Author Topic: The big solar thread.  (Read 2494 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MadBunny

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3575
  • Darwins +113/-0
  • Fallen Illuminatus
The big solar thread.
« on: September 02, 2012, 08:22:10 PM »
Saw this image on the facebook recently:



A video of it.  Note: it's just a helicopter flyby with cheesy music.



Quote
Europe’s first “solar tunnel” is providing power to high-speed trains running between Paris and Amsterdam.

The 3.6-kilometer (2.2-mile) tunnel, built to protect trains from falling trees as they pass through an ancient forest near Antwerp, is covered with solar cells and could generate 3.3 MWh of electricity annually. Enfinity, the company behind the project, says that’s equivalent to the average annual consumption of nearly 1,000 homes. It also claims that the tunnel will decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons per year.

“For train operators, it is the perfect way to cut their carbon footprints because you can use spaces that have no other economic value and the projects can be delivered within a year because they don’t attract the protests that wind power does,” Bart Van Renterghem, the UK head of Enfinity, told the Guardian.

The $22.9 million project uses 16,000 solar panels covering 50,000 square meters (roughly 538,000 square feet), which is about the size of eight football pitches. They will provide enough electricity to power 4,000 trains a year





Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Nick

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10414
  • Darwins +185/-8
  • Gender: Male
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 08:59:05 PM »
Cool stuff.  It is nice to see some country being innovative while we fight over climate change and creationism.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

3sigma

  • Guest
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 09:41:07 PM »
Quote
The 3.6-kilometer (2.2-mile) tunnel, built to protect trains from falling trees as they pass through an ancient forest near Antwerp, is covered with solar cells and could generate 3.3 MWh of electricity annually. Enfinity, the company behind the project, says that’s equivalent to the average annual consumption of nearly 1,000 homes.

Wait, what?

First, they build the tunnel to protect trains from falling trees, but I have wonder what those falling trees are going to do to the solar cells.

Second, who on Earth came up with that equivalence calculation? 3.3 MWh over 1,000 homes is 3.3 kWh per home. They say that is the annual consumption. I live a reasonably economical life, yet my home consumes around 12.5 kWh daily.

The average insolation near Paris is around 3.3 kWh/m2/day. There are 50,000 m2 of panels in the array so that’s around 165 MWh/day available to the array. The panels are probably, at best, around 25% efficient at converting available solar energy to electrical energy so that’s around 42 MWh/day or 15 GWh/year. I have no idea how they came up with 3.3 MWh/year.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 09:50:57 PM by 3sigma »

Online Willie

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 647
  • Darwins +74/-1
  • Gender: Male
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 03:19:51 AM »
Maybe it generates an average of 3.3MW, without the h, and someone got confused.

3sigma

  • Guest
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 05:51:21 AM »
Let’s see, 3.3 MW divided by 16,000 panels gives about 200 W per panel. That’s a reasonable output for commercial panels. I think you’re right, Willie. People are often confused over voltage, current, power and energy, particularly if they don’t have a technical background.

However, even if someone confused power with energy, it doesn’t explain why they would say that a home uses 3.3 kWh per year. To do that, they’d have to confuse instantaneous power with hourly energy usage and then confuse daily with yearly. It seems that whatever was said became totally garbled by the time it made it into print.

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6710
  • Darwins +534/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 07:34:56 AM »
Projects like this are interesting and should be encouraged as part of the Country’s propaganda campaign towards more efficient use of renewables, but the calculations for Green Energy are notoriously difficult. Do we factor in the extraction and transport of the raw materials; the manufacture of the panels (including the commuting of the workers); the construction costs in tonnes of CO2; the batteries or other system to utilise the electricity; the lifetime and maintenance of the panels (including the commuting of the workers)?

The system is supposed to save 4000T CO2 a year, is that enough?

Solar panel
Quote
Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 21% in commercial products,

Module performance is generally rated under standard test conditions (STC): irradiance of 1,000 W/m², solar spectrum of AM 1.5 and module temperature at 25°C/77°F
….
Solar panels must withstand heat, cold, rain and hail for many years. Many crystalline silicon module manufacturers offer a warranty that guarantees electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power output and 25 years at 80%. The output power of many panels slowly degrades at about 0.5%/year.
From this, it will be seen that max conversion rates will only occur in Benelux  on a few weeks a year. And as one commenter on Youtube said, “What happens when it snows?”
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Noman Peopled

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1904
  • Darwins +24/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • [insert wittycism]
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 10:36:46 AM »
The system is supposed to save 4000T CO2 a year, is that enough?
Depends on how long the whole thing lasts until it needs to be replaced, I guess. (And how much CO2 is spent on maintenance.)
And even that's without taking into account mining for or disposal of toxic materials.

