Author Topic: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)  (Read 6648 times)

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Offline FrankBuss

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Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« on: August 06, 2019, 02:54:41 pm »
Last year someone built another solar road in Germany, this time for bicycles, as the one in the Netherlands. Opening:
November 11, 2018
(image caption: "Germany's first solar road near Cologne")

Movie about it, on the website of the company which built it:
https://www.solmove.com/der-erste-solar-radweg-ist-in-erftstadt-eroeffnet/
The movie was produced by RTL, a private television station. 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. It is all funded by Solmove at the moment. See here for the full answer.

February 18, 2019. It is producing energy, but still nothing fed into the public grid, because they forgot to submit some regulatory papers.

About a month later it finally failed:
March 26, 2019
(image caption: "The solar cycle path must not be used at the moment. Tarpaulins protect the modules from the sun.")

April 4, 2019, more information about the defect, probably water in some of the connectors caused a smouldering fire.

August 6, 2019: I took a look at it today (click on the image for the full resolution unedited photo with camera and GPS info), still not working:


Looks like the pedestrians took it in their own hand regarding the path must not be used  ::) And note the house to the left with the big roof, without solar cells.

This is the location (Copyright Google Maps), the 90m solar way marked in blue:



Note again all the roofs without solar cells. Top is north. This image might be old, but I couldn't see much more solar cells on roofs today. So much for low-hanging fruits.

Different angle:



The sign:



Note the wrong labeling: "Stromerzeugung dieses Jahr in kw/h" (power generation this year in kw/h). It is kWh.

Taking a look under the tarps:









The other end. Looks like the tarps don't cover it all to the end, I didn't remove anything at this side.



Close-up of the other end. Don't know what this is, maybe some broken cells?



The seal doesn't look too good either:



It looks awful with all the dirt. I think the solar cells are only between the bumps, as you can see here:



This would mean that nearly no power is generated if it is getting dirty.



Overview at the other end, different angle:



Nearby were many more houses with roofs without solar cells:



In the distance some wind turbines:



On the way home:



I don't think there are solar cells mounted on the roofs. Why not some solar fricking railway station roofs?!

And some more roofs:



Can you spot the tiny, lonely solar cell installation? (don't search, just kidding :)

February 3, 2020: News on the website from the city about the current status: The city canceled the contract with Solmove at the end of 2019. Solmove filed a lawsuit against the city. As a temporary solution, the city laid out PVC mats over it, so that it can be used again as a way, and for conservation of evidence.

May 31, 2020: current photo of the PVC mats:



At one mat they screwed it up and they overlap. They "fixed" it with the warning sign so that nobody trips over it. Close up, which shows the mat texture and thickness:



The mats are very comfortable to walk over. Similar to hard rubber, as you know it from tracks in a stadium.

Meanwhile the sign got some graffiti, looks like some people weren't amused:



Funny angry face at the nearby train station as well:

« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 06:57:28 am by FrankBuss »
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 04:11:12 pm »
I don't know what makes me facepalm more about this whole thing.  The fact that it was tried once... or the fact that they keep trying it over and over.  It does not work, stop it!   Overhead solar panels are so much more effective it just makes no sense to put them on surfaces that see traffic. 
 
Here's an idea if they really want to do roads... how about solar railways?  Put the panels between the tracks.  I can think of a number of issues with this already so it's still a bad idea, but probably better than roads and bike paths. 
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 06:18:26 pm »
I guess railway solar cells would get very dirty, too, because there is a lot of air turbulence with fast trains, and then sand and dust etc.

But I think mounting it on these railway station roofs would be perfect. They are angled, so probably dust wouldn't be a problem, or at least with the next rain it would be gone. Snow wouldn't be much of a problem either, because there are only a few days when it snows here. Would have cost much less than the bicycle way, would have produced probably more energy, and would be still working. And this is only one station, there are about 5,400 railway stations in Germany, and some are pretty big:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Koeln_Hauptbahnhof_Luftaufnahme.jpg

I think at the bottom is just some transparent roof, no solar cell. They started only in 2014 with solar cells for their train stations:

https://www.pv-magazine.de/2014/06/20/groer-bahnhof-fr-den-ersten-grnen-bahnhof/

First "green" railway station, which creates as much solar energy as it consumes.
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 06:27:38 pm »
Its even more astonishing of how much it cost !
Some people make a lot of money by offering the government such stupid ideas.

And since the Government feels the push from the public to do something about global warming,
they pay  EUR 784000 for 100m of walkway !

So ridicules !
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 06:29:20 pm by HighVoltage »
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Offline edy

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 06:32:03 pm »
Here's my theory...  I think there is some kind of government budget in many countries ear-marked for such "green initiatives" so they can fund local companies and show the public tax-payer that they are doing something new. Good sound-bite, lots of marketing "fluff" to appease the hard-working taxpayer that the government is using their money for technological scientific improvement of their country (or so they want to trick the average person into thinking).

People who know the system, or have a foot in the door, or know someone on the inside may be able to get their hands on this money. I'm sure the people closest to this political one-hand-washes-the-other may be in the construction industry... one of the handful of contractors who work to keep the road infrastructure in the municipalities maintained. This is also how these companies keep winning bids to put in the plumbing and drains, electrical and road infrastructure whenever a new subdivision is planned by the local city.

