Author Topic: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!  (Read 7452 times)

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Offline .RC.

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2023, 12:21:58 am »


The huge solar array in Oz with the "power cord" to Singapore was at least something that could have been done, 

Highly unlikely.  Look at the predicament in Europe over gas supplies.




Quote

 if the very long underwater cable route didn't turn out to be impractical.
If they forgot Singapore & ran the cable down to the Eastern States who are always whingeing about running out of power, after being so dumb as to export all their LNG, it could have worked.


Queensland is a net exporter pretty much most of the time.  They have the youngest fleet of coal fired power stations.  Wait and see unless there is some major technological breakthrough in the ability to store energy in a readily usable form and things stay the same politicialy and soocially as they do now, they will be operating for decades to come.   Australia is not going to go down the nuclear path despite operating a nuclear reactor in the country for 60+ years.

You need to be aware of "greenwashing" people.    You know I mentioned the villians that cloak themselves in the good deeds of others.   Look at all the solar panels on the roof of premises.  All these people who claim they are "caring for the environment" were not rushing out to install these when there was zero money in it.  They needed to be subsidised by the taxpayer.   Then also subsidised as they never paid for the network upgrades that the grid owners had to fork out as now there are all these micro generators everywhere in random places causing headaches.

I was reading some time back in WA (that is Western Australia (not Austria) for overseas people) the electricity providers are building these generating facilities on rural outback stations, so they do not have to maintain the SWER lines.   A big heap of panels and storage and back up diesel generator and a $150 000 cost + maintenance.  Not cheap to provide mains quality electricity to a couple of houses.

Quote
"Law, & Mental Health"  are hardly "soft options".



I consider them emotional based things. I think you know what I am getting at.  It may not be 100% true all the time, but I think you understand the vibe of what I said.

It might be emotions that give us inspiration that leads to new technological things.   But society tends to take emotions too far, especially when the people are institutionalised through always having wealth or always having electricity on, the supermarket always having food etc. They start living in a bubble world. It is why I laugh at these people who say coal is dead.

They seem to be ignorant of the other billions of people in the world who are in real poverty, not the Australian definition of poverty which is when you can not afford a new iphone and a 72" TV in the same year (yes I know it is slightly exaggerated but I am sure you get the vibe again)  The people in real poverty are more worried about their next meal then emissions.  And fossil fuels are low technology things to extract usable energy from.  Just add a low technology activation energy and the energy starts coming out.  There is not even enough mined copper in the world for everyone to have the same amount of copper usage that the average westerner has. Yes aluminium is abundant but has issues, and requires lots of energy to go from bauxite to the metal.

If Australia was really smart then they would be gearing towards huge amounts of research towards storage technologies with all government's doing their part.  But talking to some representatives of a new wind farm development, you can see that will never happen.   They said 100% of all items for their massive wind farm are made in China. Australian's big contribution is getting big rocks and turning them into small rocks and mix concrete like the Romans did thousands of years ago.. Oh and get a spanner and put it on a nut and tighten it.   You know the super high technology stuff.

Like solar panels, not a single manufacturer in Australia when there used to be one in Sydney decades ago. (and before anyone mentions Tindall solar they assemble panels from imported components)  AFAIK and I am probably wrong and someone will correct me, but anyway there is one small semiconductor component manufacturer in Sydney that makes their in house semiconductors. 

Go the smart country that built the fifth stored programmable computer in the world and the seventh country in the world to launch their own satellite.  How far we have come.
 

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2023, 12:46:38 am »
The huge solar array in Oz with the "power cord" to Singapore was at least something that could have been done, 
Highly unlikely.  Look at the predicament in Europe over gas supplies.

