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Solar Cells have been coming down in price roughly exponentially for 65+ years. Some have claimed that that was likely to halt as limits are reached with silicon cells. However, as often happens in technology advance, new paradigms can extend the exponential rate of decline for years or decades.


Now researchers have learned to produce Perskovite solar cells using manufacturing-grade printing techniques. This form of manufacturing can lead to cost-per-panel dropping to pennies instead of dollars, assuring that at least cost will continue to drop for about another decade. Efficiency isn't much different from current commercial panels (up to 22%); however, that too may improve over time.


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181002102851.htm


As solar power generation drops to silly levels, all that remains is to produce batteries at sufficiently low prices that the cost of generation plus the cost of storage & release results in a price less than conventional generation.


We are nearly there.
 

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As solar power generation drops to silly levels, all that remains is to produce batteries at sufficiently low prices that the cost of generation plus the cost of storage & release results in a price less than conventional generation.


We are nearly there.

Not even remotely close, and total lack of facts. All batteries, especially Lithium batteries, have negative EROI which means you are throwing away money, energy reserves, and a much larger footprint. You must be a liberal democrat who believes in nonsense. Put yourself in an off-grid battery system, and just gave yourself a 300 to 1000% rate increase and a heavy polluter.
 

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Not even remotely close, and total lack of facts. All batteries, especially Lithium batteries, have negative EROI which means you are throwing away money, energy reserves, and a much larger footprint. You must be a liberal democrat who believes in nonsense. Put yourself in an off-grid battery system, and just gave yourself a 300 to 1000% rate increase and a heavy polluter.

Today, true. Don't see what you can possibly is un-factual about this though. The only "claim" I have made is that if / when solar and battery prices drop enough then the cost of a complete solar plus battery system will deliver energy cheaper than traditional power (coal, oil, gas). This is axiomatically true, the only question is whether the EROI will in fact drop enough. The experts believe it will happen by 2028 or sooner, I agree.



For a total solar system, the cost of power delivered (assuming it were a home system, grid affects utility power) can be mathematically calculated.


A) Solar Power used immediately generated = lifetime solar cost per Kwh generated / Kwhs consumed.


B) Power used from batteries = (lifetime battery cost per Kwh discharged / kwhs consumed) + (lifetime solar cost per Kwh generated / Kwhs consumed in order to result in the battery power discharged, which is slightly more than the battery power discharged).


Average power cost = ( A * % of power used immediately) + (B * % of power used from storage).


Once average cost is less than grid cost, it is "cheaper." There is no other factor, unless you claim that the batteries and solar devices cause residual pollution greater than that caused by burning fossil fuels.
 

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Not even remotely close, and total lack of facts. All batteries, especially Lithium batteries, have negative EROI which means you are throwing away money, energy reserves, and a much larger footprint. You must be a liberal democrat who believes in nonsense. Put yourself in an off-grid battery system, and just gave yourself a 300 to 1000% rate increase and a heavy polluter.
Negative EROEI? Really? Any calculations you might share?

Sent from my MotoE2(4G-LTE) using Tapatalk
 

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When you think about it nothing can have a positive EROEI unless it's some type of energy generation device. A lot depends on how you define your "system". In some areas of the country wind or solar are already cheaper than fossil fuels. Grid cost presumably pays for transmission line upgrades, etc. yet rooftop solar and local storage does away with the need for those upgrades in the first place. I don't think it's straightforward but there seems to be a lot of advantages to having generation/storage closer to load.
 

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When you think about it nothing can have a positive EROEI unless it's some type of energy generation device. A lot depends on how you define your "system". In some areas of the country wind or solar are already cheaper than fossil fuels. Grid cost presumably pays for transmission line upgrades, etc. yet rooftop solar and local storage does away with the need for those upgrades in the first place. I don't think it's straightforward but there seems to be a lot of advantages to having generation/storage closer to load.

When you say "wind or solar are already cheaper" I believe you are referring to electricity immediately put to use. This is true, but not useful for eliminating fossil fuels. In the case of renewables, the cost of generation plus sequestration in sufficient quantities to cover conceivable "dead" times must undercut fossil fuel plants for adoption to spread widely. Until then, solar is nice for daytime use but is mostly a political statement.


I agree we will see a lot more decentralization once grid storage comes online - it won't make any more sense, for example, to have monstrous centralized battery farms which have to send electricity long distances (with incumbent losses), particularly when there will be lots of people who put solar panels on their rooftops. More likely we will see storage co-located with substations.
 

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Man I can’t find the article, but I’m remember reading that at some university they discovered that coating the cathode(?) in mercury could net like 20,000 charges instead of 2000 out of a current battery.

