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'[EE]: solar farm on 10 / 100 square miles'
2008\03\14@125845 by Cedric Chang

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Someone said they had a link to a proposal to use 10 or 100 square  
miles of sunny desert land to make hydrogen and oxygen from water and  
solar energy.  Can anyone direct me to this proposed solar farm ?

I want to run the numbers on acquiring land down south ( USA ) and  
what the technology costs would be.

cc


2008\03\16@202347 by Bob Axtell

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Cedric Chang wrote:
> Someone said they had a link to a proposal to use 10 or 100 square  
> miles of sunny desert land to make hydrogen and oxygen from water and  
> solar energy.  Can anyone direct me to this proposed solar farm ?
>
> I want to run the numbers on acquiring land down south ( USA ) and  
> what the technology costs would be.
>
> cc
>
>
>  
I can't find the original book I saw those figures in, sorry. It was a
good book, about 15 years
ago, can't locate it now. But I remember after reading it that I did the
math, and 10miles square
indeed did the job nicely, with energy left over, even with the sun
going down every night.

--Bob Axtell

2008\03\16@220439 by Cedric Chang

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So you are saying 10 miles square, which is 100 square miles ?
cc

{Quote hidden}

2008\03\17@100507 by Bob Axtell

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Yep.

Cedric Chang wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\03\17@111609 by Paul Hutchinson

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I found a pro-solar energy web site that claims:
"Covering 9% of Nevada with parabolic trough systems could generate enough
electrical power for the whole of the USA."
http://www.power-technology.com/projects/sanfrancisco/ See final paragraph.

Nevada is a bit over 110,000 square miles in size. This would make it around
10,000 square miles of land to power the US.

Paul Hutch

> {Original Message removed}

2008\03\17@114327 by David VanHorn

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> Nevada is a bit over 110,000 square miles in size. This would make it around
> 10,000 square miles of land to power the US.

Who's gonna clean them?

2008\03\17@120340 by Bob Blick

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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 11:43:25 -0400, "David VanHorn"
<spam_OUTmicrobrixTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> said:
> > Nevada is a bit over 110,000 square miles in size. This would make it around
> > 10,000 square miles of land to power the US.
>
> Who's gonna clean them?

Guest workers, of course :)


--
http://www.fastmail.fm - IMAP accessible web-mail

2008\03\17@121531 by David VanHorn

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> Guest workers, of course :)

Well, we do have >1% of our population in prison.

2008\03\17@122223 by Bob Blick

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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 12:15:30 -0400, "David VanHorn"
<.....microbrixKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> said:
> > Guest workers, of course :)
>
> Well, we do have >1% of our population in prison.

So to keep the labor force close, build the prisons under the solar
farms. Perfect!

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - IMAP accessible web-mail

2008\03\17@130316 by Bob Axtell
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Paul Hutchinson wrote:
> I found a pro-solar energy web site that claims:
> "Covering 9% of Nevada with parabolic trough systems could generate enough
> electrical power for the whole of the USA."
> http://www.power-technology.com/projects/sanfrancisco/ See final paragraph.
>
> Nevada is a bit over 110,000 square miles in size. This would make it around
> 10,000 square miles of land to power the US.
>
> Paul Hutch
>
>  
Nevada has less sunlight than So Arizona. But this size is huge,
compared to what it really takes to do this.
I think this is dramatically incorrect. But the verbiage is otherwise
correct; the parabolic trough systems can
concentrate the sunlight to the working medium almost ideally.

Nevertheless, the problem isn't generating the energy...that's a piece
of cake, really...the problem is moving the
electricity to where it is needed, which cannot be done with the grid
system we have now...and  this fiscal crisis
will take at least a decade to wash out, so I can't see anything
happening to fix it in my lifetime...

