[oclug] [OT] Solar / Renewable Power Generation
je_linux at kronos.honk.org
Mon Aug 12 15:57:32 EDT 2002
On Mon, 12 Aug 2002, David F. Skoll wrote:
> On Mon, 12 Aug 2002, Jon Earle wrote:
> > Without even
> > figuring all the costs for mounting structures, wiring, inverters,
> > controllers and anything else I'd need, I think the above would be
> > horrifying expensive to build.
> I'm sure I read somewhere it takes several years (maybe 10) for solar
> cells to generate enough electricity to equal the energy expended to
> manufacture them. (You have to melt silicon to make solar cells, and
> that takes lots of heat.) So I'm not sure solar cells are much good.
> Other alternatives (wind, fuel cells, solar energy via water heating
> rather than photoelectricity) are probably far more practical.
Wind is interesting, but from what I've read so far, only about 30-40%
efficient (I believe the best efficiency that can be realized is 59%).
Fuel cells are probably going to be the way things are done. And while
they're nifty, they're just not as fun as a big windmill or a field of
glittering PV cells. :) I'd still have to buy propane however, which
means I'm still joined at the hip to an energy company.
Interesting point about the manufacture of PV cells... that would help
explain why they are expensive.
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