Author Topic: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!  (Read 79066 times)

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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2014, 08:31:46 pm »
I think you forgot one important factor, Dave. You have to look at the cost over and above the cost of a normal cycle way surface. If the surface would cost say €140 anyway (number pulled out of my arse) then it will pay off. In fact it's better than that because you also remove some CO2 and pollution from the atmosphere.

I take your point about roofs being a much better place to put panels, but as long as they pay for themselves (including externalised savings by not burning fossil fuels or nuclear) then there is no reason not to put them on any surface we can.

Ok, so the concrete will cost CA $300 for 6m3 of concrete ( one truckload of readymix delivered to site all mixed and ready to use) and around $100 for the steel reinforcing. Shutterwork will be around $20 as it is reusable. Add $400 for the labour. Add $500 for equipment rental. Total is around $2000, which will do around 20m of cycle track to that width. Say $10000 for the 100m 3 MILLION EURO cycle path........

I have done that paving with concrete, and we saved a lot of cost by using spades, used lumber ( scrap wooden pallets) and rebar bought from the scrap yard and placed in a ready to use section. Then waited for the cement yard to call with a reject load, where we only paid for the transport to site. 2 weeks wait, then spent a Friday afternoon with shovels moving concrete to redo the driveway. It still is there 30 odd years later. I was around 14 at that time. Came home from school and Dad was there waiting for the truck, and he handed me a spade and said to go change. We finished at around 7PM with the sun setting, and the concrete hard enough to walk over, it was an accelerated batch with 24 hours to 20% of yield strength, designed for foundationing.
 

Offline RobertoLG

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2014, 10:06:32 pm »
 

Offline Yansi

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2014, 11:05:36 pm »
...In fact it's better than that because you also remove some CO2 and pollution from the atmosphere...

Thats for sure. Making these panels and the stuff around them really has much lower carbon footprint, than pouring there a few trucks of concrete or tar.  :-DD :palm:
 

Offline Yansi

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2014, 11:45:04 pm »
Sorry, but that solar bullshit would not last nor half that and as Dave said, the maintenance for the solar thingy, will be much more demanding. So if you think, that laying solar road produces less carbon, I'll let you dream that.
 

Offline frvisser

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2014, 12:08:28 am »
My pleasure  :-+
 
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Offline max_torque

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2014, 01:00:57 am »
I can't believe people are STILL missing the fundamental point!

Which is, for any given input (be that monetary, resources or labour) it will ALWAYS BE BETTER****  to fit solar panels to an angled roof, irrespective of ANY other factor (cost of panels, electricity, road surface etc)


****Better = more electricity returned (so more CO2 saved, or powerstations shut, or less solar panels requiring installation etc).


People who say "but yeah, these road solar panels will save the world" well sure, but you could either save the world 4x over or save it for 4x less cost if you fit conventional solar panels!!!
 

Offline fusebit

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #56 on: November 09, 2014, 01:40:25 am »
Wow, the panels are really dirty any the manufacturing quality seems to be low. I'm not sure that they will last the 1532 years to breakeven  :palm:
 

Offline calin

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2014, 02:11:46 am »
I did not read the whole thread .. or even watched the whole video ... but I have one word to say .. Did these solar roadway BOZOs heard of ARIZONA !!!!!?? or any other similar sunny area on the face of the Earth.


There are thousands and  thousands of hectares/acres whatever the heck ppls measure surface in that get 300+ days of full sun per year .. flat as a table top ... not even need for a roof. All you need is wires .. which .. lo and behold are mostly already in place. Yet I still wonder why the F ppls don't think .. at least a bit for a change  |O  . I just  got back to Phoenix from San Diego and I drove a whole day mostly through these flat sunny lands .. no kddin 6 hours straigh through sun and flat damn land !!!!


