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THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 20 Aug 2022, 12:55:32

evilgenius wrote:I don't know. As a solar investor, I think it is good news that Africa is likely to invest more rather than less money in solar over the next period of time. It is more evidence that solar is going to explode, at some point. It has ceased to merely become something people talk about, but, instead, something that they put into their actual plans. As another for instance, I have notice the small town I live in starting to mention making sure they spend so much money out of the budget in that direction, and they don't just mean powering a battery operated motion sensor now and again.

If Africa does that, I wonder if it will wind up giving them huge solar fields, or if it will incentivize them to develop a grid that includes local inputs, like your house, from the start? I wonder about the difference? Some solar companies have already made a sort of decision not to try and capitalize on panel manufacture. They will capitalize on installation and making systems easier. They won't make too many things. Other companies are still making things. What strategy they choose has a lot to do with how they see the grid developing. You see people with battery systems on YouTube, but that may not be how everyone would go solar. For the most efficient grid, people might mostly sell to the grid from their roofs. But, then, would we enter into one of those "freedom" arguments, over wanting to be independent from the grid and living solely over what one can generate one's self?

For rural areas in Africa and India for that matter, I can see going to solar panels and battery system as being good investments and cheaper then upgrading the electric grid to reach them. Add in a cell phone tower and they can access the twenty first century.
On the other hand for urban areas I don't think they have the roof or ground space available to meet the demand. Of course people closer to the problem will do their own calculations to see which way to go with their money.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 21 Aug 2022, 08:39:36

High number is 15 watts/square foot.

But that depends upon where you are.


https://www.solar-electric.com/learning ... maps.html/

We have 630 watts of panel, in the tropics, and 4 GC-2 batteries. That powers our fridge, our cell phones and computers, and LED lights with some left over.

And we also have a decent wind generator and live in a very windy zone.

We could do better with lithium batteries but they are VERY expensive, complicated and insurance companies don’t like them. And our power requirements are low, very low, so we get by.

The exact same configuration in Delaware is very marginal. I would keep a 2A trickle charger running. Didn’t need it all the time but I am lazy.

IMHO the real answer is to reduce your energy requirements as much as possible. Use alternatives to do the bulk of the work, and have the grid as a backup.

That is a good personal strategy but a suck grid strategy.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 21 Aug 2022, 09:01:53

Newfie wrote:High number is 15 watts/square foot.

But that depends upon where you are.


https://www.solar-electric.com/learning ... maps.html/

We have 630 watts of panel, in the tropics, and 4 GC-2 batteries. That powers our fridge, our cell phones and computers, and LED lights with some left over.

And we also have a decent wind generator and live in a very windy zone.

We could do better with lithium batteries but they are VERY expensive, complicated and insurance companies don’t like them. And our power requirements are low, very low, so we get by.

The exact same configuration in Delaware is very marginal. I would keep a 2A trickle charger running. Didn’t need it all the time but I am lazy.

IMHO the real answer is to reduce your energy requirements as much as possible. Use alternatives to do the bulk of the work, and have the grid as a backup.

That is a good personal strategy but a suck grid strategy.

I note that the charts are in KWH/m^2/day not square feet. So Vermont in December is down to about 2.5/m^2/day so if I wanted to drive a Tesla with a 75KWH battery 30 miles a day or 10% of the battery it would take 3M^2 of panels to do that and 30M^2 to get a full charge in a day. And it would take another 15M^2 to run the house with what few electrical appliances I now have. If I get forced into electric hot water and cooking that could easily double.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sat 08 Oct 2022, 21:05:08

It makes sense in some applications

Sheep grazing under solar panels at farms in NSW's Central West have produced better wool and more of it in the four years since the projects began, according to growers.
Local graziers have labelled the set-up a "complete win-win", with the sheep helping to keep grass and weeds down so as not to obscure the panels.

In turn, the panels provided shade for the sheep and grass, and helped prevent the soil from drying out.

During the drought, water condensed on the solar panels in the mornings. The trickling of the water to the grass below keep strips of pasture green.

In all, he said by leasing his land to the solar farm and grazing his sheep there, his income had increased.




https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2022- ... /101097364
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 09 Oct 2022, 13:59:47

Shaved Monkey wrote:It makes sense in some applications

Sheep grazing under solar panels at farms in NSW's Central West have produced better wool and more of it in the four years since the projects began, according to growers.
Local graziers have labelled the set-up a "complete win-win", with the sheep helping to keep grass and weeds down so as not to obscure the panels.

In turn, the panels provided shade for the sheep and grass, and helped prevent the soil from drying out.

During the drought, water condensed on the solar panels in the mornings. The trickling of the water to the grass below keep strips of pasture green.