Otherwise, the announcements of award money, funding and "innovation" initiatives are being kept behind closed doors or announced to a very limited number of insiders who can jump on the opportunity right away. Practically anyone in this forum will be able to take $1,000,000 from the government, quit their job for a year and try working on and installing a solar-powered project of some kind. What you don't know you learn, or hire others to help you with. But regardless of what you end up doing, one thing for sure is if you try to put it on the ground and drive all over it, it will fail.

Why it keeps coming down to the worst possible installation surface (i.e. roadway/bike path) beats me... Unless the government doesn't want to award proven already-made solutions but needs to throw this money at "new" stuff or companies that they hope will somehow solve the puzzle.  :-//

« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 06:34:22 pm by edy »
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Offline daqq

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2019, 06:34:04 pm »
Oh FFS...  :palm: How much money was poured into this crap already? I've lost track... Could someone calculate how many kW of NORMAL SANE solar panels could have been installed for said sum?
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Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2019, 06:52:25 pm »
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.
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Offline ju1ce

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2019, 07:19:33 pm »
I guess railway solar cells would get very dirty, too, because there is a lot of air turbulence with fast trains, and then sand and dust etc.

But I think mounting it on these railway station roofs would be perfect.

Solar cells on  railway station roofs? So something like this?  :)

 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2019, 07:21:33 pm »
The idea of solar roadways is appealing for a number of reasons but there are many challenges that make it very difficult.  We need roads and they are already there so if they could be put to use generating electricity they would do so without consuming additional land.  There are 6,552,000 km of roads in the USA and if we take an average of 10m for the width that translates into about 6.5E10 m^2 of potential solar area.  If the solar cells could generate a net 10% over 5 hours average per day the yearly net would be 1.2E16 WHrs.  The total energy consumption in the USA including all sources is 4.2E15 WHrs so if the solar roads could do 1.2E16 WHrs per year that would exceed the total energy consumption by about 2.8 times.  Or, if the net was 3.5% the roads could generate all the energy needs without occupying any additional land.

OK, that sounds great and is no doubt a factor in the projects that have been suggested, but there are MANY problems accomplishing this -- lets run through a few...

1.  Roads are driven on by heavy vehicles and the damage these vehicles to, mostly from the heavy trucks, requires billions of dollars every year to maintain them and we do a poor job at that.  We tend to go cheap with bed depth and wind up with cracks etc.

2.  Vehicles deposit crap on the roads from tires and leakage of oil and other things -- these reduce efficiency and would require an expensive nationwide system of chemical and mechanical cleaners.

3.  WEATHER -- yep, weather.  In the intermediate climates where the temp goes through the freezing point most often you get heaving and other things that damage roads -- anyone living in these parts needs no explanation.  And lets not discount snow.

4.  Cover.  Not every square meter of roadway is in full Sun do to foliage, landscape, dirt or man-made structures -- the net is likely to reduce the total effective area by, say, 2X.

5.  Cover.  The vehicles themselves will block the Sun though that impact is probably only on the order of a few percent net.

6.  Maintenance.  How often will the solar cells/panels need to be serviced and how would you do that to something embedded in the roadway.

7.  Ownership.  Will these solar roadways be owned by private industry or will the fossil fuels industry just accept being put out of business -- if all the problems could be overcome how likely is it that the fossil fuels industry would go down without a fight.

So, I understand the idea behind solar roadways, but the difficulties in making it happen and be cost effective and reliable would, it seems to me, be a long ways off.  OTH, testing of this is a good idea but has the problem of being a laughing stock and meme that hampers solar development in the long run when the early examples wind up being, well, pathetic.  Many of these early examples appear to me to be the brainchild of someone that has good intentions but lacks common sense.  That some of these projects get funding is not surprising and also not surprising is the willingness of construction companies to get there foot in that door.  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. 


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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2019, 07:35:55 pm »
Tozai Line Nishi-Funabashi Station Japan 1MW

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:
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Online schmitt trigger

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2019, 07:48:52 pm »
The photo where the weeds have started to cover the outermost cells is priceless..............
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 07:53:34 pm »
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:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1234-more-epic-solar-roadways-fail!/msg2594253/#msg2594253

Of course this is different for other countries, and for highly populated countries it might be not so easy, but for Australia it is no problem to build some solar cell power plants in the deserts.

I guess the same is true for the US, but it might need a higher percentage, but there are big unused deserts as well, like the Death Valley, with 7,800 km^2, which would be already more than 10% of your estimated road area. Combine this with the higher efficiency of the installation, and just this one big power plant in the Death Valley might be all you need. Of course, might be better to build multiple medium sized power plants to avoid too much losses for long wires and more redundancy, and mix this with other renewable energy sources like water and wind turbines. I hope it is only a matter of time until everyone understands this, but renewable energy is already growing steadily, so I'm optimistic.
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 08:07:59 pm »
The train station roof tops (or any roof tops) definitely make the most sense.  In fact they could potentially even use the rail itself to send power either to connect all the stations up, or just to trains so they can power stuff on the train.  But simplest is to probably just make each station it's own solar setup.   Bus shelters etc too. I put 400w on my shed, a typical bus shelter can probably fit around that same amount, maybe even 1kw if you go for larger overhang.  It could power lights etc on the shelter and send rest to the grid.

