Solar runs the world

Discussion in 'Energy' started by jim, Dec 5, 2017.

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  1. jim

    jim Active Member

    You may not even notice it but Solar in it's many forms runs the world. We use light everyday and sleep at night (most of us) when the Sun goes down. On a cold day we stand in the Sun if we can and on a HOT day we move to the shade. Our homes have awnings and eves that give us shade. Homes in the Deep South had large wrap around porches to let us sit in the shade. The worlds food comes from plants that grow with Photosynthesis, (Sinlight). Now we also get electricity and Hot water from Solar panels. Even space satellites run on Solar panels . In FACT wind is caused by temperature differences caused by the Sun.

    Can you imagine how we can run the entire worlds energy on safe reliable Solar energy ? We are already part way there without even trying very hard. Since 2001 My entire home and car are 100% electric and run from the Sun. I even make extra and help by local utility. What are you doing to help?
    Domenick and Jack like this.
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  3. Jennie

    Jennie Member

    Jim, you power your whole house and car by solar with some net energy? That's cool. Curious about the size of your solar system, your approximate location, size of your house, battery back-up capabilities, HVAC type (eg geothermal). We are building a in Oklahoma and have started with a small grid-tie solar system (3500W) but hope some day to be able to go off grid.
  4. jim

    jim Active Member

    I just have a 4 kW GRID Tied solar pv syste. Solar hot water and most important I made our home very efficient. I have all CREE LED lights that are made in the,USA and the most efficient and reliable. 2 solar tube lights. Solar screens on the outside,windows in Summer that I remove in winter. Solar inflections on the inside of my windows that are,air tifht, can reverse for,summer heat rejection and flip for solar gain in winter.
    Domenick likes this.
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Not with present technology, no. I've certainly read some science fiction scenarios where there is a worldwide grid of superconductors carrying energy everywhere with no loss, so that the night side of our planet could be provided with energy from solar power from the day side. But mass produced room temperature superconductors are not on the horizon. With today's tech, using 100% solar power would require an amount of grid energy storage which is unaffordable. Much as I hope Tesla Energy will find commercial success in selling PowerWalls and PowerPacks, li-ion batteries are much too expensive to be used for stationary energy storage, in both large-scale and small-scale systems.

    More realistically, we need to direct large resources into R&D, a "Manhattan Project" kind of national or international effort, into developing a cheap electrical energy storage system, which would be used to provide energy during the night and on cloudy and snowy days.

    Even there, though, solar power simply isn't going to work everywhere. What about above the arctic circle (and below the antarctic circle), where the sun doesn't shine at all for part of the year?

    No, we will need something more dependable for our future energy needs; something to supplement solar power. Something such as geothermal power and/or a new generation of truly failsafe nuclear power generators. I think that, for example, NuScale's SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) show some promise:

    From MIT Technology Review: "Small Reactors Could Kick-Start the Stalled Nuclear Sector"

    It's truly a tragedy that mass media keeps whipping up frenzied public phobia of "RADIATION!!" in regard to commercial nuclear power, keeping most countries (other than France) from using it to any great extent; a power source which would be far more reliable, and according to actual statistics much safer -- sharply contrary to all too much anti-nuclear propaganda -- than almost any other form of power generation currently in use. On a per-kWh basis, nuclear power is even safer than hydroelectric power!

    From The Washington Post: "Nuclear power is safest way to make electricity, according to study"
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
    WalksOnDirt likes this.
  6. jim

    jim Active Member

    Tesla is already doing this,with Solar PV. Of course we,will also use Wind turbines that are run but the temperature difference caused by the Sun so it's a form of solar. Also we will use hydro power and geo-thermal. Storage is the key for any power including off peak power as we turn down old fossil fuel plants.
    I don't think any form of Nuclear is worth the cost and danger. They also boil water which is much to valuable to do. The,waste they already have produced will be with us for thousands of years. It's the most expensive power ever made in dollars and lives.
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  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    If you investigate, you'll find that almost nobody has disconnected their house (or building) from the grid. The PowerWall is used as a buffer, but just like other stationary battery storage connected to home (or a commercial building) solar power systems, the usual PowerWall installation does not have sufficient capacity to store enough energy for all the home/building's needs on cloudy/snowy days.

    Economically, it may make sense to buy sufficient PowerWall capacity for overnight energy needs on sunny days. But it rarely if ever makes sense to install sufficient solar power arrays and stationary energy storage to provide all the power a home needs on a cloudy day.

    With few exceptions, the only houses that are entirely powered by solar power are cabins (not full-sized homes) built in remote locations where easy or affordable grid connection isn't available. Such cabins generally have very limited power available. You wouldn't be able to power an electric clothes dryer and a hair dryer or plasma TV at the same time! And I've seen rule-of-thumb advice for those installing off-grid solar power systems: If you want to have sufficient power on cloudy days, then install 4x as much as you need on a sunny day. That is what would be needed to make a building truly, independently, solar powered. And even then, there might be a need to reduce power use on cloudy days, and you'd better be prepared to clean the roof of snow promptly after it falls.
    WalksOnDirt likes this.
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I'm both amused and exasperated every time I read complaints about nuclear waste lasting for centuries or millennia before it decays. How is that any worse than toxic waste from other industries, which never breaks down naturally; which will last, in human terms, forever? It's part of the anti-nuke hysteria promoted by mass media, that toxic waste from one particular industry -- the commercial nuclear power industry -- is somehow worse than the toxic waste from other industries.

    At any rate, France has solved the problem of nuclear waste, in the technical sense. They recycle 90% of it (which U.S. regulations, apparently, foolishly prevent) and the rest is dispersed in particles into stable glass blocks, where it will stay regardless of floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters which anti-nuke propaganda likes to portray as making safe long-term storage of nuclear waste impossible. So France has, as I said, solved the problem in the technical sense, but even in France it's still a problem in the political sense, but again only because of the hysteria promoted by mass media.

    Details can be found here: "Why the French Like Nuclear Energy"

    If human beings were rational animals, we would have long since replaced every single coal-fired and natural-gas-fired power plant with clean, and much safer, nuclear power plants. Plus, the new generation of truly fail-safe nuclear reactors, by eliminating the danger of a meltdown, will be even better!

    Now more nukes! ;)
    WalksOnDirt likes this.
  10. Jennie

    Jennie Member

    This is my understanding of current home energy capability. It requires a combination of energy efficient construction, energy conservation, batteries and likely combination of energy sources (wind, solar, geothermal) to approach self-sufficiency.
  11. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    Yeah I agree, byproducts that last cantirues vs millennia is really inconsequential to humans.

    Also isn't elon going to shoot it all into the sun with spacex anyhow?

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
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  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Well, solar, geothermal (or more accurately, a ground loop heat pump) and possibly micro-hydro, if you have water flowing through your property.

    Wind power, from what I've read, is more of a "feel good" thing that some "green" advocates install at their home, rather than anything practical. It might provide 1-2% of a home's energy needs, at best. I suppose someone who was really dedicated and had a large back yard might install his own wind farm, and thus get enough power to make a real contribution to the mix. However, I think it's safe to say that very few people have ever done that just to provide power to their home. Wind farms using large wind turbines might be a cost-effective way to harvest renewable energy, at least in areas with frequent windy conditions. But installing a single small home wind turbine? Not so much.

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