Donate Bitcoin

Donate Paypal


PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 12:14:43

And let's return to Loving County, Texas. If we filled up the entire 670 sq. miles it covers how much electricity would be generated? Of course we would have to relocate all of the 90 people living there but we could buy each of the 30 or so families a $million Mcmansion and that would still be just a tiny portion of the project cost. And no need to buy the land: the rent paid would be far greater then the cattle income from this semi-arid scrubland and thus no need for financial support for those relocated families. BTW in some portions of the Permian Basin it takes up to 640 acres per head to range cattle. As mentioned before it really is a very large expanse of very crappy land.

And thanks to the $7 billion of taxpayer money spent to upgrade our grid there would be no problem distributing the electricity around the state. And about Texas and electricity:

"Texas is the largest electricity consumer of any state and both electricity demand and power supply have been growing. Most new generation is fueled by either natural gas or wind. The main Texas electricity grid is operated by the ERCOT. The ERCOT grid serves about three-fourths of the state and is largely isolated from the interconnected power systems serving the eastern and western United States. This isolation means the ERCOT grid is not subject to federal oversight and is, for the most part, dependent on its own resources to meet the state’s electricity needs. Among the contiguous 48 states, Texas is the only one with a stand-alone electricity grid."

So someone cook us some numbers: what % of Texas electricity consumption could be met if we turned Loving County into one giant solar array? Here's the latest on electricity consumption in Texas from Aug 2016:

"The Texas electric grid set a new record Monday for the most power consumed at any given time in the state. Peak demand exceeded 70,000 megawatts Monday for the first time, surpassing the Aug. 10, 2015 record of 69,877 megawatts, according to the ERCOT, which manages nearly 90 percent of the state’s power load. Use peaked at 70,169 megawatts after 4 p.m. One megawatt can typically power 200 homes on the hottest Texas days."
User avatar
ROCKMAN
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 10225
Joined: Tue 27 May 2008, 02:00:00
Location: TEXAS

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 13:43:05

A conservative estimate is 1 Mw = 10000 sq meters. This makes 259 Mw/sq mile. The 670 sq mile county could produce 173529 Mw. This is instantaneous output not Mw-hrs/day. That would make about 17,353 Mwatt hours/day. Enough to run two Texas's.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
User avatar
baha
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu 12 Jul 2007, 02:00:00
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 14:09:40

And if you wanted to back it all up with batteries from the Tesla giga-factory he could produce them in 6 months. :)
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
User avatar
baha
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu 12 Jul 2007, 02:00:00
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 17:47:04

baha - Mucho thanks, amigo. I was quessing some thing on that order. BTW Loving County covers 0.25% of the total area of the state. Now consider the huge area of sunny and empty land one passes thru when making the LA/Vegas run. Lots of solar potential there.

And Texas don't need no stnkin' battery backup. We got turbines still turning when the sun goes down. And if the wind stops blowing at night? We got a lot of paid out lignite burning plants and a 100+ year supply of lignite. Again we haven't been going alt to replace fossil fuels but to supplement them. It might not be 100% green but it's starting to look close to being 100% economic.
User avatar
ROCKMAN
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 10225
Joined: Tue 27 May 2008, 02:00:00
Location: TEXAS

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 18:11:38

Why not put the damn solar panels over parking lots? That's land we have already despoiled for any other useful purpose.

If you work it right you could use the panels to also collect rain water, divert to cisterns or to replenish ground water, at least reduce run off. And/or it could make the parking lots snow free.

Wind and solar have a place in the future, if we maintain the manufacturing and maintenance base. BUT the low hanging fruit is to just simply learn how to live with less.

We live on a boat, we have wind and solar. I still need to top up the batteries with a generator once in a while. But we are working with 380 watts of panels. Our biggest draw is our Refridgeration followed by my Wife's laptop (ancient 17" energy hog.) When moving things are different, then we need more power for various instruments: radio, radar, etc. Usually we run the engine enough in the normal course of events to satisfy that need.

But there you go, we are living on well less than 400 watt constant load energy budget. Roughly 6kWper day?

