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Hootowl
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 01:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

How about dried up old socialists? We have a few of those.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 01:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The solar panels down the road have zero output these last few days. Covered in snow, then freezing rain, then more snow.


But..but...it's GREEN. And RENEWABLE. Nevermind that pesky *weather*...or all the silver and chemicals used while manufacturing the panels and the batteries...it's the RIGHT way to provide light, and heat, and comfort, for you and your family. Sometimes.

These morons actually want to un-do the entire Industrial Revolution. They want it to be Back to the Future III...but not just for two people, they want the whole damned NATION to revert to old-west levels of tech, comfort, and safety.

But a serious comment here - aren't most current residential/industrial panels coming with heated lenses now, or at least warm water circulation circuits, to prevent snow buildup? They do in my region (western Maryland)...
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Ebutch
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 02:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)







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Aesquire
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 02:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

https://spectator.org/the-green-red-deal/

Heated solar panels? Run on coal, no doubt. I haven't seen that locally, but they'll be nuclear powered, and from Niagara Falls.

These are in a clearing, a fresh clear cut in the woods, South side of the street, so they do put out some juice after 10 am in winter, when they aren't snow covered. I'd bet $10 that keeping them snow free would cost more power than they produce.

I don't know the financial arrangement, or who paid what, but I can safely bet my tax dollars are at work, giving someone something.

Btw, if you visit Niagara Falls, check out the power plant tours. There's more than one, plus the Tesla museum ( which I have not visited, it's been under development & closed the last few times I've ridden by.) The tours are a bit lame, but there are some interesting bits.

Or just do the Casino. ; )

I do highly recommend the Ontario Science center in Toronto.

And in Detroit, the Henry Ford museum is a must. Eat a hearty breakfast, & Plan to arrive as they open, and dinner after they kick you out. 1 day isn't enough.

Henry knew his revolution would destroy the old America, and actively searched for exhibits for his museum to preserve the past.

And as you visit, notice the Greek column designs holding the roof up are actually radiators wrapped around concrete covered steel beams.
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Gregtonn
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Corn stalks require less drying.
If you are referring to fully ripened corn harvested for grain there is no drying required for stalks or grain.
As with most fuels dryer tends to be cleaner.

You don't burn freshly cut dent corn kernels either.
When you say cut it sounds like you are referring corn silage.

Solar panels.
Unless and until a single solar panel can generate more power than is needed to manufacture another solar panel of equal or greater power output they are neither green nor renewable.

G
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Ratbuell
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 03:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Like I said, around here most panels circulate hot water (from your water heater)...which...as we know...uses more of the power that they aren't generating on a cloudy day anyway.

Unless and until a single solar panel can generate more power than is needed to manufacture another solar panel of equal or greater power output they are neither green nor renewable.


That's a good metric. If a panel generates enough electricity over its usable lifespan to create its own replacement, AND have excess power production to boot...they're worthwhile.

But...they don't.
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Aesquire
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

That's a valid if somewhat Meta way to look at it.

For some applications, like, oh, a Space Station, solar makes sense. At least out to Mars orbit, and most of the Belt. Get out towards Neptune, though, and it's a total waste of mass.

Or Germany. Or Rochester. But even here in cloudy country, a solar panel is good for recharging a battery on a roadside emergency phone, or a low power weather station.

And with all of us chipping in, ( at gunpoint ) in AZ you can run a house with the minor investment of, what? a Mercedes limo? A King Ranch Ford? The cost of my house?

It's not an evil technology. It's just not a panacea.

The folk that would force you to use it? They are evil. And never forget, they don't see that. The kind of mind that can say that they would take away your motorcycle to save the planet for the Children, and that Mother Earth demands you be their slave.... but they don't see it that way.

Enlightening such people is problematic. It may be the greatest challenge of our time.
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Aesquire
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 04:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

As to corn... my knowledge may be obsolete, and/or we are talking at cross understandings. I'll go with what you said.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 05:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Maryland (my region) actually has state subsidies for solar installations on homes. Technically...my garage is in an "ideal" position/alignment, and I have plenty of square footage (along with a 200A panel in the workshop to tie into). Thing is...I don't want to have to put a new roof on the garage before the install (a loophole - they require brand new shingles before they mount the setup), and I'm not quite sure about where I'd put batteries, or how I'd maintain them (can they freeze? have to be climate controlled?). What would be my ROI, if I let the state pay for the system and simply reaped the electrical "benefits"? Would I be responsible for repairs or updates down the road? What's the *actual* output / electric bill savings?

And...when my house and garage need re-roofed...I REALLY want to go metal, and they will not install on metal roofs. But I guess out of sight on the backside of the garage slope...I could go metal on the visible side...I don't know.