The advantage of Arizona is that the state is mostly Indian
reservations, who would appreciate getting the chance
to lease some of their useless land. Also, the Indian populations are
all incredibly low- almost nobody lives there-
even the tree huggers would have a tough time getting wound up over the
idea, so it would bring welcome jobs...

--Bob Axtell
>> {Original Message removed}

2008\03\17@130758 by David VanHorn

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> > Well, we do have >1% of our population in prison.
>
> So to keep the labor force close, build the prisons under the solar
> farms. Perfect!

not a sucky idea actually.. I do like the idea of those guys doing
something productive.

2008\03\17@144234 by Gerhard Fiedler

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David VanHorn wrote:

>>> Well, we do have >1% of our population in prison.
>>
>> So to keep the labor force close, build the prisons under the solar
>> farms. Perfect!
>
> not a sucky idea actually.. I do like the idea of those guys doing
> something productive.

I can see the law enforcement guidelines after this is implemented... "Our
mirrors are dirty; we need more workers. Your target for this quarter is
twenty court-confirmed prison man-years per officer per month. Whoever
stays below that, needs to look for another job; this is no place for
sissies. I'm not really saying that you should tamper evidence, but you
should definitely look at your future with the force." :)

Gerhard

2008\03\17@144455 by Paul Hutchinson

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu On Behalf Of Bob Axtell
> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 1:03 PM
>
> Nevada has less sunlight than So Arizona. But this size is huge,

Reference please.

A reference I found, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), does not
appear to support that statement. It looks to me like southern Nevada has
more potential solar energy than any other area of the USA. This makes sense
for why the pro-solar organization would choose Nevada for its statement
over Arizona.
Direct Normal Solar Radiation (Two-Axis Tracking Concentrator) annual:
www.nrel.gov/gis/images/us_csp_annual_may2004.jpg
Main page
http://www.nrel.gov/gis/solar.html

Frankly since you have provided no references for either of your assertions
it seems you are just making this stuff up out of thin air. Perhaps the
book(s) you saw the information in were just totally wrong. 10,000 sq. mi.
vs. 100 sq. mi. is an extremely significant discrepancy. With no references
to the 100 sq. mi. version I can't consider it even remotely matching
reality. Hand waving away referenced statements and changing the subject
doesn't count when trying to determine the reality of a situation.

Paul Hutch

{Quote hidden}

2008\03\17@145504 by David VanHorn

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> I can see the law enforcement guidelines after this is implemented... "Our
> mirrors are dirty; we need more workers. Your target for this quarter is
> twenty court-confirmed prison man-years per officer per month. Whoever
> stays below that, needs to look for another job; this is no place for
> sissies. I'm not really saying that you should tamper evidence, but you
> should definitely look at your future with the force." :)

Dosen't seem like we have a labor shortage at this time.

2008\03\17@164829 by Bob Axtell

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Paul Hutchinson wrote:
{Quote hidden}

OK, I'll work on it as soon as I can. I didn't make any of this up; no
need to, since I won't be able
to do the work on it anyway; it will be you young guys.Your links look
good, BTW.

--BobA

2008\03\18@033134 by Apptech

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   > OK, I'll work on it as soon as I can. I didn't make
any of
> this up; no
> need to, since I won't be able
> to do the work on it anyway; it will be you young
> guys.Your links look
> good, BTW.

Postscript:

According to
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/USEnFlow02-quads.gif

only about 38% of energy input in the US systems results in
"useful energy" :-(.

_____________

An amazingly polite answer, I thought, considering :-)

Lets try again as I think someone has already done. With
Cedric's benison I'll start off in imperial and translate to
metric somewhere along the way. if we crash on Olympus Mons
you'll know what happened.

