BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 06:54 am
@RexRed,
Devices that used mill-watts of power are not the same as devices that need many kilo-watts of power!!!!!!!

Second the cost of powering your cell phone from the grid for a year is a few cents so the pay back time for a solar cell charger would be twenty years or so.

Now off grid power is fine where needed and I had done it a few times in the US and outside the US as a matter or fact.

Normally you still need a generator on standby to handle large loads or a period of overcast and windless days.

The solar off grid power installations I had done were in Florida and one in the Dominican Republic and both areas enjoy wind and sunshine. Neither could do more the run fans, lights and electronic. The solar cells were in area far larger then a roof of a car.

In all cases, such power cost far more then if you could just connect to the power grid and tend to be a pain in the rear end maintaining the systems.

0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 07:15 am
@RexRed,
Quote:
The sun fuels the entire earth and all life on it but it can't fuel a car?


Every damn car on the road today is power by the energy of the sun store over 100s of millions of years.

However the problem in the solar cell power car idea is energy density, as in the energy density of the sun hitting the earth is not enough to allow a few square yards/meters of car roof to power a car.

One horse power is the same as 745 watts and you would need very roughly an area of 74 sq feet for that power.

The average roof of a car is what? Let see how about car with a roof 12 feet long and 5 feet wide.

So the sq ft would be 60 and so the power from your roof would be less then one horse power.

Dreams are nice but the laws of nature tend to kill most of them.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 07:45 am
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/caltech-plastic-solar-panels-nanowires-low-cost.php

Now after we have burnt all of the oil in the ground in our cars what will we use to make solar panels?

Excerpt:
"This structure is very good at absorbing light (it has a huge surface area to catch photons):"

http://www.tgdaily.com/trendwatch-features/39807-new-solar-cell-material-achieves-almost-100-efficiency-could-solve-world-w
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 08:05 am
@RexRed,
Rexred if you wish to dream good for you however my statement is still correct under current and any near term solar cell technology you can not power an electric car from the energy you can get off the roof of that car or recharge the batteries of such a car in any reasonable time frame.

Toyota will surely not be rolling any such cars off their assembly lines anytime soon if ever.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 08:31 am
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Rexred if you wish to dream good for you however my statement is still correct under current and any near term solar cell technology you can not power an electric car from the energy you can get off the roof of that car or recharge the batteries of such a car in any reasonable time frame.

Toyota will surely not be rolling any such cars off their assembly lines anytime soon if ever.
You can power a car if you let it sit in the sun long enough, not everyone is as demanding on a motor vehicle. Some people use a car only once a week and being able to charge a car from home and with the added benefit of solar panels and efficient energy storage makes sense to me.

And I beg to differ that a car sitting in direct sunlight in Florida, Arizona Texas, Ecuador and much of south America, (even coastal ocean going vessels) etc... will charge with even 90% efficient cells if only used a couple times a week. And the energy is free. The problem is not the solar panels now but the battery leakage and energy storage issues. (which the government is subsidizing now) If they took the 40 billion in subsidies given to oil companies these technologies could be developed and expanded for general use. If there were not so many, err, naysayers... Solar panels on the roof of a house can capture exactly the surface area needed (in sunny locations) to put a sufficient charge in a motor vehicle and allow it to run for at least an hour or two plus providing surplus energy for a home.

Fully electric cars are already on the road.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#42810042
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 08:52 am
@RexRed,
Rexred the energy may be "free" however the manufacturing and shipping cost in term of money and energy is far from free.

I was driving near Denver a year or so ago by one windmill after another and one truck after another carrying parts for more windmills sharing the road with me.

Now it would be interesting to do an energy budget of how must energy it cost to manufacture these windmills and in the case of the generators now being used for example to shipped them halfway around the world to be placed along the highways in the Denver area, compare to the energy they will produce in their lifetimes.

