Puppeteer

Author Topic: Blasphemy..... Solar power.  (Read 85126 times)

dieselgman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3141
    • View Profile
    • Lister Parts
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2016, 07:47:39 PM »
It occurs to me that some types of geothermal should be practical in some places. Perhaps those active zones are just not stable enough?

dieselgman
Ford Powerstroke, Caterpillar 3304, Cummins M11, Too many Listers to count...

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2751
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2016, 09:44:48 PM »
Here's a thoughtful explanation of Hawaii's energy situation by a nuclear engineer. 
http://friendsofnelha.org/nuclear-power-for-hawaii/

Gary's suggestion of geothermal power makes me wonder about it's suitability for Hawaii; I know Iceland has developed that significantly. 

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2751
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2016, 09:58:12 PM »
Here's an interesting article about the existing geothermal plant in Hawaii as well as a look at geothermal in the US and around the world. 

http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/geothermal-is-a-red-hot-topic/


dieselgman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3141
    • View Profile
    • Lister Parts
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2016, 11:17:49 PM »
As usual... local resistance to progress because most of the benefits will be taken away from the community, add in the greenies and a mess of politics. It is a wonder anything gets accomplished these days.

I think that almost all human activity will have some environmental impacts... the logical keys would be to accurately weigh all of the factors for costs and risks, educate all of the people involved, obtain fully informed consent and carry out any such projects with Justice as a guiding principle.

dieselgman
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 03:04:09 AM by dieselgman »
Ford Powerstroke, Caterpillar 3304, Cummins M11, Too many Listers to count...

buickanddeere

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 803
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2016, 01:20:38 AM »
  In Ontario the word is natural gas will be phased out in order to use all the surplus over priced subsidized wind and solar power.

glort

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2016, 04:12:28 AM »
It occurs to me that some types of geothermal should be practical in some places. Perhaps those active zones are just not stable enough?

dieselgman

I have been to new Zealand a few times to do Photoshoots.  The geothermal in areas there is amazing. You could literally sink a steam well in your own back yard and some people have.
Around the most active area, rotoroua, Geo is huge for heating and spas.  I don't think there is a motel in the place that doesn't have a geo thermal spa in every room.  The water is so hot you generally have to add cold water to make it bearable.  Depends where you are and what your tolerance is but it isn't lacking in warmth, put it that way.

There is no tap to turn off the Geo water, don't know if they can't for physical reasons with pressure etc or they just don't bother. It just overflows 24/7 and no greenee seems to whine about water wasteage.

The rotoroua convention centre/ indoor stadium is totally geo powered. They have a turbine for power and of course the place is heated the same way.  It's on a very active lake where you can walk around and see small steam geysers coming out of the lake shore and around.  It's got a 18" fence around it but of course like all good tourists we couldn't read Kiwi english so walked around and had a good look. It was amazing.
We went to a thermal park and the gysers there were the ones that shot into the air on command and smaller ones coming out of no where. there was a lake that steamed even though the day was near 30C and was far too hot to put your hand in.

They have a few geo power generation plants around the area mainly around Taupo where the geo park we went to was. They are building more plants ATM but the Rotorua council has of course laws on tapping the go power even for homeowners.  They have regulations ( read taxes) on this basically inexhaustible supply of power.  The temps of the geo ranges from 40 which is warm to 140 which is well past saturated steam.
Being the type I am, I'd be looking into a mini Geo powered Turbine no worries.

One thing about the place we learned, it stinks.  We were looking in a tourist guide and in a sub headline on an ad from one place it had " No Sulphur Smell". We wondered what that was about till we were about 20 Km away ans started accusing one another of ripe gaseous emissions.  Of course when they hadn't subsided for 10 min, the penny dropped. You do get a bit used to it after a few hours but when you first get near the lake... Hooley dooley!