1 square mile is (1600 metres) ^2  m^2 = 2,560,000 m^2.
Say 2.5E6 m^2.
Assume 1 standard sun = 1000 W/m^2 (which it is)
Assume 15% energy conversion.
Assume (without looking at insolation maps) 5 kWh/m^2/day
mean.
Assume 50% loss from source to sink.
Available energy per annum per square mile is:

   2.5E6 m^2 x 1000 W x 15% * 50% * 5 hrs/day x 365 days

   ~= 6.8E11 Watt.hours
   = 6.8E8 kW.h
   = 6.8E5 MW.h / mile^2

For 100,000 square miles thats about

       7E10 MW.h/year
or    7E5 TW.h/year

Turning that back into a power figure that's

   7E5/8765
   ~= 80 TW = 80 TerraWatt.

Average US usage in 2005 was about 3.3 TW

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_use_in_the_United_States

so if my above figures are correct (which is highly
unlikely) we could get by on say 4/80 or 5% of the above
area.

Double this to 10% for inefficient area utilisation (which I
had meant to include) to get 10%.
= 1000 square miles or about 30 miles x 30 miles.

By all means revisit my assumptions and find my  [purposeful
[tm]] errors and report back.

Doing it would be the hard part :-).

15% is about as good as the best realistic single junction
solar arrays. They'll get better and other means will give
them a run for their money so I think 15% is not too bad a
guesstimate.





       Russell McMahon

2008\03\18@035629 by Bob Axtell

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Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Actually, I had no plan to use PV arrays, but to concentrate the
sunlight and use standard
heat engines (Stirling, steam, et ) although, as stated, PV cells are
being improved all the
time.

--Bob
>
>
>         Russell McMahon
>
>  

2008\03\18@064245 by Apptech

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>> 15% is about as good as the best realistic single
>> junction
>> solar arrays. They'll get better and other means will
>> give
>> them a run for their money so I think 15% is not too bad
>> a
>> guesstimate.

> Actually, I had no plan to use PV arrays, but to
> concentrate the
> sunlight and use standard
> heat engines (Stirling, steam, et ) although, as stated,
> PV cells are
> being improved all the
> time.

Yes. I used PV as a benchmark as it's much easier to get
current costings and efficiencies for them and they price is
falling nicely and should continue to do so for some time.
As noted "other means will give them a run for their
money" - I'm a Stirling aficionado but don't think that they
yet have a real world place at this sort of scale, alas. In
time they should. Steam and similar (water or exotic fluids)
is done currently at scale in the largest systems installed
so far, but the mechanical challenges at the energy levels
involved and the mature nature of the underlying technology
(if not the actual implementation) may mean that if PV
prices continue to fall as they are doing now then the
mechanical systems will become less competitive.

Stirling systems should be able to double current PV
percentages*, but one can expect PV percentages to double in
the next decade while Stirling would be very hardput to
scale up similarly to stay ahead of them (the laws of
Physics being an unkind master). Also, PV advances in
continuous sheet processes may see vastly cheaper cost per
Watt at lower than current efficiencies, or even at around
current efficiencies.

Stirling would be doing well in practice to get over say 50%
Carnot, although some specialist systems do. At say 350 K
cold sink and 1050 K hot, Carnot efficiency is 66% so 50% of
this is 30%+. Running the hot side to 1400 K (1100C) gives a
75% Carnot efficiency but invites extreme engineering
problems.



       Russell


2008\03\18@094720 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Apptech wrote:

> Lets try again as I think someone has already done. With Cedric's benison
> I'll start off in imperial and translate to metric somewhere along the
> way. if we crash on Olympus Mons you'll know what happened.

