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Are Solar Panels Sustainable On A Large Scale?

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posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

The production of energy via solar methods is a viable solution for the southwest US and that region only, because of the consistency of the sun.

However, the mississippi river is an untapped potential energy source for several midwest states.




posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 12:20 PM
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The big breakthrough for perovskite came in 2012 when the material’s conversion efficiency--the portion of sunlight that can be converted into electricity--rose above 10% for the first time. To date, its efficiency in the lab has exceeded 20% and is still increasing.

Bloomberg reports that the advances have raised the possibility that perovskite cells could one day be placed on top of cars, windows, and walls. Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd., a spin-off from the University of Oxford, says it’s developing thin-film perovskite solar cells able to be printed directly onto silicon solar cells.

renewableenergymagazine.com, March 27, 2017 - Spray-on solar power could soon be a reality.

ETA: Nextbigfuture: Pilot Commercial plants for Spray on Solar cells will start in 2018.

You are correct. The current solar panel has plateaued out at 20-something% efficiency. And it is kind of like pushing water uphill with your hands if you want to do it like it is today. Don't worry, it is all changing and your concerns are already being addressed. A couple years ago researches jumped ship to research perovskites. That research is paying off. They think they can equal and then surpass current solar panel efficiency; if they can ever make sheets of graphene then that to will increase efficiency by converting heat to electricity and keeping the panels cool.

The spray on solar cells start up this year!

This was just posted yesterday at Nextbigfuture, March 29, 2017: A copper oxide solar cells on top of regular silicon solar cells cold boost energy conversion up to 40% from 25% today.

What if you combine them all?! Graphene, copper oxide, perovskite, and silicon? That is what is happening now: more of the spectrum of the sunlight is being converted by having different layers convert different wavelengths.

Now you need to store all the electricity you create.

ATS (shameless plug. Warning: anti-Tesla): Has The Great Flow Battery Battle Started?
edit on 30-3-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add link



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 02:36 PM
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originally posted by: wdkirk
a reply to: D8Tee

So, this isn't a large scale solar field?

What should a large scale solar array produce?


Or are you just complaining about how much power it generates vs. what it costs?


Yes the Sarnia solar area is a large scale solar plant.

400 million dollars to produce enough electricity to supply 65,000 households.

Read my post again, I've made the comparison clear, it's yet another part of the overpriced green energy fiasco in Ontario.

As far as the power it generates, it's intermittent.

Energy prices there have skyrocketed and the grid has been destabalized because the idiots in power have no idea how energy distribution works in reality.

To all the people here thinking solar will replace nuclear, hydro and fossil fuels for power generation, look into the regimes that have tried it, it hasn't worked well. I hope it happens in your neck of the woods and rates triple, see how you like it.


Link

Today, with no coal-fired power at all, our electricity rates are 318 percent higher and at least 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last 15 years. Tom Adams, independent energy researcher and former board member of the Ontario Independent Electricity Market Operator explains that, although there were several factors that contributed to this fiasco, closing down coal, a flexible, reliable and moderately priced source of supply, was the single most important cause.

Since America gets 37 percent of its power from coal, the impacts on the U.S. may be even more severe if Hillary Clinton is elected president and she continues the Obama administration’s war on coal. And it is the poor and those on fixed incomes who will suffer the most.

As part of Ontario’s Green Energy Plan, the primary purpose of which is to reduce CO2 emissions, 6,736 industrial wind turbines (IWT) are being constructed across the province. Only 4 percent of our power came from wind energy in 2013 and 1 percent from solar, yet together they accounted for 20 percent of the commodity cost paid by Ontarians.



Read more: dailycaller.com...

edit on 30-3-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-3-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: D8Tee



People without a power engineering background could start to educate themselves.

This video, while a few years old, is a good start.




Switch website has some great information on alternative energy sources.

Switch link
edit on 30-3-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 03:54 PM
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originally posted by: Vector99
a reply to: TheScale

Well you went on a tangent there didn't you.

Solar power will never break the 20-25% efficiencyrate, but the kWh per panel will continue to increase as solar cells advance. The most efficient cell in ideal conditions right now will produce about 7kWh per day, and that's at a square meter ratio, meaning 3 feet by 3 feet. The average US consumer uses about 30kWh per day. Under ideal conditions you can have a 6x6 setup and produce all the power you need. It will require a home battery for night time use, but the battery will basically always be charged and last a long time. So will the panels.