And if they need a roof I loan them mine .. mind you is 1 degree off true south and only gets 320 days of sun.. you can have efficiency issues  :palm: .. or if they really insist my driveway ;)
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #58 on: November 09, 2014, 03:05:30 am »
AZ can have all the sun you want, but you need to distribute that power. Granted, they could use it to power the CAP pumps and convert it to mechanical power :)
 

Offline calin

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2014, 03:45:33 am »
Agree .. don't get me started on APS (Arizona Power Services) - bunch of *#&^%$@ .. whatever ends in *holes :) that do all possible to not upgrade and modernize the power grid or discourage solar production. These retards make use of anything they can to stop anything that does not pay to them ... heck they tried and mostly managed to put extra taxation on solar energy.


Back to our sheep ....


I don't think wold be that expensive to have a modern power grid capable to transport power to the whole US cheaper when compared to the stupid idea of solar roads :) My point was not AZ .. but any areas similar - ore than half of California is also like that, nevada, new mexico, north africa, big part of australia and so on - and how much cheaper is to do this normal solar installations rather than any "solar roadway bullshit".
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2014, 09:59:37 am »
People who say "but yeah, these road solar panels will save the world" well sure, but you could either save the world 4x over or save it for 4x less cost if you fit conventional solar panels!!!

You are completely missing the point. Once solar reaches the point where it pays for itself there is no reason NOT to fit it. If you have the capital to pay for it and the payback is guaranteed it makes no sense not to do it. It's insanity that we are still building houses without solar since payback is guaranteed within 10 years anywhere in Europe, much sooner in the south. The government should just pay for the systems and recover the cost over say 10 years from the price of the energy generated, while the home owner benefits from lower energy bills.

Assuming someone could demonstrate that the system will pay for itself over its lifetime, which is what these guys are trying to do, what objection to a solar cycle path do you have? Do you think there are a finite number of solar panels we have ever produce or something?
There are limits to the power grid. If you increase the solar production above a certain limit, say 20% the power distribution will fail too often. It takes 15 minutes to start a gas or oil generator, an hour to start a coal power plant and days to start a nuclear. Solar is more volatile, wind is even more volatile. And there is not really feasible plans to store energy.
I'm not against solar energy, I'm just pointing out that we cannot handle it without changing other things. Like boilers in every home which are grid connected and they generate hot water when there is surplus energy. It doesnt take too much.
 

Offline Hole

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2014, 10:16:46 am »
There are limits to the power grid. If you increase the solar production above a certain limit, say 20% the power distribution will fail too often. It takes 15 minutes to start a gas or oil generator, an hour to start a coal power plant and days to start a nuclear.

Obvious solution: add storage to the grid, distribute the solar production all over the country/continent and build a strong distribution grid.
 

Offline m100

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2014, 11:37:09 am »
I'm not against solar energy, I'm just pointing out that we cannot handle it without changing other things. Like boilers in every home which are grid connected and they generate hot water when there is surplus energy. It doesnt take too much.

Sinking waste energy to heat can be useful but unless you have house full of teenage daughters the energy requirements for hot water are tiny.  Storage for more than a few GW for a few hours is hard, Far better to reduce usage and invest in reliable generation of varying fuel types that are flexible.  Subsidised grid connected solar and wind on a large scale is IMHO evil.
 

Offline max_torque

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2014, 02:53:20 pm »
People who say "but yeah, these road solar panels will save the world" well sure, but you could either save the world 4x over or save it for 4x less cost if you fit conventional solar panels!!!

You are completely missing the point. Once solar reaches the point where it pays for itself there is no reason NOT to fit it. If you have the capital to pay for it and the payback is guaranteed it makes no sense not to do it. It's insanity that we are still building houses without solar since payback is guaranteed within 10 years anywhere in Europe, much sooner in the south. The government should just pay for the systems and recover the cost over say 10 years from the price of the energy generated, while the home owner benefits from lower energy bills.

Assuming someone could demonstrate that the system will pay for itself over its lifetime, which is what these guys are trying to do, what objection to a solar cycle path do you have? Do you think there are a finite number of solar panels we have ever produce or something?


