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

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sun 11 Dec 2022, 19:26:41

Australia has lots of sun and lots of silica
combining the 2 to make green silica for solar panels makes sense.
https://twitter.com/CSIRO/status/160106 ... zaj7gsAAAA
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 11 Dec 2022, 19:41:05

Newfie wrote: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.

Interesting. Were the traditional crops on that land tobacco or cotton? In the pine forest there used to be quite an industry making pitch and turpentine. But what was the last time you bought a can of turpentine? If it is hilly land perhaps it is not competitive with today's large AG machines that need very flat land. Nothing wrong with tree farming. Having the trees in neat rows does not bother the deer or rabbits at all.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 12 Dec 2022, 08:39:41

This is flat land in Eastern NC. Some farms are huge, miles of crop. Mostly it seems to be soy and corn. You start to get cotton and tobacco further inland.

I have nothing (much) against tree farming itself, or any farming. But it can become problematic. Much of this land is clearly played out. You can see this in the early spring, othing growing except where they sprayed fertilizer. So if a little fertilizer ran outside the crop area then there you get weeds. Otherwise, nada. Tree farming is better because there is some regeneration of the soil.

The problem is there is almost nothing but crop and tree farms. There is no mixed wood native forest except in the deep swamp. The tree farms are a monoculture, wikd life (birds, etc.) need a variety of trees and vines and berries. Just an obvious example, woodpeckers need old trees with cavities for nests.

You can see this driving; fields = no birds, tree farm = some birds, mixed woods = more variety & quantities.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 13 Dec 2022, 12:21:13

Large scale farming today is as much science as art. The previously depleted soils has to be given everything it needs to support the crop and it is a waste of money to leave anything extra behind. That is why they rotate Soybeans with corn. The soybeans fix nitrogen from the air and leave some of it behind that the following corn crop can use. The big problem is the roundup or other weed killers they use to control weeds. They also kill things like worms and soil bacteria that would be beneficial if left alone. Less worms and insects means less birds. The drainage ditches and edge lines are about all that is left for wildlife.
My extended family has a large holding on Maryland's Eastern shore that has about 1600 acres in crops but has blocks of un managed woods as large as 100 acres along with wetlands and areas set aside for quail and other wildlife. They have these huge and dumb squirrels there that are comical to watch.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 13 Dec 2022, 18:50:54

Good target practice and stew.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 13 Dec 2022, 19:40:08

Newfie wrote:Good target practice and stew.
No they are endangered and protected. But if Coyotes move into the Eastern shore they will not last long. It wold be nice to see where some human intervention had increased the population of some species but I can not think of an example.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Wed 14 Dec 2022, 02:22:50

vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:Good target practice and stew.
No they are endangered and protected. But if Coyotes move into the Eastern shore they will not last long. It wold be nice to see where some human intervention had increased the population of some species but I can not think of an example.


OMG really???????

Try Ducks Unlimited to start with. How about the HUGE increase in the Eagle population?? Seems to me the Deer population has also dramatically increased since colonial times. How about cows, sheep, goats, dogs, chickens, etc???

Whoever you (didn't) learn this stuff from, I'd go back and request a refund.

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

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 14 Dec 2022, 20:59:57

careinke wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:Good target practice and stew.
No they are endangered and protected. But if Coyotes move into the Eastern shore they will not last long. It wold be nice to see where some human intervention had increased the population of some species but I can not think of an example.


OMG really???????

Try Ducks Unlimited to start with. How about the HUGE increase in the Eagle population?? Seems to me the Deer population has also dramatically increased since colonial times. How about cows, sheep, goats, dogs, chickens, etc???

Whoever you (didn't) learn this stuff from, I'd go back and request a refund.

Peace

Well domestic stock destined for the slaughterhouse is of course not what I'm talking about. Deer have recovered from 1890 levels from closed seasons etc. but it is debatable if the present population exceeds pre colonial levels. Eagles have recovered after the banning of DDT but again who knows what the population was to begin with and the same for ducks and other water fowl.
That we have stopped decimating populations as much as we once did and have some small recoveries does not amount to doing those populations any good based on the real start point.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Wed 14 Dec 2022, 21:08:34

vtsnowedin wrote:
careinke wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:Good target practice and stew.
No they are endangered and protected. But if Coyotes move into the Eastern shore they will not last long. It wold be nice to see where some human intervention had increased the population of some species but I can not think of an example.


OMG really???????

Try Ducks Unlimited to start with. How about the HUGE increase in the Eagle population?? Seems to me the Deer population has also dramatically increased since colonial times. How about cows, sheep, goats, dogs, chickens, etc???

Whoever you (didn't) learn this stuff from, I'd go back and request a refund.

Peace

Well domestic stock destined for the slaughterhouse is of course not what I'm talking about. Deer have recovered from 1890 levels from closed seasons etc. but it is debatable if the present population exceeds pre colonial levels. Eagles have recovered after the banning of DDT but again who knows what the population was to begin with and the same for ducks and other water fowl.
That we have stopped decimating populations as much as we once did and have some small recoveries does not amount to doing those populations any good based on the real start point.


Where do you think domestic animals came from? Mars? Domesticated animals actually come from earth. Same with all "invasive" species.

Nevertheless, even if you try to minimize the successes, you were still wrong. :-D

Some people seem to be afraid of ever admitting they are wrong, I can think of a few on this forum. Makes it hard to learn with that kind of mindset.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 4 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 15 Dec 2022, 14:45:27

careinke wrote:
Where do you think domestic animals came from? Mars? Domesticated animals actually come from earth. Same with all "invasive" species.

Nevertheless, even if you try to minimize the successes, you were still wrong. :-D

Some people seem to be afraid of ever admitting they are wrong, I can think of a few on this forum. Makes it hard to learn with that kind of mindset.

Have your way but my saying I could not think of an example was a true statement at the time I typed it. I considered Passenger pigeons, Bison, goony birds,wolves, elephants, cheetahs, all the African apes,. No winners came to mind. And no I don't consider several billion chickens living in racked cages laying eggs a good thing for their species.
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