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THE DARK SIDE OF SOLAR POWER


THE DARK SIDE OF SOLAR POWER02-12-2020 23:02
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
(3359)
https://hackaday.com/2020/12/02/the-dark-side-of-solar-power/

Everybody loves solar power, right? It's nice, clean, renewable energy that's available pretty much everywhere the sun shines. If only the panels weren't so expensive. Even better, solar is now the cheapest form of electricity for companies to build, according to the International Energy Agency. But solar isn't all apples and sunshine — there's a dark side you might not know about. Manufacturing solar panels is a dirty process from start to finish. Mining quartz for silicon causes the lung disease silicosis, and the production of solar cells uses a lot of energy, water, and toxic chemicals.

The other issue is that solar cells have a guanteed life expectancy of about 25 years, with average efficiency losses of 0.5% per year. If replacement begins after 25 years, time is running out for all the panels that were installed during the early 2000s boom. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA) projects that by 2050, we'll be looking at 78 million metric tons of bulky e-waste. The IREA also believe that we'll be generating six million metric tons of new solar e-waste every year by then, too. Unfortunately, there are hardly any measures in place to recycle solar panels, at least in the US.

How are solar panels made, anyway? And why is it so hard to recycle them? Let's shed some light on the subject.


More of the story at the link, this was just a little teaser...

There are quite a few comments, many are amusing, from people who obviously have never built anything. The dedication to solar panels is amazing, and they just don't seem to grasp that they don't produce a whole lot of electricity.
02-12-2020 23:05
keepit
★★★★★
(2235)
Good post Harvey.
I like nat gas from fracking myself.
And then a reduction in GDP.
03-12-2020 01:51
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
(3359)
Guessing you didn't read the article... All the hardcore 'green' people, who jumped in on solar early, have been saving less on their electric bill every year, and it's cumulative. The 26 year rating, is best case, under ideal conditions. Some of the materials can be recovered, but the silicon cells, are useless. Takes a whole lot of energy to manufacture solar panels, and quite a bit to recover, and reuse the glass and frame. lot of toxic chemicals as byproducts. Might be renewable, but not really cheap, or 'green', as advertised.
03-12-2020 04:22
IBdaMannProfile picture★★★★★
(9071)
HarveyH55 wrote:
Guessing you didn't read the article... All the hardcore 'green' people, who jumped in on solar early, have been saving less on their electric bill every year, and it's cumulative. The 26 year rating, is best case, under ideal conditions. Some of the materials can be recovered, but the silicon cells, are useless. Takes a whole lot of energy to manufacture solar panels, and quite a bit to recover, and reuse the glass and frame. lot of toxic chemicals as byproducts. Might be renewable, but not really cheap, or 'green', as advertised.

My position is that the best way to harness solar energy is through trees which use the sun's energy to grow ... and then we can cut them down and burn them for fuel ... or use the wood for a host of other applications if we find that we don't need to burn it for fuel.

Jussayn.

.


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
03-12-2020 10:32
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
(3359)
I remember the great gas shortage in he 70s, and solar power was going to be the technology of the future. 50 years later, it hasn't really improved, just bigger, cheaper, greater marketing hype. Still the same people on the fringe, the off-grid folks, who make the change by choice. The vast majority, are being forced into it, or conned into it. Solar never evolved into a better energy source, which most people would gladly, eagerly, switch over to. Vastly inferior to most anything else available, people just settle for less, out of the fear mongering, and belief it's cleaner, a planet saver. The article, although I'm sure that it wasn't the intent. Illustrates that it's not even the clean, green solution, it's being marketed.
03-12-2020 19:42
Xadoman
★★★☆☆
(430)
People go grazy if they get something for free. Solar energy appears free energy. I once had some very small wind turbine made of an alternator of the car. I bought it from some guy who had a drinking problem. My uncle put it up and got his little light bulb glowing. He was so happy playing with it. Once there was a heavy wind and the alternator fell down , the wanes got quite badly damaged. I put the whole package on the sale and at the same evening some very enthusiastic guy called and eventually bought the thing. I delivered it to him and he payed a good price for it. I was amazed how easily I got rid of this junk.
Edited on 03-12-2020 19:45
03-12-2020 21:23
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(15480)
HarveyH55 wrote:
I remember the great gas shortage in he 70s, and solar power was going to be the technology of the future. 50 years later, it hasn't really improved, just bigger, cheaper, greater marketing hype. Still the same people on the fringe, the off-grid folks, who make the change by choice. The vast majority, are being forced into it, or conned into it. Solar never evolved into a better energy source, which most people would gladly, eagerly, switch over to. Vastly inferior to most anything else available, people just settle for less, out of the fear mongering, and belief it's cleaner, a planet saver. The article, although I'm sure that it wasn't the intent. Illustrates that it's not even the clean, green solution, it's being marketed.

