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Solar Electric Power

Lewis Said:

Any Body knows the company willing to purchase Solar Generated Electric Power? ...?

We Answered:

application.........
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight to electricity. Sunlight can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly with concentrating solar power (CSP), which normally focuses the sun's energy to boil water which is then used to provide power, and technologies such as the Stirling engine dishes which use a Stirling cycle engine to power a generator. Photovoltaics were initially used to power small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to off-grid homes powered by a photovoltaic array.
Solar power plants can face high installation costs, although this has been decreasing due to the learning curve.[1][2] Developing countries have started to build solar power plants, replacing other sources of energy generation.[3][4][5]
Solar power has great potential, but in 2008 supplied only 0.02% of the world's total energy supply. However, use has been doubling every two, or less, years, and at that rate solar power, which has the potential to supply over 1,000 times the total consumption of energy, would become the dominant energy source within a few decades.[6]
Since solar radiation is intermittent, solar power generation is combined either with storage or other energy sources to provide continuous power, although for small distributed producer/consumers, net metering makes this transparent to the consumer. On a larger scale, in Germany, a combined power plant has been demonstrated, using a mix of wind, biomass, hydro-, and solar power generation, resulting in 100% renewable energy.[7]

so company willing to purchage ........

Kirk Said:

Do u think the oil companies would ever let us convert to solar, water power, electric cars?

We Answered:

I think that the market will demand alternative energy when it is a competitive industry in the market...RIght now solar energy is only an option for government buildings and the super wealthy....the average cost to build an "off grid" 5 KV solar system to power your house is around 75 thousand dollars....You would have to live in it for 52 years to even break even on the cost of the solar system versus the average cost of powering your home with coal fire electricity.

Water power is already a heavily used commoditiy...virtually every state in the nation uses hydroelectric plants at dams...but the power they generate typically is for rural areas and cannot power large metropolisis...In the Mojave desert they have the entire landscape of the desert filled with wind farms....wind mills as far as the eye can see....you can't even see what the mountains look like because every square inch of the desert is covered with white wind mills....and even with this massive array of wind energy...they are only able to generate 20% of Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs electrical needs.

People want to force everyone to use renewable energy...but there are no applications where it is viable on any sort of practical level.

When wind and solar arrays are able to power the city of Los Angeles then maybe we will have something that they can go to market with...otherwise the government is forcing people to pay three times or four times as much for energy because they want to force us to be "environmentally conscientious" trust me I used to be a card carrying member of Greenpeace...but I have seen that there are no practical applications at this point and people need to be able to feed and clothe their children instead of paying $800.00 electric bills.

Let the market tell us when renweable energy is viable....not the politicians forcing it down our throats....

I understand the idealistic perspective of wanting a pollution free world where everyone lives off the power generated by the sun....but we are a long way off from being able to harness that power and until someone figures out how to do so practically....we need to be realistic about the feasibility of these ideas....instead of being realistic...Washington DC is barreling forward with legislation and tax code that basically punishes the people and organizations that power this country...all while subsidizing energy sources that are COMPLETELY unable to keep up with demand.

The market is smarter than we give it credit for...everyone wants renewable energy in place....but the technology needs to be there first...and we can't call Dupont and GM evil monopolist when they are the only organizations providing practical options.

Lisa Said:

How much electric power would it take to run all the automobiles, trucks , and buses in the United States ?

We Answered:

Some years ago, I calculated that it would take about 180 gigawatts (first link).

The potential wind energy available in the lower 48 states is on the order of 1200 gigawatts, with another 900 gigawatts of potential on the continental shelves.  The potential from solar energy is quite a bit more; wind energy is just solar energy after conversion through a rather inefficient heat engine.

EDIT:  This is quite a bit less electricity than we generate today.  Average US electric generation is about 460 GW (second link), while total nameplate generating capacity is over 1000 GW.

Susan Said:

Requirement for tying into West Florida Electric with solar power?

We Answered:

Obviously, you have to talk to West Florida Electric, ideally before you start spending money on equipment or installation. They may specify a small set of equipment that they allow (if they allow it at all) to serve as the interface. You want backup power when you don't have enough sun and they want to protect their people from being electrocuted by your supply on their lines.

Velma Said:

Solar power and electric cars?

We Answered:

Your questions point to a real--but not insoluable problem. That being that we need a source of electric power for electric cars that DOESN'T depend on conventional--that is,mostly coal powered--electric generation.

There are a number of options. Being able to carge from solar panels located at ones workplace is one.

Another--we are getting much better and more cost-effective battery storage technology. We may well be able to store solar energy that can then be sued to charge cars (and run homes--at night.

The key isn't being able to do this--that's easy. The tough part is to figure out how to do it cost-effictively. But don't dismiss these--or a number of other ideas that are being worked on..

But--your "questions" are a great capsule summary of the problem--nice post!

Discuss It!

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