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cheesehead 2012-05-01 18:20

Economic prospects for solar photovoltaic power
 
McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm ([URL]http://www.mckinsey.com/About_us[/URL]) published a report earlier this month about the prospects for the solar power (solar photovoltaics, or PV) industry.

“Solar power: Darkest before dawn”

[URL="http://www.mckinsey.com/Client_Service/Sustainability/Latest_thinking/%7E/media/McKinsey/dotcom/client_service/Sustainability/PDFs/SRP_solar.ashx"]http://www.mckinsey.com/Client_Service/Sustainability/Latest_thinking/~/media/McKinsey/dotcom/client_service/Sustainability/PDFs/SRP_solar.ashx[/URL]

(Note: It's a secured PDF -- you can download and view it, but can't copy from it. The three charts I link to are a blog's screen shots.)

McKinsey's site has an introductory article ([URL]http://www.mckinsey.com/Client_Service/Sustainability/Latest_thinking/Solar_powers_next_shining[/URL]) that says:

[quote=McKinsey & Company]. . .

“Solar power: Darkest before dawn” finds that underlying PV costs are likely to continue to drop as manufacturing capacity doubles over the next three to five years. Indeed, the cost of a typical commercial system could fall 40 percent by 2015 and an additional 30 percent by 2020, permitting companies to capture attractive margins while vigorously installing new capacity.

The research suggests that the overall solar market will continue to grow—even though subsidies are expected to dry up. This growth, over the next 20 years, will stem largely from demand based on viable stand-alone economics in five customer segments: off-grid, residential and commercial in areas with good and moderate sun conditions, isolated grids, peak capacity in growth markets, and new large-scale power plants (exhibit).[/quote]

"(exhibit)" refers to this chart:

[img]http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Screen-shot-2012-04-30-at-12.14.20-PM.png[/img]

There's a blog post ([URL]http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/30/473744/three-charts-that-illustrate-why-solar-has-hit-a-true-tipping-point/[/URL]) that has screen shots of three charts (including the one above) from the PDF:

[quote=Stephen Lacey(thinkprogress.org)]A new report from the prominent global consulting firm McKinsey shows why solar photovoltaics have hit a tipping point.

As the economics of solar PV continue to improve steadily and dramatically, McKinsey analysts conclude that the yearly “economic potential” of solar PV deployment could reach 600-1,000 gigawatts (1 million megawatts) by 2020.

. . .

That doesn’t mean 1 million megawatts will get built per year after 2020; it’s just an estimate of the economic competitiveness of solar PV. When factoring in real-word limitations like the regulatory environment, availability of financing, and infrastructure capabilities, the actual yearly market will be closer to 100 gigawatts in 2020.

. . .

The McKinsey report, appropriately named “Darkest Before Dawn,” highlights three crucial factors that are giving the solar industry so much momentum — even with such a violent shakeout occurring in the manufacturing sector today.

1. Because solar mostly competes with retail rates, the economic potential for the technology in high resource areas is far bigger than actual deployment figures would suggest. McKinsey predicts that the cost of installing a commercial-scale solar PV system will fall another 40 percent by 2015, growing the “unsubsidized economic potential” (i.e. the economic competitiveness without federal subsidies) of the technology to hundreds of gigawatts by 2020.[/quote]Here the blog has this chart screen shot: [img]http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Screen-shot-2012-04-30-at-12.13.09-PM.png[/img]
[quote]2. The most important cost reductions in the next decade will come not through groundbreaking lab-scale improvements, but through incremental cost reductions due to deployment. The McKinsey analysis shows how the dramatically these cumulative cost improvements can change the economics of solar. ...[/quote]Here the blog has this chart screen shot: [img]http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Screen-shot-2012-04-30-at-12.22.41-PM.png[/img]
[quote]3. Solar is already competitive in a variety of markets today. As the chart below illustrates, there are at least three markets where solar PV competes widely today: Off-grid, isolated grids, and the commercial/residential sectors in high-resource areas. Of course, the competitiveness of the technology varies dramatically depending on a variety of local factors. But this comparison shows just how steadily the cross-over is approaching.[/quote]Here the blog has this chart screen shot: [img]http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Screen-shot-2012-04-30-at-12.14.20-PM.png[/img]


- - -

Just for the record, this is the title I'm giving this thread as I start it:

Economic prospects for solar photovoltaic power

I don't expect that to last long. :-)

jasong 2012-08-17 21:38

Another thing that's important and could help things is finding better ways to transfer energy. The farther electricity has to be transferred, the more that bleeds out en-route.

Solar panels and wind turbines tend to have their optimal building spots really far away from the people who actually need the power.

Personally, I think encouraging people to use smaller cars is a good idea. Have super-small one person cars that aren't highway safe but are specifically for driving around town. My dad drives an F150. But he doesn't actually need an F150. We could get my mom a little car, which is what she'd prefer anyway, and my dad could take the van back for himself.

Another thing I've thought about is wind drag on small cars. It'd be great to have something that extracts itself from the back of the car when you get above a certain speed, something to make the car more aerodynamic. Maybe something where it's okay for it to be fragile because people won't actually ride back there, so if somebody crashes into it, it's no big deal except for expense.

cheesehead 2013-08-19 04:16

[QUOTE=chappy;349986][URL]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10242882/Solar-power-to-trump-shale-helped-by-US-military.html[/URL][/QUOTE]
"[SIZE=2][B]Solar power to trump shale, helped by US military[/B][/SIZE]

US marines go to war in Afghanistan with solar cells embedded in their rucksacks, efficient enough to recharge lithium-ion batteries for radios and greatly lighten loads"
[quote]Field patrols will soon have almost weightless solar blankets as well. These will be able to capture a once unthinkable 35pc of the sun's light as energy with thin membranes, a spin-off from technology used in satellites.

This new kit is a military imperative. Taliban ambushes of supply convoys are a major killer. The Pentagon says the cost of refueling forward bases is $400 a gallon.

[IMG]http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02643/solar-3_2643879c.jpg[/IMG]
Commercial and Industrial Solar Costs vs. Average electricity Prices (2010-2020)

. . .

[IMG]http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02643/us-solar-1_2643882c.jpg[/IMG]
Figure 2.8 U.S. PV Installation Forecast 2010-2016E

"The US Defence Department is racing ahead. This could be like the semiconductor industry in 1980s where the military changed the game," said Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury.

Nor is the Pentagon alone. Grant lists from the "SunShot Initiative" of the US Energy Department show that America's top research institutes are grappling with each of the key issues that have bedevilled solar energy for so long.

Los Alamos - home of the Manhattan Project - is working on smart grids and better ways to capture excess electricity produced in peak sunlight hours. The Argonne labs are working on thermal energy storage to overcome "intermittency", the curse of solar and wind.

Oak Ridge is testing coatings that increase durability of solar panels eightfold. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is working on a CO2 power cycle that could achieve 90pc thermal efficiciency [sic] and does not require water, transforming the propects [sic] of desert solar.

. . .

The US Energy Department expects the cost of solar power to fall by 75pc between 2010 and 2020. By then average costs will have dropped to the $1 per watt for big solar farms, $1.25 for offices and $1.50 for homes, achieving the Holy Grail of grid parity with new coal and gas plants without further need for subsidies.

The current average in the US ranges from $5.30 for homes to as low as $2.50 for some utilities, though the figures are hotly disputed. Germany is further ahead, down to $2.25 to $2.50 even for homes. Broadly speaking, costs are down by a quarter over the past year due to the flood of cheap Chinese panels.

[IMG]http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02643/solar-4_2643883c.jpg[/IMG]
Two Kinds of Solar Parity

The Department expects a "nonlinear" surge in solar expansion once the key threshold is reached, "paving the way for rapid, large-scale adoption of solar electricity across the US", with solar providing 27pc of the country's power by the middle of the century. If so, solar may prove to be the bigger story than shale in the end.

. . .

... Earlier this year UBS published a report on the “unsubsidised solar revolution”, arguing that every rooftop in Italy, Spain and even Germany should have a solar cover based purely on hard economics.

"We believe the solar sector is at an inflection point," says Vishal Shah from Deutsche Bank. "It has passed the tipping point for grid parity in 10 major markets worldwide."

Deutsche Bank said the dramatic fall in the price of solar panels to between $0.60 and $0.70 per watt - lower than thought possible five years ago - has already rendered solar power competitive "without subsidies" in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Italy, Greece, Spain, Israel, South Africa, Chile, Southern California, Hawai and Chile - in some cases because electricity prices are ruinous. (Italy's solar is not efficient but electricity retails at $0.38 per kilowatt hour, compared with $0.15 in Germany and the UK).

These regions could be joined within three years by Thailand, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey and India, among others. Mr Shah said emerging markets are likely to embrace solar over the next decade for hard-headed commercial reasons, without the need for government subsidies. "Solar is now cheaper compared with diesel-based electricity generation in many markets such as India and Africa," he said.

[IMG]http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02643/solar-5_2643885c.jpg[/IMG]
Solar is Less Expensive Than New Nuclear

This does not mean necessarily that Germany has benefited much from its head-long rush into solar, a decade too early for its own good. Households have been bled to subsidise the green dream. Around €100bn or more has been frittered away on costly feed-in tariffs. German investors have lost their shirts on a string of solar ventures that have gone bankrupt. The gains leaked out to copycat companies in China, able to undercut German rivals in their own market with cheap labour and giveaway credit.

