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Author Topic: Solar Cell Misconceptions  (Read 1637 times)
NA0AA
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2010, 12:00:07 PM »

Supply/demand is going to continue to drive the price of solar panels down - and remember, sometimes it's not replacing all the power but the peak power - here in N. CA, PG+E nicks you $0.15 KwH in the second tier, which you never seem to miss hitting.
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N6PJB
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2010, 12:25:06 PM »

and if you hit tier 3 it is $.52 per KWH. During the summer our well and AC consume a lot,  even during non peak hours.
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WX7G
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2010, 12:34:58 PM »

Drywall screws are great for attaching things to cats or cats to things.
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KF6QEX
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2010, 02:10:54 PM »

AS long as there is money to be made by the "traditional" energy sources, other technologies will only experience controlled implementation of these alternate sources.

Hubrid cars existed since the begining of the century ...no not this one, the last century ..but not until 100 years later can you go out an buy one.
Because at the begining of the centyry there was plenty of money to be made in oil.

So...solar cells, spit mixed with flour, or fremented carrots...no matter what the source...it won't become mainstream until the right amount is being made be the right people or companies.
 
...and that's what I think  :)

Dimitri
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K5END
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2010, 06:31:17 PM »


The panels on AO7 are over 35 years old and still working - in a space environment!


Yeah, in all seriousness I've been wondering about that, and have been for quite a while. Which is worse?

In orbit the radiation and temp extremes are intense. But there is no oxygen or any other compound to degrade the material. But one speck of dust orbiting through the same point could pulverize the whole vehicle.

NASA is just down the road from QTH. Someone there would know.
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K5END
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« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2010, 06:50:40 PM »

and if you hit tier 3 it is $.52 per KWH. During the summer our well and AC consume a lot,  even during non peak hours.

Wow. Highway robbery. Here it ranges from $.10 to $.18, and depends on the price of natural gas. Even green and nuke electricity depend on the price of natural gas, so the nuke power plants are the most profitable because they cost less to run. And what do you know? No pollution from the nuke plants. No Carbon dioxide, no mercury, no sulfur compounds, nada.

Here it also depends on who your local utility is. In my area the consumer can actually choose one of many power retailers for electricity.  The rate depends in part and indirectly on ones credit score. The high risk customers who have a history of not paying their bills get charged the most. Other areas in Texas are structured differently. It's been weird like this ever since someone had the great idea to deregulate it. One thing about deregulation is many of the impoverished are paying the highest rates, because of their bad credit history.
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K0BG
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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2010, 07:28:23 AM »

Why do folks compare the environment of space with the terrestrial environment? Oh yes, we have micro meteorites, very cold temps, etc., but if the product is designed correctly, it does indeed last. However, things down here on earth aren't designed like space rated hardware. If it were, perhaps it would last longer. And think about this.

Space stays cold. Atop a mountain, you get lots of thaw/freeze cycles. Birds love solar panels because they're warmer than the surroundings. I could go on, but you get the picture.

It is also interesting to note, that Xcel is building a whole bunch of solar sites here in New Mexico, but none north of the mean north/south center of the US. Considering the former statement, and the fact we get more sun here, it probably speaks well for payoff times.

Good palaver, nonetheless.
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N2EY
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« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2010, 06:17:11 PM »

K5END writes: "Highway robbery."

Remember how deregulation was supposed to be the solution?

K5END: "Here it ranges from $.10 to $.18, and depends on the price of natural gas."

What about how much you use?

K5END: "Even green and nuke electricity depend on the price of natural gas, so the nuke power plants are the most profitable because they cost less to run. And what do you know? No pollution from the nuke plants. No Carbon dioxide, no mercury, no sulfur compounds, nada."

Not from the plants themselves while in normal operation.

But consider that a nuclear plant requires a lot of energy to build, and very little of it comes from other nuclear plants. Worse, the fuel requires a lot of energy to mine, refine, and transport. The waste from nuclear plants similarly must be disposed of in ways that require a lot of energy, spread out over lots of time.

Nuclear electric plants of the type normally used by utilities take a long time to cold-start, and don't change power settings fast, so they are normally run at or near full power to run the base load. Meanwhile other plants (gas, hydro, coal, wind) which can start up and shut down faster make up the difference. So an all-nuclear electric system would have some serious challenges as loads changed. One solution would be pumped storage of excess capacity during low-load times, but those plants aren't free either.

Nuclear plants also have the possibility of spectacular failures (such as Three Mile Island) that result in an energy-using white elephant that nobody has yet figured out how to clean up.

That doesn't mean nuclear electricity is bad or shouldn't be used. Just that it isn't as perfect nor as inexpensive as some folks seem to think.

K5END: "Here it also depends on who your local utility is. In my area the consumer can actually choose one of many power retailers for electricity."

Same here. The result is a complex bill; you pay a certain price for generation and another price for transmission/distribution. The generation cost looks cheap but it's not the whole story.

K5END: "The rate depends in part and indirectly on ones credit score. The high risk customers who have a history of not paying their bills get charged the most."

Interesting!

K5END: "Other areas in Texas are structured differently. It's been weird like this ever since someone had the great idea to deregulate it. One thing about deregulation is many of the impoverished are paying the highest rates, because of their bad credit history."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds as if someone who has always paid their electric bill on time could wind up paying higher rates simply because they haven't yet built up a good credit score.

I am convinced that the real solution is a combination of solutions, ranging from conservation/efficiency to new technologies still decades away.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K5END
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« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2010, 09:30:54 PM »


I am convinced that the real solution is a combination of solutions, ranging from conservation/efficiency to new technologies still decades away.


Well, you should be secretary of the DOE.
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K0BG
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« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2010, 02:56:22 PM »

Larry, maybe you're correct about Jim, N2EY. Think about this campaign slogan: Save your nickels with Miccolis!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 02:58:04 PM by K0BG » Logged

K5END
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2010, 05:13:19 AM »

OK, but to clarify for the record I said that to Jim in good-natured jest, and not in sarcasm.
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K0BG
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2010, 06:12:43 AM »

So did I.

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N2EY
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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2010, 07:20:17 AM »

And it was taken that way.
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K5END
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« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2010, 09:35:43 AM »

And it was taken that way.

Glad to hear it.
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N0HR
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« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2010, 11:10:05 AM »

I've been reading the comments on this topic with interest.

I work for a company in Iowa (www.powerfilmsolar.com) that makes flexible thin-film solar cells for several applications. Many of our products were developed for the U.S. military to provide a reliable, lightweight, flexible alternative other power sources. For example, consider a remote base in Iraq using gas or diesel generators. By using a portable solar powered system for at least some of the electric demand, the need for fuel convoys is reduced (which has several advantages).

We also offer products for backpackers, hikers, and even hams. In fact, PowerWerx recently started to carry our line http://www.powerwerx.com/solar/  

Over the past week, we've shipped hundreds of our military products to Haiti where folks can't get power at remote locations by conventional means and getting fuel to generators is not yet reliable.

Solar electricity has definite applications and works well. I'm looking forward to seeing the industry advance in the days ahead.

(Sorry if this sounded like a plug for PowerFilm, but thought I'd offer another view of solar energy).

73 Pat
N0HR
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