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 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 1
Solar power indifferencePage 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
Solar power indifference

Why does it seem that solar power hasn't or isn't catching the interest of the majority?
I've always been fascinated by it and shook my head at those that said it would never catch on.
Yet it has made great successes and no one seems to either know or care.

What's your opinion on solar power?
Do you wish to have a solar powered home?
Have you thought about purchasing an electric car?

The following g is an interesting article:


Solar energy stiffled by cheap hydro, indifference
City exploring solar carbon credits as energy rebates fall by wayside

Graeme Wood / Richmond News ?March 28, 2014 12:00 AM


In 2007, around the same time Republicans were tar and feathering Al Gore following the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Deb and Ken Brodie took a flyer on a $5,000 set of solar hot water panels. It was also the same year the Northwest Passage opened, setting a new low in Arctic ice coverage in the industrial age as a result of global warming caused by greenhouse gases.

In seven years, the Brodies say the panels have paid themselves off and their average gas bill is now only $25/month for their 35-year-old, three bedroom split-level home, that features a small hot tub. According to Fortis BC the average monthly bill for BC customers is $78.

The Brodies received a $1,000 rebate at the time of purchase. But now, after helping about 100,000 residents green their homes the LiveSmart BC residential Efficiency Incentive Program will draw to a close on Monday after once offering up to $7,000/household in rebates. This follows the closure of a similar federal program in 2012.

So, are we done making our homes more energy efficient? Was Gore a passing phenomenon? And if the Brodies are a gold star example of the financial and environmental benefits of solar energy being applied to residential homes, why do only a handful of homes in Richmond have solar panels?

Ultimately, these questions may increasingly be left up to municipalities to answer. And if Richmond's past and planned efforts to reduce its carbon emissions are any indication, Richmondites can continue to expect to have opportunities to reduce their environmental footprint - including, possibly, installing solar panels.

According to Peter Russell, Richmond's senior manager of sustainability and district energy, B.C. municipalities had once thought buying carbon credits from the now folded provincial Pacific Carbon Trust would be part of the answer. In 2008, the city set a goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2012. It failed to attain that goal. "I'm sensitive to how that can be viewed. Cities anticipated that a good solution would emerge, but when the only solution was to buy from the province, it didn't seem appealing," because the money was leaving the municipalities, said Russell.

What has emerged is a new carbon neutrality plan from the city that hopes to target communitybased emission-saving initiatives and provide them with funding in exchange for carbon credits. Furthermore, by 2050 the city hopes to have reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 2007 levels.

The city is undertaking a number of initiatives, such as how it is presently purchasing fewer, smaller and/or emission-free vehicles for its service fleet.
Russell said city staff are in the preliminary stages of exploring a solar panel carbon offset/rebate for homeowners who install panels.

The credits may only be worth a few hundred dollars annually, but as Russell notes, all of the initiatives the city offers are voluntary, which has led to it being the only BC Hydro PowerSmart certified municipality in BC.

And while the city has mandated all new homes be "solar panel ready" Coun. Harold Steves has raised the possibility of having solar panels becoming mandatory on new homes. "If we just had solar panels on all our homes we wouldn't need to be building more (hydro-electric) dams and flooding the Peace River region," said Steves.

BC Hydro notes there are just 238 homes provincewide that sell back electricity from solar panels. Steves said if a new home is being sold for omore than $1 million, adding a $10-20,000 solar panel isn't a stretch of the pockets.

Rob Baxter, co-owner of Vancouver Renewable Energy, a company that installs solar panels, agreed with Steves' premise, but says existing homeowners don't see much short-term benefit for the panels.

"Four and five years ago people had rebate incentives to use solar hot water. What's happened since then is the price of natural gas has come down and incentives have gone away," said Baxter. Photovoltaic panels may not be a good, immediate payoff either as a result of B.C having some of the cheapest electricity in North America.

A photovoltaic system costing $15-20,000 currently saves about $700 a year in electricity, said Baxter. The panels come with a 25-year warranty but last much longer, said Baxter, noting efficiency and costs are improving.

"We're always honest and realistic with people so it's usually people interested in the environment having the panels installed," he added.

