Solar PV comparable to gas fired power stations

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-key-low-cost-solar-power-lies.html

    Thinking big while focusing on small, a solar company and a national
    energy lab combined talents to develop a solar power concentrator that
    generates electricity at prices competitive with natural gas.

    The Amonix 7700 Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Solar Power Generator,
    developed by Amonix and the U.S. Department of Energy's National
    Renewable Energy Laboratory, is the size of an IMAX screen but costs
    much less than comparable generators, partly because of the efficiency
    of its small solar cells. It delivers more "energy per acre" than
    anything yet available in the solar energy world.

    The public-private partnership won a 2010 R&D 100 award at the annual
    event honoring the greatest breakthroughs in technology, often called
    "The Oscars of Invention."

    NREL's partnerships with industry, such as this one with Amonix, are key
    to reaching aggressive White House goals including lowering solar
    energy's installed cost to $1 a watt, which would make America a leader
    in renewable energy.

    The 7700 uses acrylic Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight up to 500
    times its usual intensity and direct it onto 7,560 tiny, highly
    efficient multi-junction PV cells.

    The cells, originally developed by NREL scientists, can convert 41.6
    percent of the sunlight that shines on them into usable electricity in a
    laboratory setting, a world record. Production cells never work quite as
    well as cells produced in the lab. But the multi-junction cells on the
    Amonix 7700 are achieving 31 percent efficiency at the module level and
    27 percent at the system level in the field, the highest ever achieved
    for an operating CPV concentrator.

    That unprecedented efficiency opened the door to reducing costs and
    reducing land use — both key for solar electricity to reach cost-parity
    with fossil fuels.

    Seeing the potential for game-changing cost cuts, Amonix, with technical
    support from NREL's High-Performance PV Project and financial support
    through DOE and its Solar Energy Technologies Program, redeveloped its
    flagship CPV system using the multi-junction cells.

    A six-inch square silicon wafer in traditional photovoltaic (PV) panels
    produces about 2.5 watts of electricity. That same-sized wafer, cut into
    hundreds of square-centimeter cells in the Amonix 7700, each teamed with
    a Fresnel lens, produces more than 1,500 watts. It reduces the required
    area for cells 500 times.

    The 7700 already has driven the price of electricity from solar down to
    the price of electricity from natural gas, according to the California
    Market Price Referent, which establishes a proxy price for electricity
    generated by a new state-of-the-art natural gas plant. Solar power is at
    or near price parity in six other states that share California's sunny
    and dry climates — Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.

    The 7700 also keeps down costs by integrating the lenses, the cells and
    the mounting structure into a single unit that eliminates most of the
    parts and costs associated with other concentrator designs. The seven
    MegaModules that make up the 53-kilowatt system can be hauled on two
    flatbed trucks, then assembled in the field in hours, rather than weeks.

    Low-Cost, Efficiency Attract Interest from Utilities

    Those cost-slashing measures, together with the Amonix 7700's
    large-scale capacity, are catching the interest of utility companies
    from California to Colorado. Twenty Amonix 7700s, erected on just five
    acres of desert, can generate more than a megawatt of rated capacity,
    enough to power 750 homes. That's half the space typically needed to
    generate that much power.

    The Southern Nevada Water Authority and California Polytechnic Institute
    in California are among those that have purchased the Amonix 7700. The
    DOE and Amonix are paying for testing of the 7700 at the Solar
    Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) in Aurora, Colo., to validate
    the reliability of the system.

    Multi-Junction Cells Key to Record-Setting Efficiency

    The key breakthrough that lifted the 7700 to a 50 percent greater power
    output than previous generations of Amonix generators was the
    substitution of the multi-junction cells made of gallium indium arsenide
    and gallium phosphide for the more common silicon cells.

    Cells made from gallium, indium and other elements from the III and V
    columns of the periodic table are more expensive to produce today, but
    also can be more efficient at converting the sun's photons into usable
    electrons for electricity.

    NREL scientists had developed a high-efficiency multi-junction indium
    gallium phosphide PV cell that had been used previously for energy for
    spacecraft.

    DOE, NREL High-Performance PV Project Funded Breakthrough

    To offer up the more efficient multi-junction cell as a possible
    replacement for the silicon cells used in most PV concentrators, NREL
    issued a request for proposals for projects designed to accelerate
    multi-junction cell development and their integration into CPV solar
    systems. NREL awarded Amonix $1.2 million for a project that began in
    2004 and concluded in 2008. At the end of the NREL project, Amonix was
    able to demonstrate close to 31 percent efficiency for a
    one-square-meter module — a world record at the time.