Roofs and ground mount are always going to be the simplest option.

At the end of the day though I think large commercial setups are the best way to go, the issue with smaller setups in public places is dealing with vandalism and theft.  You could do all the bus shelters and offer USB charging ports and lighting and other things, but people are just going to destroy it all.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 08:12:14 pm »
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.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 08:23:06 pm by nctnico »
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2019, 08:24:25 pm »
Right, there is not one solution that fits all countries. For Germany for example wind power is much better, because the sun doesn't shine often and isn't very strong. The wind power share of the total electricity generation was 18.7% in 2017:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Germany
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2019, 08:30:16 pm »
However the biggest challenge and cost for wind and solar by far is going to be storage.

Definitely.  If we can come up with a storage tech that has the same density as fuel (it does not necessarily need to even be a battery) I think it would change a lot.   Like say there are places where it may not be viable to put a solar farm you could in theory store the power and ship it somewhere else.  We essentially do this with oil product already.   But even for places that have solar farms, it would mean that the solar could provide power for all days of the year as excess could be stored.   In places like where I live where the days are short for most of the year, but we get 3 months of very long days, you could try to store a lot during those 3 months to make up for the rest of the year which would not produce as much.   The problem with most batteries is that they typically have a certain self discharge rate and also need to be charged to a certain point to be happy, so we'd need a tech that works more like a water tank where it does not matter what the level is at at any given time, and has little to no self discharge.

Perhaps a if there is a type of fuel that can be created using basic chemicals and have that fuel burn cleanly.  Hydrogen is one option but don't think it's viable, but perhaps something similar would be more viable.

Or just a better battery tech.   

To me all the effort that goes towards trying to reinvent solar, or even big oil projects etc, should go towards R&D for storage.   I guess there's two storage problems to solve, one is portable storage to make even big electric vehicles more viable, and the other is simply large scale stationary storage.  For that we already have hydro dams and water reservoirs, but perhaps there is something better. 
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2019, 08:56:04 pm »
Added some more info to my original post which I just found:
- February 18, 2019. It is producing energy, but still nothing fed into the public grid, because they forgot to submit some regulatory papers.
- the labeling on the sign is wrong
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2019, 09:07:49 pm »
The various posts have adequately covered the solar energy fail part of this.  But you would think they could at least make it a decent bike path.  I wouldn't want to ride on those tiles on any kind of road tire (Narrow high pressure tires).  Not that they can't be ridden on, you can ride on cobblestones, but when putting so much effort into it why not have a traction surface that is relatively smooth.  Like concrete or asphalt.

Or maybe they realized that these wouldn't bear up under traffic and designed them so they would be avoided.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2019, 09:29:54 pm »
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?


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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2019, 09:59:55 pm »
But you would think they could at least make it a decent bike path.  I wouldn't want to ride on those tiles on any kind of road tire (Narrow high pressure tires).  Not that they can't be ridden on, you can ride on cobblestones, but when putting so much effort into it why not have a traction surface that is relatively smooth.  Like concrete or asphalt.

Spot on.

Or maybe they realized that these wouldn't bear up under traffic and designed them so they would be avoided.

 ;D

Given that most of these projects are complete failures beginning with the fact that the things fall apart after a few months, that is a funny yet valid point. I guess politics who will still fucking insist on having those infamous solar roadways will find themselves with no other choice than making sure nobody would ever want to drive on them. Added benefit is that the roadways would have more exposure to sunlight.  :-DD
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2019, 10:06:01 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.
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2019, 10:22:10 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.

Not just that. It might work with individual houses, but would probably not scale up for appartment buildings, given that they pack a lot more homes for a given roof area. Maybe that could be compensated also sticking solar panels to the facades. Not sure. May not be enough, and would not look very good either...

In many countries/cities, individual houses are the exception rather than the norm.

 

Offline james_s

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2019, 10:40:18 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.

That doesn't seem right. Here our private, for-profit utilities offer various incentives to reduce consumption as it saves them from having to add additional capacity.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2019, 10:50:19 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.

Not just that. It might work with individual houses, but would probably not scale up for appartment buildings, given that they pack a lot more homes for a given roof area. Maybe that could be compensated also sticking solar panels to the facades. Not sure. May not be enough, and would not look very good either...

In many countries/cities, individual houses are the exception rather than the norm.

Apartments wouldn't generate quite 100% of the energy needs using current cells but it could well be pretty close, 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!

Looking down the road if residential solar is able to produce about half the energy needs I see a mix of other systems to address the other half.  In many places parking lots could be covered providing shade for the cars and all the energy needs of the office buildings they support.  To produce the energy dense fuel needed for commercial aircraft and heavy industry solar farms could produce the power used to produce a fuel like methane which if operated using the Sabatier reaction it would be net neutral environmentally as the CO2 etc produced when it's burned will have been first pulled from the atmosphere to produce the fuel.

And, getting back to the topic of this thread ... I think it very likely that 40 years down the road we will indeed be harvesting solar energy from some of our roads -- probably less than about 10%.

