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Solar Energy and Hydrogen

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Posted by PolicySpy on April 5, 2010, 6:21 am
 
There is often the question why not build solar powerplants out in the
desert ? Well, solar panels require surface area and they require
sunlight with both things being available in the desert. I suppose the
answer is that while alternating-current can be transmitted long
distances, the distances are probably held to about 200 miles.

But Los Angeles and surrounding metros are near to the desert and sure
enough there is a 354 MW solar powerplant in the Mojave Desert. Now
these large solar powerplants don't use solar panels to produce
electricity but use solar mirrors to heat water, make steam, turn
turbines, and then produce electricity.


But here's an idea or question:

Why not use solar mirror powerplants in the desert to make hydrogen
from pumped water and then send the hydrogen further distances in
pipelines than electricity could be transmitted on power lines ?

Well, I'll answer my own question and say that likely there is more
power to be had from the steam than from the hydrogen production.


But don't forget, there are solar powerplants in the desert.

Posted by PolicySpy on April 5, 2010, 6:32 am
 

And solar panels in the desert would not require any water while solar
mirrors making steam would require water. It's a strange combination
of fundamentals but there are solar mirror powerplants in the desert.

Posted by Josepi on April 5, 2010, 1:54 pm
 200 miles is nothing for a large transmission line with very littel in
losses, especially DC lines (Tesla had limited foresite)


We prefer to get over 40% of our generatef energy to be **NOT*** lost.
Hydrogen ranges about 3% delivery rate, according to experts. It's a waste.


And solar panels in the desert would not require any water while solar
mirrors making steam would require water. It's a strange combination
of fundamentals but there are solar mirror powerplants in the desert.



Posted by dlzc on April 5, 2010, 4:13 pm
 Dear PolicySpy:


We'd sure love the jobs...


No issues with that.  Any well-defined problem has a solution.
Microwave beams, superconductive buried power lines.


Yes.  Solar cell panels (so far) barely make up the energy cost to
form them, in their service life.  Additionally, they are toxic, so
potentially difficult to dispose of at the end of that life.  Lawyers
like deserts too.


Or better still, just pump water.  Fluid power systems can be very
energy efficient.


It is beast we know and can deal with.  Loss of hydrogen,
embrittlement problems and such, are major issues.


No.  First of all, most powerplants end up using steam, and the steam
can be operated in a closed loop, requiring no makeup.  Second of all,
some solar power plants use other fluids for carrying solar energy
from place to place, like molten sodium...


I repeat myself, when under stress.
I repeat myself, when under stress.
I repeat myself, when under stress.

David A. Smith

Posted by The PHANTOM on April 5, 2010, 5:50 pm
 
That might explain why they're made in China.

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