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#1 2004-11-15 11:32:32

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: New Solar Power Technology

http://www.livescience.com/technology/0 … html]Based in the Land of Enchantment

*Why am I not surprised?  smile 

(I recall all the talk and excitement about solar power in the 1970s.  For some reason it seemed not to catch on as well as anticipated.) 

"Coal and nuclear cost 3-5 cents per kilowatt hour. Natural gas can cost anywhere from 6 to 50 cents per kilowatt hour," Andraka said. "Consumers are typically charged in the range of 8-10 cents per kilowatt hour. SES has a goal to get the cost of generation to about 6 cents per kilowatt hour."

Ideally suited for regions with sustained sunlight, 20,000 solar dish engine systems could provide electricity to utility companies throughout the southwestern United States, Andraka said.

"This is the perfect type of electricity generation for the Southwest," Liden said. "It’s a renewable resource, its pollution free, and the maintenance of a solar farm is minimal."

  :up:

Before January, five additional solar powered dishes and their engines are planned to boost the electricity production of the prototype to 150 kilowatts of electricity a day, enough to power 40 average households, according to researchers.

--->"A farm 100 miles by 100 miles in the southwestern U.S. hypothetically could provide as much electricity as is needed to power the entire country,"<--- said SES general manager Bob Liden.

--Cindy

::edit:: 

The current project is not an abstract possibility for the future, however, and is actively selling electricity to power companies.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#2 2004-11-15 12:29:05

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

yup solar cells back then were very costly to make, some what fragile and did not produce that much in seasonal locations or should I say the further north you were.

There has been a lot of advances in the efficencies of them over the years not to mentions they seem to get more power out of them some how on Mars than expect without dust devils blowing though.

I had though of using solar panels on a sort of dual function way.
Have you ever been driving done the roads either in early morning or late towards sun down. Well then you have probably been asaulted by solar glare. One could make a sloar blind accross the local highways at probably 25 feet in the air that stretches from side to side. Making them about 6 ft wide and on a pivot point to allow them to be possitioned for the best tracking of the sun though out the day. These could be spaced at any distance appart that would create a sort of tunnel effect blocking the high intensity glare during them times.

The energy could be save for later use for street lighting or for off setting the cost of local governments energy needs.

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#3 2004-11-15 14:24:33

ERRORIST
Member
From: OXFORD ALABAMA
Registered: 2004-01-28
Posts: 1,182

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Why not just mass produce the roadways with solar cells instead of pavement or concrete. This amount of area would power all the cars and cities in the world.

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#4 2004-11-15 14:28:26

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

They are basically glass, not so hot for road surfaces and would not do well with contamination on the cell either or being wet or snowed on. Plows would definitely do them in....

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#5 2004-11-15 16:23:09

ERRORIST
Member
From: OXFORD ALABAMA
Registered: 2004-01-28
Posts: 1,182

Re: New Solar Power Technology

The emergency lanes and easments could be used as such and would power the world with all that area.

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#6 2004-11-15 21:02:19

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: New Solar Power Technology

The emergency lanes and easments could be used as such and would power the world with all that area.

Nope. People whine when so much as a lamp post is solar powered because they say it's ugly.  roll


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#7 2004-11-16 05:44:37

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Hi Cindy!
    Yes, I saw that article but you beat me to it in the posting department!   big_smile

    But, is this new system really all that different compared to, say, http://www.boeing.com/assocproducts/ene … .html]this kind of thing?
    The idea of harnessing solar heat directly, using lenses or mirrors, is not a new concept. Apparently that magnificent 18th century Frenchman, Lavoisier, had a large convex lens manufactured and succeeded in melting metal (platinum, I think?)

    But regardless of how old the idea is, or who invented or refined it, it looks like it should be used today to supplement out electricity supplies in sunny areas like, say, New Mexico or Outback Australia.
                                smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#8 2004-11-16 07:47:56

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Not to mention that the process you describe would be one of the first used in space for the purpose of smelting.

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#9 2004-11-16 08:17:49

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Hi Cindy!
    Yes, I saw that article but you beat me to it in the posting department!   big_smile

    But, is this new system really all that different compared to, say, http://www.boeing.com/assocproducts/ene … .html]this kind of thing?
    The idea of harnessing solar heat directly, using lenses or mirrors, is not a new concept. Apparently that magnificent 18th century Frenchman, Lavoisier, had a large convex lens manufactured and succeeded in melting metal (platinum, I think?)

    But regardless of how old the idea is, or who invented or refined it, it looks like it should be used today to supplement out electricity supplies in sunny areas like, say, New Mexico or Outback Australia.
                                smile

*Hi Shaun:

Great link you provided.  Solar Power Tower Farm...cool.  Well, ALL of it of course -- heliostats and etc.  (:edit:  Yes, not a new concept, but it's high time it be implemented more frequently/vigorously.  Tantalizing to think a farm 100 x 100 miles might power the entire nation.)

