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Efficiency of solar panels and windmills


Efficiency of solar panels and windmills23-01-2020 20:19
Xadoman
★★☆☆☆
(280)
I see a lot of people installing solar panels onto their house roof. I have always had a gut feeling that those things barely break even considering the initial production costs and maintenance cost during useful life. Am I wrong? Should I invest in solar panels and start to sell electricity?
I have the same feeling about the windmills. I have been in the generator room in one of those things and I can not even imagine the trouble when something big needs to be replaced. The generator was 90 meter from the ground. I saw the production numbers from one of those big windmill parks and according to this it takes 20 years to beak even the construction costs. Considering also the maintenance costs and it seems to me that the break even is near the end of useful life of the windmill.
23-01-2020 20:48
IBdaMannProfile picture★★★★★
(7472)
Xadoman wrote: I see a lot of people installing solar panels onto their house roof. I have always had a gut feeling that those things barely break even considering the initial production costs and maintenance cost during useful life. Am I wrong? Should I invest in solar panels and start to sell electricity?


Your question is isomorphic to "Should I pray facing Mecca."

Do you believe in Islam? Do you believe in Greenhouse Effect?

Outside of religion, if it's not worth the effort then obviously you should NOT do it.

Within the religion, yes, you absolutely should install solar panels and fight Global Warming and yes, you should definitely submit to Allah and the call to prayer five times per day, facing Mecca.


.


A Spaghetti strainer with the faucet running, retains water- tmiddles

Clouds don't trap heat. Clouds block cold. - Spongy Iris

Printing dollars to pay debt doesn't increase the number of dollars. - keepit

If Venus were a black body it would have a much much lower temperature than what we found there.- tmiddles

Ah the "Valid Data" myth of ITN/IBD. - tmiddles

Ceist - I couldn't agree with you more. But when money and religion are involved, and there are people who value them above all else, then the lies begin. - trafn

You are completely misunderstanding their use of the word "accumulation"! - Climate Scientist.

The Stefan-Boltzman equation doesn't come up with the correct temperature if greenhouse gases are not considered - Hank

:*sigh* Not the "raw data" crap. - Leafsdude

IB STILL hasn't explained what Planck's Law means. Just more hand waving that it applies to everything and more asserting that the greenhouse effect 'violates' it.- Ceist
23-01-2020 21:33
HarveyH55
★★★★★
(2415)
Mostly windmills and solar panels, are like shrines, to remind everyone the end is near, and we should all be doing something. Most people got solar panels, when there were tax incentives, and subsidies. Not sure what's still available. Most of those systems are grid-tied, meaning that the power generated, goes out on the grid, your house still runs off the grid, you get a discount, based on your production. These panels are stationary, and can't be adjusted by season, or track the sun throughout the day. Yours won't be as productive, as claimed. Since your are selling your power, it's income, you get to pay taxes.

It is odd, that there has been any mass weather related damage. I remember one hail storm we had, maybe 20-25 years ago, that destroy a lot of cars at a dealership, mostly. Broken glass, huge dents. I've been hoping to see some of the commercial panels broken, and just waiting to be hauled off. A panel, is really a bunch of cells, that produce about 0.5 volts each. You can do some soldering, and still get some use out of them.

Basically though, solar panels are only at the optimal angle, for a few hours a day, most the time, they aren't producing what they are rated for. Windmills are about the same, the wind doesn't blow hard enough constantly. Never ideal conditions, always disappointing return, but it's 'green' energy, and 'free', if you ignore a few expenses...
23-01-2020 22:11
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(13301)
There are a lot more effective ways to generate electricity. If you want to invest in them, buy an oil well, natural gas well, or a coal mine.

You can also buy shares in each of these, if you don't have enough to buy the whole thing.
23-01-2020 22:13
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(13301)
HarveyH55 wrote:
Mostly windmills and solar panels, are like shrines, to remind everyone the end is near, and we should all be doing something. Most people got solar panels, when there were tax incentives, and subsidies. Not sure what's still available. Most of those systems are grid-tied, meaning that the power generated, goes out on the grid, your house still runs off the grid, you get a discount, based on your production. These panels are stationary, and can't be adjusted by season, or track the sun throughout the day. Yours won't be as productive, as claimed. Since your are selling your power, it's income, you get to pay taxes.

It is odd, that there has been any mass weather related damage. I remember one hail storm we had, maybe 20-25 years ago, that destroy a lot of cars at a dealership, mostly. Broken glass, huge dents. I've been hoping to see some of the commercial panels broken, and just waiting to be hauled off. A panel, is really a bunch of cells, that produce about 0.5 volts each. You can do some soldering, and still get some use out of them.

