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when will solar power come of age?

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posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 07:24 PM
when will it actually become a viable option for us? Not just for soliders who get some pretty decent portable packs but which cost like over $1000 prob.

I tried this isun unit over summer to power my pocket pc so that (ideally) no mattter what happens id always be able to power my pocket pc, which has 2 1gig sd cards and a half gig one with like hundreds of ebooks to hand on physics, maths, survival etc. And even power notebooks.

But in practice it didnt do anything. Took like 2days of full light to charge which is useless since pocket lasts for only 5hours continuous use and notebook is worse at 3hours.

I like idea that if the worst happened and nwo or ww3 happened and civ broke down, i'd have an unlimited supply of power and hence access to loadsa book full of knowledge while i adapt to the new life. Anyone know of any solar power products or developments or future ones?

posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 07:42 PM
Well Solar power is only like 14% effienct right now and is roughly doubling every 6-8 years so you just have to wait. There was a breakthrough with flexible solar panels but it was not in effiency it was in cost, they slashed the cost by 2/3rds for flexible solar panels that has a 7% effiency.

posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 07:49 PM
New Photovoltaic panels are 300% more efficient than models from 3 years ago. Give it another couple of years, or, if you're working against a clock, try contacting German and Australian companies. They have made the most interesting advances. Also, I have read somewhere about a water cooled laptop, and if that's for real, you could use micro-hydro generators to assist with power generation. Also, if you want perpetual power, check out this sight. They have a bicycle generator, a hand crank generator, other interesting things too like battery chargers and what not. Check it out, you might find something helpful.

posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 09:55 PM

New Photovoltaic panels are 300%

Uhh no they are not. I have no idea where you get 300% from as the panels available in 2001 where around 12% effient. Please provide evidance before shooting your mouth off.

posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 10:09 PM
link - emphasis on the bit about parabolic trough systems - a directory for your convenience, of solar technology pioneers - The fresnell lens when combined with solar panels produces a huge amount of heat and light that can be transformed into energy by different means. I still find it amusing that we rely mostly on steam..

In the end Sardion, I was loose lipped and quoting from a Discover article I read a year or so ago about increased efficiency. Still, advances have been made, and solar is more viable now than

posted on Jan, 4 2005 @ 02:34 PM
At what percent power output would they become cost efficient in relation to coal power?

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 11:54 AM
Someone once said that if we could have used the suns rays as a weapon we would have had solar power decades ago....

Because of reasons like that, solar power will have to wait a little longer until it becomes as effecient as we would like it to be...

Still when we have fully uterlised the power of the sun, maybe then we will be advanced enough to do other great things...

posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 10:20 PM

This link is dedicated to Sardion. Who's shooting their mouth off? I think it's you. Oh yes I do.

posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 11:22 PM
wyrde one says:

"New Photovoltaic panels are 300% more efficient than models from 3 years ago."

When I was in the systems engineering department of Solavolt International in the late 1980's, our standard MSVM4010 PV modules were about 11 percent efficient.

Going to the websites, the typical home PV module, according to DOE, is about 12 to 15 percent -- hardly a 300 percent increase in efficiency since fifteen years ago.

Now it's true that Spectrolab (a Boeing subsidiary) has produced PV cells with an efficiency of 34 percent, but they are not widely available, and are extremely expensive.

And finally, think about this. Even if we had a hundred percent efficiency cells, a module would produce 1 kW/M^2 under "full sun" conditions, which is summer noon in the Sonoran Desert.

Now I live smack dab in the middle of the desert, and a typical summer day is 5.3 hr of full sun, with winter providing 4.6 hr. That means, under summer conditions here in Mesa, my "perfect" module (which doesn't exist) would produce 5.3 kW-hr, which will run stuff, but not enough to run the stuff in a typical suburban house, like air conditioning, a vacuum cleaner, a stove, an iron or even a hair dryer.

But wait, there's more!

Most of our electricity usage is when we're home, which is usually at night,w hen there isn't any sun. This means your PV array will have to twice as big as you originally thought, so that you can produce your daylight electricity and produce energy to store up in your batteries, which will, by the way, double your cost.

And the most cost-effective batteries troday are still lead-acid batteries which cannot be discharged more than about 30%/cycle or they'll crap out in a big hurry. So you have to have between three and four times the nominal number of batteries (based on their AH rating) to provide you with electricity through the night.

And those lead acid batteries, even if you take care of them, have to be replaced every five years at a very large cost, and the main components of such batteries, are, of course. lead and H2SO4 -- hardly neat stuff to stick in your landfill!

And we haven't talked yet about designing in system autonomy to provide for those four or five days of rainy weather, and the work that you, Mister Typical Homeowner, will have to do to be your own Electric Utility General Manager and Technical Lead.

I've designed a lot of small scale remote/rural PV systems, and have even travelled to Central America to help install them. I love PV and would love to see it fly.

But it can't; it's simply not cost-effective (yet) to compete with the major grid providers. I'm afreaid that PV will be little more than a niche player for the foreseeable future.

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