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Author Topic: Future of Solar Power  (Read 7668 times)

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Offline florida

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Re: Future of Solar Power
« Reply #80 on: June 03, 2016, 10:26:52 pm »
"If you are going to compare carbon footprints, you have to compare the entire manufacturing and supply line of both products fro zero to point of use"

The problem is the difference in power density. Let's use Mr Sharpe in Inuvik mentioned earlier in this thread as an example. He has a $50,000.00, 11 Kw  solar system that produces 13,000 Kwh a year. Over its life of 25 years let's assume Mr Sharpe can get 13,000 Kwh every year out of his system for a total of 325,000 Kwh. Over that 25 years Mr Sharpe is going to pay a total of $135,688.26 in principle and interest for his system. All that after tax money has to be earned which has its own huge carbon footprint.
For $6,250 off ebay I can buy an 11Kw diesel generator that will produce 13,000 Kwh in 1 hour 11 minutes on 1.1 gallons of diesel fuel.  My genset will produce that same 325,000 Kwh as Mr Sharpes solar system in 29 hours on 32.5 gallons of fuel.  Just to be fair I'll borrow the $6,250.00 for 25 years for a total cost of $16,961.03. Adding in my $80.00 in fuel gives me a total of $17,041.03.
 
In this situation the $135,000.00 solar system has the same power density as 32.5  gallons of diesel fuel worth $80.00.
General contractor and carpenter for 40 years.

Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Future of Solar Power
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2016, 06:10:17 pm »
Skimmed through this thread, didn't read every post but...

Within just a few miles of me there are several rooftop solar arrays that are either/or/and:

Oriented noticeably north of the latitude line.
Shaded for a large portion of the day by trees or other buildings.

I seriously doubt these arrays would have been installed if they were not being subsidized.

Plant some trees to shade your home in the summer. You'll have less need for AC, get some exercise cleaning up leaves and limbs, attract songbirds, and in 40-80 years have a reason to call a portable sawmill.  ;D
black walnut, cherry, SYP, southern magnolia, poplar, hemlock, osage orange, red oak, white oak, chestnut oak, black locust, english walnut, ERC, WP, hickory, ash, black birch, beech, honey locust, apple, white cedar, black oak, basswood(?), sassafras and a "Christmas tree" full of iron

Offline Larry

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Re: Future of Solar Power
« Reply #82 on: July 25, 2016, 09:34:48 pm »
Our electric utility, Ozark Electric Cooperative, just put a one megawatt solar power generation station on line.  I haven't read how it is going as of yet.  One megawatt doesn't seem like much, but maybe they get green credits or something.  You can read about it hear.

https://www.ozarksecc.com/press/pr/solar-facility/july-15-2015

We just had a thread about electric rates and it seemed I had about the cheapest, so I'll won't say nothing bad about our utility.

I have heard rumor of a new idea.  Invest in the utility company to install solar panels than get a break on your bill.  This would be in lieu of the homeowner buying and installing there own solar panels.  The idea is to eliminate net metering.

In this mornings paper it was reported that one could buy a solar panel from the utility for $340 (100 panels maximum) and receive $1.83/month credit on your bill.  Not enough information to determine if it would be a good investment.  Tax treatment and what happens when the panel expires.

Another interesting fact.  They oriented the panels to the west instead of the usual southerly direction.  At a complementary angle they have a mirror oriented to the east which reflects into the panel during the morning.  The intent with the west exposure is to generate maximum juice in the afternoons to knock down the peak caused by air conditioning.

This will be the utilitys only alternative energy project as there contract with there wholesale energy supplier only allows them to use one megawatt of alternative energy.  Interesting.

Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Future of Solar Power
« Reply #83 on: July 25, 2016, 09:56:23 pm »
In this mornings paper it was reported that one could buy a solar panel from the utility for $340 (100 panels maximum) and receive $1.83/month credit on your bill.  Not enough information to determine if it would be a good investment.  Tax treatment and what happens when the panel expires.

If that is just the PV panel (no inverters, other hardware or installation), that's not a very good price.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Larry

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Re: Future of Solar Power
« Reply #84 on: July 25, 2016, 10:00:43 pm »
The power company installs and maintains the panel on there property.  The buyer (utility customer) does nothing other than hand over $340 in return for a $1.83 credit/month on there bill.

Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Future of Solar Power
« Reply #85 on: July 25, 2016, 11:14:43 pm »
The power company installs and maintains the panel on there property.  The buyer (utility customer) does nothing other than hand over $340 in return for a $1.83 credit/month on there bill.

Does it say for how many years that $1.83 goes on?

Figuring the net present value (NPV = value in today's dollars of all income less all expenses): If you assume 25 years at 3% discount rate and a fixed monthly payment of $1.83, you get a net present value of about $42 for one panel.  If the credit only goes on for 20 years, the NPV would be a net loss of $13.

Of course, you can make this calculation come out just about any way you want by fiddling with the discount rate. 3%/year seemed reasonable to me, but I'm no financial analysis guru.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Online Ianab

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Re: Future of Solar Power
« Reply #86 on: July 26, 2016, 02:56:43 am »
Is that $1:83 + the slightly reduced power bill?

I can see where the local utility might want to cut their peak demand, because that's what much of their charges is based on, and also the main feeder capacity has to be sized for. If they can knock ~10% off those peaks it saves them a LOT of $$. The savings of being able to trim that peak demand can be more significant than the value of the units of power generated. But if they only compensate the panel owner for the units generated, the investment in the panel isn't a good one. But work it out on value of the power + a share in what they save on the peak charges, the maths might work.   

And if those peaks come on hot summer afternoons, because of AC loads, then solar panels could take a significant bite out of those peaks. Because it's generated and used locally they don't have the costs of distributing it though the national grid. They don't generate much on a cloudy day, but that's days peak power is a lot less.

But they will also want to limit the amount of uncontrolled local generation. Otherwise they can get in a situation where one part of the grid is producing more power than it can distribute, and they don't have control of the solar panels to shut them down.

Now this wouldn't work locally because peaks here are on cold evenings when everyone flicks on electric heaters / heat pumps / starts cooking dinner. On a nice sunny day the power demand is lowest, and you would be generating some of the least valuable base load power. A lot of the local power suppliers keep smaller hydro plants in service for a similar reason. They leave them idle most of the day, and "bank" up the water. Then they can run them at 100% for a few peak hours. You can see the on-line river level gauges going up and down in a regular cycle.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)