Quote
From this, it will be seen that max conversion rates will only occur in Benelux  on a few weeks a year. And as one commenter on Youtube said, “What happens when it snows?”
My mother works in a building that got a solar roof installed a few years back. The owner complained to the manufacturer that he got nowhere near the output that was advertised, even on entirely cloudless days. The manufacturer wrote back that said output could only be expected in ideal conditions - in this case, if the solar panels, constructed entirely out of black/dark blue material and designed specifically for exposure to direct sunlight, would need to be cooled to around 20°C. (Badabum.)
Just because they're painting themselves green doesn't mean they won't screw people over. Claims of manufacturer of "green" technologies should be checked just as rigorously as the claims of anybody who wants to sell you something - the amount of CO2 produced in the manufacturing process is indeed typically kept hush-hush (never mind water vapor, methane, and other greenhouse gases).
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe

Offline Garja

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 759
  • Darwins +38/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 12:39:34 PM »
All I  know is reading this post yesterday made me run an estimate for cost installation for solar panels on my home.... made me wish the price would drop a bit more still.  Estimated cost was around $20k US after a $10k tax rebate.  So, its still prohibitively expensive for most consumers.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Offline jynnan tonnix

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1780
  • Darwins +88/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 01:15:09 PM »
All I  know is reading this post yesterday made me run an estimate for cost installation for solar panels on my home.... made me wish the price would drop a bit more still.  Estimated cost was around $20k US after a $10k tax rebate.  So, its still prohibitively expensive for most consumers.
Interesting. We are in the process of buying what will hopefully be a long-term home after having moved around with the military for the past 28 years. Solar energy would be one of the things we would potentially be looking at as far as improvements down the line. I suppose a big part of it would also be how long it would take before it would start paying for itself. I might be more tempted to putting that money into a nice, inground pool...

Offline MadBunny

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3575
  • Darwins +113/-0
  • Fallen Illuminatus
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 05:10:01 PM »
It's possible, I think to do smaller installations, like this guys solar pool assembly.
He has three or four panels, a couple inverters and a two or three phase pump.

I'll probably build one like this next year at my house since I need to replace my pump soon.
Pools in particular can benefit from something like this since the ideal time to filter is when the sun is direct




I'm going to experiment this winter with a solar collector and one or two panels to see what kind of performance I get on moderate days.  The idea is to build a small waterfall, with a pond pump pushing water through and letting it flow back into the pool.  I don't expect it to recreate Niagara, but hopefully it'll be functional.  If it is I might add a heat collector and run it to that via a splitter valve.


In my case I'm not looking for ultimate efficiency, but just a way to isolate and reduce the overall impact on my bills while maintaining the same standard of living.  Will it pay for itself?  The math says yes, but we'll see how empirical evidence plays out.



Amusingly, I've got a plug in hybrid, so my electric usage just shot up by 14kwh a night.  THAT however, is easily paying for itself in reduced fuel cost.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline MadBunny

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3575
  • Darwins +113/-0
  • Fallen Illuminatus
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 05:19:51 PM »
All I  know is reading this post yesterday made me run an estimate for cost installation for solar panels on my home.... made me wish the price would drop a bit more still.  Estimated cost was around $20k US after a $10k tax rebate.  So, its still prohibitively expensive for most consumers.

Maybe.  Depending on where you live there may be Tariff feedback resellers that will put a grid on your roof for free, and lease it to you at XX dollars a month.  Usually about much less than your regular utility bill is.

The idea is that they put a grid on the roof big enough to make money off the utility grid via rollback and you pay the cost of material over XX years. ( @20k, 350. a month gives a payback time of five years, everything after that is gravy.)

They win because they make lots of money, you win because you don't have to pay the installation and maintenance and get lower utility bills.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2011-06-14-homes-lease-solar-panels_n.htm



Off the top of my head here are a couple that I know of:
http://www.solarcity.com/
http://www.gosolar.com/
http://www.leasesolarpanelscalifornia.com/


I had a new meter put in, with the idea that at some point I may go that route, if I do I'm fairly certain it will help the resale ability of my house.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Garja

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 759
  • Darwins +38/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2012, 07:28:51 PM »
Thanks Madbunny.

Its not available in my area, but its nice to see that someone is doing it.  Hopefully its a growing trend.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Offline MadBunny

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3575
  • Darwins +113/-0
  • Fallen Illuminatus
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 10:41:31 PM »
Of all the "Green Energy" types available, if we discount fuel cells Solar is probably the most expensive.


On the other hand, it's also one of the simplest, and as long as the grid is kept reasonably safe it will last for decades.  Even a poorly performing grid still performs as long as you put it in the sunlight.  It's an elegant system.

One of the more interesting ones I've seen are the solar tubes that Solyndra was producing.

http://www.solyndra.com/technology-products/cylindrical-module/

I love the simple modular nature.