Such are the perils of being a "first mover", a fate that Britain knows well. It is a reminder too that advances in solar technology do not easily translate into profits for solar companies. They are tearing each apart in cut-throat competition. Yet Germany surely did the rest us a favour by cracking photovoltaics at a crucial moment, and for that we have a debt of gratitude.

Whatever you think about that episode, it is now behind us. Solar technology is advancing on every front with the rush of history. A team at Oxford University is working on perovskite, a cheap and abundant material that may slash the costs of solar panels by 75pc to under $0.20 per watt. While normal silicon layers are 180 micrometres thick, perovskite can capture the same amount of sunlight with one micrometrr, according to [I]MIT Technology Review[/I].

In Australia, the University of New South Wales is probing a mix of screen-printing techniques and use of semiconductors that boost solar efficiency to 50pc. Labs in Wisconsin have found ways to undercut silicon with carbon nanotubes. That alone does not do much to lower the "soft costs" of solar installation, now the biggest barrier, but Germany's experience has shown that scale can work wonders.

The race is on: somebody, somewhere, is soon going to deliver grid parity with a clarity that silences all critics. Then we can all forget about subsidies for solar, and tax it instead, a future cash cow.

. . .[/quote]

chris2be8 2013-08-19 16:07

The biggest variable is what time of day and year you have most demand for electricity. Germany has most demand in winter, after the sun has set, so they need enough conventional generating capacity to meet peak load without any help from solar power. Which makes solar power uneconomic unless it's nearly free. The same is true of anywhere else at a similar latitude.

In the tropics and subtropics demand is highest during the day. So you can meet most of the daytime peak without needing a conventional backup. That makes a big difference. And a sunny climate helps a lot as well.

In the USA they could generate solar power in the southwest and transmit it to the consumers in the rest of the country (and in Canada). That would not be cheap but at least the whole country is politically stable. In Europe they would have to cross several borders and the Mediterranean sea. And would you like to have to rely on Egypt to supply your electricity?

Chris

firejuggler 2013-08-19 16:11

Egypt? not atm at least. Otherwise, why not.

xilman 2013-08-19 18:10

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350124]The biggest variable is what time of day and year you have most demand for electricity. Germany has most demand in winter, after the sun has set, so they need enough conventional generating capacity to meet peak load without any help from solar power. Which makes solar power uneconomic unless it's nearly free. The same is true of anywhere else at a similar latitude.[/QUOTE]You assume uneconomic storage between production and consumption. That may be the case; it may not.

cheesehead 2013-08-19 18:24

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350124]The biggest variable is what time of day and year you have most demand for electricity. Germany has most demand in winter, after the sun has set, so they need enough conventional generating capacity[/QUOTE]... or enough storage capacity ... [quote]to meet peak load[/quote]with the help of power derived from stored solar energy, rather than[quote]without any help from solar power. Which makes solar power uneconomic unless it's nearly free. The same is true of anywhere else at a similar latitude.[/quote]Why didn't you mention that energy storage could solve the problem you describe?

[quote]In Europe they would have to cross several borders and the Mediterranean sea.[/quote]... when one omits any mention of energy storage methods, that is.

Once energy storage methods are introduced into the discussion, border considerations recede in importance.

[quote]And would you like to have to rely on Egypt to supply your electricity?[/quote]Would you like to introduce the use of energy storage methods to solve the problems you mention?

kladner 2013-08-19 23:13

I have seen proposals for solar concentration installations in the Sahara. These lend themselves to molten salt storage for night generation. The next link was to be very high voltage DC transmission lines across the Mediterranean. DC transmission is made feasible by modern technology, and is much lower loss than AC transmission.

Of course, the thought of a careless ship dragging an anchor through the installation and blacking out a big chunk of Europe is worrisome to say the least. It has been bad enough when data cables have been taken out.

chalsall 2013-08-19 23:50

[QUOTE=kladner;350176]The next link was to be very high voltage DC transmission lines across the Mediterranean. DC transmission is made feasible by modern technology, and is much lower loss than AC transmission.[/QUOTE]

It would have to be ***VERY*** high DC voltage, and is only more efficient than AC when the cable is routed through water (or some other inductive medium).

ewmayer 2013-08-20 00:39

Friend just forwaded the following to me:

[url=www.electroiq.com/articles/sst/2013/08/the-positive-sides-of-doping.html?cmpid=ENLWaferNEWSAugust202013]The positive sides of doping[/url]
[quote]Flexible thin film solar cells that can be produced by roll-to-roll manufacturing are a highly promising route to cheap solar electricity. Now scientists from Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have made significant progress in paving the way for the industrialization of flexible, light-weight and low-cost cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells on metal foils. They succeeded in increasing their efficiency from below eight to 11.5 percent by doping the cells with copper, as they report in the current issue of “Nature Communications.”[/quote]

chappy 2013-08-20 01:01

High Voltage DC has much less line loss than AC, and creates less heat which equals less sagging in the lines. Also means less insulation is needed which reduces cost. The greatest advantage from a transmission system operations standpoint is that there is no need to synchronize the grids.

We've just passed the 10 year anniversary of the largest black out in North American history which was caused by heat-induced line sag.

About the only downside is that it's hard to deal with power fluctuations such as lightning strikes. Meaning that they are better off run underground (which increases cost, or underwater which adds other dangers.

firejuggler 2013-08-20 01:27

Why does every time I hear of 'storing power' I have a Matrix flashback?
(and yes I know i'm either a clown or a village idiot)

kladner 2013-08-20 01:35

[QUOTE=chalsall;350179]It would have to be ***VERY*** high DC voltage, and is only more efficient than AC when the cable is routed through water (or some other inductive medium).[/QUOTE]

Aren't there reactive losses even with wire in air?
Losses:
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission#Losses[/url]

[QUOTE]As of 1980, the longest cost-effective distance for [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Current"]Direct Current[/URL] transmission was determined to be 7,000 km (4,300 mi). For [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternating_Current"]Alternating Current[/URL] it was 4,000 km (2,500 mi), though all transmission lines in use today are substantially shorter than this.[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission#cite_note-limits-of-very-long-distance-7"][/URL][/QUOTE] Note that these are 1980 figures, though I'm not sure that there have been big changes since then.

Distance finder, example: Tunis to Berlin, crow flight and land route:
[url]http://www.distance.to/Tunis/Berlin[/url]

I chose Tunis as an easy marker at the edge of a short ocean crossing, near substantial amounts of desert. Berlin is a pretty good marker for northern Europe. Getting the power to more southern locations would be easier, but even Berlin is in reasonable range for the transmission line lengths given. I'm only looking for rough estimates to show possibilities.

In fact, here is a rather gloomy report on the actual project.

[url]http://www.nature.com/news/sahara-solar-plan-loses-its-shine-1.11684[/url]

It sure looked good in the beginning-
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec[/url]

chris2be8 2013-08-20 16:45

[QUOTE=cheesehead;350146]... or enough storage capacity ... [/QUOTE]

Storing several hundred GigaWatt-hours of electricity would be expensive. Work out how much 100 GigaWatt-hours of battery capacity would cost.

Also how many countries in north Africa would you think stable enough to rely on to provide your electricity supply?

I used to work in the electricity industry so I know quite a lot about the subject. The point I was trying to make is that solar power is much more cost effective in some parts of the world than others. And Germany is one of the places where it does not make economic sense today.

Chris

chappy 2013-08-20 18:29

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350240]Storing several hundred GigaWatt-hours of electricity would be expensive. Work out how much 100 GigaWatt-hours of battery capacity would cost.

Also how many countries in north Africa would you think stable enough to rely on to provide your electricity supply?

I used to work in the electricity industry so I know quite a lot about the subject. The point I was trying to make is that solar power is much more cost effective in some parts of the world than others. And Germany is one of the places where it does not make economic sense today.

Chris[/QUOTE]


I agree that it doesn't make sense in Germany, but 100 million euros has made it feasible. As I said in my earlier discussion Germany has taken a huge economic hit for very little gain, but the plus side is that the rest of the world can benefit from that gain. (In fact it only compounds the problem if the rest of the world doesn't take advantage!)

The article about the US military heading that direction is also of economic benefit to the rest of the world. So long term we have at least one working model of a large and industrialized country implementing (however flawed) solar power. And we have a huge industrial-complex of the military pushing for lighter weight and more robust materials. There is no downside now that the money is already spent. (I've already covered the downsides as I see them [URL="http://www.mersenneforum.org/showpost.php?p=346911&postcount=4"]here[/URL], and elsewhere in this thread).

We've seen some discussion here about the real problems that renewables face: 1) Energy storage for when the sun isn't shining or the wind dies down. (my anecdotal knowledge of solar power is that even a partially cloudy day has a significant impact (25-40%) on total power generated. The company I work for has [URL="http://www.ameren.com/solar/Pages/Home.aspx"]test banks of several of the competing technologies [/URL]2) cost effective base load power. 3) variabilities in the various grids that don't allow power to be transfered across regions. 4) line loss and other problems related to transporting power.

When we fix any one of those issues we will be ready to talk about replacing the current bad system with something better.

kladner 2013-08-20 21:16

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350240]Storing several hundred GigaWatt-hours of electricity would be expensive. Work out how much 100 GigaWatt-hours of battery capacity would cost.

Also how many countries in north Africa would you think stable enough to rely on to provide your electricity supply?

Chris[/QUOTE]

Thermal storage probably makes more sense than storing the electricity itself.

