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(Need Geek Help)   Tech help please. I know it' early, I know it's Saturday. This is about photovoltaic solar technologies comparatively. Have some coffee and muse at the DIT over there-->   (autobloggreen.com) divider line 75
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2036 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Feb 2008 at 9:27 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-02-02 08:52:33 AM  
I think energy generation is going to be a booming business in the future, especially if I can target 100 times what I use. That's the baseline small business model goal. If I spend 200 a month on electricity, this model will earn 20k per month. That's the geek idea, a one man operation.

Silicon thin crystals have roughly a 14% energy retention rate that functions in the red light spectrum. That's why it's historically mediocre at best and more a novelty than a real solution. The new technology, CIGS (copper, indium, gallium and selenium), thin film designs operate in the 50-60 percent range for energy retention because it broadens the light spectrum utilization, or so it is rumored.

I have massaged the Goog until my brain almost falls out and I can't locate comparative calculation data between these two technologies. It's now hitting the market (see link article) and I have been waiting feverishly, with drools, for this stuff to hit the market.

Normal silicon panels max at about 200 watts (roughly 3x5). These are combined in arrays for scale. I have about 8000 square feet of available space for an array and it's not penciling out with silicon. When I extrapolate the energy retention differential, it begins to work. A factor of 100 is just a goal, but when I start desigining an array of this size, combine a hydro water collection system underneath, viola!, I'm producing some significant power.

What I need is hard comparative information regarding energy output between silicon and CIGS solar collectors to be able to justify the project.

Any insight would help, or point me in directions..
 
2008-02-02 09:01:14 AM  
This?? (^)
 
2008-02-02 09:06:01 AM  
goeniegoegoe: This?? (^)

Ooo..that's looks juicy. Looks like I need to book mark that and drill down on it. Thanks..a start. Keep in mind, I'm no engineer..lol.
 
2008-02-02 09:10:46 AM  
GaryPDX: Ooo..that's looks juicy

Here's the PDF (^)

Not an engineer either, but it has lots of cool looking formulas :)
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2008-02-02 09:11:35 AM  
Normal silicon panels max at about 200 watts (roughly 3x5).

The theoretical limit is on the order of 1400 watts per square meter peak because that's how much sunlight there is. Multiply by efficiency. Then assuming a fixed collector multiply by about 20% to get an average compensating for bad angle of sun (e.g. night) and weather.
 
2008-02-02 09:12:47 AM  
Its main use is for photovoltaic cells (CIGS cells), in the form of polycrystalline thin films. Unlike the silicon cells based on p-n junction, the structure of CIGS is a complex heterojunction system. The best efficiency achieved as of December 2005 was 19.5%, which is by far the highest compared with those achieved by other thin film technologies such as Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) or amorphous silicon (a-Si). [1]

This is on Wikipedia, I'd sure like to know the math trail of "19.5%", that was almost 3 years ago. I've heard it's significantly more now considerable higher now.
 
2008-02-02 09:13:47 AM  
Or this (^)

this (^)

or

this (^)
 
2008-02-02 09:15:04 AM  
And finally this (^)
 
2008-02-02 09:15:15 AM  
Energy has historically been a vertical industry. I believe it will expand horizontally and small businesses generating excess power will be a huge growth avenue. Just a thought.
 
2008-02-02 09:16:02 AM  
ZAZ: Normal silicon panels max at about 200 watts (roughly 3x5).

The theoretical limit is on the order of 1400 watts per square meter peak because that's how much sunlight there is. Multiply by efficiency. Then assuming a fixed collector multiply by about 20% to get an average compensating for bad angle of sun (e.g. night) and weather.


That's helpful, thank you.
 
2008-02-02 09:18:04 AM  
goeniegoegoe: And finally this (^)

wow..your a wealth of information. I be a digesting..lol.
 
2008-02-02 09:19:36 AM  
My house sits on a windy knoll surrounded by open fields.
I'm going to replace the roof, soo, anyway.
I'd like both solar and wind and sell any I don't use back.
I pay @ $40 a month for electricity now.
 