The Great Gas Shortage was a direct result of President Carter instituting price controls on gasoline.

Price controls do not work. They always cause shortages.

Wage controls do the same thing. They cause a shortage of jobs.


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

nuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan
03-12-2020 23:16
keepit
★★★★★
(2235)
The gas shortages of the 70's were caused by opec disrupting oil supplies. Look it up using google.
03-12-2020 23:18
IBdaMannProfile picture★★★★★
(9071)
keepit wrote: The gas shortages of the 70's were caused by opec disrupting oil supplies. Look it up using google.

How about I just call it up from memory?

Yes, ... it turns out that there was no crisis. We brought all those problems onto ourselves.

.


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
03-12-2020 23:45
gfm7175Profile picture★★★★★
(2042)
IBdaMann wrote:
keepit wrote: The gas shortages of the 70's were caused by opec disrupting oil supplies. Look it up using google.

How about I just call it up from memory?

Yes, ... it turns out that there was no crisis. We brought all those problems onto ourselves.

.

I unfortunately can't do that... I wasn't born until the 90s rolled around...


However, I do understand, as ITN so kindly pointed out, that price controls lead to shortages.
04-12-2020 00:08
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
(3359)
keepit wrote:
The gas shortages of the 70's were caused by opec disrupting oil supplies. Look it up using google.


So, what's your point? People got scared (democrats are good at that), and didn't want to be a slave to the fuel pump. The price of gas went way up, if you could handle the lines, and possibly missing out. Some people just had enough of government control over energy prices.

Solar fell short of the sales pitch back then, and continues to disappoint.
04-12-2020 00:54
keepit
★★★★★
(2235)
One of the 6 rules of propaganda is to blame the predecessor. The point is don't use propaganda.
Edited on 04-12-2020 01:26
04-12-2020 03:08
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(15480)
keepit wrote:
The gas shortages of the 70's were caused by opec disrupting oil supplies. Look it up using google.

Google is not God. False authority fallacy.

OPEC disruption fell apart almost immediately. One or two of the members started undercutting the others. Gas prices went up temporarily during the crisis. There was plenty of gasoline and other oil products available.

Jimmy Carter imposed price controls on gasoline instead of letting the market correct itself. The result the stations were being asked to sell gasoline for less than they paid for it. So...they sat on it. Result: long lines, and 'rationing'.


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

nuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan
04-12-2020 03:09
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(15480)
keepit wrote:
One of the 6 rules of propaganda is to blame the predecessor. The point is don't use propaganda.


Random statement.


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

nuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan
04-12-2020 13:18
CharlieScott
☆☆☆☆☆
(2)
Xadoman wrote:
People go grazy if they get something for free. Solar energy appears free energy. I once had some very small wind turbine made of an alternator of the car. I bought it from some guy who had a drinking problem. My uncle put it up and got his little light bulb glowing. He was so happy playing with it. Once there was a heavy wind and the alternator fell down , the wanes got quite badly damaged. I put the whole package on the sale and at the same evening some very enthusiastic guy called and eventually bought the thing. I delivered it to him and he payed a good price for it. I was amazed how easily I got rid of this junk.


I agree with you. They advertise it as free, but they don't talk about the high cost of setting it up. First one has to buy the panels, which used to be very expensive. Now, thanks to China, they come much cheaper. Then one needs to buy the batteries, which are much more expensive than the panels. One also has to watch the weather through proper apps like climacell or aeris. By the time one gets everything set up, something blows, so they have to repair or replace it. Where is the free??
04-12-2020 20:04
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(15480)
CharlieScott wrote:
Xadoman wrote:
People go grazy if they get something for free. Solar energy appears free energy. I once had some very small wind turbine made of an alternator of the car. I bought it from some guy who had a drinking problem. My uncle put it up and got his little light bulb glowing. He was so happy playing with it. Once there was a heavy wind and the alternator fell down , the wanes got quite badly damaged. I put the whole package on the sale and at the same evening some very enthusiastic guy called and eventually bought the thing. I delivered it to him and he payed a good price for it. I was amazed how easily I got rid of this junk.


