A Grand Solar plan for the U.S. (1 Viewer)

Reddoctober

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using solar, wind, and Compressed air technology Scientific american imagines a Solar grand plan for the united states by 2050.

keyConcepts.gif


  • A massive switch from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants to solar power plants could supply 69 percent of the U.S.’s electricity and 35 percent of its total energy by 2050.
  • A vast area of photovoltaic cells would have to be erected in the Southwest. Excess daytime energy would be stored as compressed air in underground caverns to be tapped during nighttime hours.
  • Large solar concentrator power plants would be built as well.
  • A new direct-current power transmission backbone would deliver solar electricity across the country.
  • But $420 billion in subsidies from 2011 to 2050 would be required to fund the infrastructure and make it cost-competitive.

much of the proposal appears to be based on solar and compressed air technology that could someday revolutionize transportation

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=42563&in_page_id=34&expand=true


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmqpGZv0YT4


http://www.green-energy-news.com/arch/nrgs2008/20080013.html

the solar taxi (similiar to the 1988 GM sun racer)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT1kxonKyi8
 

staphory

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Yeah right.
I you get that issue of Scientific American you will read that the author admits to making many assumptions that may not hold true. Also, they call for covering a large part of the desert southwest with solar arrays. The environmentalists will never allow construction out there on such a large scale.
I don't have time to discuss this in greater detail right now. Do yourself a favor and go find that magazine.
 

SaintsBrazil

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>>But $420 billion in subsidies from 2011 to 2050 would be required to fund the infrastructure and make it cost-competitive.

Subsidies don't make it cost competitive, it just transfers the cost.
 

Eeyore

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The cost would drop if they could improve the efficiency of the panels or if they could sell enough to take advantage of the economy of scale. Unfortunately, they can't take advantage of the economy of scale because they are so expensive and they don't sell that many because they are so inefficient and because they are so expensive.

I love the compressed air idea though.

We don't take advantage of that at all. Imagine the blower motor on your furnace or air conditioner having an extended shaft which has a compressed air tank on the other side. As your blower motor turns to heat or cool your house compressed air is generated and stored so that the next time your motor needs to run the stored energy in the compressed air tank is used which regenerates itself. It can work in all sorts of applications including, as we have seen, in cars. The only problem with the compressed air idea is that the tanks take up a lot of room but recapturing the energy that we are using is very simple.
 
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Reddoctober

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Yeah right.
I you get that issue of Scientific American you will read that the author admits to making many assumptions that may not hold true. Also, they call for covering a large part of the desert southwest with solar arrays. The environmentalists will never allow construction out there on such a large scale.
I don't have time to discuss this in greater detail right now. Do yourself a favor and go find that magazine.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-grand-plan


you're correct :


"Salt is corrosive, however, so more resilient piping systems are needed.
Concentrated solar power and photovoltaics represent two different technology paths. Neither is fully developed, so our plan brings them both to large-scale deployment by 2020, giving them time to mature. Various combinations of solar technologies might also evolve to meet demand economically"


"...The existing system of alternating-current (AC) power lines is not robust enough to carry power from these centers to consumers everywhere and would lose too much energy over long hauls. A new high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) power transmission backbone would have to be built."




i never said that i agree completely. i just thought that the article might be interesting for some to think about.
 

Thorin

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Compressed air, huh? Why don't we just stick a hose in our wive's mouths? Same effect, right? :shrug:
 

Severum

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I'd rather focus on building mounted solar panels distributed over wide areas. You get a more robust system and eliminate the problem of transmission losses. Solar, wind, and nuclear should all be much larger components of our energy supply.
 

dapperdan

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Here's the part I really don't understand about all the alternative energy discussions...Solar power, and wind power for that matter, convert into electricity. We, as a nation, have no problems creating electricity. We can create electricity until the cows come home with our current technology. Hydroelectric, nuclear, coal, natural gas, geothermal, it really doesn't matter how we create the electricity, the bottom line is, that electricity is pretty easy for us, as a nation, to create.

All the "alternative energy" discussions I seem to read focus on new ways to create more electricity. In this respect, alternative energy is simply a much more expensive way to create more of what we already have. The focus on alternative energy needlessly, and without any net tangible benefit, diverts attention from the true energy problems that we face.

