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Old 2013-07-21, 16:07   #1
Andi_HB
 
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Default Nice Photovoltaik Peak in Germany

Today is a very hot and shiny weather in germany.
The Peak of Photovoltaik energy looks like a new record for germany.
http://www.sma.de/unternehmen/pv-lei...utschland.html
24.7 GW Peak at 01:30 PM

Last fiddled with by Andi_HB on 2013-07-21 at 16:10
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Old 2013-07-21, 16:58   #2
fivemack
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And therefore some nice cloud-free satellite pictures of Germany:

http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/i...114500.1km.jpg
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Old 2013-07-21, 21:30   #3
kladner
 
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Outstanding! Just think what the States could produce if we put even a bit more effort and expenditure into the project. Unfortunately, the collective intelligence and integrity of Congress would have to increase considerably.
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Old 2013-07-21, 22:09   #4
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While this seems like a great milestone (and in some ways it is) it is also a bunch of smoke and mirrors--which anyone can see decreases solar efficiency. Germany's solar power experiment only works because Germany is alone in doing it. They can rely upon their neighbors to produce reliable power when the sun isn't shining.

This program has driven prices of electricity up while at the same time increasing Germany's reliance upon the dirtiest coal plants (brown lignite) to take up the slack when clouds move in or the wind dies down.

Couple that with the stupid decision (imo) to shut down the world's best run nukes--increasing the reliance upon coal for base load power and ironically upon France's nuclear fleet--and you have a recipe for disaster when Germany starts facing brown outs and public opinion turns against the renewables.

All the money that Germany has spent subsidizing this initiative would have been better spent on developing energy storage technology. The march of increased efficiency in solar cells would have come in time. The pressure to increase efficiency at the manufacturing level (something Siemens has become the world leader at on the back of very generous subsidies by the German government in the form of tax breaks and ironically not having to pay the increased prices for power--heavy industry is exempt from the green initiative surcharge on power. Contrast that with Siemens and Bosch both getting out of the solar power business after losing billions in failed research)

We are making a big deal about the ability of the industrial juggernaut that is Germany's ability to throw money at a problem and come up with a solution while ignoring the problems and inadequacies--all because we agree with the long term goals. When (again my opinion) what we should be doing is applauding the much better approach by Spain: http://www.torresolenergy.com/TORRES...solar-plant/en
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Old 2013-07-21, 22:34   #5
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http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-809439-2.html

Apparently I'm not the only one concerned. German environmentalists and economists align more rarely than peak Solar PV power.
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Old 2013-07-21, 22:38   #6
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Thanks for the background, Chappy. So this is a silver cloud with a dirty coal and nuke lining.
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Old 2013-07-21, 22:49   #7
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The good news is that Germany has done a great deal of the hard work (very inefficiently) and the rest of the world will ultimately benefit from what they've learned. I'm actually pretty interested in how they manage the power distribution side with 1.4 million micro-power plants. I'd imagine some pretty sophisticated software is involved in load dispatch.

I was reading recently about how China is raising the prices on rare earth minerals used in everything from PV cells to LCD displays because the use has gone up dramatically over the past couple years. One thing to think about in the long term is how relatively inefficient the current generation of solar cells are and how each generation has improved upon the last--would we be better off had we waited for efficiency of design to better utilize the limited mineral resources?

Of course that's a fools game if you play it too long. Because you will never leap then.

I wonder if anyone has any expertise on the ability to recycle early generation solar cells for use in newer more efficient models? If that is possible then some of my complaints about the current state of Solar PV would be allayed.
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Old 2013-07-21, 22:54   #8
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I should point out for the purposes of full disclosure that I work at a dirty coal fired power plant and before that I worked at a clean nuclear power plant. So I have my own biases.
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Old 2013-07-22, 01:08   #9
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
While this seems like a great milestone (and in some ways it is) it is also a bunch of smoke and mirrors--which anyone can see decreases solar efficiency. Germany's solar power experiment only works because Germany is alone in doing it.
Actually, my understand is also that because the German government are subsidizing the PV installations, this has actually caused an artificial increase in the price of PV solutions (although likely only a temporary spike).

Thus, those who could really use this kind of technology (like those in the Caribbean) are actually being asked to pay more than they otherwise would, even though we get a great deal more annual sunshine. I do agree, however, that early adapters are important, and help drive ever better solutions.

I'm advising those here in Bim who are interested in PV in new builds to plan for it (read: install the needed conduits; have a place for the batteries (if not grid-tying), etc), but don't invest in the actual "kit" until the technology and the market further stabilizes.
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Old 2013-07-22, 03:01   #10
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Does "planning for it" include hurricane-resistant mountings?
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Old 2013-07-22, 03:59   #11
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Does "planning for it" include hurricane-resistant mountings?
Yes.

And if it's a "cat 3" or so, that the mountings don't tear the roof off trying to hold on to it (I'm not joking)....
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