Oh and it does not end there as hundreds/thousands of tons of copper need to be mine and turn into high voltage wire along with hundred/thousands of tons of energy intense Aluminum so the out of the way windmills can be hook up with the power grid.

If the government was not pumping funds into having them build it might be less likely that building them will end up costing more in term of energy then they are able to produce.

They do look nice however even if they kill bats by the millions along with birds.

Oh another example of how complex the whole subject of free energy is with out the bats and the birds that are being kill by the windmills keeping the insects down it is likely that more energy will be needed to manufacture and apply insecticide.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 02:22 pm
@RexRed,
Quote:
If there were not so many, err, naysayers... Solar panels on the roof of a house can capture exactly the surface area needed (in sunny locations) to put a sufficient charge in a motor vehicle and allow it to run for at least an hour or two plus providing surplus energy for a home.


A house roof is not the same as a car roof however the cost of the "free" electric from those cells are going to be greater by far then the cost of getting non-free electric off the grid.

I had purchase solar cell panels and purchase/install the other hardware that is needed to get useful power out of them.

They are a little cheaper then runnig a small generator but they do not compare to the cost of just taking the power off the grid.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 07:07 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Quote:
If there were not so many, err, naysayers... Solar panels on the roof of a house can capture exactly the surface area needed (in sunny locations) to put a sufficient charge in a motor vehicle and allow it to run for at least an hour or two plus providing surplus energy for a home.


A house roof is not the same as a car roof however the cost of the "free" electric from those cells are going to be greater by far then the cost of getting non-free electric off the grid.

I had purchase solar cell panels and purchase/install the other hardware that is needed to get useful power out of them.

They are a little cheaper then runnig a small generator but they do not compare to the cost of just taking the power off the grid.



The problem with all of your arguments of cost effectiveness is that we are going to run out of oil, coal and natural gas eventually. We will never run out of wind and sunlight.

I am reminded of Isac Asimov who once wrote in one of his books something to the effect of. "Crude oil should be the match that lights the lamp and not the fuel within the lamp."

How much energy does it take to transport oil to the US then to refine it then to transport it to our motor vehicles?

Because the infrastructure is in place does not mean it should be perpetual.

I really enjoy conversing with you when I wrote "haha" I meant it as something to be cheery or lighten up my argument and so as not to seem being sarcastic.

Letting the earth's hands (wind) to and the sun's arms (sunlight) to provide us energy is to me better than bleeding the earth's blood.

These are my own thoughts. I liken this to Easter island, The islanders cut down all of the trees on the island in order to move massive stones from the quarries to their upright positions. Inadvertently, once the trees were gone the islanders became landlocked and were unable to even build a single boat to explore other parts of the earth. Eventually the wooden boats of the Spanish came to their shores many years later. If we squander our nonrenewable resources on moving our cars around we will no longer be able to build a spaceship to explore our universe...

This echoes back to Isac Asimov.

With your wind example yes, we use resources to build wind farms just as we do to transport and transport oil to then again transport the gas, but in the end we have "clean" energy that is not constantly tapping our oil and metal supplies. As technology is refined and recycled it can become much more efficient (as solar cells have)

Also the wind farms and sun collection will not emit toxins into our environment which will pose a future clean up effort on a scale unprecedented in our time.

The side effects of adding CO2 to our environment is a gargantuan clean up task as compared to a few truck moving around on a highway building wind farms.

I am reminded also of a story written (I think) in Readers Digest many years ago.

It was about a king who lived in a land where it never snowed. One evening the king awoke to a blanket of snow covering the castle and all the lands as far as the eye could see.

The king called his advisers who lived in the castle and reasoned with them. He reasoned that this miracle was not to be walked upon as to destroy it before it could be analyzed by the court alchemists. So the king proposed that he send a courier out to each farm and alert each household event the remote ones not to walk on the snow.

His court advisers thought and replied to the king that the the courier would leave footprints in the snow if they were to be sent out to so many destinations. The king then thought he would have four men carry each courier...

My own thought:
Had they had cell phones each citizen could have been text messaged.

