/1014.html

Of the choices for what to power our ever growing world Solar Power is probably the safest and most renewable considering Silicone is the second most common element on the face of the Earth. We could do Nuclear (visions of Chernobyl), we could do Sail (visions of propellers on every hillside), we could do Tidal and River and Geothermal (location location location). We could even continue for what, another 50-100 years on Fossil Fuels....

My money is on Solar Power for now, but I will continue looking into it and if I find out that it is a hazard for some reason I will certainly cancel the project if I still can.

Tidal, River, and Geothermal are certainly good options and should be pursued as well since we are on a deadline for the use of the remaining fossil fuels.... but not every location will support this kind of power solution obviously.
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Merlyn » 14 Oct 2010, 02:00

Ok... now :whistle:
If I could just figure out how to "plug-in" to my trees... (have a couple of thousand here) and convert sap rising (and falling) energy into electric power... :D

Building a windmill..
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Re: Solar Technology?

Postby Corwen » 14 Oct 2010, 20:36

Ok... now :whistle:
If I could just figure out how to "plug-in" to my trees... (have a couple of thousand here) and convert sap rising (and falling) energy into electric power... :D

Building a windmill..
:merlyn: :oakleaves:
Generating electricity from a woodstove or with solar heat rather than light is a possibility, this is an area currently undergoing a lot of research. Waste heat from the stove on a domestic level can be used to generate power using a sterling engine or with thermocouples, I predict this becoming a common alternative to solar for colder climes in a few years. One company I heard of has made a small woodstove designed for third world use with a thermocouple that both drives a fan to increase the stove efficiency and can be used to charge a phone or power an electric light. Other exotic power sources are thermo-acoustic inverters which use vibration to drive a power generator.

http://www.tegpower.com/
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/39981
http://www.biolitestove.com/BioLite.html
http://www.green-trust.org/2000/enginet ... iowatt.htm
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