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Author Topic: Photvoltaics (PV)  (Read 7505 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #285 on: May 11, 2018, 02:26:22 pm »
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Fox News 😈 Slams California Rooftop Solar Initiative With Lies, Half-Truths, & Distortions

May 10th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

The California Energy Commission has mandated that most new residential structures — single family homes, condominium complexes, and apartment buildings — have rooftop solar systems beginning in 2020. While most people who care about the Earth are applauding the move, Fox News has greeted the decision with derision and scorn.

Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the California Energy Commission, says, “For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills. On average, the 2019 standards will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $9,500 but will save $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years.”

It didn’t take Faux News long to find someone with a gloomier view. Brian Dahle, the Republican leader of the California Assembly, told the alleged news organization, “That’s just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live.” Yup. You betcha. In a state where the average single-family home costs $479,000 and the typical monthly mortgage with principal and interest is $2,334, that extra $40 a month is going to be a deal breaker for most folks. (And the long-term savings don’t matter.)

Then Fox News dug up a quote from Bill Watt, a homebuilder and former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association. He tells The Orange County Register the added solar panel costs, in addition to other building mandates, will make home ownership out of reach for many buyers. “We’re not building enough housing already. Why not just pause for a little while, focus on the affordability and housing issues, then circle back?”


Robert Raymer, technical director of the California Building Industry Association, gave a tepid endorsement to the new policy. “[W]e would prefer that this had been put off for a few more years, but the fact is that the California Energy Commission has been working on this, with us, for the past 10 years. We know this is coming. We did everything we could to push down compliance costs and increase design flexibility.” In other words, they did everything they could to slow walk the process as much as possible, delaying the inevitable every step of the way, and increasing emissions in the process.

Brooke Singman , who purports to be a journalist, larded her Fox News story with this memorable line: “The solar panel decision is just the latest example of what critics see as the state’s ever-evolving nanny-state policies. California often is at the leading edge of government mandates and bans, having recently prohibited everything from plastic bags to foie gras – and even flirting with phasing out internal combustion engines.” Foie gras? Oh, the horror!

Then, as if to establish her bona fides, she dredged up the Solyndra debacle, an idea everyone was for before they were against it. “The mandate is the latest win for the solar industry, despite past controversies tied to companies’ use of taxpayer funds. The most notorious example was California company Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy in 2011. An Energy Department inspector general report in 2015 said the company misrepresented facts in order to secure a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government. Taxpayer lost most of that money in the deal.”

Conservatives Reactionaries have never met a handout to fossil fuel companies 🦖 or the military 🦍 they didn’t like.
Those taxpayer-funded gifts cost hundreds of billions of dollars each and every year. But money to jump start the US solar industry so America could begin to wean itself off oil? Hang the bastards! Tar and feather ’em! Have them drawn and quartered at sunrise and then keel-hauled around the fleet!

Having thoroughly poisoned the minds of her readers, Singman tosses out this throwaway line at the very bottom of her journalistic tour de farce: “The new California measure would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 metric tons over three years, according to the commission. The Energy Commission said this would be equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the road.”

Oh. With such fairly unbalanced diatribes soaking into the brains of its readers and viewers every day, it is little wonder that Donald Trump is pushing the world to the brink of World War III with his unhinged policies while his “base” cheers. In a perfect world, Fox News would be declared a terrorist organization and its rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth adherents deported. Then America could truly begin the task of becoming great once again.

Hat tip to Dan Allard

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/10/fox-news-slams-california-rooftop-solar-initiative-with-lies-half-truths-distortions/
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #286 on: June 12, 2018, 04:52:49 pm »

For me it all started with this hard to explain streetcar setup, where a streetcar was being pulled by a horse. This is one of those instances where an official explanation was running into a sharp contradiction with common sense. I was always wondering why people would go through the hurdles of developing, producing and installing a whole rail system to just use it in a horsecar combination. This of course, had to include the development, and production of the actual car. Just like I mentioned, the rig became known as a horsecar.

Wikipedia contains its own explanation of this horsecar occurrence, “The horse-drawn tram (horsecar) was an early form of public rail transport that developed out of industrial haulage routes that had long been in existence, and from the omnibus routes that first ran on public streets in the 1820s, using the newly improved iron or steel rail or tramway.”

The above sort of gibberish language and bogus explanation could never sit well with me. Common sense was suggesting that a normal person would never go the length required to produce the entire rail system to just pull cars with horses. Indeed, none of us would think that the below provided setups were intended to be used as presented.

click on link for the rest...
https://www.stolenhistory.org/threads/19th-century-compressed-air-cars-and-street-cars-gone-and-forgotten.96/
.

The Amish power their machine shops and ceiling fans with compressed air. It's a way to harness wind power, for them.

I've never been sure why it's okay with God to use compressed air but not electricity. Maybe because its a  DIY tech that doesn't require an "outside" power grid, so they aren't tied to BAU, which seems to be a big deal for the Amish.

The ceiling fans are available for sale online , but they are not cheap.


Actually, the Amish have no problem with using electricity, as long as they harvest it themselves. and don't connect with the "culture undermining" grid. 

Quote
19 Oct 2015

The Amish Are Going Solar? 

By Jenny Lou Bement | Green Energy
 
Have you seen solar panels on rooftops in Amish country? According to NPR, the Amish population in Ohio is steadily adding solar power technology to their homes. In fact, it reports that 80% of the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio, are embracing this renewable energy. Although a handful of families refuse to take advantage of solar electricity, even some of the more orthodox Amish are excited about the incorporation of solar power. At first glance, it seems strange but, believe it or not, it makes sense.