> 1 square mile is (1600 metres) ^2  m^2 = 2,560,000 m^2.
> Say 2.5E6 m^2.
> Assume 1 standard sun = 1000 W/m^2 (which it is)
> Assume 15% energy conversion.
> Assume (without looking at insolation maps) 5 kWh/m^2/day
> mean.
> Assume 50% loss from source to sink.
> Available energy per annum per square mile is:
>
>     2.5E6 m^2 x 1000 W x 15% * 50% * 5 hrs/day x 365 days
>
>     ~= 6.8E11 Watt.hours

Fixing the units (which is especially important when using non-SI units --
we all know why :) and using the insolation figure, I get:

((1600 m)^2)/sqmi * 5 kWh/m^2/day * 365 day/year * 0.15 * 0.5
= 350e6 kWh/sqmi/year
= 350 GWh/sqmi/year

> For 100,000 square miles thats about
>
>         7E10 MW.h/year
> or    7E5 TW.h/year

(7e10 M = 7e5 T ? :)

Here I get:

350 GWh/sqmi/year * 100'000 sqmi
= 350e5 GWh/year
= 35e3 TWh/year

>     7E5/8765
>     ~= 80 TW = 80 TerraWatt.

Again, using proper units:

(35e3 TWh/year) / (8765 h/year)
= 4 TW

Which somewhat (but not substantially) affects the conclusions.

This just for an example of a procedure that helps avoiding unit errors:
Put the units in the calculation, not in the text. The unit calculation
must also work out -- if it doesn't, there's somewhere an error.

Gerhard

2008\03\18@101007 by David VanHorn

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What's the cost of 2.5E6 m^2 of collectors?

Did you figure covering the entire area? I'd think 50% to allow for
maintainance.
You also don't get a full sun even on the best days.

2008\03\18@105241 by Paul Hutchinson

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Last night I was reading this weeks EETimes and found it has an article on
the seventeenth annual Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference.

http://www.eetimes.com/news/design/showArticle.jhtml;?articleID=206902796

A quote relevant to this topic:

"In fact, a solar array 150 x 150 km could, in principle, meet all of North
America's energy needs. But PV technology is still more expensive than grid
power, lacks a suitable load-balancing solution and requires considerable
space for electricity generation."

If I've done the conversion factor correctly that's 9000 square miles.
That's 10% less area than the old 2002 article I found earlier had proposed.

Paul Hutch

> {Original Message removed}

2008\03\18@112550 by Mike Reid

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Without delving too much in to the realm of politics, I would like to point
out that if you took the cost of the Iraq war ($3 trillion when you take in
to account the future interest payments and care of veterans, infrastructure
costs, etc.) you could probably build a number of these solar farms and
export power to the rest of the world!

-----

A quote relevant to this topic:

"In fact, a solar array 150 x 150 km could, in principle, meet all of North
America's energy needs. But PV technology is still more expensive than grid
power, lacks a suitable load-balancing solution and requires considerable
space for electricity generation."

If I've done the conversion factor correctly that's 9000 square miles.
That's 10% less area than the old 2002 article I found earlier had proposed.

{Quote hidden}

2008\03\18@115121 by Rolf

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Hmmm...
without delving too much in to politics either, it would be possible
with $3T to produce a few around the world that were strategically
placed (nevada, sahara, etc.) such that as one region experiences a sun
set the next region is coming online.... with some smart energy
management it may be possible to distribute the energy worldwide as
required and not have to come up with some serious energy buffering
strategies that local geography would require.

Somehow I don't think the current international 'political climate' will
allow for 'certain' countries to maintain a localized control of the
energy resources for the rest of the world.... unless that country is
the US, of course.... meet the OPEC's future sibling, the OSEEC
(Organisation of Solar Energy Exporting Countries).

Rolf


Mike Reid wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\03\18@152328 by John Gardner

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>  ... if you took the cost of the Iraq war ($3 trillion when you take in
to account the future interest payments and care of veterans, infrastructure
costs, etc.) you could probably build a number of these solar farms and
export power to the rest of the world!

At $1/watt $3 terabucks would noticeably undershoot current US consumption.

On the bright side, 3 trillion seems pretty optimistic - I remember the economic
prognostication about our SEA adventure back in the day - Around $150 billion
would cover it, thought the wise men...

Hell, I personally have cost the govt over $1 M in medical & related
costs since then, and that tab is still running , thank you very much
:)

I like the idea of spending our mad money on Solar instead.

