Solar power

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dereckbc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Plano, TX
cschmid said:
how about we create a hot water system and have the system run a generator..you know the Boiler style system..
It is called Solar Thermal Power Plant, and has already been tried and tested. The DOE and the state of California built some huge plants back in the 80's to do exactly that. Operating cost were so high, they dissasembled all the plants and refuse to publish results.
 

gndrod

Senior Member
Location
Ca and Wa
other url works

other url works

ghostbuster said:
This link in the post works(I just tried it),however it is sometimes flaky.

Try this link and click on the first related link at the bottom of the page.It is really intersting looking at real live data without having to calculate what the calculated sun impact is at a certain latitude.

http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=4043&SiteNodeID=252&BL_ExpandID=

Enjoy
Thanks for the RET site. Has good info. rbj
 

cschmid

Senior Member
dereckbc said:
It is called Solar Thermal Power Plant, and has already been tried and tested. The DOE and the state of California built some huge plants back in the 80's to do exactly that. Operating cost were so high, they dissasembled all the plants and refuse to publish results.

If they can not succeed in California then I wont waste my time in minnesota..I am researching solar for hot water usage and maybe even supplemental for floor heat but I do have some concerns on whether the collecting units are even effective at 10 below zero or at 50 below zero..:cool:
 

mfpetryk

Member
cschmid said:
so is there any other technology available for solar applications outside of batteries..could you not run a DC motor that powers a generator..
You could just grid-tie the system and not worry about batteries (if it's allowed in your area)
 
mfpetryk said:
You could just grid-tie the system and not worry about batteries (if it's allowed in your area)
mfpetryk I see from a previous post you have been involved in a grid tie in NY.From what I can tell you must be an eligible installer as NYSERDA would require.I am looking at the eligibility application form and they want experience and references of past PV installs.How could a contractor become an eligible installer without PV experience? Its not like I have never connected elect. equip. to the grid! Just wondering how you did it
 

cschmid

Senior Member
mfpetryk said:
You could just grid-tie the system and not worry about batteries (if it's allowed in your area)
I have all kinds of questions..If I did a direct hookup I would have to purchase a converter..then i need to install system so it tracks the sun for maximum effeciency..then I need to calulate the income the system could generate..then I need to calculate the cost of the system..I need to check the tax benefit from it being a green install vs the taxes from the electrical generation profit..is there anything I missed..
 

mfpetryk

Member
Pete Benoit said:
mfpetryk I see from a previous post you have been involved in a grid tie in NY.From what I can tell you must be an eligible installer as NYSERDA would require.I am looking at the eligibility application form and they want experience and references of past PV installs.How could a contractor become an eligible installer without PV experience? Its not like I have never connected elect. equip. to the grid! Just wondering how you did it
I am on the design side, so I really can't help you much there, sorry.

Most NYSERDA projects that I have been involved with have had some quirks.
 

mfpetryk

Member
cschmid said:
I have all kinds of questions..If I did a direct hookup I would have to purchase a converter..then i need to install system so it tracks the sun for maximum effeciency..then I need to calulate the income the system could generate..then I need to calculate the cost of the system..I need to check the tax benefit from it being a green install vs the taxes from the electrical generation profit..is there anything I missed..
You will need a utility-approved inverter (in this area at least), but I haven't seen much in terms of tracking hardware yet. There is estimation software available to help with the calculations, PVWatts is one of the LEED approved programs that I've used.
 
cschmid said:
I have all kinds of questions...
A few years ago SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES sent me a ton of info for free,I dont know if they still do this but start there.I think grid tie in NY is a hard sell because the utility approved inverter shuts down during an outage and it could be sunny all day and you would still be without power,dont know by experence,just what I was told
 
If you are interested in checking into incentives for Photovoltaics (solar electric panels or thermal) see:

http://www.dsireusa.org/

They list all available rebates/grants/tax credits by state.

Right now the Feds (US) are offering a tax credit of 30% of the installed cost of your system ($2k cap for residential) On grid or off! This credit can be spread over several years. I'm not an accountant but I understand that you can also apply an accelerated depreciation schedule to increase your tax savings.

As far how much power can you produce:

When the sun is directly overhead (Noon sun) it has an intensity of about 1000 watts/sq meter at sea level.

Photovoltaic systems can deliver +/- 12% to the grid.
A good rule of thumb for your system size is to figure on harvesting about 10 watts/sq foot per noon sun hour per day. Many places in North America get around 5 noon sun hrs per day. A system that can produce 3kW will take up approx 300 sq', (+/- $27k before incentives) and can produce 15 kWh daily.
The cost savings depends on how much you pay/kWh. Check your utility bill.

Thermal collectors (water or air) can harvest as much as 40% of the noon sun energy. It's a little tougher to get a hard number on your cost savings but it usually has a better return than PV. (Solar Electric)

Another "incentive" is that once you have installed a renewable power system, you have locked in your energy costs for the life of the system. Compare that to utility rate inflation of 3-5% per year in many areas.

If you want to learn more about Solar check out NABCEP.org
North American Board of Certified Energy Practicioners.
They have a downloadable study guide with many references.

Enjoy:cool:
 

cschmid

Senior Member
thanks for the links..So all the systems you install are fixed in place systems..So during the winter months the rate of transfer or absorption is considerably lower than the already low amounts quoted..or am I missing some thing here..yet it gives me more ideas to ponder..so in my area our sunlight hours vary around 4 minutes a day both up and down..so you would have to make a program that would associate that to the angle of the sun and vary the angle of the collectors..the collector plate would have to be strong enough to handle extreme cold and extreme hot..so you would need to include some sort of GPS system in the controls..just so you could maintain a 30% effeiciency or is the efficiency rating figured on a fixed plate install..

So is there prints available to build your own collectors..or how much does this stuff cost assembled..
 

rexowner

Senior Member
Location
San Jose, CA
Cschmid:

All this info is available somewhere free online, but
if you want a how-to manual, one is called "Photovoltaics
Design and Installation Manual", from Solar Energy
International. It also has tables addressing one
of your issues about the tracker. I don't know where
you are in MN, but e.g. in Saint Cloud you will get
an average of 4.6 KWh/m2 / Day with a static array
tilted south at latitute (you will get a fraction of this
in power). A single axis tracker will bring this up to
5.9 kWH/m2 / day, with the biggest gain in the summer
months. A dual-axis tracker would bring this up to 6.1,
but the big gain over a single-axis would come in the
winter months.

Solar installations are incredibly site specific, and it
is impossible describe all the issues here.

This is a a very interesting area, so good luck!
 
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cschmid

Senior Member
rexowner said:
Cschmid:

All this info is available somewhere free online, but
if you want a how-to manual, one is called "Photovoltaics
Design and Installation Manual", from Solar Energy
International. It also has tables addressing one
of your issues about the tracker. I don't know where
you are in MN, but e.g. in Saint Cloud you will get
an average of 4.6 KWh/m2 / Day with a static array
tilted south at latitute (you will get a fraction of this
in power). A single axis tracker will bring this up to
5.9 kWH/m2 / day, with the biggest gain in the summer months. A dual-axis tracker would bring this up to 6.1,
but the big gain over a single-axis would come in the
winter months.

Solar installations are incredibly site specific, and it
is impossible all the issues here.

This is a a very interesting area, so good luck!
thanks for the info..
 
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