Has anyone here done solar? Not as a "green" thing, but as a "well, it might save me some electric bill money" thing?
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Ebutch
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)



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Sifo
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 08:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I've actually looked into solar panels in the past few weeks. I haven't run across any with heaters to keep the snow off, but I've been looking more for something to mount on an RV. (Very different goals) We do have a new solar array (probably over 5 acres in size) that was installed a bit over a year ago not far from my house. I see the panels covered with snow all the time in the winter. I'm guessing either heated panels aren't available for some reason, or it simply doesn't pay to heat them in our area.

For a home array, unless you are trying to live off-grid, forget battery storage. You simply don't need to store it and can sell excess power back to the electric company at retail prices. That's insane, and not economically sustainable, but it's the laws we currently have. If you want to get some realistic idea of how much power to expect from a solar panel in your area, here's a link to a calculator that will give some answers based on your zip code... https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/index.php

When discussing solar as "green energy", one thing I haven't really seen discussed much is the seasonal variance. The above link shows the seasonal variance, and it's BIG! So to power the nation in the winter would mean a huge oversupply in the summer. I don't really think we ever need to worry about being oversupplied with solar energy though. There's just too many other hurdles to ever get to that point.
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Sifo
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Smoking cannabis in your teens IS linked to depression in later life: Major study reveals drug 'damages children's brains' and half a MILLION adults could avoid mental-health disorder if they had turned down marijuana
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Gregtonn
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 09:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Solar.
It's not an evil technology. It's just not a panacea.

I don't think anyone here said it is evil or doesn't have its uses.
And yes it is quite useful in satellite applications.
I have no idea why you would think that it isn't useful beyond Mars obit. Perhaps you could enlighten me.

Another consideration with regard to home solar panels is if you live an area prone to severe hail storms.
Also in areas like where I live in Arizona we often have light rain and wind which leaves solar panels coated with a dust film, significantly reducing efficiency.

G
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Aesquire
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Out past Mars the sun is too dim. Simple physics.

Every gram out into orbit is expensive.

Every gram you carry on a space probe/ship/resupply pod takes fuel to move. That fuel takes fuel to move. The fuel tanks need to be larger to carry more fuel which takes more fuel to move, that extra fuel takes fuel......... It's the classic weight spiral that engineers can't wish away.

It's as true for an airplane as a space probe, ask any designer.

A solar panel is dead weight when the solar flux is below a certain value. At some distance the Sun is just a bright star and total photons are about the same if you point your solar panels at the Milky Way. No current technology craft bother with solar out system.

If you just look at pictures, you see even NASA just gives up and goes to Plutonium decay heat engines as they get past Jupiter.

For a probe that spends a lot of it's life sling shot maneuvering in the inner system, like repeated passes by Venus to get a boost to the outer system, you will see solar arrays, depending on a lot of math. Lots & lots of math.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

RV solar has come a long way in the last few years. Panels are more durable, flexible (!), and have significantly higher wattage output compared to even 5 years ago.

Are you looking for storage-maintenance on the batteries? 12v power? Or 110V? Check out Airstream (motorized/Mercedes Sprinter) and Pleasure-Way (also Sprinter-based) for some of their system ideas. IIRC when I was selling them, they were some of the most cutting-edge setups as far as capacity and integration...

For panel heat: http://nextstepelectric.com/technology/solar-panel warmer-system/
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Gregtonn
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 11:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Simple physics?
Jupiter is a bit farther out than Mars.

To date, solar power, other than for propulsion, has been practical for spacecraft operating no farther from the Sun than the orbit of Jupiter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panels_on_spac ecraft

G
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Gregtonn
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 11:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

It's the classic weight spiral that engineers can't wish away.

It's as true for an airplane as a space probe, ask any designer.


I have to go no farther than the seat in front of my keyboard to ask.
I was a design engineer for many satellites including Space Station.

G
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Aesquire
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

You miss by one stinking planet & they never let you forget! You'd think I mixed meters & feet!

I'm working on a pt103 flying wing. The original engine chosen has been discontinued, and now I have to redo all the weight and balance work. Luckily I haven't begun construction of the fuselage so I haven't made that much scrap. But first, chose a new engine.
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Gregtonn
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 05:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Yep.
That's the thing about satellites, you got to know your stuff and get it right the first time.
Unless of course you're the ... that decided not to test the mirror on the Hubble space telescope.
Then you spend hundreds of millions to put spectacles on it.

G
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Aesquire
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 05:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I worked for the company that made the backup mirror for Hubble. Ours was fine. I worked with a guy at a different company who had worked for the guys that built the bum mirror. Small planet.

First time.... Go Vanguard!
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Sifo
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Are you looking for storage-maintenance on the batteries? 12v power? Or 110V? Check out Airstream (motorized/Mercedes Sprinter) and Pleasure-Way (also Sprinter-based) for some of their system ideas. IIRC when I was selling them, they were some of the most cutting-edge setups as far as capacity and integration...

I'm just looking to extend the time between having to run a generator when boon-docking. It's already got a roof rack that I have no plans to use that would make it simple to attach solar panels. I'm near enough to the towing capacity on the Jeep that I don't want to just add more battery capacity. Solar seems to make sense.

