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Author Topic: Electric equipment and the future to come  (Read 7400 times)

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Online mudfarmer

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #420 on: February 22, 2021, 05:41:59 PM »
Yes they lose efficiency with rising temps. Do not know enough about large grids to comment on the rest except that a shifty looking fellow in VT once tried to get me to sign a petition against an nuclear plant. Not sure if new or existing but he knew less than me which was not much so told him to hit the bricks 

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #421 on: February 22, 2021, 07:27:18 PM »
Nuclear never overcame Three Mile Island; but the Navy appears to have trudged on just fine. I agree we had the answer 60 years back. 

Offline beav

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #422 on: February 22, 2021, 07:45:43 PM »
I think its more market forces that are keeping nuclear in check

Online mike_belben

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #423 on: February 22, 2021, 08:42:18 PM »
Nucor is no joke.  They are bigtime bigtime.  Where they put a plant, a town pops up.  Middle of a cornfield, poof.  Town. 
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #424 on: February 22, 2021, 09:28:44 PM »
Nucor is no joke.  They are bigtime bigtime.  Where they put a plant, a town pops up.  Middle of a cornfield, poof.  Town.
Right, I kind of figured people would know who NUCOR is but for those that don't know:  largest steel company in the USA with 22+ billion in revenue.  If NUCOR is testing out wind powered steel mills than the largest steel maker in the USA is saying they think it makes  cents or $.  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #425 on: February 22, 2021, 09:40:37 PM »
In other steel news Nucor has announced they are building plant in TX to be fueled by a solar farm there.  Solar in TX is just exploding in growth, going to be interesting in TX in the next few years.

Also that mill in CO was threatening to close or move unless the state could assure a less expensive source of energy.  The solar farm being built is dramatically cutting the power cost.  So, it is the low cost of the power agreement that paved the way.
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Online doc henderson

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #426 on: February 22, 2021, 09:45:39 PM »
how can a brand new solar farm be cheap?  must be taxpayer subsidized.  I do not know.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline Southside

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #427 on: February 22, 2021, 10:03:02 PM »
Always is Doc, always is.  Might be creative at times, but follow the money. 
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Offline brianJ

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #428 on: February 23, 2021, 02:52:32 AM »
Nucor is no joke.  They are bigtime bigtime.  Where they put a plant, a town pops up.  Middle of a cornfield, poof.  Town.
Right, I kind of figured people would know who NUCOR is but for those that don't know:  largest steel company in the USA with 22+ billion in revenue.  If NUCOR is testing out wind powered steel mills than the largest steel maker in the USA is saying they think it makes  cents or $.  
Seems obvious to me that a well-moneyed corporation has the greenbacks for a potent PR campaign that signals to the public what they want to hear.     

The urban/suburban population likes to hear greenwashing.   So that is what gets sold. 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #429 on: February 23, 2021, 03:55:47 AM »
Saulte Saint Marie, Ontario is a steel mill town. They have been adding wind and solar to the grid that is mainly hydro right now. Probably started 12 years ago. I don't know what the real numbers by source on power generation is though. I do know that from all sources they generate 830 megawatts. I know on the Michigan side (same town name) they use the Marys river for hydro, that is an old plant to, over 100 years. There is 1 plant on the Ontario side at Clergue (52 MW) on the Marys river.

Nuclear here in New Brunswick, in fact all sources of power generation here is government backed. We have a crown corporation running the show. It's always been that way, except small villages and towns back 100 years or so. A handful of those are still around. Such as Tinker on the Aroostook river that powers the villages of Perth Andover and Aroostook, New Brunswick. which is also shared with Maine Public Service. The village of Aroostook was a rail road hub, had a big turntable yard up there. Mom's uncle worked on the rail road for over 40 years, got a steady cheque right through the depression years. Died rich and never spent none of it. :D
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #430 on: February 23, 2021, 04:38:22 AM »
Gary- solar panels produce more power when cold.

Yes, that's the theory and what the people trying to sell you solar panels will tell you but from my experience the reality is that those that buy that story are going to be disappointed in the cold (winter).
First problem is unless you have a very expensive sun tracking mount, the sun angle is not going to be as favorable on the cold days. Second thing is the hours of sunlight are less on the winter days and the hours of the sun being lower on the horizon take up a higher per cent of the hours of sunlight. Also unless you are diligent in cleaning the snow, ice and dust off the surface, your output will be lessened. And finally there are usually more cloudy days in the winter.
I have had two solar panels on the roof of my camper where I have for many years lived both summer and winter. Yes they are a fixed mount (flat) and yes, it's very difficult and dangerous to climb up on that slippery aluminum roof to clean the snow and ice off the panels, but I have found that even though I have been diligent in cleaning them of the snow and ice, it's not really worth it in the cold time of the year. There are very few days in the cold the panels generate enough volts to put any charge into a 12 volt battery bank. 

