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THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Clever monkeys and Solar Power--The Fourth Age

Unread postby threadbear » Thu 04 Sep 2008, 22:39:25

Geoff Olson.com

"Who will be the big losers in this? The big oil companies, for sure. “In general, we are already entering a period where the King CONG – coal, oil, nukes, gas – companies are nervous about investing in any step in the process, since the payback is over 20 to 30 years. They are not stupid, and see that the complete triumph of renewables will occur in about 10 to 15 years, with almost 100 percent of all electricity converted over and probably 50 percent of transport to plug in hybrids by then. Even oil rich Middle East countries from Algeria to United Arab Emirates are jumping on the solar bandwagon,” Bellenson states.

The geneticist notes that the primary material that goes into producing solar panels is silicon. The Earth’s crust is one-quarter silicon, the seventh most abundant element in the universe. You could say the cosmos is just about screaming at the clever monkey to crank out solar panels."

http://www.geoffolson.com/page71/files/ ... 344-6.html
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby Carlhole » Thu 04 Sep 2008, 22:57:03

threadbear wrote:Geoff Olson.com

"Who will be the big losers in this? The big oil companies, for sure. “In general, we are already entering a period where the King CONG – coal, oil, nukes, gas – companies are nervous about investing in any step in the process, since the payback is over 20 to 30 years. They are not stupid, and see that the complete triumph of renewables will occur in about 10 to 15 years, with almost 100 percent of all electricity converted over and probably 50 percent of transport to plug in hybrids by then. Even oil rich Middle East countries from Algeria to United Arab Emirates are jumping on the solar bandwagon,” Bellenson states.

The geneticist notes that the primary material that goes into producing solar panels is silicon. The Earth’s crust is one-quarter silicon, the seventh most abundant element in the universe. You could say the cosmos is just about screaming at the clever monkey to crank out solar panels."

http://www.geoffolson.com/page71/files/ ... 344-6.html


Great article, Threadbear.

I'm going to snatch it for my Singularity Summit 2008 thread.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby threadbear » Thu 04 Sep 2008, 23:30:34

Carlhole wrote:
threadbear wrote:Geoff Olson.com

"Who will be the big losers in this? The big oil companies, for sure. “In general, we are already entering a period where the King CONG – coal, oil, nukes, gas – companies are nervous about investing in any step in the process, since the payback is over 20 to 30 years. They are not stupid, and see that the complete triumph of renewables will occur in about 10 to 15 years, with almost 100 percent of all electricity converted over and probably 50 percent of transport to plug in hybrids by then. Even oil rich Middle East countries from Algeria to United Arab Emirates are jumping on the solar bandwagon,” Bellenson states.

The geneticist notes that the primary material that goes into producing solar panels is silicon. The Earth’s crust is one-quarter silicon, the seventh most abundant element in the universe. You could say the cosmos is just about screaming at the clever monkey to crank out solar panels."

http://www.geoffolson.com/page71/files/ ... 344-6.html


Great article, Threadbear.

I'm going to snatch it for my Singularity Summit 2008 thread.


Thanks so much, Carlhole. I was thinking of you when I posted it. And the author is my brother--another motivator.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby TheDude » Fri 05 Sep 2008, 02:23:52

Nepotist! 8)

Nice piece, could use more cannibalism though. I don't expect the FF industry to just roll over and die in the name of sustainability. And, as someone pointed out, this is a liquid fuels crisis, not an energy crisis, which will be a real problem much too soon if the bottom-up forecasts are correct.

Something which has been crossing my mind a lot lately concerns this transition to PHEVs and renewables - when the writing's on the wall, an awful lot of capital is going to rapidly abandon the sinking E&P ship - with quite dire impacts on supply. Others have pointed out the potential short term impact of tightening credit on these companies as well.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby yesplease » Fri 05 Sep 2008, 04:19:56

The greater risk to E&P is from loosing market share, not production AFAIK. As long as producers have consumers who'll reduce consumption in line with declines in supply they'll be o.k. But if oil goes too high for too long people will simply transition away entirely, both in the usual sense and possibly in the zombie sense although that isn't very likely IMO.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby aahala2 » Fri 05 Sep 2008, 09:47:12

"They are not stupid, and see that the complete triumph of renewables will occur in about 10 to 15 years, with almost 100 percent of all electricity converted over and probably 50 percent of transport to plug in hybrids by then."