If there's a community that has held tight to its traditions, it's the Amish. With their own language, way of life and near-absolute separation from mainstream culture, or "English" as they call it, the Amish are famously known for their strong ability to live off the fruits of their labor rather than technology. In general, they live without cars, television or electricity but with advancements in energy generation, some of this is changing. Like many eco-conscious, tech-savvy folks across the world, the Amish are reaping the benefits of solar energy.

Why the Amish are embracing solar


One reason why solar is becoming increasingly popular among Amish communities is the fire risk of their traditional lighting methods such as kerosene lamps and candles – especially for the elderly and younger members of their communities. It also gives their communities the ability to have cheaper, cleaner electricity with the perk of remaining off the grid. In a nutshell, solar is a win-win for the Amish – they remain off the grid, preserving their culture while reaping the benefits of clean renewable energy when needed.

The Amish use electricity?

It's not that the Amish aren't allowed to use electricity, it's that they believe too much reliance on electricity or access to public power grids will tie them too closely to the rest of the world and hurt their well-preserved culture. It's not necessarily against their beliefs to have power. Before solar panels became readily available, the Amish used gasoline or diesel generators to produce their own electricity for a handful of luxuries – lighting and, in some cases, household appliances such as washing machines.

The Amish don't believe electricity is bad; they believe having ready access to it will create temptation that can lead to television and other electrical luxuries that could hurt their values. Their culture values hard work and while they may appreciate appliances and tools that can make their jobs easier, the general consensus in their community is if they have complete access to these technologies, it will compromise their children's work ethic and could lead to a tarnished version of their way of life over generations. With solar, there's less risk of diminished values and mainstream culture, just as with generators. The big difference is – it's better for the world and 100% renewable.

https://www.saveonenergy.com/green-energy/amish-going-solar/
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #287 on: June 13, 2018, 07:10:47 pm »
Nevada’s 2.3-Cent Bid Beats Arizona’s Record-Low Solar PPA Price

NV Energy’s portfolio of solar and solar-plus-storage takes the low-price competition up a notch.
Julian Spector  June 12, 2018

SNIPPET:

Records don't last long in the cleantech business.  


Just days ago, we were reporting that the Central Arizona Project (CAP) had secured the lowest confirmed solar price in the U.S., when it approved a 20-year power-purchase agreement at $24.99 per megawatt-hour. That's setting aside an Austin Energy PPA from December that could be lower, but has more ambiguous terms.

That Arizona record is already under threat from projects that utility NV Energy selected as part of its integrated resource planning. The portfolio of 1,001 megawatts of solar capacity and 100 megawatts/400 megawatt-hours of energy storage still needs approval from Nevada’s utility regulators.

If that happens, the lowest confirmed U.S. solar price would be Sempra Renewables’ Copper Mountain Solar 5 project at $21.55 per megawatt-hour. That 250-megawatt project, though, has a 2.5 percent annual escalation as part of its 25-year contract, so the low upfront price wouldn’t last.

Instead, we can turn to 8minutenergy’s 300-megawatt Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm, which clocks in at a flat rate of $23.76 per megawatt-hour throughout its 25-year PPA term.

That comfortably beats the CAP project on pricing, while delivering 10 times the capacity 👀 . It also marks a substantial improvement on the $29.50 per megawatt-hour median pricing for standalone solar PV in Xcel’s famous solicitation six months ago.

Quote
"We’ve always expected prices to drop a lot," said Colin Smith, a solar markets analyst at GTM Research. "With everything that’s happened with tariffs recently, I’m surprised to see them this low this soon." 

Full article:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/nevada-beat-arizona-record-low-solar-ppa-price#gs.HBUB98I
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #288 on: June 13, 2018, 08:20:39 pm »
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SunPower Adds New Solar + Storage Offering To Give Consumers Reliable Power Every Day Of The Year🌞

June 13th, 2018 by Kyle Field

SunPower took the wraps off of its new SunPower Equinox home solar energy system today, which was designed to be compatible with leading residential energy storage products from sonnen and Tesla Energy.

Residential solar shoppers are increasingly interested in installing a battery alongside a rooftop solar system, a new industry survey revealed. SunPower expects that the increasing awareness of the benefits of residential energy storage is expected to drive a four-fold increase in demand for the units from 2018 to 2022.


“By adding storage, homeowners can rest assured that they’ll have a reliable source of backup energy to power essential devices and appliances during grid outages, and the opportunity to maximize electricity cost savings year-round,” said Norm Taffe, SunPower executive vice president, residential solar. “While there are many energy storage products on the market, we have hand-picked sonnen and Tesla and ensured that they work harmoniously with the SunPower Equinox solution to deliver more dependable power and design appeal, giving our customers and dealers an opportunity to choose the battery option that best suits their needs.”

To make it easier for potential customers to get more comfortable with the idea and operation of solar and residential energy storage, SunPower has put together a solar-plus-storage calculator. The calculator allows customers to plug in their own info and get some real numbers back about the potential of solar-plus-storage to save them money or lock electrical bills in place.


The calculator takes into account normal factors like average electric bill and any roof shading, but also includes forward-looking factors like electric vehicles. They are a natural add as solar and electric cars go together like, well, solar and storage, while also driving electricity usage up significantly.

The system then allows the user to scale how much of their own power the solar system should generate and paints a picture of storage requirements, estimated savings and the like. It’s not magic but it does move the ball forward with regards to easing customers into the solar system acquisition sales funnel.

“As a leader in residential solar, SunPower is committed to simplifying solar for customers, whether it’s with innovative systems like SunPower Equinox, or new digital tools like the solar-and-storage calculator which, in an industry-first, allows customers to see how future or current electric vehicle charging will affect system size and savings,” Taffe continued.

