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#136066 - 03/20/17 06:08 AM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Muniac]
alexd Offline
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Originally Posted By: Muniac
Interesting. I gather the above is a computer generated concept rendering?

It's interesting how Tesla's name pops up as a marketing device with DC based systems. The Tesla battery powered car and now shingles, for example. Tesla gave the world the AC induction motor and transformer (AC). And also our AC powered generating and transmission systems. Edison, an advocate of DC systems, was a bitter rival of Tesla. Tesla, of course, won out with his AC designs. But few know of this history.


A more positive way of looking at it, is that finally Tesla's genius is recognized. Edison was in competition with Westinghouse as to DC vs. AC. But fundamentally Edison was at war with Physics.

We all know Einstein was a Genius too. Many know about his work with Relativity...I would bet that very few here (without hitting Wikipedia) know that what he won the Nobel prize for involved something else...and it's related to this discussion.

Alexd
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#136067 - 03/20/17 07:12 AM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Muniac]
alexd Offline
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Originally Posted By: Muniac
Free choices are good and facts help us make the best ones for our lifestyle. I don't much care for the government telling me I need to pay for someone else's solar panels. Nuclear, resonance, local radon (OK BTW), lawsuits, etc. off point. Nothing wrong with making an assumption and working facts in to support it (or test its validity). Nothing wrong with establishing facts and making a conclusion from them. Not sure who sets the rules of sequence here. And that one is better than the other. Here's a few "facts" to consider.


The "Rules" are the scientific process. A person observes...then makes a hypothesis (assumptions is your word) and TESTS THEM. The hypothesis becomes increasingly PROBABLE as the facts come in.
By the way...are we counting now? Does truth get discovered in volume?

Quote:

1) The photo of the Ames generating station shows a small hydro plant that is very much representative of how one form of energy is converted to electricity and transmitted to the consumption point. The AC generator's basic design shown in the photo is still used today. The transformers used there are also what's used today. Very little has changed. Bearing losses, hysteresis, eddy currents, etc. are cherry picks off point.


Actually the water-generated ancient AC generator was entirely "off-point" to the discussion of Solar Panels. Making correct references to off-point facts doesn't buttress a point of view.

Quote:

2) The efficiency of that old equipment to including a 10% estimated transmission loss is well above any solar panel, controller and inverter scheme. Plus 3 phase power is available at the generator terminals. An important factor when large amounts of power need to be delivered over a distance.


Interesting! I will consider using the water-fall in my back yard to
from now on power my house...thank you very much for this sensational new idea!

Quote:

3) Generators, transformers, turbines and transmission wires don't emit CO2. It's the CO2 byproduct (burning gas & coal) of the heat source that is of concern in power plants. Not a factor in nuclear, hydro, geothermal or tidal. Those have other issues. If that heat source can be replaced with one emitting less CO2, that's an improvement.


"...and other issues..."

Quote:

4) The "old fashioned" generating equipment is very efficient, reliable and cost effective. Has a proven track record too. Can be used equally well in solar, nuclear and hydro power generation systems.


You continue to go off-topic with GENERATING EQUIPMENT and TRANSFORMERS, etc. And, you're obfuscating the discussion by combining A GENERATOR with a system that GENERATES electricity.

Quote:

5) Solar is and will continue to be a part of supplying the world's growing energy needs. Whether this is best accomplished by single consumer voltaic home systems, a centralized approach like Solar One or both remains to be seen.


It's being seen already...it obviously will be BOTH. No on is going to tear down a City for mirror-arrays. But, open land SOMETIMES can run multiple purposes; nothing to stop developments UNDER those mirrors.

Quote:

6) Currently government subsidies are required to make consumer solar systems affordable and competitive with traditional forms of electricity.


So...finally some GOOD comes from Government, eh?

Quote:

7) Solar panels must be installed on roofs in those areas where property isn't available around the building. Roof exposure other than south facing will reduce capture.


Really? I'll tell my two neighbors on both sides that, since we both have 3' off-sets from our property lines by City permits for ANY constructions whatsoever. They keep asking me about my zero power bills...I think it must be because they really want to SUE me?!

