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Thoughts on Wind and Solar power


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Coming from Illinois, and having been a farmer as my dad, I try to keep in touch with my fellow neighbor farmers. Last night, a call from a former neighbor farmer, we discussed spring planting and what crops he was planting. He said it was tough this year with fuel costs sky high, seeds and fertilizer in short supply and costly. But the talk turned to if he had been approached with lease for wind power turbines on his land since last trip up the middle of the state was dotted with ugly turbines filling the horizons. He talked about a fellow farmer from Champaign, Ill. that this spring plowing there were 100s of dead birds on the ground near the turbines. Made me wonder were the animal activist were at? 

Going back several weeks to a local Forum were a homeowner had just installed Solar Panels and the money he would save in coming years. Then he was questioned, does reflections from these Solar Panels back into the atmosphere add to "Global Warming"?, What is the cost to replace these in 20 years, given Solar Panel life span  over time? What will the cost be when it comes time to replace the roof underneath and not only roofers, but professionals to remove and replace panels afterwards?  He had no answers.

I also wondered after these, how will useless Solar Panels be disposed of as well as Wind Turbine blades? Will they be an environmental hazard?

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The panels will likely end up near the piles of non recyclable batteries from electric cars. :wacko:

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I installed a solar power system about 12 years ago because our power bill was nearly$750.00 a month. We pay one bill a year now and it was $837.00 last tear. My system still puts out the same as it did when it was first installed. The cost of the panels has come down considerably and the efficiency has really gone up. Instead of the system having one inverter like mine each panel has an inverter. With a system like mine, because it only has one inverter if one panel gets shaded and the voltage drops the entire system drops to that voltage. If one panel stops working the entire system stops working. With the newer systems  if one panel stops working the system keeps operating less the one  panel so you still get power. You are correct about what happens to the panels when they are no longer useful. There will be giant solar panel junk yards some day.

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27 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

I installed a solar power system about 12 years ago because our power bill was nearly$750.00 a month. We pay one bill a year now and it was $837.00 last tear. My system still puts out the same as it did when it was first installed. The cost of the panels has come down considerably and the efficiency has really gone up. Instead of the system having one inverter like mine each panel has an inverter. With a system like mine, because it only has one inverter if one panel gets shaded and the voltage drops the entire system drops to that voltage. If one panel stops working the entire system stops working. With the newer systems  if one panel stops working the system keeps operating less the one  panel so you still get power. You are correct about what happens to the panels when they are no longer useful. There will be giant solar panel junk yards some day.

$750 a month??? Egads!!! Mine is about %50, when the air is on it goes to around $100 or less!

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About 90% of a wind turbine is easily recycled.  The problem is the blades.  Fiberglass, some as long as a football field.  Built heavy enough to withstand hurricanes.  And no ready market for re-use.  The Europeans are working on possible solutions.  For now, we bury them.  Hardly a long-term solution.

 

LL

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Posted (edited)

I pay average of $180 per month with 6 living here and washer and dryer running twice a day.
It’s even less in parts of metro Atlanta. Solar does not make sense where there is plenty of hydro power like we have here.

 

As to the dead birds and such, extremists of any persuasion, whether it’s gun control/gun rights, environmental activists/folks wanting to still oil the dirt road or whatever the case may be, people of extreme views or flirting with the edge of reason  are generally stupefied when faced with reality and evidence of anything contrary to their position.

As to energy, the stance is the alleged benefits of the supposed carbon offsets are paramount since we’re overdue for the planet to spontaneously combust. The offsets in mining and manufacturing that offset the carbon offsets along with degradation to the flora and fauna are inconsequential to good feelings generated that they are sticking it to the energy industry who are in fact the primary beneficiaries of profit from these new “green” energy sources. So those good feelings of “sticking it to the man” are offset since “the man” has found a way to profit from all these hair brained schemes.

 

I swear, so much in this world is not worth worrying over anymore…

Edited by Dirty Dan Dawkins
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Reasonable questions. The issue with such discussions is that there's rapid transformation these days in those topics and technologies.

 

For example, EV batteries:

Is there noteworthy recycling? No.