    Martha Symko-Davies, a senior supervisor at NREL, recalled that most
    concentrator companies could not see the benefits of switching to
    new-generation solar cells, but Amonix was different, conducting
    research and development with NREL to overcome stiff challenges.

    The first NREL/Amonix project led to a larger award in 2007 from DOE for
    $15.6 million leveraged by an additional $18 million of investor funds,
    which helped make the transition to manufacturing of the Amonix 7700 at
    the company's facility in Seal Beach, Calif.

    Amonix has 15 years of experience developing CPV systems, while NREL has
    a record of more than three decades of research and development in PV
    technologies. The fruitful partnership, incoroporating the
    high-efficiency multi-junction solar cell with Amonix's flagship CPV
    system, came about through the High-Performance PV Project funded by the
    DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Program.

    Other DOE-funded support came from the Small Business Innovation
    Research and Technology Pathway Partnership programs. DOE's Sandia
    National Laboratories and Brookhaven National Laboratory also
    facilitated the scale-up of this project.

    A conundrum was how to use the highly efficient cells without breaking
    the bank. Researchers solved that problem by teaming an inexpensive
    Fresnel lens — at less than $2 a pop — with each of the 7,560 high
    efficiency solar cells that make up one 53-kilowatt 7700 system. The
    500-power amplification of the Fresnel lens allowed the solar cells to
    be tiny — thus a small fraction of the cost of bigger cells — while
    still packing record-setting efficiency.

    There were other hurdles to clear, too.

    Researchers developed a new receiver package of cells and lenses to
    ensure that the cells would not short out. They solved the distortion
    problem that happens when a lens doesn't focus all colors on the same
    convergence point. And they overcame the thermal issues that crop up
    when a cell has to handle the intensity of 500 suns.

    Their efforts were rewarded in the form of $130 million in private
    equity financing in 2010.

    Expanding the Market to Everyone

    Solar energy has found a niche on rooftops, especially of green-minded
    homeowners. But if it is to play a major role in the broader electricity
    market, it needs to come in at or below the costs of electricity
    generated from coal, which is projected to cost from 6 cents to 15 cents
    per kilowatt-hour in four years. The 7700's cost per kilowatt-hour is
    expected to be well within those price ranges as production and sales
    continue to grow.

    "This development and R&D investment enabled the entire CPV industry,"
    Symko-Davies said. "This could truly shake up the world and add
    competition to the flat-plate technologies being deployed at utility scale."

    The 7700's two-axis tracker can be repositioned throughout the day to
    follow the sun, but also can be re-positioned to shield the cells from
    extreme wind, increasing the life of the system. It allows the cells to
    capture sunlight for a longer time throughout the day and through all
    seasons of the year. Field tests indicate that depending on the
    location, the two-axis tracker captures up to 50 percent more energy
    than fixed one-axis systems.

    Utilities expect their generators to last 50 years. The Amonix 7700 can
    reach that target with proper maintenance and timely replacement of
    certain parts, said a spokesman for the company.

    Two Axis-Tracker, Modular Design Key to Cost Savings

    The two-axis tracker is the only moving component on Amonix's CPV
    systems and has been designed for reliability and minimum maintenance.
    The energy needed to move the two-axis tracker amounts to less than 1
    percent of the power output.

    The system has just 12 subassemblies, which are shipped to installation
    sites for deployment. Once the site is ready, an Amonix system can be
    installed very quickly, within hours. By contrast, some systems require
    shipment of thousands of parts to the installation site.

    Cost savings were factored in every step of the way — from foundry to
    grid — said Bob McConnell, who worked at NREL before he left the lab in
    2007 to join Amonix and help bring the research to market.

    The result is a generator manufactured at about a third to one half of
    generators using crystalline silicon or thin-film approaches.

    Multi-junction cells can operate at higher ambient temperatures than
    traditional PV cells, making them ideal for sunny and dry climates in
    the southwestern United States, and ripe for future cost reductions.

    The concentrator also is kinder to the environment than most large
    systems, using no water in its operation. Propped up two feet above the
    land, it doesn't hinder the movement of wildlife.

