Author Topic: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)  (Read 6646 times)

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Offline The Soulman

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2019, 10:58:15 pm »
ALL the power needed for the home plus a couple cars -- why is that a bad idea?
Because mighty utility companies do not want you to do that? Each solar home household is a $$$ loss to them.

No.

It is not some conspiracy.

It's not a bad idea and not great either but it is the best we have.
Example: One small well insulated house occupied by a family of four, heating and warm water is from a heat pump.
On the house rooftop and as well on a shed in the garden are mounted a total of 50 pv panels.

The annual total power consumption is 5600 KWh
The annual total power yield is  12300 KWh

The pv system is way oversized in respect to the annual energy need but have a look at the attached diagrams for the annual yield of the pv system and electricity purchased from the grid.

At this moment there are government stimulations to level your yield and consumption over a one year period,
but this isn't a sustainable situation.
We need other renewable sources and long term storage facilities.

Solar roadways is the dumbest idea ever and if someone mentions the potential benefits without all the obvious drawbacks I may make a youtube video about it.
 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 11:01:05 pm by The Soulman »
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2019, 11:45:22 pm »
ALL the power needed for the home plus a couple cars -- why is that a bad idea?
Because mighty utility companies do not want you to do that? Each solar home household is a $$$ loss to them.

No.

It is not some conspiracy.

It's not a bad idea and not great either but it is the best we have.
Example: One small well insulated house occupied by a family of four, heating and warm water is from a heat pump.
On the house rooftop and as well on a shed in the garden are mounted a total of 50 pv panels.

The annual total power consumption is 5600 KWh
The annual total power yield is  12300 KWh

The pv system is way oversized in respect to the annual energy need but have a look at the attached diagrams for the annual yield of the pv system and electricity purchased from the grid.

At this moment there are government stimulations to level your yield and consumption over a one year period,
but this isn't a sustainable situation.
We need other renewable sources and long term storage facilities.

Solar roadways is the dumbest idea ever and if someone mentions the potential benefits without all the obvious drawbacks I may make a youtube video about it.


And if you had electric cars you could power them for commuting to work with the surplus energy not needed for the home and do so at vastly less per mile/km than gas/diesel.

As I mentioned in a prior there are, at present, too many negatives for solar roads to be viable, AT PRESENT.  Forty years from now it's almost certain that some percentage of energy will be produced by solar roads.  The systems installed so far have been pretty feeble designs and they sadly hurt the solar industry as it's so easy to ridicule them.  But, I'd like to see additional effort made if for no other reason than the potential if they finally develop something viable.  Rooftop solar as well as solar roofs over parking lots are a way of generating large amounts of solar energy without occupying any land not already occupied -- so to solar roads if/when they figure it out.


Brian
 

Offline The Soulman

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2019, 12:32:31 am »
ALL the power needed for the home plus a couple cars -- why is that a bad idea?
Because mighty utility companies do not want you to do that? Each solar home household is a $$$ loss to them.

No.

It is not some conspiracy.

It's not a bad idea and not great either but it is the best we have.
Example: One small well insulated house occupied by a family of four, heating and warm water is from a heat pump.
On the house rooftop and as well on a shed in the garden are mounted a total of 50 pv panels.

The annual total power consumption is 5600 KWh
The annual total power yield is  12300 KWh

The pv system is way oversized in respect to the annual energy need but have a look at the attached diagrams for the annual yield of the pv system and electricity purchased from the grid.

At this moment there are government stimulations to level your yield and consumption over a one year period,
but this isn't a sustainable situation.
We need other renewable sources and long term storage facilities.

Solar roadways is the dumbest idea ever and if someone mentions the potential benefits without all the obvious drawbacks I may make a youtube video about it.

And if you had electric cars you could power them for commuting to work with the surplus energy not needed for the home and do so at vastly less per mile/km than gas/diesel.


Yes even without my own pv system a electric car would be cheap to run because of the high efficiency and relatively low cost of the "fuel" compared to regulars.
Until you factor in the cost and life expectancy of the battery pack.
Again the converment here cuts you some slack when owning a electric car but again not a long-term option
if we don't improve/reduce the cost of our batteries.