Instability is a problem in many regions, many of which have good solar potential. However, there is a great deal of dependence on North Africa for energy supplies already. To what other regions and sources would you turn?

chalsall 2013-08-20 22:11

[QUOTE=chappy;350184]High Voltage DC has much less line loss than AC, and creates less heat which equals less sagging in the lines. Also means less insulation is needed which reduces cost. The greatest advantage from a transmission system operations standpoint is that there is no need to synchronize the grids.[/QUOTE]

OK, let's think (and talk) about this.

Let's say you have 120,000 volts of AC. How do you down convert it to 120 V AC?

A simple ferric ring with windings will do. Also known as a transformer. It will give off some heat.

Let's say you have 120,000 volts of DC. How do you down convert it to 120 V DC?

A pulsed modulation impulse into a capacitor might do, with a resister downstream, but that control might be rather expensive. And, it will also give off heat.

Just thinking out loud....

kladner 2013-08-20 22:55

I'm a little tied up fixing dinner, but here's a basic rundown on conversion-
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HVDC_converter_station[/url]

and on transmission lines. Note that typical voltage in AC setups is above 110KV, but there are limits related to corona discharge leakage.
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_voltage_transmission_line[/url]

A big reason for HVDC transmission is efficiency. Losses a substantially lower.
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current[/url]

There is a link in an earlier post in this thread which addresses voltage limits and relative efficiency of DC and AC over long distances.

chalsall 2013-08-20 23:40

[QUOTE=kladner;350268]I'm a little tied up fixing dinner, but here's a basic rundown on conversion...[/QUOTE]

I hope you appreciate that I'm being playful here, and I might be completely wrong.

My understanding it is very easy to convert AC to DC (a rectifier (four diodes), and maybe a few capacitors and resistors), not so easy to convert back.

Further, it is very easy to convert voltages when the power is presented as AC; rather difficult to convert voltages when it is presented as DC.

But, then, things might have changed since I went to school....

kladner 2013-08-21 00:42

I am happy with discussion, don't worry.

My impression from reading some of the articles is that the efficiencies of conversion and transmission trade off against each other. I don't remember the exact figures posted earlier, but I [I]think[/I] DC transmission was somewhere in the area of twice as efficient. One way this was stated in practical terms was the distances over which the two approaches could be used.

As to conversion, there are several kinds of devices. Solid state tends to dominate now with thyristors playing a role. I would also expect diacs and triacs (SCRs) to be involved. However, I will have to read more to be sure of efficiencies between solid state and older technology. An older device mentioned is the mercury vapor valve, which is, of course, the British term for an electron tube.

Having grown up fascinated with electronics when tubes still ruled, I remember reading about very high power rectifiers which contained mercury vapor. Given the conductive nature of ionized metal vapor, I would not want to bet that solid state devices are more efficient. They are, however, more compact and robust by a long shot. Diesel-electric locomotives changed over from DC to AC traction with the advent of high-power solid state devices which could provide frequency control of the motors. It was technically possible before, but utterly impractical to have a tube rig to control your locomotive.

chappy 2013-08-21 00:46

It's hard (or impractical) to step up and step down DC at the level we are talking about. The current (watts up with that word?) practice is stacked thyristors to convert the power back to AC for stepping back down.

[url]http://www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/ts_nelson.shtml[/url]

another less efficient but much more fun way it the motor-generator, which can be used to transfer power from AC to DC or step up and step down any conversion you want. The downside is a loss of efficiency inverse to the efficiency of the mechanical torque, but even that loss of efficiency is less than line loss in HVAC lines over about 600miles (1000km).

Again this isn't exactly my area of expertise. I deal with 125vDC and 24vAC. And what I can tell you from personal experience is that DC hurts when it bites you. But don't those Thyristor stacks (DC voltage Valves!) look awesome?

[url]http://www.ptd.siemens.de/B4-203.pdf[/url]

chappy 2013-08-21 00:52

[QUOTE=kladner;350278]I am happy with discussion, don't worry.

My impression from reading some of the articles is that the efficiencies of conversion and transmission trade off against each other. I don't remember the exact figures posted earlier, but I [I]think[/I] DC transmission was somewhere in the area of twice as efficient. One way this was stated in practical terms was the distances over which the two approaches could be used.
.[/QUOTE]

I think this is a pro-HVDC way to phrase it "in the area of twice as efficient" but yes, I'm reliably informed that AC line losses CAN reach up to 24% of total load. And DC line losses over the same long distances CAN reach up to 12-15%. So it's power cost x loss - any additional steps (like electronics and inversion) + cost savings on insulation. HVDC (I'm told by the EE's I work with) becomes cost effective at around 600miles (1000km) that I referenced above, when AC line losses cost more power than the resulting transmission costs.

kladner 2013-08-21 01:11

[QUOTE=chappy;350279] And what I can tell you from personal experience is that DC hurts when it bites you. But don't those Thyristor stacks (DC voltage Valves!) look awesome?[/QUOTE]

Not only does the plate voltage of a tube hurt if you bump into it, but leaving skin on metal edges as you involuntarily yank your hand out of the chassis is no picnic, either.

However, there are ways that AC can be worse. My late brother did sound and lighting installations which involved running wires through various areas such as above suspended ceilings. This was often done with a long, telescoping "fishing rod" to which you attached the end of the wire, or a cord for pulling wire.

One time, he was up on a metal ladder, shoving through above a ceiling, and his pole ran into 240 VAC which some idiot had left exposed. A characteristic of AC in this range of voltage is that you may clamp on through muscle spasm and not be able to turn loose. This happened to him. I saw him later and he was moving very painfully. This was not directly because of the shock. Rather, he was unable to let go. He said that it took real concentration and self-control to rock the ladder enough to make it fall over. This caused him to fall on his side on the stairs leading to the night club dance floor, from perhaps twelve feet up.

Some of you are probably familiar with "The Bricklayer's Tale/Lament/Accident Report." It involves a related sort of mishap.
[URL]http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-10209.html[/URL]
I am pretty sure that a recording I have heard of an older British gentleman recounting this sad story, ended with "I respectfully request sick leave."

Well wouldn't you know.....
[YOUTUBE]zZUJLO6lMhI[/YOUTUBE]

kladner 2013-08-21 01:16

[QUOTE=chappy;350281]I think this is a pro-HVDC way to phrase it "in the area of twice as efficient" .....[/QUOTE]

That was actually my hedging statement of something imperfectly remembered, which I did not at the time feel like tracking back to. But I suppose that I am somewhat partial to the concept of HVDC. For one thing it has a nice ironic reversal component, given the battle between Edison and Westinghouse over DC versus AC respectively, which Westinghouse won.

chappy 2013-08-21 01:56

I'm pro-DC as well, despite working at a magnet-spinning factory.

kladner 2013-08-21 02:37

...and yes, large, high voltage structures of many sorts are amazing sculptures, and quite awe inspiring.

only_human 2013-08-21 14:22

As a data note, here is the current state of battery storage:
[URL="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130814-japan-solar-energy-incentive/"]Japan Solar Energy Soars, But Grid Needs to Catch Up[/URL][QUOTE]World's Largest Battery

To address the issue of integrating solar energy onto the grid in Hokkaido, METI said it has set aside 29.6 billion yen (US$294 million) to install a large storage battery at Hokkaido Electric's Minami Hayakita substation by March 2015 to stabilize the flow of solar power onto the grid. By installing the new battery, expected to be the world's largest with a storage capacity of 60 megawatts, the regional utility will be able to receive an additional 10 percent more electricity. (It would be nearly double the size of the largest battery currently operating in the world, at 36 megawatts, installed in 2012 in China to help integrate renewable energy onto the grid in Zhangbei, Hebei Province.) (See related quiz, "What You Don't Know About Batteries.")

But the installation alone provides no fundamental solution, and the ministry said it "will continue to ask business enterprises to seek locations other than Hokkaido for large-scale solar power plants."[/QUOTE]An earlier paragraph describes the rapid growth of solar installation in Japan[QUOTE]Domestic photovoltaic module shipments were up 271.3 percent compared to last year, according to the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association. U.S. research firm IHS predicted the Japanese photovoltaic market would surpass Germany as the largest solar revenue market with 120 percent growth this year, installing more than 5 gigawatts of new capacity, with projects more than 2 megawatts in size being the major driving force behind the triple-digit growth rate. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicted that such commercial and utility-scale projects would boost solar installations to a range of 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts in 2013, making Japan the largest solar market in the world after China.[/QUOTE]The rest of the article is about problems, politics, infrastructure, background of Japan's nuclear situation, etc.

fivemack 2013-08-21 15:48

That is, of course, a 60 megawatt-hour battery (a 'redox flow' battery, whatever those may be).

only_human 2013-08-21 16:26

[QUOTE=fivemack;350342]That is, of course, a 60 megawatt-hour battery (a 'redox flow' battery, whatever those may be).[/QUOTE]A corresponding Bloomburg article, [URL="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-06/japanese-battery-trial-seeks-to-transform-how-grids-work-energy.html"]Japanese Battery Trial Seeks to Transform How Grids Work: Energy[/URL], has this on a photocaption:[QUOTE]A member of the media walks past a redox flow battery at Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.'s plant in Yokohama, Japan. The Hokkaido project gives Japan and Sumitomo a chance to showcase the vanadium redox flow technology to utilities around the globe that need to integrate renewables into the grid.[/QUOTE]
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanadium_redox_battery[/url]
[QUOTE]The vanadium redox (and redox flow) battery is a type of rechargeable flow battery that employs vanadium ions in different oxidation states to store chemical potential energy. The present form (with sulfuric acid electrolytes) was patented by the University of New South Wales in Australia in 1986. [2]
[...]
There are currently a number of suppliers and developers of these battery systems including Ashlawn Energy in the United States, Renewable Energy Dynamics (RED-T) in Ireland, Cellstrom GmbH in Austria, Cellennium in Thailand, Prudent Energy in China[6][7][8], Sumitomo in Japan and H2, Inc. in South Korea[9]. The vanadium redox battery (VRB) is the product of over 25 years of research, development, testing and evaluation in Australia, Europe, North America and elsewhere.

