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Cost of producing a solar cell

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Posted by totalharmonicdistortion@hotmai on April 10, 2007, 9:11 am
 
Hi,

Im just curious as to how beneficial solar cells are for the planet.

How much energy is used or burnt at a coal power plant to heat the
silicon up to make these waffers? How much nitrogen is used in the
process (that is also produced and compressed using electricity).

Are we just burning more coal to make solar cells thinking we are
helping out the environment? The laws of physics still apply here and
there is no overunity. So if coal energy = solar energy (over 10
years), whats the dam difference?

Anyone got some links to some resources? I don't think im searching
correctly in google.

Thanks


Posted by Anthony Matonak on April 10, 2007, 10:27 am
 
totalharmonicdistortion@hotmail.com wrote:

Depends on what your criteria for "beneficial" may be. :)
Generally speaking, they're a major benefit.


Solar cells are estimated to generate the same amount of energy
as was used to make them in anywhere from 6 months to 6 years of
typical service. The difference comes from the different types of
solar cells. Thin film require less energy to make than a wafer.


Try "energy payback solar PV" or similar terms.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/37322.pdf

Anthony

Posted by Mauried on April 10, 2007, 12:18 pm
 On Tue, 10 Apr 2007 03:27:48 -0700, Anthony Matonak


Can you cite any examples of Solar Cell manufacturing plants which
are powered in their entirety from the Solar Cells that the plant
makes.
If there is a payback time of 6 years or even 10 years, then every
Solar Cell plant in the world would be powered by the Solar Cells that
it makes.

I know of none.


Posted by totalharmonicdistortion@hotmai on April 10, 2007, 1:39 pm
 On Apr 10, 10:18 pm, maur...@tpg.com.au (Mauried) wrote:

What comes to mind here is how recycling is meant to help the
environment, but factor in the energy required to transport recycled
goods to factories and the energy needed to make them into new
products. Is the whole idea of solar power a big waste of time like
recycling? Im more inclined to install wind generator on my roof than
a solar panal, at least Ill get more energy that was put into making
it, not to mention a lifetime  of durability.


Posted by Ken Finney on April 10, 2007, 7:24 pm
 

If you have flowing water, it is better than wind.  If you have flowing
wind, it is better than solar.  Most places don't have the wind that they
appear to, you need flowing wind, not gusting or turbulent wind.  Whatever
you do, don't mount the wind generator on your house, it is good way to
vibrate your house apart.  Also, wind generators need maintenance a lot more
than solar panels do!




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