As I mentioned in a prior there are, at present, too many negatives for solar roads to be viable, AT PRESENT.  Forty years from now it's almost certain that some percentage of energy will be produced by solar roads.  The systems installed so far have been pretty feeble designs and they sadly hurt the solar industry as it's so easy to ridicule them.  But, I'd like to see additional effort made if for no other reason than the potential if they finally develop something viable.  Rooftop solar as well as solar roofs over parking lots are a way of generating large amounts of solar energy without occupying any land not already occupied -- so to solar roads if/when they figure it out.


Brian

No, just no.
Not without a mutual benefit to the road.
Only one I could think of is to have normal bitumen surface but with pipes in them like underfloor heating, instead use
pump coolant thru them during the summer to cool the surface (improves durability of the surface) and store the "heat"
deep underground where local homes could retrieve it with a heat pump during winter time.
 
Not great either but beats pv in a road surface.

Do people who still think solar roads are viable even have been outside a city?

In a crowded NL perfectly fine farmland costs on average only 5 euro per square meter, patches with lower quality soil or less than ideal humidity conditions even less.
Why even bother messing up roads.  :palm:
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2019, 12:37:17 am »
As I mentioned in a prior there are, at present, too many negatives for solar roads to be viable, AT PRESENT.  Forty years from now it's almost certain that some percentage of energy will be produced by solar roads.  The systems installed so far have been pretty feeble designs and they sadly hurt the solar industry as it's so easy to ridicule them.  But, I'd like to see additional effort made if for no other reason than the potential if they finally develop something viable.  Rooftop solar as well as solar roofs over parking lots are a way of generating large amounts of solar energy without occupying any land not already occupied -- so to solar roads if/when they figure it out.


Brian


I would make a significant wager against that, however I don't know that I'll necessarily be around in forty years to collect or pay up.

We are way, way, waaaaay out from having all the best places to put solar panels already covered in them. We don't even need to start talking about the worst places to put them and I seriously doubt we will ever be so desperate as to seriously need to start  talking about trying to drive on them. That is just such a mind bogglingly stupid idea, it should be obvious to anyone at this point that it won't work, it will never work, driving vehicles on something produces an extremely harsh environment, roads are made out of freaking rock and they still wear down and have to be re-paved now and then.

Making a transparent surface that will put up to that sort of abuse for decades while staying transparent is nearly on par with creating an over-unity machine, materials with those properties simply don't exist. If we get really, really desperate then we can put solar panels on the sides of the roads, over the median, on lamp posts, on bus shelters, anywhere but on the roads. Even foot traffic is likely to be very challenging to handle.
 
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Offline raptor1956

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2019, 01:54:22 am »
As I mentioned in a prior there are, at present, too many negatives for solar roads to be viable, AT PRESENT.  Forty years from now it's almost certain that some percentage of energy will be produced by solar roads.  The systems installed so far have been pretty feeble designs and they sadly hurt the solar industry as it's so easy to ridicule them.  But, I'd like to see additional effort made if for no other reason than the potential if they finally develop something viable.  Rooftop solar as well as solar roofs over parking lots are a way of generating large amounts of solar energy without occupying any land not already occupied -- so to solar roads if/when they figure it out.


Brian


I would make a significant wager against that, however I don't know that I'll necessarily be around in forty years to collect or pay up.

We are way, way, waaaaay out from having all the best places to put solar panels already covered in them. We don't even need to start talking about the worst places to put them and I seriously doubt we will ever be so desperate as to seriously need to start  talking about trying to drive on them. That is just such a mind bogglingly stupid idea, it should be obvious to anyone at this point that it won't work, it will never work, driving vehicles on something produces an extremely harsh environment, roads are made out of freaking rock and they still wear down and have to be re-paved now and then.

Making a transparent surface that will put up to that sort of abuse for decades while staying transparent is nearly on par with creating an over-unity machine, materials with those properties simply don't exist. If we get really, really desperate then we can put solar panels on the sides of the roads, over the median, on lamp posts, on bus shelters, anywhere but on the roads. Even foot traffic is likely to be very challenging to handle.