Beyond that, I think that probably the next best thing in terms of solar would be curved, or spray on coatings.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6710
  • Darwins +534/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2012, 05:11:41 AM »
It's possible, I think to do smaller installations, like this guys solar pool assembly.
He has three or four panels, a couple inverters and a two or three phase pump.

I'm going to experiment this winter with a solar collector and one or two panels to see what kind of performance I get on moderate days.  The idea is to build a small waterfall, with a pond pump pushing water through and letting it flow back into the pool.
Cheaper and less Hi-Tech would be a decent area of black (hose)piping under glass to aid the heating of the water in the pool (I don't know if that is important where you are - it certainly is in the UK) or perhaps you could combine the ideas?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline MadBunny

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3575
  • Darwins +113/-0
  • Fallen Illuminatus
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2012, 02:11:00 PM »
That's basically what I had in mind.

What I want is a waterfall, which I can use to test the efficiency of the panel + pumps, and a splitter valve that lets me run the water through a heat collector.  My thought is to pull water from the skimmer and feed it back into the pool via the bottom return grate.  We don't use it at all (closed off since I have a crawley), so that should be reasonably streamlined.

 

Basically this

But out of sight, out of the way.  A set up like the picture doesn't have enough WAF[1]to be feasible.  Also the coils are exposed to wind and could be easily much tighter, for better heat exchange.  Probably I'll build it on the top of my patio out of sight.  I'll post a whole construction thread when I do.

 1. wife acceptance factor
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline AllanAguilar

  • Novice
  • Posts: 2
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2014, 05:45:19 AM »
Saw this image on the facebook recently:



A video of it.  Note: it's just a helicopter flyby with cheesy music.



Quote
Europe’s first “solar tunnel” is providing power to high-speed trains running between Paris and Amsterdam.

The 3.6-kilometer (2.2-mile) tunnel, built to protect trains from falling trees as they pass through an ancient forest near Antwerp, is covered with solar cells and could generate 3.3 MWh of electricity annually. Enfinity, the company behind the project, says that’s equivalent to the average annual consumption of nearly 1,000 homes. It also claims that the tunnel will decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons per year.

“For train operators, it is the perfect way to cut their carbon footprints because you can use spaces that have no other economic value and the projects can be delivered within a year because they don’t attract the protests that wind power does,” Bart Van Renterghem, the UK head of Enfinity, told the Guardian.

The $22.9 million project uses 16,000 solar panels covering 50,000 square meters (roughly 538,000 square feet), which is about the size of eight football pitches. They will provide enough electricity to power 4,000 trains a year
Just awesome.. Exceptional project.. We need more such projects to solve the issue of energy crisis.

Offline shnozzola

Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2014, 06:17:41 AM »
Hello and welcome Allan,
   It is better to start a new thread than dig up an old one.  I agree with the beauty of solar power.  But this reminds me of what's going on these days.  Of course fracking is the rage , in PA and Ohio, with the over 5000 ft deep utica shales promising more oil and gas, and I believe the north central Wyoming / Montana boom continues.  And then add Canada's coal tar sand oil.  We love our fossil fuels and we have the infrastructure.

But the news from fracking in Texas an Azle is interesting.  Fracking area with 30 earthquakes in a few months.  Rachel Maddow brought it up.  Gotta go to work.

http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2014/01/23/fracking-texas-earthquakes/
“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something."  ~ T. H. White
  The real holy trinity:  onion, celery, and bell pepper ~  all Cajun Chefs

Offline AllanAguilar

  • Novice
  • Posts: 2
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: The big solar thread.
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 09:57:37 AM »
Saw this image on the facebook recently:



A video of it.  Note: it's just a helicopter flyby with cheesy music.



Quote
Europe’s first “solar panel” is providing power to high-speed trains running between Paris and Amsterdam.

The 3.6-kilometer (2.2-mile) tunnel, built to protect trains from falling trees as they pass through an ancient forest near Antwerp, is covered with solar cells and could generate 3.3 MWh of electricity annually. Enfinity, the company behind the project, says that’s equivalent to the average annual consumption of nearly 1,000 homes. It also claims that the tunnel will decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons per year.

“For train operators, it is the perfect way to cut their carbon footprints because you can use spaces that have no other economic value and the projects can be delivered within a year because they don’t attract the protests that wind power does,” Bart Van Renterghem, the UK head of Enfinity, told the Guardian.

The $22.9 million project uses 16,000 solar panels covering 50,000 square meters (roughly 538,000 square feet), which is about the size of eight football pitches. They will provide enough electricity to power 4,000 trains a year
Just awesome.. Exceptional project.. We need more such projects to solve the issue of energy crisis.