This setup is only ideal for people that live in desert climates, who also tend to be the largest consumers of electrical power.


yes and youll only finds those solar cells on things like the ISS cause they are prohibitively expensive. btw the best solar cells ever produced are just under 50% efficient. the ones generally mass produced though are all 15-20% efficient. those are the ones youll see on a large scale and used on homes. again though my argument is about the power consumed to produce a panel vs what the panel will output over its lifetime.
edit on 30-3-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 04:15 PM
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see id like to know are they including the power required to sustain that solar field though. meaning they arent relying on any outside source of power for their production of replacement panels other then the solar being produced by the panels themselves. cause in every piece of data i can find they never include that in the equation. cause lets say they arent and those panels are barely energy positive over their lifetime, then that field would have to be many times greater for it to be self sustaining.



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 04:23 PM
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originally posted by: Vector99
a reply to: D8Tee

You are going by storage capacity alone. And you are correct, an individual would have to finance $5,500 instead of $3,500.

During the day the solar array would provide adequate power for household usage. The battery would be used primarily after sunset, therefore you wouldn't need an entire day's worth of kWh from the battery itself. That also happens to be when power usage is at it's lowest.

Solarcity is an option for people in the southwest still. They install, maintain, and repair all of the solar panels, but you are locked into a many year long contract. You save money though, so it's really not that bad of a deal, people are just afraid of contracts.

So to a typical homeowner, yes it is a lot cheaper to go solar depending on the region. There is a reason you don't see this being prevalent in places like Chicago and Seattle. Not enough sun.


really look into solarcity's practices and the supposed benefits. the payback from excess generation isnt their anymore unless u were grandfathered in in my area aswell. my parents just got taken for almost 70K on a 30K system they got from solarcity. they recently divorced and had to sell their house and in doing so find out from the real estate agent that a solar system with this sort of package from solarcity is actually a detriment to the sale, and doesnt add any value to your home. the moment the home was put on the market solarcity put a lien against the home for the loan to be paid in full at the time of sale including interest. my parents just wanted to transfer it with the sale to the new owners but it wasnt possible. i feel like they essentially took advantage of an older couple who arent thinking quite aswell as they used 2. ive heard other horror stories such as this from my customers i talk to at work aswell. so if u go solarcity pls really look over your contract cause i dont want to see that happen to anyone else.
edit on 30-3-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 04:29 PM
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originally posted by: Vector99
a reply to: D8Tee

You are going by storage capacity alone. And you are correct, an individual would have to finance $5,500 instead of $3,500.

During the day the solar array would provide adequate power for household usage. The battery would be used primarily after sunset, therefore you wouldn't need an entire day's worth of kWh from the battery itself. That also happens to be when power usage is at it's lowest.

Solarcity is an option for people in the southwest still. They install, maintain, and repair all of the solar panels, but you are locked into a many year long contract. You save money though, so it's really not that bad of a deal, people are just afraid of contracts.

So to a typical homeowner, yes it is a lot cheaper to go solar depending on the region. There is a reason you don't see this being prevalent in places like Chicago and Seattle. Not enough sun.


i only see the powerwall being good for new construction where u have high efficiency everything and if u live in an area where u dont need to run the A/C for more then an hour a day. thats the real problem with those powerwalls. they are great for things like led lights, tv's refrigerators, etc, but once u get to the big users like an air conditioner u run into problems cause they can drain a powerwall battery in just over an hour or 2. also those large arrays of 18650 batteries are slightly scary and i wouldnt install unless i had a service room on the outside of my house. that way if there is a catastrophic failure and the whole array cascades it wont burn your house down. theres a ton of energy inside those lil cells and its essentially like putting a small bomb on your wall.
edit on 30-3-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 04:56 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: TheScale

In total, it is thought that 10,000km2 would be required, in order to replace all current electricity production methods in the US. Thats ten k squared spread across the whole country. If you were to put it all in one place, it would be the teeniest, tiniest corner of a state in that country. That would yield 500GW, more than the 425GW current average upper level of usage over a year, unless my reading comprehension failed me months back when I read up on it last.


Where did you get your numbers from?
The articles I read indicates it would be 11.2 million acres which is 45,000 km2.
link

link 2

Digging deeper we find the National Renewable Energy Labs Land Use Requirements report.
We see a value of Generation weighted average land use (GWh/yr/km2) of 80 for Large Photovoltaic.
Using your number of 500 GW a year, we find:
80 km2 x 500 = 40,000 km2

National Renewable Energy Lab Land Use Requirments

Thats a BIG chunk of land. Bigger than Belgium.

Gonna need a lotta batteries to go with that.



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 05:00 PM
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originally posted by: Vector99
a reply to: D8Tee

You are going by storage capacity alone. And you are correct, an individual would have to finance $5,500 instead of $3,500.


No, I said you would have to finance two or three at 5,5000 hundred a piece PLUS the cost of the solar array and inverters.