What is average for an American household? 30kW/day/person. So, for a family of 2, if we were average we would use 60kW. THATS where the potential savings are.

"In 2015, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,812 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 901 kWh per month. Louisiana had the highest annual electricity consumption at 15,435 kWh per residential customer, and Hawaii had the lowest at 6,166 kWh per residential customer."
https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 8902
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 03:00:00
Location: US East Coast

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 18:21:19

Here in Silly Valley, we HAVE put the solar PV panels over parking lots in public schools and shopping malls. It is really very nice. The panels shade the cars during daylight hours, and a few overhead down-facing LED lights, each with a battery, have replaced massive grid-attached sodium vapor lights on poles.

California is at 140% of the renewable energy goals set by the California Solar Initiative. We also have HALF the solar energy installed in all 50 states:

Image

...Sorry RM, but Texas is ranked 11th, well behind them damned Yankees in NY, NJ, and Taxachutsetts....
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3898
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 19:18:15

This is fun. Let's see:
http://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/texas/
Net generation (megawatthours): 449,826,336 MWh in 2015

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_County,_Texas

"Owing partly to its small and dispersed population, it also has the highest median per capita and household income of any county in Texas. The County is also unique for having the lowest percentage of people with college degrees of any county in the US."
Who says you need an education. Or schools. 89.2% voted for Trump in 2016.

We'll treat Loving County as a rack for solar panels. Total land area is 669 square miles or 1,721,213,904 m².

I use the NREL online calculator and Mentone, TX as location. Weather data used is Midland, 85 miles away. Standard modules, open rack, ground coverage ratio of 0.5.
http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php

At 1000W/m² standard irradiation and panel efficiency of 16% we get 275,394,224.6 kW of installed max. power.

But the maximum calculator input allowed for system size in KW is 500,000. That gives us
837,008,256 kWh/a (Houston would yield only 669,454,592 kWh. Must be all the cigar smoke).

We have 550.7884493 times the max. system size. The energy yield multiplied by 550.7884493 gives us 461,014,479 MWh/a. But to be realistic I'll leave 30% for some unsuitable terrain, access roads, transformers, power lines and the occasional ghost town: 322,710,135 MWh/a.

Sadly, that's only 71% of Texas net electricity production. You'd need to use a quarter of Winkler County, too.

edit: Or use 2-axis tracking panels. That would give you 99.6%, in Loving County alone.

edit: Why in the world did you pick Loving County? I'm getting suspicious.
Last edited by Zarquon on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 20:07:31, edited 1 time in total.
Zarquon
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri 06 May 2016, 19:53:46

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 20:00:15

You've just installed 275 GW of solar in Loving County, that's 150% of what China aims for by 2020.

Now the costs:
http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2013/08/12/in ... apid-pace/

"The report indicates that the median installed price of PV systems completed in 2012 was $5.30/W for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kilowatts (kW) in size and was $4.60/W for commercial systems of 100 kW or more in size. Utility-scale systems installed in 2012 registered even lower prices, with prices for systems larger than 10,000 kW generally ranging from $2.50/W to $4.00/W."

Our system is a bit bigger than a lousy 10,000 kW plant, so I'll use $2.50/W but generously throw in the land, the roads, power lines etc. for free: $688,485,561,000 system cost. 688 billion, I guess that's a lot of money, even in Texas.

Average Texas retail price per kWh was 8.7 cents and of course you don't want to increase prices. Loving County (with 2-axis tracking) now produces 448,454,444 MWh/a, that's $39,015,536,636 in revenue. You need 17.6 years to pay off your interest-free loan. Less if you sell your old, idle power plants to Oklahoma, or somefink.
Zarquon
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri 06 May 2016, 19:53:46

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 20:24:29

Rockman - De Nada

Newfie - Depending on how old your panels are you could probably replace them with new and get 1.5 times the power from the same area.