how can a brand new solar farm be cheap?  must be taxpayer subsidized.  I do not know.
As far as the solar subsidies, yes first there is a 26 percent investment credit if you buy a solar system. Then some states and utilities offer additional credits like sales tax exemption (7% in MN), net metering, and some utilities offer per kwh credits for production.   
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #431 on: February 23, 2021, 07:01:59 AM »
Nucor is no joke.  They are bigtime bigtime.  Where they put a plant, a town pops up.  Middle of a cornfield, poof.  Town.
Right, I kind of figured people would know who NUCOR is but for those that don't know:  largest steel company in the USA with 22+ billion in revenue.  If NUCOR is testing out wind powered steel mills than the largest steel maker in the USA is saying they think it makes  cents or $.  
Seems obvious to me that a well-moneyed corporation has the greenbacks for a potent PR campaign that signals to the public what they want to hear.    

The urban/suburban population likes to hear greenwashing.   So that is what gets sold.
Well I had not heard of it til I went searching.  And I am listening for it.  Nucor is well heeled but they got that way by being in front of the market.  The big integrated mills ignored them and then bad mouthed them and now are nearly all bankrupt and Nucor is largest steel maker we have in the USA.  Nucor having built 2 renewable powered just seems to say that they are experimenting but getting ready to hop.  Emissions are a big issue for them and they really just want cheap power.  They only own 21 mills so 2 new ones is 10%.  That's a big deal and you can bet it is going to be reported to the CEO on a daily basis.
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Online mudfarmer

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #432 on: February 23, 2021, 07:28:52 AM »
Gary- solar panels produce more power when cold.

Yes, that's the theory and what the people trying to sell you solar panels will tell you but from my experience the reality is that those that buy that story are going to be disappointed in the cold (winter).
First problem is unless you have a very expensive sun tracking mount, the sun angle is not going to be as favorable on the cold days. Second thing is the hours of sunlight are less on the winter days and the hours of the sun being lower on the horizon take up a higher per cent of the hours of sunlight. Also unless you are diligent in cleaning the snow, ice and dust off the surface, your output will be lessened. And finally there are usually more cloudy days in the winter.

All this just means "solar panels don't work as well when they get less light" not "solar panels don't work as well in the cold". None of what you said has anything to do with temperature, except that yes it is generally cold when there is snow on your solar panels.
Quote
I have had two solar panels on the roof of my camper where I have for many years lived both summer and winter. Yes they are a fixed mount (flat) and yes, it's very difficult and dangerous to climb up on that slippery aluminum roof to clean the snow and ice off the panels, but I have found that even though I have been diligent in cleaning them of the snow and ice, it's not really worth it in the cold time of the year. There are very few days in the cold the panels generate enough volts to put any charge into a 12 volt battery bank.
This is just... I don't...It is not worth it because you have them flat mounted, not because they don't work. Please stop misleading people whether unintentionally or otherwise regarding PV panels. In the winter the sun is much lower on the horizon and hardly any of it will hit panels that are flat mounted on an RV roof. This is a problem with your installation not with PV panels. I said it before, if you buy crappy stuff or do a bad install job you will probably not be happy with solar panels, but I bet the same is true with nuclear plants too! :D

Offline Don P

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #433 on: February 23, 2021, 08:26:07 AM »
I was simply thinking, isn't it cold in space? Been using them up there for decades.
I do prefer it when clients use ground mounts, I'm not a big fan of having equipment and penetrations on the roof but understand that it can be convenient. On one house I check on they melt out before the roof, slope and color. On the ground they can be oriented and maintained easier, I could easily sweep them, and if the unthinkable happens firefighters aren't working around another obstacle.

I'm not anti nuke but I think we are still storing waste on site, that is a future public cost to consider.

Thanks for your posts mudfarmer.
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #434 on: February 23, 2021, 12:15:50 PM »

All this just means "solar panels don't work as well when they get less light" not "solar panels don't work as well in the cold". None of what you said has anything to do with temperature, except that yes it is generally cold when there is snow on your solar panels.
Cold and winter are seasonal expressions, not solely temperature indicators. Are you claiming that solar panels will produce as much power in the winter SEASON when it's cold as they produce in the summer?



This is just... I don't...It is not worth it because you have them flat mounted, not because they don't work. Please stop misleading people whether unintentionally or otherwise regarding PV panels.
I don't consider that relating my personal experience to be "misleading people" in any way. I did NOT conceal the fact the panels are flat mounted and in fact did emphasize that mounting and tracking are critical factors with solar panels. 

Regardless of these word issues if you are claiming that solar panels will produce as much in the winter or cold seasons as they do in the summer or warm seasons, you must be a solar panel salesman that does not like negative information about your product or service and your customers can expect to be disappointed.