2008-02-02 09:32:56 AM  
vudukungfu: My house sits on a windy knoll surrounded by open fields.
I'm going to replace the roof, soo, anyway.
I'd like both solar and wind and sell any I don't use back.
I pay @ $40 a month for electricity now.


This is the "horizontal" nature I speak of. Millions of small operations.I'm looking at combinations too. If I have an array that's 8000 square feet, I can raise it 20 feet and construct a water collection system underneath. Falling water also generates electricity. The three golden elements, wind, sun and falling water.

I'm also looking at an additional angle. Using solar power to power biodiesel reaction tanks (water heaters). If I collect waste vegetable oil from restaurants, use solar for heating the reactions tanks, I'm looking at the cost of methanol and lye for my fuel costs, about 10 cents a gallon. Then I just burn regular diesel generators. Profit!

Combinations...combinations. That's the key.
 
2008-02-02 09:33:40 AM  
Green?..holey crap!...lol
 
2008-02-02 09:38:59 AM  
Idea I've been kicking around for a year or so...

As more technology hits the market, open a small showroom for residential solar technology. Modeled after the swimming pool/hot tub type showrooms, where a number of different manufacturers are represented. Mock up a few displays, and have 2-3 salesmen that know their numbers manning the showroom. Do the sales work, and contract out the installations and service. Have all the literature on tax breaks, grants, selling back excess power, etc. available to go over with customers. Open a few of these showrooms, starting down at the Jersey/Delaware beach towns where population is mostly seasonal. Pay your summer A/C bills by generating and selling power back during the other 8 months of the year.

Thoughts? Every year this gets a little more feasible.
 
2008-02-02 09:39:05 AM  
We should be looking at energy as a business model, NOT sucking off the "teat" of consumption. It's an Industry potential.
 
2008-02-02 09:41:08 AM  
This is the "horizontal" nature I speak of. Millions of small operations.I'm looking at combinations too. If I have an array that's 8000 square feet, I can raise it 20 feet and construct a water collection system underneath. Falling water also generates electricity. The three golden elements, wind, sun and falling water.

I think things will go this way, however who owns the transmission lines? In this scenario? It still has to be somewhat vertical? Horizontal expansion in that regards would be ugly/messy.
 
2008-02-02 09:41:41 AM  
GaryPDX 2008-02-02 09:39:05 AM
We should be looking at energy as a business model, NOT sucking off the "teat" of consumption. It's an Industry potential.


How about 'leasing' people's spare generation capacity and selling the power back to the grid as a centralized company? The company handles overhead and logistics, the masses provide the capacity, the profits are split by all involved.
 
2008-02-02 09:41:56 AM  
Be sure to put piezoelectric cells on all of your shoes, so that your very steps generate energy to be collected in small batteries and sold on the open market.
 
2008-02-02 09:44:50 AM  
sluck604: This is the "horizontal" nature I speak of. Millions of small operations.I'm looking at combinations too. If I have an array that's 8000 square feet, I can raise it 20 feet and construct a water collection system underneath. Falling water also generates electricity. The three golden elements, wind, sun and falling water.

I think things will go this way, however who owns the transmission lines? In this scenario? It still has to be somewhat vertical? Horizontal expansion in that regards would be ugly/messy.


But at that point, they're paying us instead of the other way around. Transmission companies will be like UPS. How much to ship those protons?

I don't see the big city "hives" doing this, they're just customers..lol. What I do see is suburban and rural small businesses by the millions.
 
2008-02-02 09:44:58 AM  
Does the power company really give you a 1:1 credit for the power you put back into the grid?

I hope you don't have any neighbors for that eyesore.
 
2008-02-02 09:45:27 AM  
I'm just waiting for Nanosolar to get cranked all the way up. Their production process is about as simple as the printing press (offset lithography), then the rest of the hardware is about as simple as a sine wave generator.

Their cells are going to be under $1/watt, hard to tell the installed costs. Properly engineered, the solid state converters could have a 50 year life span and be amortized over two generations of cells. But then again, I suspect Nanosolar is experiencing a gradual increase in performance, so maybe the first gen installations will be twice as large per watt than the next.
 
2008-02-02 09:46:27 AM  
EvilClosetMonkey: GaryPDX 2008-02-02 09:39:05 AM
We should be looking at energy as a business model, NOT sucking off the "teat" of consumption. It's an Industry potential.

How about 'leasing' people's spare generation capacity and selling the power back to the grid as a centralized company? The company handles overhead and logistics, the masses provide the capacity, the profits are split by all involved.


That works. The point his we, as individuals, HAVE the capacity, or will have soon with these new technologies. I'm hell bent on being an early adopter.
 
2008-02-02 09:47:27 AM  
bigforearms: Does the power company really give you a 1:1 credit for the power you put back into the grid?

I hope you don't have any neighbors for that eyesore.


No, they sell it to us retail, they buy it from us wholesale, like any other business. I think it's about .85:1
 
2008-02-02 09:49:54 AM  
well garypdx...that is what frustrates me about the modern gop, and the dnc, for that matter.

there is big money to be made in saving the planet.

they act like they don't care about making money...which lends to the notion that we, as a species, have no future.

we should be reaping the power of the sea, and i could go on and on...but i won't.

i know that we have a working anti gravity powered craft...and that one fact blows the doors off of the whole energy crisis.

we "paid" for it...and we should be able to use it for all mankind.

-my contempt is growing daily.
 
2008-02-02 09:50:16 AM  
Actually, I think their margin is under 10% COS. The point is, we'll be able to produce by a reasonable facter ot make it profitable as a small business. I use a stadard goal mark of 100:1. I think I can produce 100 times what I use soon with these new advances. I'm looking for justifiable data to support my venture.
 
2008-02-02 09:53:57 AM  
Bauer: well garypdx...that is what frustrates me about the modern gop, and the dnc, for that matter.

there is big money to be made in saving the planet.

they act like they don't care about making money...which lends to the notion that we, as a species, have no future.

we should be reaping the power of the sea, and i could go on and on...but i won't.

i know that we have a working anti gravity powered craft...and that one fact blows the doors off of the whole energy crisis.

we "paid" for it...and we should be able to use it for all mankind.

-my contempt is growing daily.


This is exactly why I'm not waiting around. If I build it and produce energy, they HAVE to buy it by law.
 
2008-02-02 09:54:16 AM  
the sun should be there.

/helpful.
 
2008-02-02 09:55:59 AM  
Bauer 2008-02-02 09:49:54 AM
well garypdx...that is what frustrates me about the modern gop, and the dnc, for that matter.

there is big money to be made in saving the planet.

they act like they don't care about making money...which lends to the notion that we, as a species, have no future.

we should be reaping the power of the sea, and i could go on and on...but i won't.

i know that we have a working anti gravity powered craft...and that one fact blows the doors off of the whole energy crisis.

we "paid" for it...and we should be able to use it for all mankind.

-my contempt is growing daily.


You're right, but when has anything useful been done EVER by waiting around for the man to get his act together? Better to ask forgiveness than permission... to hell with 'em.
 
2008-02-02 09:57:11 AM  
From some amount of scuttlebutt on the net, many of the companies producing CIGS panels are having troubles with the materials and/or production process. Beyond that, at least one company (Nanosolar) admits that their entire expected production for the year will be sent to Europe, and especially Germany, due to high average energy prices and thus a shorter time to profitability. So, panels might be hard to obtain for the time being, to say nothing of demand causing a bit of a price spike.

Still, I'm stoked that so many companies are getting in on the cheap solar act.
 
2008-02-02 10:00:45 AM  
Great, an epic green TFD and I barely understand one word in ten of it. Good luck with it though!
 
2008-02-02 10:00:47 AM  
Gary,

There was a thread 3-4 days ago in Geek about PV energy. A couple of people in that one had some good setups & might be able to help you.
 
2008-02-02 10:02:41 AM  
bigforearms: I hope you don't have any neighbors for that eyesore.

Dude, with todays attitude about energy, if my contraption works, I'll get TV coverage and tourists. Al gore might come visit me.
 
2008-02-02 10:02:49 AM  
3-4=2 when the coffee hasn't finished brewing....

3366938 was the thread.
 
2008-02-02 10:03:20 AM  
Recoil Therapy: Gary,

There was a thread 3-4 days ago in Geek about PV energy. A couple of people in that one had some good setups & might be able to help you.


Cool, I'll hunt for it..thanks.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2008-02-02 10:05:20 AM  
Actually, I think their margin is under 10% COS.

Massachusetts splits generation and delivery charges. The theory is, you can buy electrons from any supplier and you only pay monopoly pricing for delivery of those electrons. It's currently about 10 cents generation and 5 cents delivery, including a bunch of silly little fees bundled into each.
 
2008-02-02 10:05:46 AM  
I've looked in to this, IMO right now the capital that the average consumer needs to put out to purchase, install and integrate is just not going to justify it. Very, very rough calculations at my location (Jersey Shore) gave me about 7 years to break even.

My idea was a self sustaining landscaping operation. The energy and pollution a typical operation consume and produce are nuts. Don't think the equipment technology is there yet though. (Ever try a DC powered lawnmower?)

Also, PDX--> Portland? Will this be feasible? That's just a wild guess, I always think rain in the NW there.
 
2008-02-02 10:07:17 AM  
Question for the geek squad: My father is looking to get an array of solar panels for his house. We're looking to use it for either heating water or selling back to the grid.

Should we buy high end panels now or wait a few years for the emerging technologies to mature?
 
2008-02-02 10:11:09 AM  
LoopyPickle: I've looked in to this, IMO right now the capital that the average consumer needs to put out to purchase, install and integrate is just not going to justify it. Very, very rough calculations at my location (Jersey Shore) gave me about 7 years to break even.

My idea was a self sustaining landscaping operation. The energy and pollution a typical operation consume and produce are nuts. Don't think the equipment technology is there yet though. (Ever try a DC powered lawnmower?)

Also, PDX--> Portland? Will this be feasible? That's just a wild guess, I always think rain in the NW there.


I'm looking at a combination of solar, falling water and biodiesel to achieve the goals. Yea, we get plenty of sun in half the year and quite a bit of rain fall. I'm 60 about 30 miles north of the 45th parallel.

I'll being doing 90 % of the construction work myself so my cost is about as minimal as it gets. I'm self employed from home as it is so I don't need any expensive automation gear. All I'll need is the core elements (generators) and a panel trackers.

Keepin it simple.
 
2008-02-02 10:14:07 AM  
Sharkface217: Question for the geek squad: My father is looking to get an array of solar panels for his house. We're looking to use it for either heating water or selling back to the grid.

Should we buy high end panels now or wait a few years for the emerging technologies to mature?


I'm not touching silicon. I'm going after this new CIGS technology. Should be on the market here in less than 12 months. Honda is rolling it out in Japan as we speak.

The nice thing is, silicon solar is going to get dirt cheap in under 24 months. I'd wait a little while.
 
2008-02-02 10:18:29 AM  
Sharkface217: Question for the geek squad: My father is looking to get an array of solar panels for his house. We're looking to use it for either heating water or selling back to the grid.

Should we buy high end panels now or wait a few years for the emerging technologies to mature?


There are cheaper solar cells being produced now. Instead of being made as panels, it's a roll of material.
 
2008-02-02 10:21:57 AM  
Sharkface217: Should we buy high end panels now or wait a few years for the emerging technologies to mature?

That's what's stopping me at the moment. The newer technologies that aren't quite into production yet look awesomely promising. I think the next 5 years may bring a mini-evolution in solar energy.

(thx for this thread, very interesting)
 
2008-02-02 10:22:41 AM  
thisispete: There are cheaper solar cells being produced now.

Yeah, that.
 
2008-02-02 10:24:27 AM  
home.cfl.rr.com
 
2008-02-02 10:24:33 AM  
thisispete: There are cheaper solar cells being produced now. Instead of being made as panels, it's a roll of material.

I'm pretty sure that CIGS technology. Yes, you can literally paint your house with this stuff and hook up a conduit.

www.konarka.com is using plastic imprinting. Silicon is going the way of the dinosaur. All we're waiting for now is market saturation.
 
2008-02-02 10:26:18 AM  
I think all of you 'sell it back to the grid' people need to remember that you are going to have to get a conversion computer system, which will auto kick you off/on the grid as you generate your power, and will prepare the power you generate to be transmitted along the power lines. It's another step.