Please go back and read what i wrote properly!  ;-)

  I did not say "solar energy is not viable"

 I said "Solar roadways" will never be viable.


Once solar energy becomes economically self sustaining (once the cost of the systems has fallen, but also the cost of "wholesale" electricity has climbed (which it will) then, yes, people will start to install these systems in ever greater numbers.

BUT, what they won't do is to install them at ground level in a "road".  This is because (And for the third time!) it will ALWAYS be more efficient to install any given amount of solar generation in a location that is both cheaper to do so, and gived a higher rate of return! (The figures Dave showed suggest you are approx 4x better to put the panels on your roof)
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2014, 05:01:30 pm »
Biggest problem with solar roads/cycleways is that you need to do the maintenance on a daily basis, to keep the way clear of mud, leaves and debris. Cycle paths and roads typically do  not need this, you just have an annual check, or a monthly street sweeper either with a broom or a sweeper truck, and only respond to point reports of obstruction. So the maintenance cost will likely be around 100 times the regular cost. Not going to work at any efficiency for long if it is not kept clean.

Solar panels on roofs on the other hand will be slopes, so no leaf accumulation, and dust deposits will mostly self clean with rain or ambient wind. There you will only need an annual clean and, as the surface is smooth and non stick, it is much easier to keep clean and will stay clean for longer.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2014, 05:51:43 pm »
Biggest problem with solar roads/cycleways is that you need to do the maintenance on a daily basis, to keep the way clear of mud, leaves and debris.

There is this thing called rain in this part of the world. Something like 15 rainy days / month on average.


What people also do miss is that the Netherlands are a crowded place. Hell, they drain land from the sea to have some more space (the things you do when you are surrounded by the sea in the North and West, the Germans hang around in the East and Belgium is in the South)

Australia: 2.8 inhabitants / km^2 (yes, I know, big void in the middle)
South Africa: 42.4 inhabitants / km^2 (yes, also some vast areas)
Netherlands: 406.4 inhabitants / km^2 (and also areas that are uninhabitable, because they are simply too wet)

There will be a day when the last roof is covered with solar panels. When you don't want to waste more dry land for putting up solar panels on the ground. When you want to keep space for farming, growing vegetables and flowers and weed, and not waste additional land. Then you won't look for the most efficient way to place solar panels, because you have already used all that efficient space. Then you will use less efficient means to squeeze some more energy out of already used space.

And then it is a good idea to have some reliable figures ready to estimate how bad things will be. How do you get them? You measure.
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Offline zapta

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2014, 08:35:22 pm »
Saying that solar roads will *never* be viable is like saying 50 ago that personal computers will never be viable because they will be idle most of the time. Many assumptions will change as our technology progress.

As for this instance, politicians are using other people money on a service that they will not use so the don't care about the cost neither or the benefit.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2014, 08:37:22 pm »
From observation ( it is rainy season here, so we might get a few cm of rain in an hour) generally when rain falls on a road it brings with it dirt, soil ( and our national flower) and this then is left behind when it dries to leave a nice even ( or not so even if the drain is blocked with the national flowers) layer of mud, which dries to a dark opaque surface. then you see the street sweepers changing from brooms, palm leaves and such to spades to move it off to the side.

As to having solar roads it will still be better to roof them and put solar panels on the roof, using only half the area so there is still indirect light for the cars below to see. Same for pathways, covered ones are going to be preferred as then the roof does double duty of keeping you dry in the rain and generate power in the sun.
 

Offline frvisser

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #68 on: November 09, 2014, 10:22:33 pm »
There will be a day when the last roof is covered with solar panels. When you don't want to waste more dry land for putting up solar panels on the ground. When you want to keep space for farming, growing vegetables and flowers and weed, and not waste additional land.

This is the same armageddon thinking as the sea level is rising and the Netherlands will flood. You don't know what the future beholds. We will build bigger dikes and maybe we will have solar roads. But for now there are still more rooftops empty then full, so spend the 3 million on conventional solar panels. And for god sake stop building coal-fired power stations.  |O
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #69 on: November 09, 2014, 10:43:36 pm »
There are limits to the power grid. If you increase the solar production above a certain limit, say 20% the power distribution will fail too often.

