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Old 12-12-2018, 05:36 PM   #161
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This guy's system is huge compared to mine - 44.4kW of solar panels, 186 kWh of battery vs. 5.5kW and 22 kWh.

He also has a lot of land to work with. My suburban lot cannot support that many panels, and my roof orientation is also wrong. My 2nd home in the high country has a perfect south-facing hill slope for solar panels, but I do not live there full-time, nor need that much energy up there. But this brings up a question: on a good day, this guy produces more than he uses. Can he sell the surplus? If not, why so much capacity?

And before people get excited about this, they need to think about how much such system costs. The average Joe cannot afford it.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:52 PM   #162
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I just saw the graph on his site; he depleted his large battery overnight, and it was empty before sunrise on Dec 12, 2018. At the end of today, he was able to recharge the battery to 50%, while also using the solar power produced, but not without also drawing from the grid.

This guy is an energy hog. I think he uses electricity for heat, whether that is with a heat pump or not.

His stat for Dec 12, 2018: 57.43 kWh from solar panels, 67.3 kWh from the grid, total consumption 114.6 kWh. Note that a big percentage of the consumption is actually used to charge the batteries, so his real consumption is less than that. However, not 24 hours are shown on the chart, so he will have burned some more before midnight.

Anyway, it shows that on this winter day, a 44kW solar array can produce only 57.43 kWh, just more than 1 hour of equivalent full sunlight. On a real snowy day, the production will be 0.

PS. I hit screen refresh, and his total consumption for the day has incremented to 115.6 kWh.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:03 PM   #163
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Somewhere on his site he says he is all electric, which makes sense.

Peek at his graphs a few days ago. Assuming he is in NC (per the contact info), he experienced a snow storm, which had the triple whammy of killing the sun, covering the panels, and raising energy usage for heat.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:10 PM   #164
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Somewhere on his site he says he is all electric, which makes sense.

Peek at his graphs a few days ago. Assuming he is in NC (per the contact info), he experienced a snow storm, which had the triple whammy of killing the sun, covering the panels, and raising energy usage for heat.
Regarding snow covering the panels, why doesn't he do what the "solar road" guy proposed? That is to use electricity to heat and melt the snow on the road/panel?
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:12 PM   #165
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His power drawn from the grid has jumped up from 5kW to 25kW, and held at that level for 1 hour now. I think he has plugged in his Tesla.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:56 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
This guy's system is huge compared to mine - 44.4kW of solar panels, 186 kWh of battery vs. 5.5kW and 22 kWh. ....

And before people get excited about this, they need to think about how much such system costs. The average Joe cannot afford it.
Yes, even thinking forward (and for easy math!) to $1/watt installed solar, and $100/kWh Lion, that's $44,400 PLUS $18,600 = $63,000. So unless he was super-creative, his cost far more than that.

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I just saw the graph on his site; he depleted his large battery overnight, and it was empty before sunrise on Dec 12, 2018. At the end of today, he was able to recharge the battery to 50%, while also using the solar power produced, but not without also drawing from the grid. ...
And he still needs grid power!

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Old 12-12-2018, 08:44 PM   #167
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Regarding snow covering the panels, why doesn't he do what the "solar road" guy proposed? That is to use electricity to heat and melt the snow on the road/panel?
Like the self licking ice cream cone theory ?
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:13 PM   #168
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Yes, even thinking forward (and for easy math!) to $1/watt installed solar, and $100/kWh Lion, that's $44,400 PLUS $18,600 = $63,000. So unless he was super-creative, his cost far more than that.

And he still needs grid power!

-ERD50
Solar panels cost around $1/W new, but used Li-ion batteries still run around $200-300/kWh.

His installation has 17 Midnite charge controllers, at $600 a piece. There are 8 GS8048A Outback inverters, at $4,200 a piece. That's $44K in electronics.

Add in a few more thousand dollars in miscellaneous hardware and copper wire.

So, even now, this probably costs more than $120K just in material, not counting labor and support structure for the panels. He did this a few years ago, and probably spent more than $150K.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:22 PM   #169
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Thinking more about this, I believe the only way to live off-the-grid is to be where it is not cold in the winter. This is so that you do not need heating. In exchange, you will need power for air-conditioning in the summer, but electricity in the summer is a lot easier to obtain via solar power. Heat causes loss of PV panel efficiency, but this is easier to compensate by deploying more panels. When you do not get sunshine in snowy areas, no amount of solar panels will help you.

And you'd better build a smaller home, perhaps 1000 sq.ft. A larger home will need more panels, and you will need a large lot to deploy your panels. This means living away from the city center, and not even in the suburb.

And then, this is just for residential use. Society at large still needs to get energy for industrial production, transportation, etc... And that is also more easily obtained in warmer climate.

I think this looks bleak, unless we bring in some nuclear power. Else, people in colder climates are in real trouble when fossil fuel runs out. David MacKay painted a really bleak future for the UK in his TED talk.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:51 AM   #170
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Dry cask storage is easy.

Some newer reactor design use more of the fuel and generate less waste .