I should add that the petroleum industry isn't likely to disappear completely as the products go well beyond energy -- think plastics and fertilizer.  Additionally, although a fuel like methane could replace the various kerosene based fuel for aircraft it won't do that overnight as the aircraft would have to be designed to run on methane.  I think petroleum will still be in use 40 years from now but it could be less than 20% or even 10%.


Brian
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2019, 10:54:56 pm »
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.
 

Online 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
 

Online 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.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2019, 11:11:28 am »
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.

No problem at all. High speed (>300 km/h) trains are fine with forward-facing pickups. Electric delivery trucks with charging on highways is not bad idea at all. We need to fight pollution in cities and this is one step in right direction.

I think flow battery could be ultimate solution. It may be good for grid energy storage and may solve charging inconvenience for electric vehicles as well. - You drive into gas electrolyte station and during few minutes swap/replenish electrolyte of your electric car to get > 300 km range. I would love such future.
 

Offline madires

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2019, 12:54:42 pm »
They do testruns all over Germany right now for these electric trucks :palm:

https://youtu.be/uY68wHQQeC8

eHighway test tracks:
#1: freeway A5 near Frankfurt/Main, 5km, in operation
#2: freeway A1 near Lübeck, 25km, first tests planned for end of 2019
#3 interstate B462 between Kuppenheim and Gernsbach, 6km, planned for 2020
 

Offline madires

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2019, 01:06:04 pm »
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.

Yep, they are called O-Bus and there's even a museum (http://www.obus-museum-solingen.de/). In the past we had more O-Bus lines, like in Frankfurt/Main until late 50ies.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2019, 07:21:59 pm »
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?
You are way behind. Several companies have 3rd generation bio-fuels working. 3rd generation bio-fuels are made from the parts of plants we don't eat. So instead of impacting food production the 3rd generation bio-fuels make food cheaper because more of the plants is used.
Quote
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"
Efficiency doesn't matter. Costs of storage, transport and infrastructure does and that is where hydrogen wins big time. Also hydrogen conversion gets more efficient all the time so your numbers are out of date.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2019, 07:28:07 pm »
3rd generation bio-fuels are made from the parts of plants we don't eat. So instead of impacting food production the 3rd generation bio-fuels make food cheaper because more of the plants is used.

Hem. Give us evidence that this is true. That we can actually produce a significant quantity of biofuel (and not an insignificant one just to prove that it works) without actually requiring more resources than if we didn't produce it. I don't buy that. Or again maybe the quantities are so insignificant that it has no practical use.

Open to witnessing solid evidence though.

 

Offline Domagoj T

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2019, 08:00:46 pm »
Efficiency doesn't matter. Costs of storage, transport and infrastructure does and that is where hydrogen wins big time.
Sorry, what?
Hydrogen is notoriously difficult to transport and store, and there is no existing infrastructure to do either of it.
Energy density of even liquefied hydrogen is much lower then dino juice, not to mention it's cryogenic which brings all sorts of problems. Did you know that, in a given volume, there is more hydrogen in petrol then there is hydrogen in pure hydrogen, and it's not even a close match? Yeah, it's that bad.
If you don't liquefy it (in order to avoid cryogenics), energy density goes even further towards abysmal.
Hydrogen leaks. Even if you make your fittings and valves as good as they can get, hydrogen will leak through the walls of the container. It just leaks.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2019, 08:14:36 pm »
Hydrogen is effectively stored in water and in much of all organic matter. It is even known to be the main element in the whole universe if I'm not mistaken. If only we had a cheap way of extracting it when needed. All this potential energy all around us in almost infinite quantity, and we're still unable to really tap into it, or in very feeble attempts if you think about it.

And yes, unfortunately, petrol is still one of the easiest container we have at disposal, while being reasonably safe and easy to use.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2019, 08:34:54 pm »
There is the problem with hydrogen, it's not so much "stored" in water as water is already burned hydrogen. To "un-burn" the hydrogen you have to pour energy back into it to split the hydrogen from the oxygen and then you get some of that energy back when you burn it. You can't harvest hydrogen from the environment and extract energy from it, it's not a fuel, it's an energy storage medium.

Fossil fuels have already stored energy originating from millions of years of solar energy, they are useful as fuels because they have a tremendous amount of energy stored up in them ready to be extracted easily. The problem of course is that we are consuming them many orders of magnitude faster than they were created.
 

Online hendorog

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2019, 08:56:01 pm »
Storage is the problem for PV, and hydrogen is just another form of storage.

To mitigate that, either spend a heap of money on storage, or simply put PV panels on top of things which can consume the energy generated, when it is generated.
The other thing required is scale. Small scale PV on a residential roof is an inefficient use of capital. You spend 10K and get 4K worth of panels - and that is if you are smart and lucky and that's without any storage.

So don't bother with a small train station roof. Instead look for the right roof space.

