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Thread: Solar happenings

  1. #911
    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    Roof shingles have a lot of overlap to ensure that water doesn't get into your house. Solar panels, not so much. Would you trust six feet of snow on top of only solar panels? I wouldn't. Consider Buffalo this week:

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    Quote Originally Posted by rtz View Post
    I was thinking more along the lines of using traditional run of the mill panels; except have them edge to edge so the edges seal. Just panels with no roof underneath:Attachment 64143
    My installer told me that the air gap under the panels was essential to reduce the heating under direct sun. If the panels replace the roof, it works seem like you'd need a way to address that - either very good attic ventilation or possibly liquid cooled panels.Walter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saghost View Post
    My installer told me that the air gap under the panels was essential to reduce the heating under direct sun. If the panels replace the roof, it works seem like you'd need a way to address that - either very good attic ventilation or possibly liquid cooled panels.Walter
    I remember reading something to the effect that if you get the gap right it also helps insulation in winter.

  4. #914
    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    As plants discovered long ago, solar power can be used to make something other than electricity. Here's a company, Phytonix, that plans to use solar-powered cyanobacteria to produce butanol.
    http://www.xconomy.com/raleigh-durha...cal-factories/

  5. #915
    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    More reasons I love my new home state of Maine:

    Legislature Considering Measures to Lower Solar Power Costs | Maine Public Broadcasting

    "A solar panel that is installed in Portland Maine is going to generate as much power on an annual basis as that identical panel installed in Houston Texas"

    And that’s one reason why Rep. Sarah Gideon, a Democrat from Freeport and assistant House majority leader, wants to make it easier for larger groups of people to work together to generate solar energy, to use or sell to the power grid. Right now the maximum cooperative effort is six people generating up to 660 kilowatts of electricity. Gideon's bill would up that to 25 people with a project of 1 megawatt of generating capacity.
    ...
    Sen. Tom Saviello, a Republican from Wilton, is taking a similar approach but focusing it on farmers and rural Maine with the added component of a rebate program to help pay for the upfront costs on buying and installing photo-voltaic arrays.
    We've got both sides of the aisle working towards the same goal. BTW, the Dems control the House, and the GOP the Senate, so both bills stand a reasonable chance of passing.

    I particularly like the House version, which will encourage micro-grids, with neighbors pitching in together to build solar where it makes sense, with each reaping the benefit. No need for subsidies, just change the rules of the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert.Boston View Post
    More reasons I love my new home state of Maine:

    Legislature Considering Measures to Lower Solar Power Costs | Maine Public Broadcasting


    We've got both sides of the aisle working towards the same goal. BTW, the Dems control the House, and the GOP the Senate, so both bills stand a reasonable chance of passing.

    I particularly like the House version, which will encourage micro-grids, with neighbors pitching in together to build solar where it makes sense, with each reaping the benefit. No need for subsidies, just change the rules of the game.
    Of course they'd have to pass with a veto-proof majority, since the Guv'nor would likely veto those bills.
    Not a Model S owner, just obsessively following Tesla and the advance of EVs.

  7. #917
    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    These charts surprised me. They're the real-time metering info from ISO New England, the grid operator. It's almost noon on a nearly cloudless day across the region, yet solar is just a rounding error (1.9 MW of 13,738 MW total). The 15% coal is really surprising, given recent retirements of older coal units. The second chart is a drill-down on the 7% renewables wedge in the first chart.
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    These data omit behind-the-meter generation (which reduces load, from ISO's perspective), but still, it shows how much farther we can go getting solar installed in New England before we have system issues.

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    Member Peter_M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert.Boston View Post
    These charts surprised me. They're the real-time metering info from ISO New England, the grid operator. It's almost noon on a nearly cloudless day across the region, yet solar is just a rounding error (1.9 MW of 13,738 MW total). The 15% coal is really surprising, given recent retirements of older coal units. The second chart is a drill-down on the 7% renewables wedge in the first chart.

    ...

    These data omit behind-the-meter generation (which reduces load, from ISO's perspective), but still, it shows how much farther we can go getting solar installed in New England before we have system issues.
    In Ontario, the grid operator (IESO) doesn't show distributed generation in their supply mix graphs either, e.g. http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Power-Data/default.aspx#supply. I assume the same thing is happening there. It's not just behind-the-meter generation that is hidden, any generation that goes into the distribution network just looks like reduced demand to them. So solar is hidden from their perspective until it starts to be at the grid generation level, which means big solar farms.
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    It makes no sense to me that utilities want to complain about distributed generation, yet they (or the ISOs) are not making any effort to put hard numbers on the problem.

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