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Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States

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posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 11:59 AM
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originally posted by: Mach2

originally posted by: fredrodgers1960
I run two solar systems on 2 separate parts of our property. They power security cameras and 900mhz links to our main house. I was a novice at solar when I started, and have had to increase my battery storage now 4 times to finally get enough battery power to run the remote gear when you have days of snow/rain/no sun conditions. These are basically 12vdc systems. Total load is a continuous 2.5 amps for everything running at the remote end. Total investment for each remote end was $520 per location. This is to run a small switch, 2 cameras, and a 900mhz link. That's all.

I had to install a 960CCA marine battery (deep cycle) that weighs in at like 90 pounds. That battery will power that 2.5 amps for 3 days straight with no sun. That's it.

In order to store enough power to supply the entire united states, you are going to need MILLIONS of deep cycle batteries, and I can't even fathom how you would calculate how many are required.

Besides, these batteries will have a 3-5 year life span, and then there is the entire recycling part for each of them.

I seriously doubt that coulld ever happen.

Fusion. That's the future of power generation.

Fred..


Next time you need batteries, check out the Trojan 6v. There are specifically designed for solar use, and with maintenance, will last easily in excess of 10 years.


I actually did look at the Trojan 12V batteries. The dealers around here wanted $330 for a battery with half the CCA of the wally world one (which is actually a duracell, like that really matters). I paid $95 for these, and I admit I expect them to fail after 5 years. One of my systems is just over 4 years old and still working flawlessly (in the cold of winter, blazing hot summers), so I plan to see which one ends up being the better deal, but thanks for the suggestion, I take info from anyplace I can!!!

Fred..




posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:06 PM
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originally posted by: ttobban
a reply to: Mach2



www.amusingplanet.com...




Almeria's sea of white-roofed greenhouse is so vast that researchers from the University of Almeria have found that by reflecting sunlight back into the atmosphere, the greenhouses are actually cooling the province. While temperatures in the rest of Spain have climbed at rates above the world average, the local temperature has dropped an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius every 10 years since 1983.


You already admit that it will happen on a local scale, so what is keeping you back from thinking that the scale would be any different on the global scale?



From your own post, it says "reflected back into the atmosphere" (I considered explaining this in my post), where it is reabsorbed. It doesn't refect back out int space.

From your own post, the local area temp dropped, but the surrounding area rose. The "local" cooling effect was offset by the surrounding areas warming effect.

Any engineer that understands thermodynamics will tell you the same.

I edited my original post with a link explaining why panels are the color the are, if you are interested.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: nOraKat

You don't understand how power is transferred and how much is lost in transfer.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: blueman12

Really? Do you even use numbers, or just say whatever? Thats roughly the size of our national debt, and we take in roughly 3.5 trillion in taxes a year. So, yes, if no money was spent on... anything at all (no military, infrastructure, social services, etc), then yes... possibly in 6 to 7 years. Social Security's budget is WAY more than defense budget. So, sorry old people and disabled. Pretty dumb.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: fredrodgers1960

originally posted by: Mach2

originally posted by: fredrodgers1960
I run two solar systems on 2 separate parts of our property. They power security cameras and 900mhz links to our main house. I was a novice at solar when I started, and have had to increase my battery storage now 4 times to finally get enough battery power to run the remote gear when you have days of snow/rain/no sun conditions. These are basically 12vdc systems. Total load is a continuous 2.5 amps for everything running at the remote end. Total investment for each remote end was $520 per location. This is to run a small switch, 2 cameras, and a 900mhz link. That's all.

I had to install a 960CCA marine battery (deep cycle) that weighs in at like 90 pounds. That battery will power that 2.5 amps for 3 days straight with no sun. That's it.

In order to store enough power to supply the entire united states, you are going to need MILLIONS of deep cycle batteries, and I can't even fathom how you would calculate how many are required.

Besides, these batteries will have a 3-5 year life span, and then there is the entire recycling part for each of them.

I seriously doubt that coulld ever happen.

Fusion. That's the future of power generation.

Fred..