Like I said it's a toy for the rich.



posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 05:15 PM
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originally posted by: D8Tee

originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: TheScale

In total, it is thought that 10,000km2 would be required, in order to replace all current electricity production methods in the US. Thats ten k squared spread across the whole country. If you were to put it all in one place, it would be the teeniest, tiniest corner of a state in that country. That would yield 500GW, more than the 425GW current average upper level of usage over a year, unless my reading comprehension failed me months back when I read up on it last.


Where did you get your numbers from?
The articles I read indicates it would be 11.2 million acres which is 45,000 km2.
link

link 2

Digging deeper we find the National Renewable Energy Labs Land Use Requirements report.
We see a value of Generation weighted average land use (GWh/yr/km2) of 80 for Large Photovoltaic.
Using your number of 500 GW a year, we find:
80 km2 x 500 = 40,000 km2

National Renewable Energy Lab Land Use Requirments

Thats a BIG chunk of land. Bigger than Belgium.

Gonna need a lotta batteries to go with that.








see in those equations they still arent accounting for the amount of energy required to produce and maintain those panels so its self sustaining (atleast they dont mention it). so lets just say my 50% positive energy gain from a panel was correct that would mean wed need atleast 3x the amount mentioned in the article so we can replace the panels when they inevitably fail.
edit on 30-3-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 12:38 PM
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Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have achieved a new record efficiency for low-cost semi-transparent perovskite solar cells in a breakthrough that could bring down the cost of generating solar electricity.

The team led by The Duong from the ANU Research School of Engineering have achieved 26 per cent efficiency in converting sunlight into energy, which could help make perovskite solar cells a viable alternative to existing silicon cells.
...
"Over the next few years we are planning to increase efficiencies to 30 per cent and beyond."

Phys.org, April 4, 2017 - New efficiency record for low-cost solar cell.

That didn't take too long! Ask and ye shall receive! 26% perovskite, 25% silicon solar efficiency. And perovskite is still climbing. And that is here on earth.

The future is so bright...


edit on 4-4-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: fat finger Tuesday...

edit on 4-4-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: disappearing edits are worse than DP...



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: TheScale

Depends on the scale, but lets just say they function rather effectively in low Earth orbit making the prospect of solar energy farms a viable prospect should we ever solve the problem of wireless transmission of power more effectively.



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 05:56 PM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: TheScale

Depends on the scale, but lets just say they function rather effectively in low Earth orbit making the prospect of solar energy farms a viable prospect should we ever solve the problem of wireless transmission of power more effectively.


and come up with something more cost effective to put them in orbit. still though we need the numbers on how sustainable they are if they dont rely on any outside energy source but their own or other clean energy sources to produce and maintain the solarpanel ecosystem. cause even if they are more efficient in LEO doesnt say anything about the costs of manufacturing them versus the cost they output over their life and then on top of that the energy expended to put them up there. when i say costs i mean the energy required not monetary. if it takes as much energy to do that as they output over their life then they are just neutral and cant be self sustaining.
edit on 4-4-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: TheScale

originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: TheScale

Depends on the scale, but lets just say they function rather effectively in low Earth orbit making the prospect of solar energy farms a viable prospect should we ever solve the problem of wireless transmission of power more effectively.


and come up with something more cost effective to put them in orbit. still though we need the numbers on how sustainable they are if they dont rely on any outside energy source but their own or other clean energy sources to produce and maintain the solarpanel ecosystem. cause even if they are more efficient in LEO doesnt say anything about the costs of manufacturing them versus the cost they output over their life and then on top of that the energy expended to put them up there. if it takes as much energy to do that as they output over their life then they are just neutral and cant be self sustaining.


Thinking of putting solar energy into low earth orbit is just silly, any effort to fund that research would be met with laughter. Fusion power might be developed in the future but solar in low earth orbit will never be a reality.



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: TheScale

One of these would do the job and the materials and technology are already here or there abouts.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 06:12 PM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: TheScale

One of these would do the job and the materials and technology are already here or there abouts.

en.wikipedia.org...


The materials and technology are not here.



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 06:12 PM
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a reply to: D8Tee

Plenty of people said the same about going to the Moon.

Unless we decide to colonise and conquer low Earth orbit the reality is that we will be indefinitely stuck on this rock.

Why would production of solar energy in low earth orbit be considered silly considering the advances we have made regarding efficiency and wireless power transmission?

Seems to me its the perfect renewable energy source that suits our demands rather eloquently at least for the next few billion years or so.



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: D8Tee

But i think we can all agree given the advances in meta materials they are right around the corner possibly only a few years distant.

Point of fact i think we have Diamond Nano threads which are basically like carbon nano tubes but stronger and stiffer that could do the job now if we could somehow scale up production.
edit on 4-4-2017 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 06:16 PM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: D8Tee

But i think we can all agree given the advances in meta materials they are right around the corner possibly only a few years distant.


No.



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