Yes, covering the roadway ABOVE the road surface would indeed make more sense and could mitigate problems with snow and rain.  But, with generally better basing options the probability of this being done on a large scale is low, at least for now.  In my first post on this I mentioned the ownership of it and who would pay for it and that seems a dubious ask.  The fossil energy folks are not going to build them I don't think and they're not going to donate hundreds of millions to politicians that promote the idea.  In addition to the technical challenges its hard to envision who would put up the money for it.  Again, the only thing that argues in favor of the idea of it is the negligible footprint it would require.

Among the problems with solar more broadly, and this gets back to the money thing, is that there are a lot of powerful interests that want solar to go away and never come back.  They spend a good deal of money through there think tanks and advocacy groups pushing for fossil fuels and against regulations that make them more expensive.  But, in addition to that they hire, through several levels of cutouts, trolls and astroturfers to attack solar and other alternate energy sources while promoting oil, gas, and nuclear.  Not long ago coal was the cheapest game in town as far as energy is concerned but they are going out of business owing less to solar and wind than to natural gas from fracking.


Brian
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2019, 04:53:36 am »
Small point: on the Google maps view, the solar path is marked incorrectly. I think the house above the right end is the correct start point, but the line should then go right instead of left.

Thanks, I fixed it, and added a Google Maps link. There are already some comments on Google, not happy :-DD
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Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2019, 06:47:51 am »
Looking down the road perhaps 40 years or so I anticipate that solar roadways will produce, perhaps, 10% of the total energy needs but that's probably about it. 
I've done the calculations, and it just doesn't make sense, because of the far cheaper alternatives. For example to power all of Australia, you would need less than 2% area of Australia, if I didn't make a mistake in my calculations:
Now include the costs for the extension cord from Australia to Germany... Solar roadways don't make sense in areas which have lots of space to place solar farms on land. Even putting solar panels on roofs is just overcomplicating things. However in areas where space isn't available you'll need to use space double somehow.

Last year I already looked at the German company Solmove but I'm not impressed by their engineering abilities. It is basically a single person who has put a lot of his own money into a new company. I'm not surprised their product failed and so far I have not considered Solmove a serious player when it comes to solar roadways.

However the biggest challenge and cost for wind and solar by far is going to be storage.


Solar panels on roofs is likely to be the primary means of generating power in 40 years and by that I mean perhaps as much as 50% -- I've mentioned this before, but with the cost of electricity from solar now down to about $0.02/KWHr and even with battery storage you're still looking at about $0.06/KWHr, people with electric vehicles which consume between 280WHr to 350WHr per mile the cost per mile is then as low as $0.006/mile (267km/USD) to about $0.02/mile (80km/USD).  Of course, if you buy your electricity from a utility you can multiply that by 2X - 4X so why not generate your own power.  A typical home with only half the roof covered with current tech solar cells would be able to generate ALL the power needed for the home plus a couple cars -- why is that a bad idea?
You forget that roofs in West Europe in general are way smaller than the ones in the US. Sure there will always be people claiming they can produce enough solar power by themselves but they are the exception to the rule. In the Netherlands the roof space isn't sufficient to supply all the households (and not even counting electric cars). This is based on a survey done by Deloitte. However this survey doesn't take into account if roofs are able to support solar panels or will actually be used for solar panels.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 06:55:32 am by nctnico »
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Offline 3roomlab

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2019, 08:15:07 am »

This looks great. Seems to be about the same size as the Cologne main station, should be possible there, too. This website says estimated power generation is 166 MWh per year. Capacity is 1 MW, which costs about $1 million according to this website. For the solar way in Erftstadt they estimated 16 MWh per year (and I guess this was already very optimistic). So you get about 1/10 of the energy of a standard installation, but for the same price :palm:


I've done the calculations, and it just doesn't make sense, because of the far cheaper alternatives. For example to power all of Australia, you would need less than 2% area of Australia, if I didn't make a mistake in my calculations:


I mashed up a little drawing using google maps
I hope its the right Erftstadt station
by using the map scale, I can loosely fit around 21x 50x50m squares which I could use as a estimator for number of panels
looking at some solar panel pdf, lets say we can again loosely fit around 20x32 panels into each square with some foot space and lets say they are 250w per panel.
each 50m square could fit 640 panels? I think this could be overly optimistic, but lets say we do fit 400 panels, thats 100kWp per square, 21 squares = 2.1MWp.

