Energy Matters Global and Domestic

This is the place for posts that don't fit into any other category.

Moderator: RichardW

User avatar
NewcastleFalcon
Posts: 16690
Joined: 25 Feb 2009, 11:40
x 1758

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Thats where all those batteries, and electrolysers making green hydrogen come in.

REgards Neil
User avatar
bobins
Donor 2021
Posts: 4112
Joined: 05 Jul 2012, 18:07
x 1300

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

A genuine question and not intended to cause an argument - how does the cost of a solar array and battery storage compare to a wind turbine when used on a town scale ? For simplicity, ignore the fact that the sun sometimes doesn't shine too bright during the day, and sometimes the wind doesn't blow too strong, but not ignoring the fact that it's dark for more than 12 hours a day at this time of year.
Without knowing too much about the technology involved, I'd think you'd need quite a large solar array and quite a large battery storage package to generate and store enough electricity to get your town through the colder and darker winter months.
Is cost still the prime deciding factor once you weigh up what you need for solar PV ?
I can absolutely see that solar has its place in energy supply, but you still need either a large array and large battery storage to supply your town, or you need another form of 'large' scale electricity generation just for when it's dark.
User avatar
NewcastleFalcon
Posts: 16690
Joined: 25 Feb 2009, 11:40
x 1758

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

I guess thats where the global and domestic comes into play. Grid level large scale solar farms with storage, as well as expansion of domestic solar installations with associated smart meters, domestic storage via powerwalls and the like, and Smart Export Guarantees etc., will expand solar in the UK.

As always it will form part of a mix, and the UK's major assets are wind and tidal, maybe less so solar, but plenty solar developments happening and our old friends Electricite de France buying up existing solar assets in the UK at a pace.

Over the pond, Elon Musk's solar ambitions are well known, "You could take a corner of Utah and Nevada and power the entire United States with solar power."

REgards Neil
User avatar
NewcastleFalcon
Posts: 16690
Joined: 25 Feb 2009, 11:40
x 1758

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Australia looks set to develop the Worlds Largest Solar Installation to date, expected to have an output of 10 gigawatts.

1/3 rd of its output will power the Northern Territory grid and 2/3rds will be send via undersea cable to power Singapore.

Australian outback cattle station to house world's largest solar farm, powering Singapore

REgards Neil
User avatar
NewcastleFalcon
Posts: 16690
Joined: 25 Feb 2009, 11:40
x 1758

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Evidence of the UK's expansion in Solar Power

Over 1GW of new solar farms added to UK pipeline during September

Regards Neil
Gibbo2286
Donor 2020
Posts: 5358
Joined: 08 Jun 2011, 18:04
x 1174

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I can only say about domestic solar, I have twelve panels (All that the roof can take) for me they're paying off, I paid £4,500 for them them three years ago and get the feed in tariff guaranteed for twenty years.

Apart from the FIT they've cut my quarterly bill by more than half, I reckon they will have paid back the cost in about seven years.

It's nice to see the FIT pop into my bank account quarterly usually around £40 in the winter months and £80 in the summer.

I've considered adding a battery storage to the system to make it even more useful but the cost is still too high, between £5k and £8k I'm told.

There is another battery option just come on the scene, Duracell are offering a battery for about £3-4K but it has limited use (can't sell back to the grid) and is tied to one supplier so a change of supplier would be needed for me
User avatar
Mandrake
Posts: 8416
Joined: 10 Apr 2005, 17:23
x 413

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by Mandrake »

bobins wrote:
27 Oct 2020, 22:20
A genuine question and not intended to cause an argument - how does the cost of a solar array and battery storage compare to a wind turbine when used on a town scale ? For simplicity, ignore the fact that the sun sometimes doesn't shine too bright during the day, and sometimes the wind doesn't blow too strong, but not ignoring the fact that it's dark for more than 12 hours a day at this time of year.
Without knowing too much about the technology involved, I'd think you'd need quite a large solar array and quite a large battery storage package to generate and store enough electricity to get your town through the colder and darker winter months.
Is cost still the prime deciding factor once you weigh up what you need for solar PV ?
I can absolutely see that solar has its place in energy supply, but you still need either a large array and large battery storage to supply your town, or you need another form of 'large' scale electricity generation just for when it's dark.
For grid scale generation solar on its own isn't enough in a country like the UK because, well, its cloudy a lot. :lol: Also solar output is dramatically reduced in winter - just when you need more power, due to reduced hours of sunshine and the sun being at a lower angle. (Which reduces capture efficiency unless you have expensive tracking panels) Solar of course doesn't generate anything at night so needs battery storage to provide power at night.

Wind on the other hand while also an intermittent source of power that needs battery storage has two advantages - wind can and does blow at night, and winter is actually windier than summer. So wind generation goes up from autumn through spring when solar generation drops, also night time wind helps to offset lack of solar generation at night. So while you still need battery storage for night time you don't need as much as you still have some generation instead of zero.

Any large scale grid generation will rely on a combination of Wind and Solar as they both complement each other quite well, but it's clear that the generation mix has to be biased more towards wind generation than solar to ensure that overall generation goes up in the winter with demand.