Industrial/factory buildings and EV's are two places which fit this criteria.
Factories, and their on-site warehouses, because they have enormous, relatively flat roof areas, and they consume a lot of power during the day.
EV's, because they are mass produced and they have storage built in already so don't need to consume it immediately.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2019, 09:04:19 pm »
Efficiency doesn't matter. Costs of storage, transport and infrastructure does and that is where hydrogen wins big time.
Sorry, what?
Hydrogen is notoriously difficult to transport and store, and there is no existing infrastructure to do either of it.
Energy density of even liquefied hydrogen is much lower then dino juice, not to mention it's cryogenic which brings all sorts of problems. Did you know that, in a given volume, there is more hydrogen in petrol then there is hydrogen in pure hydrogen, and it's not even a close match? Yeah, it's that bad.
If you don't liquefy it (in order to avoid cryogenics), energy density goes even further towards abysmal.
Hydrogen leaks. Even if you make your fittings and valves as good as they can get, hydrogen will leak through the walls of the container. It just leaks.
You make it sound like hydrogen is some kind of new material which is difficult to handle but that simply isn't true. Hydrogen is used a lot in the (petro)chemical industry so the technology to store and transport it is already there. Several of the big oil companies are seriously investing in getting a hydrogen infrastructure going. If you look deeper into hydrogen and take storage and transport costs into account then hydrogen suddenly makes a lot of sense.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 09:06:10 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2019, 09:08:53 pm »
3rd generation bio-fuels are made from the parts of plants we don't eat. So instead of impacting food production the 3rd generation bio-fuels make food cheaper because more of the plants is used.

Hem. Give us evidence that this is true. That we can actually produce a significant quantity of biofuel (and not an insignificant one just to prove that it works) without actually requiring more resources than if we didn't produce it. I don't buy that. Or again maybe the quantities are so insignificant that it has no practical use.

Open to witnessing solid evidence though.
Google Cellulosic ethanol and EPA. There are several industrial scale plants up & running in the US from several different companies. In total several billions of dollars have been invested. 3rd generation bio-fuels are certainly not vapourware.

The EPA has set the production target at 540 million Gallons or cellulosic ethanol for 2020:
https://biofuels-news.com/news/ethanol-industry-reacts-to-epas-proposed-biofuel-targets-for-2020/
However it seems the Trump 'administration' is hampering further growth of Cellulosic ethanol.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 09:22:35 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2019, 09:54:53 pm »
Several companies have 3rd generation bio-fuels working. 3rd generation bio-fuels are made from the parts of plants we don't eat. So instead of impacting food production the 3rd generation bio-fuels make food cheaper because more of the plants is used.

It does not matter - biofuel is manufactured from plants/crops we eat or not because nobody follow food industry regulations growing biofuel crops anyway. Biofuel manufacturing takes land and water resources. In result both becomes more expensive for food industry. Biofuel takes away farmers as well - they often convert from food to biofuel manufacturing because it is more profitable and less risky.

[edit] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/jul/03/biofuels.renewableenergy
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 11:32:33 pm by ogden »
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2019, 10:27:29 pm »
Google Cellulosic ethanol and EPA. There are several industrial scale plants up & running in the US from several different companies. In total several billions of dollars have been invested. 3rd generation bio-fuels are certainly not vapourware.

Well, it's all nice, but none of this tells me that it's actually environmentally friendly and sustainable. Just because billions of dollars are invested doesn't mean it is.
I think Total has also invested large amounts of money in developing biodiesel fuel from palm oil: https://www.energy-reporters.com/environment/total-ready-to-open-palm-oil-plant/
I'm not sure this kind of agriculture is really environmentally friendly either.

The EPA has set the production target at 540 million Gallons or cellulosic ethanol for 2020:
https://biofuels-news.com/news/ethanol-industry-reacts-to-epas-proposed-biofuel-targets-for-2020/

Cool, I can also set nice targets. Promises only commit whoever listens to them as a wise saying goes.
Now how far exactly are we from this 540 million gallons target less than 1 year from the goal? Just curious.

However it seems the Trump 'administration' is hampering further growth of Cellulosic ethanol.

Well, Trump is a naughty boy and all, but that will certainly be a convenient excuse to explain why they didn't reach the above target.
 :-+
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #63 on: August 10, 2019, 12:04:29 am »
I think ethanol only really makes sense when it is produced from otherwise wasted food. If you have a bad crop, expired or a surplus of stuff that will go bad before it gets anywhere to be consumed then it likely makes sense to turn it into fuel. It's also probably worthwhile to keep developing the technology because it's possible that the economics will change as fossil fuels become more scarce. I don't think it's going to be a huge contributor to our future energy needs though, just one small part of a larger puzzle.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #64 on: August 10, 2019, 07:32:34 am »
Cool, I can also set nice targets. Promises only commit whoever listens to them as a wise saying goes.
Now how far exactly are we from this 540 million gallons target less than 1 year from the goal? Just curious.
That is in the link. This year's production is set at 420 million gallons. The hold-up is in the US government not adhering to it's own ethanol blending rules which in turn prevents investments in new factories. IIRC the US could produce about 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol (and doubling it's ethanol production) without needing to use any extra farm land.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 07:36:04 am by nctnico »
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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2019, 07:34:38 am »
Several companies have 3rd generation bio-fuels working. 3rd generation bio-fuels are made from the parts of plants we don't eat. So instead of impacting food production the 3rd generation bio-fuels make food cheaper because more of the plants is used.

It does not matter - biofuel is manufactured from plants/crops we eat or not because nobody follow food industry regulations growing biofuel crops anyway. Biofuel manufacturing takes land and water resources. In result both becomes more expensive for food industry. Biofuel takes away farmers as well - they often convert from food to biofuel manufacturing because it is more profitable and less risky.