Next time you need batteries, check out the Trojan 6v. There are specifically designed for solar use, and with maintenance, will last easily in excess of 10 years.


I actually did look at the Trojan 12V batteries. The dealers around here wanted $330 for a battery with half the CCA of the wally world one (which is actually a duracell, like that really matters). I paid $95 for these, and I admit I expect them to fail after 5 years. One of my systems is just over 4 years old and still working flawlessly (in the cold of winter, blazing hot summers), so I plan to see which one ends up being the better deal, but thanks for the suggestion, I take info from anyplace I can!!!

Fred..


I understand completely, as I took the exact same approach when I started out. Once I bit the bullet though, I will tell you, it was worth it.

I went the 6v route, and wired two in series, to get the 12v.

I dont know what you are using, but a good MPPT controller was worth it too.

It allows you to run your panels in series so you put out higher peak voltages, and increase charging time in low light conditions.

For example, if you wire your panels to pu out 48v, you start "charging" as soon as they get enough sun to overcome the 13+ volt threshold required to charge a 12v bank.

In my case, granted im in S. FL, I start charging at virtually the break of daylight.
The advantage is even greater in northern lattitudes.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:26 PM
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originally posted by: Mach2

originally posted by: fredrodgers1960

originally posted by: Mach2

originally posted by: fredrodgers1960
I run two solar systems on 2 separate parts of our property. They power security cameras and 900mhz links to our main house. I was a novice at solar when I started, and have had to increase my battery storage now 4 times to finally get enough battery power to run the remote gear when you have days of snow/rain/no sun conditions. These are basically 12vdc systems. Total load is a continuous 2.5 amps for everything running at the remote end. Total investment for each remote end was $520 per location. This is to run a small switch, 2 cameras, and a 900mhz link. That's all.

I had to install a 960CCA marine battery (deep cycle) that weighs in at like 90 pounds. That battery will power that 2.5 amps for 3 days straight with no sun. That's it.

In order to store enough power to supply the entire united states, you are going to need MILLIONS of deep cycle batteries, and I can't even fathom how you would calculate how many are required.

Besides, these batteries will have a 3-5 year life span, and then there is the entire recycling part for each of them.

I seriously doubt that coulld ever happen.

Fusion. That's the future of power generation.

Fred..


Next time you need batteries, check out the Trojan 6v. There are specifically designed for solar use, and with maintenance, will last easily in excess of 10 years.


I actually did look at the Trojan 12V batteries. The dealers around here wanted $330 for a battery with half the CCA of the wally world one (which is actually a duracell, like that really matters). I paid $95 for these, and I admit I expect them to fail after 5 years. One of my systems is just over 4 years old and still working flawlessly (in the cold of winter, blazing hot summers), so I plan to see which one ends up being the better deal, but thanks for the suggestion, I take info from anyplace I can!!!

Fred..


I understand completely, as I took the exact same approach when I started out. Once I bit the bullet though, I will tell you, it was worth it.

I went the 6v route, and wired two in series, to get the 12v.

I dont know what you are using, but a good MPPT controller was worth it too.

It allows you to run your panels in series so you put out higher peak voltages, and increase charging time in low light conditions.

For example, if you wire your panels to pu out 48v, you start "charging" as soon as they get enough sun to overcome the 13+ volt threshold required to charge a 12v bank.

In my case, granted im in S. FL, I start charging at virtually the break of daylight.
The advantage is even greater in northern lattitudes.


Oh yeah, I researched the heck out of controllers. I settled on a Renogy controller, and have been very pleased, using these in all of my installs. I had one fail. I didn't blame it. The car port that it was installed in got hit with a direct lightning hit ($1000 in damages later), fried everything. And yes, that thing was grounded out the behind.


I'm still learning, thanks!!

Fred..



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:29 PM
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originally posted by: richapau
a reply to: nOraKat

You don't understand how power is transferred and how much is lost in transfer.


In fairness, most ppl dont.

The best case scenerio is a minimum 10% loss, due to heat (which is one thing we are trying to minimize), during dc/ac conversion. Even that is very difficult to obtain in lab conditions, let alone real world applications.