The problem to focus on, imo, is how to distribute electricty to our automobiles. Converting gas powered engines to electric motors is the real trick. Getting cars to have a range that is equivalent to current automobile ranges, say 250 to 400 miles; and then building out an electrical distribution network so that you don't have to "fill er up" only at your home's electrical socket, imo, that is the key buildout. Electric car range and availablility of electricity to quickly and efficiently recharge the batteries is the key. An 8 hour recharge is no good. We need to be able to recharge the batteries, to a range of 250 to 400 miles, within 10 minutes, tops. This would make electric cars competitive with current gas cars as far as how long it takes to fill up at the gas station and how far the automobile range is. Speed is less important.
 
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Jeff Miller

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Yeah right.
. Also, they call for covering a large part of the desert southwest with solar arrays. The environmentalists will never allow construction out there on such a large scale.
.

just out of curiosity...the desert is well...the desert, nothing but rocks, snakes and scorpions, what would be the justification to prevent making the desert one big solar far?

The environmentalists want green technologies...where here's a prime example...they can't have it both ways.
 

rob021275

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just out of curiosity...the desert is well...the desert, nothing but rocks, snakes and scorpions, what would be the justification to prevent making the desert one big solar far?

The environmentalists want green technologies...where here's a prime example...they can't have it both ways.

I agree. If it lessens fossil fuel usage and the need for coal mining (strip mining and the underground hazards we have seen leading to tragic results as of late), the enviornmentalists are out of line.

That is not to mention the use of deserts to test nuclear devices -- not that such a thing is ideal.

God forbid they figure out how to use them for agriculture in places where people are starving.
 

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Here's the part I really don't understand about all the alternative energy discussions...Solar power, and wind power for that matter, convert into electricity. We, as a nation, have no problems creating electricity. We can create electricity until the cows come home with our current technology. Hydroelectric, nuclear, coal, natural gas, geothermal, it really doesn't matter how we create the electricity, the bottom line is, that electricity is pretty easy for us, as a nation, to create.

The problem to focus on, imo, is how to distribute electricty to our automobiles. Converting gas powered engines to electric motors is the real trick. Getting cars to have a range that is equivalent to current automobile ranges, say 250 to 400 miles; and then building out an electrical distribution network so that you don't have to "fill er up" only at your home's electrical socket, imo, that is the key buildout. Electric car range and availablility of electricity to quickly and efficiently recharge the batteries is the key. An 8 hour recharge is no good. We need to be able to recharge the batteries, to a range of 250 to 400 miles, within 10 minutes, tops. This would make electric cars competitive with current gas cars as far as how long it takes to fill up at the gas station and how far the automobile range is. Speed is less important.

Any short term solutions beyond city vehicles will need to be plug-in hybrids to allow unlimited range. We are probably 10-20 years away from the battery tech needed for affordable general purpose EVs.
 

shasta

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Here's the part I really don't understand about all the alternative energy discussions...Solar power, and wind power for that matter, convert into electricity. We, as a nation, have no problems creating electricity. We can create electricity until the cows come home with our current technology. Hydroelectric, nuclear, coal, natural gas, geothermal, it really doesn't matter how we create the electricity, the bottom line is, that electricity is pretty easy for us, as a nation, to create.

All the "alternative energy" discussions I seem to read focus on new ways to create more electricity. In this respect, alternative energy is simply a much more expensive way to create more of what we already have. The focus on alternative energy needlessly, and without any net tangible benefit, diverts attention from the true energy problems that we face.

The problem to focus on, imo, is how to distribute electricty to our automobiles. Converting gas powered engines to electric motors is the real trick. Getting cars to have a range that is equivalent to current automobile ranges, say 250 to 400 miles; and then building out an electrical distribution network so that you don't have to "fill er up" only at your home's electrical socket, imo, that is the key buildout. Electric car range and availablility of electricity to quickly and efficiently recharge the batteries is the key. An 8 hour recharge is no good. We need to be able to recharge the batteries, to a range of 250 to 400 miles, within 10 minutes, tops. This would make electric cars competitive with current gas cars as far as how long it takes to fill up at the gas station and how far the automobile range is. Speed is less important.


http://www.teslamotors.com/
 

cruize

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I always thought workplaces and businesses like malls could provide solar panel chargers for employees and customers who choose to drive electric vehicles. We have to start somewhere and every little bit helps. Throw in taxi companies, all types of delivery services ect. Then, give tax breaks to owners and makers of these vehicles. It can happen.
 
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staphory

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just out of curiosity...the desert is well...the desert, nothing but rocks, snakes and scorpions, what would be the justification to prevent making the desert one big solar far?

The environmentalists want green technologies...where here's a prime example...they can't have it both ways.
Ever hear of the Desert Tortoise? Naturally it's a threatened species.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_Tortoise
 

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