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Highly Efficient Solar Cells

Discussion in 'Renewable Energy' started by Trevors, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    Renewable energy can be competitive, geothermal and hydroelectric spring to mind as forms of energy that don't need to be subsidised to make money. Look at China for example, they use hydroelectric power and I can't see their government giving it extra funding because it's good for the planet.
     
  2. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Hydro-electric is obviously very good, but has rather specific requirements - China only generate a small amount of their power by hydro-elecric though. Isn't Denmark (or one of the other scandinavian countries) the world leader in hydro-electric? - simply becuse of their geograthy.
     
  3. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    Wasn't hydro-electric invented in America? Think we still lead in that area...

    Solar panels do seem to be coming down in price. I think they will continue to drop. There are government incentives right now, and pretty sure more to come in the future, to get more people interested in going solar.

    Last month, I put up a 12w panel, got a charge controller and 5 Ah 12 volt battery, all for around $100. Seems to be working well, need a larger battery though (wish I hadn't given my spare car battery to my brother). Plan to install a 12v LED light in every room, for emergency light during hurricanes. Want to see how well it holds up, before getting into something I can run an inverter off. Could really use about 1000 watts for the coffee maker...
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. rjvh

    rjvh New Member

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    geothermal energy is a form that might be costwise better than fosil fuels

    the hydroelectric power generation in china is doubtfull if you take in consideration that if they did (they didn't) compensate all the lively hoods affected by the dam like we use to do in the west (and that already is a hard fight)

    the dam wouldn't be build in the first place and if build it would have to operate 150 years+ to get a break even

    if i see here in cambodia that is now developing in the fastes spedd in the last 25 years (so energy hungry)

    they talk about coles plants for power generation
    no wind farms no solar
    if i see the prices here for these forms of energy (if availible) than are that prices without subsidies and believe me the fuel price can still double from todays rate before you will come in the range of a break even

    things change a bit if your handy and do the majority of the work your self (but how many % of the population is able to do that)??

    the best way to handle the lack of enegy problem is in my opinion to use it more efficient (still the least investment is needed to acheive the biggest impact)

    i suport the alternative energy and make use of it my self and do things my self becuase i think we should do something about it but i know also that i am just one of the few

    and if i realy make up the balance of cost/benefit for a average persone than it is still not realy intresting without stimulance in the form of subsidies or tax cuts

    Robert-Jan
     
  6. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    No idea where it was invented?, but percentage of power generated in that way is obviously completely dependent on the local geography, which is why scandinavia is good for it.

    Quick google:

     
  7. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    I thought it was Tesla, and Niagara Falls... I grew up in Oregon, and we were 100% Hydro-electric until the 70's, when we got the Trojan Nuclear Plant. Never understood why we needed it back then, but I was just a kid. Oregon was selling power to most of the northwestern states and part of California. I just remember all the talk and propaganda about how safe nuclear power was...
     
  8. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    I live not far from a wind farm and rarely they are stopped they are not totaly dependable but I hate the silly exsvcuses made about them about the birds not liking them, I was round there taking pictures and the birds were flying around them not bothered at all and they are said to be unsightly with I don't think: Simon's Photography Gallery - Burton Latimer Wind Farm/Wind Farm aren't they graceful ?
     
  9. rjvh

    rjvh New Member

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    I feel the same as you

    since when do we consult birds about wind turbines :confused:

    I never heared an ara chit chating with people about these things:D

    i know that some people complain about the noise it can make but that's manly in high populated areas and that's the result of bad urban planing

    than we have the cosmetic complaines that they ruin the landscape picture

    well about the picture thing, i can say it's amazing what you can do with fotoshop these days :D

    the complains are also mostly made by people that don't want to have a restriction in there power consuming comfort that they have

    so you can never satisfy these guys they will always complaine about something

    poor guys

    Robert-Jan
     
  10. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    my pictue had no treating with photoshop (not in the sense you mean) that is exactly what the picture look like "in the flesh"

    I did not find them noisy they turn slowly, they make a very low frequenzy sound I can just here but its not a disturbance to anyone, those little blighters they put on roof tops make more noise
     
  11. silvarblade

    silvarblade Member

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    can we use a dynamo(which is used in bicycles) as our small wind tubine just on an experimental basis!!
     
