crashoverride wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:34 pm
Its amazing how opinions on "green energy" change when you are sitting in the dark with sub freezing temperatures and no ability to make heat (we matched Alaska's temperatures). Therefore, I propose a new law:
Before anyone can advocate for "green energy", they must first spend a week in Alaska with a wind generator and a solar panel. If they still think its a good idea after that, then we will listen to them.
Ok I think I qualify, not because I live in Alaska, I live on the U.S.-Canadian boarder were it’s worse then many populated parts of Alaska. Homer Alaska’s record snow fall a couple of years ago was 140” with an average of 72”. Our average here is 270” with a record of 390”. Sub-zero temperature(F) and Gale force winds up to 60mph are not unusual either. What the rest of the country is experience is a normal winter here on Lake Superior.
When I first heard about the renewable energy problems down south I thought the same thing as @cdu13a. Someone messed up on the planning and provisioning of those systems. Wind energy conversion systems(WECS) here didn’t have a problem. Furthermore, I have owned and operated a solar photo-voltaic array and a solar hot water array here for over a decade with no problems. This idea that these system don’t work in cold climates is an equally misleading “ideology”.
Like all investments it’s about the finance. Which means, at a minimum, a cost-benefit analysis and the establishment of a break even point. A Kw of electricity is expensive here $.28, not as much in other places. When I did the work years ago it was clear that both system were indeed practical and profitable. As I have had to explain endlessly to some of the locals, even though the solar systems aren’t producing as much in the winter, they over produce in the summer allowing me to net meter enough energy to cover my total utilization for the year within a reasonable break-even point. It was intentionally planned, designed and provisioned that way for those reasons. A similar thing goes for the solar hot water system, it’s not producing year round but I get free hot water for 50% of the year and still the break-even point was less than 5 years. It paid for itself years ago. I could produce free hot water year around If I ever get around to installing the micro-wind turbine I have for my hot water maker.
One last technical point I want to make is that solar PV system get more efficient the colder they run so they are more efficient in the winter which partly offsets cloud cover and snow covered panels. Over the years my highest producing days were in the winter were I have actually exceeded the rated capacity of the solar array many times. Right now, I just looked, I’m producing 752watts/hour on a cold partly cloudy/sunny winter day on a 1.52kw array.
My point in all of this is that there is no one solution that is going to solve the worlds energy problems. It has to be a combination of energy source that are wisely planned and provisioned for the geographical location in question. We need all energy sources and all hands on deck to solve this problem! The sooner we all get off our ideology soapbox’s and stick to a ridge quantitative analysis the more likely we will be able to sustain the quality of life we all want, for the whole world and future generations...he says as he steps off his soapbox.