Baxter said Richmond's over and above standards compared to provincial building codes is a step in the right direction.

"Solar hot water is a bit more difficult to install. It's easier if the plumbing conduit is pre-built," he said. Steves said the city has an opportunity to be a leader and usher in change, not unlike Lancaster, Cal., the first city in the United States to mandate solar panels on new homes.

The Jan.1, 2014 initiative was spearheaded by Mayor Rex Parris, a Republican.
 ScurvyLittleSpider
Joined: 11/23/2014
Msg: 2
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/14/2014 6:29:36 PM
Indifference gets a boost from mixed messages in the media
including reports of fraudsters
http://www.newsmax.com/BradleyBlakeman/Roof-Solar-Panels-Fraud/2014/03/14/id/559661/
 norwegianguy123
Joined: 10/27/2014
Msg: 3
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/15/2014 10:43:33 AM

Why does it seem that solar power hasn't or isn't catching the interest of the majority?

Because it's an investment for the long term to save money. And in the US, there's way too many extra costs setting it up (as opposed to Germany which cuts to the chase). People like to get things NOW, more convenient, less maintenance -- and they're willing to pay more over 15 years than throw down lots of dough up-front. They have some plans to set it up where you don't Own the panels, etc -- and that's interesting. But in cloudier areas where energy costs aren't that high anyway -- people just don't want to adjust to it unless it's Clearly better (like the light bulb change and the costs going down on the newer kind).

Electric cars aren't the best move though either. Costs you more. Less on fuel, more on general cost. It needs to be less on general cost of buying it, too, as most people don't want the inconvenience. Don't own your own home? Better hope the landlord or apt complex has a charging station there. Oh, you do? Better buy a charging station, etc. Oh, the car company will cover that cost? Ain't going to be a cheap buy.

It's still in it's early mode. Battery technology needs a solid change of improvement -- for both solar and electric cars + speed of charging increased. Things are being worked on -- it's just too early for our spoiled needs. :)
 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 4
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/15/2014 6:49:14 PM
I guess it depends on what you read:

http://content.sierraclub.org/evguide/myths-vs-reality
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 5
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/16/2014 10:19:23 AM
The main reason why things are the way they are is because the people who stand to lose the most do not want it that way.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Electric cars are just as bad, the cost of production and end of life disposal is far more that your average car.


Are you factoring in all the fluids that need to be changed with respect to a gasoline engine during its lifetime?
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 6
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/17/2014 5:29:22 AM

Not sure that the fluid changes factor highly, do you?


My last car I put on ~240,000kms in three years which equaled ~ 48 oil changes which is ~ 200L of oil for just one car. If I extrapolate that out to the ~# of petrol burning vehicles on the road that is a sh*t of fluids, so yes I do think that they do make a difference.




The running costs of your electric car depend on how your country produces electricity, countries like France which relies on nuclear, the electric car fares better, countries like India and China that predominantly burn coal for their electric, electric cars come out worse.


Right, which is why I stated that micro production is the future of energy production not mega production. If we want to be solar or wind efficient we do not need giant mega projects, we need mirco projects on every home and free space we can.

That energy is then pushed back into the grid and with a charging station network we could fuel up those cars with clean energy. But like I have also stated the people in power are not too keen on not being able to make a buck on this so chances of it ever happening full scale are pretty slim.




There are reckoned to be 1200 new coal powered electric power stations planned to be built worldwide, mostly by developing countries but 2/3 by China and India. China are currently building nearly 2 a day and have bought a mountain in Peru and 'buying out' Africa to mine it's copper and other resources to wire up China.


There are also plans for lots of solar and wind development as well.

Though that said I guess you are right, seeing as we are going to die anyway, we may as well just do some blow and eat nothing but cheeseburgers and chocolate.
 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 7
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/17/2014 11:12:53 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_electric_drive

The third-generation Smart electric drive was unveiled at the September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.[5] Key differences with the second-generation model include a more powerful electric motor, which improves acceleration and top speed; a new lithium-ion battery pack that will allow to increase the range to 140 kilometres (87 mi) and an option for quick-charge will be available
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 8
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/17/2014 11:22:08 AM
Well if you do that amount of mileage then you are going to have to get used to this phrase... Range anxiety


Yeah I thought that was well until I came across a Telsa Model S with Missouri plates parked at a free charging station in PEI Canada one day and had a conversation with the owner of the car about his trip to Canada and any issues he may have faced with the car traveling those distances.

http://suncountryhighway.ca/news-media/2012/09/pei-wired-for-electric-vehicles/




The average electric car will do 40 miles on a nights charge at 16 amps, the usual household rate. To do 240000 miles will take you over 16 years!


