Solar energy generation in California is expected to rise sharply during the second half of 2013, coming from utility-scale plants such as the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo. Here, 140 megawatts were brought online in December 2012. By December 2013, the project is expected to deliver its full capacity of 250 megawatts. (Source: US Department of Energy/NRG Solar)
I agree that for consumer or commercial buyers, higher quality is better. And I was afraid you'd say that, Mydesign--that the "cheapest is best" philosophy is so widespread. Apparently, from the manufacturer's/seller's standpoint it makes for higher profits.
Mydesign, some Chinese manufacturers do make quality products. There are many of these products in the US. There are also many cheaply made, poorly made products that don't last or even work right. A similar range of quality used to exist in the US, before most of our manufacturing went to China. The difference depends at least partly on what the US-based/global company requires of those manufacturers. I have noticed that the low end of "cheaply made/doesn't work right" products has dropped even lower since we offshored so much manufacturing. I think part of the problem is also because consumers, at least here in the US, have been taught that cheap is good and cheapest is best.
"After the 6 year wait period, how much longer will those panels function? Will maintenance be costly to a point where the only option is to junk the panel? Keep in mind, after 6 years or a decade, parts may be impossible to come by"
Cabe, what I understood is under normal situation, panels can function well up to 20 years. But the tubular battery has to be replacing once in 5 years and other electronics parts like UPS/Inverter functionality cannot be predictable.
After the 6 year wait period, how much longer will those panels function? Will maintenance be costly to a point where the only option is to junk the panel? Keep in mind, after 6 years or a decade, parts may be impossible to come by. If you bought a panel from USA based Solyndra or Flebeg Solar U.S. Corp, you are out of luck. They both went bankrupt.
I would like to know if solar is useful or not. I will have to do some research... (I'll make a post too)
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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