Consider that a text message is likened to wind energy where the courier is likened to the energy derived by fossil fuels. The deeper we delve into fossil fuel energy i.e. more invasive ways to retrieve oil, natural gas and coal etc... the more we deface and trample the earth. In the end we wind up with more people carrying the couriers. If we cut down the coal mountains we may not even have the wind to harness considering the curvature of the earth facilitates the wind. And what kind of apparatus will we need to build to remove the CO2 from our air? Will it far eclipse the effort needed to build wind farms?
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 07:11 pm
@RexRed,
Quote:
The problem with all of your arguments of cost effectiveness is that we are going to run out of oil, coal and natural gas eventually. We will never run out of wind and sunlight.


In a thousand year or so we might run out of coal for example and that is assuming we do not have fusion or some other clean and unlimited energy source that have nothing to do with solar or wind.

Wind and solar have a large energy density problem that is not going to go away.

Both will be a useful but small part of the world total energy budget.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 08:20 pm
Quote:
In a thousand year or so we might run out of coal

50 - 100 years accoding to many sources.

I sometimes wonder what might be the ramifications of large scale world wide absorbtion of sunlight and wind energy for conversion to other types of useable energy. Theres no such thing as a free lunch.
Could using solar possibly have a cooling effect on the earth?

Use of wind energy must reduce total wind speed. Could this have an effect on weather systems perhaps?
We never noticed the damage from coal because it was too small however now the cumulative effect is building up.

The largest impediment as i see things to using sustainable energy sources is the production cost of current forms of energy. Basically its too cheap and doesnt pay for the real damage.
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 08:30 pm
I believe that the next major transformation of human society will be witihin the science of energy storage.
we've had the renaisance, the industrial revolution and the information revolution.
I include (re)use and or storage of waste (co2 and other gasses) and energy (heat) from the production of fuels and electricity.
Undoubtably this will increase the cost of electricity and fuel which may make the use of alternative energy cost comparrative.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2011 11:11 pm
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:

Quote:
In a thousand year or so we might run out of coal

50 - 100 years accoding to many sources.

I sometimes wonder what might be the ramifications of large scale world wide absorbtion of sunlight and wind energy for conversion to other types of useable energy. Theres no such thing as a free lunch.
Could using solar possibly have a cooling effect on the earth?

Use of wind energy must reduce total wind speed. Could this have an effect on weather systems perhaps?
We never noticed the damage from coal because it was too small however now the cumulative effect is building up.

The largest impediment as i see things to using sustainable energy sources is the production cost of current forms of energy. Basically its too cheap and doesnt pay for the real damage.

According to scientists, the sun is growing and will one day grow so large as to envelop the earth.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 02:18 am
http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/25083/?mod=related

It still baffles me why these mostly plastic photo cells are not in some form incorporated into today's cell phones. Where are the regulators and the department of energy when they are needed and what good are they really doing? One figures that instead of plugging a cell phone into a cigarette lighter one could simply set it on a car dashboard (instead of those tacky cardboard sunglasses visors...) I am rather disappointed that our government has not mandated the use of some/any type of photo cell for these hand held devices. I would imagine that hand held devices, all needing to be charged, (including the many millions of blackberries) consume an enormous chunk of general energy use. And many users of handhelds are on the road in their vehicles where charging them is highly feasible. In fact a tiny energy cell in the hood of a car could lead to a universal wire for handheld hookup. Why isn't our government requiring this type of thing?

http://futuretimes.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=708:blog-from-the-future-headlines-of-the-future&catid=119:editors-notes&Itemid=502

The internet is relatively silent on this issue other than oil company ads. I would think our government would have stipulated the use of solar arrays on the Ipad, Iphone and Ipods (and certainly other makes and brands) before many millions of them went into production. Now they are in their second and third generations and still no solar chargers. They already have rechargeable batteries within them so that is certainly not an issue here. Also... this technology has been around since the 70's that I specifically remember and since then "many" great innovations have been introduced into the photocell markets. Again is this because of the green aspect of photocells and free sunlight or because the utility companies want to keep us addicted to less green energy consumption and foreign oil? This particular issue makes me very upset as a citizen of this planet. Had the photocell market gotten a boost through general sales from hand held devices the auto industry and photocells for cars would not be lagging so far behind.