If we are going to do the math, lets not use just old outdated and misquoted numbers please because that 40miles would be based on a standard 110 outlet (not at 16amps but 12) and would cost you (even at the full rate) about $1.30.

Bur for starters, it was 240kms not 240miles.

Also if I charge at night my utility company lets me buy the power at a discounted rate.

Along with the fact that if I did have an electric car I would install a 220 charger that would let me charge 40kms of range in about 1hr or ~400kms after 9hrs at a cost of ~$10.

Then add some solar or wind to your home and sell that power back to the utility during the day and use it to iffset your costs down the road.

Also take advantage of free charging stations.




...not to mention the environmental impact of recycling these batteries suddenly 200 litres of oil which can be cleaned and reused indefinitely seems pretty good...


Please help me understand what you mean by this.

Are you saying that the batteries from electric cars just end up in landfills and can not be recycled in any way?
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 9
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/17/2014 1:53:42 PM

...look at your 3 year old laptop, once it could hold a charge for several hours, ..


Watch the second video on this page to see why your analogy is flawed.


Tesla Model S P85 Battery Degradation After 33,000 Miles – Video

Bjørn Nyland talks about Tesla Model S battery degradation after 33,000 miles (almost 53,000 kilometers).

"If my calculations are correct, 0.5 % degradation or 2 km of typical range.

That's 10 times better than Tesla Roadster. For a more correct test though, a 100 % range charge has to be done." “If my calculations are correct, 0.5 % degradation or 2 km of typical range.

That’s 10 times better than Tesla Roadster. For a more correct test though, a 100 % range charge has to be done.”

As you will see in the video above, the total degradation on his battery pack is 0.5%.

http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-p85-battery-degradation-33000-miles-video/
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 10
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/17/2014 2:28:57 PM

So for the first year or two you are going to get full capacity but after this it's all down hill

Put it another way, your tesla won't last 240000km


You didn't watch the first video did you?

This is an actual users and his results to date are, ~5% loss after 50K and if you extrapolate that out you get, ~10% after 1 million kms.

Then you take into account that what we have no is the worse we are going to see as the technology is only going to get better.

So yeah maybe a high-end luxury electric car is not for you, but a reasonably priced compact me be and the only thing that is stopping you from having one, is ironically people like yourself that seem to have a defeatist type attitude towards this technology.
 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 11
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/17/2014 11:48:54 PM

TeslaMD | 27 JUNI, 2014
For those that want greater insight into the battery technology - this link was posted months back in another thread. Highly informative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxP0Cu00sZs

It will show you that not all manufacturers utilize the same battery technology in their EVs. Nissan uses a lackluster battery chemistry in the Leaf. Tesla uses the best available.



And do you realize what condition most cars are in after 240000km?
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 12
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 5:26:44 AM

And do you realize what condition most cars are in after 240000km?


Umm yeah, as my last 4 cars had about that many kms on them when I sold them.

And they all where in fantastic condition, as all of them where dealer serviced at every interval along with my own regular cleaning and maintainance.

The engines bays all looked dealer fresh and inside of the cars where as clean as the day they where new. The only obvious signs of wear could be seen on the front bumper and hood from rock chips and paint wear from all the kms.

Over the years I now have a list of people who I call when I am getting rid of one of my cars as they know they can get a great deal on a car that has a ton of kms but is like new.
 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 13
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 10:30:38 AM

And do you realize what condition > "MOST" < cars are in after 240000km?


Obviously YOU, HFX_RGB, fall outside the 'most' category.
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 14
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 11:10:45 AM

Obviously YOU, HFX_RGB, fall outside the 'most' category.