I did not think it could be this much, but thats 8400 panels.
If we ignore architecture and build a completely flat roof, I think there could be more panels in more dense packing? maybe?
but we could probably see potential points of protest, such a large flat ugly structure could be deemed "illegal" by the residents.
overclocked CPU and GPU are a waste of energy and time, it is highly energy + calculation inefficient vs watts. there is an entire influencer industry milking users off it, they call it "premium" but lifespans are short, oxymoronic crap , more like single use.
 

Offline Brutte

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2019, 12:23:58 pm »
A solar PV, wherever individually installed, roofs, trains or roads, just shows how expensive a cooperation in contemporary developed societies is. The PV business exposes the lost opportunities. I cannot see how such wasteful society can compete long term.

It would be interesting to know the estimation of how much a mis-cooperation costs in a society, based on a PV technology which is a perfect example of fully scaleable production industry. A kWh from purpose-built PV farms will always cost a society less than any individual rooftop or freakin' PV road installation.

Although technically a 10km2 PV farm can be located anywhere, even in the centre of Sydney or Hamburg, till there are locations that give better kWh/$, only a minstry of silly walks or 10000 of squirrels can invest their assets in changing the rooftops of cities. Yes, it is technically possible but with a scaleable PV production such wasteful scenario may only happen when societies are unable to cooperate. Then everyone will individually build their own PV installation, their individual road, and eventually everyone will have their own cow at the backyard.

:--


 

Offline sibeen

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2019, 12:37:26 pm »
It is nice of google to recognise that this is so shitty a piece of road that it will take you one minute to traverse its  90 metre length even using a bicycle :)
 

Offline madires

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2019, 12:43:45 pm »
 :palm: We should report a misappropriation of taxes.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2019, 01:28:04 pm »
:palm: We should report a misappropriation of taxes.

This was a misinformation from RTL (no wonder, they are not known for exact journalism). I updated my initial posting. They say in the video it was funded with EUR 784,000 by the Bundesumweltministerium (Federal Environment Ministry), which is wrong. I contacted the city government and got the official information about the costs: The EUR 784k was support for multiple projects in Erftstadt, like creating other completely new bicycle ways. The solar installation costs about EUR 150k, 90% funded by the ministry and 10% by the city. But this is only planned, so far the city didn't pay anything, because they have to do this only after inspection and approval. Here is the full official answer:
Quote
Neben der Teststrecke „Solarradweg“ im Rahmen des Förderprojektes des Bundesministeriums für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BUMB) „Klimaschutz im Radverkehr“ sind mehrere Bausteine im „Infrastrukturring Liblar“ gefördert worden, so der barrierefreie Ausbau des südlichen Bereichs des Promenadenwegs, die Errichtung eines Radweges entlang der ehemaligen Bahntrasse am Liblarer See als Verbindung des Bahnhofs Erftstadt mit der Carl-Schurz-Straße, Maßnahmen der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, sowie die Querungshilfe auf der Bliesheimer Straße in Höhe des ErftstadtCenters. Für all diese Maßnahmen hat die Stadt Erftstadt hat einen Zuwendungsbescheid vom Bundesumweltministerium für das beantragte Vorhaben „Infrastrukturring Liblar – Wandel der Mobilitätsstruktur“ über 783.000 Euro erhalten, eine 90-prozentige Bezuschussung.

Die Teststrecke Solarradweg inklusive Module, Installation der Module, Informationssäule, Zählstation und vorbereitende Tiefbauarbeiten beläuft sich voraussichtlich auf Kosten in Höhe von etwa 140.000-150.000 €, bei einer 90-prozentigen Förderung liegen die Kosten für die Stadt bei ca. 14.000-15.000 €.