It was almost about the happen, but a dispute between the two funders meant the money dried up.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia-Asia_Power_Link

Quote
AAPowerLink has been developed by an Australian company Sun Cable, backed by Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes. It was projected to begin construction in mid-2023, with operation starting in early 2026 and completion by late 2027.[1] The project would add A$8 billion to the economy of the Northern Territory, then exporting A$2 billion of electricity every year.[3][4]

The project collapsed in January 2023, after Sun Cable was placed into voluntary administration following a disagreement between Forrest and Cannon-Brookes about the need to put more funding into the venture.[5][6] As of 5 May 2023, a process for the sale of the company has attracted four bidders, including companies owned by Forrest and Cannon-Brookes.[7]
 

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2023, 12:49:31 am »
Like solar panels, not a single manufacturer in Australia when there used to be one in Sydney decades ago. (and before anyone mentions Tindall solar they assemble panels from imported components)  AFAIK and I am probably wrong and someone will correct me, but anyway there is one small semiconductor component manufacturer in Sydney that makes their in house semiconductors. 

https://www.tindosolar.com.au/
 

Offline .RC.

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2023, 02:22:57 am »


https://www.tindosolar.com.au/

That is them.  Import most components from overseas. 

https://www.solarchoice.net.au/products/panels/Tindo-solar-panels-review/


Quote
Tindo Solar import many of their required components from overseas, however the solar panels are engineered and assembled in Australia.


It was almost about the happen, but a dispute between the two funders meant the money dried up.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia-Asia_Power_Link



Maybe.   Call me suspicious, but the dispute could have been orchestrated as a means to shut down the project if they did not get the "other people's money" they were expecting.

There seems to be a zillion projects all out there.

The solar powered steel mill in South Australia.

Now I see South Australia government is going to build a huge hydrogen facility, but I thought for the most part hydrogen is essentially experimental still because of the engineering problems to overcome.

I am suspicious of all these projects due to the involvement of politics and money.   How do you sort out what is actually viable over what is just grifting or vote buying.  Then add in the expert opinion of some social media influencer and an actor or three, a pinch of lawyer. Mix in some pictures of whales and a tree and insta-money from the gullible that think milk comes from the supermarket.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2023, 02:57:49 am by .RC. »
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2023, 08:45:49 am »
It will always be WAY less bang-per-buck than any conventional panel installation.
I don't dispute that. Roofs should be covered first.
But what we see is that less optimal parts are getting solar panels because of availability of money or will. You have a roof which faces less than ideal angle, while I'm sure there are neighbors that don't have solar panels. Netherlands installs a lot of panels, while the climate in Spain is much better.

Imagine you live in a flat roofed house in Amsterdam. Your real estate agent will tell you that your roof garden is worth 30k. Would you sacrifice that to install panels, or would you pay 4500 EUR for these panels, to install 10sqm?
If you include installation cost, inverter costs, and subtract the cost of high quality flooring, the ROI will look also very different.
 

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2023, 09:40:52 am »
Would you sacrifice that to install panels, or would you pay 4500 EUR for these panels, to install 10sqm?
If you include installation cost, inverter costs, and subtract the cost of high quality flooring, the ROI will look also very different.

It would never pay itself back, ever.
I'm not sayin there will never be very niche applications for this stuff, I've even said that for Solar Freakin Roadways. But otherwise they are a completely brain dead idea.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2023, 10:13:06 am »
It will always be WAY less bang-per-buck than any conventional panel installation.
I don't dispute that. Roofs should be covered first.
But what we see is that less optimal parts are getting solar panels because of availability of money or will. You have a roof which faces less than ideal angle, while I'm sure there are neighbors that don't have solar panels. Netherlands installs a lot of panels, while the climate in Spain is much better.

Imagine you live in a flat roofed house in Amsterdam. Your real estate agent will tell you that your roof garden is worth 30k. Would you sacrifice that to install panels, or would you pay 4500 EUR for these panels, to install 10sqm?
If you include installation cost, inverter costs, and subtract the cost of high quality flooring, the ROI will look also very different.
Agreed. I have looked at installing solar panels at the back of my home that is facing NNW at 55 degrees angle (as the roof at the front is already full). Having the installation done (around 5k euro for 3kWp) is never going to pay itself back. A DIY installation sits at a payback time of around 10 years. IOW: it is not worth it even though some neighbours do have panels at the back of their (identical) homes.

