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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Your Green Energy News Center (Page 15)

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Author Topic: Your Green Energy News Center
Glenn Arnold
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Just 'cause it's news: My photovoltaic system is being installed on my roof as I write this.
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Lyrhawn
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Cool.

If you'd be interested I'd love to read more about the process. Costs, installation, the research you did, tax credits, how you went about finding a company to do it, if you have problems with the power company, if you can sell back the excess power, if you bought a battery backup system, and what your experience is like after you have it installed.

[Smile]

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Glenn Arnold
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Cost, to me, was zero. I'll be paying $57 per month for the next 20 years for electrons, but installation was covered by tax credits.

The company was Roof Diagnostics, and they use SunRun as their finance company. Technically it's a lease, but my payment is tied to electrical production of the panels. The panels are guaranteed to produce at least 95% of my average energy usage over last year. If I use less than that I get reimbursed by the electric company, but if I use more, I pay the going rate to the electric company.

I had signed a contract with RealGoods Solar previously, but once they did the engineering design on my house they backed out. It really depends a lot on your house. Realgoods originally wanted to put all the panels on my garage, but some of them needed to go on the north side, with a reverse tilt. They decided that was a dealbreaker.

Roof Diagnostics mounted some of them on the south side of the garage, and then put some more on my house, and ran a trench between the garage and the house to run the cables through, so they could connect the strings in series before they went to the inverter.

Battery systems make no sense. They're expensive, power limited, and need to be replaced about every 5 years.

My system has now been completely installed, but it hasn't been inspected and turned on. The power company and the local building inspector have to look at it before it can be commissioned. Should be within a few days, though.

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BlackBlade
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I'm jealous.
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Glenn Arnold
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Last April I got solar panels installed on my house. It cost me nothing to install. My total cost for electrical service since last April has been $288. That will probably be true for the next 5 years, because of a tax credit in NY State. Once the tax credit expires it will go up to $972/year for the remaining 15 years, at which point I will own the solar panels.

I don't know if I'm eligible to get the Tesla Powerwall, because the company that owns the solar panels makes money selling extra kilowatt hours to the local power company during the daytime, when the powerwall would be sucking up extra kilowatt hours. I'll have to check to see. But as it stands, the $288 that I'm spending is all grid connection fee paid to the power company, not to the solar panel company.

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Glenn Arnold
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And for world news: German renewables progress

And: World's largest fuel cell park in South Korea. (I've posted this one before, in another thread, but it fell of the page.)

Also: Largest Fuel Cell Park in USA

And this: Direct internal reforming fuel cells convert methane to eletricity and produce hydrogen as a byproduct.

But while all this is happening, wind farms aren't being built in the USA because of climate denial politics.

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Glenn Arnold
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One more: CO2 capture for sequestration by running a fuel cell on the off gas from a fossil fuel's plant.
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Glenn Arnold
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This is a project I"m working on. The theory looks good. So far the tests are working. ExxonMobile and FuelCell Energy
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Glenn Arnold
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Important milestone.

Coal usage at low point.

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Glenn Arnold
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And in the jobs sector: Wind Power reaches 100k jobs milestone.
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Glenn Arnold
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Nothing like sexy green energy. Tesla is world's quickest prodiuction car.
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Glenn Arnold
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But for your more mundane chores John Deere introduces electric tractor.
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Glenn Arnold
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Looking back at the top of the page, I see Lyrhawn asking for more information on my solar panel installation. Here it is:

Solar panels are boring. They just sit there and save me money.

I posted once, at about the one year anniversary of their installation, and perhaps should have posted again last year when I got a $67 check from the electric company. I didn't get one the first year, so I don't know if I just didn't have any surplus that year, or if they only pay out every other year. I'll be waiting this April to see if I get another check.
I did get a $2,605 tax credit from NY last year, out of a $5000 credit from the state of NY. I'm not sure how the accounting works out, but the credit comes incrementally over 5 years. I haven't figured out how big it is this year.

[ February 11, 2017, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: Glenn Arnold ]

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Dogbreath
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These are all pretty cool developments. I find it encouraging how many new (and pretty decent paying) jobs there are related to wind and solar - I would love to see some sort of program in place to help educate and transition folks working in coal into those jobs. (I think it would deal with a lot of the anxiety and anger we've seen over coal jobs disappearing)

Thanks for posting these nifty articles! [Smile]

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Glenn Arnold
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Interestingly enough, Hillary Clinton's oft quoted "put a lot of coal miners out of jobs" was part of a quote in which she said just that.

The full quote was:
"So for example, I'm the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?

And we're going to make it clear that we don't want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories."

Of course, Bernie Sanders also said he would have a program to bring solar and wind power into West Virginia, but he managed to not have a sound bit that sounded so negative.

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PanaceaSanans
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Hillary Clinton's [...] full quote was:
"So for example, I'm the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?
And we're going to make it clear that we don't want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories."

