Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 113 total)
  • If everyone in Britain stuck solar panels on their roof….
  • Premier Icon konabunny
    Free Member

    Solar panels make sense where it’s very very sunny. We should be harvesting some of our non-potable water from our roofs, not solar.

    …or where hot water heating is a large share of energy consumption.

    My friends have had solar panels in the highlands for years, it’s saved then tons.

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Full Member

    I haven’t read all the posts however the problem you will come across is storage of energy for use when the sun is not out.

    For home use I would imagine that a substantial proportion of people would be in the same boat as me requiring their power early in the morning and then in the evening when for a fair proportion of the year it is still dark. This means you need to be able to store the power created by the solar panels during daylight hours till you need it and to store such significant quantities of energy will take up a large amount of space.

    Premier Icon alex222
    Free Member

    Solar panels make sense where it’s very very sunny.

    Photovoltaics don’t need direct sunlight. They are also more efficient in low temperatures. Those infra red water tubes for water systems also don’t need direct sun light.

    Premier Icon klumpy
    Free Member

    I have some on my garage roof. I live in Oxfordshire. In the winter I get paid £75 pm, in the summer months its been up to £150.

    Cost me £8k to fit it.

    On weekends we use it to power the washing machine, dishwasher etc for free. The income is greater than our electricity and gas costs per year.

    Brilliant.
    Your feed in tarrif, paid at several times what your watt hours are worth even if the grid could use them (it probably can’t), goes straight on everyone else’s fuel bill. And rising fuel bills hit the poorest the hardest.

    STW communists, gather! 😈

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    Did you hear that programme on R4 last week about the nox treatment plant in Sellafield?

    NOx treatment? which plant is that?

    I think you mean Mixed Oxide Fuel. The rebuild of the existing plant fell through after the Tsunami shut down it’s customers.

    France successfully produces 200+Te MOX fuel per year (Link) for use all over the world. MOX fuel is a great solution to Pu stockpiles and energy shortages.

    Solare, wind, etc are all part of the mix so is a stable base load and reduced consumption. I made the point earlier – increasing population = increasing demand. At the rate the population is expanding and contries are heading to more developed states demand increase continues. Even with massive reductions in the west energy use will rise. A proper solution is required.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Full Member

    klumpy – you are correct 🙂

    But Im quite happy spending my savings on shiny bike parts. I got far less when the money was in an ISA.

    Its the best thing Ive done with any money Ive ever had.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    I’ve read the Without Hot Air paper from start to finish.

    Its clear that solar isn’t the answer but it could make a very useful contribution.

    A move to ground or air source heat pumps would help as well too.

    Coal and Fission for the next 50 years until renewables can ramp and we have viable Fusion

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    If solar energy was that good we wouldn’t need subsidies for it. It would’ve happened already.

    Well not necessarily – sometimes you need economies of scale, and you can’t get those without lots of take-up. So the public susbsidy is to get around this initial Catch-22. A good use of Government imo.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Klumpy, I am with you – and I am so far from being a communist. The whole concept of subsidising panels for reasonably affluent people by levying increased charges on the poorest is totally screwed up. Add to that the fact that the panels will take AT LEAST two years (and possibly much longer) to payback the energy cost of making the panel in the first place and its clearly got very little to do with reducing CO2…

    Premier Icon samuri
    Free Member

    No-one has talked about biomass yet as far as I can see.
    As someone who works for a company that has to deal with a lot of poo, I see this is an entirely viable source of energy. Our largest poo factory is already generating around 9MW. That’s just one waste water treatment works.

    The food and stuff that goes in your green bin is also being used to generate electricity on a quite reasonable scale, the new plant at Widnes will produce around 4MW.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Free Member

    let’s do some maths!

    uk population = 60,000,000

    let’s assume that each household is 3 people, living in a house, with a roof that can present 10m^2 of usefull roofspace towards the sun.

    lets assume that half of all households are suitable (some households are a flat)

    finally, lets assume that each square metre generates an average of 1kw edit: 500W during daylight hours.

    10,000,000 roofs, 200,000,000 square metres of solar panel, 100,000,000,000 edit: 50,000,000 Watts of power generation.

    that’s 100GW edit: 50GW

    from memory, the uk needs something like 70GW, so according to my vastly over-optimistic estimates, it could edit: couldn’t work…

    now, how feasible is it?

    i’m sure photovoltaics have their place, i’m not yet convinced that place is covering every roof in the uk.

    Premier Icon glasgowdan
    Free Member

    Add in to the mix tidal, wind and ground source heat and the UK could easily* go the way of Germany and rid itself of nuclear altogether.

    *Yes, the word easily is not entirely correct, but everything requires a bit of work doesn’t it.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Full Member

    The gov response to all this is daft and short sighted. Logical thinking people stand no chance of changing that response, which is a shame.