Solar panels that lay flat in the garden get more than twice the amount of energy from the sun compared to when I mount them on the roof at the back of my home. The spec for Platio tiles is around 186Wp/m^2 so you'd be looking at 1860Wp for 10m^2. Estimated annual electricity output is at around 850W per Wp which means a production of 1581kWh per year. At my current electricity price and the Platio install costing 4.5k euro for 10m^2, it would pay for itself in 9 years (without taking into account the cost I'd have to pay for pavement).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2023, 11:55:44 am by nctnico »
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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2023, 12:14:13 pm »
Solar panels that lay flat in the garden get more than twice the amount of energy from the sun compared to when I mount them on the roof at the back of my home. The spec for Platio tiles is around 186Wp/m^2 so you'd be looking at 1860Wp for 10m^2. Estimated annual electricity output is at around 850W per Wp which means a production of 1581kWh per year. At my current electricity price and the Platio install costing 4.5k euro for 10m^2, it would pay for itself in 9 years (without taking into account the cost I'd have to pay for pavement).

You have no idea what the install cost is.
Here's what an install looks like, not complicated, at all  ::)
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2023, 12:47:17 pm »
It is not exactly like putting solar panels on the roof is cheap. The installation you used in your video as a comparison costs around 6k to 7k euro to have it installed (materials + labour). And to me the Platio install from the picture looks pretty simple. Just click the connections in as you'd do with larger solar panels. I really don't see the problem here. Put down a base / interconnect layer and click the tiles into them. That is a whole lot easier compared to putting panels on a sloped roof (been there, done that).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2023, 12:51:22 pm by nctnico »
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2023, 01:04:31 pm »


The huge solar array in Oz with the "power cord" to Singapore was at least something that could have been done, 

Highly unlikely.  Look at the predicament in Europe over gas supplies.

I did say it wasn't an impractical idea---the technology exists to do it, at least as far as the Solar generation & storage are concerned, & Dave pretty much showed the cable could work.

We are unlikely to stupidly decide to attack a neighbour & then get boycotted like dear old Mother Russia, so the situations are very different.
Quote



Quote

 if the very long underwater cable route didn't turn out to be impractical.
If they forgot Singapore & ran the cable down to the Eastern States who are always whingeing about running out of power, after being so dumb as to export all their LNG, it could have worked.


Queensland is a net exporter pretty much most of the time.  They have the youngest fleet of coal fired power stations.  Wait and see unless there is some major technological breakthrough in the ability to store energy in a readily usable form and things stay the same politicialy and soocially as they do now, they will be operating for decades to come.   Australia is not going to go down the nuclear path despite operating a nuclear reactor in the country for 60+ years.

Yeah, about the same length of time that Fusion has been "just around the corner".
It has always been the cheaper option to export uranium, burn coal & gas for generation of power, & import petrol & diesel fuel from overseas for road vehicles, with the latter also used also for some power generation, farm machines, & trains, etc.
All whilst waiting for someone to perfect Fusion.
Quote

You need to be aware of "greenwashing" people.    You know I mentioned the villians that cloak themselves in the good deeds of others.   Look at all the solar panels on the roof of premises.  All these people who claim they are "caring for the environment" were not rushing out to install these when there was zero money in it.

I have never encountered anyone who says they were "doing it for the environment".
They said it was to save on power bills.
Quote

They needed to be subsidised by the taxpayer.   Then also subsidised as they never paid for the network upgrades that the grid owners had to fork out as now there are all these micro generators everywhere in random places causing headaches.

