thelerner

Saving the World & Solar Energy

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I wanted to put this into a 'ideas for saving the world' thread we had a while ago, but Off Topic isn't letting me page down. Here's a new breakthrough idea in Solar Energy production. It'll be interesting to see if it pans out for the future.

 

http://v3solar.com/

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Nice. My panels are still doing fine.

 

Cost and break-even data would be interesting to see for these 'cones'.

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Yeah, cost and break even data is what its all about. It could just be vapor ware. There are a lot of concept companies out there that talk a good game but are more about getting $$ from investors then changing the world.

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Yeah, cost and break even data is what its all about. It could just be vapor ware. There are a lot of concept companies out there that talk a good game but are more about getting $$ from investors then changing the world.

Yep. That is why my label still includes "Materialist". I'm not going to give someone money just so they can put gas in their Rolls. I want something in return.

 

There is a lot of talk about "better" PV collector/generator technology but most of what I have seen is just a scam. I will let people who have more money than they need to do the initial testing.

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Yeah, solar is not considering only PV but also solar-thermal which can be easily stored. Much could be done with solar today but industry and especially the oil industry does not want it to happen yet.

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Solar is best put to use in individual, home installations. Its so easy to put a setup together its not even funny, if you're DIY inclined in the least its just a little elbow grease. I just got my box of solar cells last week, I just have to figure out the exact config I'm going to use on my roof, pick up an inverter and a battery, I dont think I'll get 'em up before the winter though.

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Up to August the UK government was paying a subsidy to encourage homeowners to install solar panels. It still seems like a good deal even without the subsidy cos what electricity you don't use goes into the national grid and they pay you for generating it.

We didn't have sufficient south facing roof areas to qualify.

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Heat pumps are also being talked up for a new subsidy. Anyone have experience of those?

They have to dig up your back garden apparently.

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Heat pumps are also being talked up for a new subsidy. Anyone have experience of those?

They have to dig up your back garden apparently.

As Joeblast alluded to, I had a heat pump put in a few years ago. To qualify for a tax credit I would have had to put one in that was over-priced by about $3,000. I opted for the one that was best for "me".

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There's a house we looked at in North Norfolk had solar panels, heat pump, wind turbine (squeaky), huge rainwater cache etc. More or less paid its own way energy wise. Trouble was they were asking nearly 2-million pounds for it.

At our ages the time we'll have to benefit would probably not be worth the cost of installation plus Mrs GrandmasterP wouldn't let anyone near her garden with a backhoe digger.

Somethiomng I would welcome on the veg plot about now as I begin double-digging the horsemuck in.

Takes me two weeks on and off if we get teh weather. Backhoe would do it in a couple of hours probably.

Hey ho..... a man can dream.

:wacko:

.

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Somethiomng I would welcome on the veg plot about now as I begin double-digging the horsemuck in.

Takes me two weeks on and off if we get teh weather. Backhoe would do it in a couple of hours probably.

Hey ho..... a man can dream.

:wacko:

.

Well, you can always save up a little money and buy a medium sized cultivator. (Actually, they are not that expensive here in the states.)

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I like the 2nd story. I've been following the inexpensive SODIS method to clean water. It could save many lives, nice to see an intelligent tweaking here.

  1. US Wind Industry Adding Record Number of Turbines
    2012 has been the strongest year yet for the U.S. wind energy. The success of the federal Production Tax Credit and wind energy's increased affordability are helping drive wind turbine installations to record levels in 2012, said the American Wind Energy Association.
     
  2. Girl, 14, is Top Young Scientist: Her Solar-Powered Bottle Cleans Water
     
    A 14-year-old New York student was named "America's Top Young Scientist" for inventing a solar-powered water jug that changes dirty water into purified drinking water. She won $25,000 with her dynamic 5-minute presentation about the plight of a billion poor people who have no access to clean drinking water.

Edited by thelerner

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I like the 2nd story.

Yes. Me too.

 

I worked on my Electric Honda all day yesterday. Removed unnecessary stuff and added another battery.