Basically though, solar panels are only at the optimal angle, for a few hours a day, most the time, they aren't producing what they are rated for. Windmills are about the same, the wind doesn't blow hard enough constantly. Never ideal conditions, always disappointing return, but it's 'green' energy, and 'free', if you ignore a few expenses...


Those tax subsidies and grants are still available, especially if you live in the SOTC. The SOTC itself provides for several of these grants and subsidies.


The Parrot Killer

Debunked in my sig. - tmiddles

Google keeps track of paranoid talk and i'm not on their list. I've been evaluated and certified. - keepit
Edited on 23-01-2020 22:13
23-01-2020 23:27
Xadoman
★★☆☆☆
(280)
t is odd, that there has been any mass weather related damage. I remember one hail storm we had, maybe 20-25 years ago, that destroy a lot of cars at a dealership, mostly. Broken glass, huge dents. I've been hoping to see some of the commercial panels broken, and just waiting to be hauled off. A panel, is really a bunch of cells, that produce about 0.5 volts each. You can do some soldering, and still get some use out of them.


I do not know why but every time I see solar panels on the roof I think about kids who would like to throw rocks at them just for fun. I have not heard about such incidents though.

Basically though, solar panels are only at the optimal angle, for a few hours a day, most the time, they aren't producing what they are rated for.


We have very little sun in the winter time. Just when electricity is needed the most. But in forums the users praise their solar panels and tell everyone how cheaply they can heat their house, get warm water etc etc. They talk a lot about going off-grid. It is like some kind of desired destinaton- to go offgrid. They do not realize that going off-grid means pertrol or diesel generator and the cost of electricity is going to be a lot higher this way.
24-01-2020 00:16
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(13301)
Xadoman wrote:
t is odd, that there has been any mass weather related damage. I remember one hail storm we had, maybe 20-25 years ago, that destroy a lot of cars at a dealership, mostly. Broken glass, huge dents. I've been hoping to see some of the commercial panels broken, and just waiting to be hauled off. A panel, is really a bunch of cells, that produce about 0.5 volts each. You can do some soldering, and still get some use out of them.

They do get broken. They also wear out. Sunlight itself is actually somewhat destructive to the things, eventually causing the semiconductor junction to fail through the slow but inevitable neutralization of the doping material. Replacing a panel does not make the news.
Xadoman wrote:
I do not know why but every time I see solar panels on the roof I think about kids who would like to throw rocks at them just for fun. I have not heard about such incidents though.

Hailstorms and sand storms do destroy solar cells. I suppose kids have thrown rocks on them, but they don't make the news.
Xadoman wrote:
[quote]Basically though, solar panels are only at the optimal angle, for a few hours a day, most the time, they aren't producing what they are rated for.

True, especially in winter months or during the nighttime, when heating requirements are highest and electricity demands are highest.

You can ballast the system using batteries, but they only hold so much, are bulky, and are expensive.


The Parrot Killer

Debunked in my sig. - tmiddles

Google keeps track of paranoid talk and i'm not on their list. I've been evaluated and certified. - keepit
Edited on 24-01-2020 00:16
24-01-2020 03:30
tmiddlesProfile picture★★★★★
(3376)
Xadoman wrote:Should I invest in solar panels and start to sell electricity?
Personally I think they are ugly. Maybe it could mesh with a very modernist house but that's about it.

I rented a studio space once where they had a huge electric bill and had installed them. They claimed they would end up making quite a bit in the long run. That is counting on no maintenance/repair/replacement though I'm sure.
24-01-2020 03:39
HarveyH55
★★★★★
(2415)
Xadoman wrote:
t is odd, that there has been any mass weather related damage. I remember one hail storm we had, maybe 20-25 years ago, that destroy a lot of cars at a dealership, mostly. Broken glass, huge dents. I've been hoping to see some of the commercial panels broken, and just waiting to be hauled off. A panel, is really a bunch of cells, that produce about 0.5 volts each. You can do some soldering, and still get some use out of them.


I do not know why but every time I see solar panels on the roof I think about kids who would like to throw rocks at them just for fun. I have not heard about such incidents though.

Basically though, solar panels are only at the optimal angle, for a few hours a day, most the time, they aren't producing what they are rated for.


I think you'll find that most people aren't successful going off the grid. It's difficult to generate a lot of electricity. They also need to greatly reduce their energy use, and make the most efficient use of what they do generate. Not as simple as simply generating your own electricity, it's a change of lifestyle as well.

We have very little sun in the winter time. Just when electricity is needed the most. But in forums the users praise their solar panels and tell everyone how cheaply they can heat their house, get warm water etc etc. They talk a lot about going off-grid. It is like some kind of desired destinaton- to go offgrid. They do not realize that going off-grid means pertrol or diesel generator and the cost of electricity is going to be a lot higher this way.




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