The people who could afford to do this were all taxpayers as well.
There are a lot of things which are subsidised---you can "cherry pick" to your heart's content, but other taxpayers may well have different priorities to you.
In most States where the Private sector are the "grid owners", they have had a "pretty good run", & have hardly performed any upgrades at all.
Quote

I was reading some time back in WA (that is Western Australia (not Austria) for overseas people) the electricity providers are building these generating facilities on rural outback stations, so they do not have to maintain the SWER lines.   A big heap of panels and storage and back up diesel generator and a $150 000 cost + maintenance.  Not cheap to provide mains quality electricity to a couple of houses.

Most "outback stations" in WA provide their own power, as they have for many decades.
In the past, they used diesels.
 
They don't require a very large installation as their power requirements are about the same as a very small town.
Stations do use power for other things beside domestic use.

You may be thinking of remote towns, where the power was, again for decades, supplied by local diesels, usually run by the local Council.
Western Power may well have taken over responsibility for these communities.

Once you get up North, or to some of the remote places in the Eastern part of the State, it isn't so much a matter of "maintaining SWER lines" as having to build them, as they aren't there now!
Alternative methods of power supply become very much the cheaper option.

Even the "Roadhouses" on the side of the Great Northern Highway & the NorthWest Coastal Highway supply their own power, unless they are very close to, or actually in a town.
These used to be Diesel generators but for a decade or more, they have been Solar with Diesel backup for nighttime, or for the rare failure of the Solar system.
Such installations are either owned by the operators, or by the fuel company itself.
Quote


Quote
"Law, & Mental Health"  are hardly "soft options".

Quote

I consider them emotional based things. I think you know what I am getting at.  It may not be 100% true all the time, but I think you understand the vibe of what I said.

They seem to be ignorant of the other billions of people in the world who are in real poverty, not the Australian definition of poverty which is when you can not afford a new iphone and a 72" TV in the same year (yes I know it is slightly exaggerated but I am sure you get the vibe again)
No iphones for me, I hate the bloody things----not fond of any "smart phones" for that matter!
Quote
The people in real poverty are more worried about their next meal then emissions.  And fossil fuels are low technology things to extract usable energy from.  Just add a low technology activation energy and the energy starts coming out.  There is not even enough mined copper in the world for everyone to have the same amount of copper usage that the average westerner has. Yes aluminium is abundant but has issues, and requires lots of energy to go from bauxite to the metal.

Fossil fuels aren't "low tech" to extract from the ground though---all the "low hanging fruit" has long gone, then if it is oil, it requires "high tech" refining even to get it to the level of kerosene, which is what we used for lighting when I was a kid.
Really impoverished people in some countries are lucky if they can find some dried camel dung for a fire!
Quote

If Australia was really smart then they would be gearing towards huge amounts of research towards storage technologies with all government's doing their part.  But talking to some representatives of a new wind farm development, you can see that will never happen.   They said 100% of all items for their massive wind farm are made in China. Australian's big contribution is getting big rocks and turning them into small rocks and mix concrete like the Romans did thousands of years ago.
The Romans are purported to have made superior concrete to that which we make today---they also crucified people, though.
Oh well,------ I guess you "have to take the rough with the smooth"! :D
Quote

. Oh and get a spanner and put it on a nut and tighten it.   You know the super high technology stuff.

Like solar panels, not a single manufacturer in Australia when there used to be one in Sydney decades ago. (and before anyone mentions Tindall solar they assemble panels from imported components)  AFAIK and I am probably wrong and someone will correct me, but anyway there is one small semiconductor component manufacturer in Sydney that makes their in house semiconductors. 

Go the smart country that built the fifth stored programmable computer in the world and the seventh country in the world to launch their own satellite.  How far we have come.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2023, 01:06:47 pm by vk6zgo »
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2023, 02:48:58 pm »
Would you sacrifice that to install panels, or would you pay 4500 EUR for these panels, to install 10sqm?
If you include installation cost, inverter costs, and subtract the cost of high quality flooring, the ROI will look also very different.