Well, I might have beat you to posting the 1st link, but you've got me beat in the reference to Lavoisier.  I've heard of him, but have not (yet) specifically read about what you refer to in 18th Century history.  :-\   :;):

SpaceNut:  yup solar cells back then were very costly to make, some what fragile and did not produce that much in seasonal locations or should I say the further north you were.

*That brought back a memory; I grew up in the Midwest, so know all about "further north."  :-\  They're harnassing more and more WIND power up there (makes sense, always so danged windy).  Perhaps *cloud* power could be developed up there too, ha ha; insufferably cloudy there.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#10 2004-11-16 11:15:23

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: New Solar Power Technology

*Hi everyone:

I have question about the following from the link Shaun provided us:

"This receiver collects the concentrated solar power and elevates the temperature of a molten salt by several hundred degrees. The heated molten salt is pumped to a storage tank, then through a heat exchanger where water is converted to steam to drive a conventional electrical turbine generator. During periods of peak power demand, darkness or cloud cover, the stored molten salt continues to feed the energy needs to generate electricity..."

*How does the stored molten salt continue to feed the energy?  I'm completely unfamiliar with this particular aspect of the technology (does it show?  tongue).  Replies appreciated, thanks.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#11 2004-11-16 11:41:42

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

The storage tanks first are insulated, plus they are huge not just a few gallons but reaching well above a million and it is still in the super heated state as stored energy.

Alot like heat pumps or well, from what I recall use to heat a home in winter but to act as a heat exchanger for the hot summer months by using the stored cold energy collected during the winter.
I think this site will be a resource to answer some questions.
http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumerinfo/

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#12 2004-11-16 14:18:15

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,012

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Don't laugh too hard.  Solar thermal power systems like some of the ones mentioned here still represent the majority of power from solar powerplants on commercial utility grids.  (That's even with some utilities now purchasing power from individual households with their own solar panels and trace inverters.) 

Solar thermal systems were the first solar powerplants to top 30% efficiency in the field, decades before the first photovoltaic cell reached that mark in the laboratory.  Why they don't get more press time is beyond me.

PS - Cindy, the salt stores heat, which is used to keep the engines running at night.  A solar thermal plant with a large enough reservoir can provide power at night.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#13 2004-11-17 10:27:12

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Here is a base line article into how old the developement of this technology is.

Project Eros Space Solar Reflector

The U.S. Air Force's Project EROS (Experimental Reflector Orbital Shot) was the first USAF solar reflector experiment in space. Its purpose was to find out if reflectors could be used for collecting and concentrating the sun's heat to generate electricity in space solar power systems.

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#14 2004-11-17 10:54:50

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,012

Re: New Solar Power Technology

A fresnel reflector?  Interesting!  That does open up the range of possible geometries for a solar thermal system in space.

Thank you, Spacenut!


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#15 2004-11-17 11:09:48

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

I have aso heard of the same terms being used in reference to satelite TV reciever dishes as well but that another topic all together.

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#16 2004-11-17 22:10:46

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Maybe I missed something, but how do you "pump" the millions of gallons of (solidified?) salt back out of the tank, to be reheated? Please nip this misunderstanding in the bud.

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#17 2005-01-20 06:58:50

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

On the note of power here is an article Lunar colony to run on moon dust well not actually but it has been a SIMULATED moon dust component which has been used to make key component of a working solar cell. The idea of getting robotic rovers to build solar cells entirely out of lunar dust or "regolith" was put forth in an article in the New Scientist, 24 June 2000, p 14.

fine, grey powder is half silicon dioxide, with the remainder made up of a blend of oxides of 12 metals, including aluminium, magnesium and iron. The team reasoned that this mix contains all the elements necessary to build a solar panel, and suggested that robots trundling over the lunar surface could melt regolith, refine it and then lay down a glassy substrate on which solar cells could be deposited. The rover- solar-powered of course- would leave a trail of solar panels in its wake.
The team's experiment showed, for example, that the glassy re-formed regolith is smooth enough to serve as a substrate for the micrometre-thick layers of the solar cell, and tough enough not to crack. Such flaws in the base of a solar cell would wreck it by bringing oppositely charged electrodes into contact with each other, causing short circuits. For future tests, they plan to work out how to make the semiconductor parts of the solar cell using silicon extracted from the regolith.

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#18 2017-10-18 21:15:56

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Fixed artifacts...

I seem to remember that there was more to the topic.... hum.. or not....

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#19 2017-10-19 06:20:50

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Since this thread was started back in 2004 PV module prices per watt have fallen dramatically.  This graph suggests by about 85%

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=PV+pa … X9oMocPXcM:

Analysts expect costs to continue to fall.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#20 2017-10-19 12:40:28

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,340
Website

Re: New Solar Power Technology

That's good news. When I read the science paper about gallium-indium-nitride photovoltaic cells in year 2000, it was my hope the price per watt would come down further. The price per cell could be higher, but the important thing is price per watt.