But will they pile up? No.

95% of the materials of an EV battery can be recycled. But 10 years ago, there weren't many EVs on the roads. the batteries (fortunately) last much longer than suspected, and older ones are currently rather reused as energy storage in buildings etc. than recycled. The big amount to recycle has yet to come, and prior to that, nobody will build huge recycling plants.

 

Don't know current number on solar panel recycling, but I'm sure people working on it because there's money in it.

 

1 hour ago, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

does reflections from these Solar Panels back into the atmosphere add to "Global Warming"?

No. Reflections are basically the best regarding global warming. The energy doesn't get absorbed and reflects into universe. Btw, that's why pole caps are very important. The cause of the global warming isn't the initial reflection on any earth surface, it's the re-reflections between the atmosphere and the earth, the energy gets trapped and comes down multiple times instead of reflected into the orbit.  

 

1 hour ago, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

... a homeowner had just installed Solar Panels  [...] What is the cost to replace these in 20 years, given Solar Panel life span  over time? What will the cost be when it comes time to replace the roof underneath and not only roofers, but professionals to remove and replace panels afterwards?

If  you're placing PV panels on a existing roof, it may or may not be economically advantageous, but mostly its is, see Yul's post above. But if you build a new house, (at least in europe) you cover the wood construction directly with the PV panels. Of course, it's still more expensive than a "normal" roof, but far less than a "doubled roof". And if the panels weren't durable, they wouldn't last in the first place on the roof. You just have to ensure impermeability.

My neighbors just built their home that way. I'll report the outcome in 15 years ;)

 

Regardless what technologies we use in the future, the main challenge we have to handle is contained in the chart below :(

 

human_population_growth_c.jpg.1d8bbeea52f41dd47e09c6e9954a894f.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

$750 a month??? Egads!!! Mine is about %50, when the air is on it goes to around $100 or less!

Nearly 60% of the $750.00 was not for electricity it was for all of the add ones. When I started checking all of that stuff out it really pissed me off so that’s why we put the solar in. In todays market my bill would be well over $1,000.00 per month.  We were paying a PPP charge of $250.00 per month that went towards paying other peoples power bills, those that can’t or won’t pay for power. Yes, there are actually people that won’t pay for power but expect someone else to pay for it for them and it gets tacked onto your power bill.

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2 hours ago, Eyesa Horg said:

The panels will likely end up near the piles of non recyclable batteries from electric cars. :wacko:

 

Exactly.  Because the technology to recycle batteries is frozen at 1939 and will never advance.  Just like coal fired power plants.

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We went solar last year. The whole system is rather expensive, but still less than a straight electric bill. My monthly payment is about $225. But last month, I had a $10 CREDIT for my electric bill.

The panels we got have a generation guarantee of 25 years. 

The big bonus came at Tax time. Our Tax credit for the system was $9,000. That allowed us to pretty much pay off all our bills, and brought our finances down so that I could retire.  

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I've looked into the roof solar panel options.  The roof on the back side of my house is perfectly positioned for solar panels.  No obstructions and facing South at 45 degrees.  The problem is, our power is only about 7-8 cents per KWhr.  It's just not cost effective to install solar.  Our power bill is usually less than $100.00.  

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When my electric bill went to $440.00 a month in California we went solar and the first full month bill was $13.00.

 

First thing we did when we bought our house in Arizona was install solar panels.  Even in the hottest months I have not had a bill over $45.00a month.

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I live in Wind central Alberta, and we have tons of BBC's Bird and Bat Choppers !!!

And Yes the ground around the base is literally covered with Birds ranging from  Eagles to Robins.  Meadow Larks seem to be especially common ....

The fine for a Person killing an Eagle up here can be as High as $250,000, but the BBC's go right on turning out "Green Energy"...

 

 Jabez Cowboy

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Folks around here are in the $100+ a month ballpark. When I was doing dig safe mark outs, I met the homeowners putting in systems. Hopefully it's better now, but then it seems most buyers were well over 70 and paying 25K for the system to get a zero to twenty dollar electric bill. They will never live long enough to pay it back and will still need to replace batteries. And now they don't have their savings for life and emergencies. Nowadays systems go back into the grid, so no batteries. I just love the scenic view of those mirrors along the the roads everywhere too!