A far bigger problem , the earth does not have a limitless amount of uranium to mine.
It turns out it isn't hard to collect yellowcake from seawater in useful quantities, and the amount in the ocean (by my math) could satisfy the entire human race current power usage (from all sources) for hundreds of thousands of years. This is the research that showed it possible, reported in 2003:

The total amount of uranium dissolved in seawater at a uniform concentration of 3 mg U/m3 in the world’s oceans is 4.5 billion tons. An adsorption method using polymeric adsorbents capable of specifically recovering uranium from seawater is reported to be economically feasible. A uranium-specific nonwoven fabric was used as the adsorbent packed in an adsorption cage 16 m2 in cross-sectional area and 16 cm in height. We submerged three adsorption cages in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 20 m at 7 km offshore of Japan. The three adsorption cages consisted of stacks of 52 000 sheets of the uranium-specific non-woven fabric with a total mass of 350 kg. The total amount of uranium recovered by the nonwoven fabric was >1 kg in terms of yellow cake during a total submersion time of 240 days in the ocean.
From “Aquaculture of Uranium in Seawater by a Fabric-Adsorbent Submerged System”

Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.13182/NT03-2
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:09 AM   #171
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I was going to joke about replacing the concrete blocks with lead (Pb), but that's not possible because it is now considered toxic waste.

If we want to get serious about human induced climate impact, nuclear has to come back on the table. Everyone needs to calm down and talk. It will have to be different and much more costly. That's OK, because the alternatives discussed are not cheap either.

Speaking of impact to the environment... E-Scooters are supposed to help with the last mile problem. But some people are so ticked about them, they are taking them and throwing them in the river or lake! This is causing a negative environmental impact. Batteries are not benign.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:09 AM   #172
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Cold Fusion

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I expected to see some discussion of LENR on this thread.
Well, I invested in KMS Fusion stock back in the 70's. Cold fusion was going to be the answer to all our energy problems.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:36 AM   #173
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If we want to get serious about human induced climate impact, nuclear has to come back on the table.
That and more birth control. All of our problems can be tied back to an unsustainable human population.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:38 AM   #174
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Thinking more about this, I believe the only way to live off-the-grid is to be where it is not cold in the winter.
High latitude suburban areas are going to be tough ones indeed. Limited land for wind/water, solar can't hack it in the winter. And lots of heating costs.

Drive your oversized EV to the local supercharger a few times a week
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:14 AM   #175
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Well, I invested in KMS Fusion stock back in the 70's. Cold fusion was going to be the answer to all our energy problems.
Sorry for your loss, but LENR devices are actually in service now.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:11 AM   #176
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Thinking more about this, I believe the only way to live off-the-grid is to be where it is not cold in the winter. This is so that you do not need heating. In exchange, you will need power for air-conditioning in the summer, but electricity in the summer is a lot easier to obtain via solar power. Heat causes loss of PV panel efficiency, but this is easier to compensate by deploying more panels. When you do not get sunshine in snowy areas, no amount of solar panels will help you. ....

I think this looks bleak, unless we bring in some nuclear power. Else, people in colder climates are in real trouble when fossil fuel runs out. David MacKay painted a really bleak future for the UK in his TED talk.
Yes. For reference, in Dec/Jan, history shows I use ~ 200 Therms of NG ( ~ 20 Therms of that go to heating water). 200 Therms is 5,860 kWh a month, so yes, that's a lot. OK, a bit less, with a 90+ eff furnace compared to ~100% eff electrical resistance. If we could average a COP of 3 (is that possible with monthly average temp of 20~30F?), electrical usage would be 1/3rd of that, so ~ 1,900 kWh/month for heating. Plus other electrical use, which averages ~ 700 kWh/month. Largish 4 bedroom home, average insulation, not much shade from trees.

And right when our solar is at minimum, yes, that makes it tough. But I recall a Popular Mechanics, or maybe Popular Science article from the 1970's - use a heat pump all summer to pump heat from our homes into a salt solution in an underground insulated tank. Then reverse that stored heat to use in winter, and by season's end it is cold enough to use to cool the house in summer again. But 40 years later, this is still not applicable to our homes (I think the concept is used for overnight A/C in some buildings). So in some ways, 30 years of advancement seems like it will produce a lot, but often it does not.

I lost track of your summer A/C kWh, can you repeat it for comparison?

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Old 12-13-2018, 09:13 AM   #177
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Sorry for your loss, but LENR devices are actually in service now.
Links?

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Old 12-13-2018, 09:17 AM   #178
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I just found this ~ 11 year old thread on the subject. Might be interesting to see if/how views have changed. I only skimmed it.

Could an Aggressive Energy Program Revitalize the US?

We should bookmark this one on a calendar and revisit every 10 years!

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Old 12-13-2018, 09:41 AM   #179
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That and more birth control. All of our problems can be tied back to an unsustainable human population.

In an earlier post, the solar home was shown to have used over 100kWh in one day.

My usage/day, including NG ccf converted to kWh:

2016 - 39.2
2017 - 33.6
2018 - 46.2

Don’t have NG history beyond 2016, but my electric usage has ranged from 13.9 (2017) to 21.7 (2011, record heatwave). Average from 2010-2018 is 17.5...

Birth control seemingly takes care of itself as incomes rise, but more lifestyle usually brings more consumption.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:14 AM   #180
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If we want to get serious about human induced climate impact, nuclear has to come back on the table. Everyone needs to calm down and talk. It will have to be different and much more costly. That's OK, because the alternatives discussed are not cheap either.
Besides the NIMBY problem, there aren't too many private entities interested in building new plants and not just because of the political opposition to them.

The return on big capital investment just isn't there. Even with govt. subsidies and loan guarantees, the economics of building and operating new nuclear plants aren't that attractive.

So you've seen projects being canceled and not too many companies stepping up to plan new plants.
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