 

Did you see where the largest Litium-Ion mattery manufacturer in the US has declared Chapter 11? This company, A123, was given a grant from the government when they first formed the company and then an interest-free loan a little later.

 

Seems that the energy industry is still dominated by people who have no other intention than ripping off the government and the tax-payers. Sad, I think.

 

But my Honda is doing fine because I don't let the government touch it. Hopefully the additional battery I added to the system will give me a longer driving range (not that I need it for what I use the car for). Right now it is at 25 miles between charges. I will take it for a test run the next time I have a full sunny day so that the solar panels will be able to offer their maximum potential.

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Joeblast - What brand & size panels did you get? Sounds like with "a battery" this is for a small battery charging system? Or do you mean a battery bank? I am investigating, for the 100th time over the last 20 years, putting in a small system. The smallest battery bank I think I can get by with is 16 L-16 batteries for a 48V bank. Thinking of going with AGM tech, although conventional lead-acid is half the cost. Thinking of an outback radian inverter.

 

Marblehead. Impressed you are pro-active with solar. What size and brand of cells did you use? Is it a grid-tie, hybrid, or battery backup system?

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Marblehead. Impressed you are pro-active with solar. What size and brand of cells did you use? Is it a grid-tie, hybrid, or battery backup system?

The Honda has 5 - 24 volt panels on the roof. I am still playing with an idea for tapping the battery system at different point to make the best use of the panels' output. For the Honda's drive system I use only 12 volt AGMs. (10 batteries in series equaling an operating voltage of 120VDC.) They are basically sealed lead-acid batteries but have the spun glass between the lead plates which allows the battery to be placed in any position, even upside down. It is my understanding that they have a faster energy release than Gell batteries. There is one regular lead-acid battery in the car for the vehicle's instruments (light, radio, turn signals, etc.)

 

The other system, for the fish pond, is a 12 VDC system with the batteries all parallel. All panels, of course, are 12VDC. The reason I stayed with 12VDC is that water/air pumps are more available in 12 VDC than any other voltage. I also have inverters wired into the system so I can operate devices on 120 VAC at the pond area. I don't have enough panels to produce and excess and the system is therefore a stand-alone system but on full sunny days I can operate all pumps off the solar system plus charge the batteries for over-night operation.

 

Most of the batteries for this system are still standard lead-acid batteries but as one goes bad I am replacing it with an AGM.

 

I sure wish I could get some Litium-Ion batteries for both the car and the pond but they just are not available. Perhaps in a few years there will be enough wrecked hybred autos so that I can buy the batteries second-hand (if I live long enough).

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Joeblast - What brand & size panels did you get? Sounds like with "a battery" this is for a small battery charging system? Or do you mean a battery bank? I am investigating, for the 100th time over the last 20 years, putting in a small system. The smallest battery bank I think I can get by with is 16 L-16 batteries for a 48V bank. Thinking of going with AGM tech, although conventional lead-acid is half the cost. Thinking of an outback radian inverter.

 

Marblehead. Impressed you are pro-active with solar. What size and brand of cells did you use? Is it a grid-tie, hybrid, or battery backup system?

I will check and see what type of cells they are, but they are not full panels. I'm DIY'in this thing, bought 500 cells, they have +/- sides to them, I'll be soldering them all together and gluing them to panels I will make. Dont plan on having a battery array, at least not to start with. Just need a single battery to leverage the 12v system off of an an inverter to integrate with the house AC. I'm mostly just doing this to eliminate my electric bill - it aint really gonna help me as is if the power goes out, I dont think I'd be pulling enough, not without a battery array to charge up. Perhaps when the technology becomes a little cheaper!
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The Honda has 5 - 24 volt panels on the roof. I am still playing with an idea for tapping the battery system at different point to make the best use of the panels' output. For the Honda's drive system I use only 12 volt AGMs. (10 batteries in series equaling an operating voltage of 120VDC.) They are basically sealed lead-acid batteries but have the spun glass between the lead plates which allows the battery to be placed in any position, even upside down. It is my understanding that they have a faster energy release than Gell batteries. There is one regular lead-acid battery in the car for the vehicle's instruments (light, radio, turn signals, etc.)

