Status #17713

I have actually been interested in solar power for about [...]

Fort Wayne, Indiana
via The Freedom Cell Network
I have actually been interested in solar power for about 40 years. Sadly, it really hasn't advanced much since then, but there is FAR more hype now.

There are actually TWO types of "Solar power". Back then, most people acted like thermal was the only type. As far as I am concerned, photovoltaic is the best. THAT is the type people often refer to now.

Photovoltaic sounds simple enough. You simply hook up two leads, like any other battery, and get power whenever the cells are exposed to the sun. They have been used in watches, calculators, etc....

So what is the problem? Well, a watch or a calculator could run off of less than 5 volts, and 1 amp may be a LOT of power. To power a 100watt device, at home, you generally need about 110 volts at 1 watt, and that is right at the border of acceptable. No solar cell is capable of doing that, even if it could generate the required AC.

To get them to work, you must hook up a ton of these cells together to generate more power, and feed it through an inverter. And the power will only be properly produced if you get enough light to produce the right amount of power. Because of this, you need to over produce power, and regulate it down, and you also want to use any excess to charge up batteries to handle times of outage. Luckily, you can buy a product to do this, but features and capacities drive up the costs. The costs can be well into the thousands of dollars US.

So the CONS that nobody talks about are that the cells will only work for so long, are fragile, and require a LOT of real estate. They will work better on a ranch home than a multistory home, because each square foot of roof space requires less power, as there is so much space. ALSO, that makes it cost a lot. Your component costs may be more than DOUBLED, because of the added equipment you need to use the power.

The PROS are that the power will cost less, eventually, you won't be so dependent on grid power, and you MAY be able to hook up such that you can actually sell YOUR power to the power company!

All this said, I WILL say that various things can be separately backed up simply. The complexity is with doing it for your whole home, etc... And things like refrigerators, and air conditioners use FAR more power than low wattage LED devices. And some things have long duty cycles, and have to cover a lot of territory.
the ammonia refrigeration cycle requires heat input at a ratio of 100% heat in and 33% cooling out and 66% heat out or something like that at 10Bar pressure&explosion hazard caution
Monday 17 October 2016, 06:57:19
Kitty Smith
With LED lighting and other energy saving technologies, solar becomes much more viable. Imagine a house wired at the time of building to accommodate LED lighting powered by Solar?
Saturday 19 November 2016, 21:45:26
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