The vanadium redox battery exploits the ability of vanadium to exist in solution in four different oxidation states, and uses this property to make a battery that has just one electroactive element instead of two.

The main advantages of the vanadium redox battery are that it can offer almost unlimited capacity simply by using larger and larger storage tanks, it can be left completely discharged for long periods with no ill effects, it can be recharged simply by replacing the electrolyte if no power source is available to charge it, and if the electrolytes are accidentally mixed the battery suffers no permanent damage.

The main disadvantages with vanadium redox technology are a relatively poor energy-to-volume ratio, and the system complexity in comparison with standard storage batteries.
[...]
Applications

The extremely large capacities possible from vanadium redox batteries make them well suited to use in large power storage applications such as helping to average out the production of highly variable generation sources such as wind or solar power, or to help generators cope with large surges in demand.

The limited self-discharge characteristics of vanadium redox batteries make them useful in applications where the batteries must be stored for long periods of time with little maintenance while maintaining a ready state. This has led to their adoption in some military electronics, such as the sensor components of the GATOR mine system.

Their extremely rapid response times also make them superbly well suited to UPS type applications, where they can be used to replace lead–acid batteries and even diesel generators.[/QUOTE]

kladner 2013-08-21 17:48

1 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=kladner;350296]...and yes, large, high voltage structures of many sorts are amazing sculptures, and quite awe inspiring.[/QUOTE]

I thought the [URL="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Mercury_Arc_Valve%2C_Radisson_Converter_Station%2C_Gillam_MB.jpg"]150 kV mercury arc valve [/URL]was pretty damned impressive, too. (Larger image file at link.) It's almost like a pipe organ.

kladner 2013-08-21 19:59

This topic really has my interest at the moment. Here is an informative segment of the linked article which discusses advances in DC>AC conversion.
[QUOTE]Widely used in [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjustable-speed_drive"]motor drives[/URL] since the 1980s, Voltage-source converters started to appear in HVDC in 1997 with the experimental [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HVDC_Hellsj%C3%B6n%E2%80%93Gr%C3%A4ngesberg"]Hellsjön–Grängesberg[/URL] project in Sweden. By the end of 2011, this technology had captured a significant proportion of the HVDC market.
The development of higher rated [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IGBT_transistor"]insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT)[/URL], [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyristor"]gate turn-off thyristors (GTO)[/URL] and [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_gate-commutated_thyristor"]integrated gate-commutated thyristors[/URL] (IGCTs), has made smaller HVDC systems economical. The manufacturer [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABB"]ABB[/URL] calls this concept [I]HVDC Light[/I], while [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens"]Siemens[/URL] calls a similar concept [I]HVDC PLUS[/I] ([I]Power Link Universal System[/I]) and [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alstom"]Alstom[/URL] call their product based upon this technology [I]HVDC MaxSine[/I]. They have extended the use of HVDC down to blocks as small as a few tens of megawatts and lines as short as a few score kilometres of overhead line. There are several different variants of VSC technology: most HVDC Light installations built until 2012 use [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_width_modulation"]pulse width modulation[/URL] in a circuit that is effectively an ultra-high-voltage motor drive. Current installations, including HVDC PLUS and HVDC MaxSine, are based on variants of a converter called a [I]Modular Multi-Level Converter[/I] (MMC).
Multilevel converters have the advantage that they allow harmonic filtering equipment to be reduced or eliminated altogether. By way of comparison, AC harmonic filters of typical line-commutated converter stations cover nearly half of the converter station area.
With time, voltage-source converter systems will probably replace all installed simple thyristor-based systems, including the highest DC power transmission applications.[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current#cite_note-John_Wiley_and_Sons-5"][5][/URL]
[/QUOTE][URL]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current#Voltage-source_converters_.28VSC.29[/URL]

This, and the following section discuss the economics of DC versus AC for transmission. The methods explained above, as noted, extend the applications of DC to smaller domains. The comparison to motor drives is of particular interest to me.

cheesehead 2013-08-23 01:36

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350240]Storing several hundred GigaWatt-hours of electricity would be expensive. Work out how much 100 GigaWatt-hours of battery capacity would cost.[/QUOTE]I used the phrase "storage capacity" precisely because [I]batteries[/I] are not the only means of energy storage.

[quote]Also how many countries in north Africa would you think stable enough to rely on to provide your electricity supply?[/quote]When you're raising straw men, you could list quite a few of them, couldn't you?

[quote]I used to work in the electricity industry so I know quite a lot about the subject.[/quote]Then let your posts demonstrate that you know enough about "Economic prospects for solar photovoltaic power" (topic) to be able to argue without employing straw men and without ignoring non-battery energy storage.

fivemack 2013-08-23 16:30

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350240]Storing several hundred GigaWatt-hours of electricity would be expensive.[/quote]

Not unspeakably expensive, just a bit cumbersome; 300 gigawatt-hours is a billion tons of water - a lake a hundred metres deep and ten square kilometres surface area - a hundred metres up a mountain. Bloody great dam at the western end of Loch Morar, similar on the north and south sides; since it's basically a fjord and some dozen kilometres from the far side of the middle of nowhere, that's probably reasonably practical.

chris2be8 2013-08-23 17:32

The Japanese would not be using batteries if they had a cheaper alternative. Pumped storage needs two reservoirs, one at high level and one at low level. Japan may not have many suitable locations.

Using the sea as the lower one means filling the upper reservoir with salt water, which has more environmental impact that using fresh water.

A bigger problem at high latitudes is that solar power provides most power in the summer, but demand is highest in winter. That needs a lot more storage capacity.

As I said in my first post solar power works best in lower latitudes. It makes more sense to develop it there, then move to higher latitudes when you have the economies of scale.

Chris

chappy 2013-08-23 17:50

[QUOTE=fivemack;350639]Not unspeakably expensive, just a bit cumbersome; 300 gigawatt-hours is a billion tons of water - a lake a hundred metres deep and ten square kilometres surface area - a hundred metres up a mountain. Bloody great dam at the western end of Loch Morar, similar on the north and south sides; since it's basically a fjord and some dozen kilometres from the far side of the middle of nowhere, that's probably reasonably practical.[/QUOTE]

Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.

cheesehead 2013-08-25 00:21

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350646]A bigger problem at high latitudes is that solar power provides most power in the summer, but demand is highest in winter. That needs a lot more storage capacity.[/QUOTE]... or a mix of types of energy source, rather than only solar power.

I think we can safely assume that there will not be some theoretical purely-one-type-of-power-source world in the future, and can reasonably discuss the economics of solar photovoltaic power without imagining or requiring that no other power type exists or will be used.

Though I started this particular thread about only solar photovoltaic power's economics in particular, other types will be, of course, part of the desirable overall mix. This thread is not for advocating or discouraging any particular mixture of power sources; it's for discussion of the economics of one particular type -- solar photovoltaic -- within realistic future projections.

cheesehead 2013-08-25 00:35

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350646]The Japanese would not be using batteries if they had a cheaper alternative. Pumped storage needs two reservoirs, one at high level and one at low level. Japan may not have many suitable locations.

Using the sea as the lower one means filling the upper reservoir with salt water, which has more environmental impact that using fresh water.[/QUOTE]Perhaps someone will start another thread for discussion of energy storage methods and technology -- which would be relevant to energy gathered from not only solar power, but also any other natural source, such as wind, waves, or geothermal, that wouldn't necessarily be available according to a convenient artificial schedule.

Uncwilly 2013-08-25 01:11

[QUOTE=cheesehead;350748]Perhaps someone will start another thread for discussion of energy storage methods and technology[/QUOTE]
[URL="http://www.lightsail.com/tech/"]LightSail[/URL]

chalsall 2013-08-25 01:27

[QUOTE=chappy;350647]Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.[/QUOTE]

Just to put on the record... That's pretty fscking cool!!! :smile:

kladner 2013-08-25 01:58

[QUOTE=chappy;350647]Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.[/QUOTE]

That's pretty cool! The article seems to say that there are 2x 225MW reversible turbines. Do they run below the apparent capacity to have sufficient hours of generating potential?

chappy 2013-08-25 04:19

That's it. its 333 MW for 3-4 hours or 220ish for 6-8.

It is a net loser of power of course, so it is filled at night when MW prices are in the teens and used during the afternoons when prices are in the upper 20's to lower 30's.

The Church Mountain project (which is just a few miles away) was cancelled but was in the neighborhood of twice that size. Environmentalists opposed it (blindly--as they oppose any project by anyone that isn't solar or wind). But it could easily have replaced the plant I work at which is about 800 MW of dirty coal. A definite win for the consumers and for the environment. (not so much for me of course, but I'm consigned to the fate that someday the dumb environmentalists will lose out to the smart ones and I will be out of a job. Until then the dumb environmentalists keep dirty coal plants running. See the early discussion of Germany and photocells causing more reliance on brown coal.)

