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Old 11-18-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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Solar power has painted a rosy picture of clean energy but after 2.2 Billion dollars the Ivanpah installation is only delivering 50% of promised output.



With these types of situations it's insanity to insist on shutting down all coal fired plants and nuclear facilities.

Quote:
Kaitlin Meese, an analyst at research firm Bentek Energy, said its early production figures "do not paint a strong picture for solar-thermal technology development." Meanwhile, Dr Neil Fromer, an executive director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology said, “The operation of such plants is highly dependent on weather conditions, and predicting when and how strongly the sun will shine is not a perfect science. A little bit of inefficiency with mirrors can translate into a loss of power output ranging from small to significant,” AP reported.
No sun in California? Lack of light hinders revolutionary solar plant ? RT USA
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:05 PM
 
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I wonder who cleans all those panels. It is a fact that dust coating solar panels reduces their efficiency.

Considering that this solar farm is located in a place where dust isn't in short supply, perhaps that is part of the problem.

I note that its predicted that the efficiency will go up within several years. Since when do solar panels increase their efficiency over time? They do not, they lose efficiency over time.

There has been and still is a drought in California meaning over the last years there has been less cloud cover. That is the best possible scenario for solar. What happens when the drought cycle ends and we see a much greater percentage of cloud cover? That is a direct hit to solar harvests and it isn't like they can simply move all the panels to some other location.

There is a place for solar but betting the future on it is risky.

If all the money that has gone into solar had been put into research to develop alternative fuels, might we already have a solution for the future?
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,620,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
Solar power has painted a rosy picture of clean energy but after 2.2 Billion dollars the Ivanpah installation is only delivering 50% of promised output.

With these types of situations it's insanity to insist on shutting down all coal fired plants and nuclear facilities.
Au contraire, I think it's merely a sign that we need to invest more resources in converting to renewable energy sources more quickly, because the latest UN report shows we're in worse shape regarding carbon pollution than we thought.

Quote:
I note that its predicted that the efficiency will go up within several years. Since when do solar panels increase their efficiency over time? They do not, they lose efficiency over time.
But operationally it can improve, as the computer models that drive the control process are improved. This is to be expected with brand new technology. I remember reading that the power rating on the Hoover Dam was lower than the engineers expected at first, but that through a series of tweaks and upgrades the output was gradually increased by half again what it was to start with.

Quote:
If all the money that has gone into solar had been put into research to develop alternative fuels, might we already have a solution for the future?
What does that even mean? Fuels are just stored energy. The energy has to come from somewhere. An the prime directiv in all this is to reduce carbon emissions. How do you do that? Use solar energy, wind energy, todal energy, geothermal energy and all the other renewables to generate hydrogen, to operate fuel cells, or to charge batteries. That's pretty much the whole menu right now. And in any case, it comes down to the energy source, and this kind of installation is key to mastering the use of solar energy.

I think we should be doing more. And faster.
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Old 11-18-2014, 04:15 PM
 
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The quote in the OP from the article is about thermal solar with mirrors.
But the picture shown is clearly solar PV. I think the OP is a little confused.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,620,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
The quote in the OP from the article is about thermal solar with mirrors.
But the picture shown is clearly solar PV. I think the OP is a little confused.
Details, details... you don't expect facts to interrupt a good rant, do you?
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:03 PM
 
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Makes me wonder what part of the industry OpenD represents .
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:37 PM
 
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I believe that failing to think past solar, wind, geo and the other renewables as they are presently known is part of the problem, not the solution. The increasing demands for energy exceed the build capacity for the equipment and systems that provide the current crop of renewables. Using renewables to manufacture enough renewable energy systems to meet even current demand is unsustainable as a system.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,620,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberguy1950 View Post
Makes me wonder what part of the industry OpenD represents .
That's the fallacy known as ad hominem at work... attacking the speaker because you have no valid rebuttal to the speaker's argument.

Eddyline is completely accurate that plwht posted a picture of the wrong kind of solar energy installation. Ivanpah has movable mirrors, not static pv panels, as you can see in the diagram in the article he linked to, and in the youtube video listed in that article.

It's not only funny that the OP got caught with the wrong visual, because Reuters did... and in the process broke TOS rules against posting copyright photos... but it's also kind of telling, because it visually confuses the truth of what I then posted in my followup, that tweaking the computerized controls of the constantly moving mirrors of a solar-concentrator has a lot to do with how efficiently that kind of solar energy collector works. And it should be obvious that a brand new technology is going to have teething pains. They always do. Jumping all over its performance at this early stage is way premature.

Here's the rebuttal to plwht's criticism, right in the Reuters article, showing that its report was more balanced than one might think from just reading that one clip. NRG said:

Quote:
"During startup we have experienced ... equipment challenges, typical with any new technology, combined with irregular weather patterns," NRG spokesman Jeff Holland said in a statement. "We are confident that Ivanpah's long-term generation projections will meet expectations."

http://rt.com/usa/206551-solar-plant...ampaign=chrome
In other words, the kind of PV panel solar energy installation plwht showed in the still photo has completely different dynamics, and doesn't track the sun the way Ivanpah does, and early reports on performance are disappointing, yes, but are only preliminary.

So suggesting that I might work in the industry or for the industry... I don't have any connection at all... just because I'm intelligent and well informed and opposed to all the negativity, is nothing better than an unfounded insult to make me seem somehow less credible.

Last edited by OpenD; 11-18-2014 at 10:01 PM..
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:13 PM
 
11,780 posts, read 8,593,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
That's the fallacy known as ad hominem at work... attacking the speaker because you have no valid rebuttal to the speaker's argument.

Eddyline is completely accurate that plwht posted a picture of the wrong kind of solar energy installation. Ivanpah has movable mirrors, not static pv panels, as you can see in the diagram in the article he linked to, and in the youtube video listed in that article.

It's not only funny that the OP got caught with the wrong visual, because Reuters did... and in the process broke TOS rules against posting copyright photos...
Actually, the photo belongs to Reuters, but the article is by RT. The picture is of a solar farm in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

Solar panels of local mining company CAP are seen in the Atacama Desert - 42-59588772 - Rights Managed - Stock Photo - Corbis
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,620,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lycos679 View Post
Actually, the photo belongs to Reuters, but the article is by RT. The picture is of a solar farm in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Good catch. RT = Russia Today And on further examination, the incorrect photo is copyrighted and owned by a stock photo company called Corbis Images, and they are aggressive about suing websites for misappropriating their images without payment. plwht would be well advised to ask the mods to delete that photo before it causes a problem for City Data.

Why do I care, you might ask? As a published writer and photographer I hold many copyrights that lose value if they are inappropriately used without payment, and I have many other creative friends who are battling to keep their incomes up in the face of so much misappropriation. IOW, because it personally affects me.
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