I see NC is number 4. Not bad for a bunch of rednecks :)

Zarquon - My head is spinning...
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
User avatar
baha
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu 12 Jul 2007, 02:00:00
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 20:28:21

$/watt numbers from 2012 are off by a factor of at least 3.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
User avatar
baha
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu 12 Jul 2007, 02:00:00
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 21:04:43

OK, let's google some lower prices:
http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2016/08/24/me ... 5-12-2015/

"Utility-scale projects completed in 2015 also vary widely in price, with the cheapest 20 percent priced below $1.60/W, compared to the most expensive 20 percent priced above $2.60/W."

We should get some good prices for our LC plant, so let's use $1.60/W. The system now costs $440 billion and break-even is in 11.2 years, unless you add in maintenance, interest and other peanuts.

Hmmm...
http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/tech_lcoe_re_cost_est.html
Average operation and maintenance costs for PV (1-10 MW) are $16/kWa, deviation +/- $9. Let's use $16 because Rockman has to drive all the way from Houston to polish the panels:
$4,400,000,000/a.
Zarquon
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri 06 May 2016, 19:53:46

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 21:58:52

KJ - "Sorry RM, but Texas is ranked 11th, well behind them damned Yankees in NY, NJ, and Taxachutsetts...." No appolgy necessary, buddy. Now that solar is becoming a common sense investment we're beginning its expansion. As I noted earlier it will be a critical component of the first major US city (Georgetown, Texas) to go 100% green for all its electricity consumption.

Z - Focusing on Loving County, Texas for 3 reasons: lowest population (90) of any county in the state, lots of relentless sun summer and winter and 670 sq miles of nearly useless scrubland. I offer it to counter the GENERAL statement that there's not a suffgicient amount of land for solar utility. That may be true in some heavily populated urban areas. OTOH if either the eastern or western grids were improved then I suspect sufficient areas for major commercial solar arrays could be constructed and power shipped to primary consumption hubs.

Which is exactly how Texas could expand wind power as it did. And now that we have the expanded grid we can begin to expand solar since it's becoming more economical. Previously lands in the eastern portion of the state, where electricity consumption is concentrated, are too productive (read expensive) to compete with inefficient solar.

BTW I recently discovered one aberration in the eastern grid. A portion has been expanded (with more underway) to utilize Canadian alt energy. Granted some is hydro but a portion is wind and solar. From 2013: "TransCanada announced it has completed the acquisition of the first of nine Ontario solar power facilities from Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. The combined capacity of the nine projects is 86 MW and the cost of the portfolio will be approximately $470 million." And now its entire renewable network is up for sale...valued for around $10 billion.
User avatar
ROCKMAN
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 10225
Joined: Tue 27 May 2008, 02:00:00
Location: TEXAS

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 22:17:21

Some further googling indicates that we're probably going to need Winker County, too.

Topaz Solar Farm has a capacity of 550 MW on 9.5 square miles. Nellis Solar Power Plant has 14 MW on 140 acres. And so on and so on... non-tracking, one-axis tracking, unused space, it varies. But actual, real-life land requirements are higher than what I used.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 145537.htm

This time, the data come not from estimates or calculations, but from compiling land use numbers from actual solar power plants. Every solar energy site analyzed in the study is listed in a detailed appendix.

"All these land use numbers are being thrown around, but there has been nothing concrete," Ong said. "Now people will actually have numbers to cite when they conduct analyses and publish reports."


Like our Loving County report. Now someone just has to read the damn paper. I'm tired, so that'll have to wait. But you'd better buy some land in Winkler County tonight, we'll need it tomorrow.
Attachments
Solar_Panels_at_Topaz_Solar_1_(8159002527)_(2).jpg
Solar_Panels_at_Topaz_Solar_1_(8159002527)_(2).jpg (40.58 KiB) Viewed 2422 times
1024px-Nellis_AFB_Solar_panels.jpg
1024px-Nellis_AFB_Solar_panels.jpg (61.94 KiB) Viewed 2422 times
Zarquon
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri 06 May 2016, 19:53:46

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 22:40:37

Can you see where this is going? Since 2012 prices have fallen by a factor of 3 and production/sqft has increased by 50% The rate of change has slowed but we're not done yet...
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
User avatar
baha
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu 12 Jul 2007, 02:00:00
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 23:00:12

You are a PV partisan baha.