Uncwilly 2013-08-25 04:55

[QUOTE=chappy;350647]Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.[/QUOTE]
What about this one?
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castaic_Power_Plant#Castaic_Power_Plant[/url]

kladner 2013-08-25 05:01

So that installation would currently be in its "charging" phase.

While it necessarily has losses, so do all the other technologies we've been discussing. I think those thyristor stacks have some pretty hefty liquid cooling, i. e. they have some power dissipation to deal with.

What storage does is allow better distribution, over the day, of the total available "generator-hours" of capacity in the system, carrying over excess capacity to match demand. So the proposed/rejected big new "battery" could have taken a coal-fired peaker plant offline?

Uncwilly 2013-08-25 05:44

[QUOTE=kladner;350759]So the proposed/rejected big new "battery" could have taken a coal-fired peaker plant offline?[/QUOTE]Most peaker plants, to my knowledge, tend to be gas turbine (quick to start and stop), 'small' hydro like the ones mentioned, and landfill gas and biomass plants. There are likely some gas (not petrol) fired IC's too. I have talked with the a utility power manager for a small city that I have a connection to, they found that it was cheaper to buy from the grid with their smallish gas turbine on standby to act as a peaker. I know someone that is an electrical load dispatcher for a very large municipal power agency. I could inquire about what their mix of peakers looks like.

kladner 2013-08-25 06:58

[QUOTE]Most peaker plants, to my knowledge, tend to be gas turbine (quick to start and stop), 'small' hydro like the ones mentioned, and landfill gas and biomass plants. There are likely some gas (not petrol) fired IC's too.[/QUOTE]

That is certainly true for capacity which has to be brought up somewhat unexpectedly. But the fluctuations through the day are somewhat predictable and tend to be cyclical. Some less responsive plants, like coal fired, can be online when a peak is expected.

I have no idea what the details of capacities and load times are in Chappy's situation. The implication I took was that another, larger such "water battery" could have carried over enough cheap night power to feed out at peak daytime demand, such that the coal plant he works at might have been taken off line.

chalsall 2013-08-26 17:12

1 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=kladner;350764]I have no idea what the details of capacities and load times are in Chappy's situation. The implication I took was that another, larger such "water battery" could have carried over enough cheap night power to feed out at peak daytime demand, such that the coal plant he works at might have been taken off line.[/QUOTE]

Lunch is over, but another energy storage technology to consider...

Distributed [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage"]Flywheel storage[/URL].

And, a graph of the "200 Volt" power input to one of my clients by the local electrical supplier for the last month....

chappy 2013-09-03 01:45

[url]http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2013/2283.html[/url]

An extensive review of the probable future of renewables (mainly solar and wind) in the Western Continental US. Geothermal (something we haven't spent many pixels on) solves many of the problems of other renewables but won't be cost effective for some time.

only_human 2013-10-10 04:04

[URL="http://gigaom.com/2013/10/09/a-huge-solar-farm-with-molten-salt-storage-is-ready-to-go-live-in-arizona/"]A huge solar farm with molten salt storage is ready to go live in Arizona[/URL][QUOTE]When the sun is out full blast, the solar farm produces a lot of heat and pumps some of that into the molten salt tanks. When the sun goes behind a cloud, or at night, the farm can turn to the energy storage tech to offer power for another six hours.[/QUOTE][QUOTE]The power from Solana will be enough to provide electricity for 70,000 households, or 280 MW. Arizona’s largest utility Arizona Public Service (APS) will purchase all of the solar power from the farm.[/QUOTE][QUOTE]The farm cost $2 billion to build and was part of the controversial loan guarantee program from the Department of Energy. Abengoa was awarded a $1.45 billion loan guarantee in 2010 — the largest for clean power out of that program.[/QUOTE]This is a steam turbine instead of photovoltaic.

chalsall 2013-10-10 17:32

[QUOTE=only_human;355817][URL="http://gigaom.com/2013/10/09/a-huge-solar-farm-with-molten-salt-storage-is-ready-to-go-live-in-arizona/"]A huge solar farm with molten salt storage is ready to go live in Arizona[/URL][/QUOTE]

Very cool!

I've always thought that molten salt storage was a very smart idea, and have proposed it many times to the Government and the power Company here.

Unfortunately, the suggestion fell on deaf ears, although admittedly it is rather leading edge. Heck, Barbados is only now finally starting to get serious about photovoltaics (and the Company is trying to limit how much power is fed back into the grid :sad:)....

LaurV 2013-10-11 06:13

[QUOTE=only_human;355817]....molten salt.... steam turbine...[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=chalsall;355861]Very cool![/QUOTE]
You are nuts! Than what is warm? Molten lava? :razz:

In fact, hmm... only 6 hours after sun goes down?!?!?
Maybe molten lava (or steel) would be better indeed! hehe...

chalsall 2013-10-11 08:07

[QUOTE=LaurV;355910]You are nuts! Than what is warm? Molten lava? :razz:[/QUOTE]

Plasma. :wink:

Uncwilly 2013-10-11 12:34

[QUOTE=chalsall;355861]I've always thought that molten salt storage was a very smart idea, and have proposed it many times to the Government and the power Company here.[/QUOTE][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Solar_Project"]This project[/URL] with hot rock and oil storage was completed in 1981.

only_human 2016-07-23 15:50

[URL="http://m.sfgate.com/business/article/As-heatwave-bakes-CA-solar-sets-a-big-record-8379331.php"]As solar floods California grid, challenges loom[/URL]
[QUOTE]Just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, large solar plants scattered across California produced a record 8,030 megawatts of electricity, according to the California Independent System Operator, the organization that runs most of the state’s power grid. That’s nearly twice as much solar power as California could generate just two years ago — and it doesn’t even count the electricity produced by hundreds of thousands of small rooftop solar arrays statewide.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]When electricity demand on Tuesday reached its peak, at 5:54 p.m., almost 29 percent of the electricity coursing over the grid came from renewable sources, according to the Independent System Operator.

For a brief time on May 16, renewables accounted for 56 percent of the grid’s electricity, according to the operator.[/QUOTE]

kladner 2016-07-23 16:56

[QUOTE=only_human;438587][URL="http://m.sfgate.com/business/article/As-heatwave-bakes-CA-solar-sets-a-big-record-8379331.php"]As solar floods California grid, challenges loom[/URL][/QUOTE]
That is really encouraging. I hope that CA is setting the pace for others to follow, as it has in the past. Even a brief peak over 50% is remarkable. Too bad it is more difficult to store actual electricity than it is to store heat. With large wind and solar-voltaic components in the supply, it is harder to get away from fossil peak generation.

When it comes to solar-thermal installations, I hope the central tower model does not expand too much more. Parabolic troughs don't burn birds, as far as I know.

xilman 2016-07-23 18:48

[QUOTE=kladner;438595]That is really encouraging. I hope that CA is setting the pace for others to follow, as it has in the past. Even a brief peak over 50% is remarkable. Too bad it is more difficult to store actual electricity than it is to store heat. With large wind and solar-voltaic components in the supply, it is harder to get away from fossil peak generation.[/QUOTE]I agree: really encouraging.

What would be even more encouraging IMAO (though I have no personal stake in the game) is for CA to generate enough excess electrical power and to use it in association with solar heating to desalinate (the local part of) the Pacific ocean. Otherwise the state may be in deep :poop: within a few decades, given the way in which the local climate appears to be developing.

S485122 2016-07-23 19:46

[QUOTE=xilman;438604]...
Otherwise the state may be in deep :poop: within a few decades, given the way in which the local climate appears to be developing.[/QUOTE]As far as I can see the big problem in California is that almonds are the most lucrative crop, that crop needs a lot of water and the water is not considered a common good : if you have the powerful pumps you just take it. The fact fact that water will not be available in the near future is something one blames on government but also on the "ecologists "and other "liberal" rabble. In the framework of financial economy it does not make sense to choose a crop that would be adapted to low water levels : the only criteria are immediate gainsin other words no future.

Jacob

only_human 2016-07-24 04:56

[QUOTE=xilman;438604]I agree: really encouraging.

What would be even more encouraging IMAO (though I have no personal stake in the game) is for CA to generate enough excess electrical power and to use it in association with solar heating to desalinate (the local part of) the Pacific ocean. Otherwise the state may be in deep :poop: within a few decades, given the way in which the local climate appears to be developing.[/QUOTE]

There is a desalination plant planned quite near me. This is a local paper.
[URL="http://www.dailybreeze.com/environment-and-nature/20160722/why-south-bay-environmentalists-oppose-west-basins-planned-ocean-water-desalination-plant"]Why South Bay environmentalists oppose West Basin’s planned ocean water desalination plant[/URL]
[QUOTE]West Basin, a Carson-based agency that supplies much of the South Bay’s water, has spent more than a decade and tens of millions of dollars exploring building the plant on the beach in El Segundo — part of a long-term plan to make the region less dependent on imported water.

A draft EIR for the $380 million facility is taking longer than expected to completed and won’t be released until the end of the year, according to officials. Activists are using the delay to build public opposition to the project, especially since two veteran members of the panel that will vote on it — Carol Kwan and Don Dear — are up for re-election in November.

The desalination plant would need approval from regulatory agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, before operation could begin in 2023.

It could produce 20 million gallons of drinkable water to West Basin’s service area every day, and has the capacity to produce 40 million additional gallons that could be sold to other agencies.