Pairing sonnen and Tesla energy storage products with SunPower’s famed high efficiency panels allows customers to build the system that best suits their needs with the confidence that it

For all the juicy bits about SunPower’s new offering head on over to www.sunpower.com/residentialstorage.


https://cleantechnica.com/2018/06/13/sunpower-adds-new-solar-storage-offering-to-give-consumers-reliable-power-every-day-of-the-year/
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #289 on: June 16, 2018, 04:29:38 pm »
I am thinking about trying to accumulate some more PV panels. I have a better opportunity than I've ever had before. Mission Solar is still a going concern in San Antonio (I think they are, anyway), and they are selling cosmetic blems for less than .40/watt, and they have them for sale locally here in Austin. Panels up to 360W apiece.

Whomever the seller is, they have varying quantities. Looks like not too much available in this last ad. I get the impression from their ads over the last several months that it was the factory selling unsold inventory, and not some reseller. Don't know though.

Usually, when I find a great deal on panels, they're in CA. Shipping is costly and the freight drivers are careless with the goods. I know from prior experience.



Actually, it's the fork truck drivers on the freight docks, and not the real freight drivers who cause the damage, as far I as could see. I hereby correct my error. You truck drivers take note.


Well, be sure and let us know how much juice you are harvesting when you get your system fine tuned. I went to this web site that figures out how many panels you need on the roof from your location plus how much battery power you need to store the juice to run your home for an 8 hour grid blackout at night. You can vary some of the inputs to get a tailored result.

From my inputs, they claim I would need 67 X 360W PANELS :o plus a 13.5KW battery. Besides the fact that I could only get about a third of that many panels on the south side of my roof, it's just too much money.  :(

I get a lot of shade here (you select the amount of shade you have in the calculator). Those tall trees (as long as they don't fall on the home in a wind storm, like happened to my next door neighbor last fall :P) have a lot of other benefits so I will actively resist requesting they be topped just to get some extra solar energy.

Here's the calculator if you want to check it out:


SunPower Adds New Solar + Storage Offering To Give Consumers Reliable Power Every Day Of The Year🌞

The calculator takes into account normal factors like average electric bill and any roof shading, but also includes forward-looking factors like electric vehicles. They are a natural add as solar and electric cars go together like, well, solar and storage, while also driving electricity usage up significantly.

The system then allows the user to scale how much of their own power the solar system should generate and paints a picture of storage requirements, estimated savings and the like. It’s not magic but it does move the ball forward with regards to easing customers into the solar system acquisition sales funnel.

“As a leader in residential solar, SunPower is committed to simplifying solar for customers, whether it’s with innovative systems like SunPower Equinox, or new digital tools like the solar-and-storage calculator which, in an industry-first, allows customers to see how future or current electric vehicle charging will affect system size and savings,” Taffe continued.

Pairing sonnen and Tesla energy storage products with SunPower’s famed high efficiency panels allows customers to build the system that best suits their needs with the confidence that it

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #290 on: June 16, 2018, 05:20:42 pm »
From my inputs, they claim I would need 67 X 360W PANELS :o plus a 13.5KW battery. Besides the fact that I could only get about a third of that many panels on the south side of my roof, it's just too much money.  :(


The way I would recommend using solar in your unique situation ( should you ever wish to) is to build a very simple parallel system with one large panel (scaling up eventually to perhaps two panels)  and a small battery array, and run SOMETHING off it. A dedicated circuit for your refrigerator, perhaps. If that's too big a load you could run lights.

An MPPT charge controller helps with the shade problem.

I think it makes really better sense here of course. We have 5 hour sun. I could run my energy-sink McMansion with pool from a good rooftop grid-tie, and it would make my house more desirable to sell when I finally do downsize. I just hesitate to take on debt for that. But it would be required, because TPTB requires the job be done by pros, which implies it gets done fast and you have to pay for it all at once.



Agreed. The idea of a dedicated circuit has always appealed to me, particularly one where voltage regulation is not a big issue. For example, in the winter, though the total hours of sunlight are reduced, we actually get more direct sunlight on my home. Solar Panels (about 6KW) on the roof could easily be rigged for a dedicated heating circuit. Filament heating circuits, as long as you protect them from too much amperage (easy to do with solar Panels  ;)), could care less about voltage variation. All my heating is electric. I stopped using the kerosene fired furnace over 15 years ago. I have saved a lot of money by doing that and, since Green Mountain Power has a very large Renewable Energy portfolio, it has definitely lowered my carbon footprint.

Yes, the the fossil fuelers will be quick to blah, blah, blah about "kerosene/oil/fossil fuels are more efficient than electrical resistance for heating", but they are WRONG.

WHY? Because, though they are technically thermodynamically right when the two energy transfer systems are viewed in isolation, they FAIL TO add in the fuel cost of those trucks that carry that kerosene, their maintenance, AND the trucks that carry the kerosene from the refinery (and so on). No sir, they have this STRANGE idea that "energy going through wires costs the same to transport to your home" as energy going from an oil well to the refinery to the truck to the distributor to your home furnace to be burned. BULLSHIT.