There are two critical problems with solar power as I see it. First is the problem of maintaining efficiency or output. In order to work efficiently, the panels must be kept in ideal orientation to the sun and they must be maintained constantly. Fixed and roof mounted panels are not conducive to that. Even the tracking mounts require cleaning and upkeep.

Second is that solar systems are not a complete power system. They work less than half the day and do not work well on cloudy, rainy or winter days. In short solar power needs a second power source to be a good all day every day energy source.

So bottom line is who is going to have to pay for the backup power plant for the times when solar is not working? Plus net metering leaves the power grids holding the bag for transmission system costs and distributes partial control of the power grid to many individual sources.

Free energy from the sun is not always free.  

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #435 on: February 23, 2021, 01:21:41 PM »
certainly batteries do not work as well in the cold.  not sure about the charge rate but less d/c rate.
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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #436 on: February 23, 2021, 01:46:20 PM »
I have a customer who stopped in yesterday for her milk.  Lives off grid, so I asked her about her system.  48 watt solar, battery storage, and a diesel generator because the sun does not shine enough here in Virginia for her power.  She said they have to "be smart" about how they use power and specifically said they run the vacuum when the generator is going.  Come to thing of it I have actually worked on her generator once before when she had an issue - seems to be a trend.  Anyway, she also explained to me about the battery maintenance she has to do on a regular basis and how she had a post melt down because a connection had come loose one time, so these systems are not just plug-n-play, set it and forget it.  
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Online mudfarmer

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #437 on: February 23, 2021, 02:21:54 PM »
Gary--

I did not mean to be harsh, sorry if it came across that way but at least myself and one other person read your post about "cold" as in temperature and just want to make sure we are all keeping the facts clear about how this stuff works, I think it is important to the discussion to do so and hopefully you do as well.


Am not a salesman and no vested interest in the PV industry except that it is cheaper for me to buy panels to use every single year and hope for my own personal sake that it keeps going that way because I like them. Have not gotten any subsidies or tax breaks for any of my stuff, it is my decision to invest in it and the burden (or not) of that decision falls on my shoulders.


I am not and do not believe that I did say that panels produce more in the winter than in the summer. Apparently I was referring to temperatures and you were referring to seasons of the year.

The rest about not producing 24/7/365 -- this is why so many people and businesses around the world are putting their noses to the grindstone on all the new and sometimes old battery tech. Storage is the key because at this point it is easy and cheap to end up producing more power than is needed with PV but everybody wants to watch TV at night not during the day and who can blame them? In my case my batteries are charged before noon, even in January if the sun is out and I have done my part of 15 minutes work after each snow storm (like shoveling the sidewalk by the house). So again, storage is my problem even though I have a fair bit compared to 10 years ago when we started down this path.

doc --

For sure! Ours are inside, and they take up space. What they don't do anymore is produce hazardous gasses while they are charging after the switch away from lead acid batteries. This ties in to what Southside is saying as well, with battery maintenance. It is a lot of screwing around to keep the old style flooded lead acid batteries in good shape when they are being heavily charged and discharged frequently. Sulfation issues, fluid top ups, specific gravity, record keeping, equalization charging, what a mess.


These new batteries, well, you just don't do any of that stuff, it's...crazy! It is a serious game changer. I still out of an abundance of caution do not care about "setting and forgetting" anything. It is good practice to periodically check for loose connections, insulation issues and other problems with any electrical system. Many DIYers would have a lot less trouble if they conformed to relevant electrical code, or consulted qualified persons before attempting things on their own.


After all this rambling, it still boils down to something nativewolf mentioned already. "We are past the tinkering stage." If you have or install a poorly performing system it is either: A: older and missing out on some of the benefits of advancement (MPPT charge controllers, higher output per panel area for instance) B: Poorly designed for the intended use or C: Poorly installed/maintained.

Nothing is free, and ESPECIALLY not good batteries. Well ok maybe that vacuum cleaner we picked up on the side of the road and run off the sun's stored energy :o

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #438 on: February 23, 2021, 05:45:42 PM »
how can a brand new solar farm be cheap?  must be taxpayer subsidized.  I do not know.
They are financed and I bet they are counting on tax credits.  However, roi for my home project is pretty simple and positive and the tax credit doesnít really help me.  I expect there is a reason we have more applications for solar farms than total consumption in VA.  It is going to cause issues if they build them all at once and flood markets, I have yet to see battery backup at the same quantity here in VA.  In CA the battery systems and starting to come online.  
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Re: Electric equipment and the future to come
« Reply #439 on: February 23, 2021, 05:58:25 PM »
I would not want to emulate any element of CA power policy or infrastructure.  Lived there, donít now. Good to be gone. Expensive nightmare and getting worse all the time. 

It always amazes me that failed policies just get more bandaids slapped on and become even more complex and expensive failures. Nobody ever ended a failed government policy. Thatís why we have so many. Count me way way out - just canít buy into more failure. But Iím still helping to pay for them and thereís no choice in that.  say_what 


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