wmcbrine
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Location: Laurel, MD
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Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:15 am

It would take effort and research to properly rebut this, so for now, let me just cast aspersions on the source instead:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts

PV1
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Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:58 am

What is the actual output vs. nameplate for conventional power plants?

Solar production naturally follows the majority of the peak demand curve. When the most demand is on the grid is usually when solar is at it's maximum.

Any article I read anymore loses credibility with me when it uses stats on government subsidy money spent on renewables to try to further drive nails into the coffin. How much help has fossil fuels had from the government through the years? The US government, at least, is still directly supporting oil to keep prices at the pump artificially low. Plus, with all the money spent on purchasing refined oil for transportation fuel, only 25% of the energy is actually used to propel the vehicle.

On my most productive day, my 11.8 kW solar array held its maximum output of 10 kW (inverter-limited) for 3.5 hours (noon-3:30 PM). With solar, it takes clear, direct sunlight to reach maximum power. That is, unfortunately, how they are rated.

Here is the public portal to my system's production. Below "Energy" in the graph view, click the double left arrow to go back day by day from today and see the different production curves. April 24, 2015 was the production day mentioned above.
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/ ... raph/hours
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015
"Photon" - 2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

rkarl89203
Posts: 405
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Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:33 am

Another right-wing slack jawed yokel source.(for the article)

Typical.

Kuuuurija
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:46 am

Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:31 pm

PV1 wrote:What is the actual output vs. nameplate for conventional power plants?

That is totally irrelevant, as conventional plants have to compensate irregular fluctuations of the wind turbines and solar panels. Otherwise their actual output would be very close to the nominal output.

PV1 wrote:Solar production naturally follows the majority of the peak demand curve.

Very bold statement!
Here in Estonia power consumption in wintertime is ca twice the consumption of summertime. But Sun activity in winter is maybe one tenth of that in summer, at best.
Even now in August the consumption level is rather flat through the business hours. But soon there will be clear peaks at 9...10 oclock AM and 8...9 PM.

Real time graph of Consumption and production:
http://elering.ee/production-and-consum ... t=&step=-1

European statistics show that solar power production is extremely ineffective.

Aerowhatt
Gold Member
Posts: 446
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Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:40 pm

Kuuuurija wrote:
European statistics show that solar power production is extremely ineffective.


Ineffective at what? Relieving peak consumption stress. Not really surprising for a country that is a net exporter of electricity ;)

What is solar or any other renewable power source effective at. Well it depends on the local circumstances. Universally, however Renewables are always effective at conserving finite fossil resource fuels for a later time when the renewable is off line. It's mostly a management issue which the electric utilities are in the infancy of learning how to do.

It's no different than managing relatively unpredictable changes in consumption loads no matter what the generation source. Once thought to be an impossible task. Now done daily around the world without much of a second thought or worry. The "concerns" are mostly just unnecessary worry and paranoia of a corporate model wondering how it will profit from more distributed generation. Why worry, when instead, suppression of renewable growth through propaganda and lobbing government for oppressive policies is so effective.

Aerowhatt
(July) 2014 cool silver ES, acquired new 4/2015 (40.9ah at ~34K miles)
(Aug) 2014 Labrador Black Pearl ES, acquired new 3/2016 (39.7ah at ~20k miles)

Phximiev
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Location: Phoenix

Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:51 pm

Not being any expert, doesn't the production/consumption mismatch mean that we need storage batteries? If your long at one time and short another, then store the long until you need it.

I have always wondered why homes and business in the US don't typically have storage batteries. I would think that the rate difference between peak day and off-peak night would justifiy the difference in most regions.
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

Aerowhatt
Gold Member
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Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:25 pm

Phximiev wrote: I have always wondered why homes and business in the US don't typically have storage batteries. I would think that the rate difference between peak day and off-peak night would justifiy the difference in most regions.


In a decade or two many will have on site storage (some of us already do :D ). It's part of the answer. We need to shake off the past norms and think outside the box.