Pardon my rant. ;D I also have issues with all this government permitting baloney TPTB place on us before we are allowed to get a Renewable Energy system going. More people are killed each year from misusing kerosene portable heaters than PV or wind electrical systems injuries by a factor easily of a thousand! But, no sir, we don't want to "overregulate" anything that uses fossil fuels, now do we? 😈

Well, at least the electricians are happy.  ::)
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #291 on: June 16, 2018, 08:30:53 pm »


Report: Overall Solar PV Quality Is Improving But Risks Remain
June 11, 2018

By William Steel

Top PV Performace awards Credit: DNV GL
         
Independent energy and certification body DNV GL reports overall improvement in global solar PV reliability with its fourth edition PV Module Reliability Scorecard report. The Scorecard reports on eighteen months of test results from DNV GL’s PV Module Product Qualification Program (PQP) of commercially available PV modules on the global market.

Tara Doyle, Head of Business Development & Project Management, explained this year’s key developments.


“Our goal with the Scorecard is to support the buyer market, the downstream partners — developers, financiers, EPCs, insurance, etc. — and help them make data-driven decisions.”

To this end, Doyle said that the Product Qualification Program is a series of tests geared toward evaluating products across their lifetime.

“We’re looking at what’s going to happen to PV panels under simulated environmental stresses over the course of the product’s useful life.”

Testing goes beyond industry standards too, “usually by two to four times,” noted Doyle.

Related: Assuring Solar Modules Will Last for Decades

“Included in the PQP are tests that look at performance, reliability and durability. The four test categories, thermal cycling, damp heat, dynamic mechanical load sequence and potential induced degradation, are several tests at the core of reliability and durability.”

Digging into the Bill of Materials

“We see improvement in all areas except one,” said Doyle, adding that “overall performance in the damp heat test category decreased.”

The test, featuring high temperature and high humidity to evaluate module construction, revealed median power degradation of 2.5 percent this year compared to 0.9 percent in both 2014 and 2017.

“It’s important to highlight that we’re not only testing individual components that comprise the bill of materials (BOM) but also interaction between components. Any change in components, or how the module is manufactured, can have an impact on performance and reliability of the product.”

“There were still other failures across categories,” added Doyle, explaining that the results found twenty-two percent of manufacturers experiencing one or more failures in overall testing, nine percent of BOMs failed one or more of the test criteria, and twelve percent of module types failed one or more of the test criteria.

“It’s important that the buyer community be cognizant of results as these issues can impact projects; and we’d caution the buyer community to request BOMs of the top performing models from manufacturers (something DNV GL provides).”
   
Top Performers ✨ 

While over twenty manufacturers are rated as Top Performers for 2018, just four are credited with the accolade for the last three years running: Jinko Solar 🌟, Trina Solar 🌟, Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd 🌟 and Yingli Solar 🌟.    

Manufacturers Adani (Mundra Solar PV Ltd ⭐), First Solar ⭐, HT-SAAE ⭐, LG Electronics ⭐, and Panasonic ⭐ all gained Top Performer status this year for the first time.

Quote
“We see reliability and performance improving overall. That’s a trend we’ve seen over past several scorecards,” said Doyle.

A new feature of the 2018 Scorecard is a ‘Historical Scorecard’ that brings a spotlight to top performers since the first Scorecard.

Related: Energy Services Giant DNV GL Scoops Up PV Evolution Labs

“The downstream find value in single reports and tests, but also look toward performance and reliability trends of manufacturers  — in other words asking, ‘Is this manufacturer capable of producing quality products?’. We’ve included the Historical Scorecard to showcase top performers.”

New Technologies Bring New Risks

While mainstream products benefit from tried and tested materials, components and processes, more cutting-edge technologies aren’t without risk.

“With new commercially available products coming to market — for instance bifacial, PERC, half-cut cells — that have not been installed in the field for long, or gone through testing as significantly as other products, there could be significant risks for buyers to consider.”

The broader, fast-moving landscape of solar PV markets, together with its pressures, underlines the importance of DNV GL’s testing activities according to Doyle.

“With PPA pricing and overall cost of energy decreasing, so is the cost of solar PV. Consequently, manufacturers especially are being forced to do more with less, and reduce costs across the value chain in order to remain cost-competitive. We see that these pressures can impact the quality of PV modules produced and so we must remain vigilant.”

Related: 3@3 on Solar PV: Off-Grid, Quality, PPA Pricing

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/06/report-overall-solar-pv-quality-is-improving-but-risks-remain.html
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #292 on: June 16, 2018, 10:37:39 pm »
From my inputs, they claim I would need 67 X 360W PANELS :o plus a 13.5KW battery. Besides the fact that I could only get about a third of that many panels on the south side of my roof, it's just too much money.  :(


The way I would recommend using solar in your unique situation ( should you ever wish to) is to build a very simple parallel system with one large panel (scaling up eventually to perhaps two panels)  and a small battery array, and run SOMETHING off it. A dedicated circuit for your refrigerator, perhaps. If that's too big a load you could run lights.

An MPPT charge controller helps with the shade problem.

I think it makes really better sense here of course. We have 5 hour sun. I could run my energy-sink McMansion with pool from a good rooftop grid-tie, and it would make my house more desirable to sell when I finally do downsize. I just hesitate to take on debt for that. But it would be required, because TPTB requires the job be done by pros, which implies it gets done fast and you have to pay for it all at once.



Agreed. The idea of a dedicated circuit has always appealed to me, particularly one where voltage regulation is not a big issue. For example, in the winter, though the total hours of sunlight are reduced, we actually get more direct sunlight on my home. Solar Panels (about 6KW) on the roof could easily be rigged for a dedicated heating circuit. Filament heating circuits, as long as you protect them from too much amperage (easy to do with solar Panels  ;)), could care less about voltage variation. All my heating is electric. I stopped using the kerosene fired furnace over 15 years ago. I have saved a lot of money by doing that and, since Green Mountain Power has a very large Renewable Energy portfolio, it has definitely lowered my carbon footprint.