Quote:

8) Solar tracking mechanisms aren't practical for home roof installations. They are practical for mirrors like those used in Solar One.


That didn't stop YOU from putting up panels ON A FLAT ROOF. I could just as well say that a fixed tilt for panels is MORE EFFICIENT; but we both know that, and it makes no difference to what we want to happen.

Quote:

9) Sunlight needs to fall on a solar panel at right angles for maximum collection. A difficult/expensive problem to solve daily and seasonally.


See above...

Quote:

10) Solar doesn't work at night so some supplemental power source will always be required. Or storage device to cover demand when the sun isn't shining. Or on heavily overcast days when output is below demand.


That is true...as well as a lot of people sleeping at night. But, power on grid can be distributed...and sometimes every bit helps. I'll bet people paying for their Air-Conditioner's high bills UNDER THE SUMMER SUN, might enjoy a bit of the Sun's power giving them relief.

Quote:

10) Green energy is a myth. All forms of it have some sort of environmental impacts. It's important we know what these are over the short and long terms. Also how these impacts are affected by demand(s).


And the jump to the foremost philosophical/political conclusion...and the gathering of details to fill in and buttress it.

Quote:

No one here is going to change anyone's mind. You're invested in a home solar system and believe in its benefits. Your choice. And I'm glad these options are available to those wanting to buy into the technology.


I don't accept your phrasing "believe." I know; the figures that I keep accurately speak for themselves, as well as to my pocketbook.

Quote:

My beef is when the government steps in and tells me I need to pay for it. Forcing money out of my wallet to support a solution I don't believe in.


And probably everyone here and elsewhere would have the same view...except that every conceivable category of acceptance and rejection of specific Government programs would radically be different than your own. Throwing the Baby out with the Bathwater is usually a bad thing. Unfortunately these things happen...but we don't want to bring in further politics on your Site...so, I won't go that direction.

Quote:

Yes, I think solar can be used to reduce CO2. I just don't buy into the piece meal home array approach as practical for me. I prefer a centralized approach like Solar One less the voltaic panels.


Entirely your choice, on your own property, which is as it should be.

Quote:

I also have environmental concerns about mass production of solar panels. Given arsenic, cadmium telluride, hexafluoroethane, lead, and polyvinyl fluoride are just some of the chemicals used to manufacture various types of them. But if they are made in China I guess that's OK. That part of the globe doesn't affect us.


No that's not OK. Nor is poisoning streams and rivers with coal ash and putting Scott Pruitt in as head of the EPA. But I'll stay away from politics.

Quote:

I also find environmental pressure groups lobbying Washington with THEIR better way(s) both arrogant and misguided. That's fine up until they start climbing around in my wallet. A line is then crossed. If people want a solar system and believe in its benefits, just pay for it. Very simple. If it truly has value and is competitive then others will follow the lead by choice not force. I also don't think forcing the power companies to buy the energy back is a good idea.


Yeah...but the clear anger isn't really justified. You're beating up on Straw-men that in part you've created. And, you and I aren't paupers; we don't worry about where we'll sleep tonight or if our stomachs are full. There are far, far greater threats to our wallets (and our lives) than the environmental groups.

Quote:

As for Tesla's later years, he did do experiments with transmitting power through the air. It created many concerns and didn't lead to any practical "through the air" power transmission systems. This point has nothing to do with the AC power inventions he gave the world which are still in global use today. Some good did come out his eccentric work, however. See below:

A patent battle between Tesla and Marconi went on for years. Marconi died in 1937. Tesla died in 1943 and six months after his death the US Supreme Court ruled that all of Marconiís radio patents were invalid and awarded the patents for radio to Tesla.

Tesla's story is a sad one. Few remember him and many don't even know his name. He died penniless in his NYC hotel and it took 3 days to discover the body. Certainly an unfitting end to a man that gave the world such great contributions. Every time you plug something into an AC outlet, remember Tesla's inventions made that possible.


No one's a total angel...he ran off with money scheduled for something else (not theft in the truest sense). But, you fixate on Tesla...he was a genius...he did important things...he made mistakes (like all of us/he was human).