    "You simply can't put enough solar systems on rooftops to achieve the
    scale and capacity necessary to generate electricity in the quantities
    required by utilities and by society," said Amonix's founder and chief
    technical officer, Vahan Garboushian. "This is a technology that can
    meet the terawatt (trillions of watts) needs of the world for clean
    electricity."



    Dirk

    http://www.neopax.com/technomage/ - My new book - Magick and Technology
    Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 17, 2011
    #1
  2. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Basil Jet Guest

    On 2011\02\17 16:00, John Larkin wrote:
    >
    > Why post all that crap here?


    This group has the world's highest concentration of rectal sunshine.
    Basil Jet, Feb 17, 2011
    #2
  3. On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 08:33:56 -0800, John Larkin
    <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 16:17:05 +0000, Basil Jet
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On 2011\02\17 16:00, John Larkin wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Why post all that crap here?

    >>
    >>This group has the world's highest concentration of rectal sunshine.

    >
    >Not to mention all the guys with anal fixations.
    >
    >John


    Two techs, one probe?
    Spehro Pefhany, Feb 17, 2011
    #3
  4. On 17/02/2011 16:00, John Larkin wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:57:48 +0000, Dirk Bruere at NeoPax
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-key-low-cost-solar-power-lies.html
    >>
    >> Thinking big while focusing on small, a solar company and a national
    >> energy lab combined talents to develop a solar power concentrator that
    >> generates electricity at prices competitive with natural gas.
    >>
    >> The Amonix 7700 Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Solar Power Generator,
    >> developed by Amonix and the U.S. Department of Energy's National
    >> Renewable Energy Laboratory, is the size of an IMAX screen but costs
    >> much less than comparable generators, partly because of the efficiency
    >> of its small solar cells. It delivers more "energy per acre" than
    >> anything yet available in the solar energy world.
    >>
    >> The public-private partnership won a 2010 R&D 100 award at the annual
    >> event honoring the greatest breakthroughs in technology, often called
    >> "The Oscars of Invention."
    >>
    >> NREL's partnerships with industry, such as this one with Amonix, are key
    >> to reaching aggressive White House goals including lowering solar
    >> energy's installed cost to $1 a watt, which would make America a leader
    >> in renewable energy.
    >>
    >> The 7700 uses acrylic Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight up to 500
    >> times its usual intensity and direct it onto 7,560 tiny, highly
    >> efficient multi-junction PV cells.
    >>
    >> The cells, originally developed by NREL scientists, can convert 41.6
    >> percent of the sunlight that shines on them into usable electricity in a
    >> laboratory setting, a world record. Production cells never work quite as
    >> well as cells produced in the lab. But the multi-junction cells on the
    >> Amonix 7700 are achieving 31 percent efficiency at the module level and
    >> 27 percent at the system level in the field, the highest ever achieved
    >> for an operating CPV concentrator.
    >>
    >> That unprecedented efficiency opened the door to reducing costs and
    >> reducing land use — both key for solar electricity to reach cost-parity
    >> with fossil fuels.
    >>
    >> Seeing the potential for game-changing cost cuts, Amonix, with technical
    >> support from NREL's High-Performance PV Project and financial support
    >> through DOE and its Solar Energy Technologies Program, redeveloped its
    >> flagship CPV system using the multi-junction cells.
    >>
    >> A six-inch square silicon wafer in traditional photovoltaic (PV) panels
    >> produces about 2.5 watts of electricity. That same-sized wafer, cut into
    >> hundreds of square-centimeter cells in the Amonix 7700, each teamed with
    >> a Fresnel lens, produces more than 1,500 watts. It reduces the required
    >> area for cells 500 times.
    >>
    >> The 7700 already has driven the price of electricity from solar down to
    >> the price of electricity from natural gas, according to the California
    >> Market Price Referent, which establishes a proxy price for electricity
    >> generated by a new state-of-the-art natural gas plant. Solar power is at
    >> or near price parity in six other states that share California's sunny
    >> and dry climates — Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.
    >>
    >> The 7700 also keeps down costs by integrating the lenses, the cells and
    >> the mounting structure into a single unit that eliminates most of the
    >> parts and costs associated with other concentrator designs. The seven
    >> MegaModules that make up the 53-kilowatt system can be hauled on two
    >> flatbed trucks, then assembled in the field in hours, rather than weeks.
    >>
    >> Low-Cost, Efficiency Attract Interest from Utilities
    >>
    >> Those cost-slashing measures, together with the Amonix 7700's
    >> large-scale capacity, are catching the interest of utility companies
    >>from California to Colorado. Twenty Amonix 7700s, erected on just five
    >> acres of desert, can generate more than a megawatt of rated capacity,
    >> enough to power 750 homes. That's half the space typically needed to
    >> generate that much power.
    >>
    >> The Southern Nevada Water Authority and California Polytechnic Institute
    >> in California are among those that have purchased the Amonix 7700. The
    >> DOE and Amonix are paying for testing of the 7700 at the Solar
    >> Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) in Aurora, Colo., to validate
    >> the reliability of the system.
    >>
    >> Multi-Junction Cells Key to Record-Setting Efficiency
    >>
    >> The key breakthrough that lifted the 7700 to a 50 percent greater power
    >> output than previous generations of Amonix generators was the
    >> substitution of the multi-junction cells made of gallium indium arsenide
    >> and gallium phosphide for the more common silicon cells.
    >>
    >> Cells made from gallium, indium and other elements from the III and V
    >> columns of the periodic table are more expensive to produce today, but
    >> also can be more efficient at converting the sun's photons into usable
    >> electrons for electricity.