[edit] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/jul/03/biofuels.renewableenergy
Look at the date of that article  :palm: It literally is old news. The EU has already started to ban bio-fuels which consume too much land.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2019, 08:34:02 am »
Look at the date of that article  :palm: It literally is old news. The EU has already started to ban bio-fuels which consume too much land.

Save that facepalm for yourself, kid. Article you forgot to mention better be up-to date. I do not see how ban of cultures could solve any of the problems listed in that "old" article. After that ban biofuel farmers suddenly will give-up their land for pastures and food prices will drop or what?  :-DD

[edit] EU/EC did not *ban* anything. Read carefully: "The limits will affect the amount of these fuels that can be taken into account when calculating the overall national share of renewables and the share of renewables in transport."  https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-19-1656_en.htm

[edit] Here's fresh article for you that tells how hypocritical are EU "renewable" energy policies allowing import of South American biofuels that are known as environmentally unfriendly due to massive deforestation:  https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/mercosur-deal-opens-door-south-american-biofuels-while-palm-oil-biodiesel-use-reaches-record.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 11:45:49 am by ogden »
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2019, 01:34:29 pm »
After that ban biofuel farmers suddenly will give-up their land for pastures and food prices will drop or what?
If they can't sell the oil they are more likely to grow food.
Quote
The limits will affect the amount of these fuels that can be taken into account when calculating the overall national share of renewables and the share of renewables in transport.
Without the implicit subsidy of being counted towards emission goals, vegetable oil is not an interesting source of fuel.

Just because the duties are removed on ethanol and soy changes nothing about the recast of the renewable energy directive phasing out the use of food and feed crop biofuel.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2019, 02:43:00 pm »
After that ban biofuel farmers suddenly will give-up their land for pastures and food prices will drop or what?
If they can't sell the oil they are more likely to grow food.
LOL, no. They will simply start to grow "non-food" cultures to manufacture biofuels that are not restricted, on the *same* fields where rapeseed or corn grew before. Most likely will swap between cultures to better manage fertility of the soil. Currently EU biofuel average is 5.2% of volume, yet we already see it's impact on food industry. Target is 10% meaning huge potential of growth. Very unlikely that "they can't sell the oil" ;)

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Without the implicit subsidy of being counted towards emission goals, vegetable oil is not an interesting source of fuel.
Right. Biofuel subsidies are damaging food industry which in result requires subsidies as well.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #69 on: August 11, 2019, 06:05:53 pm »
Look at the date of that article  :palm: It literally is old news. The EU has already started to ban bio-fuels which consume too much land.

Save that facepalm for yourself, kid. Article you forgot to mention better be up-to date. I do not see how ban of cultures could solve any of the problems listed in that "old" article. After that ban biofuel farmers suddenly will give-up their land for pastures and food prices will drop or what?  :-DD

[edit] EU/EC did not *ban* anything. Read carefully: "The limits will affect the amount of these fuels that can be taken into account when calculating the overall national share of renewables and the share of renewables in transport."  https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-19-1656_en.htm

[edit] Here's fresh article for you that tells how hypocritical are EU "renewable" energy policies allowing import of South American biofuels that are known as environmentally unfriendly due to massive deforestation:  https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/mercosur-deal-opens-door-south-american-biofuels-while-palm-oil-biodiesel-use-reaches-record.
But this is about bio-diesel. I only wrote about ethanol. There is no future for diesel anyway (at least in Europe) so this problem solves itself.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2019, 06:47:16 pm »
But this is about bio-diesel. I only wrote about ethanol. There is no future for diesel anyway (at least in Europe) so this problem solves itself.

Well, I hope you are right about that. I wouldn't be that sure unfortunately.

The infamous Mercosur deal will certainly not help in that goal.
Total is also not investing in biodiesel for nothing, and the economy around diesel and diesel engines has become so big that I'm not holding my breath here...  :-\

 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2019, 06:51:06 pm »
Look at the date of that article  :palm: It literally is old news. The EU has already started to ban bio-fuels which consume too much land.

Save that facepalm for yourself, kid. Article you forgot to mention better be up-to date. I do not see how ban of cultures could solve any of the problems listed in that "old" article. After that ban biofuel farmers suddenly will give-up their land for pastures and food prices will drop or what?  :-DD

[edit] EU/EC did not *ban* anything. Read carefully: "The limits will affect the amount of these fuels that can be taken into account when calculating the overall national share of renewables and the share of renewables in transport."  https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-19-1656_en.htm

[edit] Here's fresh article for you that tells how hypocritical are EU "renewable" energy policies allowing import of South American biofuels that are known as environmentally unfriendly due to massive deforestation:  https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/mercosur-deal-opens-door-south-american-biofuels-while-palm-oil-biodiesel-use-reaches-record.
But this is about bio-diesel. I only wrote about ethanol. There is no future for diesel anyway (at least in Europe) so this problem solves itself.

Article about biodiesel import was just side note ;) Talking about ethanol: where's link to article that proves your statement: "The EU has already started to ban bio-fuels which consume too much land"?