If that's what they see in their crystal ball, they need a new one
and/or new glasses. A conversion of this magnitude in the
timeframe stated is within the range of imagination, but not
within the range of reality. The financial and physical resources
simply aren't available.

The present world manufacturing capacity of wind turbines annually
is about 28GW and of solar cells about 4GW. Both numbers are
capacity not average power. The power of the US grid to convert is about 450-470GW. The present manufacturing capacity of both items in the entire world would JUST BEARLY
cover the underlining growth in US electrical demand and it
doesn't include any transporation conversion at all.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby threadbear » Fri 05 Sep 2008, 11:21:32

aahala2 wrote:If that's what they see in their crystal ball, they need a new one
and/or new glasses. .


There are three things that stand in the way of research and development, full implementation and scaling up of alternatives.
One has been clarity about the severity of the peak cheap oil crisis, and the oil companies dominance within the corporatocracy.
Secondly, political interference muddied the scientific conclusions regarding climate change, setting research back a decade.

And finally, what keeps us addicted to oil, first and foremost, is the role it plays in supporting U.S. dollar hegemony. It will take some incredibly fancy footwork to switch to the very alternatives that undermine the substance that backs that currency...oil.

It's geopolitical chess, played out on a solar panel dotted with windmills for chess pieces. And eventually....like all scientific revolutions, science WILL win.
Last edited by threadbear on Fri 05 Sep 2008, 11:46:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 05 Sep 2008, 11:30:00

aahala2 wrote:[.

The present world manufacturing capacity of wind turbines annually
is about 28GW and of solar cells about 4GW. Both numbers are
capacity not average power. The power of the US grid to convert is about 450-470GW. The present manufacturing capacity of both items in the entire world would JUST BEARLY
cover the underlining growth in US electrical demand and it
doesn't include any transporation conversion at all.


Yes but thirty years ago both of those numbers were Zero. Those numbers will change and change rapidly and demand can and will be met.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby TheDude » Fri 05 Sep 2008, 12:42:39

vtsnowedin wrote:
aahala2 wrote:The present world manufacturing capacity of wind turbines annually
is about 28GW and of solar cells about 4GW.


Yes but thirty years ago both of those numbers were Zero.


Not true. Windmills for pumping water and generating electricity were produced in huge quantities in the US before rural electrification became widespread, for instance.
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Re: Clever monkeys and Solar Power--Fourth Generation

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 05 Sep 2008, 12:47:08

Growth in demand must turn into extreme curtailment of demand.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 10 Dec 2013, 17:53:32

U.S. Will Top Germany In Solar Installation For The First Time In 15 Years

The third quarter of 2013 was another big one for the U.S. solar industry. 930 megawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) were installed across the country — the second largest quarter in the industry’s history — and it was the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations.
As the solar industry continues its remarkable growth, “2013 is likely to be the first time in more than 15 years that the U.S. installs more solar capacity than world leader Germany,” according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.
By the end of the year, more than 400,000 solar projects will be operating across the U.S. and installations will have grown 27 percent over 2012, with a 52 percent growth rate in the residential sector alone, according to GTM’s forecast.
The rapid growth of the residential solar sector in particular is directly attributed to solar-friendly policies in key states, such as California, Hawaii, and Arizona, but the report notes that “challenges to net energy metering regulations present a looming threat to the market.” Net metering refers to the amount customers are compensated for excess energy produced by solar panels on their homes and businesses and is a key incentive for the industry. Several states are currently debating net metering policies as utilities become increasingly concerned about the threat it poses to their business model.


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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 11 Dec 2013, 15:52:05

The Solar Energy Industry is Red Hot - Will it Get Hotter?