If it was so obvious why did you ask the question?
 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 15
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 4:27:03 PM

andyaa on 12/17/2014 3:02:32 PM
Put it another way, you'll be needing to change those batteries after 240000km


Making a point to counter andyaa's comment.

Most cars are lucky to see 240000kms.
Most cars are a wreck before that.
So, 240000kms does not seem bad, considering that most cars are dead at that mileage.


Average Life of Cars
Most modern gasoline-powered cars built after 2001 will last an average of 10 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km).
The statement above is true if the car is well-maintained and properly taken care of.
http://land-water-air-space-vehicles-crafts.blogspot.ca/2014/06/average-life-of-cars.html
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 16
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 5:03:28 PM

So, 240000kms does not seem bad, considering that most cars are dead at that mileage.


If you where to break down those number I bet the majority of cars that are crap after 240,000 are crap cars. For two reasons, for the most part people who buy cheap cars only fix when broken.

People who spend more will tend to also spend $ preventive care.

I changed the oil every 5K, dealer serviced at all intervals. Also like I do with all my cars I took extremely good care of it and did not abuse it. I always buy manuals and this was one a 6spd, with no clutch issues and only brake change I did was at 200,000kms and even at that point I still had 30% left.

So at the end of the day all that maintenance added up along with the fuel bills at ave ~6K a year.

So the talk of all the extra money it is going to cost is clearly being said by people who have never driven a car/s those kind of kms and knows what it takes to keep a gas car going.

I would say not my next car, but the one after that will be some type of electric / hybrid electric. (~6-8 years from now)

Is my motivation climate based?

No, as thinking that electric cars are going to fix anything, is a gross misunderstanding of what is happening and who are the biggest contributors.

Put everyone in a prius and you could not even measure the insignificance of the change because todays cars are actually not really a polluter.

Gas lawnmovers impact the envirment more than a late model car.

The commercials trucks and the real bad boys are the large ships, so changing them to something more efficient would make a bigger impact. So my motivation is purely cost based.
 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 17
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 6:47:00 PM
Most people can only afford cheap cars
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 18
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 8:15:57 PM

Most people can only afford cheap cars


Which really means nothing when you understand that the mid to high end market has never been better.


You do know that high end car makers have never had it better right?

Along with the average car price is at the highest it has even been, and car sales are also on the way up.

So sure there are lots of who can only afford cheap cars and many that can not even afford one, but there are also a ton of people who can and do buy expensive cars / trucks / suv's
 emotionalheat
Joined: 6/27/2007
Msg: 19
view profile
History
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 8:41:19 PM
Technology requires investment and it's a good thing there has been some. Consider the amazing uses for spray-on miniature solar cells. Not unsightly, able to be flexible and even put in the paint of a vehicle. [url] http://www.care2.com/causes/rooftop-solar-power-could-be-just-a-spray-away.html [/url]

If we use solar, wind, geothermal power tactfully and when we can preserve all that power for a future use, then we can have a power grid that will accept the excess power of a town cooperative to be used for another location that is in need or for a 'rainy' day.

We need to think in smaller units ie. cooperatives a best practice for conservation and sustainability all the while considering our own limitation and those of our neighbors in other coops (towns, regions, states). We can build a different kind of infrastructure creating a people's economy without government or corporate dominance.
 emotionalheat
Joined: 6/27/2007
Msg: 20
view profile
History
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 8:42:51 PM
It's been a long time since I've posted, it seems I forgot how to post urls so they can accessed. If some would be kind enough to direct me. And accept my apology for the bad attempt in my last post.
 awesomefiftyman
Joined: 12/1/2014
Msg: 21
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 9:06:17 PM
Unfortunately urls will only show up as text on POF.
 emotionalheat
Joined: 6/27/2007
Msg: 22
view profile
History
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/18/2014 9:44:19 PM
Thanks awesomefifty. There used to be a way, but we've since been relegated to the forgotten sector.
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 23
view profile
History
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/20/2014 2:50:06 PM
They will only reduce your energy bill by about 10% so average household electric bill here in UK £700, so about £70 per annum. Times that by an over exaggerate 25 year life expectancy, more like 15 and you get a massive saving of £1750 considering they cost you £6000 in the first place!

