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Re: Windpower

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Yes, that all sounds very technical and interesting. I obviously don't have your knowledge I only know what I ask the DOE and the panel manufacturers and according to them you are giving bad numbers.

Posted on: 2009/5/14 20:13


Re: Windpower

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2009/2/10 16:30
From SE PA
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Quote:

tomgamber wrote:
Yes, that all sounds very technical and interesting. I obviously don't have your knowledge I only know what I ask the DOE and the panel manufacturers and according to them you are giving bad numbers.


Well my average solar energy numbers are from NOAA and my solar panel specifications are from Kyocera. Maybe the DOE numbers are based on the SW US where humidity is lower? I saw a press release from a local municipality about solar panels they put on their roof claiming a large cost savings over the years. They were using the exact same Kyocera panels I used. I know their numbers were marketing hype which could only be achieved in a desert on the equator.

If you could generate electricity at a competitive cost in Pa why wouldn't someone be building solar arrays? As I said the public electric utilities are under requirements to have a certain amount of their generation renewable. Why are none in Pa building solar arrays? If you are really convinced why not put one on your home and update us on the utility savings you get?

Posted on: 2009/5/14 20:53


Re: Windpower

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Quote:

franklin wrote:

If you could generate electricity at a competitive cost in Pa why wouldn't someone be building solar arrays? ?


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleyindependent/s_624073.html

Posted on: 2009/5/14 22:49


Re: Windpower

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2009/2/10 16:30
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Quote:

tomgamber wrote:
Quote:

franklin wrote:

If you could generate electricity at a competitive cost in Pa why wouldn't someone be building solar arrays? ?


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleyindependent/s_624073.html


I was referring to arrays deployed in Pa. Not ones manufactured in Pa for deployment in other areas. It does make economic sense to deploy solar plants areas with higher solar surface radiation such in the southwest US.

Posted on: 2009/5/15 6:55


Re: Windpower

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2009/2/10 16:30
From SE PA
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Here is a WEB link to a site with info on small wind power generators.

http://www.kansaswindpower.net/Whisper%20Wind%20Generators.htm

You can see the costs for various components, turbine, masts, AC converters to connect to the grid.

It also has a table of monthly kwh production for various models of generators at various wind speeds.


http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/avgwind.html


Here is a WEB page with some average daily wind speeds for some locations across the country.

Most areas of Pa will average 8 to 10 MPH wind speeds on average through the year. Take the cost of your electricity per kwh and multiply by what you get from your favorite generator then 12 for an annual total. You tell me if there is an acceptable payback.

Small wind generators have much more potential for off grid applications than solar depending on location and how high/if you can put the tower up. I'd consider putting one up to play with but my local ordinances don't allow the mast.

Posted on: 2009/5/15 7:23


Re: Windpower

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2009/5/7 14:38
From Collegeville, PA
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I think that the best thing that the federal government could promote is the installation of small wind turbines and solar panels on the roofs of houses and comercial buildings. If enough buildings had power producing capabilities, we could put a good cut in the amount of fosil fuel generated power being used.

In order for this to be feasible, the government has to give people an economical reason to produce their own power. The best way to do this is to make the power companies pay people (money, not credit) for the extra power that they don't use. This would give companies a way of making profits from the power that they generate on there roofs or property.

The government financially supplements power companies that use renewable resources to produce electricity. I think that they should shift some of that money to individuals to help them pay the initial costs of installing wind turbines or solar panels.

TYoung

Posted on: 2009/5/15 17:24


Re: Windpower

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Wind and solar are exciting, but its important to get a few facts down.

Unfortunately, "personal" or "residential use" is a drop in the bucket when you look at total energy use, less than a third actually. This is the part that all the "green" calculations ignore when they compute how much energy you need to "go off the grid". If you buy stuff, that has to be manufactured. For instance, AlCOA alone uses 2% of the U.S. energy consumption, thats more than a few states!

In 2005, the U.S. used about 29000 TWh of electricity per year. If you divide that up among the roughly 304 million people in the U.S., thats still about 260 kwh per day per person!

The current solar panels, in an "optimal" location, supply 1 kwh per about 20 square feet per day (average including night). So 5200 square feet of solar panels in optimal locations per person could replace our power use. Thats approaching 60,000 square miles of land, for comparison PA is about 46,000 square miles.

Then you consider that the energy use is growing 5% per year, and this is despite the fact that we're getting more efficient. The reason is that the population is growing, as is our standard of living and economy (well, usually). So, if we added 3000 square miles of solar panels a year in optimum locations like Arizona, which is well more than we're doing now, then we'd merely break even and not even make a dent in current consumption. And conservation? Shutting off your lights and lowering your thermostat a degree or two, even if all 304 million people did it, is less than 1% towards the cause. The green people like to put that in btu's or watts and the number looks huge, but its a drop in the bucket.