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15 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

Folks around here are in the $100+ a month ballpark. When I was doing dig safe mark outs, I met the homeowners putting in systems. Hopefully it's better now, but then it seems most buyers were well over 70 and paying 25K for the system to get a zero to twenty dollar electric bill. They will never live long enough to pay it back and will still need to replace batteries. And now they don't have their savings for life and emergencies. Nowadays systems go back into the grid, so no batteries. I just love the scenic view of those mirrors along the the roads everywhere too!

When we built our system the federal and state programs made it much cheaper to build. We paid a little over $19,000.00 for a $40k system. We figured the system paid for itself in around 3 years with the amount of money we saved on power bills. They’ve changed the law now so that the power company doesn’t have to pay you for the excess power that you generate, so one of the features that they touted back then doesn’t happen now. I truly believe that the public utilities commission is part of the power companies.

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Same here, they are trying to cut back on what they pay for net metering.

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Back in 18 we had a category 5 hurricane. Knowing that power poles would go down, at 7:30 that morning the electric company turned off all the power in the county. And about 11:00 the hurricane landed and trees and power poles went down everywhere.

 

It took 3 weeks before I had electricity. Some parts of the county was more than two months.

 

In early 19 people started putting up solar panels. Door to door salesman were everywhere, plugging the advantage of solar power. You wouldn't even have to pay for it. The electric company would pay for it, and you would pay the electric company back every month. So instead of paying the electric company $200 a month for electricity, you would be getting your electricity for free and paying the electric company $150 a month on your solar panel bill. This was a great deal.

 

When the hurricane hit, everyone whose roof was more than 3 years old lost their shingles. So I asked the salesman how they would stand up to hurricane. No problem. They stay there forever. :wacko: Yeah, right.

 

Last month we had a tornado. The empty house across the street had a solar panel in their front yard. The lady two doors down from that had a solar panel in her front yard. A solar panel hit my gate and busted it all to hell. And while out walking the dog, and idly looking at the piles of garbage where people were throwing their houses out to the street, one house down the street had three solar panels sitting in the garbage pile.

 

They might stand up to hurricanes but they apparently don't stand up to tornadoes.

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As pointed out, the majority of windmills are recyclable except the blades. My idea, since there are something like 650 abandoned powerplants in the U.S. that have not been dismantled, and in many cases the ground around them is too polluted for people to live there; store the old blades there. 

 

Batteries can be recycled, and will be even more in the future. I think it'll take some time, as I believe a lot of the Tesla car batteries get reused into their home powerwall product. 

 

My wife and I hope to downsize in a few years. Part of my plan is putting in solar or something into our retirement home when we do. 

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Posted (edited)

Per science.org

 

Current EV batteries "are really not designed to be recycled," says Thompson.

 

Google: where are electric car batteries recycled

 

basically they aren't !! Just a new pollution to solve another and the rest of the car is made of fossil fuel as well as it's mostly plastic. Not to mention lithium etc. Mining. Sarcasm over!

Edited by Eyesa Horg
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17 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

Per science.org

 

Current EV batteries "are really not designed to be recycled," says Thompson.

 

Google: where are electric car batteries recycled

 

basically they aren't !! Just a new pollution to solve another and the rest of the car is made of fossil fuel as well as it's mostly plastic. Not to mention lithium etc. Mining. Sarcasm over!

 

No sarcasm required; I have yet to see an EV pollution analysis that factors in the pollution caused  by the upstream activities required to generate and transport the electricity used to manufacture the vehicles and keep them charged.  Where do folks think that power comes from?  Some magical electric bush?  My electricity comes from burning fossil fuels - just like a gas powered engine.  Every time I plug in a Tesla (an imaginary Tesla; I do NOT own one), I draw power from a grid that burns natural gas and/or coal, and produces CO2; that Tesla, then, is responsible for its own share of global warming, no matter how smug and self-satisfied its owner may be.  Granted; some of you may be fortunate enough to have electricity generated by a hydroelectric facility, or (gasp!) by a nuclear plant.  But even these darlings of the Green Left affect the environment and use materials and services that carry their own CO2 load or other nastiness.  I am not anti-green energy; I would simply like to see real, comprehensive analyses of all of the by-products of the generation, transport and use of such energy, rather than selective tales of "free clean power".