So a battery would last 5-10 times as many charges as what we are currently getting from a battery.

I don’t think we will be grid free in 8 years but if batteries can last 20 years it totally changes the game for ROI

I’m just picturing someone saying “but grandpa, how come u guys only used 16kw battery packs?! Or “what you could only drive 100 miles on a charge?!? The future is exciting!
 

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Man I can’t find the article, but I’m remember reading that at some university they discovered that coating the cathode(?) in mercury could net like 20,000 charges instead of 2000 out of a current battery.

So a battery would last 5-10 times as many charges as what we are currently getting from a battery.

I don’t think we will be grid free in 8 years but if batteries can last 20 years it totally changes the game for ROI

I’m just picturing someone saying “but grandpa, how come u guys only used 16kw battery packs?! Or “what you could only drive 100 miles on a charge?!? The future is exciting!

A123 batteries originally claimed something like 15,000 cycles with their nano-coated (anode? cathode?). Don't know that they got that much, and most of today's batteries with liquid electrolytes also have a calendar life as well which means if you don't use the cycles you lose them.


Vanadium Redox flow batteries have been a pipe dream for decades, but now it appears we are much closer to working solutions based on some recent articles.

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/08/power-stac-vanadium-redox-flow-battery-hopes-to-take-advantage-of-california-solar-mandate/
https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/cellcube-battery-storage-featured-in-an-independent-report-on-the-surge-in-vanadium-redox-flow-batteries-2018-10-17-3183100


It is all about cost. We didn't stop buying typewriters because we ran out; we switched because something better and cheaper came along.
 

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Any calculations you might share?

It is pretty straightforward and can be done with a spreadsheet. I didn't save the search results as I did several hundred searches trying to get the info and nobody on the internet will believe anyone but themselves anyway. Roughly, I looked for the specs of the available solar panels available since they were first introduced. The two specs you need for solar are watt hours per panel and the average lifetime of the panel. If I give it to you you won't believe me, if you really want to know and do the exercise you will believe.

The apples to apples metric to use is expected Kwh over the life of the panel, and the price. I ignored size / efficiency and assumed the cost of land was zero - but if you factor that in it's actually improving faster than the rate I calculated. At 15% efficiency, it takes roughly 200x200 miles of land (a small corner of northern Texas, if you could put it all in one place) to replace every power plant in the U.S. That happens to be about equal to the surface area of every building in America. At 60% efficiency, the land required drops to 100x100 miles, a tiny percent of our land.

I used 4 solar hours per day as a rough average for most of the U.S. (better in Texas, worse in Maine of course). So, if you have a 1,000 watt panel expected to have an average lifetime of 20 years, that is 4 solar hrs/day * 365 days/yr * 20 years = 29,200 lifetime Kwh divided by purchase price = Kwh/$1. Repeat that for as many years as you can find reliable data, then plot it on Excel.

It is not perfect as not every maker routinely had prices and specs available, but what I found was that price dropped by half (exponential) about every 3.5 years for solar panels. Batteries are the big holdup, they drop by half only about every 6.5 years but I've seen signs they may drop more quickly for the next decade or so. Batteries are also tougher to calculate because it depends on their use, and charging efficiency weighs more heavily in lifetime cost. In addition, you need to know the expected charge and discharge average C rate; the number of expected charge cycles at that "best life" C rate; charge degradation over the life of the battery; and also factor in whether the expected use would actually achieve that number of charge cycles before the batteries hit their shelf life and die prematurely. What good are 10,000 charge cycles if you only get 3,000 before the battery stops working?

You get the idea, and I have never expected anyone here or anywhere else to simply take my word for it. I first got the idea to even look at it because I read the book, "The Singularity is Near," which outlined that most scientific advancement in history has been exponential up until that technology hits the limits of materials, cost of raw materials, or is eclipsed by something better and development stops. What DOES shock me is that there doesn't seem to be any large organization which has made public these results - but maybe not that much since if you published that result the public would "expect that rate of improvement" and your company might be embarrassed in plateau years. People are stupid and don't understand the difference between changes in a single year vs long term trends (like weather vs climate).
 

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Its not in the interest of big energy , they need to control the narrative "no one solution will work" "you can't do it all with solar". The big old news corps. are only mouth pieces and so are the schools influenced through the foundations " helpful steering".
 

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Its not in the interest of big energy , they need to control the narrative "no one solution will work" "you can't do it all with solar". The big old news corps. are only mouth pieces and so are the schools influenced through the foundations " helpful steering".

Who are you responding to?



My research was simply on industry trends over 65 years. There is no "narrative to control" there, just price and performance.
 

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Who are you responding to?