It would never pay itself back, ever.
I'm not sayin there will never be very niche applications for this stuff, I've even said that for Solar Freakin Roadways. But otherwise they are a completely brain dead idea.
Ok, why don't we do a slightly more than some back of an envelope calculations.
I've placed 10x Q.PEAK DUO L-G6 405-425 in a solar simulator with 0 degrees tilt into a solar calculator. This is about 20 sqm of solar panels. I choose this size because its almost 2sqm per panel, and there was some string size limitations in the calculator. To reduce the power output I'm going to calculate with your 1/3 of power rating, for a 10 sqm rooftop installation. Side note: that 1/3 divider for the output could be because a solar panel has almost 100% coverage, while this has frame so the coverage is less

According to the calculator, this site would achieve 3.71 MWh per year, so the fictional site would do 610kWh per year. The cost of the panels would be 9 pcs * 50EUR *10 sqm = 4500 EUR.
What else do we need? Inverters, they use Enphase inverters. The real installation is rated for 4.2KW DC. Good news, the tiles are less than 800W, so we can legally connect it in the EU to the grid ourselves. Let's calculate with 5 inverters, adding an extra 1000 EUR for it.

So we have a 610kWh/year installation for about 5500 EUR. The electricity price is gov. limited to 40c/kwh here, so that's the calculation for ROI. The site would make 244 EUR/year, and the ROI would be 22 years. This is bad.
Now, let's include that 1.5x price reduction, and 1.5x improvement because of better installation site (so it's only 50% worse than regular panels). Now the system only costs 3000+1000 EUR and makes 366 EUR/year. ROI is 11 years. Equivalent hard-wood floor would set you back ~800 EUR. Subtract the cost of that, 9 years. The electricity price was above 1 EUR/kWh last year 3.5 years. Hopefully we never have to pay that much for it, I was calculating that running your house from a diesel generator would be cheaper. Rooftop mounted solar with perfect azimuth wins every time, no doubt about it.

The bottom line is: This is targeting to become a commercially available product. Not solar roadways, which doesn't target useful idiots in the government to spend millions on projects that are a never going to pay themselves back. I think those politicians should be jailed for misappropriation. When there are better ways of spending money, they must. But if this is a product that you can buy, can you really argue, that we shouldn't be able to?
Of course best would be to have a datasheet and a price list for the panels. I think I'll reach out to the company, maybe they answer.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2023, 04:37:23 pm »
the solar panel pergola needs to replace this solar footpath nonsense.
Hobbyist with a basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2023, 10:32:41 pm »
the solar panel pergola needs to replace this solar footpath nonsense.
If you do wind load calculations on your pergola idea, you'll quickly realise that a solar footpath makes a lot of sense!
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2023, 12:02:38 am »
the solar panel pergola needs to replace this solar footpath nonsense.
If you do wind load calculations on your pergola idea, you'll quickly realise that a solar footpath makes a lot of sense!
any solar panel pergola construction would take into account wind loads. as any billboard construction!
given the benefits of solar panel orientation to the path of the sun.
as an overhead shade structure. or as a way to get out of the rain.
also in colder climates the minimum solar roof pitch for snow.
any good solar panel pergola design
will have less of any problems with the inground wiring harness water logging maintenance and the overall inefficiently of inground solar panels.
that will increase with the weight of motor vehicles adding to the degradation of the inground glass panels over time. 
just saying dirty solar panels are inefficient.
if the end goal is to generate maximum electricity over the life span of them.
as for the calculations others can and will prove this to be true!
Hobbyist with a basic knowledge of electronics
 
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Offline .RC.

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2023, 06:54:40 am »





We are unlikely to stupidly decide to attack a neighbour & then get boycotted like dear old Mother Russia, so the situations are very different.

I was more thinking about a third party.  Singapore has been the victim of aggression before.



Quote
I have never encountered anyone who says they were "doing it for the environment".
They said it was to save on power bills.

I have read it a bit on forums over the years. Of course they conveniently forget all the emissions they are responsible for in their life outside their home.   


