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View Poll Results: Climate Change: Manmade or Natural?
Global Warming - Burning Fossil Fuels is going to kill the planet! 21 75.00%
Global Warming - It's a natural climate cycle, Manmade CO2 is not causing it. 0 0%
Global Cooling - Chlorofluorocarbons from your fridge are killing the enviroment! 0 0%
Global Cooling -It's a natural climate cycle, Manmade chemicals are not causing it. 0 0%
Climate Change - Does not exist. 0 0%
Climate Change - Exists but mankind is not causing it/can not do anything to stop or change it it. 7 25.00%
Acid Rain - Human Emissions are going to kill the enviroment, certainly a problem back in the 80s. 0 0%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-30-2011, 03:22 PM   #26
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I agree, the politicization is definitely a major issue. Many companies stand to profit greatly as far as Global Warming is believed, many Climatologists are given expensive grants to research into global warming (with the expectation that they will tout the same "Crisis" mantra everyone else believes in), and Government is given a huge excuse to dip it's hands into private lives, by regulating numerous aspects of general living and companies that it should never be touching. IMO, trying to fix global warming is more disastrous to people then the purported effects of the warming itself.

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Old 08-30-2011, 04:43 PM   #27
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Actually, Wind power is extremely cheap to use, and pays for itself. The problem is trying to transport that energy to place, as it is much harder than other forms of electricity generation.

Solar is becoming much cheaper than in the past, and soon, it will become economically viable as a form of electricity.

Nuclear is iffy, it can be dangerous but is generally safer than fossil fuels. The only problem with it that does not involve nuclear meltdown is where to store nuclear waste. If nuclear fusion ever kicks off, which is getting closer thanks to advances in how to control plasma with magnets, then that most likely will become the main source of power period, as it creates no nuclear waste, the only potential problem would be with neutrinos, which do not react with matter anyways.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazeVA View Post
Actually, Wind power is extremely cheap to use, and pays for itself. The problem is trying to transport that energy to place, as it is much harder than other forms of electricity generation.

Solar is becoming much cheaper than in the past, and soon, it will become economically viable as a form of electricity.

Nuclear is iffy, it can be dangerous but is generally safer than fossil fuels. The only problem with it that does not involve nuclear meltdown is where to store nuclear waste. If nuclear fusion ever kicks off, which is getting closer thanks to advances in how to control plasma with magnets, then that most likely will become the main source of power period, as it creates no nuclear waste, the only potential problem would be with neutrinos, which do not react with matter anyways.
Sadly the nuclearreactor itself would become radioactive after a while, but that's still far less waste than with fission.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:48 PM   #29
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Sadly the nuclearreactor itself would become radioactive after a while, but that's still far less waste than with fission.
And yet, the same happens with fission, correct? I meant no waste thanks to immediate stuff, unlike fission which automatically creates waste.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazeVA View Post
Actually, Wind power is extremely cheap to use, and pays for itself. The problem is trying to transport that energy to place, as it is much harder than other forms of electricity generation.

Solar is becoming much cheaper than in the past, and soon, it will become economically viable as a form of electricity.
I'm not sure what you mean by "transporting" energy, but I wasn't referring to the cost of using that power, I was referring to the energy cost of producing the tools to gather those energies.

It takes more energy to build a solar cell, or wind turbine (from the base materials), transport to location, and set up, then those instruments will ever be able to pay back after installed.

And besides that, both are unreliable. Solar Cells can only charge when the sun is shining, and turbines will only move and generate energy when the wind is blowing.
Over all, it's a net energy Loss to use these forms of energy, at the moment, at least.

Quote:
Nuclear is iffy, it can be dangerous but is generally safer than fossil fuels. The only problem with it that does not involve nuclear meltdown is where to store nuclear waste. If nuclear fusion ever kicks off, which is getting closer thanks to advances in how to control plasma with magnets, then that most likely will become the main source of power period, as it creates no nuclear waste, the only potential problem would be with neutrinos, which do not react with matter anyways.
Nuclear is a tad iffy, but it's not nearly as dangerous as it's commonly portrayed. And yes, Nuclear Fusion will likely be the end all of energy sources once it's workable, and perfected.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:07 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unownmew View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "transporting" energy, but I wasn't referring to the cost of using that power, I was referring to the energy cost of producing the tools to gather those energies.
By transported he means get it on the electric grid so people can, you know, actually use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unownmew
It takes more energy to build a solar cell, or wind turbine (from the base materials), transport to location, and set up, then those instruments will ever be able to pay back after installed.

