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(Gizmodo)   The world's largest solar plant blinds pilots who fly near it. Officials are reflecting on it   (gizmodo.com) divider line 56
    More: Scary, solar energies  
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5698 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Mar 2014 at 7:55 PM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



56 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-13 07:57:28 PM
Don't fly near it?
 
2014-03-13 08:01:59 PM

TheOther: Don't fly near it?


And don't build any more of them.
 
2014-03-13 08:02:24 PM
 Provides power and roasted meals all in one!
 
2014-03-13 08:04:02 PM
So don't look at it, you farking numptys, just the same way you don't STARE AT THE SUN.
 
2014-03-13 08:04:58 PM
Pretty impressive from space:
Google Maps
 
2014-03-13 08:05:14 PM
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2014-03-13 08:05:30 PM
My truck has sun visors for this type of thing.
 
2014-03-13 08:06:10 PM
"The letter included two separate complaints from August 2013, before the plant even opened."

Before the plant opened I imagine they didn't have the mirrors aligned to reflect light at the collection towers - presumably there should be less of a problem now. Having flown past (distantly past) a few times I remember it being bright, but not distractingly so, and certainly not blinding - but I'm sure it depends on altitude, position, and time of day.
 
2014-03-13 08:10:27 PM
Solar is a scam anyway.  Just shut the whole damn thing down.
 
2014-03-13 08:12:47 PM

RollingThunder: So don't look at it, you farking numptys, just the same way you don't STARE AT THE SUN.


Problem is, this is happening while you're near an airport (and lots of other traffic, including Cletus Farkhat in his Cessna 172) meaning you lose your ability to visually check for traffic during a time you really would prefer not to.

/former cessna pilot so i can say that.
 
2014-03-13 08:13:08 PM

ultraholland:


Wats a polarizer?
 
2014-03-13 08:15:13 PM
Operating principle of the thing is that mirror bounces sunlight onto boiler, light is absorbed by boiler... times 170,000.   Shouldn't be much light going past the boiler, other than maybe a few mirror trackers that are inop, nor should there be much light scattered from the mirror surfaces.

Article is notably short on specifics as to what's actually going on, leading me to suspect DERP, and (where alternative energy is concerned) its ever-popular cousin FUD.
 
2014-03-13 08:17:01 PM
Mama always said not to stare into the Ivanpah solar plant.
 
2014-03-13 08:17:17 PM

MisterTweak: RollingThunder: So don't look at it, you farking numptys, just the same way you don't STARE AT THE SUN.

Problem is, this is happening while you're near an airport (and lots of other traffic, including Cletus Farkhat in his Cessna 172) meaning you lose your ability to visually check for traffic during a time you really would prefer not to.

/former cessna pilot so i can say that.


Sure, but the sun is around at all those airports too, and you manage to not blind yourself by looking at it while checking for other air traffic either, by virtue of reflexes.

The same reflexes should be applied to a bright light from a low angle too - you perceive it in your peripheral vision and thus don't look directly at it while scanning, but for some reason everyone seems compelled to look right at it, as if to confirm "Yup, that actually is really bright".
 
2014-03-13 08:18:35 PM
They should limit the plant to only operating at night
 
2014-03-13 08:19:01 PM
The adverse effects of aligning a shiat ton of mirrors at one target?  Glad no one every considered that...

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-03-13 08:19:10 PM

MechaPyx: TheOther: Don't fly near it?

And don't build any more of them.


Yeah, we should just just stick with coal.

DRILL, BABY, DRILL!
 
2014-03-13 08:20:12 PM
FTA:  The concentrated beams of sunlight fries birds who unknowingly fly through them

www.titaniumteddybear.net
 
2014-03-13 08:26:00 PM
Also, there's another one at Kramer Junction a bit west of Barstow that has been there for years. Wonder what's so different about it that I never heard complaints?
 
2014-03-13 08:29:17 PM
The mirrors are aimed at a central point. Outside of that, you're getting only sun reflections. Isn't that something pilots already deal with? Wouldn't mirrored buildings or bodies of water produce about the same effect?
 