The economy of wind is similar. If you look at the above link, they're most expensive windmill supplies 450 kwh per month with a constant wind speed of 14 mph (which is higher than average). In other words, that windmill can cover at best 2 days of your energy usage, between 5 and 10%. If every man, woman and child in the U.S. got that most expensive model, we'd knock down our demand only 5-10%. Now, before you label me as a fossil fuel guy, I think we should do solar and wind aggressively, much more so than now. But don't get it into your head that they are the answer. If there is an answer today, its nuclear, though that has its own, different problems. And if nuclear isn't the answer, well then the answer hasn't been invented yet, which is entirely possible.

Posted on: 2009/5/18 10:41


Re: Windpower

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2009/2/10 16:30
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TYoung: The utilities are already required to purchase back any extra power you would generate using solar or wind.

pcray: Your right, most of the green alternatives don't scale. We traded some of the most promising nuclear approaches away in the nuclear proliferation treaty. Still, nuclear is the only non-fossil generation technology that does scale and could be expanded significantly in the next ten years. (Not to mention costs would not increase dramatically.)

Posted on: 2009/5/18 11:58


Re: Windpower
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From Monessen, PA
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I don't object to nuclear energy, but aren't there some problems with it also? What about the waste? It takes about forever before the waste is safely returned to the environment, as distinguished from the by-products or waste resulting from other forms of renewable and non-renewable energy.

Posted on: 2009/5/18 12:24
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Peace, Tony


Re: Windpower

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Quote:

JackM wrote:
I don't object to nuclear energy, but aren't there some problems with it also? What about the waste? It takes about forever before the waste is safely returned to the environment, as distinguished from the by-products or waste resulting from other forms of renewable and non-renewable energy.



True, there are problems to be solved with waste. The most promising solutions are outlawed in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. With the Iran situation there is no possibility for changes in the near term. It's hard to argue we need exceptions while maintaining the Iranians can't.

The waste problem is already here since we have a large number of plants already creating waste. So it needs to be solved and there are some potential solutions.

Posted on: 2009/5/18 13:05


Re: Windpower

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Jack,

Yes, and I said it had its own problems in my post. All of the methods have problems, you're picking the best of a bunch of evils, which is just the way it is. The alternative is to be cavemen again...

With nuclear, those waste problems could be a lot better than they are. We don't reprocess our waste. What we throw in barrels for eternity could by all rights be used as more fuel.

The reason we don't reprocess is proliferation concerns. If you only run it through the first cycle, like we do, then at no point do you make material that could conceivably be used in a weapon without more processing. A brief description (in layman's terms): Basically you don't run out of fuel, it just gets dirty, and dirty fuel isn't efficient in a reactor, and you can't make a bomb out of it. But the stuff IS still reacting (or hot, if you use that terminology), and will remain hot until the fuel runs out on its own, in several hundred thousand years. So we just throw it in a heavy water pool with neutron absorbers around so nobody gets hurt. Unfortunately our "pools" are filling up, hence the push for Yucca Mountain. But it looks like thats not gonna go, we'll just store it around people as we do now....

Re-processing it can be thought of as cleaning, or purifying it. When those unwanted elements slow the efficiency, you pull it out and clean them out. They are much less dangerous, half life of 50 years or so, and you could touch them and they wouldn't hurt you. The weird thing about nuclear is that the remaining unreacted fuel is even more reactive now, so you get even more efficiency if you just reburned it. You can re-use that fuel again and again until its burnt out. At the end of those rods, you do still have high level waste. But since you used the same rod over and over, you used about 1/1000 of the raw material, and end up with 1/1000 of the resultant high level waste. The problem? Somewhere in the cycle the enriched, cleaned fuel rods could be used to make a bomb. This wouldn't just be done at our protected national labs as it is now, but at civilian power stations across the country. Thats a lot of material to protect. And you have to convince the Iranians and North Koreans that although we do it, they're not allowed, a tough sell. Our olive branch to the Iranians is that we'd give them the fuel, let them make electricity with it, but we'd take it after that first cycle and handle the waste, they never get to purify it. The fact that they wanted purification despite being offered a no waste solution, is pretty good evidence that their real motivation is to make a bomb.

So we've essentially chosen the waste problem over proliferation concerns, which is a political decision. It was made during the Carter administration and hasn't been changed since by either party. The two parties can't pin it on each other, and noone wants to be the one "for" clean nuclear anymore, it just doesn't get talked about. But at some point, you have to wonder whether finding a way to protect this fuel from would be terrorists isn't worth it to stave off global warming and foreign dependence on fossil fuels.