Yes, the the fossil fuelers will be quick to blah, blah, blah about "kerosene/oil/fossil fuels are more efficient than electrical resistance for heating", but they are WRONG.

WHY? Because, though they are technically thermodynamically right when the two energy transfer systems are viewed in isolation, they FAIL TO add in the fuel cost of those trucks that carry that kerosene, their maintenance, AND the trucks that carry the kerosene from the refinery (and so on). No sir, they have this STRANGE idea that "energy going through wires costs the same to transport to your home" as energy going from an oil well to the refinery to the truck to the distributor to your home furnace to be burned. BULLSHIT.

Pardon my rant. ;D I also have issues with all this government permitting baloney TPTB place on us before we are allowed to get a Renewable Energy system going. More people are killed each year from misusing kerosene portable heaters than PV or wind electrical systems injuries by a factor easily of a thousand! But, no sir, we don't want to "overregulate" anything that uses fossil fuels, now do we? 😈

Well, at least the electricians are happy.  ::)
Actually I would not fault your logic or your right to choose but it really does depend on how your utility generates power. If your utility is well diversified with lots of hydro, wind some nukes and just a smidgen of natural gas electric heat will produce much less greenhouse gas. HOWEVER if your utility is reliant on natural gas and coal the numbers work against you. Central power plants turn fossil fuels into electricity at pretty horrible efficiency then you add line losses to it. My rule of thumb reference for that is this site here:  http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/fuel.html
from that site the efficiency is:
Coal:  33.6%
Petroleum:  25.5-33.3%
Natural Gas:  29.4-44.8%
If you use natural gas as the best option and the most modern plant you get 44.8percent he uses 7.2 percent for line loss so 44.8x.928= 41.6 percent of its energy is turned into electricity the rest is vented as heat at the plant or lost to the air en route to you. A modern furnace is 80-90 percent efficient so yes if your utility uses fossil fuels to generate electricity you are better off using said fuels to heat your home directly if you are using baseboard heaters. Of course you will not do this SOOOOO if you want to totally destroy the fossil fuel math then the technology to invest in is the new generation of air to air heat pumps. Even on the coldest days you will be using 33 percent the electricity you currently are with your baseboards. They work down to about -25 celsius then their efficiency plummets down to that of baseboard heaters. You could if you invest in solar and air to air heat pumps make a net metered system work for you... Some states offer incentives as well. I really like the dedicated solar arrangement for building solar capacity. That is exactly how my house works. I replaced the backup generator with a grid connection and power some loads on solar some on grid. Right now I'm about evenly split. I will be installing a much more powerful modern array this year sometime. At that point I expect my utility portion to drop to almost nothing. I will keep it though its the cheapest backup generator you can buy.


Excellent post. I agree that air to air heat pumps are the BEST. The problem for me is that they are very expensive. Mitsubishi has a split something or other system that a Vermonter uses to heat his home extremely efficently. It's just not something I can afford. Also, they need to be inspected by qualified personnnel annually. All that costs money. One of my initial reasons for getting rid of the kerosene fired furnace was the maintenance people's habit of charging an arm and a leg for the annual inspection. And, if the electrodes needed changing or adjusting in the middle of the winter (No heat!), they charged $90 JUST TO COME TO MY HOME before the cost of parts and labor. For you, a skilled craftsman, those are not issues. For people like me, they are more costs that just keep adding up.

None of those costs exist when all you are doing is running electricity through a resistance to get heat.

I understand the inefficencies of the grid, particularly that part of the grid that gets its energy from burning fossil fuels. It's insanely inefficient, as you pointed out. GMP gets a huge part of its juice from wind and hydro, with a smaller part from solar and some "Renewable Energy credits" program, so my source is not that inefficient. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute has written and made several videos about that issue and other inefficencies in our civilization like the woefully inefficent pipe designs for all sorts of machinery, not just engines. Actually, the numbers you posted from that link are more friendly than what Amory Lovins has computed for those fossil fuels. Too often, the basic enthalpy of a hydrocarbon is what guides efficiency calculations. Amory Lovins adds all the other, often hidden, inefficiencies to those. But, I will not split hairs with you on that.

Here's a screenshot from one of the videos by Amory Lovins on the inefficiencies of our civilization:


Ideally, we would all heat and cool our houses with some kind of heat pump using either a geothermal source  getting piped air or some heat exchanger liquid from 30 feet or so below the ground, depending on where you live, or just going the air to air heat pump route with a Mitsubishi unit.

This is part of the Mitsubishi pitch:

Quote
GIVE YOUR FAMILY PERSONALIZED COMFORT YEAR ROUND WITH HEAT PUMP TECHNOLOGY

Conventional heat pump systems are known for poor efficiency and performance in cold temperatures. Today, thanks to the integration of INVERTER-driven variable speed compressor technology, highly-efficient, modern heat pump systems offer homes optimized comfort conditioning no matter the season or temperature.