2014-03-13 08:29:55 PM
Due to all the mirrors tracking at a slightly different angle to focus sunlight on the tower in the center of the cluster, the whole facility will reflect much LESS light towards anything above 500ft than a lake on a calm day...
 
2014-03-13 08:31:52 PM

LoneWolf343: MechaPyx: TheOther: Don't fly near it?

And don't build any more of them.

Yeah, we should just just stick with coal.

DRILL, BABY, DRILL!


Ok ok....don't build them near airports and busy flight paths.

Or maybe they could build them in space. I hear the moon has a lot of room and not much in the way of air traffic.
 
2014-03-13 08:33:11 PM

RollingThunder: So don't look at it, you farking numptys, just the same way you don't STARE AT THE SUN.


But mama, that's where the fun is.
 
2014-03-13 08:37:05 PM
Should have rerouted all the power to McCarran and the Strip.

Or activated Archimedes.
 
2014-03-13 08:38:43 PM
Steve Martin had a good idea when he proposed making Solar collectors out of black vinyl car-seats.
 
2014-03-13 08:40:51 PM

Nexzus: Pretty impressive from space:
Google Maps


Or 10,000 feet, but whatever.
 
2014-03-13 08:49:33 PM
I'm pretty sure me and ED-E shot out most of the mirrors.
 
2014-03-13 08:52:19 PM

EddyKilowatt: Operating principle of the thing is that mirror bounces sunlight onto boiler, light is absorbed by boiler... times 170,000.   Shouldn't be much light going past the boiler, other than maybe a few mirror trackers that are inop, nor should there be much light scattered from the mirror surfaces.

Article is notably short on specifics as to what's actually going on, leading me to suspect DERP, and (where alternative energy is concerned) its ever-popular cousin FUD.


Yeah, the mirrors should be angled between the sun and the collecting tower, unless a plane is flying in between the mirrors and the tower, they shouldnt be getting directly reflected sunlight...


And birds should only be getting cooked if theyre flying close to the tower where the sunlight is being concentrated. Stick a couple plastic owls and some noisemakers ontop of the collecting tower and be done with it. If you want to ban alternative energy (this and wind turbines) for the sake of birds, you should also want to abolish windows and be in favor of criminalizing having an outdoor cat, because both those things kill about a million times more birds every year.
 
2014-03-13 09:14:14 PM
No power generation facility is going to be completely free of collateral impact.  Fossil fuel plants release greenhouse gases and pollution, nuclear produces radioactive waste and has the potential to melt down, hydro-electric can wreak havoc on waterways and change flood patterns, wind farms can harm birds, create noise, and some feel they're unsightly.

There's no perfect solution, but solar farms like this are a huge step in the right direction.  People need to stop whining so much.
 
2014-03-13 09:21:49 PM

Genju: Also, there's another one at Kramer Junction a bit west of Barstow that has been there for years. Wonder what's so different about it that I never heard complaints?


Daggett?
 
2014-03-13 09:23:06 PM

Propain_az: Solar is a scam anyway.  Just shut the whole damn thing down.


img.fark.net

/try a textbook or take a class
 
2014-03-13 09:33:50 PM
Serious question: Who has to clean all the bird dirt off of all those goddamn mirrors? That's gotta be a full time job.
 
2014-03-13 09:37:39 PM

phamwaa: Genju: Also, there's another one at Kramer Junction a bit west of Barstow that has been there for years. Wonder what's so different about it that I never heard complaints?

Daggett?


The one at Daggett is closed. It was an experimental station, used for proof of concept.
 
2014-03-13 09:50:08 PM
Bonus if turkeys fly by.
 
2014-03-13 09:52:22 PM
Well, let's see:
Private planes flying within a mile of a commercial airplane are a "near miss".
Laser pointers are "blinding" pilots.
Now this.
I don't suppose anybody might have an agenda causing them to exaggerate a bit or anything.
 
2014-03-13 09:52:46 PM
Was Speaker-to-Animals unavailable for comment?
 