Jack
us (SEA vets).

Jack

On 3/18/08, Rolf <EraseMElearrspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTrogers.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\03\18@162748 by Bob Axtell

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"North America" usually refers to Canada and parts of Mexico as well.

...I am wondering if these estimates include grid-cable losses, as well.

--Bob Axtell

Paul Hutchinson wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> {Original Message removed}

2008\03\18@162820 by Bob Axtell

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Rolf wrote:
> Hmmm...
> without delving too much in to politics either, it would be possible
> with $3T to produce a few around the world that were strategically
> placed (nevada, sahara, etc.) such that as one region experiences a sun
> set the next region is coming online.... with some smart energy
> management it may be possible to distribute the energy worldwide as
> required and not have to come up with some serious energy buffering
> strategies that local geography would require.
>
> Somehow I don't think the current international 'political climate' will
> allow for 'certain' countries to maintain a localized control of the
> energy resources for the rest of the world.... unless that country is
> the US, of course.... meet the OPEC's future sibling, the OSEEC
> (Organisation of Solar Energy Exporting Countries).
>
> Rolf
>
>  
Good idea.

2008\03\18@163154 by Bob Axtell

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Rolf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

The article in Scientific American about 4-5 months ago discussed the
grid-loss problem, and
suggested using "zero-resistance" cabling, superconducting cable kept at
very cold temperatures,
and shipping hydrogen gas by pipeline.

--Bob

2008\03\18@164037 by Bob Blick

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On Tue, 18 Mar 2008 13:31:36 -0700, "Bob Axtell" <engineerspamspam_OUTcotse.net>
said:
> The article in Scientific American about 4-5 months ago discussed the
> grid-loss problem, and
> suggested using "zero-resistance" cabling, superconducting cable kept at
> very cold temperatures,
> and shipping hydrogen gas by pipeline.

I'd give that an MTBF of about 3 hours, even at near light speed :)

Cheerful regards,

Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Accessible with your email software
                         or over the web

2008\03\18@164626 by David VanHorn

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> The article in Scientific American about 4-5 months ago discussed the
> grid-loss problem, and
> suggested using "zero-resistance" cabling, superconducting cable kept at
> very cold temperatures,

Yeah, that'll work in the desert, in the summer, tornadoes...

> and shipping hydrogen gas by pipeline.

I wonder how much would leak away.

Next, the nutcases will be screaming about how we'd use up all the
earth's water!  :)

2008\03\18@184702 by Jake Anderson

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David VanHorn wrote:
>> The article in Scientific American about 4-5 months ago discussed the
>> grid-loss problem, and
>> suggested using "zero-resistance" cabling, superconducting cable kept at
>> very cold temperatures,
>>    
>
> Yeah, that'll work in the desert, in the summer, tornadoes...
>
>  
Power utilities are already using superconductors for runs of a few KM I
am led to believe.
Not to say it wouldn't be a big job to ring the earth in super
conducting wire + infrastructure but it would be good practise for
giving mars a magnetosphere.

>> and shipping hydrogen gas by pipeline.
>>    
>
> I wonder how much would leak away.
>  
That would be the scary part I feel.
> Next, the nutcases will be screaming about how we'd use up all the
> earth's water!  :)
>  

2008\03\18@223026 by Apptech

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>>> and shipping hydrogen gas by pipeline.

>> I wonder how much would leak away.

People are currently using small diameter (50mm?) pipe to
carry Hydrogen around a km or two from a microhydro scheme
to the point of use. Far cheaper than using electric
transmission apparently.

Hydrogen is the worlds top diffusion escape artist.
Operating at very modest pressures would be desirable.


       RM


2008\03\19@052227 by peter green

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> People are currently using small diameter (50mm?) pipe to
> carry Hydrogen around a km or two from a microhydro scheme
> to the point of use. Far cheaper than using electric
> transmission apparently.
>  
What is there conversion system like at the two ends?
What efficiancy do they get?