Alexd



Edited by alexd (03/20/17 07:29 AM)
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#136071 - 03/20/17 05:05 PM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Az4x4]
Muniac Offline


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Interesting debate but..... What drew me into this thread is your comments below:

1) Do it...and it's a win for you and your neighbors.
2) Payback period is about 7 years in the Chicago area

1) OK let's all close our eyes and jump knowing the government's better power ideas will brake our fall. Somehow I'm not very comfortable with this idea. Very misleading and excluding many important details.

2) If I pitch out $30k (open market estimated price) for a whiz bang state of the art home solar panel system that theoretically supplies ALL my electricity here are the local numbers.

Power here is $0.165/kW We average about 25kW per day. Which is $4.125/day paid for power. Not counting inflation, $30k buys 7,272.7 days worth of power. That's 19.9 years (no leap year adjustments). Now we know the solar system won't provide 24 hour power. Let's say it provides 12 hours on average. And this assumes no cloudy days and maximum capture (not real world conditions). A system operating under typical conditions won't perform like this. So let's say the system covers only $2.065/day worth of our power needs. That jumps the payback period to almost 40 years not "about 7 years" as you claim.

Where did I go wrong here?

Now if Uncle Sham (taxpayer dollars) chips in $15k then I'm looking at some 20 years. As mentioned, I installed a solar system and worked these numbers and it's expensive power with a significant upfront investment. IT WON'T WORK for the average Joe. In our case, we anticipated being in remote areas where power wasn't available. Solar looked like an option. Turned out we never used it and it became an expensive experiment. Returning little value in our case.

The Ames generating station's equipment is very significant and shouldn't be discounted because its castings are stamped 1905. I visiting the Glen Canyon Dam when you could go inside and see the generators. Also go outside and see the transformer deck. Same equipment used in Ames only much bigger. And the same equipment used globally to generate power. I've also visited Arco, ID where EBR I was built. Same generating gear there too. My read is that this "old fashioned" equipment will play a major role in providing for the world's electricity needs. On a percentage basis, much more than solar panels will.

This thread's tone is about emotionalizing science/technology to fulfill an agenda. No problems there with questioning and debating. But when claims are made that are simply false (see above), I say it's time to do a bit more research. Same for solutions presented with important facts missing to support an agenda. For self-righteous arrogant individuals that feel it's my way or the highway please stay out of my wallet and bedroom. It's sad the audience is so gullible. If it weren't so I think the quality/accuracy of mass data would be better.

Back on power. We need it and the world's demand for electricity will continue to grow. I don't think (my opinion) piece meal home solar systems are going to make any difference in the BIG picture. It's a wet dream for feel good environmentalism. That said, if you'll sleep better at night knowing your power is "green" fine. I like options but just pay your own bills for those choices. Smaller government is better.

I support solar power as "cleaner" energy. How much cleaner is it? No one really knows (some think they do). And anyone trumpeting that it's perfectly clean isn't in touch with the facts. Green energy is a myth. All forms of it have some sort of a tailpipe.

As for solar, I do think solar thermal will be a better option moving forward. Examples are Solar One - NV, Ivanpah Solar Power Facility - CA. Nine such plants are in the Mojave Desert with some using voltaic cells. Here again the issue(s) with conventional power plants is the heat source (gas & coal). Nuclear is a heat source with a zero carbon footprint. Has other issues of concern, however, which Yucca Mountain isn't going to solve. Hydro is good too but Robert Redford wants to remove the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams to expose the Indian glyphs on the canyon walls now covered by water. Might as well get our priorities straight. These all put power on the grid and 3 phase too.

Rather than this being an exercise in watching the unstoppable force meet the immovable object, I had hoped others would weigh in on this debate to round things out a bit. Thanks Selden and Az4x4 for your insightful posts.