  12. rjvh

    rjvh New Member

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    Yes you can but keep in mind that it is AC power

    Robert-Jan
     
  13. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Assuming it's a real dynamo then it will be DC, if it's an alternator it will be AC :D
     
  14. rjvh

    rjvh New Member

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    You're right but the ones i know (I never saw other types on a bicycle) are all AC alternators

    Robert-Jan
     
  15. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    Good ol' alternative energy

    Hi Trevors
    Fancy meeting a fellow South African here!:D
    I believe every country should explore every possible means of alternative energy, if they can have hydro, wind, solar all together, it's a go.
    I like all of the possibilities, but I'm still put off by the price of these. It's sometimes only the real rich who can afford these type of systems in their homes, but for the wrong reasons, they want to prove themselves better that others.:mad:
    Furthermore these systems take a lot to pay themselves back, especially for the man in the street who can barely afford it.
    But it does not end in our homes, I believe the biggest battle lies in the vehicles we drive. I see forums where people in America convert their cars to electric units, hydrogen, etc. That's exciting. We're facing another petrol increase of 81 cents on July 1, 60-something for diesel.:(
    Eishkom also wants to increase their tariffs between 50 and 60%. Wish I could convert my 2002 Ikon to be fully electric, yet self sustained, mmmmm..... what a dream.:eek:
    If I could afford it, my house's whole roof would be solar panels, even if it yields only 35%. Step in the right direction.
    I also do not trust new tech, and think those guys boosting their ultra efficient panels are out to make some bucks of someone else's back. I'll wait for them to put their hand flat on the deck before picking sides. Too many scheisters out there.
    Regards
     
  16. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    solar panels do work but they are not miracle workers as are no other alternative form, what the layman needs to look at now is how much will power cost in 5 years time with talks of petrol going to 2.3 £/l next year I can't help but think that electric and gas prices could even rise to 10 X what they used to be, if all the power company's can get up one day and say we are increasing prices by 15 % and then wack them up by 45 and our stupid gov sits there and lets them do it who knows what we will be charged in the future.
     
  17. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    Those darm idiots

    You're absolutely right.
    That is why I want to inform myself as much as possible. I can see the day when you have two options, 1 - being ripped off so someone else can become rich, 2 - see to yourself.
    That is why I take a serious interest in alternative energy, all forms.
    I have two cars, but see it's time to sell the more expensive one, except if I can make it run much cheaper.
    In SA petrol will next week be more than R10/l and diesel around R12/l.
    We pay about 51cent/unit of power (kWh), what will 60% increase do to that.

    We will have to become self sufficient to some extent, like old times, or sink.
     
  18. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    well try jaycar in australia I've never seemcheaper panels than those but i don't know about customs duty... still 2.6 £/W is a VERY interesting price if you have 500 £ to spend on a single 175 W panel preferably get two at 450 £ each ! if your in south africa you will get near what the manufacturer states in power as you are near the equator at least more than in the uk
     
  19. picbits

    picbits Well-Known Member

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    I can't access your website at the moment :(

    Oh and I live half a mile closer to them than you do :p

    I've got to admit, every time I drive past them I have to admire them.

    Heck - I even come back down the A6 / Finedon way sometimes just so I can get a bit closer to them :D
     
  20. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    The going rate for solar panels in SA is around R12 000 for 200W.
    So I think you'll be hard stretched get your house running solar for anything less than R180 000, and that's basic needs.
    The panels alone will set you back around R80 000.
    Shiiiiiiit, that's a whole lot of bucks.
    Like I said, only the ubber rich can employ such systems in their homes.
    I'll be looking elsewhere.
    I still believe in some form of generator from renewable source, but have to prove some theories in my thinking. I also have to build my monster, that costs money, lots of it.
    At least I've started tinkering.
    What is positive is that I see a lot of people around the world doing exactly that. Tinkering with things that provide energy in some form. That is all we need. Somewhere, some genius is born, and may provide a big enough breakthrough regarding this topic.
     
  21. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    hm thats odd that my site don't come up for you, and yes they are s site but I thought you lived in wellingborough ?

    ps try the site again hec I pay for the damn hosting !
     

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