2008\03\19@053228 by Alan B. Pearce

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>The article in Scientific American about 4-5 months ago discussed
>the grid-loss problem, and suggested using "zero-resistance" cabling,
>superconducting cable kept at very cold temperatures,
>and shipping hydrogen gas by pipeline.

I guess the trick here is to liquefy the hydrogen at source, and pump it
down the cable, keeping the cable superconducting ... ;))

2008\03\19@062922 by Apptech

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>> People are currently using small diameter (50mm?) pipe to
>> carry Hydrogen around a km or two from a microhydro
>> scheme
>> to the point of use. Far cheaper than using electric
>> transmission apparently.
>>
> What is there conversion system like at the two ends?
> What efficiancy do they get?

Gargoyle ...

Search
               Hylink Totara Valley

for much more, I imagine

The most pleasing thing below is the high pipeline
efficiency and capacity.
98% at 1kW range but with they say 240 kW capacity. (Plastic
pipe).


NZ system.
Industrial research demo on a farm.
Wind turbine  2 KW
Electrolyser
2 km hydrogen pipeline

   Electrolyser    66%
   Pipeline          98% up to 240 KW !
   Fuel cell         35%    up to 1 kW

   Overall           23%

   Target        43%

Burning the Hydrogen would give about 90% + for about 60%
overall.
I suspect the electrolyser should be able to be vastly
improved over 66%.

20 powerpoint slides
Good overview.

       http://energy.massey.ac.nz/Documents/conference/Conference%20Presentations/Steve%20Broome.ppt



'[EE]: solar farm on 10 / 100 square miles'
2008\04\15@161415 by Alex Harford
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On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 9:58 AM, Cedric Chang <@spam@ccKILLspamspamnope9.com> wrote:
>
>  Someone said they had a link to a proposal to use 10 or 100 square
>  miles of sunny desert land to make hydrogen and oxygen from water and
>  solar energy.  Can anyone direct me to this proposed solar farm ?

A Salon article was recently posted on this subject:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/04/14/solar_electric_thermal/

I'm curious about the heat storage component that they talk about.
Developed by H.E. Wilsie.  I couldn't find anything via a google
search, does anyone know more details?

It seems to me that a better way of providing enery during the night
would be an agreement with the hydro people to increase their
production during the night / reduce it during the day.  But I don't
know much about how the energy 'market' works, so that might be a
non-starter.

Alex

2008\04\15@171604 by Forums

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Alex Wrote:

>It seems to me that a better way of providing enery during the night
>would be an agreement with the hydro people to increase their
>production during the night / reduce it during the day.  But I don't
>know much about how the energy 'market' works, so that might be a
>non-starter.

I was fairly heavily involved in the US energy trading market about 5 years
ago, and unless something major has changed hydro is the closest thing they
have to a generation 'battery'. So, 'wasting' it during off-peak hours isn't
going to fly.

Some hydro plants even pump water back into the top reservoir during the
night so that they can provide electricity for peak hours the following day.
They call this 'pumped storage', and use pump turbines that can both
generate or pump depending on demand. This is economically viable due to the
large difference between peak and off-peak power costs.

Andy.

2008\04\15@200616 by Harold Hallikainen

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There was a solar plant for many years in Yermo, CA. I'm in Las Vegas
right now at the National Association of Broadcasters convention and have
driven by the plant every year or the past 35 years. It used molten salt
for heat storage to generate electricity at night. A little about the
plant is here: http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/19342/ . Google Maps
shows it here"
maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&q=Yermo,+CA,+USA&ll=34.890894,-116.675306&spn=0.014327,0.033302&t=h&z=15
. Driving by it, you could see a tower with a black "boiler" at the top.
When the system was operating, the black boiler glowed a very bright
white.

