Nemo wrote: ↑
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:21 am
Solar works great on paper in Canada but I know a number of people in the alternative power community and installs seem to only last about 10 years here before they are ripped out. I wish that wasn't the case but it doesn't work like they say in the sales brochures. Output is good in winter though if you put your panels perpendicular. Snow reflection and better efficiency at low temps. Maybe the weather is too extreme.
I'm a bit surprised that solar works even as well as you say it does in Canada. I would have guessed that seasonal variation would be the killer, giving you maximum output when it's least useful and minimums when you could really use it all for heating.
Here, we value it most for cooling in summer, when output is best.
Also, our seasonal variation is very slight - day length only goes from 11.5 hours to 12.5, solstice to solstice, and we get less cloud in winter. A 1.5 KW rooftop system will put out an average of 6 KWH per day, and the variation is only +/- 25% of the average.
Batteries are crap everywhere though. Replacing battery banks sucks. Grid intertie is great up to a point. Rooftop installs suck too. Working on them in winter is dangerous and replacing a 20 year roof with solar is a total nightmare.
Again, our experience is different, and again it's partly because our big demand is for cooling. We need that most during the day, so storage hardly matters. In fact, schools are a terrific match for solar - all those big flattish roofs, and almost no power consumption outside sunlight hours - and have picked it up enthusiastically.
Winter? That's now. 25 C in the daytime going down to 15 C overnight, blue skies ... our favourite season. I just spent nearly an hour on the roof, cleaning gutters, in short pants and short-sleeved shirt. As I said, local factors.
Geothermal is crap so far. I lived with the engineers who were trying to fix the plants. Hydrogen sulphide eats the pressure pipes. Not even Siemens can solve that problem yet. That is why Iceland sold the plant to some suckers. Tried the same in the Ph but no takers. They rust out too fast to be economical.
I'm sorry to hear that.
The older American GE nuke reactors are terrifying. They need to be closed immediately.
Canada had a community volunteer to take the waste so problem solved.
Renewables can't do the job either. Not enough lithium in the world to make enough batteries. America alone would need $2.5 trillion in batteries just for the existing grid to be 100% renewable. You can't do that in 7 years even if you had the lithium. I invested in battery startups and lost my shirt. This is the main hurdle. I did put my money where my mouth is when it comes to energy storage and attempting to stop global warming.
I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but I have to say, also, that your insistence on batteries is a bit puzzling. What we need is storage
, and batteries are only one kind of storage, e.g. pumped hydro is good in many locations. Also, smart grid design can reduce the need for storage: over a big enough geographical area, the intermittency of wind and solar is much reduced.
For Canada nuclear is the best option for now. Other countries, not really.
Local is the operative word. So many things being enacted here are from California initiatives. Low flow toilets are ridiculous here. We don't even use 1% of the main river running past my city and there is a second river as well. All that happened is we had to change the user fees on water since we were using less. It provided almost no benefit.
Agreed. And what we've been presenting to each other here are cases in point.