There is also considerable loss any time you try to move electricity over long distances through copper wires.

I know, from your post, you understand this. I just wanted to do some educating for those who haven't had experience in electrical engineering.
edit on 3312019 by Mach2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: Mach2

That makes sense... I am using the term local and calling it global. I can see what you mean by indicating local... I am thinking of the scaling incorrectly here.

If the panels aren't able to radiate heat, removing heat pockets from around the area of the panels would serve to not allow surface temperatures to climb... creating a cooling affect as opposed to heating up the area. Sure, installing one or two panels isn't part of this equation, but start putting in farms up and now we're talking about a fair amount of heat... enough to contribute to surface temperature increases.

Maybe I was not clear on what I meant, but the surface temperatures being able to escalate on the surface of the globe is my concern with solar. The premise is no different than desert nomads choosing to wear white or black when they travel. Wear black in the desert all one wants... the radiation affect is going to happen whether it's an individual or all users involved.

Now, just imagine all solar panels wearing white in the desert? It would be just like that article I linked... those specific areas would should to be in a cooling mode while the rest of the black solar panels would be heating up. Local in action yet global consequentially is what is foreseen.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:35 PM
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Somebody calculated that if every Walmart roof was covered with panels that would power the country.
So how many Walmart's and how many square feet




posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:41 PM
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originally posted by: mikell
Somebody calculated that if every Walmart roof was covered with panels that would power the country.
So how many Walmart's and how many square feet



I don't know who calculated it, but I can tell you, their math skills suck.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: ttobban

A more apt example might be, a big city with dirty dark roofs, and mile after mile of blacktop roads, is indeed warmer than the area woild be without. Nevertheless this has no effect, whatsoever, on the average global temperature.

I think you are still fighting basic, accepted science. Lol



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 01:05 PM
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a reply to: Mach2

It's common for engineering minds and architectural minds to differ in their approaches. One side usually gets hung up on specifics, while broad scope is the goal for the other. It's just comes with the law of averages that engineers lean on being right/wrong while architects remain on scales of the average. If all you want to be is right, then have it... it's all yours.

I prefer to be wrong, as I learn more and quicker when I am wrong. Engineers need architects just like architects need engineers. To claim one side is better than the other for sake of ego would be a flaw if you ask me. To claim that something can't be improved upon any further due to personal involvement/knowledge you gained would be flawed as well.

As far as solar improvements go, it's in the early generations of technologies and will undoubtedly arrive one day in the not so distant future. There's no need to go back and forth about what has already happened while the search for clues to improve upon are the other side of the debate. If the solar cookie is desired, then eat it up buddy... you are smart and deserve it!



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: paraphi

"when it comes to environmental destruction"

A hundred square miles of solar paneling feels like a fair trade in that department, my friend.

Alternatives - Burn stuff. Nuke stuff. Frack stuff. Having to clean ducks and sea birds with Dawn. Having to give the world additional reasons to hate BP. Watching the largest greenhouse reach the real life incarnation of chaos theory at the global scale.

But sure yeah, we need to be sensible about this.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 01:17 PM
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originally posted by: Archivalist
a reply to: paraphi

"when it comes to environmental destruction"

A hundred square miles of solar paneling feels like a fair trade in that department, my friend.

Alternatives - Burn stuff. Nuke stuff. Frack stuff. Having to clean ducks and sea birds with Dawn. Having to give the world additional reasons to hate BP. Watching the largest greenhouse reach the real life incarnation of chaos theory at the global scale.

But sure yeah, we need to be sensible about this.


That maybe true in the abstract, but we live in reality.

It's a given that a project of this magnitude would come with a pricetag, with the bill being paid by US taxpayers.

The question then becomes, is it practical?

The answer to that question is dependant upon what the pricetag # is.

If i told you, hypothetically, that the initial cost was a doubling of your taxes, and the product would then cost you double what you are paying for energy currently, are you on board?

I doubt there would be much support for that.


