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Old 2021-02-20, 15:09   #78
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
Like Isoroku Yamamoto would say, the giant right now is waking up... Or, as we say in our language, any kick in the butt is a step ahead.
Isn't Texas one of the most sunny places in the world? (it appears so from the movies ).

This was maybe the kick in the back that will make everybody install solar panels. Yeah, well, you need to clean them after snow and sandstorms, but in the same time they'll reduce your dependency of the central supply, make you more independent, and flexible. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
This is up to the people of the Great State of Texas. If they're willing to live with a power system that collapses in cold spells, nothing will be done. The major difference this time around from previous times like 1989 and 2011 is, the cold was worse, and there was extensive damage to water systems. A quarter of the state's residents, including everyone in Houston, is under boil orders.

Two things they obviously have to address: One, improve the reliability of the natural gas production and distribution system. Having plentiful natural gas and a lot of natural gas-fired power plants does no good if extensive wellhead freeze-off, valves getting stuck, or pipes at treatment or collection facilities getting clogged with ice means the gas won't flow.

Two, find ways to prevent disasters to the water system when really cold weather hits. I'm not sure how much can be done to keep mains and service lines from freezing, but whatever can practically be done, should be. And residents need to know what they have to do to avoid major water damage to their homes if their pipes do freeze: Turn off their main shutoff valve before trying to thaw the pipes, and leave it off until frozen pipes are thawed. Then, turn the water back on and check to make sure their pipes aren't leaking. If they leak, shut the water off again until the pipes can be fixed.
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Old 2021-02-20, 15:54   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I'm not sure how much can be done to keep mains and service lines from freezing, but whatever can practically be done, should be.
An obvious solution, used throughout the world where the surface gets cold but there is no permafrost, is to bury the main pipes a metre or two underground.

This doesn't prevent smaller pipes from freezing but at least those are easily isolable when they burst and the ice melts.

This is, of course, but a special case of wrapping water pipes in thermal insulation.

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Old 2021-02-20, 16:50   #80
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An obvious solution, used throughout the world where the surface gets cold but there is no permafrost, is to bury the main pipes a metre or two underground.

This doesn't prevent smaller pipes from freezing but at least those are easily isolable when they burst and the ice melts.

This is, of course, but a special case of wrapping water pipes in thermal insulation.
In Texas, the frost line runs from about 2 feet down in the north to less than 6 inches in the south. They bury the mains and service lines somewhat deeper of course, but sometimes the freeze makes it down to the pipes. About the only way I know to keep inaccessible pipes from freezing up if they get that cold is to keep water moving through them. Accessible pipes can be insulated or heated externally.

When I was a kid, the pipes for our kitchen sink ran along an outside wall, and sometimed froze enough to stop the water flowing (but not enough to break) during cold weather. My dad had a "trouble light" - a caged light fixture at the end of a long cord - which he would hang in the cabinet near the pipes and turn on. The incandescant bulb provided enough heat to thaw the pipes.
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Old 2021-03-04, 18:39   #81
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IMO, solar and wind should be used as a supplemental source and not a primary one. I believe this was the original intent. I read a short time ago that Texas has partially restored their power-grid, but not completely. Perhaps, the days of them running an independent and deregulated power system will soon pass. It always seems to require a body-count to make big business and governments sit up and take notice. I do not see Uncle Sam allowing them to return to business as usual. There is much work ahead for them.

Wrong! Solar and wind are both cheaper than fossil fuel power on a no-subsidy basis now. Build loads of solar and wind, overprovision and then store some and/or build HVDC interconnects. Also using smart devices to make certain loads - like say charging a car battery - dispatchable will help a lot.


If you think solar and wind are supplemental/too expensive/not suitable for most you are living in the 90s.
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Old 2021-03-04, 19:32   #82
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The past decade has changed the numbers a LOT. https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/12/...t-researchers/
Average annual solar energy per unit area puts the upper Midwest at a relative disadvantage.

And the local utility may get to charge you more based on your installed solar capacity. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/02/72876...-unfair-charge

Alliant is selling over a third renewable electricity now.https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com...gy/3808083001/

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Old 2021-03-05, 11:16   #83
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It may be a comparative disadvantage to say CA. But it is still at a significant cost advantage to other sources such as coal or nat gas.



There are disadvantages in that solar and wind power are intermittent, not on demand and have implications for grid stability. But let's be real about those issues and try to address them instead of coming out with decade old arguments about them being too expensive or using too many resources or being equally polluting. I see the same fault 5 year old study of resource usage of PV panels cited again and again even though it has been comprehensively debunked. For a consumer with a rooftop setup the payback time is down to 10-15 years at this point depending on consumption pattern, type of roof, local install costs, feed in tarriff etc.
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Old 2021-03-05, 14:15   #84
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As this recent news story shows, OPEC+ is continuing to do its part to encourage renewable energy... OPEC And Allies Keep Oil Production Steady As Saudi Arabia Urges 'Caution'
Quote:
OPEC and its allies said Thursday they are keeping oil production largely steady, even as crude prices stage a remarkable recovery, betting that a restrained approach will lay the groundwork for prices to climb even more.

Russia and Kazakhstan will raise their output modestly, but all other members of the alliance will hold their production steady instead of returning more oil to the global market. Saudi Arabia also said it will extend its voluntary cut in oil production of 1 million barrels per day into April.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, jumped 5% on the news.
<snip>
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Old 2021-03-05, 19:53   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garo View Post
For a consumer with a rooftop setup the payback time is down to 10-15 years at this point depending on consumption pattern, type of roof, local install costs, feed in tarriff etc.
I'm in CA desert which helps with production quantity, but I did my rooftop PV system in 2016 and have a 1.0% / month payback rate- so payback time of 9 years or so. Halfway there! That's with power price around 17 cents / kWh, which also flatters the system's payback time.

$21k price before any incentives / rebates for 7.3kW system.
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Old 2021-03-05, 20:57   #86
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Location and tree blockage makes a big difference. Here, in Wisconsin, utility rate is $0.12/kwhr, available solar to capture is lower, and as of last week 3 emerald-ash-borer-damaged trees that shaded the rooftop have been removed, but there are other trees remaining (including of the next neighbor south) that would negatively impact a rooftop solar array's output.
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Old 2021-03-05, 21:20   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VBCurtis View Post
I'm in CA desert which helps with production quantity, but I did my rooftop PV system in 2016 and have a 1.0% / month payback rate- so payback time of 9 years or so. Halfway there! That's with power price around 17 cents / kWh, which also flatters the system's payback time.

$21k price before any incentives / rebates for 7.3kW system.

Nice. For some reason US prices are very high. Do you have a large battery to go with it? I have a 4.8kW system installed in 2019 and it was ~$12,000 before incentives. But I'm in Ireland at 53 degrees and very cloudy weather. Still, the sytem generated 4230kWh last year. I know a guy who has recently had a 7.1kW system installed here - no battery - and it cost him <$10,000 before any grants. His payback time is going to be similar to yours.
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Old 2021-03-05, 21:22   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Location and tree blockage makes a big difference. Here, in Wisconsin, utility rate is $0.12/kwhr, available solar to capture is lower, and as of last week 3 emerald-ash-borer-damaged trees that shaded the rooftop have been removed, but there are other trees remaining (including of the next neighbor south) that would negatively impact a rooftop solar array's output.

Yes shade does impact output. From Nov-Feb my neighbour's roof (can't cut that down) shades one half of my system. But output is low from Nov-Feb anyway so I didn't bother with optimizers.
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