You should call Germany an warn them.

The grid does need re-engineering, of course, but that's inevitable.
Why would I do that? Some of them already know.

http://notrickszone.com/2014/09/24/eike-german-power-grid-more-vulnerable-than-ever-on-the-brink-of-widespread-blackouts/

"It’s no longer a secret that the almost unbridled expansion of so-called renewable energies in the context of a technically and economically overloaded power grid will become a risk for the power supply stability in Germany, and increasingly for our European neighbors.”
 

Offline hli

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #70 on: November 09, 2014, 11:07:13 pm »
The only thing currently keeping their energy prices sane is the low cost of gas and coal coupled with a downturn in demand from industry and commmerce.  Meanwhile reliable, predictable and despatchable forms of generation (nuclear/coal/gas) are not being built or replaced because their operational economics are destroyed by the huge investment capital being poured into the wind and solar sector. 
At least in Germany, we now subsidize coal and nuclear energy production more than we do subsidize renewable energy. Coal was subsidized alread since many years, and now we are also paying for fixing all the problems with the nuclear plants (don't expect that the energy companies pay a single cent for taking down the plants).
 

Offline hli

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #71 on: November 09, 2014, 11:09:46 pm »
So let's take the low end of their range, £100,000 per kilometre. That's €127,400/km, or €127.4/m. That's the build cost, so does not include on-going maintenance. Ball park figure the maintenance probably brings it up to around €150-170 over a 15 year lifespan. Dave estimated €150 worth of energy generated per metre over 15 years, so suddenly a solar cycle path looks cheap.
I think these numbers also include costs that will be there with solar roadways too. Like moving the dirt away, creating a stable underground, erecting traffic signs and so on...
 

Offline hli

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #72 on: November 09, 2014, 11:19:07 pm »
Dave cited a number of cells costing "36 cents per W". How does this translate into costs per square meter? My first idea is to take the 185W/m2 peak power figure, which would mean that one square meter of solar cell costs about 67 EUR (assuming its Euro-cents above).
Now lets add the costs dave figures as being special for solar roadways: the glass, the road construction and the special manufacturing. That brings our total up to 127 EUR/m2.
Now my takeaway is: Solar roadways will be viable at the moment someone figures out a way of how to bring the installation costs down. They are the major factor in making the non-viable for the moment.
OK, since such improvements probably will be also useful for rooftop installation, having cells on the road will never be as effective (production- and cost-wise). But saying they 'never' will be viable is a little bit like Mr. Wtson saying "There is a need for maybe 6 computers worldwide".
Maybe Dave can do a video on what needs to be changed to make solar roadways viable?
 

Offline hli

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #73 on: November 09, 2014, 11:26:31 pm »
Dave, any reference for the claim that 50% of Germany's electricity supply comes from solar?
In German: http://green.wiwo.de/rekord-deutschland-erzeugt-mehr-als-die-haelfte-des-stroms-aus-solarenergie/
)th of June this year, a day with low energy consumption throughout Germany and really good weather, there was a peak production of 50.6% just by solar energy.
To get an overview on a yearly basis (in German too), look at the Fraunhofer institute: http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/de/daten-zu-erneuerbaren-energien - note its 250 pages long...
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #681 - More Solar Roadways BULLSHIT!
« Reply #74 on: November 09, 2014, 11:34:34 pm »
So i have been there today and made a video reply of it. http://youtu.be/_nW-J18mfAI  ;)

Thanks for going there and sharing!

Quote
I was impressed by the structure of the glass. It is like a rough tarmac structure, not slippery at all! But the ability for letting solar energy trough it's not good at all. It's getting really dirty, really fast:

Yeah, looks horrible!

Quote
There are 27 tiles of solar panel with the dimensions of 170X270 cm. In total a 124 square meters.

Thanks for measuring, my guess was close to spot on.
 


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