My point is, it's just pie in the sky, if it is not practical, no matter how benevolent the idea.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 03:04 PM
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Okay, so let's say it was possible to make a 100 sq mile solar farm that the entire US used for power.

Can you say "soft target"? One hijacked airliner later, power in the US is destroyed, they could disrupt the entire farm with a massive loss of panels and infrastructure.

Think please. Because our enemies sure would.

Fred..



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 03:39 PM
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originally posted by: Mach2

originally posted by: mikell
Somebody calculated that if every Walmart roof was covered with panels that would power the country.
So how many Walmart's and how many square feet



I don't know who calculated it, but I can tell you, their math skills suck.


It is actually not that far off. Avg walmart store across all formats is 105,000 SF. They have 11,400 total stores. This comes out just under 2 billion sq ft. 10 miles by 10 miles comes out to a little over 2.7 billion sq ft. So Walmart could service at least half of the requirement if you allowed some space on the roofs for other things like a/c etc.

Actually this is totally wrong. We are talking about 10,000 Sq Miles rather than 100 sq miles. We actually would need 27 trillion sq ft of solar panels. I certainly hope there is never enough Wal Marts for it to work.
edit on 31-3-2019 by sligtlyskeptical because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: nOraKat

While this is technically possible eventually - maybe - it is not a good idea.

1. There is not nearly enough battery manufacturing or raw material for batteries in existence currently, nor would it be quick to create, think a decade plus easily.

2. Solar is not very efficient for the amount of raw material needed and waste created by all the panels and batteries needed, both of which wear out in a couple decades and would need to be replaced.

3. There is a far better solution. 4 th generation nuclear plants. They have no meltdown risk, are way way more efficient, and can even use some nuclear waste as fuel. Also there has been some recent breakthroughs with fusion that may make that viable in a decade or so as well.

Actually even 2 nd gen nuclear plants, the ones in service are actually superior, as meltdown effects have been completely overstated. Actual deaths from nuclear is less than a couple hundred.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 04:33 PM
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a reply to: nOraKat

Yeah, I wouldn't be listening to Elon Musk. Seriously.

I duplicated his calculations... actually pretty easy. A mile is about 16,000 meters, so 100 miles squared would be 1.6 million meters squared, or 2,590,000,000,000 square meters. Solar irradiance is estimated at 1.5 kW per square meter, so that's 3,885,000,000,000 kW. Total electrical consumption of the US is about 3,911,000,000,000 kWh/yr. About the same.

Sounds good, right? Nope. Ignore for a moment that he didn't even get the units right...

Firstly, solar energy is not continuous. Even if we figure some area like the Southwest, known for it's deserts, we still need to account for the occasional cloudy days. Figure a 90% efficiency. Then take into account that the sun does not shine at night, so that would average 50% efficiency if the location is within the Tropic of Capricorn. The US doesn't have many places that far south, so figure an average of 11 hours per day. That drops day/night efficiency to 46%.

Now realize that the sun does not beam directly down form sunup to sundown. It is actually a sinusoidal wave, so integrating from 0 to pi gives us another 50% efficiency. Now take solar cell efficiency... that rarely gets anywhere near the theoretical in a commercial setting, so let's be generous and say 12%*.

0.9x0.46x0.5x0.12=0.02484, or 2.484% efficiency for the solar panels themselves.

*The 12% efficiency number was based on an available solar panel with a rated output of 365W and costing $255.00. Let's extrapolate that. It would take 10.5 trillion such panels to produce the required wattage output. That's $2,689 trillion (2.689 quadrillion) dollars, just for solar panels, and we're not even started with batteries, controllers, inverters...

Nope, not workable. Not even close. Mr. Musk needs to go back to cars and rockets and leave the engineering to engineers. Maybe then he wouldn't keep shoving his foot in his mouth up to his neck.

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 04:58 PM
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Sounds like Elon Musk will be after subsidies for another economically non-viable stock fraud scheme.



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 05:29 PM
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it would be 1 square mile of panels for every 983 square mile of land.
I bet the tops of buildings is a Lot more than that.
so you Dont lose land.

I bet your eccentric bill will NOT go down!



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