Puerto Rico’s power grid in ‘critical condition’; officials fear complete collapse

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
Solar panels. But if you don’t have the acreage, your sol!
Insufficient Sol? SOL!

Honestly, most problems that people deal with are 'political' in nature, where 'political' doesn't mean partisan politics, but the reality that we need _collective_ action and that means convincing other people what action should be taken. Even if we all agreed on the facts it would be hard to come to consensus on best action, and right now with many subjects it is hard to even come to agreement on the background facts.

-Jon
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
Insufficient Sol? SOL!

Honestly, most problems that people deal with are 'political' in nature, where 'political' doesn't mean partisan politics, but the reality that we need _collective_ action and that means convincing other people what action should be taken. Even if we all agreed on the facts it would be hard to come to consensus on best action, and right now with many subjects it is hard to even come to agreement on the background facts.
You got that right! I love the internet for what it gives me access to, but with that comes the capacity for ill-meaning or simply naive people to spread poisonous misinformation to the masses. I won't give examples but we all know what I am talking about, and it makes consensus building damn near impossible. I hate to sound fatalistic, but I don't see it ever getting better; in fact, I only see it getting worse.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
Insufficient Sol? SOL!

Honestly, most problems that people deal with are 'political' in nature, where 'political' doesn't mean partisan politics, but the reality that we need _collective_ action and that means convincing other people what action should be taken. Even if we all agreed on the facts it would be hard to come to consensus on best action, and right now with many subjects it is hard to even come to agreement on the background facts.

-Jon
If you live where you don’t need A/C or heat, or have to dry clothes, yeah 7 kw might work, but I use a minimum 10 kw a day, which leaves virtually no cushion for cloudy days, and winter days where the sun is at a minimum. But there is too much bs about solar being economical being spread on the internet.
 
Are you sure? Just from my occasional reading of this forum in this one thread so far we have a line up of experts:
  • synchro, petersonra and others are all experienced seasoned expert engineers
  • ggunn seasoned PV engineer with very large PV systems.
  • GeorgeB another expert engineer with experience in Hydraulics
  • AC\DC and Dennis are expert master electricians whom works in coastal areas.
  • Jon456, Fred B and hillbilly1 all seasoned electrician experts
  • Hv&Lv our resident expert lineman
  • electrofelon another PV expert and has experience in low cost 1500v - 2400V distribution.
Thats just the people in this thread, I bet if we had complete access to the distribution maps, specs on the existing generation plants and demand load information this team could come up with a workable plan.
Then fly this team out there and they could oversee the various projects.
Let's get the dream team together and go fix this thing!😀
 
But there is too much bs about solar being economical being spread on the internet.
I don't think that is the case. First, that is way too broad a brush to say solar is economical or not. There are way too many variables to make such a statement. I don't know of anyone who will tell you living off grid is a good idea if you have grid power available. Solar is incredibly economical for me and many people. Others not so much, it really depends.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I don't think that is the case. First, that is way too broad a brush to say solar is economical or not. There are way too many variables to make such a statement. I don't know of anyone who will tell you living off grid is a good idea if you have grid power available. Solar is incredibly economical for me and many people. Others not so much, it really depends.
Sure if your off the grid in a remote place, it can be economical. But the majority of the installations are not, and many are grown over in weeds because it’s not economical to fix.
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
I don't know of anyone who will tell you living off grid is a good idea if you have grid power available.
I used to have a job in PV where I had to occasionally man a booth at a trade show. I would ask walkups what they wanted to accomplish with a PV system on their home, and a common response was that they wanted to cut their connection to the grid. My answer to them was always, "No, you probably don't."
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
Sure if your off the grid in a remote place, it can be economical. But the majority of the installations are not, and many are grown over in weeds because it’s not economical to fix.
Your implication that a system has to be off grid where the grid is unavailable to be economically viable is incorrect. Maybe things are different where you are, but I don't know of a single PV system around here languishing in disrepair because it would be too expensive to fix.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
Maybe things are different where you are, but I don't know of a single PV system around here languishing in disrepair because it would be too expensive to fix.
Most of our power is hydro, which is way more efficient. There is a lot of solar installs that were abandoned after the government money ran out.
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
well yes they do and they pay tons of taxes as well.
No, they do not, and they are not by far the only industry that gets support from the government. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, necessarily; it may be the only way to compete successfully in a world where other countries are doing it.

But in case you haven't noticed, the price tag for solar dropped by 82% between 2010 and 2020 (source: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/06/03/solar-costs-have-fallen-82-since-2010/) and subsidies are being scaled back. It is already economically viable without any subsidies at all in many places.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
No, they do not, and they are not by far the only industry that gets support from the government. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, necessarily; it may be the only way to compete successfully in a world where other countries are doing it.

But in case you haven't noticed, the price tag for solar dropped by 82% between 2010 and 2020 (source: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/06/03/solar-costs-have-fallen-82-since-2010/) and subsidies are being scaled back. It is already economically viable without any subsidies at all in many places.
name a single subsidy that is specific to the fossil fuel industry. just one.
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
Not sure if this link will work but its a interactive map of HV lines in PR
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
If you live where you don’t need A/C or heat, or have to dry clothes, yeah 7 kw might work, but I use a minimum 10 kw a day, which leaves virtually no cushion for cloudy days, and winter days where the sun is at a minimum. But there is too much bs about solar being economical being spread on the internet.
I worked it out some time ago, so the specifics are hazy, but for the cost of the solar panels and batteries to keep my house going at up to 50 kW-hr/day (average), I could buy a 22 kW generator and all the natural gas to run it for about 10 years.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
I use about 30kWh/day summer, 10kWh/day winter.

At my location a 10kW array + heat pump would cover my summer usage shoulder season heating, but would not be sufficient for deep winter heating.

Electricity is about $0.24/kWh here. We have the 'net metering' subsidy (free use of the grid as a battery).

With the 'net metering' subsidy and a DIY install, I figure a payback period of about 8 years. If other subsidies are available I will take advantage of them.

-Jon
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I have a hard time believing that. It just doesn't make sense. Honestly it sounds like you don't know much about solar.
Hmmmm, your solar puts out only 6-8 hrs a day, less in the winter and stormy days. Hydro is 24/7 365 days a year……..
 
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