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Thread: The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

  1. Top | #351
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I do not see how any intelligent person would resist alternative energy where feasible.
    Cost, reliability, and convenience.

    If power from the grid is much cheaper and more reliable than going off grid then I don't see why any reasonable person would choose to do so. Currently, in my case, installing alternative energy sources would be a hell of a lot more expensive and a hell of a lot more trouble than being connected to the power company. Well, on the other hand there are the preppers that keep preparing for the collapse of western civilization.
    Cost in a new house incrementally is not an issue, and it adds resale value.
    Reliability is not an issue. Redundancy is simple.
    Inconvenient is power outages depending on where you live.

    The grid as it is now is not reliable and prone to malicious interference. It is a patchwork that was cobbled together over time with no coherent strategy.

  2. Top | #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I do not see how any intelligent person would resist alternative energy where feasible.
    Cost, reliability, and convenience.

    If power from the grid is much cheaper and more reliable than going off grid then I don't see why any reasonable person would choose to do so. Currently, in my case, installing alternative energy sources would be a hell of a lot more expensive and a hell of a lot more trouble than being connected to the power company. Well, on the other hand there are the preppers that keep preparing for the collapse of western civilization.
    Cost in a new house incrementally is not an issue, and it adds resale value.
    Cost wouldn't be in issue if cost was of no concern. However, most people are concerned with cost.
    Reliability is not an issue. Redundancy is simple.
    Surely you are not claiming that there is zero failure rate for off grid power systems. Redundancy is simple but more expensive especially if you are advocating installing two completely separate and independent power and control systems.
    Inconvenient is power outages depending on where you live.
    Again, back to your implied assertion of zero failure rate for off grid power systems? And then there is the inconvenience and expense of periodic maintenance and repairs that those on the grid never worry about.
    The grid as it is now is not reliable and prone to malicious interference. It is a patchwork that was cobbled together over time with no coherent strategy.
    Aha. If you are a prepper then the collapse of western civilization is a concern that living off grid could help ease.

  3. Top | #353
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post

    Cost in a new house incrementally is not an issue, and it adds resale value.
    Cost wouldn't be in issue if cost was of no concern. However, most people are concerned with cost.
    Reliability is not an issue. Redundancy is simple.
    Surely you are not claiming that there is zero failure rate for off grid power systems. Redundancy is simple but more expensive especially if you are advocating installing two completely separate and independent power and control systems.
    Inconvenient is power outages depending on where you live.
    Again, back to your implied assertion of zero failure rate for off grid power systems? And then there is the inconvenience and expense of periodic maintenance and repairs that those on the grid never worry about.
    The grid as it is now is not reliable and prone to malicious interference. It is a patchwork that was cobbled together over time with no coherent strategy.
    Aha. If you are a prepper then the collapse of western civilization is a concern that living off grid could help ease.
    You misread. Tat our grid is in serious trouble is a common issue, not breaking news.

    Given all our welth we do not [lan for emergencies.

    I posted limks to blackouts and social breakdown in NYC on natural scince.

    On the contry people seem to think tomoorow, next month, and next year will be there with food, water, and electricity as a kind of ignorant faith.

    We are in the middle of a great experiment in western civilization and at this point it is failing. We are unable to work collectively on a national energy strategy. The way we are going there will be a decrease in availability. Same with rods and bridges.

    The main reason I use laptops is the power droputs in the NW and losiong work.


    The media consensus is growing we are headed for global recession, or worse.

    But not to worry. Escape into your VR glasses and video games. headphones. and pizza. All will be well. Right?

    Without electricity your life grinds to a halt and within a few weeks your local food supply runs out.

  4. Top | #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I do not see how any intelligent person would resist alternative energy where feasible.In the southwest passive soar heating and cooling is easy. Watched a show on it. Phoenix used to be know for its climate. Massive air-condition and the waste heat has radically changed the local environment.

    Average stunner temperatures have gone up due to the was6e heat. Humidity has gone up.
    Gosh, you watched a show on it?? I had no idea we were in the presence of such expertise. I am amazed the IPCC haven't head-hunted you yet.
    Gosh, heck no...I was neck deep in energy issues for 30 years and designed power conversion systems including DC-AC.

    Having worked on many systems, distributed energy systems are far better then our centralized system of large capacity plants. A system that uses local renewables where possible couples d with backup is a the most sensible going forward.

    Nukes solve the environment issue, but does not solve the overall infrastructure issue going forward.

    Solar voltaics for the homeland business have been turnkey for a long time. If you connect to the grid over here you will need a licensed electrician for the hookup.

    My engineering solution would be dual DC AC powered appliances and electronics. 100 vdc from solar panels is close enough to the rectified DC mains voltage. Swathing power supplies common today have wide input voltage tolerance.

    Simply diode OR the mains rectified voltage and the panel voltage. Seamless and transparent to the user. No energy storage needed and reduces grid demand growth, and adds local supply when grid gors down.

    Simply going all nuclear and maintaining the current paradigm gets us nowhere.
    30 years of designing energy systems and you think this works?!

    1) I do agree that electronic devices could easily enough be manufactured to accept AC or DC. However, look at the typical house, where is the heavy power usage? Heating devices (which could easily be made happy with DC) and motors (many of which will not like DC one bit.) It's not just tweaking the power supplies a bit to make those motors happy with DC.

    2) Look at what happens when the panels aren't producing your total demand: while you actually can mix AC and DC on a wire this would mean the neutral wire wasn't neutral. Bad idea. Those DC-hating motors would also not like this. On the flip side, you have no way of sending excess power back onto the grid.

    3) This does absolutely nothing about the big problem with solar--it's intermittent nature.

    Meanwhile, all you have gained is removing the inverter--but at the same time you have mandated a big-ass transformer at the junction to keep that local DC from leaking back onto the grid. (Normal solar installations use a phase lock in the inverter so the output exactly matches the incoming power, thus removing the need for isolation between the local solar and the grid power. No grid power, the phase lock fails and the inverter shuts down so you're not energizing the grid and trying to kill the repairmen out to fix whatever took out the power.)

  5. Top | #355
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    You can actualy run DC directly into the mains input on systems. The only issue could be the power factor correction circuit that ty[icaly will function at DC in.

    In a typical switching power supply the mains voltage is run through a bridge rectifier . The PFS is a boost converter thatv goes from rectified voltage to around 200 to 300vdc. The PFC circuit adjusts such that the AC current reflected back to the mains is close to a good sine wave in phase with voltage. A high power factor compensating for the low power factor of the capacitive filter.

    A DC voltage can be diode ORd with the rectified mains voltge, or a higher panel voltage could be diode ORd with the PFC dc boost voltage. It is done on systems for battery backup.

    No transformer required. The point of switching power supplies is they work from around 100vac to 250vac without transformers.

    For a context there is enough of a market for DC LED lighting that there are standards for the power supply. Conducted MIm dc current ripple, and such.

    Efficiencies multiply. At say 90% efficiency the DC-AC inviter running into another switcher will result in about a 10% loss of solar power.

    My point is the grid, power generation, and technology grew without any plan or strategy. There are a number of ways to mix solar, wind, and fossil based grid power.

    Our politics will not allow for national strategy and the conservative response would be let the market decide as the grid deteriorates.

    The grid was not designed to take low power factor coactive filters in power supplies. As computers began filling offices in the 80s the switching power spies only drew current at the peaks of AC voltage. The surges all combine and are reflected back to the generator requiring more capacity and bigger wires. The combined surges began tripping breakers. Then came power factor correction requirements for switchers. Point being no strategic long term planning, we fumble along.

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