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Old 09-20-2018, 07:06 AM   #101 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Heat boils water to make steam to generate electricity. Using the sun to do this makes sense. Using nuclear reaction to do this - does not make sense.
Concentrated solar installation is running at $9/ Watt in the USA. Nameplate. The best month Crescent Dunes could offer (after over a year of failure and shut downs due to salt leaks) was 33, 387 MWh. 46MW average on it's best month. 42% capacity factor. On it's best month. $ 21.40 / Watt actual cap cost. Based on it's best month. Sited on 1,670 acres.
.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cresce...Energy_Project
.
Tracking mirror based concentrated solar is extremely expensive. But it does at least store 10 hours of output theoretically.
.
Ivanpah was $2.2 Billion and has been much more reliable averaging 71MW over 4 years. $31/ Watt based on the actual output. And 3,500 acres.
.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpa...Power_Facility
.
Green magazines will never tell you any of this. Good thing we have Wikipedia.

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Old 09-20-2018, 07:35 AM   #102 (permalink)
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$9 or $3 hmmmm?
Those bird burners aren't getting any cheaper.
Material costs to build such a thing are going up, not down.
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:17 AM   #103 (permalink)
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The sticker shock is when you see the actual production from solar on an annual basis. $30/ Watt for concentrated with only 10 hours storage. $10/ Watt for solar PV with no storage. And this is when they situated in the worlds most ideal locations. Annual solar pv production in the North East USA with it's 15% capacity factor makes cap costs almost 2X beyond those numbers.
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:25 AM   #104 (permalink)
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I lived in maine. Solar panels up that way would be a pretty stupid way to blow a lot of money.
I have gone 2 weeks with out seeing any sun during the day, how is that supposed to work?

To get any useable power the solar panels would have to be on trackers, which more than doubles the price of the install.

If you are off grid up that way you can forget about being fossil fuel free if you want your batteries to stay charged.
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:18 PM   #105 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
$9 or $3 hmmmm?
Those bird burners aren't getting any cheaper.
Material costs to build such a thing are going up, not down.
How many birds die from pollution? Mercury poisoning kills a lot of fish - and ask how people feel about coal ash in the area affected by Florence.

Climate change is already costing us billions and billions and billions. Fossil fuel pollution and water contamination are killing 10's of thousands of people each and every year - in the US; and many more around the world.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:02 PM   #106 (permalink)
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... and vastly improving the lives of 7.5 billion people.

Doesn't make sense to focus on the negative without considering the positive.

I couldn't care less about birds unless they are sitting on my dinner plate.

Petroleum alternatives have to be proven to mitigate the downside of fossil fuel burning to justify their expense and complexity. In other words, all good and bad things taken into consideration with renewables has to outweigh all the good and bad things taken into consideration with burning fossil fuels.

We've run circles around this subject in the GW thread. The single greatest event for the well-being of humanity was and is currently the use of fossil fuels. Surely alternatives will be hugely beneficial to humanity in the future, but looking at fossil fuels as a great evil is absurd.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:30 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Heat boils water to make steam to generate electricity. Using the sun to do this makes sense. Using nuclear reaction to do this - does not make sense.
No twice over. Using the sun to boil water to make electricity does not make sense, because photovoltaics are a lot more efficient, and can easily be installed on your roof. Using nuclear reactions does make sense, because (for a lot of reasons) you sometimes need more than you can get from the sun, and (unlike coal or other fossil fuels) nuclear reactions do this with minimal side effects, like screwing up the climate.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:10 PM   #108 (permalink)
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I see those big mirror solar plants as large scale experiments. As such they aren't efficient enough cost wise, though they do prove the concept works.
My gut feeling says they are too large and use lots of one-of or small scale produced parts.
Smaller, mass produced arrays could bring the cost down quite some. I doubt it would ever be enough.
As long as the grid does not get flooded by an overage, home PV panels and large windmills are the way to go.

There will always be fluctuations in power supply and demand. The grid should always try to meet demand.

However, we can nudge demand by varying the electricity cost so smart devices will level it off.
Say your fridge will try to maintain a temperature of around -20 degrees Celsius, but if the electricity cost drops below average by low demand it will cool down to -22 degrees, and if the price rises it allows the fridge temperature to rise to maybe -18 before it finally starts cooling. Likewise for EV charging; not beyond 85% if the price is high.

Some appliances do not lend themselves for this kind of power brokering, but once the incentive is there, you'll find many situations where it can make a difference.
Guide, don't (just) buffer.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:43 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Concentrated solar would be nice due to the high operating temps and the thermal storage instead of batteries but they have to be at least as big as 1 grid scale turbine. Solar in a straw- trough concentrators on single axis trackers are much simpler.
.
None of this will be nearly enough to replace the total energy we are now using. But whatever we can get built in the next 30 years will be much better than nothing.
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Smart meters everywhere with realtime, 15 minute pricing and an internet of everything controlling ev charging from the car via smart phone are the first steps to trying to level intermittent demand from increasing rebuildables.
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:01 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Most electric vehicles will be charged during off peak hours.
Peak is usually around 10 am to 2pm.
The majority of people aren't going to plug in till at least 4pm.

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