 

The other system, for the fish pond, is a 12 VDC system with the batteries all parallel. All panels, of course, are 12VDC. The reason I stayed with 12VDC is that water/air pumps are more available in 12 VDC than any other voltage. I also have inverters wired into the system so I can operate devices on 120 VAC at the pond area. I don't have enough panels to produce and excess and the system is therefore a stand-alone system but on full sunny days I can operate all pumps off the solar system plus charge the batteries for over-night operation.

 

Most of the batteries for this system are still standard lead-acid batteries but as one goes bad I am replacing it with an AGM.

 

I sure wish I could get some Litium-Ion batteries for both the car and the pond but they just are not available. Perhaps in a few years there will be enough wrecked hybred autos so that I can buy the batteries second-hand (if I live long enough).

Li-on development is still not where it needs to be. Still too expensive. LiFePo4 is a step in the right direction for safety; hopefully will improve drastically in the next few years. I like AGM as better tech than conventional lead-acid, but twice as expensive. My main reason for plans on utilizing AGM is the maintenance issue.

 

Do you have a pic of your panel install on the car? Very interesting!

 

You may already know this, but battery bank should not really be replaced one at a time. Best to replace all at once.

 

One of these days I hope to have a home system up and running. And have hoped to one day be able to build my own electric vehicle ( first have to build a shop - ha ha).

 

Almost leased a Nisson Leaf. But the distance needed to drive was marginal. Their lease program worked out to close to monthly pay for gas so if the distance had of worked out it would be a no-brainer. They have very attractive lease program right now

I will check and see what type of cells they are, but they are not full panels. I'm DIY'in this thing, bought 500 cells, they have +/- sides to them, I'll be soldering them all together and gluing them to panels I will make. Dont plan on having a battery array, at least not to start with. Just need a single battery to leverage the 12v system off of an an inverter to integrate with the house AC. I'm mostly just doing this to eliminate my electric bill - it aint really gonna help me as is if the power goes out, I dont think I'd be pulling enough, not without a battery array to charge up. Perhaps when the technology becomes a little cheaper!

Sounds like a lot of soldering! At one time I was Nasa certified but don't even know if I could find my soldering iron now.

 

Grid-tie is definitely cheaper and more efficient than using battery storage. And it is real cool to watch meter run backwards. I think I am going for a hybrid (combo grid-tie/battery) system (if I EVER get the funds to do a system) as we have lots of power outages in the winter. What I would like to do is tell the power company to take down those ugly power lines and be fully energy independent. The price of solar panels have come down BIG TIME over the last 5 years. It is the batteries that is the largest problem now, 16 L-16 AGM's was quoted to my as over 6 grand. Ouch! Inverter efficiencies have improved as well.

Good luck with your project.

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Li-on development is still not where it needs to be. Still too expensive. LiFePo4 is a step in the right direction for safety; hopefully will improve drastically in the next few years. I like AGM as better tech than conventional lead-acid, but twice as expensive. My main reason for plans on utilizing AGM is the maintenance issue.

 

Do you have a pic of your panel install on the car? Very interesting!

 

You may already know this, but battery bank should not really be replaced one at a time. Best to replace all at once.

 

One of these days I hope to have a home system up and running. And have hoped to one day be able to build my own electric vehicle ( first have to build a shop - ha ha).

 

Almost leased a Nisson Leaf. But the distance needed to drive was marginal. Their lease program worked out to close to monthly pay for gas so if the distance had of worked out it would be a no-brainer. They have very attractive lease program right now

Yeah, I was looking on the net yesterday and found Litium-Ion batteries available from Mainland China and one retailer in the US. And yes, the cost is still double of what I pay for AGMs.

 

So far I have had good service from AGMs. I serviced my battery bank for the ponds' operation and found two bad standard lead-acid and have replaced them.

 

No, I cannot afford to replace the entire bank of batteries when one of them goes bad. That's for rich people to do.

 

I haven't taken a picture of the car specifically to show the solar panels yet. I guess that needs be put on my list of things to do. Another person has asked me to send a picture and haven't done so yet.