The solar industry has been very hot. Record amounts of new solar capacity have been installed over the past two years. The accelerating pace of adoption of solar panels for distributed generation (installed at the point of use, rather than sold into the power grid) and the downward trend of module prices have created exuberance over the industry’s future.

Solar has reached and eclipsed price parity with traditional fuel sources in some markets, and ultimately the potential market for solar PV is huge. A solar module costs approximately 1% of what it did 35 years ago and prices for solar pv panels have plummeted since 2010, with an average price per watt for panels falling from $1.81 in 2010 to less than $0.70 and today.

It is clear that the future is very bright for the industry. What is less clear is when growth will accelerate and how near-term challenges for the industry could create some rough patches for the industry before widespread adoption drives truly explosive industry growth.

The rapidly decreasing costs of solar cells and corresponding growth of the global solar industry have lead people to invoke Moore’s law and predict that the installed capacity of solar PV on homes and businesses will double every two years. The total installed capacity worldwide and in the U.S. doubled over the last two and a half years. While the steep decline in the cost of manufacturing solar panels appears to be flattening out, the associated balance of system costs, along with customer acquisition, transaction and capital costs will continue to drop, though this will likely happen inconsistently in fits and starts over coming years. Meanwhile, the per-unit cost of retail electricity delivered by utilities will begin to rise as costly infrastructure demands combine with stagnating or falling demand caused by the penetration of distributed power systems. These two merging dynamics – dropping solar costs and rising utility rates for electricity have caught the eye of more than a few investors and analysts.



The confluence of these three near-term challenges creates the potential for some mild disruption to the still nascent marketplace. So a market evolution that looks like this:


Image

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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 13 Dec 2013, 19:22:21

Here Comes The Sun: India On Verge Of Becoming Global Solar Power

India is on the brink of becoming a global solar power, according to a report just published by the World Bank. Under the government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission Phase-1 (JNNSM), which was initiated in January 2010 to promote sustainable growth, broadly expand solar power, and deal with the effects of climate change, India’s installed capacity of solar power has already jumped from about 30 megawatts to more than 2,000 MW.

The World Bank noted that JNNSM has also helped bring down the cost of solar power to competitive levels – down to about $0.12 per kilowatt-hour for solar photovoltaic, and to $0.21 per kWh for concentrated solar power, thereby making India one of the world’s lowest-cost destinations for grid-connected solar power. “In a short span of three years, India has made impressive strides in developing its abundant solar power potential,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India, according to The Hindu newspaper. “With more than 300 million people without access to energy and industry citing energy shortage as key growth barrier in India, solar power has the potential to help the country address the shortage of power for economic growth.”


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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 16 Dec 2013, 15:15:03

Solar Energy Is Heading to Mainstream in the United States

Shayle Kann, Vice President of Research at GTM, wanted to assess whether solar is becoming mainstream. He decided to use a checklist, since the U.S. solar market is so complex. As he explained at the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference:

With diverse markets in each state, the U.S. has a geographic complexity not found in most countries. Each state has its own regulations, electricity prices, and other factors affecting the market. States even have submarkets.

Solar is not just an electricity-generation technology -- it’s also a retail product. These days, traditional solar salespeople are joined by car dealers, home-improvement companies, home-automation companies, and environmental groups.

Market growth is accelerating. We now have a solar installation every 4 minutes in the U.S., compared to one every 10 hours in 2001. Projections for next year are for one every 3 minutes, going down to every 90 seconds by 2016.

Solar checklist

So Kann devised a checklist to help answer the question, At what point does solar become mainstream in US? And how close are we? His conclusions:

checklist full 1. Solar must be a primary source of new electric capacity in the U.S.

So far in 2013, solar has in fact been a primary source of new electric capacity. A big source of excitement is that this year, the U.S. is likely to install more solar than Germany.


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olar Grid Parity Infographic, + An Important Addendum

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has published some wonderful reports on the solar rooftop revolution. It has also published numerous articles, charts, and graphics on this. Below is its Solar Rooftop Revolution infographic focused on when we’ll see solar panels cost less than grid electricity across the US (without subsidies). It’s a great infographic based on a great report… but it has one notable messaging flaw that I will discuss in depth in the text below it. (Hint: it has something to do with the italicized words above, and it’s a very important matter for homeowners.)


