Re: alternative energy
- From: AndyS <andysharpe@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 11:41:41 -0700 (PDT)
I think that your numbers are a bit out of date. I can buy solar
on the internet today for less than $2/W. The company that I
claims to be manufacturing them for $1/W and I mentioned that to
your claim that it takes more energy to manufacture them than they
produce over their life. That was true at one time, but no longer.
Please post the name of the company that is selling solar panels
for $2/W. Or a website where I can see this for myself. Such a
is well outside of my personal experience. The latest panels I bought
were $150 for each 22 watt panel. Perhaps the prices have gone down,
and if they are truly as cheap as you say, AND A REAL COMPANY
IS SELLING REAL PANELS, I going to buy a few more.
By energy to produce, I am combining the mining, transportation
to the smelter, refining costs, photo printing of the conductors,
the material in the conductors etc, mounting method, mining and
of the materials used in the mounting procedure, labor costs of the
or more people involved, transportation costs of the finished panel
the point of use, installation energy..... and on and on....... In
most people the cost of having some technician installing unit on a
homeowner's roof will exceed the costs of the panel....
All these things take energy -- oil and gas burned in the trucks and
and air conditioning for the plants, etc etc etc.... to manufacture
single photo module.
A 1 watt panel in Dallas (5.5 hrs full sun) will produce 40.15 kwhr
in 20 years. At 15 cents per kwh that is 6 dollars worth of
No way I will be convinced that a panel can be installed from
beach sand to rooftop for 6 dollars.....
Using concentrators rather than trackers raises the heat level for
solar cells and the 20 year life will probably come down a bunch.
Concentrators take lots of space, are not cheap to build, and you
have to clean the bird doo-doo off frequently, so it is necessary to
pay at least minimum wage to the Mexicans you hire... more costs...
..... and a good hailstorm, lightning flash, tornado, or hurricane can
get really costly for large areas that you can't enclose.... Just
out some more drawbacks. A tracker mechanism is small, and
doesn't cost much, but it does cost some.....
The heat could be lessened with liquid cooling, but that means
mounting frames, pump, evaporator.... etc.... all more costs if you
to use a concentrator for solar cells.......
You might post the expected costs of concentrators, since I have not
researched this area and my personal experience revolves warping
a 4X8 sheet of paneling into a parabola and covering it with aluminum
The heat buildup was too great on the solar cells (17% eff.) in
to the increase in power output, and the solder melted. Also
it was too damn big and blew over
when a big wind came up..... Perhaps some company makes cheap,
sturdy devices, but I haven't researched it....
Concentrators are good for heating liquids and generating steam,
other vapors , to turn turbines. I've seen stuff about that, but
tried it myself since my homemade concentrators would get stuff that
In my opinion, your contention regarding production costs versus
used is based on information from people who
sell solar panels and books on solar panels.
Regarding selling back to the power line for storage, only a very
installation will produce enough to exceed the user's power
and then for only sporadic periods in the day. That's a MUCH more
scenario for wind generation than for solar.
Of course, all this assumes that one stays attached to the grid.
owl-kissing tree-huggers go for the idea of "free power" because they
want to disconnect from the grid and live like Thoreau, ... a fantasy
ends after a few months of actually "roughing it".....
Finally, having personal experience with this technology over a long
period of time is usually more accurate than quoting articles from
magazines from people whose job is to sell articles to magazines....
....... but any of us can always learn new things, so I'm keeping an
open mind about the future.....
:>))))) Andy in Eureka, Texas
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