I figured the Scott Pruitt card would get played right on time. Not sure this has much to do with solar power generation facts/figures. As for the EPA, it's out lived its usefulness. I go around with my liberal friends on this many times. I don't oppose regulation and oversight. We need it or things get out of control quickly. What I do take issue with is why this MUST COME from the federal government. Why not form state level DNR agencies and let each state (and the people that live there) work through their own environmental issues. If extra help is needed let the feds be there when asked. West Virginia and Kentucky have different environmental issues than say Texas and Wyoming. Clean air and water (I believe) is something every citizen in every state wants. The federal government doesn't need to stencil its agenda over the entire country. Especially if it's guided my misguided environmental pressure groups lobbying Washington. I also think those green wallets are as filthy as any other wallet. And things conducted at the federal level are more expensive and slow to the starting gate. Even if those folks do believe they are on loan from the halls of wisdom put here to save us from ourselves. In December of 1988 National Geographic Published a silver hologram issue covering world issues with some interesting projections. Good read then and maybe a better read now. I liked it because it was non partisan, to the point and didn't bloviate on environmental issues. Its outlook wasn't happy either.

I love America and her constitution. It allows us change, choices and supports many freedoms not found anywhere else. We can't be all bad as people are literally dying to get in. I stand behind that and the agents of change that keep us on our toes. One size doesn't fit all and it never will. I wish us well as we move forward under different leadership. As for the hate rhetoric and name calling, my choice is to stand down.
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#136076 - 03/20/17 08:43 PM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Muniac]
alexd Offline
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I spoke to what works in Chicago. We know it won't work in Nevada and other States where State lobbyists got laws passed that financially punish individuals that want to install panels on their roofs, and go On-Grid.

If I say "Go buy a XT225...you'll be happy." Have I covered every possible exception to this, with a one-line statement as I did on panels? Of course not.

I'm tempted to pick apart your explanations as before...but's what the point?! You have your Enemies List;" Straw-men I would call them, but you feel strongly and justified in your anger...I can't change that, but would rather suggest looking at the larger picture.
Your life will not deteriorate as a result of (an arrogant enemy) picking your pocket.

Just one correction (for now): Nuclear fission power as done historically and today DOES have a carbon footprint. Most things do at one point or another.

We all pretty much agree on smaller government. That is not just a Conservative viewpoint. The issue is at least two fold:

1) What are efficient and appropriate functions of government?
2) What corruption, re-directions, and accountability can be prevented, or set-up.

The fact that "Buyer's Remorse" is rising, but still not able to topple demagogic appeals to paranoia...is a shame. But, that has often been the way of the World, not just here in the US.

Onward and upward...

Alexd
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#136077 - 03/20/17 09:15 PM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Az4x4]
Muniac Offline


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Interesting you term my post as "anger" with an enemy list. Bad characterization. Not sure I get that as I simply (like you) explain my position on the contents of this thread (and react a bit). Right or wrong no insults thrown. Don't mind opposing points of view either as they bring about enlightenment. Albeit with a ting of smoke and fire. Life as usual.

Also not sure why the motivation is to "pick apart" my explanations. Debate seems a better idea and less hostile. I'm still waiting for your power number$ and how the 7 year payback works. Please present yours and feel free to pick apart mine.

Also how, when and what will make my life good, bad or deteriorate really isn't anyone's affair. Like I said, government please stay out of my wallet and bedroom. No hate there just that I'd like to see less of the government in my pocket. Can't even flush my toilet with 2 gallons of water. Required sometimes after a sausage pizza meal.

I don't think anyone was trying to change minds here. It's two opposing views with important and interesting points from each. Hopefully readers will learn something and/or be entertained by the exchange. When it runs its course, life goes on as before. Spirited exchange can't hurt.

I'm still struggling with the 7 year payback, however. Maybe you can help with that. My numbers don't get anywhere close.



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#136080 - 03/21/17 07:41 AM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Muniac]
alexd Offline
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I had several paragraphs of "debate" for you, but I accidentally hit the wrong key, and my succinct criticisms disappeared like smoke.

But 1/2 an hour wasted, I'll pick up on the final part of calculations, all of which will be minimized or maximized to go to your favor:

8.37 KW peak array (8.05 actual hourly power on occasion) $30,000 which includes permits, all installation, extras like supplemental 240 vAC in my garage, upgrade from 100Amp to 200Amp service, and new wiring and circuit breakers...30% off (Federal) leaving $21,000 to work against.