So clearly solar panels can be heated to melt the snow. It still begs the question of why are they not doing it in the real world in this area. I'm guessing it just isn't cost effective with the amount of snow we get vs. the low potential of the sun during the winter months. Of course, this has me wondering about the effectiveness of solar in this area to begin with. Of course we do have high electric costs, so that may factor in. It still doesn't make sense to me to have such a seasonal energy source though.
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Aesquire
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2019-2-7- the-climate-scare-ever-more-shrill-ever-less-serio us

Too bad there are never repercussions for making end of the world predictions that don't come true.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 11:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

If you're boondocking, and use LP for your fridge and water heater (both large 12v draws), you can absolutely get nice-sized panels to back up / heavy-trickle-charge the batteries. Also make sure you've got deep cycle batteries on board, not AGMs or lead-acid. Folks like to swap them out for "cheaper" auto-style batteries and get about half the runtime and a quarter of the lifespan as a quality deep-cycle.

Mount 'em flat on the roof, behind the a/c unit (helps keep wind from trying to peel them). Caulk the snot out of the gaps and mount holes, and add those spots to your annual re-seal...
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Sifo
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

If you're boondocking, and use LP for your fridge and water heater (both large 12v draws), you can absolutely get nice-sized panels to back up / heavy-trickle-charge the batteries. Also make sure you've got deep cycle batteries on board, not AGMs or lead-acid. Folks like to swap them out for "cheaper" auto-style batteries and get about half the runtime and a quarter of the lifespan as a quality deep-cycle.

Check on all of the above.

Mount 'em flat on the roof, behind the a/c unit (helps keep wind from trying to peel them). Caulk the snot out of the gaps and mount holes, and add those spots to your annual re-seal...

Would flat mounting to the roof rack be OK or would the air turbulence destroy them? I hate the idea of putting holes in the roof, but maybe it's the best way to go.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 12:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

What's your roof, rubber or fiberglass? Dicor rocks - it's a self-leveling sealant, think "marshmallow fluff". Glob it on (nobody sees the roof anyway), and it'll settle into the nooks and surround the hardware and holes. When it starts to dry, shrink, and get cracks, lay another layer on top of it (you only have to scrape out loose bits before a re-seal, but if it's all tight and just dried out, you can glob on top of it).

I wouldn't support just the edges, the panels will flop and flex and crack. Lay 'em flat on the roof. Depending how thick/heavy they are, you could even attach them ONLY with Dicor - heavy huge dollops on the corners, with a good bead all around the edges to seal against air and water. Think "attaching luaun panels" - give a bunch of passes of adhesive/Dicor, lay/press (gently!) the panel onto those for base adhesion, then do the corners and edges to seal against air and water.
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Sifo
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 01:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The roof is AZDEL. http://www.forestriverinc.com/brochures/0000/0000A zdelTowablesFlyer.pdf Dicor sounds like what the factory sealed things with. I won't say that it looks great, but it looks like it will keep water out pretty well. Thanks for the advice. I've got time to think through what I'll do.
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Sifo
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 07:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So there's a lady at work who's been living off grid for 6 years now. She's told me many times that if they want to watch a movie, they have to fire up the generator. Today I asked her if she ever looked into solar. She said they did more than look into it. They had a small system installed (2 panels, she didn't know the wattage though), and a battery bank. In the summer, it does a good job for them. Of course, they don't have much electronics, and it stays light past 10:00 PM around here in the summer. In the winter though, she said they get enough power to run a light bulb for a few hours. I did ask about the lighting set up, and it's 120 volt AC running from a small inverter. Basically, according to her and their situation, it's too worthless to add on to to get the power they need when they need it most. Keeping it clear of snow is a PITA too. They also looked into a home sized windmill, but have been told that her site isn't suitable for wind power.

Then she told me of her sister's solar adventure. They had a company install a larger system on their house that was "guaranteed" to make money selling excess power to the power company. She claimed their first bill with the new solar system went up over $300. Told the company to come uninstall the system ASAP! Frankly, I really don't understand how that could be, but wasn't going to argue the point with a co-worker. It's anecdotal information that wasn't a first hand story, so who knows where the truth lies on it.

It's pretty clear to me that there are situations that simply will not work well with solar. Requiring it, like CA is doing with all new houses is incredibly stupid. Do your homework, and you might find it's suitable for your situation. It might not be. At 45 degrees N latitude, in an area with lots of lake effect snow fall, I'm pretty convinced that it's hard to make it work. In a sunny southern location with good exposure it could work out well. It's worth doing your homework before jumping in.

I simply don't see solar on houses in our area. I'm curious though, any of you see it happening in your neck of the woods? With the claimed pay back, I would think they would quite popular in some areas.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Quite a few homes around here have rooftop panels. Not sure if it's cost-savings on the electric bills, or state-subsidies on the installations, that's doing it...
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