And besides that, both are unreliable. Solar Cells can only charge when the sun is shining, and turbines will only move and generate energy when the wind is blowing.
Over all, it's a net energy Loss to use these forms of energy, at the moment, at least.
Solar cells have the capability to store power you know, it's not like they gather energy and then it all disappears in the night. And wind turbines are placed in places where there is wind so then they can generate electricity. For example, I used to live in the Texas panhandle and it was quite windy there regularly (and I saw quite a few wind turbines as well). Wind is just air diffusing from high pressure to low pressure, there's plenty of wind to go around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unownmew
Nuclear is a tad iffy, but it's not nearly as dangerous as it's commonly portrayed. And yes, Nuclear Fusion will likely be the end all of energy sources once it's workable, and perfected.
Honestly, I think that the usefulness of nuclear energy is overshadowed by the severity of like, one meltdown in history. I agree with everyone on the fusion thing.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:12 PM   #32
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Honestly, I think that the usefulness of nuclear energy is overshadowed by the severity of like, one meltdown in history. I agree with everyone on the fusion thing.
That, and the media. Chernobyl was old, and wasn't kept on. The plant in Japan was not built to take a Mag 9 Earthquake. Not many, if any, buildings are.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:25 PM   #33
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Chernobyl was old, and wasn't kept on.
I'm pretty sure Chernobyl wasn't stopped being used by choice. >___>
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:26 PM   #34
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I'm pretty sure Chernobyl wasn't stopped being used by choice. >___>
I meant maintained. :P
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:47 PM   #35
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That's because nobody can go back there without dying.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:49 PM   #36
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That's because nobody can go back there without dying.
Considering it is a sarcophagus now, I don't think there is much to maintain now. Before the accident, people were not maintaining the plant correctly. And, tons of radioactive cesium spread all across Europe.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:03 AM   #37
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That's because nobody can go back there without dying.
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Ukraine lifting restrictions on Chernobyl
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:36 AM   #38
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That's a shame. That whole area has turned into an awesome animal preserve since humans all gtfoed out of there. Also getting close to the actual plant is still fatal iirc.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:52 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyranidos View Post
By transported he means get it on the electric grid so people can, you know, actually use it.
I see.



Quote:
Solar cells have the capability to store power you know, it's not like they gather energy and then it all disappears in the night. And wind turbines are placed in places where there is wind so then they can generate electricity. For example, I used to live in the Texas panhandle and it was quite windy there regularly (and I saw quite a few wind turbines as well). Wind is just air diffusing from high pressure to low pressure, there's plenty of wind to go around.
I know that, that's why I said they only Charge while the sun is shining. But after charging for a day, they'll pretty much be all spent overnight (or the next day). And once you have a cloudy day or stream of them, if you rely only on Solar, you'll be out of power very quickly.
Yes, Windmills are usually placed where it's normally windy, however, it takes a certain amount of wind to get them turning (otherwise they won't move), and then, the power generated does not scale with the wind speed.

Also, as I said, it costs more energy to produce the Windmills and Solar cells, transport them on site, and set them up, then those impliments will likely ever repay in their lifetime



Quote:
Honestly, I think that the usefulness of nuclear energy is overshadowed by the severity of like, one meltdown in history. I agree with everyone on the fusion thing.
I agree, however, the severity of that meltdown was severely overhyped by the media. Effects from the meltdown were not nearly as bad as expected.

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That's a shame. That whole area has turned into an awesome animal preserve since humans all gtfoed out of there. Also getting close to the actual plant is still fatal iirc.
I highly doubt getting close to actual plant is, or ever was, fatal. It's all a scare about Mutations in your genes, possibly cancer or mutated offspring, but not insta-death. Otherwise every animal and plant nearby would have keeled over and died by now.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:15 AM   #40
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I highly doubt getting close to actual plant is, or ever was, fatal. It's all a scare about Mutations in your genes, possibly cancer or mutated offspring, but not insta-death. Otherwise every animal and plant nearby would have keeled over and died by now.
....

I'm not sure you actually understand how radiation works.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:39 AM   #41
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There are a lot of false claims being bandied about about the efficacy of solar cells. In particular, T-dos comments that:
Quote:
But after charging for a day, they'll pretty much be all spent overnight (or the next day). And once you have a cloudy day or stream of them, if you rely only on Solar, you'll be out of power very quickly.
This isn't true. Purdue University recently built a net-zero energy consuming house for under $250,000: here's our local news channel's article on the project from June when it was still under construction, but they completed the project before classes resumed and there was a community Open House held last week for students, city residents, tourists, whomever!, to come by and tour the house. The house was almost entirely built upon two things: (1) better building and (2) solar cells. "Net zero energy consumption" does not mean that the house is off the grid. What it means is that the house generates as much energy as (and usually more energy than) it consumes. Excess energy generated is sold back to the electric company (in our case, Duke Energy) for a nice little bonus. You can read more about the collegiate project sponsored by the Department of Energy here.