Had to laugh at that. It's true that solar doesn't make much sense in the cloudy UK. It's also true that it's common for solar to reduce your energy bill by >100% in sunny Australia, so you can make back the capital cost in a few years. Before you get too excited, the feed-in tariffs are pretty miserly so it's not a profitable business to buy more panels than you actually need.

As for cars, I'm not sure you're taking into account the cutting edge of battery technology that is working to improve on the deficiencies you've identified. It might need some more development, but I don't think you should write off an electric vehicle future just yet.

Most other EVs are utilizing new variations on lithium-ion chemistry that sacrifice energy and power density to provide fire resistance, environmental friendliness, very rapid charges (as low as a few minutes), and very long lifespans. These variants (phosphates, titanates, spinels, etc.) have been shown to have a much longer lifetime, with A123 expecting their lithium iron phosphate batteries to last for at least 10+ years and 7000+ charge cycles,[8] and LG Chem expecting their lithium-manganese spinel batteries to last up to 40 years.[citation needed]

Much work is being done on lithium ion batteries in the lab.[9] Lithium vanadium oxide has already made its way into the Subaru prototype G4e, doubling energy density. Silicon nanowires,[10][11] silicon nanoparticles,[12] and tin nanoparticles[13][14] promise several times the energy density in the anode, while composite[15][16] and superlattice[17] cathodes also promise significant density improvements.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_vehicle_battery

And let's not forget these guys:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage
 HFX_RGB
Joined: 7/26/2014
Msg: 24
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/22/2014 9:13:09 AM

Don't forget that this is a false economy, solar is heavily subsidised by general users of electricity. The government in the UK has also been known to change the goal posts on the feed-in tariffs it 'promises'.


How much is it subsidized and how does that compare with Oil?




This also doesn't get around the real crisis in the solar 'renewable' energy and that is how do you up the supply when there is a peak in demand.


You could use the unneeded electricity to pump the water up a hill and when you then need to the power you release it and then recovery the energy.

Or someone much smarter than me will come up with something.




We simply aren't going to come up with batteries that are cheap (financial and environmental) to build that will allow us the sorts of mileage we get from diesel or gas cars.


How are you able to predict the future?
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 25
view profile
History
Solar power indifference
Posted: 12/23/2014 12:10:35 AM

Don't forget that this is a false economy, solar is heavily subsidised by general users of electricity. The government in the UK has also been known to change the goal posts on the feed-in tariffs it 'promises'.

The economy was an aside - the point was that you can easily cover your whole energy needs with solar. As for subsidy, don't forget fossil fuel alternatives are subsidised through externalising CO2 costs into our atmosphere. And don't forget nuclear fission is subsidised by externalising waste costs underground for millenia.

This also doesn't get around the real crisis in the solar 'renewable' energy and that is how do you up the supply when there is a peak in demand.

I'm not sure if you're talking about home scale or grid scale, but techs like these take care of both.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage

Why aren't you interested in FES? Is there some physics reason you think they're not going to be any good for storing energy until it's needed?

I know there are other options like molten salt or pumping water, but FES seems to be the simplest and best solution to me... especially for the mobile applications we were originally talking about.

Then you have the losses, what 20% in the cabling alone?

Is that different to other grid sources? Domestic solar removes distribution losses, so I'm not really sure what you're saying here. If anything solar would surely be better than anything else for that.

I still think micro nuclear power stations in each community would solve a lot of these issues.

Maybe they would be a useful part of the mix. Are you saying Gen III+ reactors are incompatible with solar?

If you look at the research, some of which you've outlined, it all about top down refinement now. We're simply improving on what we already have, after all, we've only got what appears on the periodic table to play with.

That's crazy talk! Are you sure you're into sciency stuff? 30 years ago we thought carbon only came in diamond and graphite, then along came fullerenes, nanotubes, graphene... there's a new carbon material coming out every decade. How long have we been working with carbon? I'm not even going to count the millions of carbon-based molecules and polymers we're constantly adding to.

We simply aren't going to come up with batteries that are cheap (financial and environmental) to build that will allow us the sorts of mileage we get from diesel or gas cars.

[Citation needed]

look at formula 1 cars for energy recovery

I did? Not sure what you're saying. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage#Motor_sports
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