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EEVblog 1544 - Platio Solar Pavement BUSTED!

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--- Quote from: james_s on May 22, 2023, 11:54:06 pm ---
--- Quote from: tszaboo on May 21, 2023, 08:45:49 am ---
--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 20, 2023, 11:24:27 pm ---It will always be WAY less bang-per-buck than any conventional panel installation.

--- End quote ---
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.

--- End quote ---

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.

--- End quote ---
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.


--- Quote from: nctnico 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.

--- End quote ---
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.

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.


--- Quote from: Kleinstein 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.

--- End quote ---

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.

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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