    Make the most of what you can now.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Free Member

    glasgowdan – Member

    Add in to the mix tidal, wind and ground source heat and the UK could easily* go the way of Germany and rid itself of nuclear altogether.

    Germany still uses Nuclear power, they buy it from the French + Swiss.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    let’s do some maths

    Why not read the link where someone has done the maths properly?

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Free Member

    why not think for yourself?

    i’m not being ar53y, i just like doing maths 🙂

    (and, that link is where i got my 1000/500W value from)

    Premier Icon alex222
    Free Member

    that’s 100GW edit: 50GW

    the uk needs something like 70GW

    it could edit: couldn’t work… provide 70% of a base load bassed on pretty rough and ready calculations; so let us assume that it could provide 35% of a base load. That is better than a kick in the bollox and could help take the edge off the ever increasing fuel bills that are shafting the poor everyone pretty much.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    alex222 – Member

    Everyone is ready to jump up and down and say Photovoltaics, infrared hot water (hot water solar) onshore wind, offshore wind, tidal, wave, insert any form of renewable energy is useless. The only answer is coal and we may as well just deal with the rising cost of energy with no consideration for alternatives.

    grum – Member

    Do we have to have this straw man in every single thread about energy?

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    provide 70% of a base load

    I’m guessing you don’t understand what “base load” means in the context of power generation.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    +1 to ahwiles, removing nuclear and using nuclear are 2 different things

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    The whole concept of subsidising panels for reasonably affluent people by levying increased charges on the poorest is totally screwed up.

    This. It’s incredibly socially unjust.

    I note that nearly all the discussion is about supply side, yet we could do so much more to reduce demand. The subsidies for middle-class solar would save far more carbon if they were directed to proper insulation and efficient boilers instead.

    Regarding how many power stations we would need, it’s not binary. Use fossil fuels only for when it’s dark and the wind’s not blowing…

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Full Member

    fasthaggis – Member
    Most people are lazy and want to see some super fast return on the investment,so they can’t be Rsd making the effort.

    The answer is more in educating about efficient use,rather than giving us more cheap energy.

    Don’t think most people are lazy or otherwise, how many people on the min wage, low paid jobs, renting or pensioners do you think can afford to install £10k worth of panels and then afford to maintain them? I know lots of people who fall into that category.
    The polyester film used in panels has to be certified for 25yrs. I imagine all the other components used and that are not biodegradable will be the same. So in 25yrs or less when the first generation of panels have to be scrapped how will they be recycled? Yet another cost!.

    Premier Icon alex222
    Free Member

    I’m guessing you don’t understand what “base load” means in the context of power generation.

    The minimum amount of power a utility company has to provide.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Full Member

    Don’t need to do dodgy maths to try to find a way to make GW generated by individual households balance GW required. Especially so when there needs to be some kind of source of power for when PV are not illuminated or bird dicers are not spinning on a calm day.

    Might make more sense to use other means to reduce power requirements. Solar heating, ground source heating, etc.

    I’m all for mini/micro nuclear in every home (just to spice it up a bit).

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    Germany still uses Nuclear power, they buy it from the French + Swiss

    True, but did you know that French nuclear relies on having an export market? Because nuclear can’t easily be turned up or down to match demand, exports and imports are the only way they can sustain such a high percentage of their generation from nuclear. That, and a shed load of hydro.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    The minimum amount of power a utility company has to provide.

    So how does solar provide 70% of that when it’s dark?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    it could edit: couldn’t work… provide 70% of a base load bassed on pretty rough and ready calculations; so let us assume that it could provide 35% of a base load. That is better than a kick in the bollox and could help take the edge off the ever increasing fuel bills that are shafting the poor everyone pretty much.

    except at night 🙂

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    True, but did you know that French nuclear relies on having an export market? Because nuclear can’t easily be turned up or down to match demand, exports and imports are the only way they can sustain such a high percentage of their generation from nuclear.

    I think that simply reinforces the point that Germany is still using nuclear – simply that not only do they locate their nuclear power stations away from their centres of population, they locate them in a completely different country.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Full Member

    You will all go round in ever frustrating arguments about what should be done vs what is being done.

    In the end you will realise no Gov is going to do the right thing and not enough individuals will make a difference.

    You then end up realising the most logical thing to do is make money for yourself out of the daft system.

    *turns up heating as its free and a bit nippy outside*

    Premier Icon alex222
    Free Member

    so let us assume that it could provide 35% of a base load.

    So how does solar provide 70% of that when it’s dark?

    You got me; how does solar provide 35% of that when it’s dark?