Wir haben den Solarradweg durch die vorhandenen Schäden bisher nicht abnehmen können, er befindet sich nicht in unserem Eigentum. Bisher hat lediglich das Start up Unternehmen investiert (Hohes Eigenkapital, weit über die Unterstützung durch das Bundesministerium) und arbeitet weiter am Ausbau des Solarradweges.

Die Berichterstattung des Senders RTL, auf den Sie sich beziehen, ist leider fehlerhaft. Der Infrastrukturring ist zwischenzeitlich fertiggestellt. Das kurze Teilstück mit ca. 90 Metern Solarradweg ist noch nicht abgeschlossen.

Short summary: apparently no tax money is wasted at this time, still everything owned by Solmove until it works, or maybe until they go bankrupt.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 08:49:52 am by FrankBuss »
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2019, 01:33:05 pm »
Apartments wouldn't generate quite 100% of the energy needs using current cells but it could well be pretty close,

What makes you able to make that claim? In moderately large buildings, it just doesn't compute at all for the time being (unless as I said we put solar panels elsewhere than on top of roofs, but I think this has already been tried and it's not that great). Of course I don't know about the future, but we'd need a major breakthrough in solar panels tech to be able to achieve this.

not counting cars and as the efficieny further improves the day when it could produce all the apartments needs is not far off.  OTH, you don't own the apartment so the people that do would charge you as the utility would -- so what!  Office buildings wouldn't generate all there needs either and energy dense needs like commercial aircraft are not going solar any day soon -- again, so what

I didn't understand. What do you mean by "not couting cars" and why? If electric cars become the norm, they will become an integral part of people power consumption. Maybe even the greater part.

Then the future improvements - there's nothing to say about that as of yet. That will probably happen, but it's future. We just don't know.

OTH, you don't own the apartment so the people that do would charge you as the utility would -- so what!

Not sure I got this one either. What does owning have anything to do with it?

And in many countries where most people live in apartments (there are many of those, comes as a shock to people from the US), there are many people owning their apartments. It makes no difference. And even when they just rent it, they usually pay for their own electricity consumption directly - not the landlords!
And if it's the landlords in some countries (dunno) - what difference does that make? We're not talking about who pays here, but how much energy we can produce.

Office buildings wouldn't generate all there needs either and energy dense needs like commercial aircraft are not going solar any day soon -- again, so what

The fact that a given technology allows only the production of a small fraction of the overall needs is the key point IMO, and explains why said technology doesn't take off. It's often just a matter of numbers.

And the apartment buildings is just an example here. The whole issue is the global vs. individual approaches. Global approaches are usually favored not just because they concentrate money and power, but also because they are just more cost-effective in many cases as someone else said.

I'm personally all for individual approaches, but I realize they will fulfill the energy needs of only a very small fraction of all needs.

As for solar panels, at this point, and again unless there is a major breakthrough  - or we take a different approach to harvest solar energy - it's not going to work well as a global approach. It is for individual/very local needs.

As many other people, your reasoning seems to be that global and individual approaches don't have to compete - they can be complementary. And I agree with this in theory.
In practice though, it just "fragments" the overall generation of electricity, making things much more complex to handle on a large scale, usually costs a lot more overall to deploy, and the benefits, again not as an individual, but on a large scale, could be reaped probably only after decades. At which point the used technology would probably fail and need to be replaced, generating more costs and waste. So that's definitely not a simple problem.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2019, 03:44:21 pm »

And in many countries where most people live in apartments (there are many of those, comes as a shock to people from the US), there are many people owning their apartments. It makes no difference. And even when they just rent it, they usually pay for their own electricity consumption directly - not the landlords!
And if it's the landlords in some countries (dunno) - what difference does that make? We're not talking about who pays here, but how much energy we can produce.


The confusion there is likely because in the US if you own the apartment then it isn't called an apartment, it's a condominium and we have lots of those. Apartments are dwellings in a multi-unit building that are all owned by the same person or organization while condos are individually owned, either by the resident or by a separate landlord. Structurally speaking there is not really any difference, lots of apartment complexes got converted into condos during the housing booms.