    >>
    >> NREL scientists had developed a high-efficiency multi-junction indium
    >> gallium phosphide PV cell that had been used previously for energy for
    >> spacecraft.
    >>
    >> DOE, NREL High-Performance PV Project Funded Breakthrough
    >>
    >> To offer up the more efficient multi-junction cell as a possible
    >> replacement for the silicon cells used in most PV concentrators, NREL
    >> issued a request for proposals for projects designed to accelerate
    >> multi-junction cell development and their integration into CPV solar
    >> systems. NREL awarded Amonix $1.2 million for a project that began in
    >> 2004 and concluded in 2008. At the end of the NREL project, Amonix was
    >> able to demonstrate close to 31 percent efficiency for a
    >> one-square-meter module — a world record at the time.
    >>
    >> Martha Symko-Davies, a senior supervisor at NREL, recalled that most
    >> concentrator companies could not see the benefits of switching to
    >> new-generation solar cells, but Amonix was different, conducting
    >> research and development with NREL to overcome stiff challenges.
    >>
    >> The first NREL/Amonix project led to a larger award in 2007 from DOE for
    >> $15.6 million leveraged by an additional $18 million of investor funds,
    >> which helped make the transition to manufacturing of the Amonix 7700 at
    >> the company's facility in Seal Beach, Calif.
    >>
    >> Amonix has 15 years of experience developing CPV systems, while NREL has
    >> a record of more than three decades of research and development in PV
    >> technologies. The fruitful partnership, incoroporating the
    >> high-efficiency multi-junction solar cell with Amonix's flagship CPV
    >> system, came about through the High-Performance PV Project funded by the
    >> DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Program.
    >>
    >> Other DOE-funded support came from the Small Business Innovation
    >> Research and Technology Pathway Partnership programs. DOE's Sandia
    >> National Laboratories and Brookhaven National Laboratory also
    >> facilitated the scale-up of this project.
    >>
    >> A conundrum was how to use the highly efficient cells without breaking
    >> the bank. Researchers solved that problem by teaming an inexpensive
    >> Fresnel lens — at less than $2 a pop — with each of the 7,560 high
    >> efficiency solar cells that make up one 53-kilowatt 7700 system. The
    >> 500-power amplification of the Fresnel lens allowed the solar cells to
    >> be tiny — thus a small fraction of the cost of bigger cells — while
    >> still packing record-setting efficiency.
    >>
    >> There were other hurdles to clear, too.
    >>
    >> Researchers developed a new receiver package of cells and lenses to
    >> ensure that the cells would not short out. They solved the distortion
    >> problem that happens when a lens doesn't focus all colors on the same
    >> convergence point. And they overcame the thermal issues that crop up
    >> when a cell has to handle the intensity of 500 suns.
    >>
    >> Their efforts were rewarded in the form of $130 million in private
    >> equity financing in 2010.
    >>
    >> Expanding the Market to Everyone
    >>
    >> Solar energy has found a niche on rooftops, especially of green-minded
    >> homeowners. But if it is to play a major role in the broader electricity
    >> market, it needs to come in at or below the costs of electricity
    >> generated from coal, which is projected to cost from 6 cents to 15 cents
    >> per kilowatt-hour in four years. The 7700's cost per kilowatt-hour is
    >> expected to be well within those price ranges as production and sales
    >> continue to grow.
    >>
    >> "This development and R&D investment enabled the entire CPV industry,"
    >> Symko-Davies said. "This could truly shake up the world and add
    >> competition to the flat-plate technologies being deployed at utility scale."
    >>
    >> The 7700's two-axis tracker can be repositioned throughout the day to
    >> follow the sun, but also can be re-positioned to shield the cells from
    >> extreme wind, increasing the life of the system. It allows the cells to
    >> capture sunlight for a longer time throughout the day and through all
    >> seasons of the year. Field tests indicate that depending on the
    >> location, the two-axis tracker captures up to 50 percent more energy
    >> than fixed one-axis systems.
    >>
    >> Utilities expect their generators to last 50 years. The Amonix 7700 can
    >> reach that target with proper maintenance and timely replacement of
    >> certain parts, said a spokesman for the company.
    >>
    >> Two Axis-Tracker, Modular Design Key to Cost Savings
    >>
    >> The two-axis tracker is the only moving component on Amonix's CPV
    >> systems and has been designed for reliability and minimum maintenance.
    >> The energy needed to move the two-axis tracker amounts to less than 1
    >> percent of the power output.
    >>
    >> The system has just 12 subassemblies, which are shipped to installation
    >> sites for deployment. Once the site is ready, an Amonix system can be
    >> installed very quickly, within hours. By contrast, some systems require
    >> shipment of thousands of parts to the installation site.
    >>
    >> Cost savings were factored in every step of the way — from foundry to
    >> grid — said Bob McConnell, who worked at NREL before he left the lab in
    >> 2007 to join Amonix and help bring the research to market.
    >>
    >> The result is a generator manufactured at about a third to one half of
    >> generators using crystalline silicon or thin-film approaches.
    >>
    >> Multi-junction cells can operate at higher ambient temperatures than
    >> traditional PV cells, making them ideal for sunny and dry climates in
    >> the southwestern United States, and ripe for future cost reductions.
    >>
    >> The concentrator also is kinder to the environment than most large
    >> systems, using no water in its operation. Propped up two feet above the
    >> land, it doesn't hinder the movement of wildlife.
    >>
    >> "You simply can't put enough solar systems on rooftops to achieve the
    >> scale and capacity necessary to generate electricity in the quantities
    >> required by utilities and by society," said Amonix's founder and chief
    >> technical officer, Vahan Garboushian. "This is a technology that can
    >> meet the terawatt (trillions of watts) needs of the world for clean
    >> electricity."
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Dirk
    >>