Quote



Most "outback stations" in WA provide their own power, as they have for many decades.
In the past, they used diesels.


This is what I was referring to.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-02/thousands-of-renewable-standalone-power-systems-to-be-rolled-out/101479136
 
Quote
Fossil fuels aren't "low tech" to extract from the ground though---all the "low hanging fruit" has long gone, then if it is oil, it requires "high tech" refining even to get it to the level of kerosene, which is what we used for lighting when I was a kid.
Really impoverished people in some countries are lucky if they can find some dried camel dung for a fire!

Compared to a solar panel they are low tech.  Indonesia is the largest exporter of coal in the world.  I honestly can not see that slowing down.

I am not anti renewable or anti nuclear, whatever is cheap, reliable for 24 hours a day, helps the country with employment and opportunity and relatively risk free will do me.  But there is a lot of politics and money out there all wanting more power and money all clouding everything.  I do not trust these noisy uber wealthy people.  You do not usually become uber wealthy by being nice and giving and fair, but you sure can cloak yourself when you get lots of money.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2023, 11:56:22 am »

I was more thinking about a third party.  Singapore has been the victim of aggression before.
Aggression against Singapore could cut us off from petrol/diesel fuel, too, as most of the refineries that supply product to us are in that country.
Quote


Most "outback stations" in WA provide their own power, as they have for many decades.
In the past, they used diesels.


This is what I was referring to.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-02/thousands-of-renewable-standalone-power-systems-to-be-rolled-out/101479136

I wouldn't normally refer to the Wheatbelt as the "outback", but thinking about how many kms of power lines are needed to supply a few farms in less populated, although not really isolated areas, it could well be more cost effective than rebuilding pole routes which can get burnt out when the next fire inevitably comes along.

As I pointed out, in the "real outback", power networks are rare indeed, & local generation of power has been the normal thing for decades.
Someone (not Western Power) is quoted as estimating $150,000 for each installation.
Such things are not "mass market" devices where you can drop the costs along with the quality, & not worry about a few failures.
As soon as you start dealing with substantial quantities of power, you require reliability, both in the short & long term & reliability costs!

Such an installation isn't large, being similar in size to that installed at many roadhouses.
The whole site requirements could probably be delivered on the back of a decent sized semi-trailer, so the setup time is less than troubleshooting & repair of a failed power line.
Quote

I am not anti renewable or anti nuclear, whatever is cheap, reliable for 24 hours a day, helps the country with employment and opportunity and relatively risk free will do me.  But there is a lot of politics and money out there all wanting more power and money all clouding everything.  I do not trust these noisy uber wealthy people.  You do not usually become uber wealthy by being nice and giving and fair, but you sure can cloak yourself when you get lots of money.

I somehow doubt anybody in Western Power is making a killing in the installation of small solar generation sites.
Maybe Elon Musk is doing fine out of the large Tesla batteries which are used for storage by the power authorities & companies.

 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2023, 01:00:26 pm »
IMHO it doesn't make much sense to convert rural areas to renewables. The number of people living there is minimal and thus their contribution to emissions is neglectible. So whatever is most cost effective in such places works. Concentrating on big cities is a much better plan.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2023, 11:54:06 pm »
It will always be WAY less bang-per-buck than any conventional panel installation.
I don't dispute that. Roofs should be covered first.
But what we see is that less optimal parts are getting solar panels because of availability of money or will. You have a roof which faces less than ideal angle, while I'm sure there are neighbors that don't have solar panels. Netherlands installs a lot of panels, while the climate in Spain is much better.

Imagine you live in a flat roofed house in Amsterdam. Your real estate agent will tell you that your roof garden is worth 30k. Would you sacrifice that to install panels, or would you pay 4500 EUR for these panels, to install 10sqm?
If you include installation cost, inverter costs, and subtract the cost of high quality flooring, the ROI will look also very different.