At the heart of the debate: though West Basin says the plant will be the most environmentally friendly in the world and will only enhance efforts to increase recycling, opponents view desalination as an energy intensive last resort, and believe the agency is betting on the plant to be an independent money-maker to make up for revenue lost to conservation.[/QUOTE]
A large plant further south: [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsbad_desalination_plant"]Carlsbad desalination plant[/URL]
Another is being considered in Huntington Beach.
A ballot measure is being considered that takes away high speed rail money to somehow help the water situation:
[URL="http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_29623022/kill-high-speed-rail-and-spend-money-reservoirs"]Kill high-speed rail and spend the money on reservoirs? Proposed California ballot measure sparks debate[/URL]
Water rights and wrongs have been a mess throughout California's history. I'm pretty satisfied with the Governor actions so far and hope ballot initiatives don't screw things up too badly.

kladner 2016-07-25 00:50

[QUOTE=only_human;438635]There is a desalination plant planned quite near me. This is a local paper.
[URL="http://www.dailybreeze.com/environment-and-nature/20160722/why-south-bay-environmentalists-oppose-west-basins-planned-ocean-water-desalination-plant"]Why South Bay environmentalists oppose West Basin’s planned ocean water desalination plant[/URL]

A large plant further south: [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsbad_desalination_plant"]Carlsbad desalination plant[/URL]
Another is being considered in Huntington Beach.
A ballot measure is being considered that takes away high speed rail money to somehow help the water situation:
[URL="http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_29623022/kill-high-speed-rail-and-spend-money-reservoirs"]Kill high-speed rail and spend the money on reservoirs? Proposed California ballot measure sparks debate[/URL]
Water rights and wrongs have been a mess throughout California's history. I'm pretty satisfied with the Governor actions so far and hope ballot initiatives don't screw things up too badly.[/QUOTE]
Desalination necessarily implies doing something with the salt. Dumping it back in the ocean should not be the solution (:razz:).

Also, there are multiple ways to desalinate. Some of them could be directly solar-driven without the electric intermediary, other than that needed to transport the water.

chalsall 2016-07-25 01:06

[QUOTE=kladner;438681]Desalination necessarily implies doing something with the salt. Dumping it back in the ocean should not be the solution (:razz:).[/QUOTE]

Why not?

[QUOTE=kladner;438681]Also, there are multiple ways to desalinate. Some of them could be directly solar-driven without the electric intermediary, other than that needed to transport the water.[/QUOTE]

Sure. In cases of emergency one can desalinate using nothing more than a black plastic bag, a stick, and two buckets.

kladner 2016-07-25 01:10

[QUOTE=chalsall;438684]Why not?
[/QUOTE]
It over-salinates the dumping zone. This is bound to alter the ecosystem, though I don't know exactly what effects this might have. I have seen other such distortions around power plant (warm) cooling water outlets into natural bodies of water.

chalsall 2016-07-25 01:24

[QUOTE=kladner;438685]It over-salinates the dumping zone. This is bound to alter the ecosystem, though I don't know exactly what effects this might have. I have seen other such distortions around power plant (warm) cooling water outlets into natural bodies of water.[/QUOTE]

Brine water is heavier than water. It will flow downwards.

Warm cooling water is another issue. It will tend to flow upwards.

Interestingly, it has been shown that warm water promotes plant growth and fish populations around power plants.

kladner 2016-07-25 01:58

[QUOTE=chalsall;438686]Brine water is heavier than water. It will flow downwards.[/QUOTE]
And have an impact on bottom dwellers.

[QUOTE]Warm cooling water is another issue. It will tend to flow upwards.

Interestingly, it has been shown that warm water promotes plant growth and fish populations around power plants.[/QUOTE]
My family used to regularly drive past a Houston Lighting and Power cooling outlet. The current was fairly strong, suggesting plenty of aeration. The most noticeable thing was the number of fishing birds working the area.

Nothing exactly wrong with any of this. It's just that we should be cautious about altering existing balances with new projects. Plan in advance to deal with the effluent constructively.

chalsall 2016-07-25 02:31

[QUOTE=kladner;438690]Plan in advance to deal with the effluent constructively.[/QUOTE]

Completely agree!

xilman 2016-07-25 06:55

[QUOTE=kladner;438681]Desalination necessarily implies doing something with the salt. Dumping it back in the ocean should not be the solution (:razz:).

Also, there are multiple ways to desalinate. Some of them could be directly solar-driven without the electric intermediary, other than that needed to transport the water.[/QUOTE]Where I go on holiday ("vacation" for the Americans) desalination of seawater is a commercial activity. They dump the water to the atmosphere and sell the salt. Water is too common there to be salable.

This is La Palma in the Canaries. Is there not a market for salt in and around California?

kladner 2016-07-25 15:34

[QUOTE=xilman;438698]Where I go on holiday ("vacation" for the Americans) desalination of seawater is a commercial activity. They dump the water to the atmosphere and sell the salt. Water is too common there to be salable.

This is La Palma in the Canaries. Is there not a market for salt in and around California?[/QUOTE]
There must be some demand. There have been sea salt evaporating beds by San Francisco Bay for a long time.

I wonder at what point it becomes worthwhile to extract other minerals, if one has big piles of concentrated sea water contents to work with.

VictordeHolland 2016-07-25 17:14

[QUOTE=kladner;438721]There must be some demand. There have been sea salt evaporating beds by San Francisco Bay for a long time.

I wonder at what point it becomes worthwhile to extract other minerals, if one has big piles of concentrated sea water contents to work with.[/QUOTE]
The most abundant dissolved ions in seawater are sodium, chloride, magnesium, sulfate and calcium.

NaCl is common table salt
Sulfates are already extracted from oil and gas in large quantities.
And magnesium and calcium are quite common.
The remaining element are in minute quantities, so you'll need to process large amounts of seawater before extracting useful quantities.

xilman 2016-07-25 17:30

[QUOTE=VictordeHolland;438725]The most abundant dissolved ions in seawater are sodium, chloride, magnesium, sulfate and calcium.

NaCl is common table salt
Sulfates are already extracted from oil and gas in large quantities.
And magnesium and calcium are quite common.
The remaining element are in minute quantities, so you'll need to process large amounts of seawater before extracting useful quantities.[/QUOTE]Yup.

Sul{f,ph}ate is dirt common. That is, lots of variety of dirt contains the SO[sub]4[/sub][sup]-[/sup] ion or its close relatives. Removing SO[sub]2[/sub] from coal-fired power stations is a PITA that the operators would prefer not to have to do but governments in much of the over-developed world require to be done.

Iodine is, AFAIK, the element most likely to be extractable from seawater at a reasonable cost. The use of algae as a pre-processor for the extraction has historical (and AFAIK still is) importance. It's not clear to me how one could plausibly combine algal pre-processing with current desalination technoloogy.

chalsall 2016-07-25 17:35

[QUOTE=VictordeHolland;438725]Sulfates are already extracted from oil and gas in large quantities.[/QUOTE]

A complete tangent, if I may...

Mineral Oil is a by-product of oil and gas production. Cheap as chips. It is put into beauty products and food.

No one here in Bimshire even knows what this is!

I've been trying to source about 20 litres of the stuff to put into our rain water tanks to prevent mosquitoes reproducing. The only supply I've found available retail here is "Johnson's Babyoil" at USD $7 per 500 ml.

Sigh... It can be frustrating living in paradise....

Dubslow 2016-07-26 00:16

[QUOTE=chalsall;438731]
Sigh... It can be frustrating living in paradise....[/QUOTE]

Depends of course on your definition of paradise.

Uncwilly 2016-07-26 01:31

[QUOTE=only_human;438635]There is a desalination plant planned quite near me. This is a local paper.
[URL="http://www.dailybreeze.com/environment-and-nature/20160722/why-south-bay-environmentalists-oppose-west-basins-planned-ocean-water-desalination-plant"]Why South Bay environmentalists oppose West Basin’s planned ocean water desalination plant[/URL][/QUOTE]
I wish to inject some knowledge here.
[LIST=1][*]West Basin has access to several 100 M litres per day of water less saline than the ocean, that is non-potable and currently not used. [URL="http://www.westbasin.org/files/uwmp/section-9-recycled-water.pdf"]Pages 9-1 and 9-2[/URL][*][URL="http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/RW_DPR_advisorygroup.shtml"]California[/URL] is looking at [URL="http://www.waterworld.com/articles/print/volume-29/issue-9/editorial-features/battling-water-scarcity.html"]allowing for direct reuse of treated water[/URL].[*]The "brine" can be injected in either a currently used 8 km or an unused [URL="http://www.water-technology.net/projects/hyperion/"]11 km pipe[/URL] into the deep offshore water.[*]Using the 8 km pipe would raise the saline content toward the level of seawater.[*]They could use the waste heat of [URL="http://www.dailybreeze.com/government-and-politics/20130912/new-energy-efficient-power-plant-unveiled-in-el-segundo"]several[/URL] [URL="http://www.ladwpnews.com/go/doc/1475/1886746/LADWP-Begins-Rebuilding-Scattergood-Power-Plant-to-Eliminate-Ocean-Water-Cooling-Reduce-Emissions-and-Improve-Reliability"]nearby[/URL] [URL="http://www.dailybreeze.com/business/20160215/redondo-beachs-aes-power-plant-on-the-market"]power[/URL] plants to pre-heat the water to maybe 80C.[/LIST]

chalsall 2016-07-26 01:32

[QUOTE=Dubslow;438745]Depends of course on your definition of paradise.[/QUOTE]

LOL... Having grown up in a part of Canada where -40 degrees was common, it's nice being able to walk around in shorts and saddles in December. Where the only time one encounters water as a solid is in one's drink.