What a waste... considering I only use my cellphone and mp3 player a couple times a week it could sit all week charging on the windowsill.

Instead I go to my devices and when I need them the batteries have bleed out all their energy, are dead and I sit at a wall socket waiting for it to get a quick charge.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 02:58 am
@RexRed,
Let see what is the point of a solar cell instead of a cig. lighter outlet for the millwatts of power needed to charge a cell phone or an ipod?

You are under the impression that you would get better gas mileage if this load were removed from your car electric system?!

Now electronic devices do not like heat and if you are stupid enough to leave a small electronic device on the dash board of a car even assuming that the plastic will not melt you are very likely not to have a working phone or an mp3 player upon your return.

Of course you could try doing so just for your own amusement.

I once, in the days of slide rulers, allowed a cheap plastic log-log slide ruler to remain in such a position and found it was a melted mess upon my return.

I was very impressed when I let my mp3 player in my hot car and when I try to use it the damn thing told me it was too hot to work right now! I needed to hold it by the air condition outlet to get the temperature down. Some engineer had placed a temperature chip in the device so maybe he had melted down his slide ruler as a young man!

Oh side note the power to charge all the small electronic devices is so small that even in mass they have no great power demand however leaving a non-smart chargers plug by the ten of millions can used some power.

There is a movement to produce smart chargers that will not used power when not charging a device however like everything else in the world it is a trade off of costs.

If you care about such power draws you just need to plug in your chargers only when charging.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 12:13 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Let see what is the point of a solar cell instead of a cig. lighter outlet for the millwatts of power needed to charge a cell phone or an ipod?

You are under the impression that you would get better gas mileage if this load were removed from your car electric system?!

Now electronic devices do not like heat and if you are stupid enough to leave a small electronic device on the dash board of a car even assuming that the plastic will not melt you are very likely not to have a working phone or an mp3 player upon your return.

Of course you could try doing so just for your own amusement.

I once, in the days of slide rulers, allowed a cheap plastic log-log slide ruler to remain in such a position and found it was a melted mess upon my return.

I was very impressed when I let my mp3 player in my hot car and when I try to use it the damn thing told me it was too hot to work right now! I needed to hold it by the air condition outlet to get the temperature down. Some engineer had placed a temperature chip in the device so maybe he had melted down his slide ruler as a young man!

Oh side note the power to charge all the small electronic devices is so small that even in mass they have no great power demand however leaving a non-smart chargers plug by the ten of millions can used some power.

There is a movement to produce smart chargers that will not used power when not charging a device however like everything else in the world it is a trade off of costs.

If you care about such power draws you just need to plug in your chargers only when charging.

You are just taking what I am saying to the extreme... It does not really have to be left on a car dash it would most likely need only an indirect diffused light source to charge and not be left under such extreme conditions. Also a satellite charger system could be left on/in the dash and plugged into to a remote handheld left under the car seat, the glove box or any other less exposed area. The idea is that a black dashboard would collect quite a bit of not only light energy but heat energy also. How about a handheld collecting light photons while jogging or on a city bus? How many times have my mp3 player batteries run down while jogging or out walking? Lots.

BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 12:31 pm
@RexRed,
Quote:
How about a handheld collecting light photons while jogging or on a city bus? How many times have my mp3 player batteries run down while jogging or out walking? Lots.


I had an old old MP3 player with a hard drive and it battery life is in the tens of hours.

The only time I had have problems is in cycling in the middle of a Michigan
winter as even right by my body heat the battery will give up the ghost on me when it need to produce a surge of current to access the hard drive.