 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2019, 03:55:42 pm »
And in many countries where most people live in apartments (there are many of those, comes as a shock to people from the US), there are many people owning their apartments. It makes no difference. And even when they just rent it, they usually pay for their own electricity consumption directly - not the landlords!
And if it's the landlords in some countries (dunno) - what difference does that make? We're not talking about who pays here, but how much energy we can produce.

The confusion there is likely because in the US if you own the apartment then it isn't called an apartment, it's a condominium and we have lots of those. Apartments are dwellings in a multi-unit building that are all owned by the same person or organization while condos are individually owned, either by the resident or by a separate landlord. Structurally speaking there is not really any difference, lots of apartment complexes got converted into condos during the housing booms.

Yes, I kind of figured that. Still, doesn't change how much electricity we need to produce and how much is consumed.

Whatever the ownership model, in some way an apartment building can mutualize some of the power consumption of the apartments, which would be an advantage compared to individual houses, but I'm not sure this is a very large fraction of the whole power consumption. Maybe for heating (in buildings in which it's centralized, which is only a small fraction of buildings in many areas...)

But as I said, I realize that the situation in the US is pretty different from the one in many other countries in the world. It's a big country, yet people globally seem to have the same level of freedom as only very small and rich countries can "afford". That's interesting, and that may be a reason why some solutions for energy production could well work in the US, and otherwise in small (in terms of population) rich countries such as Switzerland or Norway, but not in other parts of the world, especially the largest countries such as China and India.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 03:58:20 pm by SiliconWizard »
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2019, 07:00:45 pm »
Apartments wouldn't generate quite 100% of the energy needs using current cells but it could well be pretty close,

What makes you able to make that claim? In moderately large buildings, it just doesn't compute at all for the time being (unless as I said we put solar panels elsewhere than on top of roofs, but I think this has already been tried and it's not that great). Of course I don't know about the future, but we'd need a major breakthrough in solar panels tech to be able to achieve this.

not counting cars and as the efficieny further improves the day when it could produce all the apartments needs is not far off.  OTH, you don't own the apartment so the people that do would charge you as the utility would -- so what!  Office buildings wouldn't generate all there needs either and energy dense needs like commercial aircraft are not going solar any day soon -- again, so what

I didn't understand. What do you mean by "not couting cars" and why? If electric cars become the norm, they will become an integral part of people power consumption. Maybe even the greater part.

Then the future improvements - there's nothing to say about that as of yet. That will probably happen, but it's future. We just don't know.

OTH, you don't own the apartment so the people that do would charge you as the utility would -- so what!

Not sure I got this one either. What does owning have anything to do with it?

And in many countries where most people live in apartments (there are many of those, comes as a shock to people from the US), there are many people owning their apartments. It makes no difference. And even when they just rent it, they usually pay for their own electricity consumption directly - not the landlords!
And if it's the landlords in some countries (dunno) - what difference does that make? We're not talking about who pays here, but how much energy we can produce.

Office buildings wouldn't generate all there needs either and energy dense needs like commercial aircraft are not going solar any day soon -- again, so what

The fact that a given technology allows only the production of a small fraction of the overall needs is the key point IMO, and explains why said technology doesn't take off. It's often just a matter of numbers.

And the apartment buildings is just an example here. The whole issue is the global vs. individual approaches. Global approaches are usually favored not just because they concentrate money and power, but also because they are just more cost-effective in many cases as someone else said.

I'm personally all for individual approaches, but I realize they will fulfill the energy needs of only a very small fraction of all needs.

As for solar panels, at this point, and again unless there is a major breakthrough  - or we take a different approach to harvest solar energy - it's not going to work well as a global approach. It is for individual/very local needs.

As many other people, your reasoning seems to be that global and individual approaches don't have to compete - they can be complementary. And I agree with this in theory.
In practice though, it just "fragments" the overall generation of electricity, making things much more complex to handle on a large scale, usually costs a lot more overall to deploy, and the benefits, again not as an individual, but on a large scale, could be reaped probably only after decades. At which point the used technology would probably fail and need to be replaced, generating more costs and waste. So that's definitely not a simple problem.


