Solar Realities and the Electric Company

We are the Borg.
User avatar
Rob Lister
Posts: 22888
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:15 pm
Title: Incipient toppler
Location: Swimming in Lake Ed

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Rob Lister »

Anaxagoras wrote:Story out of Germany here. They have gotten this far:

http://qz.com/680661/germany-had-so-muc ... ectricity/

Can you turn a foundry or refinery on and off as the price of electricity fluctuates throughout the day?
The news stories I've read on the matter put a very happy spin on this; it is good to have such problems. In reality, it represents the inefficiencies of trying to schedule and sun and wind. Many stories I've seen compare U.S. prices per KWh with Germany's and gleefully point out that they're practically the same ... and they are! What they fail to point out is that in addition to the pure price per KWh that we pretty much enjoy, Germans also pay acquistion fees, grid fees, value added taxes, concession taxes, renewable surcharge, electricity tax, and a CHP surcharge which works out to ~30 cents per KWh.

So ... take your electricity and double it. And for what? Are they enjoying a cleaner environment? Not as of 2014 but I haven't looked lately.

A new study out of
http://euanmearns.com/the-energy-return-of-solar-pv/
puts the Solar EROI at .82, causing much whaling and gnashing of teeth among the solar elite. Put another way, for every Watt you put into making an installing and managing a solar panel, you only get .82 watts back.

It seems a little low to me--and really is quite low if you're placing your panels in Nevada--but this study looks at northern latitudes (i.e. Scotland and Germany) specifically; areas were the solar incidence is already so low that it really doesn't matter what direction you point your panels. The study looks clean enough but I haven't yet seen a naysayers critique (other than ad homs and strawmen).
Cent wrote:One of the main 'base load' uses of electricity that can be turned on and off (to some degree) in response to grid demand is refrigeration equipment.
It isn't going to net you much; I don't think it would cost effective when you add in the real technology costs, management costs, graft costs and cheating costs to that pipe dream. Last I looked refrigeration worked out to ~10% of the total bill. A really pie-in-the-sky system wherein 100% of all refrigerators were under total control of perfect scheduling algorithm might, maybe put a third of that into delayed base-load play. Add in all those costs and losses and it would be cheaper just to build a nuclear plant or two to cover that load shift.

As an example of just the cheating costs: many years ago the power company convinced me to allow them to put a kill switch on my water heater under their control. In return I got a nice discount on my bill. They promised I'd likely never notice. I noticed plenty almost every-fucking-morning while taking a cold shower. After a month I bypassed that fucker. But I kept the discount. 'Cause that's the way I roll.

User avatar
Anaxagoras
Posts: 27681
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Anaxagoras »

Here's an interesting idea. Using trains as energy storage. Send it up a hill when there is a surplus of power and let it roll back down while using it to generate electricity when power is needed.

"Sisyphus’s train set"

http://www.economist.com/news/science-a ... -train-set
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

User avatar
Rob Lister
Posts: 22888
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:15 pm
Title: Incipient toppler
Location: Swimming in Lake Ed

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Rob Lister »

The company estimates that its proposed system will be able to store 12.5 MWh of energy
\

that's where I guffawed.

Ordinarily I'd do due diligence and work out the cost per mwh. In this case, I'll leave it be.

User avatar
Abdul Alhazred
Posts: 84904
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:33 pm
Title: Yes, that one.
Location: Chicago

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

Rob Lister wrote:
The company estimates that its proposed system will be able to store 12.5 MWh of energy
\

that's where I guffawed.

Ordinarily I'd do due diligence and work out the cost per mwh. In this case, I'll leave it be.
Big trains, Rob.

Big big big.

[youtube][/youtube]

Big.
Image "If I turn in a sicko, will I get a reward?"

"Yes! A BIG REWARD!" ====> Click here to turn in a sicko
The arc of the moral universe bends towards chaos.
People who believe God or History are on their side provide the chaos.

User avatar
hammegk
Posts: 15134
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:16 pm
Title: Curmudgeon
Location: Hither, sometimes Yon

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by hammegk »

robinson wrote:If solar worked for cooking then poor people in Africa would be doing it.

Image

Image

Image
Stayed in ovens too long, overcooked.

User avatar
Doctor X
Posts: 72673
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah
Location: Your Mom

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Doctor X »

Image

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out." – Don
DocX: FTW. – sparks
"Doctor X wins again." – Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry." – His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone." – clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far." – Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig." – Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power." – asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." – gnome

ImageWS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! ImageNBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup!Image SB CHAMPIONS X6!!!!!! Image

User avatar
hammegk
Posts: 15134
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:16 pm
Title: Curmudgeon
Location: Hither, sometimes Yon

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by hammegk »

You need longer in an oven.

