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(CNN)   "This 100% solar community endured Hurricane Ian with no loss of power and minimal damage"   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: Plug, Lee County, Florida, Tropical cyclone, Wind, Storm, stronger storms, Babcock Ranch, Florida, Storm surge  
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1733 clicks; posted to STEM » on 02 Oct 2022 at 12:26 PM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-10-02 9:46:33 AM  
NOT LIKE THAT!


//spiffy indeed.
\\\It can be done.
 
2022-10-02 9:47:59 AM  
Impressive!
 
2022-10-02 10:06:45 AM  
That's impressive. I'd have thought the wind would scatter solar panels in it's path
 
2022-10-02 10:08:17 AM  
That is cool.
 
2022-10-02 10:11:55 AM  
Yep! That's how you do it. Engineer around the farking problem.

But no, by all means, tell me again how regressing to the Bronze Age will magically save us all from climate change.
 
2022-10-02 10:13:08 AM  
Babcock Ranch

Unfortunately, it's near impossible to say the owner's name (Bunny Babcock) three times real fast.
 
2022-10-02 10:20:01 AM  
Nice tag, Subby.
 
2022-10-02 10:23:22 AM  

Gubbo: That's impressive. I'd have thought the wind would scatter solar panels in it's path


Not just the wind, but I would have expected flying debris to shatter them.

Well done. Well done.
 
2022-10-02 10:36:35 AM  
Yeah how did they get solar power when there was a hurricane? Seems sus. I bet they wish they had gone with wind power now.
 
2022-10-02 10:40:31 AM  
Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.
 
2022-10-02 10:43:42 AM  

make me some tea: ...something I know kess about right now.


English translation of'kess'

kess

ADJECTIVE(= flott) saucy; Kleid, Hut etc jaunty; (= vorwitzig) cheeky (Brit), fresh (US); (= frech) fresh (US), impudent
eine kesse Lippe riskieren to be cheeky (Brit) or fresh (US)
 
2022-10-02 10:44:07 AM  

Cafe Threads: make me some tea: ...something I know kess about right now.

English translation of'kess'

kess

ADJECTIVE(= flott) saucy; Kleid, Hut etc jaunty; (= vorwitzig) cheeky (Brit), fresh (US); (= frech) fresh (US), impudent
eine kesse Lippe riskieren to be cheeky (Brit) or fresh (US)


Dammit!
 
2022-10-02 10:44:59 AM  

make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.


Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.
 
2022-10-02 10:52:35 AM  

plecos: make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.

Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.


I understand the fee. If you ever need to use grid power, you should be paying something to support their infrastructure.

And yes I know. Ain't no power corp in america investing in infrastructure...
 
2022-10-02 10:54:06 AM  

plecos: make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.

Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.


It is, yes.
 
2022-10-02 11:00:42 AM  
The town's website is being hammered. Not sure if from CNN attention or trolls attempting a DDoS.
 
2022-10-02 12:13:11 PM  
That's amazing. It'll take government subsidies to make this kind of engineering available for most of us, but that's the kind of stuff that will also bring down the price. A win win that you would think those capable of simple math would support.
 
2022-10-02 12:18:16 PM  
The streets in this meticulously planned neighborhood were designed to flood so houses don't.

What is this sorcery? TFA is such a tease.
 
2022-10-02 12:20:59 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Nice tag, Subby.


Subby here and I can't take credit. I had chosen the Spiffy tag when I made the submission. But the Mods changed it to Plug.  And they were right - it's a much better tag.
 
2022-10-02 12:38:05 PM  

KangTheMad: Yeah how did they get solar power when there was a hurricane? Seems sus. I bet they wish they had gone with wind power now.


Wind power causes cancer and kills birds though...

I wonder what the average size of battery backupl the houses in that community have.
 
2022-10-02 12:38:27 PM  

Gubbo: plecos: make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.

Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.

I understand the fee. If you ever need to use grid power, you should be paying something to support their infrastructure.

And yes I know. Ain't no power corp in america investing in infrastructure...


It should be legal to have a house not connected to the electrical grid.
 
2022-10-02 12:38:42 PM  
How did big, flat, thin solar panels survive 100mph winds?
 
2022-10-02 12:47:24 PM  

wax_on: How did big, flat, thin solar panels survive 100mph winds?