This new photovoltaic (PV) was discovered by a US government lab, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is far more efficient so produces far more electricity for a given area. I live in Winnipeg, 60 miles north of the border with North Dakota. Winters here are cold. A 2 story house with the roof completely covered so the roof *IS* panels of these cells, would produce enough power to heat the home in winter. Apply the PV cells to a copper manifold with water running through, applying the cells using the same thermal compound that a computer CPU uses for it's heat sink. Apply polyurethane foam insulation behind the manifold, to keep heat in. Use that to pre-heat (pre-warm) water before going to the hot water tank. Add a transparency above the PV cells with an air gap, and fan connected to the forced air heating system. A computer thermostat could balance whether heat goes to heat air or water. Use PCTFE sheet for the top layer, PCTFE film for additional "panes" to keep heat in. Apply a coating of Teflon-AF to the top of the PCTFE sheet. Teflon-AF is the only polymer more transparent than PCTFE, and it has an extremely low optical index so acts as anti-glare coating, and Teflon-AF is a true amorphous so also acts as anti-scratch coating. And Teflon is slippery so snow will slide off. Combine this with geothermal heat pump, technically known as ground source heat pump. A high density suburb would use vertical ground loops. And helical windmill in the back yard; a cloudy day will reduce power via PV, but that tends to be windy so the windmill will produce power exactly when PV produces less. Helical works with gusting wind that change direction: north, east, west, south, and even "up". And helical is beautiful, looks like a work of art. Use compact fluorescent or LED lights, high efficiency appliances, and well insulated house. "R2000" is a standard for house insulation from the late 1970s, it's hardly new but good enough. All that together would produce a house that does not have natural gas service to the property, and never ever purchased electricity from the grid. Size it to be energy neutral during worst case conditions. In January 2005 there were 3 consecutive nights with weather prediction the evening before that the low would reach -40.4°C, -40.6°C, and -41.0°C respectively. In 2013 weather did not set any record low, but the daytime high remained below -20°C (-4°F) for a record number of days. Normally we only get a cold snap of 2 weeks where the daytime high does not rise above that, but in 2013 it lasted 90 days. These are the extremes to design for. The rest of the time the house will sell power to the grid. That means the home owner will get a cheque every month, not a bill. Larger cheque in summer, small in winter, medium in spring/fall, but a cheque every month.

I know where I could get all components to build such a house. Everything but the PV cells. The trick is high efficiency PV cells with low price per watt. Houses like this would cost a little more, but the total of mortgage plus utility bills (after reducing by the cheque from the electric utility) would be lower starting the very first month a home owner moves in. Again, to do that the price of PV has to come down.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2017-10-19 19:07:59)

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#21 2017-10-19 18:49:55

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

The solar cell panels are indeed within reach of most to be able to cut energy costs down or towards making a profit but its the remainder of what you need that puts it out of reach for many.
Roughly 30 panels of standard 20% quality would be enough for the majority of the time to create suffiecient power levels to not have to pay the power companies a penny.

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#22 2019-06-16 19:47:33

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

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#23 2019-07-03 18:52:09

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Report charts pathway for rural clean energy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change.

U.S. in 2019
wind capacity is expected to grow by 6 percent
solar capacity by 14 percent

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#24 2019-12-11 07:10:46

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Earlier in the roadway use for placing solar or thermal collection the issue is trees and bad weather for damaging any system.
Next is alignment to collect the energy at its greatest value for the investment.
Embedded road solar thermal is also season effected from frost heaves....

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#25 2019-12-12 17:35:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: New Solar Power Technology

Here is a twist on such a technology...but when it comes to mars we will want to make use of daily sunlight just as much as we will artificial.

Punching holes in opaque solar cells turns them transparent

opaque-solar-cell-compared-neutral-colored-transparent-solar-cell-hg.jpg

Existing transparent solar cells tend to have a reddish hue and lower efficiency, but by punching holes that are around 100 um in diameter (comparable in size to a human hair) on crystalline silicon wafers, it allows light through without coloring. The holes are then strategically spaced, so the human eye is unable to "see" the pattern. The best solar cells on the market have an efficiency of over 20 percent. The transparent neutral-colored solar cell that the research team developed demonstrated long-term stability with a high-power conversion efficiency of 12.2 percent. The next step for the team is to scale up the device to 25 cm2 (3.88 in2) and increase the efficiency to 15 percent. Furthermore, most windows are vertically placed, which causes light to hit the windows at a low angle. When hit by low angle light, the electrical current in conventional cells drops nearly 30 percent, while transparent solar cells reduce less than 4 percent--allowing it to utilize solar energy more efficiently.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2019.11.008
Research Report: "Neutral-Colored Transparent Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics"

This makes it ideal for solar concentrated light to pass as well as to get the energy from the reflected light. This is a benefit to a natural lighted greenhouse as the panels now become part of the construction and not extra mass to supply energy.

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