I also have a picture of someone jogging and trying to get sunlight on solar cells!!!!!

Hmm, I should also think about wiring up an eternal battery when out cycling in such temperatures.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 09:24 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Quote:
How about a handheld collecting light photons while jogging or on a city bus? How many times have my mp3 player batteries run down while jogging or out walking? Lots.


I had an old old MP3 player with a hard drive and it battery life is in the tens of hours.

The only time I had have problems is in cycling in the middle of a Michigan
winter as even right by my body heat the battery will give up the ghost on me when it need to produce a surge of current to access the hard drive.

I also have a picture of someone jogging and trying to get sunlight on solar cells!!!!!

Hmm, I should also think about wiring up an eternal battery when out cycling in such temperatures.
I am not sure but I don't think actual light photons are affected by cold air and snow might actually help trap and diffuse them even more in the ground level atmosphere. This is of course why people wear sunglasses in the winter. Yes a hard drive is highly affected by heat and cold as solid state memory would be more so affected by heat than cold.

No matter the amount of charging time, a person who uses an mp3 player or hand held would plan when their use would commence and charge the devise accordingly. The ideal is that the consumer learns to think more green. 5 years ago I never thought I would be pealing the plastic strip on my frozen concentrated orange juice can and setting it aside in a bag of other plastic tabs and items awaiting the day to carry it out onto the street curbside for recycling pick up. Being green requires a different set of skills and preparation.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 10:11 pm
@RexRed,
Let see I was no stating a photo cell would be harm by cold temperature I was stating that having a photo cell aim even in a general direction of the sun would be a little hard to do when jogging!!!!!!

Second no a hard drive is not affect by cold temperatures more then a solid state drive.

The problem is that a hard drive need a short surge current from time to time and a battery is greatly affect by cold temperatures and my MP3 player battery can not supply that surge when it get too cold.

Thinking green is fine however you had gone into fantasy land over the subject such as a solar array on a car roof being able to power a car.

Or that it would be worth while or cost effected to place solar cells on small devices.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 10:39 pm
@BillRM,
Ok Bill I am really terrible with technical jargon but I am very skilled at building a matrix. Let's say that X is the electric car battery, Y is the solar panel, Z is the inertia of a particular car. A is the time it takes for a car to reach 50MPH. B is the time it takes for the sun to charge the battery. C is the size of the solar panel. D is the amount of battery leakage over time. So if C is a low number B will preferably be a large number provided D is not larger than B.

dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2011 11:01 pm
Quote:
I was stating that having a photo cell aim even in a general direction of the sun would be a little hard to do when jogging!!!!!!

I dont see that as being terribly difficult. polymer (flexible) cells are in the works as we speak. Hats could be made which incorporate solar cells.
Similarly with soar arrays in cars. No real problem to hook up your Ipod to recharge from a solar cell mounted someplace on the car. Hot days are not an issue. Put your ipod in the console and photovoltaic cells are made to withstand the heat created under glass as this is how they are normally installed on house roofs. If the vinyl trim can withstand the temps then certainly a solar cell can.

As far as powering a car is concerned I dont think the idea is to completely power a car directly from solar but rather to extend the range before recharge is required.

I see personal solar being used to replace the small amounts of electricity we use instead of drawing our total supply from the grid. A one kilowatt system takes care of all my housholds standby power needs during daylight.
I know this because i have one installed and my electricity meter physically runs backward.

I have a battery operated solar recharge security light on a movement sensor at my front door that comes on when friends visit. The light is LED so light output is less than you would expect from an incandesant bulb but still very suitable for the job. It seems to me that a lot of street and lighting could be done on a similar basis.

Our houshold solar system was not cheap. Many people would not have this kind of capital to invest.
Like most investments that eventually save us money the key is capital investment. $10k is a sizeable investment in anybodies terms.

I do have concerns with the environmental cost of batteries to store solar power though. I dont have enough information to make a judgement here.
0 Replies
 
 

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