2014-03-13 09:56:17 PM

Nick Nostril: Serious question: Who has to clean all the bird dirt off of all those goddamn mirrors? That's gotta be a full time job.


They are being fried out of the sky before they get close enough to drop a load.
 
2014-03-13 09:56:27 PM

Cyno01: you should also want to abolish windows and be in favor of criminalizing having an outdoor cat,


Can we criminalize outdoor cats, and not criminalize solar power stations?  Please?

/tired of my neighbor leaving food out for the local strays, making them stick around and poop in my yard.
 
2014-03-13 09:59:48 PM
Genju:
Also, there's another one at Kramer Junction a bit west of Barstow that has been there for years. Wonder what's so different about it that I never heard complaints?

You never listened?

I was in the Air Force at George AFB back in the 1980s, and the pilots flying from there most definitely did complain about the glare from the Solar One plant. It wasn't as bad (being much, much smaller), but it certainly was an annoyance.
 
2014-03-13 10:15:00 PM
They should just build more of them in Michigan

pbs.twimg.com
 
2014-03-13 10:16:18 PM

cirby: Genju:
Also, there's another one at Kramer Junction a bit west of Barstow that has been there for years. Wonder what's so different about it that I never heard complaints?

You never listened?

I was in the Air Force at George AFB back in the 1980s, and the pilots flying from there most definitely did complain about the glare from the Solar One plant. It wasn't as bad (being much, much smaller), but it certainly was an annoyance.


I guess by the time I got around to working at NAWS people had given up complaining.
 
2014-03-13 10:20:06 PM

EddyKilowatt: Operating principle of the thing is that mirror bounces sunlight onto boiler, light is absorbed by boiler... times 170,000.   Shouldn't be much light going past the boiler, other than maybe a few mirror trackers that are inop, nor should there be much light scattered from the mirror surfaces.

Article is notably short on specifics as to what's actually going on, leading me to suspect DERP, and (where alternative energy is concerned) its ever-popular cousin FUD.


^ Derp it is.  The oil companies really hate this idea.
 
2014-03-13 10:22:17 PM

Rigger1955: My truck has sun visors for this type of thing.


So you regularly have sun shining up into your truck from below it?  When you get out, do you fall into the sky too?
 
2014-03-13 10:29:37 PM
You know 4.bp.blogspot.com
what else can be blinding if you look at it?


/pretty sure pilots have adjusted to that, just as they will adjust to this.
 
2014-03-13 11:11:52 PM

AmbassadorBooze: Cyno01: you should also want to abolish windows and be in favor of criminalizing having an outdoor cat,

Can we criminalize outdoor cats, and not criminalize solar power stations?  Please?

/tired of my neighbor leaving food out for the local strays, making them stick around and poop in my yard.


Hey, they could be pooping around and leaving sticks in your yard, just saying.
 
2014-03-13 11:25:10 PM
Houston's looking for someone to take the Astrodome off their hands... now all we need is the Royal Canadian Air Force to chopper it over...
 
2014-03-13 11:42:04 PM
If only mobile tubes flying in the air could fly anywhere they wanted...
 
2014-03-14 12:35:25 AM
From the comments section - a solution to the problem, and comedy gold ....

i.kinja-img.com
 
2014-03-14 04:55:34 AM
It has been calculated that the entire planet's electricity needs can be met by a solar array only half the size of New Jersey, leaving just enough room for Chris Christie.
 
2014-03-14 07:49:38 AM

cirby: Genju:
Also, there's another one at Kramer Junction a bit west of Barstow that has been there for years. Wonder what's so different about it that I never heard complaints?

You never listened?

I was in the Air Force at George AFB back in the 1980s, and the pilots flying from there most definitely did complain about the glare from the Solar One plant. It wasn't as bad (being much, much smaller), but it certainly was an annoyance.


George AFB represent! Small world.
The Daggett plant worked by boiling salt in a tower focused on by hundreds of mirrors. That was one blinding mo-fo.
 
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