It's almost like science knows what the hell it's doing
 
2022-10-02 12:51:33 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: It should be legal to have a house not connected to the electrical grid.


It should, though I'm sure some kind of bylaw will come into play that was originally intended to ensure a safe and habitable modern structure.  You already presumably need a building inspection (because where is there anywhere left that this isn't true?), there ought to be an option for an entirely off-grid electrical system to allow a pass.  Even easier than a grid-connected system because you don't have to deal with grid compliance.

Having said that, it wouldn't outrage me if such an option involved an additional inspection (and reasonable fee) every few years to ensure you're properly maintaining the system.
 
zez
2022-10-02 12:54:33 PM  
But I was told solar won't work when it's raining
 
2022-10-02 12:57:56 PM  

brachiopod: The streets in this meticulously planned neighborhood were designed to flood so houses don't.

What is this sorcery? TFA is such a tease.


Possibly raised elevation of the lots so that the roads become basically little rivers.

Our lot is elevated here, so while the street outside was a river for about 36 hours, we didn't even have water come close to the house.

Sadly not so lucky for other houses in the community. Especially the ones on the various ponds.

Water views like that are nice...until they're not.
 
2022-10-02 1:00:17 PM  

zez: But I was told solar won't work when it's raining


Serious answer:

There was a time when your average solar panel needed bright visible light, but that was quite some time ago.  The best cells - and even most of the current average ones - can absorb pretty much all the frequencies of light that make it from the Sun to the Earth's surface.  That includes quite a bit of energy that can pass through clouds and rain, though obviously less energy can be gathered because there is some light not getting through.

Solar is mostly limited by your latitude - far enough north and you have to worry about short days in winter, as well as snow clearing.  You can increase your array and storage capacity to compensate, but ROI dwindles rapidly.
 
2022-10-02 1:00:28 PM  
Heh. So many people are looking them up their website went down: https://babcockranch.com/
 
2022-10-02 1:02:48 PM  

plecos: make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.

Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.


I think it would be fair for there to be a monthly fee for the meter and monitoring, to handle general infrastructure costs.

But then they should pay better rates when you're pumping power back into the grid.

And this type of solution is what they should've built out in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.  And geothermal heat pumps so you're exchanging off of ground temps for air conditioning and heating.  (Or maybe dump the heat to a hot water tank?)
 
2022-10-02 1:06:49 PM  
I'd love to have solar*, but my house is: A. in the PNW and solar is a joke nine months of the year B. the house is surrounded by tall trees, except on the north side. So, it wouldn't work in the summer either.

*Installed solar heating on a house in 1980, in Tucson, AZ where solar can work.
 
2022-10-02 1:07:47 PM  

jclaggett: brachiopod: The streets in this meticulously planned neighborhood were designed to flood so houses don't.

What is this sorcery? TFA is such a tease.

Possibly raised elevation of the lots so that the roads become basically little rivers.

Our lot is elevated here, so while the street outside was a river for about 36 hours, we didn't even have water come close to the house.

Sadly not so lucky for other houses in the community. Especially the ones on the various ponds.

Water views like that are nice...until they're not.


So, no basements? How uncivilized.

/lives in an uncivilized area, has no basement
//sob
 
2022-10-02 1:09:46 PM  

oldweasel: wax_on: How did big, flat, thin solar panels survive 100mph winds?

It's almost like science knows what the hell it's doing


That doesn't come even remotely close to explaining how their solar farm survived. The winds tore houses apart but somehow flimsy panels didn't disintegrate?
 
2022-10-02 1:10:21 PM  

natazha: B. the house is surrounded by tall trees, except on the north side. So, it wouldn't work in the summer either.


Depending on your property size and topography, you could just NOT do rooftop solar and put it at your north property line facing south and run some extra cable.

Beyond that, you'd need a large collection and storage system to make up for shorter days and more overcast days.  The system would have to be able to collect enough energy to run your home even if it's overcast on December 22nd.

And yeah, probably not yet worth the investment.
 
2022-10-02 1:14:33 PM  

Gubbo: plecos: make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.

Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.

I understand the fee. If you ever need to use grid power, you should be paying something to support their infrastructure.

And yes I know. Ain't no power corp in america investing in infrastructure...