 

There are conversion kits available for around 7 grand and then another 2.5 grand for the batteries. The makes and models of autos the kits can be applied to are limited though.

 

Yeah, I looked at info, just out of curiosity, on the Leaf. Although its range is much better than mine, I get better milage per cost of energy than it does. (With gas priced at $3.50 per gallon and electricity priced at $.102 per kilowatt hour, I get the equivalent of 70 MPG.) (My range is 25 miles before needing to recharge.)

 

Also, the frame/body the Leaf is in, with conventional internal combustion engine costs $11,000 and the price for a Leaf is $45,000. Seems to me they really don't want to sell many of them.

 

My recharge rate is one hour for every 2.5 miles driven. Of course, Litium-Ion would be much faster than that.

 

So, with my car, a person could drive to work safely up to 20 miles, plug it in at work, drive home after work (8 hour work day), plug it in and in the morning it would be hot to go.

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Sounds like a lot of soldering! At one time I was Nasa certified but don't even know if I could find my soldering iron now.

 

Grid-tie is definitely cheaper and more efficient than using battery storage. And it is real cool to watch meter run backwards. I think I am going for a hybrid (combo grid-tie/battery) system (if I EVER get the funds to do a system) as we have lots of power outages in the winter. What I would like to do is tell the power company to take down those ugly power lines and be fully energy independent. The price of solar panels have come down BIG TIME over the last 5 years. It is the batteries that is the largest problem now, 16 L-16 AGM's was quoted to my as over 6 grand. Ouch! Inverter efficiencies have improved as well.

Good luck with your project.

:lol: yeah, luckily I have a good gun and plenty of soldering experience. Although I havent had to solder much since largely switching to EMG X pickups...although I still do most of my own cabling.

 

I'll definitely keep an eye on the batteries and will include them if it makes sense to in the future...I'm only a couple hund into it right now so far :lol: am going DIY because...I can...and just buying 'em outright appears to be 10x as expensive!

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1984 Honda Civic Wagovan

 

Converted to electric in 1989

 

Restored by Marblehead in 2011/2012

 

Solar panels installed in 2012 (Five 24 VDC panels on roof.)

 

 

Edited by Marblehead

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"Power Density is the key to our Sustainable Future"

 

Power density has little to do with sustainability, unless you mean low density equals sustainability.

It all depends on what kind of a world you want to have and how much power density you need for that to make it practical.

Solar panels have an inherently low power density. But since it's a booming industry, they will go more and more into the extreme to secure their investment. Just like the conbustion engine becomes crazier and crazier regarding energy efficiency, while very crude alternatives are superior in any way. But they are too superior. The dominant powers are still control freaks. And metaphorically speaking, there might be Afghan blood running through your solar panels.

Electric cars are another problem like this. To manufacture all the batteries for having all cars in the world on electric, you'd need more mineral resources that are available today. But... that's why the USA tries to get their hands on as much as possible ... see Afghanistan.

 

Also, solar panels will need an energy buffer storage for when the sun doesn't provide. This requires a lot of material resources - a paradise for the chemical industry.

 

Subsidization: huge scam for people who don't realize that they are being given their own money in order to push inefficient technologies over more efficient ones. It's all about opening new markets and new business opportunities. In the grip of the pyramid scheme that is the interest-based monetary system, the economy is forced to grow all the time, quicker and quicker. You see this in action where 'new' technologies like wind power are pushed beyond what the power grid can handle. It's technologically not possible at a given moment, but they MUST produce more stuff, build more, economy has to grow.

 

 

1984 Honda Civic Wagovan

 

Converted to electric in 1989

 

Restored by Marblehead in 2011/2012

 

Solar panels installed in 2012 (Five 24 VDC panels on roof.)

 

 

I prefer the Philippine inventor's Toyota Corolla that runs on water. (apparently zero point electrolysis)

Edited by Owledge

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I prefer the Philippine inventor's Toyota Corolla that runs on water. (apparently zero point electrolysis)

Well, sure. But I don't nave the knowledge to do something like that.

 

For a very long time now (many years) thought that electrolysis can be economically attractive.

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