Image

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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 17 Dec 2013, 17:38:40

istributed Solar May Grow to 2 Gigawatts in Northeast US by 2021

Earlier this week the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) released the Northeastern portion of the 6th annual Renewable Energy in the 50 States report. The report focuses on the state of the renewable energy industry across the U.S. and is released in four stages. The most recent release finds that some of fastest growing states for renewable energy are in the U.S. Northeast, led by New York and Pennsylvania. It also anticipated that by the end of 2021 the distributed solar power market (rooftops, small solar farms, commercial buildings, etc.) will grow to 2 gigawatts from 250 megawatts in 2012.

“For several years now the renewable energy sector has been growing at an increasingly impressive rate,” said ACORE’s Research and Program Manager and lead author of the report Lesley Hunter. “This has been especially true in the Northeast. These 11 states — plus the District of Columbia — rank second nationwide in both solar and biomass power capacity and may be on the precipice of a massive offshore wind build-out.” The 11 states covered in the report are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

The report credited the strong growth of renewables in the Northeast to various policies and incentive programs. Among the policies and incentive programs mentioned were feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits (RECs), green banks (as in New York’s $1 billion green bank), and rebates.


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THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 20 Dec 2013, 19:14:10

The Most Important Solar Energy Statistics of 2013

This year was the first time someone could use the words "solar" and "mainstream" in the same sentence and be taken seriously.

It's still too early to call solar PV a truly mainstream energy technology, but as GTM Research VP Shayle Kann recently pointed out, it's getting close. And there a lot of factors to consider other than how it stacks up in today's generation mix compared to legacy resources.

We've compiled a list of some of the best solar statistics of 2013 that demonstrate how far the technology has come -- as well as how far it still needs to go.

4 minutes

In 2006, U.S. solar installers were putting up a system every 80 minutes. This year, according to GTM Research, they installed a system every four minutes. By 2016, there could be a solar PV system deployed in America every 80 seconds.

100 gigawatts

In 2011, the global solar industry had 50 gigawatts of capacity installed. By the end of 2012, it had surpassed 100 gigawatts -- with more regions outside Europe becoming increasingly important. By the end of 2015, global solar capacity is expected to reach more than 200 gigawatts.

2.5 years

The 100-gigawatt number was an important benchmark for solar. It took nearly 40 years to get 50 gigawatts in the ground and on rooftops. But in just 2.5 years, two-thirds of all solar PV projects were built worldwide. The same goes for distributed (non-utility) solar projects in the U.S., where two-thirds of all capacity has been deployed since 2011.


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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 22 Dec 2013, 15:28:06

Substantial Solar Energy Expansion Predicted Worldwide for 2014

Mercom Capital Group, an Austin, TX-based clean energy communications and consulting firm, got the ball rolling this week by releasing its solar industry outlook for next year. While the company compares the leading nations and their prospective solar installations, the report begins with a look at the global picture.

In all, Mercom expects 43 gigawatts (GW) of new installations around the world in 2014. Back in February of this year, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association said the world surpassed the 100-GW mark of solar capacity.

Mercom CEO and co-founder Raj Prabhu is encouraged by the industry’s stability and believes countries across the globe will collectively add 5.5 GW more than they did in 2013.

“Helped by strong demand, the module oversupply situation has improved,” Mercom CEO and co-founder Raj Prabhu said. “Prices are stable, and manufacturers are reporting shipment growth and ramping up capacity.”


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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 26 Dec 2013, 18:24:11

US solar panel manufacturers get a gift from the US military

For years, China has siphoned off American business and now dominates, producing panels for nearly two-thirds of the world market.

American manufacturers have cried foul at the reversal in fortune, arguing Chinese solar manufacturers get illegal subsidies from the Chinese government and have been dumping product, or selling below cost, on the US market. The US Department of Commerce agreed with American manufacturers last year and imposed some duties on solar panels imported from China. China is now retaliating with tariffs on American materials for solar panels.