10 to 12 MWhrs per year, at $155 (or higher) per MWhr. Take the lower figure and that's $1550/yr. offset

My actual power usage is high. Before the array I was paying about $1800 per year (probably more, but I'll use that figure). After the array, perhaps $300, and that's probably high. So the energy use saving is $1800-$300 equals $1500/yr. offset

Add those together: $3050/yr.

How many years then (against $21,000)? 6.89

There are better and worse deals of course...but my math shouldn't puzzle you.

Incidentally, you never get a zero electric bill with Net-Metering. That may change, but my lowest now is $4.89/mo. The reason is that CommonWealth Edison charges a fixed "delivery" and Tax; can't get around that for NOW.

Alexd
P.S. The array's output is up on the Web, for those that know my name and location. You can see my daily/monthly/yearly outputs since 10/1/2015 when it was born...and the updates are every 5 minutes on the current day.


Edited by alexd (03/21/17 08:21 AM)
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#136082 - 03/21/17 02:26 PM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Az4x4]
Muniac Offline


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Finally we're getting some supporting data. Great and thanks! Sorry about the up in smoke post. Don't worry about it if you wish. Spend your up in smoke 1/2 hour on something else.

Your system works given government subsidies and a buyback from the power company. As I mentioned, I'm not real happy about $9k of taxpayer dollars taken for your home system. Nothing personal and certainly doesn't put you at fault as you are simply taking advantage of current "perks". Can't say I'd do differently. And yes I'm able to do the math too.

A $30k investment for a solar system here is as explained in my previous post. Economically a very different scenario. San Miguel PA provides us with electricity. Turns out they do have a net metering program. Requirements below:

1) Generation must be from a
renewable resource such as solar,
wind, hydro, or biomass.

2) A net meter system must have
its grid connection point on the
memberís side of the utility meter.

3) A system should not generate
more than the historic or expected
energy demands at that meter.

Looks like #3 is a deal breaker. SMPA also owns a 1 MW solar (voltaic) farm which you can buy into. Membership is required to reduce electric bills. Can't easily find the cost of becoming a member, however.

Anyway, good thread, informative, interesting and enlightening. Maybe even entertaining. Hope all who read learned something.
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#136083 - 03/21/17 03:13 PM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Az4x4]
Benny Offline
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Posts: 168
Loc: llinois
Very informative and interesting indeed!

You two would clean house on Jeopardy. I'd pay good money to see that. You could play semi-dumb at the screening to get accepted.

Refreshing civil debate! Well done
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#136086 - 03/21/17 04:55 PM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Muniac]
alexd Offline
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Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 5713
Loc: Illinois, USA
There's more to this:

!) The system is actually $24,000. The balance is the upgrades and extras THAT ARE ALLOWED. If "payback" were calculated from that point, it would be quicker yet.

2) As I look at other arrays on the grid (through SolarEdge), I can see that mine are more efficient. I'm guessing the panels are around 15% and that number will climb. The manufacturers are doing a dance between cost of production vs. efficiency. Prices will move toward 1/2 of what they are today, and efficiency may double.

3) Why shouldn't I get some return for the nearly 20,000 POUNDS of CO2 that was saved for the fossil fuel NOT BURNED (compared to my neighbors)...or the nearly 500 TREES that I've equivalently planted. My footprint is reduced.

4) Before I was FORCED to accept ComEd's Net-Meter (which was free and installed), my old mechanical meter spun backwards at high speed. That meant that I could get negative bills...something I can't do now; it re-sets to zero at best, for the start of every new month.

5) My total energy output involves 2 Winters (the lowest months for production due to the placement of the Sun's path). So it's only been up for about 1 and 1/2 years. I'll get a better annual read after 24 months. This last Winter set a record for cloudy days and frozen multi-inch snow.

Alexd


Edited by alexd (03/21/17 04:57 PM)
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#136087 - 03/21/17 04:56 PM Re: The Internet & the War on Science.. [Re: Benny]
alexd Offline
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Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 5713
Loc: Illinois, USA
Originally Posted By: Benny
Very informative and interesting indeed!

You two would clean house on Jeopardy. I'd pay good money to see that. You could play semi-dumb at the screening to get accepted.

Refreshing civil debate! Well done


You should see (hear) us arguing for 3 hours on the phone! I should say DEBATING... laugh

Alexd
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