[edit] Also please provide info about "There is no future for diesel anyway (at least in Europe)", for all kinds of transportation including ships and railway locomotives.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 06:59:29 pm by ogden »
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2019, 07:02:17 pm »
LOL, no. They will simply start to grow "non-food" cultures to manufacture biofuels that are not restricted

There currently isn't any fast growing energy dense high oil percentage non food/feed crop for them to transition to. It's strange they said food or feed crop at all in the new directive, but it will do for now.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2019, 07:36:23 pm »
There currently isn't any fast growing energy dense high oil percentage non food/feed crop for them to transition to. It's strange they said food or feed crop at all in the new directive, but it will do for now.

As @nctnico pointed out it is not about oils of rapeseed or palms but ethanol. EU discourages to use grain and corn for ethanol production in favor of Cellulosic ethanol made out of fibrous parts of plants/trees. Problem with Cellulosic ethanol manufacturing currently is high price of enzymes needed to break cellulose into simple sugars. Technology is not there yet. AFAIK big plants of Cellulosic ethanol were shut down in US and Germany.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #74 on: August 11, 2019, 07:44:37 pm »
Yeah it's still very expensive to produce and does not make economic sense.

With all those attempts and failures, I'm starting to think we'll have working nuclear fusion before any of these alternatives come to fruition. ;D
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #75 on: August 11, 2019, 08:17:51 pm »
As @nctnico pointed out it is not about oils of rapeseed or palms but ethanol. EU discourages to use grain and corn for ethanol production in favor of Cellulosic ethanol made out of fibrous parts of plants/trees. Problem with Cellulosic ethanol manufacturing currently is high price of enzymes needed to break cellulose into simple sugars. Technology is not there yet. AFAIK big plants of Cellulosic ethanol were shut down in US and Germany.

Which just goes to show, the directive as it stands will do for now to stem the bleeding. There is nothing they can really grow at the moment which flies under it.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #76 on: August 11, 2019, 09:58:28 pm »
As @nctnico pointed out it is not about oils of rapeseed or palms but ethanol. EU discourages to use grain and corn for ethanol production in favor of Cellulosic ethanol made out of fibrous parts of plants/trees. Problem with Cellulosic ethanol manufacturing currently is high price of enzymes needed to break cellulose into simple sugars. Technology is not there yet. AFAIK big plants of Cellulosic ethanol were shut down in US and Germany.

Which just goes to show, the directive as it stands will do for now to stem the bleeding. There is nothing they can really grow at the moment which flies under it.

You have strange perspective of "will do for now". When you actually read the document, you will see that set for 2020 maximum 7% limit of biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels produced from food or feed crops is *bigger* than current 5.2% *total* share of all types of biofuels (2018 data).
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #77 on: August 11, 2019, 10:07:14 pm »
There currently isn't any fast growing energy dense high oil percentage non food/feed crop for them to transition to. It's strange they said food or feed crop at all in the new directive, but it will do for now.

As @nctnico pointed out it is not about oils of rapeseed or palms but ethanol. EU discourages to use grain and corn for ethanol production in favor of Cellulosic ethanol made out of fibrous parts of plants/trees. Problem with Cellulosic ethanol manufacturing currently is high price of enzymes needed to break cellulose into simple sugars. Technology is not there yet. AFAIK big plants of Cellulosic ethanol were shut down in US and Germany.
Not quite true. At the beginning (say around 2005) there where a dozen or so companies which wanted to make Cellulosic ethanol. Several of these failed for various reasons (couldn't get the factory up to an economically viable production level, didn't get the process going at all, etc). AFAIK there are currently 2 to 4 companies which are producing cellulosic ethanol on an industrial scale. The technology is defenitely there however the economics do depend on the oil price which is too low at the moment.

BTW One of the problems with palm oil is that the producing countries want to keep selling the stuff. Indonesia for example has threatened to file a complaint to the WTO against the EU for protecting the EU's internal market. So to a certain level the EU has to buy more of this stuff than it actually wants for political reasons.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 10:20:02 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #78 on: August 11, 2019, 10:14:55 pm »
You have strange perspective of "will do for now". When you actually read the document, you will see that set for 2020 maximum 7% limit of biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels produced from food or feed crops is *bigger* than current 5.2% *total* share of all types of biofuels (2018 data).

Even a sudden limit at the current level of imports would have done immense harm to the palm oil growing economies at this point, they made a lot of investments for stuff which still has to come on line. Compromises have to be made, an actual limit and eventual phase out is the best you could hope for.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #79 on: August 11, 2019, 10:19:25 pm »
There currently isn't any fast growing energy dense high oil percentage non food/feed crop for them to transition to. It's strange they said food or feed crop at all in the new directive, but it will do for now.

As @nctnico pointed out it is not about oils of rapeseed or palms but ethanol. EU discourages to use grain and corn for ethanol production in favor of Cellulosic ethanol made out of fibrous parts of plants/trees. Problem with Cellulosic ethanol manufacturing currently is high price of enzymes needed to break cellulose into simple sugars. Technology is not there yet. AFAIK big plants of Cellulosic ethanol were shut down in US and Germany.
Not quite true. There have been a dozen or so companies which tried to make Cellulosic ethanol. Several of these failed for various reasons (couldn't get the factory up to an economically viable production level, didn't get the process going at all, etc). AFAIK there are currently 2 to 4 companies which are producing cellulosic ethanol on an industrial scale. The technology is defenitely there however the economics do depend on the oil price which is too low at the moment.