    >
    > Why post all that crap here?


    Well, it has a peripheral connection with electronics design.

    --
    Dirk

    http://www.neopax.com/technomage/ - My new book - Magick and Technology
    Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 17, 2011
    #4
  5. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Artemus Guest

    Snip callenged "John Larkin" wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Why post all that crap here?
    >
    > John
    >


    Why repost all that crap just to add your 6 words?
    Art
    Artemus, Feb 17, 2011
    #5
  6. On 17/02/2011 21:49, Artemus wrote:
    > Snip callenged "John Larkin" wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>
    >> Why post all that crap here?
    >>
    >> John
    >>

    >
    > Why repost all that crap just to add your 6 words?
    > Art
    >
    >

    Why not?
    Bandwidth is cheap and the universe needs heating

    --
    Dirk

    http://www.neopax.com/technomage/ - My new book - Magick and Technology
    Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 17, 2011
    #6
  7. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Sylvia Else Guest

    On 18/02/2011 10:07 AM, John Larkin wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 17:02:05 +0000, Dirk Bruere at NeoPax
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On 17/02/2011 16:00, John Larkin wrote:
    >>> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:57:48 +0000, Dirk Bruere at NeoPax
    >>> <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-key-low-cost-solar-power-lies.html
    >>>>
    >>>> Thinking big while focusing on small, a solar company and a national
    >>>> energy lab combined talents to develop a solar power concentrator that
    >>>> generates electricity at prices competitive with natural gas.


    > It's not as though solar concentrator PV is a startling invention.


    And the price competitivity claim is spurious anyway, because PV and gas
    generation have different levels of availability.