There is so much wrong with grid tied solar. It depends on coal/uranium baseload and is at the end of a petroleum-rich infrastructure. It was a nice thing for the solar pioneers (of which I was one), allowed them to justify the purchase and guilt-trip the GW fanatics. But grid-tied solar is no substitute for cheap petroleum, which is going going gone.
There's nothing deeper than love. In fairy tales, the princesses kiss the frogs, and the frogs become princes. In real life,the princesses kiss princes, and the princes turn into frogs

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
― Maya Angelou
pstarr
NeoMaster
NeoMaster
 
Posts: 25593
Joined: Mon 27 Sep 2004, 02:00:00
Location: Behind the Redwood Curtain

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Sun 29 Jan 2017, 23:27:49

Newfie wrote:Why not put the damn solar panels over parking lots? That's land we have already despoiled for any other useful purpose.


You need economy of scale. Show the work crew where to start, give them a compass direction and tell them to plop down panels till they reach Oklahoma. Mean cost per kW installed in the US (2016) was $3.80 for small (< 10 kW) systems and $2 for large plants (1-10 MW). I don't have numbers for the really large plants at hand, but you should get closer to $1/kW. Assuming a factor of at least 3-4 in cost reduction/kW between small and really large plants seems reasonable. Panels are still dropping in price, but the cannot drop forever; there's a lower limit. If you can break even today with a small rooftop installation, that's fine. But the way forward is in scale.

"In 2015, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,812 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 901 kWh per month. Louisiana had the highest annual electricity consumption at 15,435 kWh per residential customer, and Hawaii had the lowest at 6,166 kWh per residential customer."


Wow. IIRC the average household in Germany uses 3,500 kWh/a. But then you guys leave the car running in the garage, too, because gas is so cheap.
Zarquon
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri 06 May 2016, 19:53:46

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 30 Jan 2017, 00:05:57

The current very low cost per PV panel is because China is dumping PV panels below cost in the USA until they put all US PV manufacturers out of business. Things like the Tesla solar roofs and a very few innovative new domestic panel manufacturers work against this goal.

Very probably, Trump will apply import tariffs on Chinese-manufactured PV panels until he can bring them to parity with US panels.

What everybody is neglecting in their simplistic cost of PV electricity from your roof is that if one owns the PV system plus a Powerwall or other battery, in most places (but not NC), you can go off-grid and end your electric bill.

In some states (thankfully including California) the practice of "net metering" is used with grid-attached solar without batteries. All you have to do then is to produce more energy than you consume, and they would owe you instead of you paying them. I have a combined natural gas and electrical bill from PG&E, so that's not quite true for me, and in Winter heating season I spend $150/month on natural gas anyway. The bad news is that the "grid connect" fee and various taxes added to my electric bill have pushed my minimum electrical payment from $5.60 per month to $16.40 per month in the 6 years since I leased the panels.
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3898
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Mon 30 Jan 2017, 00:36:54

I accept your label Pstarr. And bow to your amazing analytical abilities :)

Good Night
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
User avatar
baha
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu 12 Jul 2007, 02:00:00
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 30 Jan 2017, 08:59:30

baha wrote:
Newfie - Depending on how old your panels are you could probably replace them with new and get 1.5 times the power from the same area. .


OR you could adjust your lifestyle and not need that much power.

Technology is NOT (the fundamental) answer. You say you respect Mother Earth? Then lighten up the load.

A HUGE part of our problem in Western Culture is this idea that we are necessary consumer units whose job is to consume and grow the economy. THAT idea is death to our natural habitat and to our species.

And that is simple fundamental physics, there is no perpetual motion machine.
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 8902
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 03:00:00
Location: US East Coast

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 30 Jan 2017, 09:02:46

Absolutely, if wind and solar are ever really going to work it would work in the context of a downgrade in consumer expectations on the part of everyone. Also, much less people to boot.
“"If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money"”
User avatar
onlooker
Fusion
Fusion
 
Posts: 7311
Joined: Sun 10 Nov 2013, 12:49:04
Location: NY, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Energy Technology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests