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(TreeHugger)   In the USA, there are now more workers in solar power than coal miners   (treehugger.com) divider line 304
    More: Spiffy, USA, solar energy, workers  
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3683 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Apr 2013 at 11:11 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-23 07:48:17 PM  
Well, to be fair, mining sunlight is a lot more labor-intensive.
 
2013-04-23 07:50:10 PM  
Whar green jobs Obama?  Whar?  Oh there?  Ok.
 
2013-04-23 07:52:26 PM  
Further proof that Obama is destroying this country. What happens when the sun runs out of energy, Obama? HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?
 
2013-04-23 07:56:05 PM  
Somewhere a Massey is muttering "There *must* be a way for the sun to explode and kill them before their pensions kick in"
 
2013-04-23 07:58:37 PM  

bdub77: Further proof that Obama is destroying this country. What happens when the sun runs out of energy, Obama? HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-04-23 08:07:45 PM  
While I am more of a nuclear guy, this is cool.
 
2013-04-23 08:24:39 PM  
I imagine there are fewer cave ins also.
 
2013-04-23 08:26:52 PM  

2wolves: I imagine there are fewer cave ins also.


*cough cough* I've got the ultraviolet lung, pops.
 
2013-04-23 08:39:00 PM  
i.imgur.com

SOON.
 
2013-04-23 08:54:53 PM  
See? Obama IS destroying the coal industry.
 
2013-04-23 08:57:40 PM  
OBAMARS WAR ON COAL
 
2013-04-23 09:10:32 PM  
Not impressed

www.politicspa.com
 
2013-04-23 09:28:29 PM  
Just wait until we piss off the sun with our shenanigans.

 You'll see.  For a little while.
 
2013-04-23 10:04:39 PM  
img844.imageshack.us

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.
 
2013-04-23 10:08:00 PM  
A good sign, indeed.

Alas we still dont have more working in the nuclear power field.

The potential we have for that power is immense. It is a shame that people see science differently depending upon political affiliation.
 
2013-04-23 10:12:16 PM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_New_Jersey
 
2013-04-23 10:16:04 PM  
"I think I'm developing green lung!"
 
2013-04-23 10:59:41 PM  

Krymson Tyde: See? Obama IS destroying the coal industry.


Yeah!!  And, um...something something SOLYNDRA!!  Thanks 0bama!
 
2013-04-23 11:14:33 PM  
Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.
 
2013-04-23 11:14:34 PM  

Lsherm: Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else


massive IBEW contracts.

/works in NJ - a solar panel on every lamp pole....
 
2013-04-23 11:14:52 PM  
I wonder what the KW per worker breakdown is
 
2013-04-23 11:15:36 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


the Coal people can post these same stats and use it to talk about how more efficient coal is.
 
2013-04-23 11:16:38 PM  
pretty remarkable when you consider that the solar power workers can only mine at night
 
2013-04-23 11:16:52 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


That would seem prudent .
 
2013-04-23 11:17:20 PM  

scottydoesntknow: "I think I'm developing green lung!"


shut up, merman.
 
2013-04-23 11:17:22 PM  
Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?
 
2013-04-23 11:17:44 PM  
Thanks for the unjustified attacks on the coal industry, imposing ridiculous standards and economically devastating several regions.

Sure, develop soalr power, but there simply is no need to target coal mining for elimination because of moronic luddite enviro-freaks.
 
2013-04-23 11:18:07 PM  
farewell to nineteenth century technology.  thanks for your time, you're no longer required.
 
2013-04-23 11:18:16 PM  
Came for the Zoolander reference.  Left happy.
 
2013-04-23 11:18:36 PM  
I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat
 
2013-04-23 11:18:38 PM  

incrdbil: Thanks for the unjustified attacks on the coal industry, imposing ridiculous standards and economically devastating several regions.

Sure, develop soalr power, but there simply is no need to target coal mining for elimination because of moronic luddite enviro-freaks.


You sound a bit angry, bro.
 
2013-04-23 11:19:15 PM  
I'll stand up and cheer about such stats when my utility bills start trending in a downward direction instead of their current upward climb...
 
2013-04-23 11:19:20 PM  

studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber successful actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat


Better?
 
2013-04-23 11:20:21 PM  
As soon as the solar power subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners.
 
2013-04-23 11:20:39 PM  

studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat


I think they meant WORKING actors, not the wannabes serving drinks at Starbucks
 
2013-04-23 11:20:42 PM  

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?


Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.
 
2013-04-23 11:21:25 PM  

Lidocaine: I'll stand up and cheer about such stats when my utility bills start trending in a downward direction instead of their current upward climb...


A friend from high school came into some cash due to an inheritance and he had his house outfitted with solar panels a few years ago.

He generally gets a check from the electric company each month for about $135.  Not a bill.  A check.

Big overhead and initial investment, but afterward, you get paid by the EC.  I'll be doing it once the prices fall enough to make it a worthwhile initial investment.
 
2013-04-23 11:21:49 PM  

DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners.


yeah, I'm having a hard time finding fault with this position.
 
2013-04-23 11:21:56 PM  

b2theory: While I am more of a nuclear guy, this is cool.


The sun is a bit  nuclear .
 
2013-04-23 11:22:00 PM  

incrdbil: Thanks for the unjustified attacks on the coal industry, imposing ridiculous standards and economically devastating several regions.

Sure, develop soalr power, but there simply is no need to target coal mining for elimination because of moronic luddite enviro-freaks.


You're welcome.
 
2013-04-23 11:23:11 PM  
PS. Coal got its energy from the sun.
 
2013-04-23 11:24:05 PM  

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?


They still mine, it is just far more efficient now, you don't have hundreds of guys with pick axes, you have a few guys and some pretty cool equipment doing the work. The rural communities aren't being ruined by any of it. The only thing they are being affected by is the loss of jobs as coal becomes more expensive.
 
2013-04-23 11:25:04 PM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


I dont know, but I would think they might be making New Jersey's solar capacity in Pennsylvania.
 
2013-04-23 11:25:26 PM  

DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners.


No, it will just be more natural gas.  That's what's hurting coal right now.  Nothing else.  Just natural gas.  As long as that's cheaper to get out of the ground that's what they'll be doing instead of coal.
 
2013-04-23 11:25:50 PM  
Solar power is a nice supplement, but we should be building nuclear plants left and right.

/ok, maybe not directly on major fault lines
//or at least not on major fault lines that are also tsunami target
///and especially not on major fault line tsunami targets where you can buy used panties in a vending machine
 
2013-04-23 11:26:14 PM  
i647.photobucket.com
 
2013-04-23 11:27:13 PM  
You guys do realize, however, that this data comes from an organization who's job it is to promote how awesome solar power is and how good it is for the world?

Not saying it isnt true, but I have learned in life that if an organization exists to say good things, they are going to say good things, whether they are true or not.
 
2013-04-23 11:27:59 PM  

12349876: DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners.

No, it will just be more natural gas.  That's what's hurting coal right now.  Nothing else.  Just natural gas.  As long as that's cheaper to get out of the ground that's what they'll be doing instead of coal.


this. Coal needs more innovation in extraction, get the price on extraction back down and then we'll have something.
 
2013-04-23 11:28:17 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


After the coal is burnt, what good is the furnace?

vs.

The sun will go out far after humanity is gone.
 
2013-04-23 11:28:36 PM  

DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power oil subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners horse and buggies.

 
2013-04-23 11:32:11 PM  

incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.


fark you it isn't.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/11/inez-coal-slurry-spill-to_n _7 57900.html
 
2013-04-23 11:33:27 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.

Your meaningless comparison is meaningless.
 
2013-04-23 11:35:04 PM  

cman: A good sign, indeed.

Alas we still dont have more working in the nuclear power field.

The potential we have for that power is immense. It is a shame that people see science differently depending upon political affiliation.


Nuclear really isn't an issue like it was before.  The problem now is economic.  The upfront capital cost is so immense, and there is considered so much risk that no one will build them.  Solar is exceedingly scalable, so it can be deployed in little pieces that don't take much capital.
 
2013-04-23 11:35:45 PM  
That should say "isn't really a political issue like it used to be..."
 
2013-04-23 11:35:57 PM  
I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

/ My last two jobs have highlighted the typical tradeoff: Company you care about and 60-70 hour weeks vs. company you don't care about and job you can't stand but ~45 hour weeks
// Thinking long and hard about my career...
 
2013-04-23 11:36:05 PM  
i.thestar.com
 
2013-04-23 11:36:38 PM  

Rambino: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.


I was told there would be no math.
 
2013-04-23 11:37:45 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png
 
2013-04-23 11:38:10 PM  

studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat


"Solar energy worker" is what the grow ops and retailers put on their federal return.
 
2013-04-23 11:38:18 PM  
This is bad news...for District 12.

images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-04-23 11:38:57 PM  

king_nacho: 12349876: DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners.

No, it will just be more natural gas.  That's what's hurting coal right now.  Nothing else.  Just natural gas.  As long as that's cheaper to get out of the ground that's what they'll be doing instead of coal.

this. Coal needs more innovation in extraction, get the price on extraction back down and then we'll have something.


Well, that and the whole pollution thing.

"Clean coal" = Unicorn farts
 
2013-04-23 11:39:13 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com

Good! Now, who wants to be the next wonder boy?
 
2013-04-23 11:40:42 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

/ My last two jobs have highlighted the typical tradeoff: Company you care about and 60-70 hour weeks vs. company you don't care about and job you can't stand but ~45 hour weeks
// Thinking long and hard about my career...


We'd have full frickin' employment if the U.S. actually enforced the 40 hour work week. I hope at least you're getting paid by the hour, and not the slavery that salaried can become.
 
2013-04-23 11:42:41 PM  
Needs to be more sun and wind power and the grid needs to be realigned to distribute it. But natural gas is probably the fastest substitute for coal, and it is found with oil.
 
2013-04-23 11:43:04 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: I hope at least you're getting paid by the hour, and not the slavery that salaried can become.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ha ha ha......

/ Current job is the ~45 hour a week one that I kind of hate....
 
2013-04-23 11:43:35 PM  
Hmm, I should have put, "The cure to wind turbine health alarmists" before that image.  My bad.
 
2013-04-23 11:43:38 PM  

js530: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png


Allow me to highlight one key difference between solar energy and oil/gas/coal/nuclear:

When we stop tending to the mines/pipes/boilers/CTs, what happens?  The energy stops flowing, and the lights go out.

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.
 
2013-04-23 11:45:10 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ha ha ha......


Figured. My heart goes out to you.
 
2013-04-23 11:46:09 PM  

alaric3: PS. Coal got its energy from the sun.

God.

ftfy
 
2013-04-23 11:46:41 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....


I still do, so so am I.  Man, conservatives sure do hate solar. The mouth breathers on the local paper forums would love nothing more than to have me living under a bridge just so they could revel in how horrible solar is.

Which is kind of strange, since solar represents one of the easiest ways for one to give "the man" the finger and still be able to have nice things.  You would think that conservatives would be all over that.  But they are so terrified that the granola eaters would say "I told you so".
 
2013-04-23 11:46:59 PM  

king_nacho: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

the Coal people can post these same stats and use it to talk about how more efficient coal is.


It's also a really poor comparison, an entire industry vs. a single step in the process. Add in the mining equipment manufacturers, transporters, power plant workers, and lobbyists then you've got a much bigger workforce.
 
2013-04-23 11:48:16 PM  

GilRuiz1: [i.thestar.com image 615x409]


Difficulty: thread is about solar power.

0/10
 
2013-04-23 11:49:03 PM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


Those pies aren't the same size.  It's impossible to compare state-to-state with the information given.
 
2013-04-23 11:49:14 PM  
I work in the pv industry. People would be surprised that most of the hippies have been replaced with business-minded people. Don't feel bad for the hippies though. Many of them made good money selling their businesses.
 
2013-04-23 11:50:25 PM  
The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of.  That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return.  With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.
 
2013-04-23 11:51:06 PM  

Farty McPooPants: Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.

Those pies aren't the same size.  It's impossible to compare state-to-state with the information given.


NJ  is third or fourth in overall installed solar capacity.  The driver is state and local incentives, not sun.  Until fairly recently, NJ had a pretty kickass incentive.
 
2013-04-23 11:52:05 PM  

js530: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png


Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp
 
2013-04-23 11:52:50 PM  
I think we all know who to thank for having the political will, aptitude and foresight required to accomplish this feat.  Also something something Solyndra.

Actually, I don't want to be that guy in the thread, I just wanted an excuse to post this.
www.charlock.org
 
2013-04-23 11:53:00 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of.  That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return.  With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.


Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels.  Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.
 
2013-04-23 11:54:18 PM  
So are we running out of colonists for constructing more? Also we have to build enough Flux Pods in case of a Solar Eclipse!

/I <3 me some Utopia
//Can't wait till Tech Level 7 for Solar Generators
///I need moar colonists
 
2013-04-23 11:54:33 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


I like this game....

I wonder what the amount of government subsidies for each industry is...

Or how much toxic waste per KWh...

Or how long each method can be maintained...

Or...
 
2013-04-23 11:56:24 PM  
Most coal mining is done by machines now. It would take a whole lot of people to rip the top off a mountain and dump it in a stream.
 
2013-04-23 11:56:54 PM  
Cataholic:
Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp


The factory I work in produces 6000 solar panels every day. They all get installed somewhere. And we don't have anywhere near a corner on the market.  There are a shiat ton of installers out there.
 
2013-04-23 11:58:41 PM  
ftv-video.stbm.it

Sole panahs are great!
 
2013-04-24 12:00:29 AM  
Are there any appreciable downsides to solar panel systems aside from  'lol night time' comments?

I've heard that the waste products from panel creation are not insignificant.  Confirm/Deny?
 
2013-04-24 12:00:43 AM  
Rambino:

Allow me to highlight one key difference between solar energy and oil/gas/coal/nuclear:

When we stop tending to the mines/pipes/boilers/CTs, what happens?  The energy stops flowing, and the lights go out.

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.


If solar is a "semi-permanent infrastructure", the average nuclear plant is the most permanent damn infrastructure in existence. There's no way in hell solar infrastructure will last 30-ish years, the average age of current nuclear power plants. Existing solar doesn't last that long. Solar inverters, like all electronics and power electronics in particular, are constantly being fatigued, by light/dark cycles (1/day) and power switching cycles (thousands/second). Panels are losing a percent or two a year (the magic of compounding rates...). Coverglass is being covered in dirt and bird shiat. Hail and wind storms are taking out panels. All of these require maintenance, labor and expense.

The idea that solar infrastructure is permanent is a complete falsehood.
 
2013-04-24 12:02:40 AM  
Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it. And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

fark you it isn't.

Fark you indeed. Come and visit a mountaintop removal site w/ me sometime and see if you can still deny the "devastation". You obviously do not know anything about the process or the everlasting detrimental effects.
 
2013-04-24 12:02:42 AM  

Rambino: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of.  That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return.  With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.

Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels.  Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.


Very true, although I haven't rad anything about the waste from Solar power. IE: discarded panels, manufacturing waste, etc. Granted Nuclear has hot fuel rods that stay hot for a very long time.( That's just my limited knowledge)

That said I do believe the best power wont be one power source but everyone generating there own only Solar and Wind does that.Although that doesn't give utility companies a steady paycheck.
 
2013-04-24 12:03:20 AM  

Cataholic: js530: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png

Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp


TFA, on the other hand, cites its source as the BLS.  And the BLS says there were 87k coal miners or so in 2012.  http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm#00-0000">http://www. bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm#00-0000

Actually fewer than that, since even that number includes thousands of admin and management jobs.

So TFA was exactly correct.
 
2013-04-24 12:04:14 AM  

Sergeant Grumbles: DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power oil subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners horse and buggies.


Oil companies are net revenue generators for the government, and by a huge margin. Subsidies don't even remotely begin to cover the taxes that the government collects from oil companies.
 
2013-04-24 12:05:14 AM  
www.brennancenter.orgs1.ibtimes.com
 
2013-04-24 12:06:14 AM  

Hollie Maea: Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

I still do, so so am I.  Man, conservatives sure do hate solar. The mouth breathers on the local paper forums would love nothing more than to have me living under a bridge just so they could revel in how horrible solar is.

Which is kind of strange, since solar represents one of the easiest ways for one to give "the man" the finger and still be able to have nice things.  You would think that conservatives would be all over that.  But they are so terrified that the granola eaters would say "I told you so".


Heh, yeah. Full disclosure, though, my work was on the W/kg side, not the the $/W regime inhabited by terrestrial solar.  (IIRC, you work in one of the many, many, Si niches out there.) We had a technology that (still could, I believe,) deliver competitive multi-junction cells for a much lower cost than some of the state-of-the-art stacks out there, but, well, we were a small startup, and hit a few bumps...

(For the purposes of this discussion, we always talked about helping drive down the cost of concentrator systems, but we weren't really at the point of developing 500x AM1.5G cells that that would involve, so that was still at the "pipe dream" stage.)

Still, living in Boston, it worked much better to be able to tell girls that I worked on "solar cells" than what I do now. Deciding how much detail to go into by asking "do you know what the Schrodinger Equation is?" as an opening question generally ends badly...
 
2013-04-24 12:07:19 AM  

Hollie Maea: Cataholic:
Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp

The factory I work in produces 6000 solar panels every day. They all get installed somewhere. And we don't have anywhere near a corner on the market.  There are a shiat ton of installers out there.


To put some more concrete numbers on it, last year the US installed 3.3 Gigawatts of solar.  In 2012 the standard solar panel was 250 Watts, so that's 13.2 million solar panels that needed to be installed.  Considering the design work that goes into installing solar panels, 137,000 workers doesn't sound like too many.
http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-industry-data

To look at it another way, the labor component of solar installation in 2012 was about 3 dollars per watt.  With 3.3 billion watts installed, if "only" your 137,112 workers were installing, that would mean that each of them made $72K.  They almost certainly made a bit less than that, so the numbers do sound right.
 
2013-04-24 12:07:31 AM  
WELL I BEEN WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
GOIN' DOWN DOWN
WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
WHEW ABOUT TO SLIP DOWN

"WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
GOIN' DOWN DOWN
WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
WHEW ABOUT TO SLIP DOWN

FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNIN'
I'M UP BEFORE THE SUN
WHEN MY WORK DAY IS OVER
I'M TOO TIRED FOR HAVIN' FUN"

It just doesn't have the same ring as the original.

/Shouldn't be obscure
 
2013-04-24 12:07:46 AM  
Rambino:

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.



LOFL, delusional much?
 
2013-04-24 12:08:16 AM  
i.thestar.com
Can you spot the black guy?
 
2013-04-24 12:08:17 AM  
Rambino:

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of. That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return. With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.

Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels. Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.


That's why utilities love grid-tie systems. If enough people install them, they can avoid the stranded costs of having to build a half-billion dollar gas plant that only gets spun up during business and air-conditioning hours.

Every time I fly I look down and see huge warehouses and big-box stores and the sort of buildings with literal acres of flat roofs, the sort of things that cluster around airports, and I think of how many of them could be net producers of power to the point where they pay the investment off in 5 years or so and anything after that is pure profit. It's kinda a shame that this isn't being taken advantage of.
 
2013-04-24 12:08:30 AM  

DrPainMD: Oil companies are net revenue generators for the government, and by a huge margin. Subsidies don't even remotely begin to cover the taxes that the government collects from oil companies.


Did the point make a sound as it sailed over your head?
 
2013-04-24 12:09:41 AM  

alaric3: b2theory: While I am more of a nuclear guy, this is cool.

The sun is a bit  nuclear .


It goes nuclear every Sunday, which is why we call that day 'Sun-day'.
 
2013-04-24 12:10:05 AM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


Pennsylvania has a lot of existing industrial infrastructure and talent that is readily adaptable. A good thing too, since they are evidently losing a lot of coal jobs
 
2013-04-24 12:11:10 AM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


The graph isn't saying that Pennsylvanie does more manufacturing of solar panels than other states; it just says that Pennsylvania has far more work manufacturing panels than they do installing, selling , or developing those panels.
 
2013-04-24 12:11:25 AM  

Lionel Mandrake: alaric3: PS. Coal got its energy from the sun. God.

ftfy


Coal was once living matter. Plants, Animals that ate plants and animals that ate animals that ate plants. And the plants got their energy from the sun.
Beyond that it's all star dust.

George Carlin prayed to the sun because it answered his prayers as often as a god, "about 50/50" Of course, He was an animal that ate plants and animals that ate plants so he was solar powered.
 
2013-04-24 12:12:30 AM  

js530: Rambino:

Allow me to highlight one key difference between solar energy and oil/gas/coal/nuclear:

When we stop tending to the mines/pipes/boilers/CTs, what happens?  The energy stops flowing, and the lights go out.

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.

If solar is a "semi-permanent infrastructure", the average nuclear plant is the most permanent damn infrastructure in existence. There's no way in hell solar infrastructure will last 30-ish years, the average age of current nuclear power plants. Existing solar doesn't last that long. Solar inverters, like all electronics and power electronics in particular, are constantly being fatigued, by light/dark cycles (1/day) and power switching cycles (thousands/second). Panels are losing a percent or two a year (the magic of compounding rates...). Coverglass is being covered in dirt and bird shiat. Hail and wind storms are taking out panels. All of these require maintenance, labor and expense.

The idea that solar infrastructure is permanent is a complete falsehood.


Oh please.

A nuclear power plant "lasts" exactly one minute after the workers depart.  They cannot (or at least should not and do not) operate without human oversight 24/7.  A basic PV system is completely fire-and-forget.

Yes, the inverters tend to blow after a decade. So I amend my statement to note that you have to make a trip to the inverter store once a decade. Otherwise, they generally keep on plugging a whole lot longer than 30 years.  Most importantly, the expensive part (the solar panels) have the longest life.  The stuff that wears out is easy to replace.

Birdshiat? Dirt?  Who cares. Yes, your production goes down, but it Will.Not.Stop.

Hail and storms?  Solar panels are a lot more weather-resistant than most other generating sources.

We only put solar panels on buildings with new roofs, because the panels will outlast the roof.

Heck, the biggest threat to solar panel longevity is obsolescence--as in you throw out a perfectly good panel just cuz you can get a better one for cheap.
 
2013-04-24 12:13:12 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: IIRC, you work in one of the many, many, Si niches out there.


We make good old traditional monocrystalline Silicon panels, so about as non niche as you can get.  I'd love to work on some of the more exotic stuff you are talking about.

On the other hand, it has taken a good deal of innovation to stay alive in the market of the last two years.  A couple of months ago we completely redesigned our device structure, which gave us an extra 15 watts per sixty cell panel and has kept us alive since then....
 
2013-04-24 12:14:13 AM  
Infernalist:

Are there any appreciable downsides to solar panel systems aside from 'lol night time' comments?

I've heard that the waste products from panel creation are not insignificant. Confirm/Deny?


I'll let people better versed (Hollie Maea) speak to this in detail, but it's more or less the same waste you get from making other semiconductors, just in bulk form.

There are some nasty fluorine compounds, those are probably the nastiest, but even those can be dealt with using plasma furnaces and the like.

Whatever the case, unlike coal mining, all of the processing is done in factories and there's a specific waste stream. It's not like "blast the top off of a mountain and let everything run downhill." There's a bit more control over what gets spilled where.
 
2013-04-24 12:14:43 AM  
Fartbongo's taking our jobs!!!
 
2013-04-24 12:15:18 AM  

maxheck: Rambino:

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of. That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return. With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.

Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels. Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.

That's why utilities love grid-tie systems. If enough people install them, they can avoid the stranded costs of having to build a half-billion dollar gas plant that only gets spun up during business and air-conditioning hours.

Every time I fly I look down and see huge warehouses and big-box stores and the sort of buildings with literal acres of flat roofs, the sort of things that cluster around airports, and I think of how many of them could be net producers of power to the point where they pay the investment off in 5 years or so and anything after that is pure profit. It's kinda a shame that this isn't being taken advantage of.


Not being taken advantage of because the utilities hate net metered systems.  Undermines their business model completely, and makes them have to think hard about power factors and voltage regulation.
 
2013-04-24 12:16:08 AM  

Infernalist: Are there any appreciable downsides to solar panel systems aside from  'lol night time' comments?

I've heard that the waste products from panel creation are not insignificant.  Confirm/Deny?


Confirm, with caveats.  Some of the thin film technologies such as Cadmium Telluride contain some nasty shiat that needs to be disposed with care.  But for the Silicon wafers that make up almost the whole industry, the nastiest thing they have in them is Silver.
 
2013-04-24 12:16:40 AM  
Sounds like we need to hire more coal miners.
 
2013-04-24 12:18:07 AM  

Hollie Maea: Infernalist: Are there any appreciable downsides to solar panel systems aside from  'lol night time' comments?

I've heard that the waste products from panel creation are not insignificant.  Confirm/Deny?

Confirm, with caveats.  Some of the thin film technologies such as Cadmium Telluride contain some nasty shiat that needs to be disposed with care.  But for the Silicon wafers that make up almost the whole industry, the nastiest thing they have in them is Silver.


Also, most important caveat:  TANSTAAFL, yes, but compared to the "waste" from any other energy source currently in use, it is pretty damned good.
 
2013-04-24 12:19:36 AM  
I should clarify that the actual manufacture of silicon cells does contain plenty of nasty acids.  But the nice thing about acid is that after you use them they aren't nasty any more.
 
2013-04-24 12:20:02 AM  
Hollie Maea:

BTW, I wonder if we have bumped into each at some event or other, just on odds. Small enough industry.

Are you at slwd?
 
2013-04-24 12:20:57 AM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


For the charts, it's a matter of percentages. New Jersey doesn't have higher number of solar panel installation jobs than states like California, just a higher percentage of total jobs that are classified in the installation sector.

So, if California has 10,000 solar-related jobs (just making up round numbers here), and 7,500 of those are installation related, this (75%) is a lesser percentage than New Jersey, which, for example, might have only 2,000 solar related jobs, 1,600 of which might be installation-related (80%).
 
2013-04-24 12:21:33 AM  
almost 25% of the electricity in Iowa is now produced by wind power

ha ha! you guys all blooooooooow


/see what I did there?
 
2013-04-24 12:22:39 AM  

Rambino: Hollie Maea:

BTW, I wonder if we have bumped into each at some event or other, just on odds. Small enough industry.

Are you at slwd?


Yes, I am. I doubt we have bumped into each other...I was part time until a few months ago because I was taking classes at the same time, so I didn't make it to too many conventions or anything.
 
2013-04-24 12:22:55 AM  
Yes. What hlehmann said....
 
2013-04-24 12:23:02 AM  

incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.


Ahahahahahahahahahaha! *deep breath* Ahahahahahahahahahaha!  Yes I'm sure that the charges are placed to save the trees.  *wipes eyes, blows nose*
 
2013-04-24 12:23:07 AM  

Not_The_Target_Market: Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.

For the charts, it's a matter of percentages. New Jersey doesn't have higher number of solar panel installation jobs than states like California, just a higher percentage of total jobs that are classified in the installation sector.

So, if California has 10,000 solar-related jobs (just making up round numbers here), and 7,500 of those are installation related, this (75%) is a lesser percentage than New Jersey, which, for example, might have only 2,000 solar related jobs, 1,600 of which might be installation-related (80%).


Which would make sense, since most of the solar management/admin/finance/development is in California.
 
2013-04-24 12:24:15 AM  

Hollie Maea: I should clarify that the actual manufacture of silicon cells does contain plenty of nasty acids.  But the nice thing about acid is that after you use them they aren't nasty any more.


If you like having bones, respect the HF.
 
2013-04-24 12:24:59 AM  

Hollie Maea: Rambino: Hollie Maea:

BTW, I wonder if we have bumped into each at some event or other, just on odds. Small enough industry.

Are you at slwd?

Yes, I am. I doubt we have bumped into each other...I was part time until a few months ago because I was taking classes at the same time, so I didn't make it to too many conventions or anything.


Ah. I am with your law firm. Perhaps at SPI, if you start hitting the circuit again.
 
2013-04-24 12:26:27 AM  

maxheck: Rambino:

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of. That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return. With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.

Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels. Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.

That's why utilities love grid-tie systems. If enough people install them, they can avoid the stranded costs of having to build a half-billion dollar gas plant that only gets spun up during business and air-conditioning hours.

Every time I fly I look down and see huge warehouses and big-box stores and the sort of buildings with literal acres of flat roofs, the sort of things that cluster around airports, and I think of how many of them could be net producers of power to the point where they pay the investment off in 5 years or so and anything after that is pure profit. It's kinda a shame that this isn't being taken advantage of.


Unless the building was designed with solar in mind, it can be challenging. Nobody wants to physically attach the solar structures to the roof, potentially causing a leak, or voiding the roof warranty. Roofing companies want to be the ones to install the attachments. Now it may make more sense to re-roof the building first to get the warranty, and because it will be difficult to get to later. Some systems can be ballasted with cmu concrete cap blocks to avoid penetrations, but then may add too much weight and exceed the structural capacity. California and other areas have seismic concerns. Fire-fighter access pathways, skylight, etc.. The solar capacity of a given roof decreases rapidly, reducing the value of the investment.
 
2013-04-24 12:26:35 AM  
Aaah, the future unemployed receiving top pay instead on unemployment insurance.   This should end well.
 
2013-04-24 12:27:46 AM  

Rambino: Cataholic: js530: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png

Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp

TFA, on the other hand, cites its source as the BLS.  And the BLS says there were 87k coal miners or so in 2012.  http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm#00-0000">http://www. bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm#00-0000

Actually fewer than that, since even that number includes thousands of admin and management jobs.

So TFA was exactly correct.


MSHA's numbers do include metal mining, which I hadn't considered.  So there's that.
 
2013-04-24 12:28:18 AM  
Because ....

1. Inefficiency in solar sectors + new infrastructure

2. Coal mines are seasoned infrastructure + high degree of mechanized process
 
2013-04-24 12:28:19 AM  
do ze germans have too much solar power?

nazi sun death beam in 3..2..
 
2013-04-24 12:29:03 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: Hollie Maea: I should clarify that the actual manufacture of silicon cells does contain plenty of nasty acids.  But the nice thing about acid is that after you use them they aren't nasty any more.

If you like having bones, respect the HF.


Yeah that's the scariest stuff we have (well there is some silane gas I would prefer not to light on fire). The floor is covered with calcium gluconate stations.  But we have not had any HF incidents in the years I have been there.  We are pretty careful with that stuff.
 
2013-04-24 12:30:04 AM  

Rambino: A nuclear power plant "lasts" exactly one minute after the workers depart.  They cannot (or at least should not and do not) operate without human oversight 24/7.  A basic PV system is completely fire-and-forget.


As someone who works in nuclear power...
s21.postimg.org
Run that by me again?
The workers don't leave their posts. Nuclear plants work on rotating shifts. The plants are always manned, 24/7/365. Hell, the control rooms will maintain the plant without human interaction if they could. A lot of the "auto" systems are left "off" so the operators HAVE to interact and know what the hell is going on without the systems caring for itself.
Either way it's a lot longer than "one minute". What you're talking about is "time to boil", usually for coolant water in the fuel pool (or open primary system during a refuel but that's another thing). Time to boil is greatly dependent on when the last refuel is, blah blah blah. It's usually a farkton long time actually, in the number of weeks, as automated systems will run as long as there's some kind of power.
Or are you saying, like, zombie apocalypse..? In which case why are we having this conversation?


Yes, the inverters tend to blow after a decade. So I amend my statement to note that you have to make a trip to the inverter store once a decade. Otherwise, they generally keep on plugging a whole lot longer than 30 years.  Most importantly, the expensive part (the solar panels) have the longest life.  The stuff that wears out is easy to replace.

Birdshiat? Dirt?  Who cares. Yes, your production goes down, but it Will.Not.Stop.

Hail and storms?  Solar panels are a lot more weather-resistant t ...


Oh, and they're poisonous. Let's not forget. They're toxic, they degrade to poisons, and they can't support base load. Good for reducing peak load, though.

/a running steam turbine driven generator is 1000 MWe easy
 
2013-04-24 12:30:19 AM  

studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat


There are a lot of lazy bums soaking up the sun in Cailfornia.
 
2013-04-24 12:30:30 AM  
images.wikia.com
 
2013-04-24 12:31:02 AM  
This is ironic because solar power is more labor intensive than coal power....
 
2013-04-24 12:31:11 AM  
tinfoil-hat maggie:
Very true, although I haven't rad anything about the waste from Solar power. IE: discarded panels, manufacturing waste, etc. Granted Nuclear has hot fuel rods that stay hot for a very long time.( That's just my limited knowledge)

i2.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-04-24 12:31:38 AM  

Rambino: Hollie Maea: Rambino: Hollie Maea:

BTW, I wonder if we have bumped into each at some event or other, just on odds. Small enough industry.

Are you at slwd?

Yes, I am. I doubt we have bumped into each other...I was part time until a few months ago because I was taking classes at the same time, so I didn't make it to too many conventions or anything.

Ah. I am with your law firm. Perhaps at SPI, if you start hitting the circuit again.


Nice.  Hopefully  they'll have enough money to start sending us to those things again soon.
 
2013-04-24 12:32:00 AM  
More directly, let's have everyone here visit southern WV, Eastern Kentucky, and see what direct burning of coal (still the choice of home heating in many rural areas) looks like. Have you ever been choked by ammonia, fly ash, and charcoal at the same time? Yellow smoke so thick it burns your eyes,clogs your sinuses, and makes you sick too your stomach quicker than cheap tequila. If anyone is brave enough I will personally sponsor all the beer needed for a fark party/ environmental tour of the region, and I guarantee thinking on the benefits/detrimental effects of coal production will be shifted for those who still think coal is the answer.

/I live here
//80% of my power is from coal.
///it sucks..and is killing the earth and the health of my fellow rednecks.
//// too bad most voted for mitt anyway cuz "hurr duurr that negro is gonna take ar gunzz!!!
 
2013-04-24 12:33:46 AM  
But the Republicans told me this would never work!
 
2013-04-24 12:35:00 AM  
Rambino:

Oh please.

A nuclear power plant "lasts" exactly one minute after the workers depart.  They cannot (or at least should not and do not) operate without human oversight 24/7.  A basic PV system is completely fire-and-forget.

Yes, the inverters tend to blow after a decade. So I amend my statement to note that you have to make a trip to the inverter store once a decade. Otherwise, they generally keep on plugging a whole lot longer than 30 years.  Most importantly, the expensive part (the solar panels) have the longest life.  The stuff that wears out is easy to replace.

Birdshiat? Dirt?  Who cares. Yes, your production goes down, but it Will.Not.Stop.

Hail and storms?  Solar panels are a lot more weather-resistant t ...


I'm curious on what planet "ability to run without human intervention" is the primary reason for selecting a power source. And if it were, PV still doesn't make sense. So I'll prove it using your 10 year inverter lifetime

The US produces 1250 gigawatt-years in electricity generation. If we assume the average inverter is a generous 10 kW, with a production capacity of 5 kilowatt-year per year (maybe these are all on the equator?), with an average lifetime of 10 years, we need 25 million inverters replaced per year. So assume an inverter can be replaced by a trained electrician in 3 hours. That seems like only 40,000 full-time electricians are needed. Not so bad. But where do these inverters come from? Do electronic components magically solder themselves to a board? Do inverters magically ship themselves? Do the copper transformer windings magically grow from the ground? Are the old inverters biodegradable? There's a reason inverters are multi-kilobuck expensive, and that's because there's a lot of embodied labor, materials, and energy used to manufacture and install. Power electronics, unlike other electronics, don't really benefit from shrinking semiconductor process nodes.
 
2013-04-24 12:35:00 AM  

Ringshadow: Rambino: A nuclear power plant "lasts" exactly one minute after the workers depart.  They cannot (or at least should not and do not) operate without human oversight 24/7.  A basic PV system is completely fire-and-forget.

As someone who works in nuclear power...
[s21.postimg.org image 341x640]
Run that by me again?
The workers don't leave their posts. Nuclear plants work on rotating shifts. The plants are always manned, 24/7/365.



That was kind of the point...   :)   Nukes require operating personnel, and lots of it, and all the time.  Solar does not.

/Also used to work in nuclear, sort of...
 
2013-04-24 12:36:15 AM  

Cataholic: MSHA's numbers do include metal mining, which I hadn't considered.  So there's that.


An actual retraction, on Fark?

My hat is off, good sir.
 
2013-04-24 12:37:24 AM  

Lidocaine: I'll stand up and cheer about such stats when my utility bills start trending in a downward direction instead of their current upward climb...


Check this out: THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

Based on the fact various government sectors started crying when revenues from gas taxes started going down due to people driving more fuel efficient cars, and the hue and cry over people that went off the grid, with the attendant attempts to figure out how to charge such people essentially "equivalently," the power company and the tax man will never go away. Essentially, any "savings" will be passed on to government programs and corporate welfare.
 
2013-04-24 12:37:45 AM  

Ringshadow: Oh, and they're poisonous. Let's not forget. They're toxic, they degrade to poisons


And what poisons do the Silicon solar cells that make up the overwhelming percentage of the industry degrade to?  Show your work, please.
 
2013-04-24 12:37:54 AM  
I power my house with hamsters on wheels.
 
2013-04-24 12:38:05 AM  
Hollie Maea:   Hopefully  they'll have enough money to start sending us to those things again soon.

Fingers crossed, on many levels.
 
2013-04-24 12:41:00 AM  

thorthor: More directly, let's have everyone here visit southern WV, Eastern Kentucky, and see what direct burning of coal (still the choice of home heating in many rural areas) looks like. Have you ever been choked by ammonia, fly ash, and charcoal at the same time? Yellow smoke so thick it burns your eyes,clogs your sinuses, and makes you sick too your stomach quicker than cheap tequila. If anyone is brave enough I will personally sponsor all the beer needed for a fark party/ environmental tour of the region, and I guarantee thinking on the benefits/detrimental effects of coal production will be shifted for those who still think coal is the answer.

/I live here
//80% of my power is from coal.
///it sucks..and is killing the earth and the health of my fellow rednecks.
//// too bad most voted for mitt anyway cuz "hurr duurr that negro is gonna take ar gunzz!!!


SO MUCH THIS.

Want to know how awesome solar is, and how shiatty coal is?  Visit a coal-powered power plant.  Then visit a solar rooftop system.
 
2013-04-24 12:41:33 AM  
Rambino:

maxheck: Rambino:

Not being taken advantage of because the utilities hate net metered systems. Undermines their business model completely, and makes them have to think hard about power factors and voltage regulation.


I'm pretty sure that varies from utility to utility, and the political climate chimes in as well.

Here in libby-lib Maryland, Constellation Energy nee BGE is pretty forward looking. They encourage grid-tie, they are all about conservation, all about smart meters, and this doesn't surprise me... I worked contract for their transmission / telecom division for a couple years back in the 90's and there were some very sharp, forward-looking people working for them.

But then I read about how some numbnuts legislator in FL proposed banning leasing solar panels, which *is* a good solution in some instances, and I have to shake my head in bewilderment.

Voltage regulation and phase and whatnot is a pretty minor technical issue anymore. There are panels with microinverters built in that handle that with $2.00 worth of circuitry. My dad is seriously considering a 4KW array and I'm prototyping a 60Hz sine-wave generator circuit so he can use it as emergency power when the grid goes down.
 
2013-04-24 12:42:38 AM  

Hollie Maea: Martian_Astronomer: Hollie Maea: I should clarify that the actual manufacture of silicon cells does contain plenty of nasty acids.  But the nice thing about acid is that after you use them they aren't nasty any more.

If you like having bones, respect the HF.

Yeah that's the scariest stuff we have (well there is some silane gas I would prefer not to light on fire). The floor is covered with calcium gluconate stations.  But we have not had any HF incidents in the years I have been there.  We are pretty careful with that stuff.


In addition to the economic issues inherent in a small startup, another one of the reasons I got out of the particular niche I was in was the fact that I had to work on R&D equipment with Silane, Germane, Arsine, and Phosphine, and I was reluctant to accept the drop in life expectancy inherent in working with those materials on a long timescale. Whenever the fire department came to our lab, I was one of the people who had to put on the air tanks to go in and tell the firemen it was safe to come inside, and I also didn't particularly like working with phosphorous-heavy residue that caught on fire on a weekly basis and spewed arsenic-laced smoke into the room.

Being an EE in the semiconductor industry is both fascinating and hazardous. There are parts of me that really miss it, and parts of me that really, really don't.
 
2013-04-24 12:43:30 AM  

lewismarktwo: tinfoil-hat maggie:
Very true, although I haven't rad anything about the waste from Solar power. IE: discarded panels, manufacturing waste, etc. Granted Nuclear has hot fuel rods that stay hot for a very long time.( That's just my limited knowledge)

[i2.kym-cdn.com image 500x312]


Oops, that was totally unintentional, wait why won't you believe me, I mean Nuclear is proven safe. Way safer than coal, I mean a whole town had to be evacuated because of a coal mine fire, nothing similar has happened because of uranium or plutonium.
/so sorry
 
2013-04-24 12:45:13 AM  

js530: I'm curious on what planet "ability to run without human intervention" is the primary reason for selecting a power source. And if it were, PV still doesn't make sense. So I'll prove it using your 10 year inverter lifetime

The US produces 1250 gigawatt-years in electricity generation. If we assume the average inverter is a generous 10 kW, with a production capacity of 5 kilowatt-year per year (maybe these are all on the equator?), with an average lifetime of 10 years, we need 25 million inverters replaced per year. So assume an inverter can be replaced by a trained electrician in 3 hours. That seems like only 40,000 full-time electricians are needed. Not so bad. But where do these inverters come from? Do electronic components magically solder themselves to a board? Do inverters magically ship themselves? Do the copper transformer windings magically grow from the ground? Are the old inverters biodegradable? There's a reason inverters are multi-kilobuck expensive, and that's because there's a lot of embodied labor, materials, and energy used to manufacture and install. Power electronics, unlike other electronics, don't really benefit from shrinking semiconductor process nodes.


What an odd post.

"Able to run without supervision" is not necessarily the primary reason for selecting a power source.  Nobody said it was.  But it is a darned nice feature.

As to the rest:  Rather than point out all of the individual factual flaws, I will make this observation: Nobody is suggesting that we should immediately replace all generation with today's solar energy. Your "it wouldn't work in a theoretically extreme case therefore it is always bad" argument is inapplicable.
 
2013-04-24 12:47:09 AM  

maxheck: Rambino:

maxheck: Rambino:

Not being taken advantage of because the utilities hate net metered systems. Undermines their business model completely, and makes them have to think hard about power factors and voltage regulation.

I'm pretty sure that varies from utility to utility, and the political climate chimes in as well.

Here in libby-lib Maryland, Constellation Energy nee BGE is pretty forward looking. They encourage grid-tie, they are all about conservation, all about smart meters, and this doesn't surprise me... I worked contract for their transmission / telecom division for a couple years back in the 90's and there were some very sharp, forward-looking people working for them.

But then I read about how some numbnuts legislator in FL proposed banning leasing solar panels, which *is* a good solution in some instances, and I have to shake my head in bewilderment.

Voltage regulation and phase and whatnot is a pretty minor technical issue anymore. There are panels with microinverters built in that handle that with $2.00 worth of circuitry. My dad is seriously considering a 4KW array and I'm prototyping a 60Hz sine-wave generator circuit so he can use it as emergency power when the grid goes down.


You are absolutely right that utilities differ on the issue.  I am just bitter over how some of the utilities in the Southwest are dealing with it right now.  Constellation and Duke are both pretty good.  But Florida...  holy cow.  They have the most oppressive utility regulations of any state, by a wide margin.
 
2013-04-24 12:52:00 AM  
Take a look at a 30 yr old coal miner that looks 65, coughs up black particulate constantly, and is as anorexic as a 18 yr old fashion model. He makes just enough money to provide his family with food, lodging, and enough money to bury him when he dies of blacklung at age 50. Then tell me solar panels are bad to produce because of their chemical make up. Get yer heads outta yr asses.
 
2013-04-24 12:59:43 AM  
Liberals are against corporate welfare... except for all those instances they are not.

Wind and solar receive over double thehandouts per kW of other sources .
 
2013-04-24 01:01:30 AM  
I enjoy coming home each night to my comfy house, and plugging in my electric car:
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

After I plug in, I check the output on the rooftop solar panels for the day - this evening it was 23 kWh. I'll always double check the voltage of the house battery bank, which are always topped off. Sometimes I'll pop out and see how much the net-meter spun backwards . . . it worked today to have an excess of 15 kwh. Figuring that my car gets 4 miles to the kWh, and I drive 25 miles, the car will take about 7 kWh to fully recharge. That leaves me with ~8 kWh of excess electricity before morning. With a highly efficient, all electric house, that won't be a problem.

Today will be a fully net-solar powered day. I don't buy any gasoline, and I send back excess power during peak loading times for the grid. Power outages are a thing of the past for me. If I wanted to, I could live without the utility. I'm no longer beholden to a corporation to live a comfortable and modern lifestyle.

I can't wait for the day when I can tie my electric car into my current inverter & battery arrangement. With the LEAF as a 24 kWh back-up battery, backing up my house batteries, it could run my home for about 3 days before I would need to fire up the generator for a few hours to recharge everything.

I enjoy coming home to a fully powered home each night, even during power outages. I never worry about the food going bad in my fridge and freezers during an outage. And my garage door always works.

/solar power rocks
//subby
 
2013-04-24 01:03:05 AM  
Forgot to mention that he typically draws his families drinking water from a creek that is florescent orange colored due to all the acid mine drainage present in the water.

/travesty
//should be illegal, but still is the norm.
 
2013-04-24 01:03:32 AM  

MyRandomName: Liberals are against corporate welfare... except for all those instances they are not.

Wind and solar receive over double thehandouts per kW of other sources .


Except in the case of rooftop solar, a majority of those handouts don't go to corporations - they go directly to the taxpayers installing the panels.
 
2013-04-24 01:11:17 AM  
I don't pay to dry my clothes either. suck that, mid-american energy!
t1.gstatic.com
 
2013-04-24 01:13:09 AM  
Oh yeah, Wind energy? Yeah that's solar too. Convection currents.
 
2013-04-24 01:14:55 AM  

Ringshadow: Rambino: A nuclear power plant "lasts" exactly one minute after the workers depart.  They cannot (or at least should not and do not) operate without human oversight 24/7.  A basic PV system is completely fire-and-forget.

As someone who works in nuclear power...
[s21.postimg.org image 341x640]
Run that by me again?
The workers don't leave their posts. Nuclear plants work on rotating shifts. The plants are always manned, 24/7/365. Hell, the control rooms will maintain the plant without human interaction if they could. A lot of the "auto" systems are left "off" so the operators HAVE to interact and know what the hell is going on without the systems caring for itself.
Either way it's a lot longer than "one minute". What you're talking about is "time to boil", usually for coolant water in the fuel pool (or open primary system during a refuel but that's another thing). Time to boil is greatly dependent on when the last refuel is, blah blah blah. It's usually a farkton long time actually, in the number of weeks, as automated systems will run as long as there's some kind of power.
Or are you saying, like, zombie apocalypse..? In which case why are we having this conversation?


I believe the point he was trying to make is that you put solar panels down and then leave. You don't have to have someone around all the time to manage it, it operates automatically. In contrast a nuclear power plant requires 24/7/365 service. There should never BE a time when no one is there. If everyone left, the plant should shut down (and should have been shut down before they left, obviously)

/That was my understanding anyway
//He effectively made a ronco pitch: "Set it and forget it!"
 
2013-04-24 01:19:36 AM  
oldcub:

Unless the building was designed with solar in mind, it can be challenging. Nobody wants to physically attach the solar structures to the roof, potentially causing a leak, or voiding the roof warranty. Roofing companies want to be the ones to install the attachments. Now it may make more sense to re-roof the building first to get the warranty, and because it will be difficult to get to later. Some systems can be ballasted with cmu concrete cap blocks to avoid penetrations, but then may add too much weight and exceed the structural capacity. California and other areas have seismic concerns. Fire-fighter access pathways, skylight, etc.. The solar capacity of a given roof decreases rapidly, reducing the value of the investment.

All valid concerns, but seriously... If you can over time eliminate one of the biggest costs of doing business... Why wouldn't you? Some companies get it... McCormick comes to mind. If you're putting up a new facility, or renovating an old one, it seems like a no-brainer to design that in.

Rambino:

Not being taken advantage of because the utilities hate net metered systems. Undermines their business model completely, and makes them have to think hard about power factors and voltage regulation.

I dearly hope no one is making that BS claim, and if they are they should be called out on it. Grid tie inverters MUST sync in phase and voltage to the grid. Otherwise they'd let all the smoke out. In fact, if there is no feed to the sense terminals the inverters stop altogether, so as to not fry the lineman who thinks the line is dead because it's disconnected upstream.

Power factors and regulation are weak arguments. The regulation is taken care of, and the power will be consumed locally, by the neighbor who doesn't have a grid-tie system. If someone pulls that argument out, call them on it.
 
2013-04-24 01:20:12 AM  
This thread is proof that most "Conservatives" have no idea what the root word of their ideology means.  Why we have to take them seriously is beyond me.
 
2013-04-24 01:21:19 AM  

Rambino: That was kind of the point...   :)   Nukes require operating personnel, and lots of it, and all the time.  Solar does not.

/Also used to work in nuclear, sort of...


Ah, I get what you mean now.. but, dude, my first nuclear job was doing maintenance on a supposed no-maintenance system. So forgive me if I'm slightly leery of your pitch. This is like the thorium reactor people trying to sell the design to me on the basis it's got no waste. Bullshiat. You mean it has no fuel waste. It still will have waste because there will be trash, you target-focused twerps.

/Chosen Frozen
//DC Cook ice crew, lowers, 2006
 
2013-04-24 01:24:28 AM  

Ringshadow: Rambino: That was kind of the point...   :)   Nukes require operating personnel, and lots of it, and all the time.  Solar does not.

/Also used to work in nuclear, sort of...

Ah, I get what you mean now.. but, dude, my first nuclear job was doing maintenance on a supposed no-maintenance system. So forgive me if I'm slightly leery of your pitch. This is like the thorium reactor people trying to sell the design to me on the basis it's got no waste. Bullshiat. You mean it has no fuel waste. It still will have waste because there will be trash, you target-focused twerps.

/Chosen Frozen
//DC Cook ice crew, lowers, 2006


Hi Ringy :3

I still want to print your comic. I even know a guy who does damn fine work, and he might give ya a discount on it n.n
 
2013-04-24 01:25:25 AM  
Rambino:

What an odd post.

"Able to run without supervision" is not necessarily the primary reason for selecting a power source.  Nobody said it was.  But it is a darned nice feature.

As to the rest:  Rather than point out all of the individual factual flaws, I will make this observation: Nobody is suggesting that we should immediately replace all generation with today's solar energy. Your "it wouldn't work in a theoretically extreme case therefore it is always bad" argument is inapplicable.


I'm glad you have the technical background to label what an "extreme case" is. Solar makes no sense at any scale, now and into the foreseeable future. Physically, you have separated energy collection to an immensely low density. This will not change. The physical plant for solar will always be physically large and distributed. This means expensive. Until you can grow a crop of solar cells using agriculture tools (hmm..sounds like biofuels. how well does that work?), you will simply not be able to competitively generate power. Panel prices are falling because the governments of the world (US and China) hand out massive subsidies and because there is a huge manufacturing capacity excess. For the money wasted on solar, we could build several nuclear plants per year (2/year in US alone).
 
2013-04-24 01:26:26 AM  
MyRandomName:

Liberals are against corporate welfare... except for all those instances they are not.

Wind and solar receive over double thehandouts per kW of other sources .


Funny thing. Oil is 100 years or so old, and coal at least twice that.

And yet they STILL get orders of magnitude more government subsidies than a very technical, research-driven industry that's only existed for a few decades.

You would think that with profits measured in the billions they might be able to compete in the free market, but they still have their hand out. Go figure.
 
2013-04-24 01:31:02 AM  
js530:
I'm glad you have the technical background to label what an "extreme case" is. Solar makes no sense at any scale, now and into the foreseeable future. Physically, you have separated energy collection to an immensely low density. This will not change. The physical plant for solar will always be physically large and distributed. This means expensive. Until you can grow a crop of solar cells using agriculture tools (hmm..sounds like biofuels. how well does that work?), you will simply not be able to competitively generate power. Panel prices are falling because the governments of the world (US and China) hand out massive subsidies and because there is a huge manufacturing capacity excess. For the money wasted on solar, we could build several nuclear plants per year (2/year in US alone).

Is this some kind of weird game in which you try to pack as many falsehoods and incorrect statements into a paragraph as possible?
 
2013-04-24 01:38:10 AM  

pion: This thread is proof that most "Conservatives" have no idea what the root word of their ideology means.  Why we have to take them seriously is beyond me.



Conservative is a broad term.  Some of us tend to vote that way for fiscal reasons while being conscious of our own carbon footprint.  I would LOVE to have a setup like MrSteve007 has, but would HATE to have those in power dictating to me how I should go about doing so.  Some good ideas and practices tend to be lost through bureaucracy.
 
2013-04-24 01:39:08 AM  

js530: Panel prices are falling because the governments of the world (US and China) hand out massive subsidies and because there is a huge manufacturing capacity excess. For the money wasted on solar, we could build several nuclear plants per year (2/year in US alone).


Fun fact - California alone is now installing more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity a year, and it's growing at a ~25% rate.

Even California broke ground on a nuclear power plant today, since it takes about 8 years to construct, CA will have installed some ~12 GW of solar capacity. Even if you factor in a 30% for solar, solar will still win on output. Never mind the ridiculous amount water consumed by nuclear plants (or spat out, back into the environment as hot water) - or the several tons of high level radioactive waste the nuclear plant will generate each year.

Plus you have the added benefit of less peak loading that needs to be met by peaker plants, and less demand to the grid during mid day and hot summer days.

As others have pointed out, even if you don't give a shiat about nuclear waste, environmental impact, or meltdown dangers - nuclear is a bad financial bet. That's why even with 100% government backed financing, it's damn near impossible to get one built in the USA. They have a long history of not penciling out. I know, I'm still paying in my utility connection fees for several nuclear plants that never even came online, since the demand never appeared and construction costs skyrocketed.

Nuclear power is a financial nightmare.
 
2013-04-24 01:43:39 AM  

2wolves: I imagine there are fewer cave ins also.


Well yeah, a cave-in inside a miner would be really gross.
 
2013-04-24 01:45:31 AM  
So now I suppose we'll have to endure "Solar Power Worker's Daughter" as soon as one of them grows up to be a country singer.
 
2013-04-24 01:50:58 AM  

Hollie Maea: Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

I still do, so so am I.  Man, conservatives sure do hate solar. The mouth breathers on the local paper forums would love nothing more than to have me living under a bridge just so they could revel in how horrible solar is.

Which is kind of strange, since solar represents one of the easiest ways for one to give "the man" the finger and still be able to have nice things.  You would think that conservatives would be all over that.  But they are so terrified that the granola eaters would say "I told you so".


To me it depends on the solar. Those 10-20 year panels? Meh. Solar Thermal? Cheaper and sustainable. Problem is.... still not enough power to substitute coal/NG/nuclear.
 
2013-04-24 01:52:02 AM  

Hollie Maea: js530:
I'm glad you have the technical background to label what an "extreme case" is. Solar makes no sense at any scale, now and into the foreseeable future. Physically, you have separated energy collection to an immensely low density. This will not change. The physical plant for solar will always be physically large and distributed. This means expensive. Until you can grow a crop of solar cells using agriculture tools (hmm..sounds like biofuels. how well does that work?), you will simply not be able to competitively generate power. Panel prices are falling because the governments of the world (US and China) hand out massive subsidies and because there is a huge manufacturing capacity excess. For the money wasted on solar, we could build several nuclear plants per year (2/year in US alone).

Is this some kind of weird game in which you try to pack as many falsehoods and incorrect statements into a paragraph as possible?


Yeah...  I kind of felt like sideways-head-dog reading that.  After the second line I gave up trying to formulate a response.
 
2013-04-24 01:52:08 AM  
js530:

I'm glad you have the technical background to label what an "extreme case" is. Solar makes no sense at any scale, now and into the foreseeable future. Physically, you have separated energy collection to an immensely low density. This will not change. The physical plant for solar will always be physically large and distributed. This means expensive. Until you can grow a crop of solar cells using agriculture tools (hmm..sounds like biofuels. how well does that work?), you will simply not be able to competitively generate power. Panel prices are falling because the governments of the world (US and China) hand out massive subsidies and because there is a huge manufacturing capacity excess. For the money wasted on solar, we could build several nuclear plants per year (2/year in US alone).

I've traveled a bit in the world where most people live, and well... You're full of crap.

Solar is extremely useful. Sometimes it's the only option.

An example: Nepal.

Nepal is a tiny, postage-stamp sized country that has hydroelectric potential second only to Brazil. They spent 15 years in a Maoist insurgency (that actually turned out pretty well) but even China is leery of investing 100M for a dam, much less $1B for a nuke plant.

There are villages in the hills all along it's many rivers that have 150kV power lines running overhead, but they have no power. Someone would have to haul a few tons of transformer 1/2 mile up the hill to provide them with electricity.

But one thing the Maoists did do right was to provide for solar panels and batteries for each village. Now kids can read after the sun goes down.
Isn't that a romance that gets repeated in the US, how Lincoln read by candlelight? Yeah, well, this is as close as it gets.
 
2013-04-24 01:52:25 AM  

Hector Remarkable: So now I suppose we'll have to endure "Solar Power Worker's Daughter" as soon as one of them grows up to be a country singer.


Please refrain dissing on a great movie. If nothing else Levon Helm was awesome!!!
 
2013-04-24 01:52:36 AM  

MrSteve007: js530: Panel prices are falling because the governments of the world (US and China) hand out massive subsidies and because there is a huge manufacturing capacity excess. For the money wasted on solar, we could build several nuclear plants per year (2/year in US alone).

Fun fact - California alone is now installing more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity a year, and it's growing at a ~25% rate.

Even California broke ground on a nuclear power plant today, since it takes about 8 years to construct, CA will have installed some ~12 GW of solar capacity. Even if you factor in a 30% for solar, solar will still win on output. Never mind the ridiculous amount water consumed by nuclear plants (or spat out, back into the environment as hot water) - or the several tons of high level radioactive waste the nuclear plant will generate each year.

Plus you have the added benefit of less peak loading that needs to be met by peaker plants, and less demand to the grid during mid day and hot summer days.

As others have pointed out, even if you don't give a shiat about nuclear waste, environmental impact, or meltdown dangers - nuclear is a bad financial bet. That's why even with 100% government backed financing, it's damn near impossible to get one built in the USA. They have a long history of not penciling out. I know, I'm still paying in my utility connection fees for several nuclear plants that never even came online, since the demand never appeared and construction costs skyrocketed.

Nuclear power is a financial nightmare.


Funny, Texas doesn't seem to have an issue there (yet).
 
2013-04-24 01:54:09 AM  
Treehugger also had an article recently showing that ALL (net?) new capacity added in the last year was solar power.

I'm not sure how that was calculated but you'd expect there to be a big leap as solar power and other energy sources start to climb the s-shaped curve that coal, then oil and finally natural gas have climbed before them. We have reached the end of the beginning and are now at the stage where the curve will turn sharply upwards.

About time. But each new energy source moves more swiftly (as R&D and scaling-up times shrink rapidly). The USA was still burning mostly wood in 1848 (the UK, Belgium, bits of France and Germany wer already well into the Industrial Revolution but the US and the British lion cubs were just waking up). Kerosene was invented in 1846 by Dr. Abraham Gesner in the small coal fields of Albert Co., New Brunswick, Canada. It is still used as a fuel in jets and rockets. Gesner went on to work as a geologist in the oil fields of Pennsylvania, the leading US producer of oil at the time.

For large-scale power production, big mirrors are still more important than small solar panels.

I'm guessing that the Pennsylvania is big in production because Pittsburg and Philadelphia have re-tooled as post-modern post-coal and iron manufacturing centers, while the U of Penn is probably a center of R&D.

It's PPPs. No, not Public Private Partnerships. Well, yes, it's that, too. But Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Penn State are probably the places to look for your answer.
 
2013-04-24 01:55:15 AM  

People_are_Idiots: Hollie Maea: Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

I still do, so so am I.  Man, conservatives sure do hate solar. The mouth breathers on the local paper forums would love nothing more than to have me living under a bridge just so they could revel in how horrible solar is.

Which is kind of strange, since solar represents one of the easiest ways for one to give "the man" the finger and still be able to have nice things.  You would think that conservatives would be all over that.  But they are so terrified that the granola eaters would say "I told you so".

To me it depends on the solar. Those 10-20 year panels? Meh. Solar Thermal? Cheaper and sustainable. Problem is.... still not enough power to substitute coal/NG/nuclear.


10-20 year panels?  Where are you shopping?  Today's panels come with 25-year warranties.  WARRANTY. That means that on average they last a whole lot longer than 25 years...

I am hard pressed to think of any PV solar panel, ever, failing after 10-20 years (subject to baseballs).  The badly manufactured ones fail pretty quickly--after that they are good for a few decades.

And not enough power?  That's just because we haven't installed enough of them yet.  Give us time.
 
2013-04-24 01:57:38 AM  

Rambino: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.

Your meaningless comparison is meaningless.


You mean the actual good produced is meaningless?  Not a surprising statement from somebody in the solar industry, actually.  Barring a technological breakthrough, solar power is still just a highly publicized pipe dream being foisted upon a largely unaware public.  But hey, subsidized jobs!  Woo hoo solar power!
 
2013-04-24 02:00:49 AM  

Girion47: incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

fark you it isn't.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/11/inez-coal-slurry-spill-to_n _7 57900.html



Huffington post? Really? Thats like getting racie based information information from the Aryan Brotherhood
 
2013-04-24 02:01:41 AM  
And which one of them is doing work that supplies a significant portion of Americas energy needs?
 
2013-04-24 02:02:21 AM  
catpuncher:

Rambino: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.

Your meaningless comparison is meaningless.

You mean the actual good produced is meaningless? Not a surprising statement from somebody in the solar industry, actually. Barring a technological breakthrough, solar power is still just a highly publicized pipe dream being foisted upon a largely unaware public. But hey, subsidized jobs! Woo hoo solar power!


Is the industry showing a profit?

Then it's on par with oil.

Is it growing?

Then it's doing better than oil.

Discuss.
 
2013-04-24 02:02:49 AM  

Summercat: Hi Ringy :3

I still want to print your comic. I even know a guy who does damn fine work, and he might give ya a discount on it n.n


Come at me bro! I'm considering redoing the whole thing this summer, regimenting the panels and text lines, refining the phrasing, and adding a section about radiation vs contamination. I'm considering going to Kickstarter or something over it, actually.

js530:
I'm glad you have the technical background to label what an "extreme case" is. Solar makes no sense at any scale, now and into the foreseeable future. Physically, you have separated energy collection to an immensely low density. This will not change. The physical plant for solar will always be physically large and distributed. This means expensive. Until you can grow a crop of solar cells using agriculture tools (hmm..sounds like biofuels. how well does that work?), you will simply not be able to competitively generate power. Panel prices are falling because the governments of the world (US and China) hand out massive subsidies and because there is a huge manufacturing capacity excess. For the money wasted on solar, we could build several nuclear plants per year (2/year in US alone).

Vogtle 3 and 4 say hi thar!

msnbcmedia.msn.com

Once Vogtle 3 and 4 close breakers (probably less than five years) you'll likely see a wave of reactors starting construction, same design.

/the hangup with STP is STP's design is not approved, AFAIK
//STP is an ABWR, Vogtle is AP1000 (and approved by the NRC)
 
2013-04-24 02:03:01 AM  

brantgoose: For large-scale power production, big mirrors are still more important than small solar panels.

I'm guessing that the Pennsylvania is big in production because Pittsburg and Philadelphia have re-tooled as post-modern post-coal and iron manufacturing centers, while the U of Penn is probably a center of R&D.

.

Mirror-based solar thermal facilities (concentrating solar power--CSP) are far more expensive than PV systems, and have been since about 2008 when PV prices started plummeting.  Most big solar facilities that started development as CSP have converted to PV (for cost and also due to permitting challenges).

There are benefits to CSP, but at this point CSP looks to be a very small niche business for the foreseeable future.


As to the solar installations in Pennsylvania: They spiked when New Jersey modified its SREC program to allow out-of-state PJM systems to qualify.  Basically those PA systems are selling to NJ.
 
2013-04-24 02:03:59 AM  

incrdbil: Girion47: incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

fark you it isn't.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/11/inez-coal-slurry-spill-to_n _7 57900.html


Huffington post? Really? Thats like getting racie based information information from the Aryan Brotherhood


My offer stands. Come and see for yourself....
 
2013-04-24 02:04:44 AM  

fifthhorseman: incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha! *deep breath* Ahahahahahahahahahaha!  Yes I'm sure that the charges are placed to save the trees.  *wipes eyes, blows nose*


New growth is planted, in studied methods to prevent future eroson and promote healthy growth patters--not over dense unhealthy tree planting that was used decades ago.  fill material is used ot create useful land for development--a crucial thing in many mountain areas.  My home now has a new regional hospital, large shopping areas, an industrial park, and new residential areas that would not have existed otherwise--with no ecological harm.

Liberal farktards should get some recent real information.
 
2013-04-24 02:05:42 AM  
oldcub:
Unless the building was designed with solar in mind, it can be challenging. Nobody wants to physically attach the solar structures to the roof, potentially causing a leak, or voiding the roof warranty. Roofing companies want to be the ones to install the attachments. Now it may make more sense to re-roof the building first to get the warranty, and because it will be difficult to get to later. Some systems can be ballasted with cmu concrete cap blocks to avoid penetrations, but then may add too much weight and exceed the structural capacity. California and other areas have seismic concerns. Fire-fighter access pathways, skylight, etc.. The solar capacity of a given roof decreases rapidly, reducing the value of the investment.

I think that you're vastly over stating your case.

Non penetrating systems are available that not only maintain the warantee on the roof but actually enhance it: http://www.solarnation.com/non-penetrating.html

These kinds of systems have been available for years.

They've been designed in cooperation with roofing manufacturers.

That's the way that our economy works. There's a need for this product. Roofing companies want to sell more of their systems and solar companies want to sell more of their systems. Smart companies develop solutions and the knuckle draggers get left behind.
 
2013-04-24 02:07:09 AM  
Nuclear vs Solar:

pbs.twimg.com
 
2013-04-24 02:08:06 AM  

catpuncher: Rambino: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.

Your meaningless comparison is meaningless.

You mean the actual good produced is meaningless?  Not a surprising statement from somebody in the solar industry, actually.  Barring a technological breakthrough, solar power is still just a highly publicized pipe dream being foisted upon a largely unaware public.  But hey, subsidized jobs!  Woo hoo solar power!


No.  Let me spell it out for you:

First, "How many kWh does a coal plant generate" and "how many kWh does a solar panel generate" are both meaningless questions without further parameters.  Over what period of time?  How much fuel?  What heat rate?  Etc.

Second, the answer to those questions are still meaningless - you failed to state an actual point.  Rhetorical questions filled with vague innuendo do not a valid argument make.

Therefore--skip the innuendo and state your claim.
 
2013-04-24 02:09:05 AM  

Hector Remarkable: So now I suppose we'll have to endure "Solar Power Worker's Daughter" as soon as one of them grows up to be a country singer.


It will be electronica, naturally. And called something like "Solar Child (Xtreme Cell Overcharge remix by DJ F4th3r)". It will feature a single, unchanging, breakbeat for 8 minutes, with a sample of a guy saying 'solar child' now and then. Millions of teenagers will herald it as the best electronic music ever.
 
2013-04-24 02:09:17 AM  
I'm all for intelligent use of solar power--without subsidies distorting the facts about their usefullness. but the reality is coal is a valuable useful resource thatdoes not need to be restricted by overly stringent regulations; reasonable regulations requiring scrubbers at the lants hwere it is used should be put in place, and solar energy utilized to the small extent it can contribute.  The future is still more nuclear energy, but thats another relaity the enviro-tards wont embrace. Fark 'em all.
 
2013-04-24 02:10:08 AM  

incrdbil: fifthhorseman: incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha! *deep breath* Ahahahahahahahahahaha!  Yes I'm sure that the charges are placed to save the trees.  *wipes eyes, blows nose*

New growth is planted, in studied methods to prevent future eroson and promote healthy growth patters--not over dense unhealthy tree planting that was used decades ago.  fill material is used ot create useful land for development--a crucial thing in many mountain areas.  My home now has a new regional hospital, large shopping areas, an industrial park, and new residential areas that would not have existed otherwise--with no ecological harm.

Liberal farktards should get some recent real information.


"No ecological harm"? What do you call mountains LITERALLY flattened, with the fill going into stream beds to support your shopping malls and tract housing that will subside into the earth that was never meant to support it.
 
2013-04-24 02:13:39 AM  

nmrsnr: bdub77: Further proof that Obama is destroying this country. What happens when the sun runs out of energy, Obama? HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 826x758]


One thing I have always wondered about...how can we know the future fusion history of the sun with such certainty, when we have never managed to produce a sustained fusion reaction in the laboratory?  The only features of the stellar life cycle that have actually been observed happening are some of the flashier ones, i.e., supernovae.  Oh, and I guess we can observe some planetary nebulae that have been blown off.  I'm not saying that the basic plan is entirely wrong, I'm just wondering how we can say how long it will take the sun to complete helium or carbon fusion, when the only fusion reactions we have been able to study up close involve deuterium and tritium and are not representative of the bulk of what goes on in stars.
 
2013-04-24 02:13:41 AM  
MrSteve007:Fun fact - California alone is now installing more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity a year, and it's growing at a ~25% rate.

Even California broke ground on a nuclear power plant today, since it takes about 8 years to construct, CA will have installed some ~12 GW of solar capacity. Even if you factor in a 30% for solar, solar will still win on output. Never mind the ridiculous amount water consumed by nuclear plants (or spat out, back into the environment as hot water) - or the several tons of high level radioactive waste the nuclear plant will generate each year.

Plus you have the added benefit of less peak loading that needs to be met by peaker plants, and less demand to the grid during mid day and hot summer days.

As others have pointed out, even if you don't give a shiat about nuclear waste, environmental impact, or meltdown dangers - nuclear is a bad financial bet. That's why even with 100% government backed financing, it's damn near impossible to get one built in the USA. They have a long history of not penciling out. I know, I'm still paying in my utility connection fees for several nuclear plants that never even came online, since the demand never appeared and construction costs skyrocketed.

Nuclear power is a financial nightmare.


Did you seriously just call the second cheapest source of electricity per kwh, including all construction and decommissioning costs, "a financial nightmare" while calling the second most expensive a safer financial bet?  Do you have some sort of source for your fairytales?
 
2013-04-24 02:15:13 AM  

catpuncher: MrSteve007:Fun fact - California alone is now installing more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity a year, and it's growing at a ~25% rate.

Even California broke ground on a nuclear power plant today, since it takes about 8 years to construct, CA will have installed some ~12 GW of solar capacity. Even if you factor in a 30% for solar, solar will still win on output. Never mind the ridiculous amount water consumed by nuclear plants (or spat out, back into the environment as hot water) - or the several tons of high level radioactive waste the nuclear plant will generate each year.

Plus you have the added benefit of less peak loading that needs to be met by peaker plants, and less demand to the grid during mid day and hot summer days.

As others have pointed out, even if you don't give a shiat about nuclear waste, environmental impact, or meltdown dangers - nuclear is a bad financial bet. That's why even with 100% government backed financing, it's damn near impossible to get one built in the USA. They have a long history of not penciling out. I know, I'm still paying in my utility connection fees for several nuclear plants that never even came online, since the demand never appeared and construction costs skyrocketed.

Nuclear power is a financial nightmare.

Did you seriously just call the second cheapest source of electricity per kwh, including all construction and decommissioning costs, "a financial nightmare" while calling the second most expensive a safer financial bet?  Do you have some sort of source for your fairytales?


Its political partisanship

You cannot change the posters mind.
 
2013-04-24 02:19:27 AM  
I'm looking forward to moving back home (Houston) and taking on the task of retrofitting my townhouse to be as energy efficient as possible. My summer electric bills really take out a bite
 
2013-04-24 02:21:48 AM  
incrdbil:

I'm all for intelligent use of solar power--without subsidies distorting the facts about their usefullness.

By all means... Let's discuss subsidies on energy sources. Starting here:

i34.tinypic.com

China, India, heck, the entire planet is most appreciative of the American taxpayer's subsidy for their cheap oil.
 
2013-04-24 02:32:23 AM  

MrSteve007: I enjoy coming home each night to my comfy house, and plugging in my electric car:
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 720x1278]

After I plug in, I check the output on the rooftop solar panels for the day - this evening it was 23 kWh. I'll always double check the voltage of the house battery bank, which are always topped off. Sometimes I'll pop out and see how much the net-meter spun backwards . . . it worked today to have an excess of 15 kwh. Figuring that my car gets 4 miles to the kWh, and I drive 25 miles, the car will take about 7 kWh to fully recharge. That leaves me with ~8 kWh of excess electricity before morning. With a highly efficient, all electric house, that won't be a problem.

Today will be a fully net-solar powered day. I don't buy any gasoline, and I send back excess power during peak loading times for the grid. Power outages are a thing of the past for me. If I wanted to, I could live without the utility. I'm no longer beholden to a corporation to live a comfortable and modern lifestyle.

I can't wait for the day when I can tie my electric car into my current inverter & battery arrangement. With the LEAF as a 24 kWh back-up battery, backing up my house batteries, it could run my home for about 3 days before I would need to fire up the generator for a few hours to recharge everything.

I enjoy coming home to a fully powered home each night, even during power outages. I never worry about the food going bad in my fridge and freezers during an outage. And my garage door always works.

/solar power rocks
//subby


Just out of curiosity*, and outside the cost of the car, what were your total install costs for that system?  And how big is your house, and where do you live?

/ Genuinely curious.
 
2013-04-24 02:33:01 AM  
catpuncher:
Did you seriously just call the second cheapest source of electricity per kwh, including all construction and decommissioning costs, "a financial nightmare" while calling the second most expensive a safer financial bet?  Do you have some sort of source for your fairytales?


I have a source: Me.

I have personally worked on transactions and projects in both nuclear and solar energy.  I know the market value of a nuclear power plant, and I know the market value of a solar power plant.  I know the financial risks associated with both.  (As well as other sources, for that matter).  This is what I have been doing full time for the past 20 years.  This is what I should be doing right now instead of Farking.

Here is my hyper-specific conclusion on this point:  The proformas for the nukes only make sense when you make a few optimistic assumptions about the future, and they would be completely unfinanceable (in the US) without federal loan guarantees (which they get).  The proformas for solar projects make sense, and get financed, despite some freakishly pessimistic assumptions about the future, and (usually) without federal loan guarantees.

The ongoing capex for a nuke is astounding.  The downside liability risk is astounding.  The failure risk is catastrophic (as in all-or nothing).

Nuclear energy (in its current form) makes sense as a government project, and ONLY as a government project.

Solar energy has the safest risk profile of any energy source - performance risk, liability risk, failure risk.  Ongoing expenses are minimal and predictable.  Solar energy is so safe, financially speaking, that Wall Street is treating solar energy like mortgages and annuities.  No other energy source gets that vote of confidence.  None.
 
2013-04-24 02:34:07 AM  
Ever look up how much coal a coal-fired powerplant burns?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_Generating_Station
The plant consumes about 8 million tons of low sulfur bituminous coal each year

That's close to 22 tons of coal a day for just one powerplant. We're not going to be giving up on burning coal any time soon.
 
2013-04-24 02:35:07 AM  

Rambino: catpuncher: Rambino: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.

Your meaningless comparison is meaningless.

You mean the actual good produced is meaningless?  Not a surprising statement from somebody in the solar industry, actually.  Barring a technological breakthrough, solar power is still just a highly publicized pipe dream being foisted upon a largely unaware public.  But hey, subsidized jobs!  Woo hoo solar power!

No.  Let me spell it out for you:

First, "How many kWh does a coal plant generate" and "how many kWh does a solar panel generate" are both meaningless questions without further parameters.  Over what period of time?  How much fuel?  What heat rate?  Etc.

Second, the answer to those questions are still meaningless - you failed to state an actual point.  Rhetorical questions filled with vague innuendo do not a valid argument make.

Therefore--skip the innuendo and state your claim.


The claim is that you must be high.  Nobody said anything about a coal plant vs. a single solar panel.

More solar workers produce a very tiny fraction of the energy that relatively few coal workers can.  That's the point.

It's a highly subsidized infant industry, rife with fraud.  These highly subsidized workers are simply the case in point.

Even in California, levelized costs, which discount the subsidies (making solar look cheaper), estimate solar's costs to almost four times as high.

When you mean "semi-permanent", you do mean the estimated 20 year life span of the solar panels, right?  Because 20 years is a long time?  Almost permanent?
 
2013-04-24 02:35:27 AM  

catpuncher: MrSteve007:Fun fact - California alone is now installing more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity a year, and it's growing at a ~25% rate.

Even California broke ground on a nuclear power plant today, since it takes about 8 years to construct, CA will have installed some ~12 GW of solar capacity. Even if you factor in a 30% for solar, solar will still win on output. Never mind the ridiculous amount water consumed by nuclear plants (or spat out, back into the environment as hot water) - or the several tons of high level radioactive waste the nuclear plant will generate each year.

Plus you have the added benefit of less peak loading that needs to be met by peaker plants, and less demand to the grid during mid day and hot summer days.

As others have pointed out, even if you don't give a shiat about nuclear waste, environmental impact, or meltdown dangers - nuclear is a bad financial bet. That's why even with 100% government backed financing, it's damn near impossible to get one built in the USA. They have a long history of not penciling out. I know, I'm still paying in my utility connection fees for several nuclear plants that never even came online, since the demand never appeared and construction costs skyrocketed.

Nuclear power is a financial nightmare.

Did you seriously just call the second cheapest source of electricity per kwh, including all construction and decommissioning costs, "a financial nightmare" while calling the second most expensive a safer financial bet?  Do you have some sort of source for your fairytales?


You're correct that our current nuclear power plants offer very cheap power. But you'd be remiss not to also point out that almost all of our nuclear capacity was built well over 35+ years ago, when construction prices were far cheaper.

Why don't you run some cost per kWh comparisons when building new nuclear capacity. After the financial fiasco that was WPPSS, resulting in the largest public bond default in history, private investment wants nothing to do with nuclear power. Even will full loan guarantees backed by the government, they're hard pressed to get new plants off the ground. Quite a few "Nuclear Renaissance" projects have collapsed recently - both in the US and abroad.
 
2013-04-24 02:39:10 AM  

maxheck: incrdbil:

I'm all for intelligent use of solar power--without subsidies distorting the facts about their usefullness.

By all means... Let's discuss subsidies on energy sources. Starting here:

[i34.tinypic.com image 800x532]

[military stuff]

China, India, heck, the entire planet is most appreciative of the American taxpayer's subsidy for their cheap oil.


Funny you should say that.  I was just talking to some DoD folks about solar the other day.  Most people don't realize, of course, but the US military is/will be one of the biggest sponsors of solar energy.  And not just because of environmental directives (although they take that seriously as well), but because of "energy security."

Mr.Steve has lights during a blackout because of his solar panels. That's the kind of thing that the military takes pretty seriously. And unlike, say, a nuclear power plant or a coal plant, you CAN put a metric butt-load of solar panels on a military base without interfering with operations.

Several people with stars on their shoulders have told me point-blank that as far as they are concerned, solar energy is a matter of national security.
 
2013-04-24 02:44:59 AM  

Rambino: catpuncher:
Did you seriously just call the second cheapest source of electricity per kwh, including all construction and decommissioning costs, "a financial nightmare" while calling the second most expensive a safer financial bet?  Do you have some sort of source for your fairytales?


I have a source: Me.

I have personally worked on transactions and projects in both nuclear and solar energy.  I know the market value of a nuclear power plant, and I know the market value of a solar power plant.  I know the financial risks associated with both.  (As well as other sources, for that matter).  This is what I have been doing full time for the past 20 years.  This is what I should be doing right now instead of Farking.

Here is my hyper-specific conclusion on this point:  The proformas for the nukes only make sense when you make a few optimistic assumptions about the future, and they would be completely unfinanceable (in the US) without federal loan guarantees (which they get).  The proformas for solar projects make sense, and get financed, despite some freakishly pessimistic assumptions about the future, and (usually) without federal loan guarantees.

The ongoing capex for a nuke is astounding.  The downside liability risk is astounding.  The failure risk is catastrophic (as in all-or nothing).

Nuclear energy (in its current form) makes sense as a government project, and ONLY as a government project.

Solar energy has the safest risk profile of any energy source - performance risk, liability risk, failure risk.  Ongoing expenses are minimal and predictable.  Solar energy is so safe, financially speaking, that Wall Street is treating solar energy like mortgages and annuities.  No other energy source gets that vote of confidence.  None.


Oh this is fun.
The State of California disagrees with you.
The US Department of Energy disagrees with you.
And now people who don't have older, inefficient nuclear plants:
Le French and Ze Germans disagree with you.
The Australi... oh fark it.  You get the point.

Actual numbers guys, who have actual numbers of levelized costs all say you're wrong.  I'm really curious as to what your actual "experience" is?  But shiat, you said Wall Street is treating solar energy like mortgages and annuities.  It's clearly iron-clad.
 
2013-04-24 02:45:06 AM  

Befuddled: That's close to 22 tons of coal a day for just one powerplant.


Sorry, that's 21,917 tons of coal a day.
 
2013-04-24 02:45:47 AM  

Befuddled: Ever look up how much coal a coal-fired powerplant burns?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_Generating_Station
The plant consumes about 8 million tons of low sulfur bituminous coal each year

That's close to 22 tons of coal a day for just one powerplant. We're not going to be giving up on burning coal any time soon.


Clean as a babies butt compared to high sulphur coal of the east. Doesn't make it right.
 
2013-04-24 02:45:58 AM  
flondrix:


nmrsnr: bdub77: Further proof that Obama is destroying this country. What happens when the sun runs out of energy, Obama? HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 826x758]

One thing I have always wondered about...how can we know the future fusion history of the sun with such certainty, when we have never managed to produce a sustained fusion reaction in the laboratory?


We have a few billion examples.

I'm gonna draw from Carl Sagan here, but Imagine an alien dropped into an earthly forest. No, he won't watch an oak grow from acorn to grandfather oak, but he can see the various stages through example. "Ok, that's a sprout. And that's a sapling... " etc.

We have more stars to work with than we have oak trees.

There's also the theoretical side. Some clever people have worked out "ok, if nuclear fusion works the way we think it does, then we can expect this" and they check that.
 
2013-04-24 02:53:20 AM  
catpuncher:
The claim is that you must be high.  Nobody said anything about a coal plant vs. a single solar panel.

More solar workers produce a very tiny fraction of the energy that relatively few coal workers can.  That's the point.

It's a highly subsidized infant industry, rife with fraud.  These highly subsidized workers are simply the case in point.

Even in California, levelized costs, which discount the subsidies (making solar look cheaper), estimate solar's costs to almost four times as high.

When you mean "semi-permanent", you do mean the estimated 20 year life span of the solar panels, right?  Because 20 years is a long time?  Almost permanent?


[citation needed] for most of the bs in that post.

As to the last point--no, not 20 years.  Solar modules don't last 20 years.  How many times in this thread have I noted that they come with a freaking 25-year warranty.  That the GUARANTEE.  Simple math will tell you that the actual lifetime is longer.  Physics will tell you that the lifetime is MUCH longer.

My point with the semi-permanent was that we get to keep the panels that keep on giving long after we forget about them.  "Semi-permanent" in the sense that they could keep on going for a very, very long time.


Which is one reason why LCOE is not a good measure of the value of solar, and indeed why it is difficult to compare the $/kWh of solar to other sources, or even to discuss the $/kWh or solar at all.

How much does one kWh cost to generate with coal/gas?  Depends primarily on the momentary cost of fuel.  Those faciliies are relatively cheap to build (assuming we are even including the capacity cost, which people often leave out!), and the main operating expense is fuel.  But let's say $0.03, just to pick a number.

How much does one kWh cost to generate with Mr. Steve's solar system?  Well, now it depends in WHICH kWh.  The first kWh cost $20,000 (give or take = the installation cost of the system).  The second kWh cost $0.00, as did the third, the fourth, the fifth, etc...

The cost/kWh for a coal/gas/nuke facility basically goes up slowly over time.  The cost/kWh for a solar system spikes on the first instance, and then drops to basically zero.

That makes them tough to compare.  It also guarantees that a 20-year LCOE is not fair to the solar system.

And then there is the matter of locational pricing, which LCOE may or may not capture.  And environmental value, which it usually does not capture.

Etc.
 
2013-04-24 02:53:24 AM  

Rent Party: Just out of curiosity*, and outside the cost of the car, what were your total install costs for that system? And how big is your house, and where do you live?

/ Genuinely curious.


The upfront cost of the system was $26,000. That included 3.8kw of array, grid-tie inverter w/ battery backup, new breaker panel and sub panel, and a gas generator tie. Permits and installation included. All of the components used are locally sourced, so that raised the cost considerably, along with the fairly involved install with several forms of backup power.

Had I gone with a plain-Jane grid tie with out of state or foreign panels, the cost would have been about half.

It is a 1,000 Sq.ft. all-electric house w/ a 480 Sq.ft shop, near Tacoma WA.

I got 30% of that back on my taxes, so the IRS cut me a check for ~$8,000 last month. The Washington State production incentive pays me for my output, cutting a check every August for ~$2,400, through the year 2020. Plus I save a couple hundred a year in utilities. Compared to driving my 20mpg truck, I save a couple grand on gasoline too.

My basic ROI is about 6.5 years. Every day after that is just pure sweet, sweet profit.
 
2013-04-24 02:53:58 AM  

MrSteve007: You're correct that our current nuclear power plants offer very cheap power. But you'd be remiss not to also point out that almost all of our nuclear capacity was built well over 35+ years ago, when construction prices were far cheaper.

Why don't you run some cost per kWh comparisons when building new nuclear capacity. After the financial fiasco that was WPPSS, resulting in the largest public bond default in history, private investment wants nothing to do with nuclear power. Even will full loan guarantees backed by the government, they're hard pressed to get new plants off the ground. Quite a few "Nuclear Renaissance" projects have collapsed recently - both in the US and abroad.


Don't have to "run some cost per kWh comparisons when building new" blah blah blah, that's included in the DoE link posted above.

Seriously?  The "financial fiasco" is why nuclear plants didn't get built?  It's not because the US rejected every new nuclear licensing application from 1978-2012?  Which they then froze after special interest groups petitioned the NRC and threatened them with lawsuits?  What world do you live in?
 
2013-04-24 02:55:41 AM  
catpuncher:

When you mean "semi-permanent", you do mean the estimated 20 year life span of the solar panels, right? Because 20 years is a long time? Almost permanent?

In my experience, consumer solar panels have 25 year warranties, and I rather doubt that they spontaneously catch fire on day 25-year-plus-one.

How long do coal plant parts serve before they need to be replaced? Do you have any info on that?
 
2013-04-24 02:56:12 AM  
I love when people use the phrasing "iron clad."

It makes me want to throw two minute rule lanyard cards at them.

/oh look its this thread again
//Germany unplugged their entire nuclear fleet over Fukushima, nevermind that they have no coal
///manufacturing is abandoning them, and the Russian coal lobby thanks them for their shortsightedness
 
2013-04-24 02:57:02 AM  

catpuncher: Rambino: catpuncher:
Did you seriously just call the second cheapest source of electricity per kwh, including all construction and decommissioning costs, "a financial nightmare" while calling the second most expensive a safer financial bet?  Do you have some sort of source for your fairytales?


I have a source: Me.

I have personally worked on transactions and projects in both nuclear and solar energy.  I know the market value of a nuclear power plant, and I know the market value of a solar power plant.  I know the financial risks associated with both.  (As well as other sources, for that matter).  This is what I have been doing full time for the past 20 years.  This is what I should be doing right now instead of Farking.

Here is my hyper-specific conclusion on this point:  The proformas for the nukes only make sense when you make a few optimistic assumptions about the future, and they would be completely unfinanceable (in the US) without federal loan guarantees (which they get).  The proformas for solar projects make sense, and get financed, despite some freakishly pessimistic assumptions about the future, and (usually) without federal loan guarantees.

The ongoing capex for a nuke is astounding.  The downside liability risk is astounding.  The failure risk is catastrophic (as in all-or nothing).

Nuclear energy (in its current form) makes sense as a government project, and ONLY as a government project.

Solar energy has the safest risk profile of any energy source - performance risk, liability risk, failure risk.  Ongoing expenses are minimal and predictable.  Solar energy is so safe, financially speaking, that Wall Street is treating solar energy like mortgages and annuities.  No other energy source gets that vote of confidence.  None.

Oh this is fun.
The State of California disagrees with you.
The US Department of Energy disagrees with you.
And now people who don't have older, inefficient nuclear plants:
Le French and Ze Germans disagree with you.
The Austral ...


Alas, I did not expect that you would take me as an authority.  And I suppose it won't matter when I say that I am one of those experts cited in news stories about solar energy--including several that appear in Fark from time to time...    :)

But if you want to give the impression that you know what you are talking about, you really should not cite cost data for solar energy from 2007.  Cuz, you know, a few things have changed since then.
 
2013-04-24 02:58:05 AM  
Old king coal ain't so merry anymore
 
2013-04-24 03:02:15 AM  

Rambino: catpuncher:
The claim is that you must be high.  Nobody said anything about a coal plant vs. a single solar panel.

More solar workers produce a very tiny fraction of the energy that relatively few coal workers can.  That's the point.

It's a highly subsidized infant industry, rife with fraud.  These highly subsidized workers are simply the case in point.

Even in California, levelized costs, which discount the subsidies (making solar look cheaper), estimate solar's costs to almost four times as high.

When you mean "semi-permanent", you do mean the estimated 20 year life span of the solar panels, right?  Because 20 years is a long time?  Almost permanent?

[citation needed] for most of the bs in that post.

As to the last point--no, not 20 years.  Solar modules don't last 20 years.  How many times in this thread have I noted that they come with a freaking 25-year warranty.  That the GUARANTEE.  Simple math will tell you that the actual lifetime is longer.  Physics will tell you that the lifetime is MUCH longer.

My point with the semi-permanent was that we get to keep the panels that keep on giving long after we forget about them.  "Semi-permanent" in the sense that they could keep on going for a very, very long time.


Which is one reason why LCOE is not a good measure of the value of solar, and indeed why it is difficult to compare the $/kWh of solar to other sources, or even to discuss the $/kWh or solar at all.

How much does one kWh cost to generate with coal/gas?  Depends primarily on the momentary cost of fuel.  Those faciliies are relatively cheap to build (assuming we are even including the capacity cost, which people often leave out!), and the main operating expense is fuel.  But let's say $0.03, just to pick a number.

How much does one kWh cost to generate with Mr. Steve's solar system?  Well, now it depends in WHICH kWh.  The first kWh cost $20,000 (give or take = the installation cost of the system).  The second kWh cost $0.00, as did the third, the f ...


Wait wait wait... just so we're clear, before I post the citations that I have, you're telling me that since I didn't post citations that (choose as many as you'd like):

Solar produces anywhere near as much electricity as coal in the US

Solar power is not highly subsidized (sometimes up to 100%)

Fraud is not a concern in the industry

California's levelized solar costs are not 4x the amount of nuclear (damn, I already posted the link for that one earlier in the thread)

And that the expected output of a 20 year old solar panel, manufactured in the past five years is not 20% of its initial capacity and will have to be replaced?


Do I need to explain to you that a warranty is not a guarantee?  That's pretty simple statistics, and if you were in business you'd know that.  Further, almost all of these companies offering 25 year warranties will not be around in 25 years.  What do you think happens when subsidies go away?

MrSteve just posted again.  Do I really need to provide a link for high subsidized or can I just put a ^ at the top of my post?
 
2013-04-24 03:04:10 AM  
Ringshadow:

I love when people use the phrasing "iron clad."

It makes me want to throw two minute rule lanyard cards at them.

/oh look its this thread again
//Germany unplugged their entire nuclear fleet over Fukushima, nevermind that they have no coal
///manufacturing is abandoning them, and the Russian coal lobby thanks them for their shortsightedness


I thought Germany was rich in soft (nasty, polluting) coal.

Why else would they build Bagger 288?
 
2013-04-24 03:04:54 AM  

Rambino: catpuncher: 
Oh this is fun.
The State of California disagrees with you.
The US Department of Energy disagrees with you.
And now people who don't have older, inefficient nuclear plants:
Le French and Ze Germans disagree with you. ...


Alas, I did not expect that you would take me as an authority.  And I suppose it won't matter when I say that I am one of those experts cited in news stories about solar energy--including several that appear in Fark from time to time...    :)

But if you want to give the impression that you know what you are talking about, you really should not cite cost data for solar energy from 2007.  Cuz, you know, a few things have changed since then.


Giving a quote for a pop news story doesn't make you credible.  You apparently don't like the US DoE EIA's 2017 projections, or the 2012 numbers from Europe, instead relying on your own "authority."  You're clearly in a class of your own.  You're not an authority, you're a clown.
 
2013-04-24 03:05:19 AM  

catpuncher: The US Department of Energy disagrees with you


Did you even read that report?

The DOE places the total levelized cost of nuclear above that of:
-Hydro
-Wind
-Coal
-Nat gas (almost all forms)
-Geothermal

And roughly equal to biomass.

The only form of energy it out performs is an estimate for solar power, which I'm sure will need a downgrade in cost estimates soon, with plummeting installation costs being seen. Interestingly, since that DOE report also excludes all forms of incentives and tax credits - making the cost effectiveness loom even worse.
 
2013-04-24 03:08:27 AM  
maxheck:
I thought Germany was rich in soft (nasty, polluting) coal.

Why else would they build Bagger 288?


My brother has been watching the situation. I haven't bothered honestly. From what little I've heard, Germany hasn't got much in the way of coal, which makes them building coal plants hilarious. Russia has coal and is thrilled.
Though I've also heard France's response to this is to start constructing nuclear plants on the border. So there's that.

This is all such stupid knee-jerk anyway. It's like, you idiots, you aren't on a ring of fire and if you got hit by a 9.2 earthquake there wouldn't be enough people left over to give a damn about your neighboring nuke plant anyway.

/this counts for most of the US as well
//the nuke plant might still stand, nothing else in the area will be left to care
 
2013-04-24 03:08:30 AM  

catpuncher: Further, almost all of these companies offering 25 year warranties will not be around in 25 years.


You mean companies like General Electric, Sharp, Kyocera, Samsung, LG?

Or were you thinking of the companies whose warranties are backed by multi-national insurance companies?

Every credible solar module warranty on the market is bankruptcy-proof.
 
2013-04-24 03:13:31 AM  

Rambino: catpuncher: Further, almost all of these companies offering 25 year warranties will not be around in 25 years.

You mean companies like General Electric, Sharp, Kyocera, Samsung, LG?

Or were you thinking of the companies whose warranties are backed by multi-national insurance companies?

Every credible solar module warranty on the market is bankruptcy-proof.


This ship will never sink, this zeppelin will never crash, these banks are too big to fail...

/The Iraq invasion will be over in weeks
//high schoolers can run Bhopal
///that empty field at Love Canal is a great place for a school
 
2013-04-24 03:14:37 AM  

catpuncher: Giving a quote for a pop news story doesn't make you credible. You apparently don't like the US DoE EIA's 2017 projections, or the 2012 numbers from Europe, instead relying on your own "authority." You're clearly in a class of your own. You're not an authority, you're a clown


If you say so...   :)

But here's the thing: I'm not alone. There are many, many people working in the solar industry (kind of the point of TFA).  And most of them know I am right, because they all know it too.  We all see it every day.  I don't have to convince you--reality is obvious to those who aren't on some weird anti-solar mission.
 
2013-04-24 03:22:52 AM  

Ringshadow: Rambino: catpuncher: Further, almost all of these companies offering 25 year warranties will not be around in 25 years.

You mean companies like General Electric, Sharp, Kyocera, Samsung, LG?

Or were you thinking of the companies whose warranties are backed by multi-national insurance companies?

Every credible solar module warranty on the market is bankruptcy-proof.

This ship will never sink, this zeppelin will never crash, these banks are too big to fail...



Seriously?  Really?  You aren't going to trust a 25-year warranty because Lloyd's of London might go under and GE could crash?

Or, more to the point, we are discounting it completely?  At a bare minimum, those warranties are powerful votes of confidence by GE and pals.  Because even if GE might go down, GE doesn't think GE is going down.  GE is issuing 25-year warranties because it plans on being around forever and thinks that 25-year warranties are a good idea.

But hey--don't take my word for it -- just snoop around the intertubes looking for historical performance of solar modules.  The technology isn't new.  Shouldn't be too hard to find folks still using their system installed in 1973.  These things last for freakin-ever.  They just do.  That's not fantasy, but observable reality.

Heck, 5 seconds on google found this guy from 1980: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2012/10/solar-panels -outliving-their-warra">http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/ post/2012/10/solar-panels -outliving-their-warra
 
2013-04-24 03:24:00 AM  
 catpuncher: The US Department of Energy disagrees with you

Did you even read that report?

The DOE places the total levelized cost of nuclear above that of:
-Hydro
-Wind
-Coal
-Nat gas (almost all forms)
-Geothermal

And roughly equal to biomass.

The only form of energy it out performs is an estimate for solar power, which I'm sure will need a downgrade in cost estimates soon, with plummeting installation costs being seen. Interestingly, since that DOE report also excludes all forms of incentives and tax credits - making the cost effectiveness loom even worse.


I sure did, maybe you should read the entire report.  It's projections through 2017 that include the front-loaded costs of $18.5 billion for new plants that will be under construction but not yet generating.  Further, the report should exclude incentives and tax credits.  They're still costs.  Are you the sort of guy who believes the money from the government is free?

Rambino: catpuncher: Further, almost all of these companies offering 25 year warranties will not be around in 25 years.

You mean companies like General Electric, Sharp, Kyocera, Samsung, LG?

Or were you thinking of the companies whose warranties are backed by multi-national insurance companies?

Every credible solar module warranty on the market is bankruptcy-proof.


I was thinking like the cheaper panels that almost everybody uses, but let's examine your pricey model warranties:

You mean this warranty from GE? Warranty:  5 year limited workmanship warranty, 20 year limited power warranty
Or this one from Sharp? Limited Warranty For Power: The warranty period with respect to power output continues for a total of 25 years from date of purchase by the first consumer purchaser, the first 10 years at 90% minimum rated power output and the balance of 15 years at 80% minimum rated power output.  in SHARP's sole discretion, the exterior of which has been damaged or defaced, which has been subjected to misuse, abnormal service or handling, or which has been altered or modified in design or construction.

Gee, it's almost like these things have a 20 year life span, after which they degrade and need to be replaced.  "B-b-b-but warranty!"
 
2013-04-24 03:26:54 AM  

catpuncher: Rambino: catpuncher:
Did you seriously just call the second cheapest source of electricity per kwh, including all construction and decommissioning costs, "a financial nightmare" while calling the second most expensive a safer financial bet?  Do you have some sort of source for your fairytales?


I have a source: Me.

I have personally worked on transactions and projects in both nuclear and solar energy.  I know the market value of a nuclear power plant, and I know the market value of a solar power plant.  I know the financial risks associated with both.  (As well as other sources, for that matter).  This is what I have been doing full time for the past 20 years.  This is what I should be doing right now instead of Farking.

Here is my hyper-specific conclusion on this point:  The proformas for the nukes only make sense when you make a few optimistic assumptions about the future, and they would be completely unfinanceable (in the US) without federal loan guarantees (which they get).  The proformas for solar projects make sense, and get financed, despite some freakishly pessimistic assumptions about the future, and (usually) without federal loan guarantees.

The ongoing capex for a nuke is astounding.  The downside liability risk is astounding.  The failure risk is catastrophic (as in all-or nothing).

Nuclear energy (in its current form) makes sense as a government project, and ONLY as a government project.

Solar energy has the safest risk profile of any energy source - performance risk, liability risk, failure risk.  Ongoing expenses are minimal and predictable.  Solar energy is so safe, financially speaking, that Wall Street is treating solar energy like mortgages and annuities.  No other energy source gets that vote of confidence.  None.

Oh this is fun.
The State of California disagrees with you.


It took me three minutes to get to the second paragraph of this one before I realized you have absolutely no idea what that report says.  Because it says, quite literally, it does not address exactly what Rambino is saying.
 
2013-04-24 03:29:45 AM  

Rambino: Heck, 5 seconds on google found this guy from 1980: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2012/10/solar-panels -outliving-their-warra">http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/ post/2012/10/solar-panels -outliving-their-warra


You really have no idea the statistics behind warranties, or rather, statistics in general.  You can get 500,000 miles out of a car.  It doesn't mean that all cars last 500,000 miles.

Rambino: catpuncher: Giving a quote for a pop news story doesn't make you credible. You apparently don't like the US DoE EIA's 2017 projections, or the 2012 numbers from Europe, instead relying on your own "authority." You're clearly in a class of your own. You're not an authority, you're a clown

If you say so...   :)

But here's the thing: I'm not alone. There are many, many people working in the solar industry (kind of the point of TFA).  And most of them know I am right, because they all know it too.  We all see it every day.  I don't have to convince you--reality is obvious to those who aren't on some weird anti-solar mission.


You have numbers from reliable, independent sources contradicting your fallacious assertions about the costs of solar power and still stick to your guns.  Bravo.  Nobody's on a weird anti-solar mission.  Some people just hate liars.  Maybe you're this guy.
 
2013-04-24 03:31:54 AM  

MrSteve007: Rent Party: Just out of curiosity*, and outside the cost of the car, what were your total install costs for that system? And how big is your house, and where do you live?

/ Genuinely curious.

The upfront cost of the system was $26,000. That included 3.8kw of array, grid-tie inverter w/ battery backup, new breaker panel and sub panel, and a gas generator tie. Permits and installation included. All of the components used are locally sourced, so that raised the cost considerably, along with the fairly involved install with several forms of backup power.

Had I gone with a plain-Jane grid tie with out of state or foreign panels, the cost would have been about half.

It is a 1,000 Sq.ft. all-electric house w/ a 480 Sq.ft shop, near Tacoma WA.

I got 30% of that back on my taxes, so the IRS cut me a check for ~$8,000 last month. The Washington State production incentive pays me for my output, cutting a check every August for ~$2,400, through the year 2020. Plus I save a couple hundred a year in utilities. Compared to driving my 20mpg truck, I save a couple grand on gasoline too.

My basic ROI is about 6.5 years. Every day after that is just pure sweet, sweet profit.


Wow!   I'm in Maple Valley, and didn't think that kind of setup would float year round out here.   I've got a bit more square footage and my kitchen and water are gas, but I still have considerable electrical use.

Who did the install, since we're kind of neighbors?
 
2013-04-24 03:32:58 AM  
Ringshadow:

Though I've also heard France's response to this is to start constructing nuclear plants on the border. So there's that.

Yeah, France. I've been following their progress since the 70's when they decided "Hey, let's throw our national will towards energy independence through a closed-cycle nuclear program."

They sort of half achieved that.They export energy to most of Europe. But even with the best of intentions and a farkton of francs, they still don't have an answer to the waste problem. They sell the useful hot stuff to Japan and the not-so-useful stuff they send to Russia to get buried. Last I checked, they're looking to build their own Yucca-Mountain style waste repository. Despite major investments in recycling through sophisticated reactor design, they still can't deal with the waste short of God rescinding some laws of physics.
 
2013-04-24 03:33:26 AM  

catpuncher: You have numbers from reliable, independent sources contradicting your fallacious assertions about the costs of solar power and still stick to your guns.


Actually, no.  Your sources don't contradict me.  You just can't connect the dots.  But that's all right--you just keep right on posting.
 
2013-04-24 03:35:23 AM  

Ringshadow: Rambino: catpuncher: Further, almost all of these companies offering 25 year warranties will not be around in 25 years.

You mean companies like General Electric, Sharp, Kyocera, Samsung, LG?

Or were you thinking of the companies whose warranties are backed by multi-national insurance companies?

Every credible solar module warranty on the market is bankruptcy-proof.

This ship will never sink, this zeppelin will never crash, these banks are too big to fail...

/The Iraq invasion will be over in weeks
//high schoolers can run Bhopal
///that empty field at Love Canal is a great place for a school


did....did you really just compare the Hindenburg, the Titanic, and the 2008 financial crisis, the Iraq war, and Love Canal to getting a warranty repair??
 
2013-04-24 03:35:45 AM  

Rent Party: It took me three minutes to get to the second paragraph of this one before I realized you have absolutely no idea what that report says.

Because it says, quite literally, it does not address exactly what Rambino is saying.

It quite literally does not say that.  It says what it is, and what it isn't, which is common when addressing levelized costs.  There are assumptions in any model.  Feel free to reject any further estimates of... well, anything, from now on until the end of time.
 
2013-04-24 03:40:17 AM  

Rambino: catpuncher: You have numbers from reliable, independent sources contradicting your fallacious assertions about the costs of solar power and still stick to your guns.

Actually, no.  Your sources don't contradict me.  You just can't connect the dots.  But that's all right--you just keep right on posting.


Are you aware of some future cataclysmic nuclear event that should be written into cost estimates?
 
2013-04-24 03:42:09 AM  

catpuncher: Rent Party: It took me three minutes to get to the second paragraph of this one before I realized you have absolutely no idea what that report says. Because it says, quite literally, it does not address exactly what Rambino is saying.

It quite literally does not say that.  It says what it is, and what it isn't, which is common when addressing levelized costs.  There are assumptions in any model.  Feel free to reject any further estimates of... well, anything, from now on until the end of time.


FTFR:  Paragraph 2, in it's entirety.

Although these levelized costs are useful, care must be taken not to misuse them. It
is important to keep in mind that these are nominal values, not precise estimates.
They are for a specific set of assumptions that might not be completely applicable for
the study in question. More precarious yet is comparing one levelized cost against
another, which is useful in the case where levelized costs are of significantly
different magnitudes, but problematic where levelized costs are close. Most
important is the caution that these estimates do not predict how the units will actually
operate in an electric system, how the units will affect the operation of one another,
or their effect on system costs. Such estimates require a more sophisticated model
such as a market model, which are themselves not perfect. Finally, these cost
estimates do not address environmental, system diversity or risk factors which are a
vital planning aspect of all resource development.


Now, lets see what Rambino had to say on the matter....

The ongoing capex for a nuke is astounding.  The downside liability risk is astounding.  The failure risk is catastrophic (as in all-or nothing).

Nuclear energy (in its current form) makes sense as a government project, and ONLY as a government project.

Solar energy has the safest risk profile of any energy source - performance risk, liability risk, failure risk.  Ongoing expenses are minimal and predictable.  Solar energy is so safe, financially speaking, that Wall Street is treating solar energy like mortgages and annuities.  No other energy source gets that vote of confidence.  None.


So, in short, you didn't read TFA, because it explicitly says it doesn't address the concerns raised by Rambino.  Yet somehow,  you think it does.

That tells me something.
 
2013-04-24 03:43:21 AM  

catpuncher: Or this one from Sharp? Limited Warranty For Power: The warranty period with respect to power output continues for a total of 25 years from date of purchase by the first consumer purchaser, the first 10 years at 90% minimum rated power output and the balance of 15 years at 80% minimum rated power output. in SHARP's sole discretion, the exterior of which has been damaged or defaced, which has been subjected to misuse, abnormal service or handling, or which has been altered or modified in design or construction.

Gee, it's almost like these things have a 20 year life span, after which they degrade and need to be replaced. "B-b-b-but warranty!"


Once again, reinforcing that you have not the slightest clue of how this technology works.

I'll help you out.  Silicon-based solar modules degrade continuously.  Slowly, but continuously, starting on day one.  The physicists will tell you to expect an average degradation of output to the tune of 0.5%/year.  The warranties take a more conservative view, obviously, and tend to guarantee 80% after 20 years--i.e. 1%/year degradation.

This doesn't mean they are broken, and they will not stop operating after 20 years, they just continue to slowly degrade, and generate slightly less than before.  That's all part of the LCOE calculation.

I have never seen a solar module come anywhere close to failing to meet its output warranty.  In fact, every facility I have worked on has degraded at a rate well below 1%/year.  Frequently less than 0.5%/year.

Also--the physics of doped silicon dictate that the degradation should stop at 50% (which should take about 100 years), and thereafter stay at 50% forever.  Yes, forever--poly-silicon modules have a theoretically infinite operating life.  It's the other bits that break.
 
2013-04-24 03:45:42 AM  
I was going to get the extended warranty on my new flat panel TV, but, you know...Spanish flu and the Hyatt Regency collapse....
 
2013-04-24 03:52:22 AM  

Befuddled: Befuddled: That's close to 22 tons of coal a day for just one powerplant.

Sorry, that's 21,917 tons of coal a day.


22 tons, or 22 THOUSAND tons? That's kind of a big difference....
 
2013-04-24 03:56:02 AM  
No. I was saying that any time someone says its failsafe, there is reason to step back, take deep breaths, and double check, because every industry has written their safety record in blood over that stupid shiat.
In other words: go tell that story to SONGS in California. They replaced their steam generators and have had MASSIVE FAILURE. Manufacturer defects. Songs is down. May never come back up. Manufacturer is on the tab but this sort of failure? Psh right.
In other words: recognize the scale we are discussing. And realize why we must act like nothing is guaranteed.

/bedtimes for rad tech
 
2013-04-24 03:57:44 AM  
Ok-- one more.

Nuclear power plants do not underperform.  They perform, or they don't perform.  They are on, 24/7, for 18/24 months, then taken down for maintenance and refuel.  And rinse and repeat.

Similarly, if something happens, they go offline completely.  If there is a problem at an NRC inspection, or a leak detected, or a problem in the power block, or anything else of any kind whatsoever, the facility goes offline completely, until it comes back online completely.

All or nothing.

That is a problem for a billion-dollar investment.  Talk about a billion eggs in one basket.  Particularly when the fix for almost any problem with a nuke could cost millions and take months.

Financially speaking, it is a real problem.  There are a number of things that can (and DO!) go wrong, and some of those could have catastrophic effect on the financial performance of the facility.

Compare a large solar system.  First, there is hardly anything that CAN go wrong, physically.  Often there are literally no moving parts.  But if there is a problem, it is readily identifiable, readily fixable, and the problem is almost certainly partial.

For instance-- Problem: underperformance because of increased dust.  Solution: increase washing frequency.  A cost, yes, but not catastrophic.  Zero facility downtime.  Problem: underperforming modules.  Solution: install some more modules.  Cost, but not catastrophic.  Zero facility downtime.

Worst-case problem: central inverter goes down prematurely.  Solution:  Replace inverter.  Probably no cost; warranty repair. Some facility downtime (either partial or complete, depending on size and design), but limited in scope since inverters are basically off the shelf.

Also, the solar facility will not have any scheduled maintenance outages.

The solar facility is more predictable than the nuke, and the problems are less problematic.  Financially speaking, photovoltaics is the safest energy technnology of them all, by a mile.
 
2013-04-24 03:59:33 AM  
MMM A THREAD FULL OF GOOGLE SEARCH EXPERTZ ARGUING!!!!
 
2013-04-24 04:31:33 AM  

Rambino: Also, the solar facility will not have any scheduled maintenance outages.

The solar facility is more predictable than the nuke, and the problems are less problematic.  Financially speaking, photovoltaics is the safest energy technnology of them all, by a mile.


Um, solar facilities do, in fact, have scheduled outages for maintenance.  They're handled the same way that a nuclear plant handles them: perform them during a time of statistically low load, only shut down part of the system (in the case of nuke, one reactor, in the case of solar, some fraction of the panels).  I'm not sure where you're getting that nuclear plants are shut down 100% ever, that's something that never really happens with any power plant, not even coal/natgas.

You're also missing panel breakage and wear in solar power, which is roughly analogous to fuel replacement in a nuclear reactor, your standard solar panel lasts about 5-15 years depending on the type you're using.  The oxide layer will build up and eventually interfere with the junctions on a Si-based device if nothing else, you can't fix that by cleaning*.

In fact, you seem to have missed both the major advantage and the major disadvantage of solar in your analysis.

Primary disadvantages: Space and transmission.  An actual solar  plant requires square mile after square mile of land to supply power on the order of what a 500 square foot nuke plant with some security land around it can do.  The current produced is DC, meaning you have to waste a big chunk of power on an inverter if you want to transmit the power any significant distance.

Additionally, the weather can fark a solar plant for days at a time, not so much a nuke plant.  That last sentence is why we can never go 100% renewables.  Some things can't deal with decreased energy supply, like heavy manufacturing.

Primary advantage: Decentralization.  Nuke plants, even if you're using smaller ones, really have to be centralized to some degree, meaning you're going to have transmission losses, will have to carefully maintain your distribution infrastructure, etc.  A squirrel builds a nest in the wrong place, New York blacks out for three days.  Solar, however, can be decentralized almost building by building, so that in many regions the grid barely need matter at all.

Generally speaking, this makes solar sort of unambiguously the best choice for residential-level electrical supply, and nuclear kind of unambiguously the best for industrial energy supply.  It's not a situation where one is better than the other at all times.

*Fun fact: you can fix it by shooting your panels into space, the lifetime on satellite solar panels is closer to 30-50 years before stellar radiation screws 'em up.
 
2013-04-24 04:37:27 AM  

Rambino: Also--the physics of doped silicon dictate that the degradation should stop at 50% (which should take about 100 years), and thereafter stay at 50% forever.  Yes, forever--poly-silicon modules have a theoretically infinite operating life.  It's the other bits that break.


As someone in the field, let me point out that saying this to one of us is a good way to tell the materials physicists from the materials-engineering trained guys.  The physicists will nod and approve of your insight into the physics of the materials.  The engineers will laugh at you and maybe refer you to a paper on oxide field strain capacitive failure or weathering, maybe with a snide comment about "assuming uniform oxidation" or spherical cows.

The only solar panels that reliably don't fail completely over half-century periods are literally floating outside the atmosphere, which isn't really practical if you're trying to power a terrestrial house.
 
2013-04-24 05:58:12 AM  

studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat


Maybe if we don't consider the actor/waiter people with their blockbuster scripts waiting for their big break.
 
2013-04-24 06:43:58 AM  

thorthor: incrdbil: fifthhorseman: incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha! *deep breath* Ahahahahahahahahahaha!  Yes I'm sure that the charges are placed to save the trees.  *wipes eyes, blows nose*

New growth is planted, in studied methods to prevent future eroson and promote healthy growth patters--not over dense unhealthy tree planting that was used decades ago.  fill material is used ot create useful land for development--a crucial thing in many mountain areas.  My home now has a new regional hospital, large shopping areas, an industrial park, and new residential areas that would not have existed otherwise--with no ecological harm.

Liberal farktards should get some recent real information.

"No ecological harm"? What do you call mountains LITERALLY flattened, with the fill going into stream beds to support your shopping malls and tract housing that will subside into the earth that was never meant to support it.


So a useless mountaintop, among many, is altered. The fill does not go into stream beds--it goes into areas that are pressed, allowed to settle, then reclaimed--according to many regulations, and monitored afterwards--before being developed. Granted, there have bene earlier incidents that led to this increased regulation, but firms doing this work now do not want lawsuits chasing them years later. It is not good buisness.

But thanks to Oabamas War on Coal, we faced reduced energy options--meanwhile Solar fails to meet demand, will continue to fail to meet demand, and the stupid farkign greenies still attack every effort to meet our energy needs without supportign any real workable solutions. So thats why I've adopted a universal fark the environmentalists attiude. They claim to be pro-earth, but are primarily anti-human.
 
2013-04-24 07:24:44 AM  
Did they factor in that a lot of miners are out of work due to policy and that a lot of solar workers are employed due to subsidizing?  Don't let facts get in the way of making you feel better or smug.
 
2013-04-24 07:28:38 AM  
Solar panel waste stream is focused at production and end-of-life, where the waste can be captured and reprocessed safely and with some regulation. The coal waste stream is spread across production, use, and disposal with much less containment and far weaker regulation (weakened mining safety and stronger emissions controls for the burning, but very little control outside of that).
 
2013-04-24 07:30:03 AM  
Also, a kilogram of solar panels produces energy for many years. A kilogram of coal produces energy over a few seconds.
 
2013-04-24 07:39:35 AM  
Whenever this argument rears up I feel the need to point out the strangeness of people being happy about jobs for jobs' sake. If the solar industry hired fewer people but managed to produce the same amount of power, wouldn't that be a good thing? We are so hell bent on creating jobs these days. Jobs are a necessary vehicle to create wealth; they are not the end point of an economy. If we all lost our jobs and sat around sipping lemonade while robots did all of the work, all that would need to be figured out is a system for properly distributing the wealth and preventing a population explosion.
 
2013-04-24 07:41:39 AM  

Mean Daddy: Did they factor in that a lot of miners are out of work due to policy and that a lot of solar workers are employed due to subsidizing?  Don't let facts get in the way of making you feel better or smug.


buh- buh-   WAHHHHH
 
2013-04-24 07:47:05 AM  
Everyone is in a rush to talk about solar power subsidies, but no one addressed the cost of pollution and global warming due to coal plants.  Coal power has huge negative externalities.  Prices those costs in and then show me the comparison to solar power.

/incrdbil is just a coal industry astroturfer, right?
 
2013-04-24 07:54:07 AM  

tinfoil-hat maggie: Rambino: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of.  That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return.  With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.

Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels.  Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.

Very true, although I haven't rad anything about the waste from Solar power. IE: discarded panels, manufacturing waste, etc. Granted Nuclear has hot fuel rods that stay hot for a very long time.( That's just my limited knowledge)

That said I do believe the best power wont be one power source but everyone generating there own only Solar and Wind does that.Although that doesn't give utility companies a steady paycheck.


By supplementing the grid with user-end solar, power companies increase capacity without having to build new plants. They avoid the huge up-front investment which doesn't pay put for years. It also helps them meet state and federal green power mandates.
 
2013-04-24 08:01:43 AM  

Tommy Moo: If we all lost our jobs and sat around sipping lemonade while robots did all of the work, all that would need to be figured out is a system for properly distributing the wealth and preventing a population explosion.


The way that the system is currently set up, the robots would all be owned by venture capitalists, (who'd get all the money from their labors,) and nobody else would be able to get a job, so I'm pretty sure that a "population explosion" isn't something to worry about.
 
2013-04-24 08:21:01 AM  

I sound fat: You guys do realize, however, that this data comes from an organization who's job it is to promote how awesome solar power is and how good it is for the world?

Not saying it isnt true, but I have learned in life that if an organization exists to say good things, they are going to say good things, whether they are true or not.


Where the subject in question is profitable industries, you can't beleive any one party to the discussion. You have to listen to all sides, and sift the truth out for yourself.
 
2013-04-24 08:23:03 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: Tommy Moo: If we all lost our jobs and sat around sipping lemonade while robots did all of the work, all that would need to be figured out is a system for properly distributing the wealth and preventing a population explosion.

The way that the system is currently set up, the robots would all be owned by venture capitalists, (who'd get all the money from their labors,) and nobody else would be able to get a job, so I'm pretty sure that a "population explosion" isn't something to worry about.


That would be self-correcting, though. If enough people were unemployed, we'd hit a tipping point where one could only get elected to Congress by promising to extend unemployment insurance indefinitely, which would effectively make it into a national dividend / permanent unstigmatized welfare. Sometimes I think the 1% support Keynestian wastes of money just to keep workers around to get mad at and look down on people who don't have jobs, even if the job they are doing is contributing nothing to society (i.e. digging a hole and filling it in with dirt.)
 
2013-04-24 08:26:47 AM  
 there are more solar workers than coal miners.

BS statistic is BS.
 
2013-04-24 08:45:50 AM  

Infernalist: studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber successful actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat

Better?


OK, how about Solar works working for companies that can turn a profit without huge government subsidies?
 
2013-04-24 08:46:10 AM  

thorthor: Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it. And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

fark you it isn't.

Fark you indeed. Come and visit a mountaintop removal site w/ me sometime and see if you can still deny the "devastation". You obviously do not know anything about the process or the everlasting detrimental effects.


The same rural communities where MTR happens have the highest poverty and cancer rates in the country. Many of the communities where these sites are located live in constant fear of the same sort that devastated Buffalo Creek, WV and Martin County, KY.

In what ways does the extractive industries "benefit" the communities they are in? They damage the environment (not only through the loss of forests, which in turn leads to increased erosion of top soil, but also through the release of heavy metals and radiation into the ecosystem by exposing rock that is normally free from exposure to surface water, this doesn't take into account how the blasting damages existing water tables and how valley fills destroy the streams they are shoved into), they damage infrastructure (Semis running with full loads on one lane county roads built for light car traffic have a pretty devastating effect on those roads and the bridges that are on them), damage homes (all that blasting tends to crack foundations, plaster, and windows), and I won't even get into the health effects on people living around those communities and the workers who actually work at the sites. Even if a site is properly reclaimed, the damage caused by these sites is far more extensive than any beautification of them after the coal is gone can fix. MTR offers very little in the way of jobs in comparison to deep mining, and the extractive industries add absolutely NOTHING to the communities they are in. If they did the Appalachian coal fields should be one of the most developed places in the country by now.
 
2013-04-24 08:46:16 AM  

Tommy Moo: Whenever this argument rears up I feel the need to point out the strangeness of people being happy about jobs for jobs' sake. If the solar industry hired fewer people but managed to produce the same amount of power, wouldn't that be a good thing? We are so hell bent on creating jobs these days. Jobs are a necessary vehicle to create wealth; they are not the end point of an economy. If we all lost our jobs and sat around sipping lemonade while robots did all of the work, all that would need to be figured out is a system for properly distributing the wealth and preventing a population explosion.


Don't worry, I'm sure we can just make a robot that does that too!

/Could always joint the Reeks and Wrecks
 
2013-04-24 09:04:27 AM  
Bunch of fools actually think this is a good thing. Amazing
 
2013-04-24 09:09:12 AM  

Lidocaine: I'll stand up and cheer about such stats when my utility bills start trending in a downward direction instead of their current upward climb...


Solar subsidies are probably making your power bill go up, not down.
 
2013-04-24 09:11:11 AM  
Solar is nit yet profitable by itself, and is itself heavily subsidized both by tax breaks and straight government handouts.

So, there are more people on the government dole in solar than there are in profitable coal mining.

Got it.

Obama 2016.
 
2013-04-24 09:14:21 AM  

12349876: DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners.

No, it will just be more natural gas.  That's what's hurting coal right now.  Nothing else.  Just natural gas.  As long as that's cheaper to get out of the ground that's what they'll be doing instead of coal.


Also -- natural gas is MUCH more environmentally friendly than coal.  It's actually quite a good stop-gap as we develop better batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and solar technologies.
 
2013-04-24 09:17:31 AM  
Would be awesome if the solar power companies actually did something besides default on government loans and go bankrupt.
 
2013-04-24 10:08:30 AM  

AlwaysRightBoy: Just wait until we piss off the sun with our shenanigans.

 You'll see.  For a little while.


I thought you did that when you reelected Barack Obama. All Rupert Murdoch's papers hit the roof about it. I guess they still had the topless girl on page 3 though.
 
2013-04-24 10:17:15 AM  

js530: Rambino:

Allow me to highlight one key difference between solar energy and oil/gas/coal/nuclear:

When we stop tending to the mines/pipes/boilers/CTs, what happens?  The energy stops flowing, and the lights go out.

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.

If solar is a "semi-permanent infrastructure", the average nuclear plant is the most permanent damn infrastructure in existence. There's no way in hell solar infrastructure will last 30-ish years, the average age of current nuclear power plants. Existing solar doesn't last that long. Solar inverters, like all electronics and power electronics in particular, are constantly being fatigued, by light/dark cycles (1/day) and power switching cycles (thousands/second). Panels are losing a percent or two a year (the magic of compounding rates...). Coverglass is being covered in dirt and bird shiat. Hail and wind storms are taking out panels. All of these require maintenance, labor and expense.

The idea that solar infrastructure is permanent is a complete falsehood.


True, but...

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2165/when-the-zombies-take- ov er-how-long-till-the-electricity-fails
"... how long, assuming I survived [a zombie apocalypse], would I continue to receive hydroelectricity from my power company? "
Power plants are incredibly complex facilities with an enormous number of controls, and consequently an enormous number of things that can go wrong. The level of complexity and reliability of the plants is a function of the type of power plant, the control systems installed, and the plant's age and condition. In addition to the possibility of unplanned events causing shutdowns, there is also the problem of maintaining a fuel supply without human intervention.
...
At most coal power plants the coal is stored in a huge outdoor pile, where it is typically pushed by bulldozers onto a conveyor and carried to large silos or bunkers at an upper level of the plant, from which it is fed to the burners. When the plant is operating at full output, these bunkers theoretically have a capacity ranging from 8 hours to more than 24 hours.
...
Two nuclear plant operators I asked about this wondered what I had been drinking, then said that a modern North American nuclear plant would likely run unattended for quite a bit longer than a coal power plant barring a mandated operator response - perhaps as long as a few days to a week.
...
Hydro plants for the most part are highly reliable and require relatively few controls. Since their "fuel" is the water contained behind the dam, their "fuel reserve" can often be measured in weeks or months. Barring sudden equipment failure or other unusual circumstances, most hydroelectric plants in good operating condition would last days or weeks unattended.
...
Bottom line? My guess is that within 4-6 hours there would be scattered blackouts and brownouts in numerous areas, within 12 hours much of the system would be unstable, and within 24 hours most portions of the United States and Canada, aside from a rare island of service in a rural area near a hydroelectric source, would be without power. Some installations served by wind farms and solar might continue, but they would be very small. By the end of a week, I'd be surprised if more than a few abandoned sites were still supplying power.

Solar (and wind)- what will keep the lights on after a zombie apocalypse (in some areas. Conditions apply. See warranty for details. Do not administer by mouth. Keep out of reach of children.)
 
2013-04-24 10:34:24 AM  

incrdbil: But thanks to Oabamas War on Coal, we faced reduced energy options--


OK 'tard,
How is increasing the number of energy options a reduction?
Hint: Solar doesn't end coal as an option.
 
2013-04-24 11:16:43 AM  

Rambino: People_are_Idiots: Hollie Maea: Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

I still do, so so am I.  Man, conservatives sure do hate solar. The mouth breathers on the local paper forums would love nothing more than to have me living under a bridge just so they could revel in how horrible solar is.

Which is kind of strange, since solar represents one of the easiest ways for one to give "the man" the finger and still be able to have nice things.  You would think that conservatives would be all over that.  But they are so terrified that the granola eaters would say "I told you so".

To me it depends on the solar. Those 10-20 year panels? Meh. Solar Thermal? Cheaper and sustainable. Problem is.... still not enough power to substitute coal/NG/nuclear.

10-20 year panels?  Where are you shopping?  Today's panels come with 25-year warranties.  WARRANTY. That means that on average they last a whole lot longer than 25 years...

I am hard pressed to think of any PV solar panel, ever, failing after 10-20 years (subject to baseballs).  The badly manufactured ones fail pretty quickly--after that they are good for a few decades.

And not enough power?  That's just because we haven't installed enough of them yet.  Give us time.


The average PV panel tends to start losing effectiveness (as in not generating its peak energy) if not properly maintained (which a house model typically is not) after 10-15 years. Not saying all now, but these items are quite delicate as it is. They have to be cleaned and checked for cracks, and still effectiveness can be lost. Generating 21Kw? That can drop to 19Kw in around 10 years (which you can notice if the average household uses 20Kw). (Link here: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5850116_solar-panels-energy-efficient_.html )

Solar Thermal is much more durable and requires less maintenance (usually cleaning the mirror) than the PV cell, and also does not lose voltage over time. If I had the choice, I would choose ST over PV.

As far as "not enough of them yet..." even if you glittered the desert with solar panels, it wouldn't be enough to replace many of the other types of energy generation we still use.
 
2013-04-24 11:55:59 AM  

Rent Party: Wow! I'm in Maple Valley, and didn't think that kind of setup would float year round out here. I've got a bit more square footage and my kitchen and water are gas, but I still have considerable electrical use.

Who did the install, since we're kind of neighbors?


Yep, grew up in Enumclaw, work in Tukwila and live in Sumner. My best friend comes from Maple Valley (now lives in Covington). Up here in WA, expect to see a 5-7 year ROI, with current costs and incentives.

Before ponying up the money for PV panels, make sure to make your house as efficient as possible. Here's now I did mine. It includes the major milestones, and doesn't include the little stuff I did like LED lighting and air sealing:
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

I know that since adding the electric car, it's taking up a large share of my annual PV production. I still need a full year's worth of data before I can figure out exactly how additional PV I need to get back to net-zero energy. One nice thing though, is that my energy costs are still way, way down. As the long summer days start to come around in the next few months, I expect my 2013 electrical costs to plummet (these numbers don't include the ~$2,400 production incentive I'll get back from the state in August)
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

As for installers, there are quite a few options. If you don't want any money out of your pocket, SolarCity is the largest installer in the USA, do all the financing/leasing in house, and are now available in WA. Caveat Emptor; I've never done business with them, and only have word of mouth. They work their program so that your monthly lease will be less than what your current electrical bill is. However they use components that aren't local and keep all the incentives.

Washington State has a very generous renewable energy production credit - especially if you use locally made solar panels and inverters (both manufactured up in Marysville). If you use out-of-state products, you're incentive is $0.15 kWh. If you use locally made stuff, it's a much higher $0.54 a kWh. That is guaranteed as an annual payment from the state's Department of Revenue through 2020, with a maximum rebate of $5,000 *per year* (a former classmate and friend of mine runs that program for the state). In fact, there are quite a few incentives available to different ratepayers in WA State.

As for a local installer, my guy is Pete from Galaxy Electric. He's done 3 arrays for me now (work, home and at my parents). Nice guy, fair deals, good installs and easy to work with. We also went to school together, taking the same PV installation and theory classes. Of course, he can't help if your house is constantly shaded by trees. Hope that helps you out.
 
2013-04-24 12:02:49 PM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


PSE&G is inovating in small panel installation on utility poles.  You see the panels all over the place.  They are experimenting with operating a distributed generation grid.  Cool stuff.  Wish JCP&L would do something similar.  (Parents on PSE&G, I have JCP&L - I hate them both, but PSE&G is at least trying)

Also, a good number of houses have gone solar enhanced.  We have a fairly small number of HOAs that block that kind of thing, so people are able to retrofit onto existing structures.  Funny - a state usually known for horrific regulation for some reason forgot to put roadblocks in this one particular area.

As for PA mfg - I don't know.
 
2013-04-24 12:16:10 PM  

People_are_Idiots: The average PV panel tends to start losing effectiveness (as in not generating its peak energy) if not properly maintained (which a house model typically is not) after 10-15 years. Not saying all now, but these items are quite delicate as it is. They have to be cleaned and checked for cracks, and still effectiveness can be lost. Generating 21Kw? That can drop to 19Kw in around 10 years (which you can notice if the average household uses 20Kw). (Link here: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5850116_solar-panels-energy-efficient_.html )

Solar Thermal is much more durable and requires less maintenance (usually cleaning the mirror) than the PV cell, and also does not lose voltage over time. If I had the choice, I would choose ST over PV.

As far as "not enough of them yet..." even if you glittered the desert with solar panels, it wouldn't be enough to replace many of the other types of energy generation we still use.


Delicate? Lol.

If you want, you can drive over them:
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

Install them on oceanfront seawalls.
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

Before UL testing, they even submerged a couple of these panels at the bottom of a 12' deep pool for a week. They pulled them out and they fired right up. The front and back laminated glass kept all water intrusion out.
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

You can find the largest guy you can find to jump and stomp on them, which is fun. No damage.

Heck, you can even shoot them with a .22 or .38 repeatedly (notice the bullets don't penetrate the panel) and they'll still keep producing power, albeit, with that kind of damage, who knows for how long. They are in every sense of the word, bulletproof.sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
Interestingly, these ballistic glass panels recently underwent a longevity test through the DOE NREL. The NREL found that after a simulated 70 years, these panels showed zero degradation of output (while all of the other tested panels saw the typical 0.5% annual reduction). The original test was designed to go through 40 years, but when zero losses were found, they extended the testing. After the equivalent of 70 years, they gave up. In light of the verified testing, the company bumped their warranty up to 30 years.

The 10 KW rooftop array I have at my office is now 7 years old (using Sharp panels). I go up there once or twice a year, just to check that nothing has been gnawed on. They've been entirely maintenance free, and I haven't measured any reduction in production.

But I do find it funny when you call solar panels "delicate." Maybe ones built 40 years ago, or Chinese made junk, but these panels are by no means delicate.
 
2013-04-24 12:30:06 PM  

bdub77: Further proof that Obama is destroying this country. What happens when the sun runs out of energy, Obama? HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?


We'll all die!
 
2013-04-24 12:33:51 PM  

MrSteve007: As for a local installer, my guy is Pete from Galaxy Electric. He's done 3 arrays for me now (work, home and at my parents). Nice guy, fair deals, good installs and easy to work with. We also went to school together, taking the same PV installation and theory classes. Of course, he can't help if your house is constantly shaded by trees. Hope that helps you out.


And for those in the Portland area who are interested in Solar, send me an email.  One of my classmates is an installer who has very good prices and does great work.  Even if you think you can't get it, let them do an assessment for you.  Most of the "I can't get solar because _____" end up to be misconceptions.
 
2013-04-24 12:35:20 PM  
Solar panels are possibly toxic in both mfg and disposal according to that conservative rag, Mother Jones. I'm actually all for solar power, I just think the rhetoric on both sides of the argument gets less and less logical and more emotional every day.
Why not both? Smart kid.
 
2013-04-24 12:58:23 PM  
Haliburton Cummings:

MMM A THREAD FULL OF GOOGLE SEARCH EXPERTZ ARGUING!!!!

I really don't know if you want to go down the road of calling the likes of Hollie Maea, MrSteve007, Ringshadow et al. "google search experts" on this particular topic.

One of the things I like about Fark is being able to read stuff by people who actually work in fields of interest to me.

Heck, even in my own small contribution, I'm currently designing a 4kW grid tie system for my dad's farm. I've had to do a little more than just google stuff. So am I a "google search expert" on this topic?
 
2013-04-24 01:10:25 PM  

studs up: Solar panels are possibly toxic in both mfg and disposal according to that conservative rag, Mother Jones.


Again, that is an issue in some of the thin film device structures--primarily Cadmium Telluride.  But these are not a large proportion of the solar industry.

What's more, thin film is actually on the decline due to the rapid fall in the prices of polysilicon.  First Solar is the main player in the Cadmium Telluride arena.  Three years ago or so they were kicking everyone's asses with prices per watt peak less than half that of monocrystalline Silicon, which made up for their relatively low efficiency.  In the intervening years, their costs have only fallen a little while Silicon has halved or better.  Today there is only a small price delta, and First Solar is struggling.  Meanwhile, here is what is in our cells:

Silicon
Silver
Aluminum
Glass
Silicon Nitride (<.1%)
SIlicon Oxide (<.01%)
Boron (< 1 ppb)
Phosphorus (< 1 ppb)

That's it.  You could blend it up and dump it in your breakfast cereal.
 
2013-04-24 01:16:05 PM  

incrdbil: So a useless mountaintop, among many, is altered. The fill does not go into stream beds--it goes into areas that are pressed, allowed to settle, then reclaimed--according to many regulations, and monitored afterwards--before being developed. Granted, there have bene earlier incidents that led to this increased regulation, but firms doing this work now do not want lawsuits chasing them years later. It is not good buisness.



A "useless mountain top" huh?  Either you are a troll or stupid (or a Massey).

You obvioulsy have no idea WTF you are talking about.  The Fill DOES go into streams, or should I take you to about 20 sites nearest my home where indeed streams did once exist.

I work on a "repurposed land" of sorts where I watch a 1/2 mile of streambed dissappear every year from the operations of the active mine.

Oh or howabout the Spruce #1 mine here in WV that JUST got smacked down from the EPA, because they were gonna fill 6 MILES OF STREAMBED.  The sad thing is, they said that if they just applied to fill 3 or 4 miles they probably would have been ok to proceed.

That "pressed" soil is otherwise called "compaction" which inhibits water infiltration and greatly slows growth of pioneer and timber species.  The water that does make it through is laden with heavy metals (especially selenium) that has been freed from the ground, broken and crushed so it is more available to be broken down by the elements. It's basically only good for -as you have already pointed out- residential and commercial uses.  Alot of what these companies are doing now to sidestep the near impossible reclaimation is to sell the land to develop as offroading parks and now they are trying to give it (and the future problems) away to the Military for training land. Some claim turkey habitat or woodcock habitat reclaimation.  My bet is you live in Kentucky where they have brainwashed people to think strip mines are good because  "they give me a place to live".

The thing that pisses me off MOST about MTR/Strip mining and the whole "Obama is killing jobs" is that these MTR sites provide MAYBE 1/10th of the number of jobs that traditional deep and longwall mining do, although dangerous at least a community can benefit from that.  Only the owners of a strip mine truly benefit.

I assume you have never watched one of your favorite places be completely wiped from the face of the earth to never return.  Never had "your" mountain flattened, stream filled in, fish killed THEN silted over so there is no hope for return and THEN poisoned for generations to come just for good measure.  As years pass all those heavy metals eventually end up in the water supply and the living organisms. Unfortunately this is not just a one time experience for me, it's more like a once a year kinda thing...but hey, it gave you a place to put your house though!

Or howabout the thousands of miles of waters in WV that are so heavily acidified by either AMD or acid rain that they CANNOT sustain any life without limestone fines and/or turn the stream bright orange and stain the rocks and banks like easter eggs.  (Really, some places in WV they gave kids crayons and asked them to draw a stream for them.  In many of the areas all the kids colored their stream in ORANGE!) The truth is the effects are not relugated to the specific locale of the mining nor do they subside when the mining stops.

Right now it is a necessary evil, but I like the way things are going as far as pushing coal out.  The thing is, if the industry wasn't so dead set on NOT changing and not budging on their anti-regulatory stance, they could have been using all that energy (no pun intended) to find ways to make the resource cleaner, less detrimental to the environment and in all a viable resource to harvest.  The coal industry has shot itself in the foot and they are getting what they deserve.

Good business?  It doesn't have to be "good business" when you are making millions a day...have you not ever met anyone that worked on a mine (that didn't own it?)

/I work on strip sites sometimes
//Have friends in the Mine Reclaimation  and Abandoned Mine offices
///Have friends, family and acquaintences in mines and operating MTR heavy equpiment
////Don't have my head in my ass
 
2013-04-24 01:20:46 PM  
Prince George:

Infernalist: studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

solar workers outnumber successful actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat

Better?

OK, how about Solar works working for companies that can turn a profit without huge government subsidies?


By Jove, I think you're on to something...

i34.tinypic.com
i34.tinypic.com

Yes, let's discuss huge government subsidies for particular energy sources... Like spending more in direct cash from taxpayers for fossil fuels than we spend in *any* form for renewables.

CS, B: When my grandma died, she bequeathed a pretty big chunk of XON stock (originally Standard Oil) to me and my siblings. The dividends from that have pretty much always covered what I owe the Feds every year on April 15.

I'm not sure what that means, but there's irony in there somewhere.
 
2013-04-24 01:24:36 PM  
I really don't know if you want to go down the road of calling the likes of Hollie Maea, MrSteve007, Ringshadow et al. "google search experts" on this particular topic.

One of the things I like about Fark is being able to read stuff by people who actually work in fields of interest to me.

Heck, even in my own small contribution, I'm currently designing a 4kW grid tie system for my dad's farm. I've had to do a little more than just google stuff. So am I a "google search expert" on this topic?


You actually believe the shiat that people claim they are here?
wow.
 
2013-04-24 01:46:58 PM  

Mean Daddy: Did they factor in that a lot of miners are out of work due to policy and that a lot of solar workers are employed due to subsidizing?  Don't let facts get in the way of making you feel better or smug.



Heard this so much during this last election.  Actually most of those "lost jobs" were absorbed by the other nearby mines.

During Obama's term, the # of employees in the the WV coal industry actually INCREASED the entire time.  ( and boy was the "obama is killing coal" propaganda thick in these parts)
 
2013-04-24 01:57:36 PM  
doubled99:

I really don't know if you want to go down the road of calling the likes of Hollie Maea, MrSteve007, Ringshadow et al. "google search experts" on this particular topic.

One of the things I like about Fark is being able to read stuff by people who actually work in fields of interest to me.

Heck, even in my own small contribution, I'm currently designing a 4kW grid tie system for my dad's farm. I've had to do a little more than just google stuff. So am I a "google search expert" on this topic?

You actually believe the shiat that people claim they are here?
wow.


I eagerly await your proof that MrSteve007 faked all his photographs and demonstrated expertise, that Ringshadow doesn't work as a nuke safety geekette, and that Hollie Maea doesn't work for a PV producer. Jim_Callahan also seems to know his stuff regarding this topic.

Go on... Tell us how deep the rabbit hole goes. Does it hurt you so badly to hear people who work in relevant fields telling you things that you don't agree with?
 
2013-04-24 02:06:37 PM  

MrSteve007: Rent Party: Wow! I'm in Maple Valley, and didn't think that kind of setup would float year round out here. I've got a bit more square footage and my kitchen and water are gas, but I still have considerable electrical use.

Who did the install, since we're kind of neighbors?

Yep, grew up in Enumclaw, work in Tukwila and live in Sumner. My best friend comes from Maple Valley (now lives in Covington). Up here in WA, expect to see a 5-7 year ROI, with current costs and incentives.

Before ponying up the money for PV panels, make sure to make your house as efficient as possible. Here's now I did mine. It includes the major milestones, and doesn't include the little stuff I did like LED lighting and air sealing:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x476]

I know that since adding the electric car, it's taking up a large share of my annual PV production. I still need a full year's worth of data before I can figure out exactly how additional PV I need to get back to net-zero energy. One nice thing though, is that my energy costs are still way, way down. As the long summer days start to come around in the next few months, I expect my 2013 electrical costs to plummet (these numbers don't include the ~$2,400 production incentive I'll get back from the state in August)
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 605x362]

As for installers, there are quite a few options. If you don't want any money out of your pocket, SolarCity is the largest installer in the USA, do all the financing/leasing in house, and are now available in WA. Caveat Emptor; I've never done business with them, and only have word of mouth. They work their program so that your monthly lease will be less than what your current electrical bill is. However they use components that aren't local and keep all the incentives.

Washington State has a very generous renewable energy production credit - especially if you use locally made solar panels and inverters (both manufactured up in Marysville). If you use out-of-state products, y ...


MrSteve007: Rent Party: Wow! I'm in Maple Valley, and didn't think that kind of setup would float year round out here. I've got a bit more square footage and my kitchen and water are gas, but I still have considerable electrical use.

Who did the install, since we're kind of neighbors?

Yep, grew up in Enumclaw,


Now this is just farkin' spooky.   I grew up in Enumclaw (EHS, class of '87.  Go Hornets).  I probably know you, or someone that does.   That's just how it is on the plateau.

work in Tukwila and live in Sumner. My best friend comes from Maple Valley (now lives in Covington). Up here in WA, expect to see a 5-7 year ROI, with current costs and incentives.

Before ponying up the money for PV panels, make sure to make your house as efficient as possible. Here's now I did mine. It includes the major milestones, and doesn't include the little stuff I did like LED lighting and air sealing:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x476]

I know that since adding the electric car, it's taking up a large share of my annual PV production. I still need a full year's worth of data before I can figure out exactly how additional PV I need to get back to net-zero energy. One nice thing though, is that my energy costs are still way, way down. As the long summer days start to come around in the next few months, I expect my 2013 electrical costs to plummet (these numbers don't include the ~$2,400 production incentive I'll get back from the state in August)
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 605x362]


I drive a Hyundai that gets upwards of 40MPG if I'm gentile with it, which is why I'm not so interested in the electric car.  The other information is useful, though.  The house isn't very efficient, and I'm pretty sure the prior owners had it wired by retarded monkey brother-in-law contractor guy.   We also have a hot tub on the deck that is expensive to run.  I don't ever expect the place to be 100% efficient, but if I can get those kinds of gains, I'll take them.
 
2013-04-24 02:19:51 PM  
MrSteve007:

Fun fact - California alone is now installing more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity a year, and it's growing at a ~25% rate.

Fun fact - 1 GW of installed solar capacity is equivalent to a single gas turbine generator. Not a gas turbine power plant, not a combined cycle gas turbine, just a single large gas turbine generator. If your argument for solar relies on "impressive" numbers without any sense of scale or measure of cost effectiveness (how much will that 1 GW of capacity cost?), it's likely because solar is nothing more than a feel-good energy distraction.

Even California broke ground on a nuclear power plant today, since it takes about 8 years to construct, CA will have installed some ~12 GW of solar capacity. Even if you factor in a 30% for solar, solar will still win on output. Never mind the ridiculous amount water consumed by nuclear plants (or spat out, back into the environment as hot water) - or the several tons of high level radioactive waste the nuclear plant will generate each year.

12 GW of peak capacity, or about 4 GW. Or 4 gen iii reactors. About one nuclear power plant. God forbid we build two at once over those 8 years. And can you tell me what environmental catastrophe is caused by increasing seawater a couple of degrees? Or the environmental damage caused by this high level radioactive waste? Several tons is, what, a small truck full? How many truckloads of used inverters, panels, and general semi processing waste will your solar pipe dream create?

Plus you have the added benefit of less peak loading that needs to be met by peaker plants, and less demand to the grid during mid day and hot summer days.

Because natural gas is not doing a good job powering peaker plants? Because the subsidies spent on solar are more effective than for grid improvement or energy efficiency?

As others have pointed out, even if you don't give a shiat about nuclear waste, environmental impact, or meltdown dangers - nuclear is a bad financial bet. That's why even with 100% government backed financing, it's damn near impossible to get one built in the USA. They have a long history of not penciling out. I know, I'm still paying in my utility connection fees for several nuclear plants that never even came online, since the demand never appeared and construction costs skyrocketed.

Nuclear power is a financial nightmare.


Meltdown dangers? The probability of a meltdown in a US nuclear power plant is less than the probability the planet is ended by an asteroid. I'm glad the anti-nuclear people are using fear to support their arguments.

I'd like to see a statistic about how many solar deaths and injuries we have. Falls, electrocutions, if it's anything like wind, we would kill thousands of people yearly to completely supply the US electricity demand.
 
2013-04-24 02:25:00 PM  
Rambino:

Mr.Steve has lights during a blackout because of his solar panels. That's the kind of thing that the military takes pretty seriously. And unlike, say, a nuclear power plant or a coal plant, you CAN put a metric butt-load of solar panels on a military base without interfering with operations.

At night when it's dark and you need light?  Solar power is very inefficient at night.
 
2013-04-24 02:27:34 PM  

nmrsnr: bdub77: Further proof that Obama is destroying this country. What happens when the sun runs out of energy, Obama? HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 826x758]


That image made my head hurt. I realize it's not a function, but I have NO IDEA how to interpret that thing.
 
2013-04-24 02:38:42 PM  
js530:

MrSteve007:

Fun fact - California alone is now installing more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity a year, and it's growing at a ~25% rate.

Fun fact - 1 GW of installed solar capacity is equivalent to a single gas turbine generator. Not a gas turbine power plant, not a combined cycle gas turbine, just a single large gas turbine generator. If your argument for solar relies on "impressive" numbers without any sense of scale or measure of cost effectiveness (how much will that 1 GW of capacity cost?), it's likely because solar is nothing more than a feel-good energy distraction.

Even California broke ground on a nuclear power plant today, since it takes about 8 years to construct, CA will have installed some ~12 GW of solar capacity. Even if you factor in a 30% for solar, solar will still win on output. Never mind the ridiculous amount water consumed by nuclear plants (or spat out, back into the environment as hot water) - or the several tons of high level radioactive waste the nuclear plant will generate each year.


For your consideration:

If enough people install grid-tie systems, a utility doesn't have to spend half a billion dollars to build a gas plant that only gets spun up during the business and air-conditioning hours.

Some utilities get that. Some don't. Constellation Energy is pretty good about that, they encourage such things. And they *have* a nuke plant that they're looking to expand. They're also pretty good about conservation. They realize that they have two choices to meet growing demand... Either spend a farkton in capital or spend a little in giving people breaks for conservation / smart meters / AC cutoffs / power buybacks. It's sort of a no-brainer, but some utilities evidently have no brains.
 
2013-04-24 02:46:15 PM  

MrSteve007: People_are_Idiots: The average PV panel tends to start losing effectiveness (as in not generating its peak energy) if not properly maintained (which a house model typically is not) after 10-15 years. Not saying all now, but these items are quite delicate as it is. They have to be cleaned and checked for cracks, and still effectiveness can be lost. Generating 21Kw? That can drop to 19Kw in around 10 years (which you can notice if the average household uses 20Kw). (Link here: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5850116_solar-panels-energy-efficient_.html )

Solar Thermal is much more durable and requires less maintenance (usually cleaning the mirror) than the PV cell, and also does not lose voltage over time. If I had the choice, I would choose ST over PV.

As far as "not enough of them yet..." even if you glittered the desert with solar panels, it wouldn't be enough to replace many of the other types of energy generation we still use.

Delicate? Lol.

If you want, you can drive over them:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x566]


Anyone can drive over a metal plate... drive over the glass covering first, which is what KEEPS water out of that panel.

[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x566]

Install them on oceanfront seawalls.
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x637]

Before UL testing, they even submerged a couple of these panels at the bottom of a 12' deep pool for a week. They pulled them out and they fired right up. The front and back laminated glass kept all water intrusion out.
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x637]


Answer: Hailstorm. We had a lot of high-end panels become paperweights with one hailstorm. (high-end meaning made in the USA)

You can find the largest guy you can find to jump and stomp on them, which is fun. No damage.

Heck, you can even shoot them with a .22 or .38 repeatedly (notice the bullets don't penetrate the panel) and they'll still keep producing power, albeit, with that kind of damage, who knows for how long. They are in every sense of the word, bulletproof.[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x286]


Nope, bulletproof means zero damage to the panel. As you JUST admitted, there would be damage to the panel. Great for hiding behind in a gunfight, bad if you're actually using them to generate power.

Interestingly, these ballistic glass panels recently underwent a longevity test through the DOE NREL. The NREL found that after a simulated 70 years, these panels showed zero degradation of output (while ...


Did they test them in the real world, or a lab? In a lab I can make an elephant hang onto a petunia over the side of a cliff. Real world has stated PV is fragile, prone to failure after a relatively short time, and not cost effective. I'm not saying ALL solar power is fragile (The Solar Thermal arrays are nothing more than metal mirrors after all), but the PV permenantly loses effectiveness if caught in a typical violent storm, or a kid with a .22 THEN a normal rainstorm (after all, it did penetrate the glass...)
 
2013-04-24 02:48:31 PM  

maxheck: I eagerly await your proof that MrSteve007 faked all his photographs and demonstrated expertise, that Ringshadow doesn't work as a nuke safety geekette, and that Hollie Maea doesn't work for a PV producer. Jim_Callahan also seems to know his stuff regarding this topic.


Naaa, that's no fun. I rather enjoy the idea that I'm some sort of bot, or astroturfer - as part of some ultimate ploy to lure unsuspecting internet viewers into believing that solar power works, by quickly Googling things.

That's been my nefarious plan all along, since I created my fark account 10+ years ago.

Nevermind my obviously photoshopped experience in custom PV fabrication and installation:
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
My adtroturf photoshopping skills are nearly unmatched!
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

Indeed, zero experience.
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

I obviously don't know what I'm doing.
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

Those national awards I won last year in New York, from the US Green Building Council for my efforts in green building design? All falsified & photoshopped!
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

And don't even get me started on the faked national small business EPA award I got a couple years ago, which included one of the first building integrated server waste heat recyclers (a design I came up with).

You have no idea just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Now excuse me while I get to work on my next project to be falsified, an eco-tourist beachfront resort on the Caribbean Island of Roatan. Which shoehorns nicely with my recently renovated, but falsified, low impact beachfront resort in Maui - most recently featured in Feb's Sunset Magazine as one of the nation's top weekend getaway spots.

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

/but what do I know?
 
2013-04-24 02:49:39 PM  
js530:

I'd like to see a statistic about how many solar deaths and injuries we have. Falls, electrocutions, if it's anything like wind, we would kill thousands of people yearly to completely supply the US electricity demand.

We await with bated breath your evidence that solar and wind kill more people than coal.

Don't keep us waiting. This will be interesting.
 
2013-04-24 02:54:18 PM  

BetterMetalSnake: nmrsnr: bdub77: Further proof that Obama is destroying this country. What happens when the sun runs out of energy, Obama? HUH? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 826x758]

That image made my head hurt. I realize it's not a function, but I have NO IDEA how to interpret that thing.


It's not so bad. Basically it's showing what happens to a sun-like star over time. Think of the star tracing out that line as it gets older.

Or, for a fuller explanation: Starting from the main sequence, when the star starts dying it gets colder (moving to the right on the chart) but brighter (moving upwards). Then it chills out as a Red Giant for ~ a billion years, after which it gets hotter, but slightly dimmer. Then it does a big expansion making it much colder, but also much, much brighter, this is the second up and right part. After that it loses a bunch of its mass, leaving just a very hot, bright flash (planetary nebula), and then a white dwarf.
 
2013-04-24 03:10:38 PM  

People_are_Idiots: Anyone can drive over a metal plate... drive over the glass covering first, which is what KEEPS water out of that panel.


I'm not sure if you're seeing the same image that I am. What I see is a single PV panel (glass faced on the front and back - spanned without any support in the middle, holding up the front end of a large work truck. There is no metal plate. That is simply glass that is holding up the truck, no metal. These panels are frameless along the top and bottom, and span 48" between supports.

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

I'm not even sure if I should attempt to reply to the rest of your comments. You think it isn't impressive that the panel's glass will stop multiple, repeated & point-blank hits from bullets without full penetration, then you talk about how hail could damage the panel, you're frankly an idiot. A .38 bullet has an order of a magnitude more inertia than a baseball sized hail ball - let alone the differing compression and breaking values of ice vs. lead at high speeds. It's analogous to being afraid of hitting a small rock with your windshield while driving down the road, after I show you that it can stop farking bullets.

I can't speak for all panels out there, but I'd put good money that no naturally formed hail, anywhere on the planet could damage the panels I've put on my office and my house. They're built like tanks. I also fully believe that they'll long outlive me, and likely that of my unborn children. 3rd party testing has shown that, on top of my own personal experience with handling and abusing the panels.

I've more than enough shown that I know what I'm talking about, typically providing links that backup my claims. And you simply reply, and say, "No - won't work." without any proof. It's obvious that you're either simply a contrarian or that you frankly have no idea what you're talking about.
 
2013-04-24 03:45:12 PM  

MrSteve007: maxheck: I eagerly await your proof that MrSteve007 faked all his photographs and demonstrated expertise, that Ringshadow doesn't work as a nuke safety geekette, and that Hollie Maea doesn't work for a PV producer. Jim_Callahan also seems to know his stuff regarding this topic.

Naaa, that's no fun. I rather enjoy the idea that I'm some sort of bot, or astroturfer - as part of some ultimate ploy to lure unsuspecting internet viewers into believing that solar power works, by quickly Googling things.

That's been my nefarious plan all along, since I created my fark account 10+ years ago.

Nevermind my obviously photoshopped experience in custom PV fabrication and installation:
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 720x444]
My adtroturf photoshopping skills are nearly unmatched!
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 720x537]

Indeed, zero experience.
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 720x480]

[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 720x468]

I obviously don't know what I'm doing.
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x566]

Those national awards I won last year in New York, from the US Green Building Council for my efforts in green building design? All falsified & photoshopped!
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x606]

[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x1274]

And don't even get me started on the faked national small business EPA award I got a couple years ago, which included one of the first building integrated server waste heat recyclers (a design I came up with).

You have no idea just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Now excuse me while I get to work on my next project to be falsified, an eco-tourist beachfront resort on the Caribbean Island of Roatan. Which shoehorns nicely with my recently renovated, but falsified, low impact beachfront resort in Maui - most recently featured in Feb's Sunset Magazine as one of the nation's top weekend getaway spots.

[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x545]

/but what do I know?


So mr. Solar expert man...I'm interested in going solar with my house, half of my garage is south facing with an easily accessible attic and right over the electrical junction box.

I'm in Louisville, KY.    Where would I go to get started and where can I find an easy to understand list of subsidies I could get for the installation?

Also is there a ballpark figure of how much I should expect to spend?
 
2013-04-24 03:51:43 PM  
Girion47:

So mr. Solar expert man...I'm interested in going solar with my house, half of my garage is south facing with an easily accessible attic and right over the electrical junction box.

I'm in Louisville, KY. Where would I go to get started and where can I find an easy to understand list of subsidies I could get for the installation?

Also is there a ballpark figure of how much I should expect to spend?


You could be sneaky, like my dad did. Invite a local solar installer to give an estimate and spec out the system, and then use that as a baseline to build the system yourself for 1/4 of what they were asking.
 
2013-04-24 04:00:17 PM  

Girion47: So mr. Solar expert man...I'm interested in going solar with my house, half of my garage is south facing with an easily accessible attic and right over the electrical junction box.

I'm in Louisville, KY. Where would I go to get started and where can I find an easy to understand list of subsidies I could get for the installation?

Also is there a ballpark figure of how much I should expect to spend?


The best place for a breakdown of available grants and incentives in the US, broken down by Federal, State, City and even individual utility: DSIRE.org Your single largest incentive will be the 30% credit from the Feds when you file your taxes. Looks like you also have a state income tax credit (up to $500). Depending on just how big and tricky you want to go, there's always the option of creating an LLC to own and operate the panels, which would then open you up to corporate tax credits, incentives, power purchase agreements and grants - but it sure is a hassle.

It certainly sounds like a textbook install. With prices these days, I wouldn't pay a cent more than $5 a watt for a simple grid-tie install (3,000 watts of panels = $15,000), *before* incentives.
 
2013-04-24 04:15:48 PM  

MrSteve007: Girion47: So mr. Solar expert man...I'm interested in going solar with my house, half of my garage is south facing with an easily accessible attic and right over the electrical junction box.

I'm in Louisville, KY. Where would I go to get started and where can I find an easy to understand list of subsidies I could get for the installation?

Also is there a ballpark figure of how much I should expect to spend?

The best place for a breakdown of available grants and incentives in the US, broken down by Federal, State, City and even individual utility: DSIRE.org Your single largest incentive will be the 30% credit from the Feds when you file your taxes. Looks like you also have a state income tax credit (up to $500). Depending on just how big and tricky you want to go, there's always the option of creating an LLC to own and operate the panels, which would then open you up to corporate tax credits, incentives, power purchase agreements and grants - but it sure is a hassle.

It certainly sounds like a textbook install. With prices these days, I wouldn't pay a cent more than $5 a watt for a simple grid-tie install (3,000 watts of panels = $15,000), *before* incentives.


Thanks for the info!
 
2013-04-24 04:23:10 PM  

MrSteve007: You think it isn't impressive that the panel's glass will stop multiple, repeated & point-blank hits from bullets without full penetration, then you talk about how hail could damage the panel, you're frankly an idiot.


But what about this video of a solar panel being destroyed by a hailstone?  Oh wait, it's not opposites day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI6K3xlgYoY">http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=aI6K3xlgYoY
 
2013-04-24 04:29:46 PM  

MrSteve007: People_are_Idiots: Anyone can drive over a metal plate... drive over the glass covering first, which is what KEEPS water out of that panel.

I'm not sure if you're seeing the same image that I am. What I see is a single PV panel (glass faced on the front and back - spanned without any support in the middle, holding up the front end of a large work truck. There is no metal plate. That is simply glass that is holding up the truck, no metal. These panels are frameless along the top and bottom, and span 48" between supports.

[encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 275x183]

I'm not even sure if I should attempt to reply to the rest of your comments. You think it isn't impressive that the panel's glass will stop multiple, repeated & point-blank hits from bullets without full penetration, then you talk about how hail could damage the panel, you're frankly an idiot. A .38 bullet has an order of a magnitude more inertia than a baseball sized hail ball - let alone the differing compression and breaking values of ice vs. lead at high speeds. It's analogous to being afraid of hitting a small rock with your windshield while driving down the road, after I show you that it can stop farking bullets.

I can't speak for all panels out there, but I'd put good money that no naturally formed hail, anywhere on the planet could damage the panels I've put on my office and my house. They're built like tanks. I also fully believe that they'll long outlive me, and likely that of my unborn children. 3rd party testing has shown that, on top of my own personal experience with handling and abusing the panels.

I've more than enough shown that I know what I'm talking about, typically providing links that backup my claims. And you simply reply, and say, "No - won't work." without any proof. It's obvious that you're either simply a contrarian or that you frankly have no idea what you're talking about.


If it is any consolation you have completely transformed the way I think of solar panels. I wondered how they would stand up to hail (I live in Oklahoma) and see that at least some would shrug that stuff off. Treat yourself to a cookie tonight, you've earned it.
 
2013-04-24 04:31:14 PM  

js530: And can you tell me what environmental catastrophe is caused by increasing seawater a couple of degrees?


Oh, for fark's sake.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/26/rising-ocean-temperatures_n _2 024930.html

Or the environmental damage caused by this high level radioactive waste? Several tons is, what, a small truck full? How many truckloads of used inverters, panels, and general semi processing waste will your solar pipe dream create?

Wait, so the problem with radioactive waste is that it fills trucks?  Not that it is, you know, farking radioactive?  Or are you suggesting that inverters and panels are also radioactive?

You're a plant, right?  Designed to make opponents of renewable energy look ridiculous, right?  You couldn't possibly be this stupid in real life, am I correct?
 
2013-04-24 04:34:31 PM  

BetterMetalSnake: at least some would shrug that stuff off.


All of them.  That's one of the tests they have to pass for certification.

http://tuvamerica.com/services/photovoltaics/ArticleBasicUnderstandi ng PV.pdf

Search for the term "hail"
 
2013-04-24 08:08:51 PM  
this thread is full of lulz
 
2013-04-24 08:09:15 PM  

MrSteve007: People_are_Idiots: Anyone can drive over a metal plate... drive over the glass covering first, which is what KEEPS water out of that panel.

I'm not sure if you're seeing the same image that I am. What I see is a single PV panel (glass faced on the front and back - spanned without any support in the middle, holding up the front end of a large work truck. There is no metal plate. That is simply glass that is holding up the truck, no metal. These panels are frameless along the top and bottom, and span 48" between supports.


What I saw was the metal inside the solar panel. Glass and forms of Plexiglass can bend, but the weight of a truck can easily shatter most thin-wafer glass. Only one not breakable is Transperant Aluminum (which only exists is Star Trek).

I'm not even sure if I should attempt to reply to the rest of your comments. You think it isn't impressive that the panel's glass will stop multiple, repeated & point-blank hits from bullets without full penetration, then you talk about how hail could damage the panel, you're frankly an idiot. A .38 bullet has an order of a magnitude more inertia than a baseball sized hail ball - let alone the differing compression and breaking values of ice vs. lead at high speeds. It's analogous to being afraid of hitting a small rock with your windshield while driving down the road, after I show you that it can stop farking bullets.

It can stop small calibur bullets that leave a smaller impact area than hail. Care to see hail's damage?

collisioncenternorthscottsdale.com weblogs.marylandweather.com www.smh.com.au

Can .22 and .38 calibur do this kind of damage? Possibly, if it were coming from a full-auto rifle.

You speak of it stopping bullets. I notice you avoid saying hail. Why must that be... (SPOILER: Here comes the math)

While a .22LR bullet has a similar imapct energy as a standard garden variety baseball-sized ball of hail, however, the magnitude of the momentum is way different. A .45-caliber bullet would have a momentum from 3.5 kg*m/s to 4.5 kg*m/s. The .22LR has a momentum less than 1 kg*m/s. What about a baseball? Thrown at 90 mph, it would have a momentum of 5.8 kg*m/s. So, the hail would be more like a baseball. Baseball-sized hail is more equivilant to getting hit with a baseball thrown at terminal velocity. This only takes into account perfectly spherical hail, and not the normal hail generated in a severe storm (they can have imperfections, but most of the time they become oblong).
 I can't speak for all panels out there, but I'd put good money that no naturally formed hail, anywhere on the planet could damage the panels I've put on my office and my house. They're built like tanks. I also fully believe that they'll long outlive me, and likely that of my unborn children. 3rd party testing has shown that, on top of my own personal experience with handling and abusing the panels.

I've more than enough shown that I know what I'm talking about, typically providing links that backup my claims. And you simply reply, and say, "No - won't work." without any proof. It's obvious that you're either simply a contrarian or that you frankly have no idea what you're talking about.



http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/big-hail-is-bad/

Again, I like the idea of solar... but I want solar thermal energy.
 
2013-04-24 08:09:55 PM  

Hollie Maea: BetterMetalSnake: at least some would shrug that stuff off.

All of them.  That's one of the tests they have to pass for certification.

http://tuvamerica.com/services/photovoltaics/ArticleBasicUnderstandi ng PV.pdf

Search for the term "hail"


Hail no!

/jk
/great info. Thx.
 
2013-04-24 09:53:23 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Befuddled: Befuddled: That's close to 22 tons of coal a day for just one powerplant.

Sorry, that's 21,917 tons of coal a day.

22 tons, or 22 THOUSAND tons? That's kind of a big difference....



Plant Scherer in Georgia, burns over 1200 tons per hour, right at 30000 tons a day...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_Scherer
 
2013-04-24 10:15:05 PM  
Steven, you truly are one magnificent bastard.
 
2013-04-24 10:56:27 PM  

People_are_Idiots: Care to see hail's damage?


Yes, hail farks up cars, as most people are aware.  But it doesn't fark up solar panels.  The glass used in solar panels is far more robust, and the panels are tested and certified to be able to withstand the worst of hail storms.  This thread contains several citations for this fact.
 
2013-04-24 11:22:04 PM  

MrSteve007: Rent Party: Wow! I'm in Maple Valley, and didn't think that kind of setup would float year round out here. I've got a bit more square footage and my kitchen and water are gas, but I still have considerable electrical use.

Who did the install, since we're kind of neighbors?

Yep, grew up in Enumclaw, work in Tukwila and live in Sumner. My best friend comes from Maple Valley (now lives in Covington). Up here in WA, expect to see a 5-7 year ROI, with current costs and incentives.

Before ponying up the money for PV panels, make sure to make your house as efficient as possible. Here's now I did mine. It includes the major milestones, and doesn't include the little stuff I did like LED lighting and air sealing:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x476]

I know that since adding the electric car, it's taking up a large share of my annual PV production. I still need a full year's worth of data before I can figure out exactly how additional PV I need to get back to net-zero energy. One nice thing though, is that my energy costs are still way, way down. As the long summer days start to come around in the next few months, I expect my 2013 electrical costs to plummet (these numbers don't include the ~$2,400 production incentive I'll get back from the state in August)
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 605x362]

As for installers, there are quite a few options. If you don't want any money out of your pocket, SolarCity is the largest installer in the USA, do all the financing/leasing in house, and are now available in WA. Caveat Emptor; I've never done business with them, and only have word of mouth. They work their program so that your monthly lease will be less than what your current electrical bill is. However they use components that aren't local and keep all the incentives.

Washington State has a very generous renewable energy production credit - especially if you use locally made solar panels and inverters (both manufactured up in Marysville). If you use out-of-state products, y ...


You entire setup is impressive, but how much money overall did it take to set it up?  I know you have state incentives, but if you could include the total cost because those aren't countrywide, that would help.

These are investments.  If you spent $80K setting everything up for a null electricity bill, that's still going to take some years to get the money back.
 
2013-04-24 11:40:36 PM  

Hollie Maea: People_are_Idiots: Care to see hail's damage?

Yes, hail farks up cars, as most people are aware.  But it doesn't fark up solar panels.  The glass used in solar panels is far more robust, and the panels are tested and certified to be able to withstand the worst of hail storms.  This thread contains several citations for this fact.


The glass used on the most expensive panels is the tempered "safety glass," which also is used on all vehicles, and are not "hail proof." Yes they can take some damage, but a big baseball-sized piece of hail will penetrate. (Link: http://gold-coast-solar-power-solutions.com.au/posts/solar-panels-hai l /  ). Typically, the "garden-variety" solar panel is mostly the same pane glass one finds on old houses.

Here's a good rundown on what PV solar panels are weak to: http://www.ehow.com/info_8005809_damages-solar-panel.html

Why is Solar Thermal better? All metal, easier to generate electricity, no delicate parts.... no need for glass, and can withstand a lot more.
 
2013-04-25 12:03:20 AM  

People_are_Idiots: Hollie Maea: People_are_Idiots: Care to see hail's damage?

Yes, hail farks up cars, as most people are aware.  But it doesn't fark up solar panels.  The glass used in solar panels is far more robust, and the panels are tested and certified to be able to withstand the worst of hail storms.  This thread contains several citations for this fact.

The glass used on the most expensive panels is the tempered "safety glass," which also is used on all vehicles, and are not "hail proof." Yes they can take some damage, but a big baseball-sized piece of hail will penetrate. (Link: http://gold-coast-solar-power-solutions.com.au/posts/solar-panels-hai l /  ). Typically, the "garden-variety" solar panel is mostly the same pane glass one finds on old houses.

Here's a good rundown on what PV solar panels are weak to: http://www.ehow.com/info_8005809_damages-solar-panel.html

Why is Solar Thermal better? All metal, easier to generate electricity, no delicate parts.... no need for glass, and can withstand a lot more.


Jesus Christ.  No, no no no no.

Your entire post is a train wreck.  First you point out that since the glass is "tempered safety glass" then it must be exactly the same as auto glass, ignoring the fact that not all "tempered safety glass" is equivalent.  Yes, it has the same name.  No, it does not have the same rating.

Then you link to a page from a solar manufacturer that states that their product totes can withstand hail, but if you buy from someone else, who can say?  That's not a citation; that is marketing.  No, McDonalds is not going to guarantee that Burger King food won't give you food poisoning.  That doesn't mean that their food is actually safer.

Then you assert that most "garden variety" solar panels have the same glass you find on old houses.  This is simply untrue.  I defy you to find any solar panel anywhere that has a nameplate on it for which this is true.  The fact that it is possible that some guy in Nairobi bought a pallet of cells from Alibaba and placed them under some glass from an old abandoned building doesn't prove your point.  There is nothing special about those guys boasting about their tough glass--EVERYONE USES IT, and to be certified in the US, Europe or most other places, it is REQUIRED, along with impact tests that prove that it can withstand hail.

Then, to top it off, you pull out your Coup de Grace: a link to a farking "ehow" article that was clearly written by someone who has no goddamn clue what he is talking about.

When you find yourself using "ehow" as your citations, it might be wise to take a step back and recognize that maybe you have no idea what you are talking about.

As a counterpoint, I posted a VIDEO of a panel being subjected to a hail test, so that your own lying eyes can see it.  I also linked to a description of the tests that panels are required to undergo for certification.  Someone else linked to a video of a car driving across a panel.

You are wrong about this, man.  I don't give a fark whether or not you get solar thermal rather than PV.  But enough with the blatant disinformation.
 
2013-04-25 12:57:42 AM  

Lsherm: MrSteve007: Rent Party: Wow! I'm in Maple Valley, and didn't think that kind of setup would float year round out here. I've got a bit more square footage and my kitchen and water are gas, but I still have considerable electrical use.

Who did the install, since we're kind of neighbors?

Yep, grew up in Enumclaw, work in Tukwila and live in Sumner. My best friend comes from Maple Valley (now lives in Covington). Up here in WA, expect to see a 5-7 year ROI, with current costs and incentives.

Before ponying up the money for PV panels, make sure to make your house as efficient as possible. Here's now I did mine. It includes the major milestones, and doesn't include the little stuff I did like LED lighting and air sealing:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x476]

I know that since adding the electric car, it's taking up a large share of my annual PV production. I still need a full year's worth of data before I can figure out exactly how additional PV I need to get back to net-zero energy. One nice thing though, is that my energy costs are still way, way down. As the long summer days start to come around in the next few months, I expect my 2013 electrical costs to plummet (these numbers don't include the ~$2,400 production incentive I'll get back from the state in August)
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 605x362]

As for installers, there are quite a few options. If you don't want any money out of your pocket, SolarCity is the largest installer in the USA, do all the financing/leasing in house, and are now available in WA. Caveat Emptor; I've never done business with them, and only have word of mouth. They work their program so that your monthly lease will be less than what your current electrical bill is. However they use components that aren't local and keep all the incentives.

Washington State has a very generous renewable energy production credit - especially if you use locally made solar panels and inverters (both manufactured up in Marysville). If you use out-of-state products, y ...

You entire setup is impressive, but how much money overall did it take to set it up?  I know you have state incentives, but if you could include the total cost because those aren't countrywide, that would help.

These are investments.  If you spent $80K setting everything up for a null electricity bill, that's still going to take some years to get the money back.


Read the thread. He's volunteered all your answers.
 
2013-04-25 02:08:01 AM  

foo monkey: Read the thread. He's volunteered all your answers.


Yeah, missed the post about his cost.  So absent the car, it's $26K for the system.  That's a lot for anyone.

That's all I wanted to know.  He's even getting credits because he's using locally sourced panels, which obviously aren't available to people outside the state.

Just trying to get an estimate of a "real" cost for people who can't garner a tax credit by using locally sourced solar panels.
 
2013-04-25 04:52:05 AM  

Hollie Maea: People_are_Idiots: Hollie Maea: People_are_Idiots: Care to see hail's damage?

Yes, hail farks up cars, as most people are aware.  But it doesn't fark up solar panels.  The glass used in solar panels is far more robust, and the panels are tested and certified to be able to withstand the worst of hail storms.  This thread contains several citations for this fact.

The glass used on the most expensive panels is the tempered "safety glass," which also is used on all vehicles, and are not "hail proof." Yes they can take some damage, but a big baseball-sized piece of hail will penetrate. (Link: http://gold-coast-solar-power-solutions.com.au/posts/solar-panels-hai l /  ). Typically, the "garden-variety" solar panel is mostly the same pane glass one finds on old houses.

Here's a good rundown on what PV solar panels are weak to: http://www.ehow.com/info_8005809_damages-solar-panel.html

Why is Solar Thermal better? All metal, easier to generate electricity, no delicate parts.... no need for glass, and can withstand a lot more.

Jesus Christ.  No, no no no no.

Your entire post is a train wreck.  First you point out that since the glass is "tempered safety glass" then it must be exactly the same as auto glass, ignoring the fact that not all "tempered safety glass" is equivalent.  Yes, it has the same name.  No, it does not have the same rating.

Then you link to a page from a solar manufacturer that states that their product totes can withstand hail, but if you buy from someone else, who can say?  That's not a citation; that is marketing.  No, McDonalds is not going to guarantee that Burger King food won't give you food poisoning.  That doesn't mean that their food is actually safer.

Then you assert that most "garden variety" solar panels have the same glass you find on old houses.  This is simply untrue.  I defy you to find any solar panel anywhere that has a nameplate on it for which this is true.  The fact that it is possible that some guy in Nairobi bought a pallet of ...


Well, you keep asserting "OH OH .22 CALIBER SHELLS CAN'T PENETRATE" when baseball-sized hail has the momemtum higher than a .45 caliber bullet, and a wider impact. As far as the marketing, I saw the only thing closely related to it it was "you get what you pay for." I've seen first-hand what hail does to PV solar panels after merely 6 months of operation (and the $3-5000 loss the person took) from one frickin hailstorm. You wish to sell them fine, but at least look at reality for me a bit ok?

/and since you don't read eHow... here's the LINKS from the article (used as reference FOR the article): http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_solar_repair.html http://solar home.org/solarpanelsfaqs.html#faq12 http://www.roofery.com/solar-pan els/hail-damage.html
 
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