Realistic goals should not be to 'sell power back' but to reduce both your power used and footprint. This can be done by increasing your efficiency, doing without some things, etc.

Installing PV systems is a good idea. But you're never going to make 20k/year doing it. Your profit margin will be close to 10%, if that. I personally think 0% is a real number, but I am a pessimist.
 
2008-02-02 10:30:02 AM  
kroonermanblack: I think all of you 'sell it back to the grid' people need to remember that you are going to have to get a conversion computer system, which will auto kick you off/on the grid as you generate your power, and will prepare the power you generate to be transmitted along the power lines. It's another step.

In Oregon, we have government incentives. PGE handles all of that up to my meter. I have to buy a single smart transfer switch for that. They've streamlined it here in expectation of this evolution. The fed and state tax and grant incentives are amazing. I can get at least 30% of the gear paid for..and up to 50%.
 
2008-02-02 10:35:01 AM  
kroonermanblack: Installing PV systems is a good idea. But you're never going to make 20k/year doing it. Your profit margin will be close to 10%, if that. I personally think 0% is a real number, but I am a pessimist.

This is why I tout "combinations". Combining various technologies is the only way. PV is just a part of the picture. Imagine this, I can use solar to heat biodiesel reaction tanks. The cost of fuel is reduced to the chemicals lye and methanol. About 10 cents a gallon converting waste vege oil to biodiesel. Then fire up a couple 600kw diesel generators and I'm cranking out 1.2 megawatts of power.

I'm making serious coin.
 
2008-02-02 10:37:48 AM  
"This is exactly why I'm not waiting around. If I build it and produce energy, they HAVE to buy it by law."

you may recieve a visit from people you would not like to know.

sometimes, imo...it is better to cut off the whole foot than to merely step on a few toes.

my research into anti gravity power production has caused some stress for some people.

-they know what you are up to.

i used to manage an isp...and i'm no cherry when it comes to electronic design and fabrication.
for twenty five years...i have searched for my answers...and i am really close.

my pc at home has been hacked by people who know what they are doing.

they know what you are up to.

i don't care anymore.

i get phone calls at home...and at the office, from people who say one thing.

"do you love your kids?"

-how do you answer that?

i tell them that "of course i do...and i love you too...and that is why i'm doing what i'm doing".

i think it blows their minds when they hear that.

in the past four years...i have recieved seven calls from people who tell me i'm "not listening".

they know that i'm close.

-all i'm saying is...be careful.

btw...i'm in perfect health...so if you should hear of my demise...remember this thread.

you and i differ on a few political ideals...but i figured you would be the one person that i could tell this to that would have no agenda to see this wonderful technology stay lost.

i love my country...and my world.

that is why i put myself in this situation.

and now that i've spoken to you...you are somewhat in the same boat.
the ip tracking is 'unseen'.

however...you do not have my notes.
i've gone "back to" paper and i haven't stored anything electronically for three years.

-so...you are cool.

when you get the 'phone call'...just tell them that 'bauer' is all wack and that you don't believe a word i said.

if you want to read something similar to my research...google 'vril'.

-good luck.
 
2008-02-02 10:42:13 AM  
A couple of things I'd like to point out:

1) Actual average solar power hitting the earth's surface is ~1000W/meter^2 (1400W/m^2 is if you're in space, I believe)

2) Most states have "net metering laws" which dictate prices, so you don't really have to guess (and many states have rebate programs for the PV cells too!)

3) The cost of any given PV cell per watt is probably going to be nearly identical, whether thin-film silicon, traditional or CIGS. There is a market for solar panels that generate electricity, and this market doesn't really care about the underlying technology. People keep discussing this in regards to NanoSolar's "$1/watt" panels . . . they might be able to produce them for $1/watt, but it will be a long time until competition drives them down to selling at that point.

4) Have you looked at Concentrating Solar Power? There is a link to some "DIY" type stuff here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Concentrating/concentrating.htm

It's not quite as "buy it and plug it in" simple as PV, but it might be cheaper for a big setup. This is what many commercial solar installations use. You basically use mirrors to concentrate the sun on a working fluid, like oil or something, then use that to run a sterling generator (or just boil water for a normal steam generator).
 
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