I agree with you. They advertise it as free, but they don't talk about the high cost of setting it up. First one has to buy the panels, which used to be very expensive. Now, thanks to China, they come much cheaper. Then one needs to buy the batteries, which are much more expensive than the panels. One also has to watch the weather through proper apps like climacell or aeris. By the time one gets everything set up, something blows, so they have to repair or replace it. Where is the free??

Even with China making them, solar panels are still expensive.

They are fragile too. You can't walk on them like you can anywhere else on a roof. Snow, ice, dust, leaves, pine needles, moss, critters, etc. all damage solar panels and their wiring. This causes them to fail much sooner than the 25 year lifespan they advertise. They also require periodic maintenance for these reasons as well.


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

nuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan
04-12-2020 22:55
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
(3359)
CharlieScott wrote:
Xadoman wrote:
People go grazy if they get something for free. Solar energy appears free energy. I once had some very small wind turbine made of an alternator of the car. I bought it from some guy who had a drinking problem. My uncle put it up and got his little light bulb glowing. He was so happy playing with it. Once there was a heavy wind and the alternator fell down , the wanes got quite badly damaged. I put the whole package on the sale and at the same evening some very enthusiastic guy called and eventually bought the thing. I delivered it to him and he payed a good price for it. I was amazed how easily I got rid of this junk.


I agree with you. They advertise it as free, but they don't talk about the high cost of setting it up. First one has to buy the panels, which used to be very expensive. Now, thanks to China, they come much cheaper. Then one needs to buy the batteries, which are much more expensive than the panels. One also has to watch the weather through proper apps like climacell or aeris. By the time one gets everything set up, something blows, so they have to repair or replace it. Where is the free??


The panels still work out to be expensive, since most all are installed in a fixed mounting. The sun doesn't travel exactly the same path across the sky, everyday, the entire year. You have to buy nearly twice as many panels, to ensure you get enough power to keep your battery fully charged, daily, the whole year. Mostly, they were only cheap, while the Obama subsidies lasted.

Lead-acid batteries don't last long, if you don't keep the charged. Even the deep cycle batteries need to be kept charged. We kill a lot of batteries at work, every year, because many never get a full charge very often. Some of it is that they are bad batteries (rebuilt), but mostly, we run more power equipment, than we have batteries on the chargers. Gets worse, every battery that fails, since we only buy batteries once a year, or we start losing production.
05-12-2020 01:16
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(15480)
HarveyH55 wrote:
CharlieScott wrote:
Xadoman wrote:
People go grazy if they get something for free. Solar energy appears free energy. I once had some very small wind turbine made of an alternator of the car. I bought it from some guy who had a drinking problem. My uncle put it up and got his little light bulb glowing. He was so happy playing with it. Once there was a heavy wind and the alternator fell down , the wanes got quite badly damaged. I put the whole package on the sale and at the same evening some very enthusiastic guy called and eventually bought the thing. I delivered it to him and he payed a good price for it. I was amazed how easily I got rid of this junk.


I agree with you. They advertise it as free, but they don't talk about the high cost of setting it up. First one has to buy the panels, which used to be very expensive. Now, thanks to China, they come much cheaper. Then one needs to buy the batteries, which are much more expensive than the panels. One also has to watch the weather through proper apps like climacell or aeris. By the time one gets everything set up, something blows, so they have to repair or replace it. Where is the free??


The panels still work out to be expensive, since most all are installed in a fixed mounting. The sun doesn't travel exactly the same path across the sky, everyday, the entire year. You have to buy nearly twice as many panels, to ensure you get enough power to keep your battery fully charged, daily, the whole year. Mostly, they were only cheap, while the Obama subsidies lasted.

Lead-acid batteries don't last long, if you don't keep the charged. Even the deep cycle batteries need to be kept charged. We kill a lot of batteries at work, every year, because many never get a full charge very often. Some of it is that they are bad batteries (rebuilt), but mostly, we run more power equipment, than we have batteries on the chargers. Gets worse, every battery that fails, since we only buy batteries once a year, or we start losing production.

With proper maintenance and care, a lead acid cell will last about five years. If you leave 'em only partially charged, it will be less.


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

nuclear powered ships do not require nuclear fuel. - Swan




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