There is variability in solar insolation in different parts of the world and there are variations in the size of homes and roofs so what may be easier in much of the USA will be harder in much of western Europe and other places not so favorably located for solar.  There are of course many places even better suited to solar than the USA.

The smaller homes issue you mention is somewhat offset by a consequent reduction in demand -- smaller home tend to consume less.  In the USA the typical home is about 2000 ft^2 but there are many older homes smaller than that.  If we take 1500 ft^2 as a more conservative example and taking into account the larger area of the roof owing to the pitch we can calculate something over 1700 ft^2 for the Sun facing half of the roof or about 80 m^2.  With 18% cells covering that 80 m^2 you would produce 60KWh or more in an average day and given the US average consumption of a bit less than 30KWh/day there is a sufficient surplus to also provide energy to a couple electric cars.

In western Europe with generally less favorable solar insolation and smaller homes you might be looking at, perhaps, 30KWr to 40KWh per day but with something closer to 20KWh/day needs for the home there can still be a surplus for your electric car.

I have no idea what you're going on about when you say "The fact that a given technology allows only the production of a small fraction of the overall needs is the key point IMO, and explains why said technology doesn't take off. It's often just a matter of numbers."

The roof area of an apartment building will tend to be less per unit than a typical home is, but it isn't necessarily the case that this is a huge difference -- most apartments are limited to 2-3 stories and they include covered areas like vestibules and hallways not typically included in homes.  Additionally, apartments usually have fairly large parking lots that could be covered to provide more than enough additional energy for apartment and cars and many apartment already have areas of covered parking.  In the US apartments are owned by a company whereas condo's are owned by the tenant. 

We already have fragmentation of power generation and this has been the case for the better part of a century -- nothing new here except that modern computer technology makes coordination and synchronization far easier.  Most solar electric system employ inverters to generate AC power and these can be controlled, quite easily, to match frequency and voltage to even more efficiently provide power with less loss.  Producing power closer to where it's consumed further improves efficiency by lowering transmission loses.  An additional opportunity with inverter based power generation is the ability to alter the waveform of some of the inverters to smooth the power on the powerlines to be closer to a pure sign wave.  If there are industrial users connected to the powerline the inductive loads and on/off high loads will tend to dirty the power, but with hundreds of inverters connected to the line they could be programmed to automatically compensate, in real time, for the industrial perturbations and actually improve the quality of power for everyone.

Getting back to the solar roads thing ... yes, the difficulties are many and obvious, but what makes it appealing is the fact that it's land that's already in use so no additional land need to be occupied to do it.  I won't waste time beating this to death, but the beauty of residential solar is that it can be installed on already occupied land and structures and can, owning to the large number of such home, produce a significant percentage of the total energy needs.  I think 50% is an over estimate but 35% for sure and as cell efficiency improves that could easily exceed 40% or even more.


Brian
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 07:08:54 pm by raptor1956 »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #41 on: August 07, 2019, 08:26:20 pm »
In practice though, it just "fragments" the overall generation of electricity, making things much more complex to handle on a large scale, usually costs a lot more overall to deploy, and the benefits, again not as an individual, but on a large scale, could be reaped probably only after decades. At which point the used technology would probably fail and need to be replaced, generating more costs and waste. So that's definitely not a simple problem.
A similar thought crossed my mind. What we see now are all kinds of fragmented solutions to replace a universal type of fuel (coal, gas and oil which are easy to distribute and transport). Ultimately the solution has to be a universal energy carrier which can be used & transported world wide. Ethanol and hydrogen come to mind.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2019, 08:51:37 pm »

If we take 1500 ft^2 as a more conservative example and taking into account the larger area of the roof owing to the pitch we can calculate something over 1700 ft^2 for the Sun facing half of the roof or about 80 m^2.

Additionally, apartments usually have fairly large parking lots that could be covered to provide more than enough additional energy for apartment and cars and many apartment already have areas of covered parking.

Brian

There are many pitfalls in these rough calculations of solar potential.  Two are highlighted above.

