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Ideas for solar power in home -- - Page 11

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Posted by ghostwriter on February 8, 2006, 7:04 pm
The simple fact is that the profit margins were not good enough
compared to fossil fuels to make any serious players interested.  There
exists no true mass production facility for solar panels.  The
production facilities that are around are small by industrial
standards.  I remember reading a report (DOE i seem to recall) that
suggested that a major facility with a dedicated glass works attached
could produce solar panels in the $watt range installed, assuming a
10% profit.  Thats from memory so YMMV.  10% is not a great profit
margin but other industries manage on it. Assuming a 10% time value of
money that means a end user cost of $.05Kwh.

The technology exists but capital on the scale needed does not. And
until prices on energy go even higher I dont see it becoming available.


Posted by Josh Hill on February 9, 2006, 1:04 am
On 8 Feb 2006 11:04:48 -0800, "ghostwriter"

If that's true it would certainly be competitive in some applications,
e.g., those that reduce peak demand during air conditioning season.
Beyond that, I think you have to take into account the cost and
inefficiency of batteries or the infrastructure and staffing that
provide power on cloudy days. Wind has the same problem -- wind power
is already in the $.05/kWh range, which after subsidies and indirect
costs is probably competitive even with coal, but it doesn't always
blow, and storage would be expensive and inefficient . . . I've read
proposals to tie widely separated wind farms together, but I'm not
sure if that would be price effective given grid losses.


"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto

Posted by SJC on February 9, 2006, 1:08 am

  I have seen plans to tie wind to water pumps to bring water uphill
and let it out to generate power when needed. Seemed like a good idea.

Roosevelt have


Posted by Josh Hill on February 9, 2006, 1:48 am

I found this article on pumped storage:


According to the article, the storage conversion efficiency is between
70-85 percent, but I don't see anything about how much the land,
construction, and maintenance would add to the cost of the
electricity, so I'm not sure whether it would push the price of wind
power out of the ballpark or not. And since it's subject to
evaporation, the availability of the water might also be a problem in
arid areas such as the west. Destruction of habit and arable land
might also be a concern. That being said, it would be fabulous if it
proved economical, wouldn't it? I'd much rather see carefully-sited
wind turbines than nuclear . . .


"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto

Posted by ghostwriter on February 9, 2006, 1:34 pm
 It occurs to me that you could get higher effiiciency if the windmill
was a mechanically mated pump assembly rather than a generator that fed
a motor that turned a pump.  Given a 85% return on electrical energy
and a 85% efficient pump and a 85% efficient generator the use of a
mechanical system would put out 117% more power than a wind turbine
does now.  That makes sense since you can use larger more efficient
turbine on the discharge of a pond than you can use on a single
windmill.  That would reduce capital outlay for a large system
substantially and make maintance a lot more simple.  The land use would
be much larger and might create unique problems. But then the system
would be sized for the average and the production peaks and valleys
could be smoothed out.  A lot more incrementally upgradable as well.

The same concept could work for tidal and wave power as well, in fact
given a little engineering the same pump assembly might fit all three
systems. Line the coast with windmills and wave bouys that would fill
huge saltwater resevoirs.


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