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Thread: Solar Panels in your country

  1. #1
    Member Surfer's Avatar
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    Smile Solar Panels in your country

    I think that Russia is industrially backward country.
    For example, we're using old(somewhere we using Soviet) filter technologies in our industrial factories, gasoline plants, gas and oil factories, etc.
    I've a specific question - solar batteries in your countries. US, Canada, Australia, Europe. May be China.

    It is not so cheap devices, but what about efficiency? People use it or not?

  2. #2
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    Planet Earth
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    In west EU people use it more and more, mainly because gov pay a part, it's possible to earn a home installation back in 6-10 years.

    Some till 2013 stats:

    Because solar panels only work when there is sun, there are experiments with underground battery houses (to expensive yet) in living areas, this way daily harvest solar energy can also be used in evenings and nights. Tesla Motor also come with a solution to give electric car batteries a different use in the dark

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    Surfer (3rd March 2015)

  4. #3
    Member just a worm's Avatar
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    Storing the energy of solar cells for later use is mostly relevant if you have an interest in beeing self-sufficient. The most power is drained from the grid during the day. So injecting the energy into the grid instead of storing it for a later use is more efficient because you have less losses. The big power plants provide the energy for the base load (stand by load). But the peak during the cooking time can't be served well by big power plants which need time to power up and time to power down (and also work inefficient during the power up/down time).

    Using batteries is still problematic till now. A car battery for example only lasts about 1 year if you use it in a electric car (often charge and discharge it completely and quickly).

    In Germany the government subsidized solar panels in the last years by forcing the grid maintainers to buy the energy from solar panel owners to a fixed price. Untill a few years ago there where much more new installations of solar panels in Germany compared with the neighbouring countries. But this price was dopping with every year and by now there aren't much new installations of solar panels in Germany anymore. The price was about 45 Euro-Cents per 1 kilowatt hour for energy from solar cells and about 9 Euro-Cents per 1 kilowatt hour from wind power plants. Nuclear power plants are still subsidized but it's much less clear what the amount is. The subsidization lies in research funds and disposal of radioactive waste. Coal mining is also subsidized in Germany. As long as there are subsidizations it's harder to judge whether a specific way to harvest energy is expensive. But solar cells probably still are expensive.

    But as we are talking about this topic: What do we actually do if our common methods to gain energy aren't available anymore in the future? Solar panels are expensive right now and nuclear power seems to be cheap but it looks as the worlds supplies of uranium are somewhat close to an end (!?).

    Here is a chart of the price for uranium of the last few years (I hope that the link works):

    At the beginning of 2011 there was quite a peak. The rising price could be stopped from rising back in then. It was (I believe) mainly because in this time a new and cheap method for extracting uranium from the ground in Kazakhstan started to throw enough uranium on the world marked to meet the demand again:
    Kazakh Uranium Production (taken from
    	2001: 2022 tonnes
    	2002: 2709 tonnes
    	2003: 2946 tonnes
    	2004: 3712 tonnes
    	2005: 4362 tonnes
    	2006: 5281 tonnes
    	2007: 6637 tonnes
    	2008: 8521 tonnes
    	2009: 14020 tonnes
    	2010: 17803 tonnes
    	2011: 19450 tonnes
    	2012: 21317 tonnes
    	2013: 22548 tonnes
    	2014: 22829 tonnes
    But this method really contaminates the ground with substances like ammoniac.

    Kazakhstan is now a major supplier of uranium for the worlds market but it seems as the production can't be extended much futher anymore while in the same time the speed in which the available uranium is beeing extracted and thereby decreases is high.

    The Japanese are probably powering up their nuclear power plants again (after they have been switched off after the incident in Fukushima) and the Chinese are building something like 3 or 4 new plants each with an output of about a Gigawatt per year.

    Maybe we are going to be forced to use solar panels, wind power plants and stuff like that in the near future independend of whether we like the prices. There are currently about 100 running nuclear power plants in the US alone, 58 in France, 17 in Germany, 23 in China (and another 26 currently under construction!!) and the "evil" Iran runs 1 nuclear power plant. If we start switching off nuclear power plants then we better come up with something because no mather wether you care about the environment: the most nuclear power plants have a huge output. The output is so huge that we can't just switch them off with no replacement and having no fear about a black out in the grid. The peak output of solar panels in the summer on a sunny day on a one family house is about 5 kilowatts. The constant (not just peak) output of a nuclear power plant is about 1 000 000 kilowatts.

    From wind power plants I read that the average output is about 13% of the maximum output. Of course it depends a little on where to place the wind power plant but that should give a rough number to show the difference between the average output and the maximum output (installed capacity).

    Saving energy is probably not only a matter to environmentalists but also for thouse who like to prevent (or at least reduce) the coming wars for energy. But I think we better come up with something (better: fewthings).
    Last edited by just a worm; 5th March 2015 at 03:12.

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    Surfer (5th March 2015)

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