As an aside, the place really did my head in. having been self employed about 90% of my life and studied business, marketing and sales, I was surprised how quiet the place was. There was a strip of over 1KM down the main drag where it was only hotels one beside the other, both sides of the road.  each one only appeard to have a few cars there.  we went into town for dinner and the end;ess restaurants were the same.  miles of them, hundreds of seats and about 10% occupancy and that's being generous.
We found a Pub with a nice outdoor setting and when the girl brought us our food I started chatting her up saying that I supposed the busy season, Christmas was just around the corner. She looked a bit blankly and said , no not really. I said oh, when do all the crowds come?  She looked again and said we don't really get a rush at any time, it's pretty much constant.  I said Oh, ok, is this the quiet time then? No, it's always like this.

I'm thinking WTF?? I said, thinking she may not know the area, Have you been living here long? She said yes, I was born here and still live at home.  By now I'm thinking the nice girl must be on drugs or something.
You can't have 5000 hotel beds in a little tourist  town along with endless restaurants and have them survive at 10% saturation.
I asked some more people about the rush and got the same answers, it's the same here all the time, just like this..... W T F ???

Don't know how that works. It's just not little owner/ operator places, there is an international Chain hotel there with a 7 storey building and that probably didn't even have 20 cars in the carpark either.
I felt sorry for the locals so we stayed a couple of nights in the smaller places but although clean, they were woefully out of date.  No wonder the owners rolled out teh threadbare red carpet though and thanked us like we saved their lives.  the 3rd night it was the big hotel though for some real comfort and a bit of luxury. Didn't even take much talking to get a massive upgrade with them into a suite for a middle range room price.

I got to admit, my real "Idealistic" power is Hydro.  Solar is nice and practical and all that but not enough real fun involved as in no moving parts.  Hydro would be great to play with in my old age.
Of course i live on the driest freaking continent in teh world  so water  sufficent for hydro is limited here even if we do have the worlds largest hydro scheme at one point.
I have spent many hours looking for properties that I could do a hydro setup on and there are some around although always distant from any major town let alone city.  I could probably pick something up for $100K  But that is a lot of money to pay for a hobby!!  Not to say I wouldn't do it anyway.  I am not much of a traveler but I and the Mrs could be very happy in a remote bush location with a shack built from a few shipping containers and spend some quiet time away from the rat race.  I think we would still have to have a place in the rat race as well, too much quiet freaks me out so i'd have to acclimatise.   :0)

Lister in the shed, panels on the roof, water spinning up some various home made turbines and hydro generators.....  I could set up my own power company!  :0)

LowGear

  • Casey
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2047
  • What? My diesel had fries for lunch?
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2016, 05:22:34 PM »
WOW!  Talk about button city.

Those Tuesday talks are given at the Hawaii Electrical Company (HELCO) "show n tell" auditorium.  It's always nice to know who's paying for the free somethings.  There is enough geo energy to easily supply the big island and there have been positive feasibility studies about running the excess to the other islands.  Of course the corporate leaders of HELCO might have to explain to the other corporations they serve why or how they have lost the oil shipping contracts and refinery revenues.

I'm still curious how my 6KW system challenges the grid but their acre sized solar arrays are just fine and dandy.

Please don't infer that petroleum isn't subsidized.  We have lost over 6800 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan so far this century.  Do you have any idea how much we spend on the 20,000 navy personnel in the Gulf alone each day.  Please.

Do you consider Grand Coulee Dam to be a subsidy?  Do you consider the US interstate highway system to be a subsidy?  Do you consider all of the research and development of nuclear power to be a subsidy?  (Or the clean up costs?)

Tax credits for home owners on solar is a drop in the bucket.  How is it that when a large corporation gets a "no stinking subsidy" it's for national defense or jobs but when I want a tinsy piece of the pie I'm a blood sucking tree hugging do-gooder?

LowGear

I think I'm wired up.  Now where's that gas powered lawn mower as I have some man's work to do.  Stinky, dirty, noisy man work!  Hmmmmm;  Where can I expand the grass area so I won't be faced with one of those wussy electric mowers on the next mower purchase.


« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 05:34:32 PM by LowGear »
NPR Tipper/Dump Truck
Kubota BX 2230
Witte BD Generator
SunnyBoy 6000 + SolarWorld 245

LowGear

  • Casey
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2047
  • What? My diesel had fries for lunch?
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #52 on: May 20, 2016, 05:31:46 PM »
Hi dieselgman,

When you find that sane universe would you please let me in on the secret location?