In all, he said by leasing his land to the solar farm and grazing his sheep there, his income had increased.




https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2022- ... /101097364

That is interesting. I have wondered about the environmental impacts of large installations in the desert South West USA. Would the winners be the tortoises or the rattle snakes or perhaps the jack rabbits and coyotes?In a true desert environment plants and animals compete for the shade so providing that much shade and transferring that much energy out of an area might well increase the productivity of both the plant and animal life present.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 06 Nov 2022, 11:11:09

I read the other day about a rich woman who stood against solar. Her position was that she didn't want to see farmland turned into something other than farmland. She was actively involved in buying up land around where solar was going in, so that she could stand against it. I wonder if that is a real problem, or if is just more nostalgic thinking preventing the future from coming?
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 06 Nov 2022, 13:11:32

evilgenius wrote:I read the other day about a rich woman who stood against solar. Her position was that she didn't want to see farmland turned into something other than farmland. She was actively involved in buying up land around where solar was going in, so that she could stand against it. I wonder if that is a real problem, or if is just more nostalgic thinking preventing the future from coming?

Why destroy farmland on a world full of hungry people? Far better surely to replace urban blight, use expressway medians and add rooftop solar?
Alfred Tennyson wrote:We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby evilgenius » Tue 08 Nov 2022, 06:29:26

Tanada wrote:
evilgenius wrote:I read the other day about a rich woman who stood against solar. Her position was that she didn't want to see farmland turned into something other than farmland. She was actively involved in buying up land around where solar was going in, so that she could stand against it. I wonder if that is a real problem, or if is just more nostalgic thinking preventing the future from coming?

Why destroy farmland on a world full of hungry people? Far better surely to replace urban blight, use expressway medians and add rooftop solar?

I thought that too. It doesn't matter if the physical world is all lined up in rows anymore, not when it can be understood so much better by us that now that we don't need physical order to help with that understanding. That's what data science can do. The issue, I suppose, is whether all of the solar on that distributed land can be held under various ownership groups or ideas? Beyond that, is there enough distributed land, or do we need to encroach? Maybe we are afraid of encroaching on other types of land and naturally think about taking farmland first? Maybe taking farmland is not that big of an issue? We have to think about that too. Maybe it is the natural place to find the cheapest entry point? But, if that is the case, then, should it not be the best thing, you would think that we could figure something out, like how we did the homesteader act to begin with?
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 09 Nov 2022, 22:41:08

evilgenius wrote:
Tanada wrote:
evilgenius wrote:I read the other day about a rich woman who stood against solar. Her position was that she didn't want to see farmland turned into something other than farmland. She was actively involved in buying up land around where solar was going in, so that she could stand against it. I wonder if that is a real problem, or if is just more nostalgic thinking preventing the future from coming?

Why destroy farmland on a world full of hungry people? Far better surely to replace urban blight, use expressway medians and add rooftop solar?

I thought that too. It doesn't matter if the physical world is all lined up in rows anymore, not when it can be understood so much better by us that now that we don't need physical order to help with that understanding. That's what data science can do. The issue, I suppose, is whether all of the solar on that distributed land can be held under various ownership groups or ideas? Beyond that, is there enough distributed land, or do we need to encroach? Maybe we are afraid of encroaching on other types of land and naturally think about taking farmland first? Maybe taking farmland is not that big of an issue? We have to think about that too. Maybe it is the natural place to find the cheapest entry point? But, if that is the case, then, should it not be the best thing, you would think that we could figure something out, like how we did the homesteader act to begin with?


Farmland is frequently chosen by developers of all types for one primary reason. In order for a modern farmer to make use of land it must be cleared of all obstacles that would interfere with the machinery, rocks, trees, shrubs all are cleared from the land to make farming as profitable as possible. If a developer chooses a piece of vacant land that has been woodlot or pasture without ever being used as arable farmland in its prior history that land will at minimum have thousands of rocks that randomly get in the way of development. If the land gets more than about 50 cm of rainfall a year it will have at minimum woody shrubs and at maximum old growth forest that both complicate development into other uses. So grabbing a piece of farmland takes a big burden off of the developer when it comes to preparing the land and occupying it with whatever the development is be it a solar field or a new housing subdivision.
Alfred Tennyson wrote:We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 11 Nov 2022, 18:07:34

Tanada,

I think there are some additional forces at work.

I saw both solar devopment and deforestation in rural eastern North Carolina, Here is what I think I see going on.

Some guy has a farm, the land is tired, the color of bleached bone. Not much good for farming anymore and he is older too boot. So he leases the and out for solar, gets some guaranteed income with no physical work.

Down the road some young buck buys or inherits a farm. He has energy and a lot of debt for equipment, he needs to wring every dollar outta the farm. So he cuts all the standing lumber and converts the rested soil into production.

Driving around there is very little mixed woods left, everything is crop of or tree farming. It looks green from 30,000 feet but not up close. I had very much the sense of an industrial landscape.
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