I really like this subject matter. I also live near OUC's service area. Please understand power generating companies have to meet the demands of today and the future. Micro Grids are a lot better than power outages for long periods of time. Energy Storage is the first step. The second step is to generate enough power to re-charge the energy storage unit. Guess What; the system is really a on the grid system that has real electric stable power back-up. I wish every power company would look to the future like OUC has. I have also looked at other postings on this subject. We all should understand the world is getting away from fuels, carbon and economic depression. There is a new, cleaner, cheaper and more reliable source of energy everywhere. It is called the Sun's Energy.
I really like this subject of racking for roof mounted solar panels. I am also surprised that there was very little mention about ground racking hardware. I guess no one understands that not all homes in this part of the world have a south facing roof available. Plus it is very dangerous for solar panel installers to work in a dangerous condition. This is a very good subject matter for everyone to know about.
Can someone please explain why racking is only considered for roof applications? The roof applications are limited in size of the arrays, pitch of the roof, and only 8% of all homes in America have a good strong southern facing roof. Since solar PV has a 25 year warranty and usually roof materials such as shingles has a 20 year warranty; what is all the fuss about! Am I the only one that understand not many roofs in snow prone area are limited in how many pounds a square inch or foot a roof can handle? What is so wrong with ground mounting like solar farms use. A ground mount stand system cost less. Is easy to maintain other than roof systems. Has a much more stronger wind load and pounds per sq. Foot. And if the home catches on fire the fireperson will not get hurt. I have always question a new requirement. Now all roof racking systems must be UL approved. Really: how safe is a roof solar racking system if what it is attached to is not UL approved? Why limit the wattage that you can power a home by the size of the roof? This makes no sense. Now for the biggest question. Does anyone know and understand single and duel axis tracking. How can this be done on a roof? Please understand I am all for solar PV and I would also like to see these systems to be also peaked as much in time as possible. How long can you actually peak the output of arrays or solar panels by not moving them east to west? Plus adjust the pitch for the change of seasons. How come no one ever talks about what is the best solar solution over nuts and bolts of the weakest application (roof installed) for solar PV? The best solar PV systems in the world track the sun. Yet we spend time on talking about fixed stands.
I like this completly. Why not base reports on facts and not fiction. The whole world can learn from this information. Leave it up to Germany to take the lead. I really enjoyed reading facts and not just one sided views. For some reason people just don't understand the sun's energy is our solution to coal, nuclear and yes even oil for generating electric power. Some one once told me the sun goes away at night. This same person thinks the world if flat. Here is another fact. As solar, wind and hydro grow we will not need fuel for electric power. When that day comes we can all live longer. Thats my life long goal.
When It comes to energy storage and solar modules. This has been around since 1968. The first application was for aids to navigation. The only true way to have a gen and co gen using solar PV is to use batteries. Solar PV can also be used in production of hydrogen. Again batteries. The Greeks invented batteries 5,000 years ago. In all off grid solar photovoltic systems you use batteries. Batteries are very reliable. Your cell phone and car needs a battery to operate. This will drive the cost of generating electric power to grid prices. But the best feature with a Off Grid Solar system you will have real energy independence and a sustainable future.
Very good article. There is a flaw that I just can not understand. If a coal fired power plant must produce electric power 24 hours a day. How is the carbon reduced using wind generators. Do they shut down the steam turbines? This makes no logical sense. If you operate a unit that produces toxic gases all the time how can this data be accurate. I agree. It is a shame we still use coal to generate electric power. To me there are 4 good ways to produce electric power. Hydro, Wind, Solar and Geothermal. All the rest needs to be in our history books or retired. EPA is shutting down coal fired power plants in 31 states and the TVA is closing a few coal fired power plants. If we eliminate coal for producing electric power and use true renewable energy systems we can stop 25% of all pollution in the USA. Then maybe we will not be in a race with China as the worlds biggest producers of carbon in our air, land and waters.
Sometimes things just don't add up. $1.8 billion cost for 150 miles of grid. This is a cost of $120 million dollars a mile. Who is fooling who. Is that a good investment? You end up with a losses. As a customer of the grid we have no return on investment with electric bills. I just don't understand why we are still using technology that was developed back in the late 1800's to power our future. Does no one understand we have a choice. Produce electric power at our homes and businesses or stay a customer of the electric utility company. Very shortly electric power will be un-affordable! FIT will drive the cost of a $100.00 electric bill over $400.00. The grid is old but it still works! The only good solution to these problems; high cost and reliablility is to go off the grid all together.
Ken, it is true that the coal industry creates jobs. These jobs can kill the workers and cause very long term health problems. Now according to my electric bill the cost of fuel is more costly than the cost of electric power. So coal or natural gas is the biggest cost on electric bills.I am glad that we use gas and diesel to fuel our transportation needs. If we used coal this would turn our roads into waste lands and cause more health problems. I agree that over time coal will be phased out. The best solution that I know of is to go off grid using solar PV. It is more affordable than paying for electric utility power. At least there is a ROI.
Metal or Glass? Here is the answer. Glass is a slow moving liquid. Metal is not. Yes over time glass will not hold its optical properties because it is moving very slowly. Metal cost less and if for some reason heavy winds or flying sand storms happen I would rather pay to polish metal than to replace glass. Once a sand storm happens and the glass is reflective properties are gone you need to replace the glass. With metal you do not have to replace just repolish.
Our company looked at building a solar farm next to a land fill. Land fills produce methane gases and other very toxic materials. Can you just imagine a spark next to a methane gas tank. Not such a good idea. Now imagine all kinds of toxic gases and garbage blowing up. It is a disaster waiting to happen.