Casey
NPR Tipper/Dump Truck
Kubota BX 2230
Witte BD Generator
SunnyBoy 6000 + SolarWorld 245

LowGear

  • Casey
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2047
  • What? My diesel had fries for lunch?
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #53 on: May 20, 2016, 06:17:06 PM »
Now to bring this thread back from the edge of politics and into the arena of solar power and the Tesla Wall thing.  When the giga-factory gets caught up with production and the price drops a bit I'll be going to the kiss my insulators grid system.  There are a couple of modifications needed:

4 KW more of solar panels.  (Subsidized)
Tesla Walls.   (Subsidized - I hope))
Some device to handle my SunnyBoy inverters so they can control my micro grid and charge my Tesla Wall or a US made competitor.  (I hope you all source your own suppliers before you start paying around the world shipping.)
Propane kitchen cooker.
Solar water booster and maybe a propane water heater.  (My next project to complete.)
Propane clothes dryer.
Conversion of my pond pumps from direct electric to air powered via small compressors with timers.
Maybe even getting the Witte tied into the Tesla Walls.

I like a 5 year payback.  OK, so right now I'm getting about a 50 year payback on my savings so it doesn't take much to push me over the edge.

Casey


« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 06:20:06 PM by LowGear »
NPR Tipper/Dump Truck
Kubota BX 2230
Witte BD Generator
SunnyBoy 6000 + SolarWorld 245

glort

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2016, 02:58:54 AM »

Been doing some more mental Solar arithmetic.

I have worked out another scam in the solar scheme we have here and it seems many places have.
We have net metering which means the power generated goes into the household system to offset any demands and then into the grid if anything is left over for which you get an insulting 6C a Kwh when you buy in many places here at 30C or above.
Here off peak hot water is very common.  Everywhere I could fine, off peak is from 10 Pm to 5 or 7 am. You might get a lower rate for that, say 15C kwh BUT, that's a lot more than your solar feed in tarrif.  Solar panels don't generate a whole load of power from 10-7 But I have never heard of anyone having their water heaters set up to come on when the panels are generating and the homeowner could be making the most of that power instead of selling it for less than half of what they have to buy it back for.
This is what frankly shits me with this whole do gooder green save the planet Crap.  It's only pushed when there is a buck to be made by big business or gubbermints.

If one were to put in some relays and a timer, a small solar bank could heat the water through the day and a timer could kick in say at 6pm to top the temp off if needed. Yes, You might pay full tilt but you'd be paying full tilt on maybe an hours worth of power not half price for 4 hours because if the water wasn't right up to temp, it soon would be.

Technically you have to have a licensed solar installer make any connections to equipment to the grid. Probably so they have to do a setup to rob you. To get around this for a DIY system you could wire the panels to a 2nd heater.  This heater would receive the cold water and pre heat it before feeding it into the main heater which could be either off peak or gas.  Whichever one, when the normal heat source kicked in, again it would only be raising the water temp maybe 10o  instead of 40 or 50 depending on the time of year and your water supply temp.

Roughly, 1Kw of solar power would raise the temp of 100L of water 10oC in an hour.  Here an average HWS is about 250L ( probably gallons in the US!)  so even 1 KW worth of panels would bring the temp of the water to shower temps on a sunny day. 1.5 KW would supply the full heating requirements and if a larger heater were used, the solar array could be suitably upsized.
I'm going to buy some 3 YO used panels today for $50 each for 250W units.  At these sort of prices, recouping ones investment would be infinitely quicker than tieing the panels into an " Approved" array and getting the feeble feed in tariff offered. Used heaters can also be had cheap so for a few hundred dollars, the investment could well be recouped in under a year.

After I did all this thinking and reckoning, I went online to see if anyone else had the same rush of blood to the head and of course smarter minds than I had already worked it out long ago.
I found a local study that found this was in fact a far more economical way to go that with a solar hot water heater. Not only is the purchase price of a regular electric storage HWS thousands on average cheaper, but  a solar/ electric heater will outperform a solar water heater in many ways.