One of my professors has a friend who lives in a net-zero energy consumption home in Colorado. According to the professor, the home will be paid off in 10 years' time at which point the friend will begin making $2,500/yr (at current energy pricings) by selling energy back to the power companies. He's already making that $2,500/yr now, of course, but since the home isn't paid off yet, we're not going to say that the home is yet turning profit for him. But he expects that it will. And that's pretty cool.

In New York state, there is a community called Green Acres which, according to Wikipedia:
Quote:
After a full year of occupancy, from March 2009 to March 2010, the solar panels of the first occupied home in Green Acres generated 1490 kWh more energy than the home consumed.
Now obviously, there's a lot to be said for personal electric consumption and how that would affect these numbers. Someone who lives like a librarian from the 1880s isn't going to be using much more than A/C, lighting, and refrigeration while someone who lives like a typical UPNer may be running two televisions, two computers, and other various electrical appliances at the same time many hours a day. But for the record, Purdue's green home had these very sorts of amenities (cable TV, computer w/ hi-speed internet) and still broke even. So claiming that it can't yet work has already been proven false: not only can it work now, it does work now and is already being implemented.

You can read more about zero-energy buildings here on Wikipedia.

But to make a long story short, solar cells are already generating more energy than people are taking out of them for household living. The real issue, of course, is industry. Industry consumes ginormous amounts of energy. But a small victory is still a victory and we mustn't allow the dissemination of misinformation to stem that tide.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:07 AM   #42
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^ mew said that not me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unownmew
I highly doubt getting close to actual plant is, or ever was, fatal. It's all a scare about Mutations in your genes, possibly cancer or mutated offspring, but not insta-death. Otherwise every animal and plant nearby would have keeled over and died by now.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:19 AM   #43
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Just popping in to say I seriously love nuclear power, especially in places which are well sheltered from the majority of natural disasters. The fact that there is not a serious nuclear power movement in Australia- and that the only nuclear plant in the country is purely for research and not for power generation- makes my eye twitch if I think about it for too long.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:27 AM   #44
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^ mew said that not me.
Sorry. I'll fix that later. Not really worth a Picard facepalm though.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:36 AM   #45
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Sorry. I'll fix that later. Not really worth a Picard facepalm though.
The Picard facepalm was to unownmew saying that no fatal injury would occur standing next to the Chernobyl plant and at any time (which, presumably means during the meldown as well).
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:27 AM   #46
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I highly doubt getting close to actual plant is, or ever was, fatal. It's all a scare about Mutations in your genes, possibly cancer or mutated offspring, but not insta-death. Otherwise every animal and plant nearby would have keeled over and died by now.
Two words: Radiation Sickness.

Radiation poisoning is miserable and grave. It won't kill you outright, but it will dehydrate you and wreak havoc on all your organ systems. Sure, cancer is a likely outcome, but that's often not the actual thing that kills you - the dysentery-like symptoms and just the body-screwing-with that occurs is what will cripple you very quickly.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:15 PM   #47
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Quote:
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....

I'm not sure you actually understand how radiation works.
I know how radiation works. What I wasn't aware of were the effects of it on humans
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Two words: Radiation Sickness.

Radiation poisoning is miserable and grave. It won't kill you outright, but it will dehydrate you and wreak havoc on all your organ systems. Sure, cancer is a likely outcome, but that's often not the actual thing that kills you - the dysentery-like symptoms and just the body-screwing-with that occurs is what will cripple you very quickly.
I see, thank you for educating me, I honestly did not know that much about radiation sickness. I knew being in a nuclear blast was fatal, and that intense radiation could burn/kill (for instance, concentrated Gamma Rays), but didn't know about the tertiary effects of overexposure.

It seems though, it's all dictated by how much and how long, you are exposed to high levels of radiation.
Also interesting:
Quote:
Radiation sickness itself doesn't cause long-term medical problems for those who survive the illness. However, the radiation exposure that caused the immediate radiation sickness does significantly increase a person's risk of developing cancer later in life.
It seems it's really a hit or miss here, and fatality only matters when you consider the actual intensity of the radiation. Which can be up for debate, especially since we're nowhere near Chernobyl, and lack the instruments to actually test it.

