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  • Solar energy will be mainstream by 2020, says new report

    http://www.sciencebusiness.net/news/...ays-new-report

    Interesting. Unfortunately, the report itself is behind a pretty steep paywall.

  • #2
    Originally posted by OrangeWolf View Post
    http://www.sciencebusiness.net/news/...ays-new-report

    Interesting. Unfortunately, the report itself is behind a pretty steep paywall.
    It makes no sense not to take advantage of solar; especially in the US. I know that article is not only about the US, but being an electrical engineer and living in the states I have been saying for over a year now that the future is solar powered. It's difficult right now to replace all forms of power generation with solar (ie, very much impossible......for the time being....), but what it can do is allow coal and gas plants to be used less often. And where solar really shines is in distributed generation (most renewable energy power generation methods are this way too. Though there are some issues with micro-hydro generation). Stupid Georgia Power won't support an initiative here that would let people install solar panels on their home and then sell any unused energy back to the grid...

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    • #3
      So how does solar tackle the big issue, transportation ?

      Don't say we will all be driving electric cars and totally forget that trucking is the backbone of many countries.

      Nothing can replace the turbo diesel.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kilgor View Post
        So how does solar tackle the big issue, transportation ?

        Don't say we will all be driving electric cars and totally forget that trucking is the backbone of many countries.

        Nothing can replace the turbo diesel.
        Yes, eventually all cars will be electric. Sweden already has an (expensive) system where their trucks can be run on electricity from the grid kinda like how their trains are. That's not very practical in a large country like the US or China or something, and the major hold up with electric vehicles right now is the batteries. Once Elon Musk solves that issue (which he will, of that you can be sure) there will be nothing holding us back from all electric vehicles that don't cost an arm and a leg, and that actually let you travel more than 10 miles (hyperbole).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Spartan10k View Post
          Once Elon Musk solves that issue (which he will, of that you can be sure) there will be nothing holding us back from all electric vehicles that don't cost an arm and a leg, and that actually let you travel more than 10 miles (hyperbole).
          Agreed. But what can be done about charge times, and charging station infrastructure however? The latter problem is more a case of willpower and cash, but the foremost issue?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ~UNiOnJaCk~ View Post

            Agreed. But what can be done about charge times, and charging station infrastructure however? The latter problem is more a case of willpower and cash, but the foremost issue?

            As for charging station infrastructure. In terms of scale I do not see a big issue in urban areas, rural areas on the other hand...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by OrangeWolf View Post


              As for charging station infrastructure. In terms of scale I do not see a big issue in urban areas, rural areas on the other hand...
              Logically, from my layman’s perspective, i would have personally thought it should be a matter of gradually phasing out conventional petrol stations in favour of charging stations, first putting charging points in the forecourts of regular petrol stations and then, over time, doing away with the pumps. You solve the location and density/frequency problem all in one by simply making use of the existing, conventional infrastructure. Like you say, in rural areas it might be more of a problem but i would have thought the approach would work well in those areas too, especially with the range of electric cars improving all the time, as Spartan points out.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ~UNiOnJaCk~ View Post

                Agreed. But what can be done about charge times, and charging station infrastructure however? The latter problem is more a case of willpower and cash, but the foremost issue?
                Charging times are a pretty big hold up currently. Hybrids are the current workaround to that. I have not specialized in battery design or power systems so I'm not sure what sort of mechanics play into maximum energy transfer characteristics. Just have to have see what sort of breakthrough's they make in the next few years.

                As to infrastructure. Remember, at one time there were no gas stations either.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kilgor View Post
                  So how does solar tackle the big issue, transportation ?

                  Don't say we will all be driving electric cars and totally forget that trucking is the backbone of many countries.

                  Nothing can replace the turbo diesel.
                  Government or private industry can and may have to invest in renewing existing rail infrastructure and building new infrastructure. This has the added bonus of encoureging people more people to move away from the big cities. Secondly it will take a lot of trucks off the road thus lowering fuel use AND making the roads safer and by replacing trucks with rail you develop a more efficient transportation system on a weight/distance/cost factor.

                  Take wheat farming. A truck should only be used from the farm to the railhead.........Then transported by train to the grain terminal where it can be loaded onto a ship for export or transported by smaller vehicles to where it's used for food. You can electrify the rail line quite easily.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spartan10k View Post
                    It makes no sense not to take advantage of solar; especially in the US. I know that article is not only about the US, but being an electrical engineer and living in the states I have been saying for over a year now that the future is solar powered. It's difficult right now to replace all forms of power generation with solar (ie, very much impossible......for the time being....), but what it can do is allow coal and gas plants to be used less often. And where solar really shines is in distributed generation (most renewable energy power generation methods are this way too. Though there are some issues with micro-hydro generation). Stupid Georgia Power won't support an initiative here that would let people install solar panels on their home and then sell any unused energy back to the grid...
                    In AZ, we can do just that; receive credit for energy pushed back in to the grid. But, the power companies do whatever they can to mess with homeowners with solar.

                    Anyhow, we installed an 8KW system a couple of years ago, and are happy with the savings.
                    Last edited by GB_FXST; 28-07-2016, 06:07 AM. Reason: Corrected MW to KW.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GB_FXST View Post

                      In AZ, we can do just that; receive credit for energy pushed back in to the grid. But, the power companies do whatever they can to mess with homeowners with solar.

                      Anyhow, we installed an 8MW system a couple of years ago, and are happy with the savings.

                      Here there are talks about taxing the eergy returned to the grid :/ not sure what to make of it. I have advised my parents to switch to electric cooking. Also, they could leave the sauna on in the summer :P

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                      • #12
                        There is a place for solar, I have a evacuated tube setup and is perfect for hot water.

                        Likewise electric setups feeding into houses. But to state the obvious, they don't work at night and current battery tech is extremely expensive and may take decades to take off.

                        The Telsa power wall and inverter here costs $12K and has a 10 year warranty. I very much doubt the batteries will last longer than that. It's a heavy investment with dubious returns at the moment .

                        There has to be a Manhattan level project into battery storage or we are going nowhere. Cars may be great but too many countries rely on heavy machines like buses, prime movers and other big gear.

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                        • #13
                          ^^^^

                          I really like the idea of the power wall, but the economics don't work, yet.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by OrangeWolf View Post
                            Solar energy will be mainstream by 2020, says new report
                            I could turn fricking curling into a mainstream thing in fricking Raqqa had I been given as much industrial subsidies as the solar panel industry is.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by muck View Post
                              I could turn fricking curling into a mainstream thing in fricking Raqqa had I been given as much industrial subsidies as the solar panel industry is.

                              I'm giving you about 3,50, go.

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