HOW THEY WORK

When utilizing a zoned HVAC configuration, each heat pump system consists of one or multiple ducted or ductless air handlers and an outdoor condensing unit. One outdoor unit can control up to eight indoor units, providing personalized temperature control, in each individual space, depending on the occupant's preference. Refrigerant lines connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. During summer, the system produces air conditioning when refrigerant absorbs heat energy from inside your home and expels it outdoors. During winter, the heat transfer process reverses as refrigerant extracts heat energy from the outside air and transfers the heat inside to warm your home. With the outdoor unit operating with INVERTER-driven compressor technology, the system speeds up or slows down to match the precise cooling and heating requirements of the space, keeping efficiencies high and costs down.


http://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/articles/technology/give-your-family-personalized-comfort-year-round-with-heat-pump-technology

But beggars like me cannot be choosers. When Green Mountain Power (GMP) reaches 100% Renewable Energy, the only carbon dioxide I will be putting out, provided I buy and Electric Vehicle, is the CO2 I exhale. That is my goal, even if it isn't as efficient as using natural gas.
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #293 on: June 22, 2018, 07:00:46 pm »


June 22, 2018

#Cost & Prices #Efficiency #Solar

co2online

German solar heat users miss out on output worth 66 million euros per year – report

Two-thirds of Germany’s solar heat installations could have a higher output if their use was optimised, the energy customer consultancy co2online says in a press release.

Solar heat users miss out on 1.4 billion kilowatt hours per year, roughly equivalent to 66 million euros in lost earnings and 340,000 tonnes of additional CO2 output, co2online says.

The consultancy says the operation of solar heat installations could be optimised by completely turning off other heating systems during the summer months; routinely comparing the installations’ output with heating consumption; and regularly having the solar panels inspected and repaired.

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.co2online.de/service/news/beitrag/solarthermie-nutzer-lassen-jedes-jahr-66-millionen-euro-auf-ihren-daechern-liegen-16507/
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #294 on: June 25, 2018, 10:57:11 pm »


Solar Prices Nosedive After China Pullback Floods Global Market

June 21, 2018

By Christopher Martin, Bloomberg
         
Solar panels were already getting cheaper this year, and then China pulled the plug this month on about 20 GW of domestic installations. The result was a glut of global inventories, and now prices are plunging even faster.

China, the world’s biggest solar market, on June 1 slammed the brakes on new projects that would have had as much capacity as about 20 nuclear power plants. With a global panel glut it’s a buyer’s market and developers in other countries are delaying purchases, holding out for even lower prices.

The average price for a polysilicon module slumped 4.79 percent since May 30, reaching a record low of 27.8 cents a watt Wednesday, according to PVInsights. That’s on track to be the biggest monthly decline since December 2016, the last time the industry was facing a global oversupply. China manufactures about 70 percent of the world’s solar components.

The decline will hurt the largest manufacturers like JinkoSolar Holding Co. and is a boon for developers like Sunrun Inc., which are expected to benefit from lower costs.

“Chinese and international project developers are putting their orders on hold as modules get cheaper,” Yali Jiang, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a research note Tuesday. By the end of the year, she expects module prices will slide to 24 cents a watt 👀, down 35 percent from 37 cents at the end of 2017.

©2018 Bloomberg News

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/06/solar-prices-nosedive-after-china-pullback-floods-global-market.html

Agelbert NOTE: Why don't I think this news is actually good? Because, to anyone that reads between the lines, it means China is, rather than contiinuing the big push for total Renewable Energy, is finding it cheaper (when the pollution issue is ignored, of course -replacing coal with GAS cuts down on particulates, but does nothing to slow GHG pollution) to buy GAS for energy than to get it from Solar Panels.

They are probably suddenly getting GAS real cheap, some of which comes from the USA, not just the usual suspects like Russia and Iran. This "bridge fuel" means an INCREASE in global emissions in an already runaway GHG situation 🔥. China uses a LOT OF ENERGY!


I'm sure the Fossil Fuel funded Climate Change Deniers will tell us this is "no big deal"😈.


I think it is one more straw breaking the Biosphere Camel's Back. IOW, it's probably just about (see below) for Human civilization, even if it takes another two or three decades to feel the full brunt of Catastrophic climate Change.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 11:53:09 am by AGelbert »
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #295 on: June 26, 2018, 02:25:17 pm »
Quote
AG: they still will have to compete with that clean renewable energy technology that Palloy is ALWAYS quick to claim (a TOTAL FABRICATION, by the way) is "ERoEI negative".

There no such thing as a negative ERoEI.  That is a basic error that shows you don't know what you are on about.  I think what you mean is "less than 1".

I don't claim, and never have, that the ERoEI of renewables is less than 1. My claim is the
ERoEI ethanol from sugarcane mollasses is 1.05 .  Evidence is this graph by CSIRO tests:


According to BP(2018) the quantity of Proved Reserves around the world is 1.696 trillion tonnes, and that is the same as 2011.  The peak was in 2014 at 1.702 .  I can't get the chart to work, but in 1980 the figure was 1.118 trillion barrels.  That is, the oil companies have been unable to find any "spare" reserves, like they could in the 1930s, and are flat out trying to find new stuff.  So they crow about a find of 330 million barrels, even though it is a TINY fraction of what is needed to keep ahead of demand. This is definitely NOT SUSTAINABLE. It is a silly question to ask "at what exact figure will it all collapse?", it is a matter of confidence that the oil is there to be had.  When the confidence goes, the oil majors' shares will collapse, and with it the financial system.

I should just say that the BP figures have to be ESTIMATED for countries like Russia who don't release that data.  And for the US, the whole thing is about what is going to be got out of an oil field before it is officially shut down.  This always off in the future so the companies can say what they like, no one will ever know.  The only other data sources are from EIA (USDoE) and IEA (OECD), both of whom are dominated by oil companies and trying to hide Peak Oil.

The ERoEI of PV farms is 3.0 (range 1.5 to 6.0).  Evidence this table from ISA's report to Australian PM and Cabinet, "Life Cycle Energy Balance":



(Energy Intensity is the reciprocal of ERoEI.)

From the same table, the ERoEI of wind turbines is 15 (range 8 to 25).