The first assumes that all roof ridges are oriented east west, and that roofs have a single ridgeline.  I have owned several houses and this is true of none of them.  The reality of housing orientation and configuration can easily take another factor of two or more off of the potential.  Without incorporating factors like shading from local terrain and trees which can reduce the potential to zero in many locations.

The second assumes that parking areas for apartments has high solar availability.  Which is totally untrue for apartments with basement parking and often untrue for other reasons.  The multi-story structure of most apartments provides shade (as do the neighboring properties which due to zoning laws are often also apartment structures).  Also the cost of building a cover over a parking area and covering it with solar is substantially higher than adding solar to an existing roof that is in good condition.

It is unclear what the long term costs of rooftop installations are.  Solar installations should provide significant protection to the roof structure extending its life, but will make repairs more expensive when they are eventually required.  I have never seen a meaningful analysis of this situation.  Probably it is very location dependent, with little impact in much of Europe where very durable roofing materials are used, and possibly significant cost impact in the US where more ephemeral materials are commonly used.
 

Offline RedEnergie

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2019, 12:22:07 am »
Im not entirely sure, if no tax money was wasted by now. Sadly I can't find a record of the money being withheld or spend as part of the RENplus program by the EU.
The only source I could find says, that they plan on spending 127.575,60€ with seems to be 80% of the entire cost. Since the project officially endet on 31.12.2017, I'm not sure if this wasn't spend already.
The Projekt list can be found on https://efre.brandenburg.de/cms/detail.php/bb1.c.152602.de
The file in question is the "20190331_Vorhabenliste_EFRE_BB.xlsx"
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2019, 01:03:26 am »
Quote
plan on spending 127.575,60€

That's a remarkably precise amount for a forecast.
 

Offline TheNewLab

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2019, 07:41:39 am »
LOL, I am on the floor hurting  :-DD
Talking of wasted money, while a bit offtopic: there were another 15-30 Million (ongoing) left for this brilliant idea:


Screw that medivac chopper, trains are much too oldschool, we have bleeding overhead wiring on our "Autobahn". Well, for 5km at least which somehow fits the five trucks with pantographs.

However, with already existing electric public transit buses.... Noo. The drivers are always stopping to realign the power connector that just bounced off the aerial tracks.
I could imagine that happening on the Autobahn...Then watch all the convertible Mercedes go flying off upside down and using those cool spring-up roll bars  8)
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2019, 08:17:28 am »
They do testruns all over Germany right now for these electric trucks :palm:

https://youtu.be/uY68wHQQeC8
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2019, 08:19:27 am »
A similar thought crossed my mind. What we see now are all kinds of fragmented solutions to replace a universal type of fuel (coal, gas and oil which are easy to distribute and transport). Ultimately the solution has to be a universal energy carrier which can be used & transported world wide. Ethanol and hydrogen come to mind.

While many humans are starving around the globe, planning to grow (more) crops just to get fuel does not sound like good idea. BTW biofuels are already  (pdf doc) impacting food industry even in US: "Using corn for ethanol increases the price of U.S. beef, chicken, pork, eggs, breads, cereals, and milk more than 10% to 30%." What good will be fuel for your car if you will be dead due to starvation?

It is widely known that hydrogen is one of most inefficient way to transport electrical energy. "a hydrogen car is roughly 19 to 23% efficient, which is way, way lower than a modern diesel engine"
 

Offline Pinkus

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2019, 09:46:26 am »
They do testruns all over Germany right now for these electric trucks :palm:

https://youtu.be/uY68wHQQeC8
Why not? For a highway this is perfect:
  • No need to charge batteries after x km.
  • Batteries can be used for "the last miles" when leaving the highway.
  • No energy loss due to charging.
  • Easy to setup and maintain the infrastructure

There are some cities in Germany where the buses are powered by this (e.g. Solingen). Similar to a Straßenbahn (tram) but without the rails. I know Solingen and they are using this for >50 years. See pic (lend from Wikipedia) attached.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2019, 09:49:35 am »
Quote
https://youtu.be/uY68wHQQeC8

The pickups point forward? One has to assume the designers know what they are doing (they are after all competent enough to have got it working) but that kind of surprises me.
 


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