The tit-for-tat seems to be continuing, as US manufacturers got some welcome news from the US military this week: The Pentagon won’t be buying any more solar panels from China.

By law, the American government already couldn’t. On President Herbert Hoover’s last day in office in 1933, he signed the “Buy American Act,” which says the US government will give preference to US-made products, if costs are reasonable, for things like highways and transit programs. Simple enough.

But in the modern global economy, manufacturing isn’t nearly as clean and simple. If Country A supplies the raw material for parts that are made in Country B, then manufactured in Country C, then exported from Country D, who can rightly claim ownership of the final product?

The Department of Defense is attempting to clarify that with an interim rule — a long legal document — that defines the country of origin for solar panels as the final place where a "substantial transformation" occurred. According to the ruling, the Defense Department can now buy solar panels from a US manufacturer or a company in a country that currently has a free trade agreement with the US, 20 nations, or a member of a select group within the World Trade Organization. China is not on either list.


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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Thu 09 Jan 2014, 00:50:22

Stinky Bill wrote:Wonderful......now where's that missing link.....STORAGE?
(coming real soon...... send MUNNY now....Snorrrrrrrrr.......Zzzzzzzzzzz)
:cry:
What if you bolted a SunCube on top of a hybrid car? :
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/01/08/ford ... -ces-2014/
SOLAR_FORD.jpg
SOLAR_FORD.jpg (51.43 KiB) Viewed 22637 times

As we reported a few days ago, the Solar concept makes use of a "concentrator lens" that focuses sunlight onto the solar panels mounted atop the charging canopy. The special lens follows the rays of the sun to maximize the amount of charge being fed to the batteries of the car

The sun-ray concentrator was developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and uses what is known as a Fresnel lens, which concentrates light but can be made thinner than a conventional lens. A full day of sunshine is equivalent to a four-hour battery charge, or 8 kilowatts, Ford says.
http://phys.org/news/2014-01-ford-unvei ... ncept.html
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby Stinky Bill » Thu 09 Jan 2014, 05:36:19

Sorry but Greg Watson has already patented the idea. :roll:


-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Watson [mailto:greg.watson@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2006 9:40 PM
To: eaa-phev@...
Subject: Re: [eaa-phev] Prius EV Wh/ km


Hi Davide,

Thanks for the clarification. I'll use 262 Wh / m (~165 Wh / km) for my
calcs. That indicates the annual 500 kWh output from a SunCube would
drive a Prius about 3,000 km / year. Of course there are conversion
losses but I expect we will design a high efficiency DC to DC converter
which does the max power point tracking on the SunCube side and
implement a intelligent charge controller for the Li-Ion batteries. As
the SunCube outputs DC I expect to reduce DC to AC to DC conversion /
charge losses by using a especially designed intelligent charge
controller. Once I get my Prius and get it converted we will build a
SunCube charging station at GGE to start the ball rolling.

Who supplies the Li-Ion batteries you guys are using as I'm considering
designing in a Li-Ion battery into the SunCube to stop dropouts from
small passing clouds. It already has an inbuilt AC grid connect inverter
for true plug and play. Yup you can just plug a SunCube into a AC power
point and pump back energy to the grid.

As for asking about Wh / m standards, I'm an engineer and I like to be
able to quote data based on widely accepted measuring methodology. As a
case in point the SunCube is so new there are no international or US
standards to measure peak W output from a tracking concentrator. Thus
without the peak W data many SunCube purchasers will not be able to
claim installation rebates which are based on IEC 61215. I can't go for
61215 as it is a flat plate only standard. Catch
22........................ At least the kWhs from a non rebate SunCube
are still way lower cost than the kWhs from a rebated flat panel.

So you see when you push the envelope and develop new energy systems,
sometimes you are disadvantaged in a market which is based on standards
of older technology. But we will get there.

All the best,
Greg Watson
Green and Gold Energy
Adelaide, South Australia
+61 408 843 089
http://www.greenandgoldenergy.com.au
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