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There are a lot of false claims being bandied about about the efficacy of solar cells. In particular, T-dos comments that:

...

This isn't true. Purdue University recently built a net-zero energy consuming house for under $250,000: here's our local news channel's article on the project from June when it was still under construction, but they completed the project before classes resumed and there was a community Open House held last week for students, city residents, tourists, whomever!, to come by and tour the house. The house was almost entirely built upon two things: (1) better building and (2) solar cells. "Net zero energy consumption" does not mean that the house is off the grid. What it means is that the house generates as much energy as (and usually more energy than) it consumes. Excess energy generated is sold back to the electric company (in our case, Duke Energy) for a nice little bonus. You can read more about the collegiate project sponsored by the Department of Energy here.
That's interesting. I admit, I have not done much research into the capabilities of today's technology. I don't deny that Solar cell technology can advance to net zero loss, but, if all you rely on is solar cells, if you run the unfortunate luck of being overcasted a couple days too many, you'll definitely be lacking power. Also, Solar technology really is only useful in certain locations. Don't expect to be running off solar in Washington State, where it's cloudy/rainy about 9 out of the 12 months of the year.

IMO though, Net Zero should only mean, your house relies entirely on the implements on it's territory for power generation (completely off the grid, and unwired to any power generator besides it's own), and does not have blackouts when unfavorable conditions arise (numerous cloudy days). Anything else is simply a word trick to make you think a certain way.

Quote:
One of my professors has a friend who lives in a net-zero energy consumption home in Colorado. According to the professor, the home will be paid off in 10 years' time at which point the friend will begin making $2,500/yr (at current energy pricings) by selling energy back to the power companies. He's already making that $2,500/yr now, of course, but since the home isn't paid off yet, we're not going to say that the home is yet turning profit for him. But he expects that it will. And that's pretty cool.

In New York state, there is a community called Green Acres which, according to Wikipedia:

Now obviously, there's a lot to be said for personal electric consumption and how that would affect these numbers. Someone who lives like a librarian from the 1880s isn't going to be using much more than A/C, lighting, and refrigeration while someone who lives like a typical UPNer may be running two televisions, two computers, and other various electrical appliances at the same time many hours a day. But for the record, Purdue's green home had these very sorts of amenities (cable TV, computer w/ hi-speed internet) and still broke even. So claiming that it can't yet work has already been proven false: not only can it work now, it does work now and is already being implemented.

You can read more about zero-energy buildings here on Wikipedia.

But to make a long story short, solar cells are already generating more energy than people are taking out of them for household living. The real issue, of course, is industry. Industry consumes ginormous amounts of energy. But a small victory is still a victory and we mustn't allow the dissemination of misinformation to stem that tide.
That's very interesting, and I appreciate you correcting me where I was wrong. Of course it does depend on the consumer's energy usage whether you're running at a profit or a loss, but if homes in certain locations can run their homes without the need to pay energy bills from electric companies, I'm all for that. Industry of course, requires something more.

The problems I've heard about with "Green" energy though, last I checked, is, it's not profitable for an electric "producing" company to use it, they require subsidies (loans) from our government to stay in business. That's our tax dollars, paying for someone else's electricity, that already costs them more to buy from then general fossil fuel power plants, and the only reason the green energy companies can stay in business, is by government regulations forcing fossil fuel company's costs to go up to so that prices are "comparable" and people don't outright refuse to pay the higher costs.

In fact, despite Government "help" in being made compete-able with Fossil Fuel energy companies, Green energy is seemingly going bankrupt anyway.
$535 million of our tax dollars down the tube.
$58 Million of our tax dollars gone

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Old 08-31-2011, 06:16 PM   #48
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Interesting Comment about solar panels I found here:


Quote:
Business plan documents are a funny sort of fall-back to blame when the chips are down. Yet, rarely are the plans themselves read, analyzed and sorted out for their mode(s) of failure. As any good business-coaching consultant or book can tell you, The Business Plan must be dynamic, and adjust to the conditions of the market.

I think the bigger thing is not that the Chinese are competing at making solar panels, but rather that "installing a solar power system" has accumulated so much overhead that the savings supposed from solar power when translated to dollars-per-kilowatt-hour, isn't worth it, even with comforting tax-write-off gambits and long-lease programs. The overhead of use is high as well: managing software to collect statistics, print graphs … getting upgrades, and having someone at a firm cognizant enough with it so as to be able to adjust "things" to maximize (and thus possibly optimize) output.