BTW One of the problems with palm oil is that the producing countries want to keep selling the stuff. Indonesia for example has threatened to file a complaint to the WTO against the EU for protecting the EU's internal market. So to a certain level the EU has to buy more of this stuff than it actually wants for political reasons.

What exactly not quite true? Please be specific. Not quite true that US and Germany plants shut down or what? Sorry that I have to repeat, but where's your up-to date article proving your words "The EU has already started to ban bio-fuels which consume too much land"?

Quote
couldn't get the factory up to an economically viable production level, didn't get the process going at all, etc

In short - results of "technology is not there yet". How else you explain laughably small share of 2nd and higher generation of biofuels?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 10:25:36 pm by ogden »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #80 on: August 11, 2019, 10:21:37 pm »
There is a lot of information from the EPA on Cellulosic ethanol production and government funding. I have linked to that before in other threads. And the start of the ban is in the documents you linked to. The process has been put into motion.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #81 on: August 11, 2019, 10:27:53 pm »
And the start of the ban is in the documents you linked to.

There is no "start of the ban" in documents I linked to :palm:
Seems you do not even read. Documents I linked to states 7% limit of "food grade" biofuels while current *total* biofuel consumption is 5.2%. You call it "start of the ban"? - That's ridiculous.

Quote
I have linked to that before in other threads.

Other threads?  :-DD :-DD :-DD
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 11:13:44 pm by ogden »
 

Offline TassiloH

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2019, 01:56:41 pm »
Update October 10/2019: City requests removal of solar bike path

https://www.ksta.de/region/rhein-erft/ende-des-solarradweges-stadt-fordert-hersteller-solmove-auf--die-module-abzubauen-33291282

Summary:
City of Erftstadt says the final deadline to fix Solmove bike path was 9/24/2019 after several extensions, but the bike path has not been fixed. The city gives a new deadline of 10/25/2019 to remove the solar bike path.
Solmove founder Donald Müller-Judex does not accept this decision and also states that the company does not have the funds to pay for restoring the conventional bike path. He also says Solmove paid 4500 EUR to TÜV for review of the bike path design, and two fixes were identified to prevent water ingress and short circuits. He also states that he is just waiting for the OK from TÜV and then the fix could be implemented with just 2 or 3 weeks of labor.
The city states that these publicly subsidized projects come with a deadline.
The solmove founder is disappointed that city council does not want to talk anymore - everybody would have known that this is a test installation and that there might be problems.
The federal ministry for the environment has not decided yet if they will demand their support money back.

As far as I remember, the total cost was 150 kEUR with federal subsidies of 100kEUR.

 |O
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2019, 05:13:57 pm »
As far as I remember, the total cost was 150 kEUR with federal subsidies of 100kEUR.

I got the information that the total cost was 150 kEUR and 90% was federal subsidies, and payment was only required when it worked. But you are right, in article they wrote that the federal ministry for the environment has not decided yet if they will demand their support money back. This means they already paid it.

But maybe the city didn't pay so far, at least this is what the spokeswoman of the city told me last time I asked. This might then be the reason that they got nervous, because sometimes they reserve money only until the end of the year, then it goes back to the treasury and they have to decide again to use it for the project for the next year. And finally it escalated a bit.

But I wonder why Solmove needed so long. It didn't work since March, and I don't think the TÜV needed 5 months until August to create a report. Otherwise it would have been much more expensive than 4500 EUR. For this money the TÜV might have worked 1 or 2 days for it.

Looks like it will end as previous companies of the founder, with a bankruptcy of Solmove, and then more tax money to remove it. They should sell the individual tiles on eBay, would be fun if Dave could do a teardown ;D
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
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Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2019, 06:10:15 pm »
But I wonder why Solmove needed so long. It didn't work since March, and I don't think the TÜV needed 5 months until August to create a report. Otherwise it would have been much more expensive than 4500 EUR. For this money the TÜV might have worked 1 or 2 days for it.
Well the process involving the TUV can be slow if Solmove and / or the local government didn't give them all the information in time. Or it took several iterations before TUV could approve the modified design.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 08:27:43 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #85 on: May 31, 2020, 06:57:38 am »
The drama continues. I updated the first posting, see date February 3, 2020 and May 31, 2020. I guess Solmove will lose the lawsuit and go bankrupt soon.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Solar frickin' Radweg, Erftstadt/Liblar (Germany)
« Reply #86 on: May 31, 2020, 10:31:04 am »
The drama continues. I updated the first posting, see date February 3, 2020 and May 31, 2020. I guess Solmove will lose the lawsuit and go bankrupt soon.
Thanks for the update. However it is too soon to speculate on the future of Solmove. The only source you are looking at is the city's point of view. Since we don't know the exact terms and conditions of the contract there is no way to predict the outcome of the lawsuit. And this lawsuit can likely drag out to over a decade.

Edit: according to Solmove they have fixed the problems (and have 2 other installations up & running) but the city won't allow them to make the repairs. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 05:11:12 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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