    [edit]except at night[/edit] 😀

    Premier Icon mt
    Free Member

    You can’t use panels on most buildings in the Dales. The National Park authorities want the Dales to keep their character right up until we are building nuclear plants and wind farms across the top of the hills and there is a tidal scheme on the Wharfe.

    It’s got to be a no brainier to fit things if you can afford it, you can appease you middle class consciences by purchasing a copy of the Guardian whilst employing a cleaner. Oh and drink a little champagne.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Full Member

    In the end you will realise no Gov is going to do the right thing and not enough individuals will make a difference.

    Always the problem when a gov term is ca. 5 years, and of those, 2 are when they can do radical stuff in a honeymoon period, 1 is mid term blues, and the last 2 are a combination of trying to get elected again or setting up the next govt to have a sh1t time if you’re going to lose.

    Using the German example above – Merkel cashed in on the Japanese tsunami and Fukushima issue to grab back a little bit more popularity, and to make sure no other party could do that for the elections which are later this year. Germany may have a lot of windmills, but they certainly don’t provide the meat of the power generated.

    Premier Icon Bimbler
    Free Member

    zeee chermans are going for it and they think they can make it work, and I wouldn’t bet againt them

    Costing the Earth – Berlin’s Big Gamble

    certainly an eye opening program – interesting how it’s not big-gov and big-capital driving a lot of the development it’s small/local groups. The down side is the eye-watering bills they’re gonna have to pay for a few years, although if the Russkies turn the gas off they can still be warm.

    Check out the table in this wiki article

    Renewable Energy in Germany

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Full Member

    Surely once the Russians turn off the power we will be grateful for any electricity at all.
    Making this country as self sufficent as possible is not only so we can watch X factor it’s about national defence.
    We will end up doing whatever the Russians want or they won’t give us any leccy. Ukraine anyone?

    Premier Icon mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    The ‘without hot air’ link – its interesting to see what the big chunks of consumption are; air flights, heating & cars.

    Its fairly apparent that cars & flights in their present form will just get more and more expensive. I guess eventually people will be forced, economically, to start cutting back on travel.

    Heating is a bit trickier, we like to not freeze. Time to stock up on woolly jumpers. Or build better insulated houses that don’t leak heat & make good use of the sun.

    Premier Icon cheekyboy
    Free Member

    PV by its nature is a direct current, as we sit on a grid designed exclusively for AC then surely the greater us of pv must mean greater use of switch mode dc>ac conversion and step up transformation to match grid voltage, this (imo) cannot be a good thing,it cannot therefore be viable except on a very small scale or limited to demands immediately in the vicinity of where it is produced ie: drip fed into the households mains via an inverter downstream of the meter if tariffs are to be collected.

    This is a purely personal opinion and I apologise if it offends anyone.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    alex222 – would you care to do the calcs to work out how much space you’d need for your molten salt battery to provide 70% 35% of the UK’s baseload? Though given you’re advocating solar panels on roofs, presumably you just put some molten salt storage under every house, along with the associated steam generator etc.?

    Feel free to just suggest it’s a problem we’ll solve in the future if it helps.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    If only Germany had the army of naysayers and people with a hard on for nuclear power we have in this country, then they wouldn’t be falling for all this misguided hippy nonsense! 🙂

    Premier Icon alex222
    Free Member

    alex222 – would you care to do the calcs to work out how much space you’d need for your molten salt battery to provide 70% 35% of the UK’s baseload? Though given you’re advocating solar panels on roofs, presumably you just put some molten salt storage under every house, along with the associated steam generator etc.?

    My comment was based on some calculations that someone else did as in ahwiles did some rough calculations to say that pv could provide 50GW which is 70%. I know it is not the answer I just find it hard to believe that it doesn’t go some way to helping out with the problem that we humanity are currently faced with. I would hold my hands up and say it is not the answer and I am by no means an expert but surely combined with other sources of power it can go some way to alleviating fossil fuel dependency?

    aracer – Member
    alex222 – Member
    Everyone is ready to jump up and down and say Photovoltaics, infrared hot water (hot water solar) onshore wind, offshore wind, tidal, wave, insert any form of renewable energy is useless. The only answer is coal and we may as well just deal with the rising cost of energy with no consideration for alternatives.

    grum – Member
    Do we have to have this straw man in every single thread about energy?
    😆 😆 😆 😆

    What is the answer aracer? You seem to know wholesale what isn’t the answer so presumably you also know what the wholesale answer is?

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Full Member

    Was going to say it’d make more sense to build solar parks, but then the land they’d use are farm fields that are either sitting there doing nothing or would be fields that would have been useful for biomass.

    Only need to build an apple orchard round the solar park to make it invisible to passers by, unlike bird dicers up on scottish hills.

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 113 total)

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