 

LL

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Posted (edited)

Couldn't have stated my own feelings any better. Thanks

Edited by Eyesa Horg
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2 hours ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

 

No sarcasm required; I have yet to see an EV pollution analysis that factors in the pollution caused  by the upstream activities required to generate and transport the electricity used to manufacture the vehicles and keep them charged.  Where do folks think that power comes from?  Some magical electric bush?  My electricity comes from burning fossil fuels - just like a gas powered engine.  Every time I plug in a Tesla (an imaginary Tesla; I do NOT own one), I draw power from a grid that burns natural gas and/or coal, and produces CO2; that Tesla, then, is responsible for its own share of global warming, no matter how smug and self-satisfied its owner may be.  Granted; some of you may be fortunate enough to have electricity generated by a hydroelectric facility, or (gasp!) by a nuclear plant.  But even these darlings of the Green Left affect the environment and use materials and services that carry their own CO2 load or other nastiness.  I am not anti-green energy; I would simply like to see real, comprehensive analyses of all of the by-products of the generation, transport and use of such energy, rather than selective tales of "free clean power".

 

LL

Pretty sure that if the greenies really had the light shown on their green energy and vehicle religion that it would open a lot of eyes that are clouded by the green hype now.

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7 hours ago, Eyesa Horg said:

Same here, they are trying to cut back on what they pay for net metering.

Honestly a lot of the power companies  don't want the power.    My local company had a peak time from 5 pm to 10 pm. That was when they had to buy power at higher rates.   Solar does little to provide power during this time. So it doesn’t offset any peak demand.  why should they pay a high price for power than is actually cheap for them.   Average rate was $.12/kwh.    It should not be equal pay for a kwh generated off peak vs used on peak. 
At best a consumer who supplies power to the grid should get wholesale off peak pricing and pay peak rates for what they use (net) during peak time.   I was on a plan where I paid the actual rate, so on peak $.28/kwh and off peak $.064.  Was great as I could charge my cars during off peak and my electric bill was quite low for the amount of power I used.   

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7 hours ago, Alpo said:

They might stand up to hurricanes but they apparently don't stand up to tornadoes.

Not much does.

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2 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Pretty sure that if the greenies really had the light shown on their green energy and vehicle religion that it would open a lot of eyes that are clouded by the green hype now.

 

Absoeffinglutely!  

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Supposing you've got solar panels and they supply 100% of your household needs.  Next suppose you've just installed a flux capacitor in your Delorian that you want to try out.  Now, it's a given that your solar panels can't provide the 1.21 gigawatts needed by the FC, so what happens when you plug it in and give it a try?  Does the entire system shut down?  Or do the lights dim, the refrigerator struggle and the tv flicker while the system tries in vain to provide the power requested?

 

If you start unplugging and turning off stuff until the power requested doesn't exceed the power available, do the lights pop up to full strength while the ice maker goes back to full function and everything is hunky-dorey?

 

Just wondering.

 

Angus

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41 minutes ago, Black Angus McPherson said:

Supposing you've got solar panels and they supply 100% of your household needs.  Next suppose you've just installed a flux capacitor in your Delorian that you want to try out.  Now, it's a given that your solar panels can't provide the 1.21 gigawatts needed by the FC, so what happens when you plug it in and give it a try?  Does the entire system shut down?  Or do the lights dim, the refrigerator struggle and the tv flicker while the system tries in vain to provide the power requested?

 

If you start unplugging and turning off stuff until the power requested doesn't exceed the power available, do the lights pop up to full strength while the ice maker goes back to full function and everything is hunky-dorey?

 

Just wondering.

 

Angus

The way the system works is that your solar panels send power to the electric company. You the get your power from the electric company. This is why solar panels work when there's no sun, like at night or on rainy days. 