The "fee" at least in Alabammy is designed to financially discourage people from getting solar, until Southern Company sells it to you in the future.
 
2022-10-02 1:23:01 PM  
More of this, please. Less giant condominiums on the water

After living here my whole life I know this community is the exception, not the rule, but I can at least dream
 
2022-10-02 1:24:21 PM  
I've looked at solar for my house and 1) it's over a decade just to break even and 2) does absolutely nothing for availability. The money would be much better spent on a new roof, better insulation, energy-efficient devices, whatever. Availability requires storage which is a completely separate thing (you can have storage without solar and vice versa) and is at least as expensive as the solar itself.

Rooftop solar makes sense if land is at a premium or if you intend to be able to go off-grid. Otherwise, proper solar power plants are far more cost-effective. My shed is actually "off-grid" and uses a small panel + old UPS battery to run lights and ventilation fans. It's been great but only because the whole thing cost maybe $50 + an afternoon and the alternative, running power to the shed, would be expensive and impractical.
 
2022-10-02 1:27:43 PM  

wax_on: oldweasel: wax_on: How did big, flat, thin solar panels survive 100mph winds?

It's almost like science knows what the hell it's doing

That doesn't come even remotely close to explaining how their solar farm survived. The winds tore houses apart but somehow flimsy panels didn't disintegrate?


Unlike rooftop panels. The 'farm' panels can be adjusted to 'lay flat' so the wind just blows over and under them.
You gotta have some angle to get 'lift' from wind or things like 'walls' on houses or trailers that hit the wind 90 degrees on.
Or some curvature like an airfoil of a airplane wing.
These are flat...adjusted flat for the storm winds.
 
2022-10-02 1:32:19 PM  

optikeye: Or some curvature like an airfoil of a airplane wing.


Now there's an idea.  What if your solar mount was connected to small windmill.  Wind speed gets high enough, it powers a motor to flatten your panels to the ground before it clamps on its brakes for best-effort self-preservation.

I could Rube Goldberg the hell out of something like that!
 
2022-10-02 1:41:06 PM  
Outstanding!  A great example of how it can be done.
Hopefully this is used as an example to learn how to improve it even more and build more communities like that.  Not sure how practical it would be in many places, but in areas like Florida, Arizona, etc., where there's abundant sunshine, it seems like a great solution.
 
2022-10-02 1:41:11 PM  

Unsung_Hero: optikeye: Or some curvature like an airfoil of a airplane wing.

Now there's an idea.  What if your solar mount was connected to small windmill.  Wind speed gets high enough, it powers a motor to flatten your panels to the ground before it clamps on its brakes for best-effort self-preservation.

I could Rube Goldberg the hell out of something like that!


Then you'd just get the neighbor's kids jumping on them shouting "Weee...Weee" and spining around like a old school playground merrygoround.
 
2022-10-02 2:12:41 PM  
Solar panels cause volcanoes in Middle Earth! Why do you people want to kill Hobbits?
 
2022-10-02 2:16:38 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Gubbo: plecos: make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.

Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.

I understand the fee. If you ever need to use grid power, you should be paying something to support their infrastructure.

And yes I know. Ain't no power corp in america investing in infrastructure...

It should be legal to have a house not connected to the electrical grid.


Why would it not be?  It's just that it's almost impossible to be completely self-sufficient.

Solar panels are only going to work during the day (and while they do still work when it's gloomy outside, they're not nearly as effective) so you need something else to complement it (Not sure if geothermal works in a climate that's hot all year round like most of Florida, though) and batteries too to store any extra.

Solar is well worth it in a sunny lower-latitude state.  Solar plus huge batteries plus geothermal plus potentially other things like a generator?  Not even remotely.
 
2022-10-02 2:41:04 PM  

make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.


That and turning all EVs into mobile powerwalls/dispersed grid-level storage.
 
2022-10-02 3:22:58 PM  

optikeye: wax_on: oldweasel: wax_on: How did big, flat, thin solar panels survive 100mph winds?

It's almost like science knows what the hell it's doing

That doesn't come even remotely close to explaining how their solar farm survived. The winds tore houses apart but somehow flimsy panels didn't disintegrate?