Having said that, I'm reminded of Leonard Cohen's song "Closing Time": "...and the place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night...".

fivemack 2016-07-27 16:20

[QUOTE=VictordeHolland;438725]The most abundant dissolved ions in seawater are sodium, chloride, magnesium, sulfate and calcium.

NaCl is common table salt
Sulfates are already extracted from oil and gas in large quantities.
And magnesium and calcium are quite common.
The remaining element are in minute quantities, so you'll need to process large amounts of seawater before extracting useful quantities.[/QUOTE]

I believe magnesium has been commercially extracted from sea water during WW2, but that may have stopped once more accessible resources appeared. Bromine is pretty rare in the crust and reasonably common in sea water; strontium is surprisingly common both in the crust and sea water (most common element from that row of the Periodic Table), but little used (it had a big application in high-Z glass when you wanted high-Z glass for the front plates of CRT televisions).

Making sea salt out of sea water is not just a matter of evaporating it to dryness; you do something that looks like fractional crystallisation, because CaCO3 and CaSO4 precipitate before NaCl, and KCl and MgCl2, both of which taste bad, come out after.

xilman 2016-07-27 17:07

[QUOTE=fivemack;438842]I believe magnesium has been commercially extracted from sea water during WW2, but that may have stopped once more accessible resources appeared. Bromine is pretty rare in the crust and reasonably common in sea water; strontium is surprisingly common both in the crust and sea water (most common element from that row of the Periodic Table), but little used (it had a big application in high-Z glass when you wanted high-Z glass for the front plates of CRT televisions).[/QUOTE]Another problem, from the commercial POV, is that there is such a lot of sea water which has already been dried and is now ready for mining in quantity. The UK and Poland are European countries well known for their salt mines. There are, of course, many other such mines around the world.

only_human 2017-06-10 00:32

[URL="https://electrek.co/2017/06/09/tesla-superchargers-solar-battery-grid-elon-musk/"]Tesla plans to disconnect ‘almost all’ Superchargers from the grid and go solar+battery, says Elon Musk[/URL]

The article has a concept picture for Tesla charging stations shaded by giant panels of solar cells. At least in this article he is missing the obvious trick of using the awnings to showcase his solar housing tiles as in tract housing demonstration homes.

[QUOTE]Tesla has been talking about adding solar arrays and batteries to its Supercharger stations ever since announcing the fast-charging network in 2012.

But only half a dozen stations or so out of the over 800 stations ended up getting a solar array.

CEO Elon Musk said that they plan to deploy more battery and solar systems with the upcoming ‘Version 3’ of the Supercharger, but now he went a step further and claimed that “almost all Superchargers will disconnect from the electricity grid.”
Previously, Musk said that Tesla’s new Powerpack and solar arrays will power some Supercharger stations in sunny regions to go off-grid – adding that “the grid won’t be needed for moderate use Superchargers in non-snowy regions.”

While it makes sense to add solar arrays and battery packs, it’s not clear why there would be a need to completely disconnect from the grid, which is often still useful – especially if net metering is available.

Now Musk said on Twitter this morning that they are not only adding solar and batteries to “all Superchargers”, but also that “almost all” Supercharger stations will eventually disconnect from the grid:

[QUOTE]All Superchargers are being converted to solar/battery power. Over time, almost all will disconnect from the electricity grid.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2017[/QUOTE]

The comment was in response to someone stating that Tesla’s Superchargers are charging vehicles with dirty electricity from coal plants.

As we recently reported, while partly true, the statement makes no sense if the goal is to be less polluting than gas-powered vehicles.

A recent study of electricity generation concluded that the average electric car in the US now gets the equivalent efficiency of a non-existent 73 mpg gas-powered vehicle after accounting for emission from electricity production.[/QUOTE]

chalsall 2017-06-10 23:33

[QUOTE=only_human;460903]The article has a concept picture for Tesla charging stations shaded by giant panels of solar cells. At least in this article he is missing the obvious trick of using the awnings to showcase his solar housing tiles as in tract housing demonstration homes.[/QUOTE]

Yeah. The usual carbon apologists claim that renewable energy can't be trusted for temporal stability.

What they always (conveniently) forget is electrical storage is always getting better, and we have a finite amount of carbon which can be dug up or pumped out cheaply, and then burned.

CRGreathouse 2017-06-11 00:35

[QUOTE=chalsall;460985]Yeah. The usual carbon apologists claim that renewable energy can't be trusted for temporal stability.

What they always (conveniently) forget is electrical storage is always getting better, and we have a finite amount of carbon which can be dug up or pumped out cheaply, and then burned.[/QUOTE]

The other thing is that we can move more electrical load off-peak if there is sufficient motivation (e.g., differential pricing) to do so.

only_human 2017-06-29 21:48

[QUOTE=CRGreathouse;460990]The other thing is that we can move more electrical load off-peak if there is sufficient motivation (e.g., differential pricing) to do so.[/QUOTE]
Agreed. It would help to use market forces to shift usage patterns.

Currently in California because renewable generation is the easiest to quickly ramp down during oversupply, it is increasingly throttled back to maintain power network stability and California is increasingly paying other states to take some of California's power during oversupply periods:
[URL="http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-electricity-solar/"]California invested heavily in solar power. Now there's so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it[/URL]
[QUOTE]On 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power.

Well, actually better than free. California produced so much solar power on those days that it paid Arizona to take excess electricity its residents weren’t using to avoid overloading its own power lines.

It happened on eight days in January and nine in February as well. All told, those transactions helped save Arizona electricity customers millions of dollars this year, though grid operators declined to say exactly how much. And California also has paid other states to take power.

The number of days that California dumped its unused solar electricity would have been even higher if the state hadn’t ordered some solar plants to reduce production — even as natural gas power plants, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, continued generating electricity.

Solar and wind power production was curtailed a relatively small amount — about 3% in the first quarter of 2017 — but that’s more than double the same period last year. And the surge in solar power could push the number even higher in the future.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]When there isn’t demand for all the power the state is producing, CAISO needs to quickly sell the excess to avoid overloading the electricity grid, which can cause blackouts. Basic economics kick in. Oversupply causes prices to fall, even below zero. That’s because Arizona has to curtail its own sources of electricity to take California’s power when it doesn’t really need it, which can cost money. So Arizona will use power from California at times like this only if it has an economic incentive — which means being paid.

In the first two months of this year, CAISO paid to send excess power to other states seven times more often than same period in 2014. “Negative pricing” happened in an average of 18% of all sales, versus about 2.5% in the same period in 2014.

Most “negative pricing” typically has occurred for relatively short periods at midday, when solar production is highest.

But what happened in March shows how the growing supply of solar power could have a much greater impact in the future. The periods of “negative pricing” lasted longer than in the past — often for six hours at a time, and once for eight hours, according to a CAISO report.[/QUOTE]

chalsall 2017-06-29 22:26

[QUOTE=only_human;462417]Agreed. It would help to use market forces to shift usage patterns.[/QUOTE]

Agreed. This is an area which is of personal interest to me.

As I said above, energy storage is going to be key for sustainability, since wind and solar are variable.

1. Tesla have both home and industrial scale battery storage solutions available.

2. California derives a lot of their power generation from hydroelectric. During peak supply, pump some water up the hill (obviously not 100% efficient, but it is a form of storage).

3. "Smart" Air Conditioning can pre-cool a working fluid in an insulated container. Mostly useful for larger buildings.

4. Some interesting work has been done with safe fly-wheels. I don't have an immediate reference.

Fundamentally, my fear is that there is FUD being applied to renewables by those who have a monetary interest in sticking with the status quo.

only_human 2017-06-30 00:42

I keep an eye on Tesla quite a bit as I unabashedly do for other Elon Musk businesses.

Incidentally some of the fallout of VW's diesel emissions testing bypass scandal looks to be more electric vehicle charging infrastructure:
[URL="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-california-electric-idUSKBN19K35O"]VW tells California plans for electric car charging in poorer areas[/URL]
[QUOTE]The German automaker has agreed to spend $800 million in California and a total of $2 billion nationwide on clean car infrastructure to atone for diesel emissions cheating.[/QUOTE]

chalsall 2017-06-30 01:19

[QUOTE=only_human;462425]VW tells California plans for electric car charging in poorer areas[/QUOTE]

There is an old joke...

Hell is when the English are the cooks, the French are the engineers, and the Germans are the police.

chalsall 2017-07-03 00:37

[QUOTE=chalsall;462418]Fundamentally, my fear is that there is FUD being applied to renewables by those who have a monetary interest in sticking with the status quo.[/QUOTE]

Just as an example, I almost fell out of my chair [URL="https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/17/07/01/0442203/study-claims-discarded-solar-panels-create-more-toxic-waste-than-nuclear-plants"]laughing about this SlashDot[/URL] post.

Then then I almost started crying...

Those without critical thinking skills (or those who want to deceive such people) will probably reference the linked article, titled "A Clean Energy’s Dirty Little Secret; Discarded solar panels are piling up all over the world, and they represent a major threat to the environment.

only_human 2017-07-03 00:51

[QUOTE=chalsall;462578]Just as an example, I almost fell out of my chair [URL="https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/17/07/01/0442203/study-claims-discarded-solar-panels-create-more-toxic-waste-than-nuclear-plants"]laughing about this SlashDot[/URL] post.

Then then I almost started crying...