One of the most concerned utilities in the US is Hawaii. The grids are isolated by island and can't adjust by importing and exporting electricity as needed like most areas can. They have what they are calling saturation levels of solar coming out of some residential areas during the day. This could easily be solved since most homes there heat their water with electricity. Any home which has a couple of extra square feet of space in the garage could put in a second super insulated water heater. Cold water coming into it, then next going into the original unit when a faucet is turned on in the home. During the homes peak solar production they heat (preheat) water for later when everyone gets home. The home becomes a near real time net zero energy consumer/producer during peak solar hours. Regulate the new water heater by the flow of current in and out of the house during the day (simple to do). Thereby engaging all the surplus and using it on site instead of "burdening" the utility grid with it. It would only take one in three homes in these areas outfitted with this low tech, low cost solution to evaporate the perceived problem now claimed on the local grid. It's electricity the home owner will use anyway, just stored in their garage instead of shipped out to the grid during the day and imported back from the grid after everyone gets home and begins showering, washing dishes and clothes etc. By morning the "thermal battery" is ready to soak up the next days surplus solar electricity production.

The solutions for any area will be somewhat different depending on the local fuel sources and conditions. There are cost effective solutions for most if not all of them!

Aerowhatt
(July) 2014 cool silver ES, acquired new 4/2015 (40.9ah at ~34K miles)
(Aug) 2014 Labrador Black Pearl ES, acquired new 3/2016 (39.7ah at ~20k miles)

PV1
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:57 pm

Typically, straight grid-tie systems don't have batteries to save on costs.

I do think buffered grid-tie offers the best output. On utility-scale farms, solar panels could be wired to feed a large battery bank (obviously with a BMS), then have inverters to output power at 1/5 the rating of the array. For example, if you have 500 kW worth of solar panels, put in inverters with 100 kW total output. Now, the battery bank filters out cloud/sun bursts, smooths the output, and enables a fairly steady, predictable output from a solar farm.

There aren't any ready-made systems to do the above that I know of, but off the shelf components should be able to do it pretty easily. On the residential side of things, there is the Xantrex XW6048. With this, the solar panels directly charge a battery bank through a charge controller. The XW6048 then sees the battery voltage being at the charging threshold, and allows DC power to be inverted and fed into the AC stream. Like a standard grid-tie system, any and all available solar power keeps the batteries topped off and is sent first to the house, and any excess is sent to the grid (there is a setting to do grid-assist only and not backfeed). When the grid goes down, the XW acts like a computer UPS and instantly switches the house loads to battery/solar power. This system could also be set up to run as an off-grid system, but with the grid as a backup. The XW6048 also has a generator AC input. Grid power could be hooked up to the generator input, so that the system will run full time from battery/solar power and only use the grid when stored energy is low.

Combine the two, and you now have a very steady generation/consumption model.

(Not endorsing the Xantrex unit, just one I'm familiar with).
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015
"Photon" - 2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

jray3
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Location: Tacoma area, WA
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Re: About the Solar and other Energy costs in Europe

Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:20 pm

Phximiev wrote:I have always wondered why homes and business in the US don't typically have storage batteries. I would think that the rate difference between peak day and off-peak night would justifiy the difference in most regions.


Most regions of the US do not have peak/off-peak pricing, and only large commercial accounts pay demand charges. Hawaii is an exception, and I don't trust their claims of saturation as much as suspect HECO's reluctance to do much of anything innovative with respect to demand-leveling services. The technology has existed for quite a while. My former home in the Atlanta GA area had a modem on the air conditioning compressor to curtail use upon command from the utility during high-demand periods, and that was almost 20 years ago. Today, it's pretty much guaranteed that solar peaking would coincide with the most air conditioning usage- a match made in supply/demand heaven.

Though grid tie battery storage is maturing fast and can involve much lower efficiency losses than ever before, it is still more cost-effective in most cases to do demand response, both through automated curtailment and bringing on optional loads, like a water preheater or EV charger.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

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