They calculate how much you use, then subtract however much power you sent them. The difference is your bill. Sometimes you will generate more than you used and have a surplus, sometimes not.

Your Flux Capacitor will take as much power as it can from the grid. You would still probably have a LARGE electric bill that month.

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I thought you had batteries and a converter.

 

Because the system you explained would do no good in the example that I gave - hurricane came and we were without power for a month to a month and a half. If there was no lines up for electricity to come to the house from the electric company for me, then there with also be no lines up for the guy next door with solar panels to send electricity to the electric company and then get electricity back.

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Posted (edited)

Had an extended power outage one place I lived.  Bought a Honda Generator that would keep everything important running by switching usage.  Moved, bought a bigger one.  Retired and built a retirement place with a whole house generator.  I would not be without one, 30 seconds and the generator kicks in - big propane tank.  I Kept the gasoline and dual fuel generator as well.  Peace of mind!

 

BTW most of the solar setups I've heard of have a bank of batteries in order to be able to keep going when the sun doesn't shine.

Edited by Rip Snorter
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Typically here anyway, off grid has batteries and converter. On grid is "net metering" and goes into the grid. The meter runs backwards so to speak. Some have 2 meters. The beauty for some was the panels could be in a field down the road, so the scenic value was shared by neighbors instead of you!

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On 5/13/2022 at 12:57 PM, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

I have yet to see an EV pollution analysis that factors in the pollution caused  by the upstream activities required to generate and transport the electricity used to manufacture the vehicles and keep them charged. 

 

Just as you don't see the AllEVsAreWorksOfTheDevil types do an honest upstream evaluation of all the upstream activities required to produce, transport, process/manufacture ICE vehicles and the fuel for them.

 

Other than a few extremist loons I haven't seen any EV advocates make the alleged claim that there is zero environmental impact in the manufacturing or running of EVs.  In fact, most often I see that spouted by the  AllEVsAreWorksOfTheDevil crowd in an attempt to mock EVs.  

 

Depending on the source I have found estimates of between about 20,000 and 30,000 miles as a break over point for when EVs become "cleaner" than ICE vehicles.  

 

But, yeah, it takes 70,000 tons of coal burned in a 1939 power plant that has never been updated to produce electricity to charge one Tesla enough to go around the block, and the battery can only be recharged 3 times before it has to be swapped out.

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3 hours ago, Alpo said:

I thought you had batteries and a converter.

 

Because the system you explained would do no good in the example that I gave - hurricane came and we were without power for a month to a month and a half. If there was no lines up for electricity to come to the house from the electric company for me, then there with also be no lines up for the guy next door with solar panels to send electricity to the electric company and then get electricity back.

 

2 hours ago, Eyesa Horg said:

Typically here anyway, off grid has batteries and converter. On grid is "net metering" and goes into the grid. The meter runs backwards so to speak.

Quite correct. The system is a typical system, and would do you no good during a power outage. The typical system is NOT designed to power you house on it's own. You CAN get a system like Eyesa describes for your use, but they normally work the same way a typical system does UNLESS there is a power outage and you're not being fed from the grid, and they are MUCH more expensive.

And just for the info, you cannot get a Off Grid system if you are on the existing grid. If you were building a place WAY out in the boonies, you could. 

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2 hours ago, Sgt. C.J. Sabre, SASS #46770 said:

 

Quite correct. The system is a typical system, and would do you no good during a power outage. The typical system is NOT designed to power you house on it's own. You CAN get a system like Eyesa describes for your use, but they normally work the same way a typical system does UNLESS there is a power outage and you're not being fed from the grid, and they are MUCH more expensive.

And just for the info, you cannot get a Off Grid system if you are on the existing grid. If you were building a place WAY out in the boonies, you could. 

Yep, our system had to be built so that if there is a power outage it shuts down. If it’s connected to the grid it can’t be feeding power into the lines if there are people repairing the power lines, they need to have dead lines for their safety. If we had battery’s we’d have power but for a limited time. I’ve got a 10kw standby generator in case of outages.

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