Amber G. wrote:
If we can capture & store less than .1 of the sun's energy hitting the earth on a daily basis, virtually all of our energy's needs are met.
On a typical day
energy hitting the *whole* earth (if you consider outer atmosphere, as part of the earth) is about 1.5*10^22 joules... good enough for about 50 years of typical energy consumption of the whole planet. (That is we have to just switch on our "capturing" for a single day
then relax and keep using it for 50 years
) ... Even if we capture only 0.1% (= 1/1000th), and say only 1/3 of that we can store and use.. we can run this every Sunday (Day of the Sun) and relax for the whole week..
Now only part left is how do we go and capture that 0.1%? (And economically)
We can get the similar energy if we had anti-neutron star of the size of 0.1 mm (about a metric ton) and combine it with about a ton of normal metal and store and use that flash of gamma energy produced..
Till that happen, may be we have to use coal, nuclear, solar or anything we can .. all combination ... Just saying
Maybe you didn't get the context of my posts and arguments with Mort Walker. He made the point that solar efficiency is important and not efficient as coal or nuclear. My rebuttal was that it doesn't really matter in the end. The reason being, is that there are plenty of sunlight and efficiency is the least of our concerns, hence my post of using less than .1% to show that there is so much sunlight and energy out there that efficiency is the least of our concern.
Sunlight is not a 24 hour period or even 12 hour or 8 hour period. It comes in bursts or in 5 hours or on days of clear sunny skies but not on cloudy days. That itself makes sunlight in the current form an unsteady supply of power and you cannot build an power infrastructure out of that. People including Mort Walker and others are saying that it is only good for peak power. I am saying that is not true. We can make it usable as base power if we can create/improve the energy capture storage devices.
In my example, I currently use 100 kwh/day on average for my power consumption. I know that I can easily get more than 100 kwh of sunlight in 3 or 4 hours even using the most inefficient solar panels but the problem is that there is no way to capture all that energy, store it, and meter it out according to my consumption on a daily basis. There is no energy storage device technology right now capable of storing my daily energy needs, energy reserve for the days we get no sunlight, and meter it out in a steady supply in a cost effective manner.
That is the problem with solar power - energy storage capacity and the economics of it, not solar efficiency. I could get the most efficient solar panel out there that, let's say... 60%, it still won't do me any good if I do not have the energy storage device that goes with it.
But that is for my situation in America where there is already an infrastructure in place to give me plenty of affordable electricity on a reliable steady basis. You will not find that in India nor likely to find that because the regulatory, political, economical, and socio climate are too much of a barrier to pull that off. And moreover, on a per capita basis right now, the people's power consumption are vastly less than mine (yeah i know i come across like an elite schmuck when I say my power needs are more than some people in India but I am just pointing out some facts). Instead of waiting forever to get the power they were promised by their leaders and politicians, they can get some power for at least some hours of the day and night if they get a battery hooked up. That is shades better than they have right now. With that, they can create an opportunity for making an unique system that can work for India.
This reminds me of the story of two shoe businessman - here it is:
There is a tale about these two shoe salesmen who travel to a third world country in search of new business opportunities.
One man calls his wife the moment he lands, telling her, “Honey, I’m coming back home. There’s no hope here. Nobody here is wearing shoes, so there’s no one to sell to.” He boards the next flight home.
The second man calls his wife and says, “Honey, you wouldn’t believe what I found here. There is so much opportunity. No one here is wearing shoes. I can sell to the whole country!”
There’s opportunity everywhere. When we have a consciousness of expecting the magic to happen, it will happen. We’ll find the right people, we’ll move in the right circles, we’ll ‘bump’ into the right solutions. It all starts with that opening in the mind.
This is no dyson sphere we are talking about but taking what we have right now and making something about it. It is called making lemons into lemonade, a point that some posters have missed.
Just found this funny:
Hitesh wrote: I researched into this hydrogen fuel technology. Only problem with hydrogen is that you have to expend energy to make hydrogen into an usable form of energy,i.e., you have to split hydrogen from other molecules and into pure hydrogen. Today, the sources of hydrogen comes from fossil fuel sources which defeats the solution in the first place or from bonded molecules such as water. I do not see hydrogen fuel cell as a long term technology. Of course some people would say you could use solar to generate hydrogen fuel but that is really another way of saying that hydrogen is another type of energy storage device.
One has to expend energy to obtain usable form of energy.
Of course but why do things the hard way when someone else or something has already done the expending of energy?
disha wrote:Extracting crude and splitting it (or distillation) takes energy. So does its transport and into a form factor into an usable form of energy. On top of it - it is very dirty.
Solar cells also need to be manufactured by first obtaining extremely pure silicon crystal. Which is obtained by burning tonnes of high grade coal. Yes., for a tonne of Silicon., assume 2 tonnes of coal being expended. This is again dirty. It is renewable only after 7 years.
Of course right now it is obtained by burning tones of high grade coal but once we start putting renewables and substitute others in place of coal, the consumption of coal will go down. You can't make sausage without getting dirty first.
disha wrote:Hydropower requires big and small dams., and dams do have their issues.
I was a huge fan of dams before but now not so for power generation. Perhaps for flooding and irrigation control but not for power generation. The conversion rate is not worth the cost.
disha wrote:Hydrogen fuel based economy is not there yet., but capturing methane and splitting it to obtain hydrogen is not necessarily a bad idea. The gas hydrates at the bottom of the ocean are plenty. But then the resultant carbon has to go somewhere.
Again the cost of getting hydrogen will get prohibitively expensive once we run out of the cheap sources of hydrogen which is tied to the sources of fossil fuels. here's a good primer on this: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science ... 6/4199381/
disha wrote:Nuclear is the only cleanest energy! And it is cheap.
You do know that the sun is the largest fusion reactor in this solar system and that fusion is a type of nuclear?
disha wrote:An ideal combination will be a nuclear-solar energy. That is have dedicated plants to produce advanced solar cells like Perovskite solar cells on the cheap with advanced battery storage for diverse use cases - and not just rooftop solar! Further nuclear energy will cover for base load.
Good plan which will work in the developed world where there is already an infrastructure in place. Not so in India. The barriers that I mention still exist there.
disha wrote:So to say that solar energy is the single bullet that solves all of India's problems (or world's energy needs) is a hyperbole. For next 2-3 human generations, a smorgasbord of energy options will be required to sustain the human civilization.
I never said that it was the silver bullet, but you can't go wrong with going solar especially when you have 400 million Indians without any kind of power. Supply 4-6 hours of power with solar to these people is a vast step in the right direction because it is scalable and implementable with the existing capital constraints there.