Consider 4 cases:

· Commercial power, from PG&E
• Commercial power, from rooftop solar array
• Residential power, PG&E
• Residential power, Rooftop array

Commercial power is typically delivered to a plant as 416-480 VAC 3-phase power (called “440”). Some things inside work directly off 460 (but not much). Mostly it needs to be transformed a second time to 2083 phase, which somewhat conveniently gives nice 120 VAC for “most everything”, and yet still retains the 208 for large motors (HVAC is the big one, though computer rooms are big too) and mid-size machinery.

PG&E (or any municipal power utility) delivers the power in a bundle of fat wires, and magically "manages" all the power coming in. Phase, amperage, safety, stability, tolerance levels, all managed. Further, when something is amiss, a call to the power company usually mobilizes a truck that'll either fix the problem, or identify that it isn't their problem.

Now, the solar-roof-top affair by comparison. Requires a lot of modifications to the roof, for environmental control (water leaks). This is an ongoing issue, since a great installation can develop leaks at any time. Nature of rooves. But nevermind … then there is the power feed system. Modern day inverters can have all the logic in them to simply syntehesize power to be fed BACK into the mains, where the "grid" takes up the extra power, in effect "storing" power to run one's meter forward and backward. The net is cost reduction — in proportion to how well the solar array is maintained.

Dust is the silent energy-sucker, with peak panel efficiency gradually dropping until they're cleaned. Rain more or less works, but oils build up, so yearly scrubbing is key. Then there are "trees" which insist on growing every year. Depending on the kind of panel coupling used, either the "tree problem" is a minor issue degrading total power by whatever amount is shaded, OR IT FVCKS IT ALL UP, because shadow-regions block the flow of electrons, making panels look "open" generating no (or very little) power. More maintenance, and more reports to flip with, more meetings to explain things regarding power generation.

Oh, you could of course get a support service to keep things tidy, trim trees, ensure that the panel power-leveling software is working reasonably, setting up alarms and such, like the "security" firms provide. However, now the operating cost goes up. Are you really saving money at this point?

Then again, sometimes the "Green Company" thing is enough of a marketing win that you could just have panels on the roof, working or not, and call your company Green, and sell more product. (I'd bet that there is a market for non-functioning panels that LOOK like solar panels, with their cool dark-blue reflectivity. SNARKYLUGNUTS dot com)

Anyway, moving along.

RESIDENTIAL — Municipal Power … is as reliable as a hammer. One hardly needs to worry about it at all. '

RESIDENTIAL — Roofies. Well, depending on what kind of system is put in, either its kind of expensive but has no batteries (and isn't suited for power-down operation) or it is pretty darn expensive, has batteries, and works autonomously of the municipal system. Its EXPENSIVE. $25,000 is about right for mid-sized systems that include storage, per-panel power conditioning and leveling. I'm no expert here — better numbers from anyone would be appreciated. But in the end, by the time you add in the cleaning, roof-repair uprate, the little hassles, the cost per kWh is in excess of $0.20, amortized over ONLY a 15 year system amort. That's kind of expensive.

And in the end? The residential consumer is HOPING TO SAVE MONEY more than anything else. Most of the “green inspired” people I know are in their 20s and 30s … and either remain church-mouse poor because of the screwed up economy, but are avid Greenies (which is laudable), or, they're finally making it at professionals, and have enough money to buy into The Great American House Dream, and in a fit of energy afforded only while their kids wear shoe sizes lower than their school grade level, they do smallish solar installations, sometimes themselves, to Be Green Like Buying A Hybrid Car.

People past age 50 don't give a darn. Even if they're pretty rich and have pesky nieces that try to sweet-talk them into being With The Times. The economic picture isn't there: kilowatt hour bucks are too high. No one to impress except the nephews and maybe someone at the Golf Club.

So.

The market consolidates, and they're bitching about consolidation.

Something is NEW about this?
I don't think so. As soon as all the white-hatted, green-shirted solar power companies actually figure out how to install a powerful enough system that is essentially maintenance free … and get the kilowatts to the resident at a price BELOW that of the commercial power providers, that is when they'll grow, and grow, and grow.
G O A T G U Y
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:02 PM   #49
Mozz
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So much cancer in this thar thread
GOOD FOR YOUUUUUUUUU
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:46 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozz View Post
So much cancer in this thar thread
GOOD FOR YOUUUUUUUUU
Thank you for your incredibly meaningful contribution on the matter.
I can't imagine what I would have done without that input, I'm quite beside myself.
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