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Solar A/C Wins Support From EPA

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Elizabeth M
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Re: Solar Power Plants in Spain
Elizabeth M   7/10/2014 8:58:56 AM
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Yes, francisB, there is a lot of investment in solar at the moment. It's definitely the way forward. Even traditional power companies are seeing the value in it.

francisB
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Iron
Re: Solar Power Plants in Spain
francisB   7/10/2014 1:45:42 AM
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Great to hear that. Solar Power is one of the economical and environment frendly power plan t we have. Let's promote the use of it.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Solar Power Plants in Spain
Elizabeth M   7/7/2014 5:43:18 AM
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Interesting, lostproton, I did not know about this technology. Well the EPA is on to it now, so perhaps the use/advancement of it will speed up rapidly and it will be put to more use.

lostproton
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Solar Power Plants in Spain
lostproton   7/2/2014 9:54:24 AM
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This is five years behind technology. There are operating solar power plants in Spain that have a semi-hemispherical pit that is lined with several hundred parabolic mirrors with linear actuators that are focused on a central tower that is filled with salt that all the focused sun light heat turns the salt in to a liquid. The cooling tubes containing water provide the steam to operate the turbine to turn the generator. The temperature of the liquefied salt from the day time sun light maintains enough heat to continue producing steam over night until the sun of the next day. The pictured one below was done on a flat plane but the semi-hemispherical pit ones have the advantage of less angular adjustment to focus the parabolic mirrors on the tower. There was a rumor circulating a year or two ago that a similar plant was considered for Nevada or New Mexico.   

 

Elizabeth M
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Re: All things solar
Elizabeth M   7/2/2014 8:43:37 AM
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Actually, now that I think of it, Arizona would be a good place for these type of units. Plenty of sunshine and normally low humidity.

Elizabeth M
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Re: All things solar
Elizabeth M   7/2/2014 8:42:57 AM
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You bring up some good points, Lou. I reckon at night time the energy storage feature will give the unit enough energy to work. But for places where there is limited or no sunlight, this unit may not be an option unless they can up the energy storage capacity to prepare for this type of thing. Your story reminds me of when I had what was called a "swamp cooler" when I lived in Tempe, Arizona, instead of an AC unit. It didn't work so well during the monsoon season there when it was humid. I have never been more uncomfortable in my life sweating it out on 112 degree days with 70 percent humidity.

Elizabeth M
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Re: All things solar
Elizabeth M   7/2/2014 4:37:20 AM
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Good point, fm. I didn't know that about this type of design. I imagine if the EPA is involved and the point is to make this more environmentally friendly, an issue like that will be addressed before final design.

naperlou
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Re: All things solar
naperlou   7/1/2014 12:59:26 PM
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Safety is a concern.  Of course, in conventional A/C systems, we have eliminated freon.  Any system that is inside has to be safe, so if the material is required to make the system work then it would be a problem to commericalize.

Another concern with solar A/C is that one uses A/C in many areas to keep down humidity, not strictly for cooling.  Thus, it will be used when there is no sunshine. Considering that, what about night time?  In many places, there are times of year when it stays muggy and hot at night (think Florida).  I was in the Keys once on an island and the temperature range that week was 92deg - 95deg.  That was it.  As long as there was a breeze we slept on the beach.  The one night the wind stopped, it was brutal.  What I am getting at is that you need to concentrate on the operational requirements, not the technology.  Remember the old saying, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. 

fm
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Platinum
Re: All things solar
fm   7/1/2014 9:13:54 AM
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@Elizabeth M, i'm glad to see that, too. I'm guessing that the concept of this A/C is not much different from that of a propane refrigerator. The thing that makes me nervous about a propane refrig is the ammonia they use as the heat transfer fluid. Having the potential for a toxic gas release in my house is a little discouraging! I'm hoping that they address that with any mass-produced design they may make.

Elizabeth M
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All things solar
Elizabeth M   7/1/2014 6:50:05 AM
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With inventions like this, it's hard not to imagine a future in which all of our common household electrical items are solar-powered. It's good to see the EPA backing efforts and inventions like this. I would welcome a world in which more devices and appliances use energy from the sun.

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