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System Stores Energy for the Grid – Using Gravel

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fm
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Re: Storage Issues
fm   8/20/2014 7:51:19 AM
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@ramjet,

That negative may be more from Arizona's recent unfriendly policy changes -- but the installer may ... not have given them the best deal ... too!

You mentioned 20-year life on the panels. If that's true, that too says they got a lousy deal. The good solar modules have 25-year power production warranties, which say that they will warranty that you'll get 80% of your initial production after 25 years. Most modules are doing much better than that - they're on the 90-ish-percent curve. Of course, what that means is that these things are not used up after 25 years; they still have *nearly all* of their life left. A hundred years from now, with a little bit of maintenance, these things should still be producing a decent amount. Oh, and what they *will* be producing will be worth FAR more - since electricity prices go nowhere but up. In fact, if you consider just a 3% rise per year in electric rates, a panel at 80% output, 25 years later, is worth more than it was when it was new!

ramjet@metrocast.net
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Gold
Re: Storage Issues
ramjet@metrocast.net   8/20/2014 1:07:00 AM
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The Awning was not included in the calculations, the money for that was separate.

The SOLAR costs are evaluated totally separate.

Perhaps they got screwed by the installer or something, I'm not near there to look into it.

fm
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Platinum
Re: Storage Issues
fm   8/18/2014 9:27:47 AM
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@Stuart21,

Most people and businesses will see a dollar gain over 20 years. I think this is a one-time special case that people love to make into a general rule to prove their favorite point. For the average homeowner in Iowa, you can see a full return on your investment in 10-ish years. It's a 3-6% return on your investment. Businesses can see a full return on their investment in 3-5 years. The good photovoltaics have 25-year power production warrantees; that's free power for 15-20 years guaranteed, and more beyond that.

To put it in perspective (and not knowing *anything* about this church that he refers to), i'm guessing that $14k is a small fraction of the total price of the array that they installed. If they spent $1M on the array, then this church - even not having the advantages a for-profit business has - is awfully close to breaking even!

Sadly, since this church couldn't take advantage of tax breaks, what that also means is that they went about it all wrong. There are ways (yes, i can do this, and yes, it's legal!) of structuring things so that a nonprofit CAN see some of the benefits of tax breaks.

fm
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Storage Issues
fm   8/18/2014 9:14:23 AM
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@remjet,

You're jumping to a false conclusion. The photovoltaic part of the church's installation is not the part that drives the loss; the AWNING is. Awnings are a very expensive way to install solar, and to expect that the electricity offset from solar will pay for the awnings is unrealistic. Yes, the awnings have a big side benefit, so if you're going to compare, then make the comparison complete by including the savings in gasoline and comfort that the awnings introduce. I think you'd come up to a net positive if you examined it honestly and completely. Plus, i hear Arizona is becoming less friendly to solar as time goes on - charging high connection fees and other discouragements - that also contribute to a loss. Finally, if you're thinking that the solar part of the awning is what's expensive, also consider how much it cost to modify the awnings to accept the solar array - that too adds cost - again, you wouldn't think awnings are expensive, but they are.

And, has been pointed out by another post: "Programs developed with Tax money and subsidized by tax money are not going to bring long term benifits." -- gasoline has been developed using tax money and continues to be heavily subsidized with YOUR tax money, and it's been giving us long-term benefits. But that clock is running out, it's yesterday's news, and it's time to jump to the next energy rock in the stream. If we level the subsidy playing field right now, solar wins.

Stuart21
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Silver
Re: Storage Issues
Stuart21   8/16/2014 11:56:11 AM
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"Turns out, the extra cost of Solar installation and periodic cleaning will result in a $14,000 LOSS over the 20 year lifespan of the panels compared to just paying the grid for power on Sunday."

Fine, but what are the calculations for more normal users? 5, 6 or 7 days per week usage?

Trenth
User Rank
Gold
Re: How efficient is it?
Trenth   8/14/2014 10:10:45 PM
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They claim 75% round trip electrical, go to the link.





It is hard to believe, but they do have a great cold sink compared to transitional turbines.





Let's see how their demonstration program works.





Trenth
User Rank
Gold
Re: Storage Issues
Trenth   8/14/2014 10:08:55 PM
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Great anecdotal rant. Did you forget the MASSIVE 50 times solar benefits the gov gives fossils and nuclear?





Yeah, I bet you did. 
 


Trenth
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Gold
Re: Storage Issues
Trenth   8/14/2014 10:08:53 PM
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Great anecdotal rant. Did you forget the MASSIVE 50 times solar benefits the gov gives fossils and nuclear?





Yeah, I bet you did. 
 


Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Storage Issues
Cabe Atwell   8/14/2014 12:39:34 AM
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Ramjet,

 

All options should be explored. Development should never stop with tech. Perhaps there will be a breakthrough making hydro elec look like burning styrofoam for heat.

 

C

 

 

ramjet@metrocast.net
User Rank
Gold
Re: Storage Issues
ramjet@metrocast.net   8/13/2014 7:10:22 PM
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Very close to a complete supply from Solar & Wind ??

That is not even Possible in ARIZONA.

My brother lives there, near Phoenix, He tells me the church he attends wanted to shade the parking lot so people could get into the cars after service without having to run the AC for 15 minutes first. So they thought, We will put solar on the top of it and get money from it.

They sell all the power generated 6 days a week and use it themselves on Sunday to cool the church.

Turns out, the extra cost of Solar installation and periodic cleaning will result in a $14,000 LOSS over the 20 year lifespan of the panels compared to just paying the grid for power on Sunday. Real Big Gain there , Right? I Think NOT.

Why? Because a Church cannot get the tax break the Govt gives for Solar installation, so that gives the REAL COST VS Benifit.  do you think the Gov't is going to keep giving those Tax breaks forever? Think Again !

Programs developed with Tax money and subsidized by tax money are not going to bring long term benifits.

I find it FAR more efficient to complete the Northwest Passage project here. Hydro-electric power from Canada is FAR cheaper and MUCH closer to New England than the far southwest of the country.

Closer by Thousands of miles of crappy infrastructure no less. The main lines would run right down through New Hampshire (Where I Live) since we have a Border with Canada.

And Since Canadian Hydro power is already in excess of Canadian needs it seems only logical to buy that surplus power at half the price we spend on power now.

Why spend Millions on developing Solar / Wind when the power is already there???

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