In summer for instance, solar water heaters are generally done quite early in the day and the rest of the time they are just boiling the water and doing nothing further.  If one looks at the price of a solar water heater and compares that to the amount of PV panels they can get, the generation value can be substantial.
A quick lookup shows here, a mid size solar water heater to be a bit over 3 grand. What also needs to be taken into account here is the extra cost of a backup heater when there is no sun or too cool temps and a regular electric or gas heater has to be used.

 Another search shows that new, name brand panels could be had amounting to 4.3 Kw for the same price of $3k.  If we take into account our solar credit rebate here on the panels, we can then afford to take that over 6KW of panels.
Now crunching the numbers, if we throw that 6Kw at a 250L heater with a start temp of 20oC and want the cut off temp at 70, we are looking at a 60o temp rise an hour for 100L so less than 2.5 Hours to heat that 250L of water.  IE, by 10-11Am, our water is well and truly up to temp and we have another 4 Full hours of 6Kw worth of power to do other things with. Like run the pool pump or 4,  Run the pool pump, the clothes dryer and a welder and STILL have some left in reserve to sell for a pissy 6C kwh or run your analogue meter backwards... by far my preferred option.
Of course you could always opt up to a 400L system which is the big family size here. You are probably going to get that up to heat in under 4 hours BUT, only for the first day. Unless you use all that water, there will still be some heat in the tank the next day so the temp rise needed might only be say 30o. back to a 2 hour heat up time. The beauty would be, if it rains all day tomorrow and maybe even the next day, you still have hot water in reserve to get you through were as you would be absolutely paying for those wet days with a solar water heater on backup.

And the benefits go on. Come a cloudy day and you are going to be lucky if your solar water heater produces anything even luke warm.  Your 6Kw panels might only be producing 2 Kw But they do still produce a worthwhile output especially when you have that sort of capacity and they may take all day to get that water heater up to temp but still, you will get a hot shower that evening at NO cost unlike the other way which will have to kick in the gas or electric. Even if the panels don't get the heater to 70 which is on the high side anyway, if they only get it to 50, you are still at the temp modern water temp controllers will limit the water to anyway.

Another thing I saw was using the solar to heat water for home heating. If one were the particularly law abiding kind and didn't want to wind their meter backward or has the wrong sort of meter, the excess energy could be stored in the form of hot water.  Probably won't do you a lot of good in summer but in winter, the water could be circulated around the home for heating.
I'm going to see if thee is a cheap arse way of cooling water withing the capabilities of the home DIYer. Not sure what sort of refrigeration system could be adapted to cool the water easily but it could be circulated in those same hot water tanks which are nicely insulated and then recirculated through Heat exchangers or radiators at night.

Rather than batteries being the storage medium, I'm going to be on the lookout for and stocking up on used water heaters!
Wonder if it were possible to get any sort of worth while efficiency insulating  IBC 1000L containers with something like household batts?  Enclosing them in cool room paneling may be effective given a lot of that has 2" or more of Styrofoam. 
Maybe old refrigerators laid on their backs and sealed at the door with an in and out water pipe may work? Not hard to get them in 600L sizes. Wonder if the door could be effectively sealed and with what so they could be operated as the cooling unit for the water therein? Might have to check the thermostat controls with regards to water or just have it external with just the probe inside. Or bypass it all together....
Wait!!  Old chest Freezer! Perfect!

So many cheap arse and fun DIY options!  :0)


carlb23

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 529
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2016, 11:32:14 AM »
I bought a old water collector kit on ebay that had never been assembled for 150 dollars with glazing.  It was a 8'x12' design which i incorporated into the south side of my shed wall that i was building.  I set the wall 65 degrees to horizontal for best sun collection in my area in the winter.   I used  three 75 gallon ( filled to about 210 gallons total or just under 800 liters) plastic drums that are in the basement to hold the water with a 50' copper coil in each tank.  The tanks are coupled together so the water flows from one to the other.  The cold water is taken from the bottom of the right tank and hot water returned to the top of the left tank.   The drums were 30 dollars each the controller was 75 dollars and i had the copper tubing .    Cold water comes into the house and goes through the copper coils in the drums before it is sent to the electric water heater.   In winter the storage tanks stay around 120 degrees during sunny days and only drop back to about 100 overnight.   If we have several days of clouds and snow/rain it will drop back to 70 to 80 degrees.  in ths summer that are topped off early @135 which is the cutoff temp i have set.