France, for instance, reprocesses their waste, so there's already weapons grade fuel in civilian hands on this planet, and the French are already trying to tell the Iranians they're not allowed to do what the French are allowed to do. They also have newer plants, which are safer and more efficient than our 40 year old plants. They also got around the huge cost of design, which is the main cost with nuclear (raw fuel is dirt cheap). They did it by creating "standard" plants, they all get built basically from the same blueprint, cutting out much of the expensive and time consuming approval process. As much as I don't like the French :), I think they did the power generation thing better than anybody else.

Posted on: 2009/5/18 13:16


Re: Windpower

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2009/5/7 14:38
From Collegeville, PA
Posts: 249
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I know that personal power generation will not totally be enough to replace all current types of power generation, but it is a good start. It seems like alot of people who have posted on this topic are taking an all or nothing approach. These people seem to want to shoot down any solution that won't solve the problem by it's self. If we attack the energy problem a little bit at a time, we'll get a lot farther, alot quicker than if we waited for someone to develop and implement the ideal environmentally friendly power generation method.


TYoung

p.s. In the US power companies do not pay individuals money for there unused electricity from solar panels or wind turbines. They just gave them credit to use if the have to use electricity from the power company.

Posted on: 2009/5/19 19:49


Re: Windpower

Joined:
2009/2/10 16:30
From SE PA
Posts: 4875
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Quote:

TYoung wrote:
I know that personal power generation will not totally be enough to replace all current types of power generation, but it is a good start. It seems like alot of people who have posted on this topic are taking an all or nothing approach. These people seem to want to shoot down any solution that won't solve the problem by it's self. If we attack the energy problem a little bit at a time, we'll get a lot farther, alot quicker than if we waited for someone to develop and implement the ideal environmentally friendly power generation method.


TYoung

p.s. In the US power companies do not pay individuals money for there unused electricity from solar panels or wind turbines. They just gave them credit to use if the have to use electricity from the power company.


I have nothing against someone putting up a solar array or windmill. I just don't want the government spending my tax dollars for it. Even if I did believe in having the government subsidize renewable energy there are better technologies to spend the money on than small solar arrays in Pennsylvania. (A combination of 80% cost reduction and 4 x improvement in efficiency is probably required for the panels before it makes sense. Even then it is location dependant.) Small wind mills are not much more attractive and highly dependant on location.

Remember two years ago when the government told us bio fuels and Ethanol were going to be the answer?

Posted on: 2009/5/20 7:59


Re: Windpower

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13453
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Yeah, I have no problem with individuals putting up windmills or solar panels. They make sense for a lot of things, and they can be cost effective.

But they are not a solution for a power/climate crisis. Realistically, they can maybe supply 5% of the power generation of this country, perhaps enough to change our 4% yearly INCREASE of fossil fuel consumption to 2 or 3%, but not enough to reverse the trend of increasing consumption. We could spend all we want on wind and solar and we'll still be building NEW coal plants while keeping the olds ones running, thats a sad fact.

So they may be part of the solution for you as an individual to save a little money. But for the DOE who is charged with reducing CO2 emmissions, they are not even part of the solution, or such a small part it can be effectively ignored. If you want to help the environmental cause, skip the solar panels and windmills. For the same cost you could do a lot more. Buy a smaller car, and drive less. Bike to work if possible. By only local foods. Vote for a politician who supports nuclear. Give a little money towards a research organization, instead of a green organization. Don't fly. Plant a tree.

Posted on: 2009/5/20 17:19


Re: Windpower

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2009/5/8 23:25
Posts: 313
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I think Franklin is moving in the right direction here. All of these wind turbines and panels need to be manufactured. Lots of plastics, metals, pollutants that come along with this. Then all the parts in a turbine need maintenance, if conventional.

Nuclear gets one plant, lots of power.

Look at the drilling in the Shale now, water being extracted, water will be polluted indefinitely.

Time to do some more research on nuclear for me. The solar and wind are great where efficient, but PA does not appear to be the place for these applications.

Political implications for nuclear are VERY interesting.
Everyone gets it, we have MAD. Why do these people want to assault our country, I don't think we are all fully aware of where our tax dollars have been going over the past century. Granted, we have some extremists, but I bet they wouldn't be so extreme if we hadn't been f***ing around with their countries.

Now, how to let the NSA know I don't want to build a b**b while researching environmentally friendly power solutions??

Doesn't France have 80% of generation from nuclear?

Posted on: 2009/5/22 0:29



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