That is interesting. Do we know why people did not respond favorably to this particular notion? Why was the "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business" so much more dominantly discussed than the "bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country"? The latter seems so much more relevant...
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Glenn Arnold
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Because it was picked up by her political enemies, who just kept repeating: "We're going to put a lot of coal miners out of business." Without context, it sounded like she was gloating about putting people out of work, and they bought it. It's one of the major reasons why West Virginia went so overwhelmingly for Trump.
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Samprimary
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to be honest though it's west virginia and it would not have voted democratic in any conceivable matchup
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
to be honest though it's west virginia and it would not have voted democratic in any conceivable matchup

Probably not, but that line might have made the difference in Pennsylvania, and maybe even Ohio, where there is significant coal mining and they suffer the same problems as West Virginia's decline on a smaller scale.
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JonnyNotSoBravo
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94 year old inventor and team come up with battery technology that has three times the energy density of today's lithium ion batteries while being safer and more efficient.

This will make renewables far more likely to adopted if its claims are true and it actually makes it into production. It would also make electric cars far more likely to be adopted. If the more advanced electric cars can go 250 miles on a single charge, imagine if the range was 750 miles.

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Glenn Arnold
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I read the article on the solid state lithium batteries, and was reminded of this video which discusses the potential energy densities in upcoming battery technology.

Oh, and I don't think I mentioned this, but last summer I bought a Zero motorcycle. I figured my electricity cost was about $160 last year, to travel about 8000 miles.

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Lyrhawn
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If that battery technology actually pans out (as many battery experts believe it won't), it will be revolutionary.

As it happens, it would likely have very little effect on renewables per se. There are major differences between consumer and industrial scale energy storage, and this likely wouldn't be applicable on the industrial scale. But it would make hand held devices last many times longer, and would possibly (if it could be made fairly cheaply), push electric cars into the mainstream if the charge times could be kept down.

Time will tell, but it could be huge. It just needs to be real.

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Glenn Arnold
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Lyrhawn, which battery technology? The 94 year old inventor one, or the Zero motorcycle one?
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Lyrhawn
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The 94 year old inventor one, sorry I read over your second line.
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JonnyNotSoBravo
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
If that battery technology actually pans out (as many battery experts believe it won't), it will be revolutionary.

As it happens, it would likely have very little effect on renewables per se. There are major differences between consumer and industrial scale energy storage, and this likely wouldn't be applicable on the industrial scale. But it would make hand held devices last many times longer, and would possibly (if it could be made fairly cheaply), push electric cars into the mainstream if the charge times could be kept down.

Time will tell, but it could be huge. It just needs to be real.

Could you show me some sources on the part that I put in bold? I'm curious what makes you think it's unlikely to be applied industrially. Do you have an electrical engineering background?

The reason I ask is that they specifically mention battery-driven cars in the 94-year-old inventor's article that I linked to, which makes me think that they're developing the battery with cars in mind. This in turn tells me that these batteries will need to be made on an industrial scale in order to make a difference.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by JonnyNotSoBravo:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
If that battery technology actually pans out (as many battery experts believe it won't), it will be revolutionary.

As it happens, it would likely have very little effect on renewables per se. There are major differences between consumer and industrial scale energy storage, and this likely wouldn't be applicable on the industrial scale. But it would make hand held devices last many times longer, and would possibly (if it could be made fairly cheaply), push electric cars into the mainstream if the charge times could be kept down.

Time will tell, but it could be huge. It just needs to be real.

Could you show me some sources on the part that I put in bold? I'm curious what makes you think it's unlikely to be applied industrially. Do you have an electrical engineering background?

The reason I ask is that they specifically mention battery-driven cars in the 94-year-old inventor's article that I linked to, which makes me think that they're developing the battery with cars in mind. This in turn tells me that these batteries will need to be made on an industrial scale in order to make a difference.

I don't have an electrical engineering background, I just work in a building full of people who do. Specifically, people who work on electric car batteries.

But I think you misunderstood me (or perhaps I misspoke). I didn't mean to say that these batteries couldn't be produced at an industrial scale, but that they were unlikely to be used for industrial applications (i.e. large scale energy storage).

Also, everything above was bolded, so I'm not sure which part you wanted to focus on. [Smile]

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Glenn Arnold
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Another article on solid state lithium batteries.

Funny, until I read this article, I didn't think I knew much about batteries, but much of the technology is the same as with fuel cells.

I should note that we regularly run our fuel cells at 185mA/cm^2. Commercial stacks run at 140mA/cm^2.

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Glenn Arnold
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And yet another article about litiium cell technology

A couple of notes here: First the notion of a stack of cells isn't new. My Zero motorcycle uses flat stacked cells. For that matter, 9 volt batteries are arranged in a stack. The idea of a cell stack eliminates redundant components, and achieves higher energy densities.

Of course, I work with fuel cells, and they are also arranged in stacks, which among other things, maximizes the current path through the cells and minimizes internal resistance to current flow. Again, I see terminologies in the article such as "bipolar plate" which are standard components of a fuel cell. I'm thinking I should get a job in battery development just to expand my working knowledge.

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Glenn Arnold
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Tesla battery development.
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Dogbreath
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That's pretty cool. [Smile]

(Glenn Arnold is not the last poster in this thread)

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Glenn Arnold
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Toyota is planning on using solid state lithium, on a pretty aggressive timeline.
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Glenn Arnold
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So, this is a project I've been working on for a couple of years.

The description in the video is more conceptual than technical, but I think it gets the point across. We can make electricity, while isolating CO2 from a combustion based power generation source, to be sequestered, most likely in the same underground storage where natural gas is found.

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Glenn Arnold
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Electric cars are big news, but electric Semis are where it's at.
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