It is a open system and there is no pressure in the storage water tanks.  A small circulator pump moves the water when the panels are hot enough as determined by the controller

I only have about 500 dollars US invested and it has been running very well for just under 2 years now.

LowGear

  • Casey
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2047
  • What? My diesel had fries for lunch?
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2016, 04:19:12 PM »
BruceM:  
Quote
Casey, I was just wondering where all that power goes- A/C?  Is the house insulated? How many SF?  Solar hot water?  Electric clothes dryer?
 We have a one unit B&B and a live on site volunteer staff so (2) full sized fridges; (2) under-counter fridges; 1 regular hot water tank and one assisted; 1 electric cloths dryer; (2) 24-7 water features & (2) air - water pumps; 1 swimming pool; 1 electric cooker and a cadre of people that just can't figure out how to turn @*%%!ing stuff off.  We're at 1000 feet so AC isn't needed.  The house has an insulated ceiling but since we installed vents we've never felt heat from the ceiling.  We have a couple of windows that are only shut to clean them.  As I mention before a solar boost kinda like carlb23's only plumbed directly to the bottom of the electric tank is on the top of the project list.

glort:  
Quote
Solar panels don't generate a whole load of power from 10-7 But I have never heard of anyone having their water heaters set up to come on when the panels are generating and the homeowner could be making the most of that power instead of selling it for less than half of what they have to buy it back for.
 I use one.  It's set for 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to suck off the solar excess and then from 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM just so we don't suffer first thing in the morning.  B&B guests have expectations.  Once in a while we have to reach in and trip the timer because I can't figure out how to schedule cloths washing during lunch.  It's also a nice time to run the dryer.  However We're on the old grid tie where a KW to the grid is the same as a KW out of the grid.  The new program much like glort described is why I balked at adding new solar especially when I learned that the entire site would be converted to the new program.  I thank the Utilities Commission every time I get a chance for selling us down the river.

carlb23:
I'm surprised I didn't read anything about insulating those tanks.  I'm thinking just pasteboard boxes would be noticed.

I don't blame HELCO at all.  The supreme commandment of most corporations is to deliver profit to the stockholders - after significant compensation to top management.  If you don't think this is Truth then you're in for many disappointments in your life.  HOWEVER: The Utilities Commission is compensated by the state to protect the interests of the people.  They are confused about their mission.

Casey
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 04:44:28 PM by LowGear »
NPR Tipper/Dump Truck
Kubota BX 2230
Witte BD Generator
SunnyBoy 6000 + SolarWorld 245

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2751
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2016, 06:11:42 PM »
Here in AZ the biggest power co., APS,  has found a way around that annoying elected corporation commission problem-  they fund their own candidates and now control the commission.  Glad I'm no longer grid connected.

You're doing quite well on the power consumption considering all that you've got going, Casey.  Lets keep our fingers crossed for that big battery breakthrough that makes home storage a winner and the power co.s wail.




« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 03:52:26 PM by BruceM »

carlb23

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 529
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2016, 11:54:10 AM »
[quote author=

carlb23:
I'm surprised I didn't read anything about insulating those tanks.  I'm thinking just pasteboard boxes would be noticed.



Casey
[/quote]

I just didn't mention it but they are contained in a 9'x4' box which is filled with blown in insulation about 20" all the way around the perimeter of the tanks. the top of the box is 6" of rigid foam.

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2751
    • View Profile
Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2016, 04:02:46 PM »
Carl, you sure are a savy energy producer! The 80ish percent efficiency of direct solar hot water production is a real boon, despite all the plumbing.  My single 4x32' home-built hot water panel does almost all of my home space and domestic water heating.