Unlike rooftop panels. The 'farm' panels can be adjusted to 'lay flat' so the wind just blows over and under them.
You gotta have some angle to get 'lift' from wind or things like 'walls' on houses or trailers that hit the wind 90 degrees on.
Or some curvature like an airfoil of a airplane wing.
These are flat...adjusted flat for the storm winds.


That is a MUCH better explanation than 'because science!'
It still seems like it would only take a few panels at the edge to get turned up to rip out whole sections. Maybe they did something with the understructure to harden everything.
 
2022-10-02 3:35:19 PM  

falkone32: I've looked at solar for my house and 1) it's over a decade just to break even and 2) does absolutely nothing for availability. The money would be much better spent on a new roof, better insulation, energy-efficient devices, whatever. Availability requires storage which is a completely separate thing (you can have storage without solar and vice versa) and is at least as expensive as the solar itself.

Rooftop solar makes sense if land is at a premium or if you intend to be able to go off-grid. Otherwise, proper solar power plants are far more cost-effective. My shed is actually "off-grid" and uses a small panel + old UPS battery to run lights and ventilation fans. It's been great but only because the whole thing cost maybe $50 + an afternoon and the alternative, running power to the shed, would be expensive and impractical.


While I don't disagree with you about the need for good insulation and energy-efficient appliances, you also need to consider that solar is going to increase the value of your home and sale price. So even if you sell the house before the breakeven year, you'll recoup the cost.

We're likely to have more triple digit heatwaves in the future, so the breakeven time could come down a year or so.

What we really need are more laws that mandate rooftop solar for new construction because it's likely going to be cheaper to essentially finance the solar cost through your mortgage than with an independent loan.
 
2022-10-02 4:04:35 PM  
And had their power been knocked out people would be using it as an example of solar power being awful and stupid. How a single power system endures a single hurricane should not influence your views on solar power.
 
2022-10-02 4:30:59 PM  
"This is all in addition to being built to Florida's robust building codes."

oh my
 
2022-10-02 4:33:36 PM  

Russ1642: And had their power been knocked out people would be using it as an example of solar power being awful and stupid. How a single power system endures a single hurricane should not influence your views on solar power.


A fair argument...

But it also highlights the case of smaller, local power generation vs. the larger regional power systems that cause power outages that affect tens of thousands of homes at once.

Solar might not be the way to go everywhere, but it shows that microgrids work, which could help anywhere that tends to have disaster situations (California, Florida, Puerto Rico, etc)

https://www.energy.gov/articles/how-microgrids-work
 
2022-10-02 4:40:06 PM  

leeksfromchichis: "This is all in addition to being built to Florida's robust building codes."

oh my


Florida actually has some decent rules for hurricane protection.

Not too many places have windows that can take a 2x4 being launched at them.

How to Choose Hurricane Window Protection | Ask This Old House
Youtube xXqno7k43HM
 
2022-10-02 4:52:02 PM  

jake3988: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Gubbo: plecos: make me some tea: Rooftop solar is essential for resiliency in the climate crisis. We're gonna be upgrading to about 20 kW on our roof next year. Gonna look at battery storage options too, that's something I know kess about right now.

Must be nice to live in a state that isn't owned by Southern Corp and has put a "fee" for having solar, even if you use zero electon charge from the grid.

I understand the fee. If you ever need to use grid power, you should be paying something to support their infrastructure.

And yes I know. Ain't no power corp in america investing in infrastructure...

It should be legal to have a house not connected to the electrical grid.

Why would it not be?  It's just that it's almost impossible to be completely self-sufficient.

Solar panels are only going to work during the day (and while they do still work when it's gloomy outside, they're not nearly as effective) so you need something else to complement it (Not sure if geothermal works in a climate that's hot all year round like most of Florida, though) and batteries too to store any extra.

Solar is well worth it in a sunny lower-latitude state.  Solar plus huge batteries plus geothermal plus potentially other things like a generator?  Not even remotely.


Many localities will not issue a CO to a home not attached to the power grid. This is due to the local electric companies charging to connect a house to the local grid and being able to charge a monthly fee for being attached( read pure profit ).

Basically rent seeking behavior by electric companies.  If you note in the article, the solar grid is owned by the local power company, which is the only way that the community was legally built and issued a CO.

Compare that with my city owned water company that will come out and cut you off from the water grid for free ( or easily done your self ).
 
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