My research was simply on industry trends over 65 years. There is no "narrative to control" there, just price and performance.
I'm in agreement with you ,good work.
The news spin on energy like Tesla and their batteries and the disinformation on power line loss (about 50%) etc.
 

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Just talked to a man that works for the local power plant and he said that his job may end because of solar/battery. He also confirmed the 50% line loss as did my electrical engineering teacher.
DOE web site says (or the politicians that control it not their engineers) that line losses are negligible .
All you have to do is stand under a high tension line and listen to the buzzing sound ,that's the sound of the magnetic field generating and collapsing 60 times per second.
This makes a huge impact on the ROI of local solar vs. central energy.
 

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Just talked to a man that works for the local power plant and he said that his job may end because of solar/battery.
Does he work in a coal-fired plant? Yes, there are changes (such as a current trend to shut down coal-fired generation, including here in Alberta), but power plants are not going away in our lifetimes (here, coal is mostly being replaced by gas). Comments by individuals who don't understand how their industry works are typically useless. Do you think someone on the assembly line in an automotive factory knows anything about their employer's long-term plans?

He also confirmed the 50% line loss as did my electrical engineering teacher.
DOE web site says (or the politicians that control it not their engineers) that line losses are negligible .
Many people prefer to make up stuff, rather than looking for information which may disagree with their position. The transmission efficiency of each component of the system is known, but even better the output of generation stations is known, and the consumption of all power consumers is known, so the overall transmission efficiency is not a mystery. Did either the guy at the power plant or the teacher actually look at this data?

If you choose not to believe the U.S. Department of Energy, which values have you decided that they are lying about, and what is your source of more accurate data?

All you have to do is stand under a high tension line and listen to the buzzing sound ,that's the sound of the magnetic field generating and collapsing 60 times per second.
This makes a huge impact on the ROI of local solar vs. central energy.
Really? How much energy is dissipated from a transmission line... I'll wait for the calculation. You can't hear magnetic fields; the sound of wires or other components vibrating represents a completely trivial amount of power compared to what is going through the line. Your car makes noise, but that sound is a tiny part of the power involved; it is not possible to reach a useful conclusion about efficiency by observing the noise.
 

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I didn't point out but I had a book on engineering transmission lines.It gave the loss per mile for each voltage .That's how I found how big the losses are.I then asked around and got conformation.
Great news, at least for my argument just Googled "hysteresis loss in power transmission lines" lots more on this then in the past when I Googled it.
Also called corona current "the ionization of air molecules near the transmission line conductors ,they do not spark across lines but rather carry current in the air along the wire".
Call your utility ask to talk to a power transmission engineer and ask him directly.
 

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I didn't point out but I had a book on engineering transmission lines.It gave the loss per mile for each voltage .That's how I found how big the losses are.I then asked around and got conformation.
Great news, at least for my argument just Googled "hysteresis loss in power transmission lines" lots more on this then in the past when I Googled it.
Also called corona current "the ionization of air molecules near the transmission line conductors ,they do not spark across lines but rather carry current in the air along the wire".
Hmmm... still no numbers. What is that loss per mile, and at what voltage and current levels? What transmission distance is assumed?

Yes, there are losses in transmission... but the humming doesn't tell you anything about the magnitude.
 

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The longest transmission line in the world is in India 2300 km ,2003 built and is HT DC (high tension direct current)

The wire and earth make a capacitor and some of the losses are called technical losses.
They talk about corona losses being only a little higher then IR losses,but 2 lines were built one .A 90kms(30kms LT and 60kms HT) that are getting much higher losses then the 5%.
At the start of the article he said technical losses were 22%
 

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"The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) losses average about 5% of the electricity that is transmitted and distributed annually in the United States."

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=105&t=3

Of course local generation has the smallest losses of all and it has been demonstrated that in some cases increasing rooftop PV can minimize or eliminate the need for additional transmission lines. IMO decentralized generation will always be more robust but no way that transmission losses will ever approach 50%!

Also, there are other storage schemes than batteries; pumped storage has been in use for generations but batteries are a lot more flexible.

Large-scale PV schemes are entering contracts for < $.03/kwh. One of the local towns near me has financed their own solar projects via municipal bonds and are cash-flow positive. Phantom is right, cost is driving a lot of change right now.
 

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I'll also add that a large factor (perhaps the largest) factor affecting the cost in utility size PV is the estimated or assumed lifetime. If you assume 10 years the ROI (and therefore, price) is totally different than a more realistic 30 or 40 years. That $.03/kWh could be lower if the generating facility wanted to capitalize over a longer time span. Capital costs are the dominating factor as there is really very little ongoing maintenance an zero fuel costs.
 
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