So PV manufacturers have to find a third of the energy UP FRONT that the panels will eventually produce, otherwise the panels can't be built.  That is easy while the quantity of panels is small, like now, but it becomes much bigger as the scale increases, and will overwhelm the energy system.  Bardi thinks we can just squeeze through, with much savings on efficiency, etc, but no one is doing that.

I would love to know how they come up with the PV numbers. Just the methodology I'm not doubting it but from my experience they are outliving their projected life and the panels from 20 years ago are nowhere near as well made as the current ones. It could change the eroei for solar. The massive industrial scale roll out is just too recent to know. Then there is the secondary market. They don't really die they just don't produce up to specifications. They are an unusual device that way they are not your typical good then not good they fade slowly. At what point is it considered at the end of its productive life? We sell off the old systems we upgrade and there is a market for the 12 volt 50-80 watt panels out there at $.25-.75 a watt.  Just some food for thought
Thank you for this both of you. David


You are welcome, David.

Palloy, not  only do you refuse to answer my questions, but your claim that you have "never said" Renewable Energy has an ERoEI less than 1.00 is doubletalk. You have gone on and on about upfront costs not justifying them, their low energy density, ther longevity issues, the fossil fuels need to make them and so on. So, YEAH, you have CONSISTENTLY gone out of your way to claim Renewable energy can NEVER compete with fossil fuels.

I disagree. I have posted many articles that provide evidence that Renewable Enrgy technology, not only can replace fossil fuels, but replacing polluting energy with Renewable Energy is our only option, if we wish to survice as a species.

The "peak oil caused collapse will save us" claim is a false meme. Collapse from lack of Fossil fuels is is not going to happen, at least not in our life time.

What is the minimum amount of fossil fuels we must burn each year to prevent a collapse of civilization during that year?

Answer the question Palloy.

K-Dog, you claim there is empirical evidence that Peak Oil is real after trashing an article that exposed a full DECADE of peak oil hysterics. Since Palloy refuses to answer, will you give me a number?

My estimate is that we MUST have, at minimum, 7 billion BOE - rounded off to the nearest Billion BOE  ;D - (this includes ALL fossil fuels) annually to prevent a collapse. What is your estimate?

If Peak Oil is to have more relevance than Catastrophic Climate Change, it MUST cause the collpase of Industrial Cvilization from the lack of them, PERIOD.
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #296 on: June 26, 2018, 07:57:58 pm »

"Solar panel field in Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma..." Steve Milloy on Twitter

Solar Under Storm: Designing Hurricane-Resilient PV Systems

June 20, 2018  |  By Laurie Guevara-Stone Christopher Burgess

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most active in history. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria brought widespread destruction throughout the Caribbean. In addition to the emotional toll these severe storms had on people in the region, the disruption of critical infrastructure left many communities without basic services such as electricity and water for prolonged periods of time. On some islands, such as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Barbuda, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems suffered major damage or even complete failure. However, other solar PV systems, such as ones installed in the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, and St. Eustatius, survived and continued producing power the following day.

Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI’s) latest report, Solar Under Storm: Select Best Practices for Resilient Ground-Mount PV Systems with Hurricane Exposure, discusses the root causes of PV system failures from hurricanes and describes recommendations for building more resilient solar PV power plants.

Solar in the Caribbean

Over the past decades, electricity in the Caribbean was primarily generated centrally by imported fuel oil or diesel and distributed across islands by overhead lines. However, in recent years, electricity has been supplemented in homes, businesses, industries, government facilities, and utilities by solar photovoltaics. In fact, over half of Caribbean electric utilities already own or operate solar PV as part of their generation mix. There are at least 225 megawatts (MW) of solar installed across rooftops, parking canopies, and large tracts of land, and solar PV is the most rapidly growing source of power for many Caribbean islands.

While solar PV systems can provide lower-cost energy that is more resilient and reliable than imported fuels on many islands, it is not foolproof in the face of major natural disasters. The 2017 hurricanes brought sustained wind speeds of over 180 miles per hour to many Caribbean islands. RMI sent expert structural engineering teams to the Caribbean region in fall 2017 to investigate why some PV systems survived virtually unscathed while others suffered extensive damage.

Why do some PV systems survive hurricanes virtually unscathed while others suffer extensive damage?

Common Attributes

The teams noted similarities between the failed systems, including module clamp failures, undersized racks, undersized and under-torqued bolts, a lack of bolt locking solutions, and a lack of lateral racking support. On the flip side, the systems that survived had the modules through bolted (no clamps), bolts with locking solutions, and lateral racking supports.

However, developing hurricane resiliency guidelines based only on observed failure modes has limitations. The observed failure modes may have served as a “mechanical fuse,” relieving forces from the system. If future systems address only those observed failures, forces may precipitate additional failure modes. To address both observed and potential failure modes, we used a common reliability tool for systematic cause and effect identification called a fishbone diagram. The diagram shows critical elements from the supply chain through design, construction, and operations of solar PV projects. The most critical causes of failure we observed in the fall of 2017 are in bold text.


Recommendations for Hurricane-Resilient PV Systems

The Solar Under Storm report organizes our recommendations into two categories: (1) specifications, and (2) collaboration. To the extent possible, the specifications are performance-based to allow for the most cost-effective and resilient solution. Collaboration recommendations identify opportunities for increased resiliency that require multiparty consideration and action but do not represent industry standard actions.

Specifications include:

• Using high-load PV modules (5,400 Pa)

• Requiring a structural engineering review and wind-tunnel report review

• Specifying a bolt hardware locking solution and bolt quality control process

• Specifying through bolting of modules as opposed to top-down or T clamps

• Requiring structural engineer review of lateral loads

• Not using self-tapping screws

• Specifying dual post pier foundations

Collaboration recommendations include collaborating with module suppliers, racking suppliers, and other  equipment suppliers to implement the correct tests and ensure that equipment is consistent with assumptions used in engineering calculations.