So put them on the wall that faces the sun, not ideal but it sure beats the heck out of putting them on the ground. Or put them on an awning over part of the roof garden, people and many plants like shade. Any way you slice it, installing panels on the ground is the lease sensible option, if you want to use the ground for anything else then elevate the panels up above whatever else you want on the ground.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2023, 11:56:01 pm »
IMHO it doesn't make much sense to convert rural areas to renewables. The number of people living there is minimal and thus their contribution to emissions is neglectible. So whatever is most cost effective in such places works. Concentrating on big cities is a much better plan.

It is economically more viable to produce power on the spot if it can be done efficiently.

Cities, on the other hand, are much better served by large solar or wind farms, or even nuclear or whatever generators located out of the "clutter" of the urban area, with rooftop solar adding to but not providing all of the total available power.

Large HV tower routes are a more efficient way of shifting energy than great numbers of low voltage pole routes & lend themselves better to supplying cities.

Another point is that "pole top fires" are not uncommon, which in Australia can easily start bushfires, which can release very large amounts of CO2 & other pollutants, as well as often destroying large sections of pole routes.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2023, 11:56:36 pm »
If you do wind load calculations on your pergola idea, you'll quickly realise that a solar footpath makes a lot of sense!

Huh? We already have pergolas and gazebos, carports, lean-to sheds, covered walkways and numerous other things and somehow those manage to hold up to wind. Adding solar panels on top of any of those is hardly rocket science.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2023, 08:29:57 am »
It will always be WAY less bang-per-buck than any conventional panel installation.
I don't dispute that. Roofs should be covered first.
But what we see is that less optimal parts are getting solar panels because of availability of money or will. You have a roof which faces less than ideal angle, while I'm sure there are neighbors that don't have solar panels. Netherlands installs a lot of panels, while the climate in Spain is much better.

Imagine you live in a flat roofed house in Amsterdam. Your real estate agent will tell you that your roof garden is worth 30k. Would you sacrifice that to install panels, or would you pay 4500 EUR for these panels, to install 10sqm?
If you include installation cost, inverter costs, and subtract the cost of high quality flooring, the ROI will look also very different.

So put them on the wall that faces the sun, not ideal but it sure beats the heck out of putting them on the ground. Or put them on an awning over part of the roof garden, people and many plants like shade. Any way you slice it, installing panels on the ground is the lease sensible option, if you want to use the ground for anything else then elevate the panels up above whatever else you want on the ground.
Scroll up a few posts and see that tszaboo & I calculated that you can have a positive ROI on the Platio modules when these are produced in larger numbers.

Large squares like the St. Peter’s Square in Rome are ideal places for such installations:


Try to convince the pope to erect pergolas, etc or put panels on the dome in the back.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2023, 08:31:48 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline helius

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2023, 02:37:58 pm »
IMHO it doesn't make much sense to convert rural areas to renewables. The number of people living there is minimal and thus their contribution to emissions is neglectible. So whatever is most cost effective in such places works. Concentrating on big cities is a much better plan.
In rural or semi-rural areas, the biomass gasification technologies are very promising. If wood or corn husk is used as a feedstock they can be net carbon-negative instead of "carbon neutral" buzzword, since charcoal can be produced as a byproduct which enhances carbon sequestration in amended soils.
 

Online Kleinstein

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2023, 04:38:03 pm »
In the remote areas, especially in more sunny conditions like most of Australia local solar can make absolute sense to compete with long grid links or diesel generators. This is only a moderate part of the total consumption, but it is one where it alreay makes sense from the economic side for quite some time. The requited backup depends on the climate.

Biomass gasification makes sense if they can use waste material. However to get a sizable energy output they tend to need extra grown biasmass (especially corn) and this way consume quite some area. The same area used with PV can produce quite a lot more (like >10x) energy, though without to option for storage. If really needed (e.g. with a specially poor harvest) there is an option to shift some of the harvest from ernergy to feeding animals, but this is already limited. A positive side effect is that if done right a bit more nutriants and carbon are send back to the soil. In most areas biomethane is more like a small contribution, but can not provide the bulk of the energy because of too much area / water needed.