I'm not sure what the exact cost per kWh is between solar and wind but I think wind is cheaper than solar at the moment, as well as more efficient at capturing the raw resource. (wind or light)

Wind is also more economical with land use than solar for a country like the UK which doesn't have acres and acres of useless desert or infertile land to put solar panels on. Solar panels need to cover a large surface area to work and essentially take over the land they're installed on, (unless installed on building roofs) while wind turbines can be installed over paddocks used for crops or grazing quite happily allowing dual use of land resources. (or can be installed out at sea... not really the case with solar)

For home generation solar plus battery storage is the obvious choice of course - nobody wants large wind turbines popping up on residential streets. :lol: Solar panels make good use of otherwise wasted surface area on the roofs of houses.
User avatar
mickthemaverick
Donor 2021
Posts: 7040
Joined: 11 May 2019, 17:56
x 1976

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by mickthemaverick »

I have been mulling over the explosion in solar power and I have thought of something which I have not seen mentioned anywhere. My whole point is based on the "energy cannot be created nor destroyed, merely changed between types" law of Physics. However that law presumably applies in a defined 3D space so that energy coming into our planet's "environment" is 'created' energy as far as our system is concerned and no doubt balanced by the energy we lose to outer space as time goes by. So my point is this: if we start capturing more and more of the sun's energy and converting it to electricity for our own use what happens to the ground, plants, animals etc which were capturing that energy for their own use? The sun will not send more so there must be a loss somewhere in our ecosystem to balance the gain we make in electrical energy for us. Will that loss cause long term damage to the planet's ecosystem in a similar way to the burning of HC fuels that we have now come to realise is damaging the planet's environment? Hmm!!! :-k :-k :-k
User avatar
Mandrake
Posts: 8416
Joined: 10 Apr 2005, 17:23
x 413

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by Mandrake »

Well, obviously you can't place solar panels over grassland, plants etc as they would soon die due to lack of sun... so solar panels either have to go on dedicated ground (arazona desert etc) or on building roofs.

In the case of a solar panel on a building roof what is the ecological impact from that ? Not a lot. They're only about 20% efficient so the other 80% of the energy is still either reflected away or heats the solar panel and thus the surrounding air.

If you compare it to a roof which typically absorbs most of the suns heat to warm it and the surround air up, that means the solar panel is not warming the surrounding air quite as much. So it would cause an infinitesimal reduction in the global temperature if everyone had one on their roof...
User avatar
mickthemaverick
Donor 2021
Posts: 7040
Joined: 11 May 2019, 17:56
x 1976

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by mickthemaverick »

I am happy with the current panels on roofs Simon as you say no real problem, my thinking is more about the vast areas of agricultual land that has been panelled over, all down the East Coast mainline route from Peterborough for example, presumably because the farmer earns more by renting it to the electric company than he does by growing crops. My thinking is more about the potential expansion of that practice to a point where the "stealing" of energy from its natural striking point may have a significant effect on the planet as a whole. eg if the Sahara, Ghobi, Australian and other desert areas are eventually covered in panels what effect might that have on the earth's core in 100 years? The sort of thing which wasn't thought about during the industrial revolution with regard to the effect of burning coal etc, mainly due to lack of understanding how the ecosystem works!
Gibbo2286
Donor 2020
Posts: 5358
Joined: 08 Jun 2011, 18:04
x 1174

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I wonder if the deserts could recover from sunburn and become useful agricultural ground if solar panels were erected fairly high above them and the ground below fed (maybe with some of the food we chuck away every year) and irrigated.

Ps. Mick's argument about the effect of solar panels on the planet might also apply to wind turbines and the weather, if you take the energy out of the wind does it not make a difference downwind?
User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 43889
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1780

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by CitroJim »

I've often pondered the same question about capturing energy from the sun and wind and the possible consequences...

Capturing wind energy on a massive scale might possibly upset weather patterns far distant from where the energy was originally captured...

The old 'Butterfly Effect' maybe? Could we be doing environmental damage and provoking even bigger climate change in our attempts to mitigate it?
User avatar
mickthemaverick
Donor 2021
Posts: 7040
Joined: 11 May 2019, 17:56
x 1976

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by mickthemaverick »

CitroJim wrote:
28 Oct 2020, 14:19
The old 'Butterfly Effect' maybe? Could we be doing environmental damage and provoking even bigger climate change in our attempts to mitigate it?
Precisely my concern Jim, the question is have the boffins done the research which was clearly missing when we started to use coal let alone oil?
User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 43889
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1780

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by CitroJim »

mickthemaverick wrote:
28 Oct 2020, 14:24
the question is have the boffins done the research which was clearly missing when we started to use coal let alone oil?
I fear not... They appear to me to be rather blinkered in their view and only looking at one aspect whilst failing to see, to use a modern term, the big picture...
User avatar
bobins
Donor 2021
Posts: 4112
Joined: 05 Jul 2012, 18:07
x 1300

Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

On a related tangent, I remember a documentary about 'global dimming'. All the pollution we've chucked up into the atmosphere is actually helping to filter out (and reflect back out into space) some of the sun's energy and helps to keep the global temperature down a gnats. If we cleaned up the atmosphere, then the temperature could go up. #-o