A little west of there is Tehachapi which has a lot of wind generators.
It's also home to a Borax mine where they used "twenty mule teams" to haul
the ore from the mine to the railroad head.

Also, about 20 or 30 years ago, in the Carrisa Plain area of California,
ARCO Solar had a large photovoltaic power plant. A whole bunch of panels
were steered to track the sun. The resulting power was fed back into the
grid.

Also, the comment about backing down hydro plants during the day and use
them for nighttime energy production was interesting. Here in CA,
nighttime power from the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant pumps water up
hill at the Helms Project. That water then goes back down hill to increase
the peak power capacity of the system. There is some discussion of it at
https://eed.llnl.gov/flow/pdf/CA-84.pdf . This also mentions the Yermo
solar plant. This also mentions the Carrisa Plain solar plant.

A few years back, in California, we were able to pick our power producer.
for a few percent more than normal, we could choose to have our power
produced from wind, solar, and hydro. Somehow the price to consumers was
capped, so when energy prices went up, our bill for production from Green
Mountain Energy went way up, but our bill from PG&E for distribution went
negative such that our total bill stayed under the cap. This, of course,
did not work out well for PG&E. The "choose your producer" plan was
scrapped and the governor recalled. I thought the idea of choosing your
producer or resource mix was a good idea, but did not think the price caps
made sense. There was some gaming the system by producers (and Enron got
into trouble for that), but without tricks like that, it seems a
competition between producers could work. Ideally producers would compete
to be the most green.

Harold


--
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2008\04\15@201439 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> I was fairly heavily involved in the US energy trading
> market about 5 years
> ago, and unless something major has changed hydro is the
> closest thing they
> have to a generation 'battery'. So, 'wasting' it during
> off-peak hours isn't
> going to fly.

Solar thermal plants such as currently the world's largest -
the 64 MW Luz built solar trough concentrator installation
in Nevada, USA use molten salt thermal storage to get about
7 hours of off-sun storage.

Abengoa of Spain are about to build a 280 MW installation at
Gila Bend* - near Arizona USA. It also uses  thermal storage
to allow input smoothing during day to day operations and
'into the night'. Scheduled to commence power generation in
2011.



       Russell



* Advice:    NEVER camp in a tent in Gila Bend trailer park
in midsummer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

2008\04\16@003811 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> Solar thermal plants such as currently the world's
> largest -
> the 64 MW Luz built solar trough concentrator installation
> in Nevada, USA use molten salt thermal storage to get
> about
> 7 hours of off-sun storage.
>
> Abengoa of Spain are about to build a 280 MW installation
> at
> Gila Bend* - near Arizona USA. It also uses  thermal
> storage
> to allow input smoothing during day to day operations and
> 'into the night'. Scheduled to commence power generation
> in
> 2011.

Serendipitously, this just turned up as a reference in an
email newsletter

"Barriers to Commercialisation of Large-Scale Solar
Electricity:- Lessons learned from the Luz experience"

       http://www.nrel.gov/csp/troughnet/pdfs/sand91_7014.pdf

While this is a 1991 Sandia report it was actually written
by the previous President for business development for Luz,
so his perspective is partisan, but useful.

The Nevada Luz solar thermal parabolic concentrator plant
was and AFAIK still is the worlds largest. It was built on
the subsidy structure of the 1970's oil shocks and the
com,pany foundered when the nightmare memories faded and the
pricing structures were varied. The plant itself remained
viable as a cash cow and is still chugging along nicely some
20+ years on. The new Gila Bend plant will be bigger. The
latest "carbon credits" regime helps the economic viability
of such plants. They are not too uncompetitive compared with
alternatives and if eg 'cheap' hydrocarbons were not
available the cost jump to cost effective operation would
not be vast. As noted, longer term night storage than the
existing thermal is desirable. Pumped hydro is one option.

NZ has substantial hydro % capacity and is currently looking
at a 5% chance of winter power shortages due to low summer
lake inflows.


       Russell







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