User avatar
Doctor X
Posts: 72673
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah
Location: Your Mom

Re: Tinky Just Can't Hide from his Racism and Homophobia!

Post by Doctor X »

. . . or The Fist!

Image

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out." – Don
DocX: FTW. – sparks
"Doctor X wins again." – Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry." – His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone." – clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far." – Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig." – Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power." – asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." – gnome

ImageWS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! ImageNBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup!Image SB CHAMPIONS X6!!!!!! Image

User avatar
robinson
Posts: 8598
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:01 am
Title: Sweetheart
Location: USA

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by robinson »

oh really?

User avatar
Anaxagoras
Posts: 27681
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Anaxagoras »

Somebody's probably already thought of this one, but what if you had a large pressure vessel and you use a compressor to compress air when you have surplus power and use the compressed gas for power when you need more power? Less efficient than rechargeable batteries?
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

User avatar
sparks
Posts: 16727
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Friar McWallclocks Bar -- Where time stands still while you lean over!

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by sparks »

As a way to store energy, keep in mind that the electric motor powering the compressor will be somewhere around 50 to 60% efficient. Then, if you use the compressed air to drive a generator, you'll lose some there too.

Bet it's a lot less efficient than rechargeables.
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

User avatar
Anaxagoras
Posts: 27681
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Anaxagoras »

Well it was just a thought. I figured that someone smarter than me has already done the math and concluded that there are better ways to do it.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

User avatar
Doctor X
Posts: 72673
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah
Location: Your Mom

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Doctor X »

Everyone point at Anax and laugh!

Image

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out." – Don
DocX: FTW. – sparks
"Doctor X wins again." – Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry." – His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone." – clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far." – Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig." – Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power." – asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." – gnome

ImageWS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! ImageNBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup!Image SB CHAMPIONS X6!!!!!! Image

User avatar
Witness
Posts: 29381
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Witness »

I know of two other ways to store energy with reasonable efficiency:
– mechanical, with flywheels (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/1544 ... ost-to-mpg; https://www.wired.com/2014/07/f1-kers-london-buses/);
– potential, by pumping water uphill (http://energystorage.org/energy-storage ... ic-storage).

Both are old tech, but the flywheel has been overhauled to use modern materials, run in a vacuum, &c.

User avatar
sparks
Posts: 16727
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Friar McWallclocks Bar -- Where time stands still while you lean over!

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by sparks »

Seems like a serious flywheel in a car would be counter productive to good handling... Wonder how they get around that?
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

User avatar
Anaxagoras
Posts: 27681
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Anaxagoras »

It's a light flywheel:
Industrial flywheels are often made of steel, but the weight — and shrapnel effect should something go wrong — make metal a non-starter at high rpm in cars. Instead, the Volvo flywheel is a carbon fiber disc about 20 cm in diameter, weighing 6 kg (7.8 inches, 13.2 pounds). The housing contains a vacuum to reduce friction, and it’s reinforced in case the flywheel disintegrates, though carbon fiber is far less dangerous should that happen.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

User avatar
Witness
Posts: 29381
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Witness »

↑ Yet it would be interesting to investigate the gyroscopic effect – especially on a bike! :wink:
Rob will nail that.

User avatar
hammegk
Posts: 15134
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:16 pm
Title: Curmudgeon
Location: Hither, sometimes Yon

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by hammegk »

Witness wrote:↑ Yet it would be interesting to investigate the gyroscopic effect – especially on a bike! :wink:
Rob will nail that.
Prius too. Whatta ya say, Rob?

User avatar
Doctor X
Posts: 72673
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah
Location: Your Mom

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by Doctor X »

Image

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out." – Don
DocX: FTW. – sparks
"Doctor X wins again." – Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry." – His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone." – clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far." – Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig." – Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power." – asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." – gnome

ImageWS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! ImageNBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup!Image SB CHAMPIONS X6!!!!!! Image

User avatar
sparks
Posts: 16727
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Friar McWallclocks Bar -- Where time stands still while you lean over!

Re: Solar Realities and the Electric Company

Post by sparks »

Witness wrote:↑ Yet it would be interesting to investigate the gyroscopic effect – especially on a bike! :wink:
Rob will nail that.
Yes, exactly. That's what I was referring to! If the flywheel is storing enough energy to do you some good, isn't it also spinning fast enough to fuck up the cars handling due to that new-fangled gyro-sandwich effect?
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.