Perhaps the most opportune recommendation is for a regional and even international community of solar PV power plant stakeholders whose plants have extreme wind exposure to regularly share lessons learned from new designs and extreme wind events. To that end, we formed a PV Resiliency working group on the online Caribbean Renewable Energy Community (CAREC), which is hosted by CARILEC, to connect, innovate, and collaborate.

The Additional Cost to Increase Resiliency

Calculating the additional cost to implement the recommendations in the Solar Under Storm report depends on the specific projects and sites. However, we estimate that a 1 MW ground mount project on suitable soil and flat terrain in the Eastern Caribbean would incur an increase of approximately 5 percent in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) costs when these best practices are implemented versus the standard category IV rated installation. These additional costs come in the form of labor for the extra time needed to through-bolt the modules and install more foundation and racking supports. There are also additional costs in material (racking supports, dual post piers, and fasteners) as well as minor costs for additional engineering and construction oversight.

Based on RMI’s Islands Energy Program’s most recent solar PV procurement for a 1 MW ground mount system in the Caribbean, implementing the best resiliency practices would add approximately $90,000 in EPC costs to the budget. This overall project price increase is about the difference in module pricing from 2017 to 2018, and for Caribbean projects that procure modules later in 2018, the price drop could completely net out the additional resilient mitigation costs by year’s end.


Surviving the Storm 

Generating electricity with solar PV is a cost-effective and reliable solution for the Caribbean. There are major project plans across the region to not only add solar PV to the grid at utility scale, but also to install solar PV and battery systems for key critical facilities such as water treatment plants, hurricane shelters, schools, hospitals, and telecommunications nodes. Yet as the intensity and number of hurricanes rise, utilities, regulators, engineering professionals, and PV system developers and installers must be aware of the best available engineering, design, delivery, and operational practices to ensure these installations survive.

While the Solar Under Storm report cannot predict all the potential failures and consequent mitigation strategies, it provides an available set of best practices regarding specifications of equipment and procedures along with a framework for continued collaboration within a community of practice. Our hope is that by sharing best practices and through continued collaboration with designers, suppliers, and manufacturers, we can increase the reliability and survival rates of PV systems in hurricanes, and ensure that the people of the Caribbean have resilient and reliable power for their grids, homes, businesses, and critical facilities for decades to come.

Download the Solar Under Storm report.

https://www.rmi.org/news/solar-under-storm-designing-hurricane-resilient-pv-systems/
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #297 on: July 03, 2018, 08:17:00 pm »
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #298 on: July 30, 2018, 12:29:13 pm »
Solar Power World

New Mexico installers put differences aside to secure local jobs

By Kelly Pickerel | July 24, 2018

As much as Democrats and Republicans compete against each other for votes, they do (sometimes  ;)) come together for mutually beneficial legislation. Two competing New Mexico rooftop contractors can relate: they decided to team up to bid on large-scale projects to keep jobs local.

Sol Luna Solar (No. 323 on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list) and PPC Solar regularly battle for solar customers in Northern New Mexico. When the local utility Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) announced 35 MW of projects in the next few years, the utility actually suggested Sol Luna and PPC join together.


An array ParaSol Solar has completed for KCEC. Photo from Sol Luna’s Facebook page.

“Kit’s wish was to keep all of these jobs as local as possible to benefit the local economy,” said Mark Johnson, Sol Luna CEO. “Kit suggested we form a joint venture together, because they didn’t want to deal with us separately.”

The two companies now operate as ParaSol Solar, a name that means umbrella. The solar installers operating under the same umbrella finished the utility’s first 1.5-MW project and plan to complete another 10 MW before the end of 2018.

Johnson said while the two companies are still regularly bidding against each other for smaller projects, the third-party venture operates very smoothly.

“We’re really combining forces. We’re doing the procurement together,” he said. “Being competitors in the same area, we procure materials from the same suppliers, so that has been seamless. We’re well-positioned to complete this.”

KCEC recently announced a goal for 100% daytime solar energy by 2022. The roadmap of 35 MW will provide 34% of the area’s total electricity demand and 100% during daylight hours on sunny days.

“Our decision to recommend ParaSol Solar as our EPC partner was intended to build a world-class solar fleet,” said Luis Reyes, KCEC’s CEO, in a press release. “The re-emphasis demonstrates KCEC’s commitment to our local labor force and to economic development within the region.”

Johnson said this partnership between Sol Luna and PPC is a novel approach, but everyone agrees it’s well worth rising above the daily competition to ensure a local workforce is used for projects that will benefit the community for years to come.

This story was featured exclusively in our 2018 Top Solar Contractors issue. See the issue and full list of top U.S. solar installers here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Pickerel is editor in chief of Solar Power World.


https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/07/new-mexico-installers-put-differences-aside-to-secure-local-jobs/
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #299 on: July 31, 2018, 12:13:28 pm »

July 31, 2018

Electronic Inclinometers to maximize energy efficiency in the Solar industry.
 


Canfield Connector has released a new series of electrical sensors that provide efficiency and accuracy to angle measurement in solar technology, heavy equipment, construction, and other applications. The new Electrical Inclinometer Sensor or (EiS) Series instruments measure the slope, tilt or elevation of an object with respect to gravity by using intelligence to create an artificial horizon. 

http://canfieldconnector.com/images/02-05-2018-13-11-36-0.pdf
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