Those without critical thinking skills (or those who want to deceive such people) will probably reference the linked article, titled "A Clean Energy’s Dirty Little Secret; Discarded solar panels are piling up all over the world, and they represent a major threat to the environment.[/QUOTE]
I think it is fair to say that solar power does have some disruptions that we haven't fully assimilated socialogically. My sweetheart's cousin, a fireman, said that they have to cut through solar roofing power lines because of safety risks of a powered roof. There may be several disputable aspects but it is fair to say that building codes and safety bypasses and the like haven't standardized into optimal configurations and even low voltages can be dangerous in some situations involving conductivity and there is not enough assertion that there isn't a live power inverter somewhere.

Another disruption is the utilities can't reject ordinary dumb solar house power distribution when there is a destabilizing oversupply.

CRGreathouse 2017-07-03 02:14

[QUOTE=chalsall;462578]A Clean Energy’s Dirty Little Secret; Discarded solar panels are piling up all over the world, and they represent a major threat to the environment.[/QUOTE]

The article's claim is that solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear power plants. But that's not really a meaningful claim, since toxic wastes are not all generated equal. Lead, chrome, and cadmium aren't great, but high-level nuclear waste (short- and medium-lived alphas and gammas) are nasty. I don't feel like doing a full analysis because it would take a long time and there's no good way to make it apples-to-apples.

But setting that aside, you're comparing solar to a fairly clean form of energy -- right now solar is replacing coal and oil, and I'll take leftover solar panels over fly-ash any day. The win is replacing those fossils with solar, nuclear, and wind, not fighting over which of the better technologies is best.

kladner 2017-07-03 02:25

[QUOTE=chalsall;462578]Just as an example, I almost fell out of my chair [URL="https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/17/07/01/0442203/study-claims-discarded-solar-panels-create-more-toxic-waste-than-nuclear-plants"]laughing about this SlashDot[/URL] post.

Then then I almost started crying...

Those without critical thinking skills (or those who want to deceive such people) will probably reference the linked article, titled "A Clean Energy’s Dirty Little Secret; Discarded solar panels are piling up all over the world, and they represent a major threat to the environment.[/QUOTE]
Joe Jackson says, [INDENT]"Everything gives you cancer
There's no cure, there's no answer
Everything gives you cancer.
(And don't play that piano, either!)"
[/INDENT]Sorry. Being bitter. TANSTAFL. :bangheadonwall:

CRGreathouse 2017-07-03 02:27

[QUOTE=only_human;462579]I think it is fair to say that solar power does have some disruptions that we haven't fully assimilated socialogically.[/QUOTE]

Agreed. Some of that might be reasonable, in terms of encouraging people to switch while prices are still (relatively) high.

[QUOTE=only_human;462579]Another disruption is the utilities can't reject ordinary dumb solar house power distribution when there is a destabilizing oversupply.[/QUOTE]

Right. In a sense this is subsumed by differential pricing, but it's important enough that it probably needs to be implemented independently (sooner).

kladner 2017-07-03 02:47

Storage is the crying need. Tesla is working on stationary storage to smooth out the peaks and valleys.

S485122 2017-07-03 05:34

[QUOTE=CRGreathouse;462584]The article's claim is that solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear power plants.
...[/QUOTE]That study is paid for by "Environmental Progress, a nonprofit that advocates for the use of nuclear energy". I went to their site and saw another "completely objective and nonprofit" article :"New study finds solar households produce 30% to 60% more electronic waste than non-solar households" and appeals "Please don't climate march." The site of "Environmental progress" is propaganda and advertisement, nothing to be taken seriously. I think that is what Chasall referred to in the last sentence of his post.

Jacob

CRGreathouse 2017-07-03 14:43

[QUOTE=S485122;462599]The site of "Environmental progress" is propaganda and advertisement, nothing to be taken seriously.[/QUOTE]

I don't doubt that, but I think the point was worth considering. If anyone has numbers I'd be interested in seeing them. For the moment my stance is still that all of the sustainable power sources -- wind, solar, nuclear, hydro -- are so far beyond the traditional fossil sources that squabbling between the former isn't productive.

chalsall 2017-07-03 20:36

[QUOTE=CRGreathouse;462622]For the moment my stance is still that all of the sustainable power sources -- wind, solar, nuclear, hydro -- are so far beyond the traditional fossil sources that squabbling between the former isn't productive.[/QUOTE]

I completely agree. Nuclear has its issues, but it is impossible to create energy without spending resources, and dealing with the by-products; even with so-called "clean" or "green" energy production.

But I've also read my Machiavelli and Sun et al.

I suspect all of them would have shuddered in the opportunities the Internet and Social Media make available now-a-days to "divide and conquer".

And confuse....

CRGreathouse 2017-07-03 21:21

[QUOTE=chalsall;462646]I completely agree. Nuclear has its issues, but it is impossible to create energy without spending resources, and dealing with the by-products; even with so-called "clean" or "green" energy production.[/QUOTE]

Indeed. And I look forward to technological advances -- right now I support nuclear power, but perhaps I'll be opposed once there is something better or current technologies advance.

[QUOTE=chalsall;462646]But I've also read my Machiavelli and Sun et al.

I suspect all of them would have shuddered in the opportunities the Internet and Social Media make available now-a-days to "divide and conquer".

And confuse....[/QUOTE]

I think Sun would have trouble with the Clausewitz paradigm in which war is construed broadly enough to include Facebook. I certainly agree that they would be amazed at the opportunities presented by this brave new world.

chalsall 2017-07-03 21:33

[QUOTE=only_human;462579]I think it is fair to say that solar power does have some disruptions that we haven't fully assimilated socialogically.[/QUOTE]

I completely agree.

[QUOTE=only_human;462579]My sweetheart's cousin, a fireman, said that they have to cut through solar roofing power lines because of safety risks of a powered roof.[/QUOTE]

I do hope that they don't do that by hand. A "hot" to "ground" short through a human could be a really bad day.

Here in Barbados all PV installations have large red shut-off boxes. All are registered. The issue isn't so much to the firemen, but Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) personnel doing line maintenance. But it could be assumed that BL&P personal have volt meters upon their person.

[QUOTE=only_human;462579]There may be several disputable aspects but it is fair to say that building codes and safety bypasses and the like haven't standardized into optimal configurations and even low voltages can be dangerous in some situations involving conductivity and there is not enough assertion that there isn't a live power inverter somewhere.[/QUOTE]

I don't disagree. This is a work in progress.

But rejecting progress by the incumbents because of the inability to adapt doesn't make sense in the long term.

CRGreathouse 2017-07-03 22:48

[QUOTE=chalsall;462652]I don't disagree. This is a work in progress.

But rejecting progress by the incumbents because of the inability to adapt doesn't make sense in the long term.[/QUOTE]

[$]\,[/$]

kladner 2017-07-04 05:02

It does seem, that with China's grip on rare earth element production, recycling should be a growth industry. Unfortunately, a good bit of tech recycling gets shipped out to low-wage countries, where job-killing regulations regarding child labor, worker safety, and toxic chemicals don't exist.

CRGreathouse 2017-07-05 00:29

[QUOTE=kladner;462669]It does seem, that with China's grip on rare earth element production, recycling should be a growth industry. Unfortunately, a good bit of tech recycling gets shipped out to low-wage countries, where job-killing regulations regarding child labor, worker safety, and toxic chemicals don't exist.[/QUOTE]

Yes. The real pity to me (as a realist) is that it wouldn't take that much to vastly improve their worker safety -- I've seen images of ship-breaking fields in such countries with workers crossing the beaches without so much as boots (or shoes). Recognizing that full PPE as we would require in the US is probably impractical, just having the basics -- hard hats, steel-toed boots, and respirators if something's burning -- would make a tremendous difference, and it wouldn't cost that much. :down:

fivemack 2017-07-05 09:22

[QUOTE=CRGreathouse;462709]Yes. The real pity to me (as a realist) is that it wouldn't take that much to vastly improve their worker safety -- I've seen images of ship-breaking fields in such countries with workers crossing the beaches without so much as boots (or shoes). Recognizing that full PPE as we would require in the US is probably impractical, just having the basics -- hard hats, steel-toed boots, and respirators if something's burning -- would make a tremendous difference, and it wouldn't cost that much. :down:[/QUOTE]

Having the basics will not cause people to use them if they are on piece-work rates and they can work quicker barefoot.

I'd certainly want higher pay if I was working under the midday Bangladesh sun and required to wear a hard hat and heavy steel-toed boots!

CRGreathouse 2017-07-05 13:27

[QUOTE=fivemack;462725]Having the basics will not cause people to use them if they are on piece-work rates and they can work quicker barefoot.

I'd certainly want higher pay if I was working under the midday Bangladesh sun and required to wear a hard hat and heavy steel-toed boots![/QUOTE]

I don't think you could work faster barefoot -- if anything, I think you'd work faster in boots. (Admittedly, no one likes wearing respirators.) But even having access to work-provided basic PPE would be a victory.

Dr Sardonicus 2017-07-09 13:53

[QUOTE=chalsall;462578]Just as an example, I almost fell out of my chair [URL="https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/17/07/01/0442203/study-claims-discarded-solar-panels-create-more-toxic-waste-than-nuclear-plants"]laughing about this SlashDot[/URL] post.

Then then I almost started crying...

Those without critical thinking skills (or those who want to deceive such people) will probably reference the linked article, titled "A Clean Energy’s Dirty Little Secret; Discarded solar panels are piling up all over the world, and they represent a major threat to the environment.[/QUOTE]I suppose one would have to be lacking in critical thinking skills, not to at least wonder why the article was published in [i]The National Review[/i]...


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