A problem with the floor tiles I have not see mentioned is that as shown they need a rather sturdy substructure. The more normal ground is not nice stable and flat over a long time. So the small tiles make sense, but this also makes the installation expensive with all the added connectors.
 

Offline .RC.

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2023, 06:18:00 am »
In the remote areas, especially in more sunny conditions like most of Australia local solar can make absolute sense to compete with long grid links or diesel generators.

There are many problems with relying on solar though for 100% reliability.   If course foremost is the lack of sun at times during the 24 hour daily cycle.  Electricity supply can not be 98% reliable, or 99% reliable, it has to be 99.99999%.   So you need storage.   Last time I looked Australia has a huge uptake of rooftop solar.   But insignificant storage takeup.   It is expensive, simple as that.  The storage is the major problem, yet I think most people overlook it.  If we are discussing rural farming/grazing homesteads as suitable for solar.   How much would they need for 99.99% reliability.

You could say the house itself is similar to a town house, except there is probably going to be a lot more refrigeration as these rural people would not be going to the supermarket every second or third day, more likely every fortnight or longer.  So you need more supply for the increased refrigeration.
Water is another one.   Town houses have water supplied.  Rural stations supply their own.   While in the past this was done by high tanks and windmills, more and more these days you see pressure pumps although solar pumps have taken over the role from windmills often due to regulatory hurdles (OHS)

Then you have the workshop.   A lot of these places are going to have a 200 amp stick or MIG welder plus the usual workshop tools.  The welders while used most likely sporadically, will suck a good bit of power and it has to be there on demand.

I know this because I own and live on one and I am not even remote yet all the above apply.   I can visit a Jaycar in under an hour, when I feel the need to be raped by their enthusiastic prices.

I hate the reliability problems these long power lines create.  We have several blackouts a year always hours long, mostly in storm season, seldom longer then a day, unless there has been widespread damage. (went 7 days in 2015) We have issues of birds committing suicide by flying between the three wires and blowing a fuse then we get a handy ~100 volts as one phase goes down. Many short term blackouts lasting a few seconds, meaning things like the 3D printer must have a UPS.

I love the idea of a standalone power system that is super long term reliable and as cheap as what we pay now.  I also love the idea of electric vehicles.  So smooth, quiet, simple and no stupidly complicated (compared to an electric motor) mechanical engine and gearbox.

But I do not believe we are there yet.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2023, 06:22:13 am by .RC. »
 

Online Kleinstein

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Re: EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2023, 07:28:54 am »
For those rural areas 99% reliable could be well good enough. For the 3 years I was in the US the local electricity supply did not hit the 99% mark, though much was due to a singular longer outage.
Long power lines also have a reliabilty problem - a repair may take days. Just a connection to the public grid in many areas is not good enough either for critical things. There is a reason for using UPS in some areas, though others (e.g. much of Germany) can get often get away without it.

A normal, even if larger freezer is not such a bad load to have: the overall consumption is not hat high (e.g. 0.5-1 kWh/day range) and they have no real problem with a 12 hour or even 30 hour outage. With the right control they may even run from solar without any buffer.  The high energy demand is more due to air conditioning and this usually needs power when the sun is up. Similar extra water for erigation is usually needed when the days are sunny and not cloudy.

If in rare cases the local storage is low one often has a chance to delay the use of high power machines. It may still quite some power for the inverter, but would also need a significant strength for the grid connection.

For rural areas an island supply and no grid connection can be a real alternative, as the costs for a grid connection can be quite significant.  The competing solution may be more like a diesel generator that usually also needs some battery backup so it does not have to run 24/7.   There are working storage solutions for such PV based installations. Depending on the climate they may include a diesel of similar generator as a back-up.  They are usually not competative with an easy grid connection, but it may not take much extra costs for the grid to cross that line.
 


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