    Sylvia
    Sylvia Else, Feb 18, 2011
    #7
  8. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Sylvia Else Guest

    On 18/02/2011 10:56 AM, Joel Koltner wrote:
    > "John Larkin" <> wrote in
    > message news:...
    > > But various orgainzations (with MIT in the lead) press-release
    >> gee-whiz stuff like this roughly 40 times a day. Approximately 0% of
    >> it ever amounts to anything.

    >
    > Indeed. Stanford has (re-) invented the duplexer:
    > http://www.rfglobalnet.com/article.mvc/Stanford-Researchers-Develop-Wireless-0001
    >
    >
    > To be truly useful for something like WiFi as they suggest, I'd say you
    > really need at least 100dB of isolation between your Tx and Rx ports...
    > and 120dB would be significanatly better.
    >
    > I'm betting they're at least 50dB shy of that, even acknowledging that
    > these days you can do a lot of neat stuff with DSP.
    >
    > Quote:
    >
    > "The group has a provisional patent on the technology and is working to
    > commercialize it. They are currently trying to increase both the
    > strength of the transmissions and the distances over which they work.
    > These improvements are necessary before the technology is practical for
    > use in Wi-Fi networks."
    >
    > Um hmm.
    >
    > What annoys me is how they claim that "textbooks say you can't do it"
    > and "people didn't believe sending and receiving signals simultaneously
    > could be done." What rot...
    >
    > I wonder if it occurred to them when they had the insight that people
    > can talk and listen at the same time that while that works when both
    > parties speak at roughly the same volume, it fails spectacularly when
    > one is 100dB louder the other?


    The central flaw appears to be this statement: "Their setup takes
    advantage of the fact that each radio knows exactly what it's
    transmitting, and hence what its receiver should filter out."

    In fact a radio never knows exactly what it's transmitting, but only the
    value to within a certain level of uncertainty. That would manifest as
    noise added to the incoming signal.

    I didn't understand the point about two aircraft transmitting
    simultaneously, with neither getting through. That looks like an
    entirely different problem.

    Sylvia.
    Sylvia Else, Feb 18, 2011
    #8
  9. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Rich Grise Guest

    John Larkin wrote:

    > Why post all that crap here?
    >

    Why quote 240 lines of hooey for a one-liner?

    Thanks,
    Rich
    Rich Grise, Feb 18, 2011
    #9
  10. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Rich Grise Guest

    Joel Koltner wrote:
    >
    > What annoys me is how they claim that "textbooks say you can't do it" and
    > "people didn't believe sending and receiving signals simultaneously could
    > be
    > done." What rot...


    Maybe they've never heard of the telephone.

    Cheers!
    Rich
    Rich Grise, Feb 18, 2011
    #10
  11. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Joe Guest

    On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 19:09:54 -0600
    John Fields <> wrote:

    > On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:07:20 -0800, John Larkin
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >But various orgainzations (with MIT in the lead) press-release
    > >gee-whiz stuff like this roughly 40 times a day. Approximately 0% of
    > >it ever amounts to anything.

    >
    > ---
    > So, according to you, they should all shut the **** up and kow-tow to
    > your edicts and abandon their quest for excellence because you say
    > they should?
    > ---


    Not at all, such an announcement should simply not be taken seriously.
    The time to get excited about it is *after* it goes on sale to the
    public.

    Safe, practical, commercial fusion power has been twenty years away for
    the last sixty years. Those who got excited about it sixty years ago
    are probably now flagging a little.

    >
    > >It's not as though solar concentrator PV is a startling invention.

    >
    > Poor baby, you decry innovations because they weren't yours.
    >


    Again, I wouldn't have thought so. Innovation is always a good thing in
    itself, but innovation which is practical and offers results better
    than are currently available is much, much more valuable and much, much
    rarer.

    New is inherently good, but not necessarily better.

    People such as Tony Blair tend not to understand this.

    --
    Joe
    Joe, Feb 18, 2011
    #11
  12. On 18/02/2011 01:29, Sylvia Else wrote:
    > On 18/02/2011 10:07 AM, John Larkin wrote:
    >> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 17:02:05 +0000, Dirk Bruere at NeoPax
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On 17/02/2011 16:00, John Larkin wrote:
    >>>> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:57:48 +0000, Dirk Bruere at NeoPax
    >>>> <> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-key-low-cost-solar-power-lies.html
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Thinking big while focusing on small, a solar company and a national
    >>>>> energy lab combined talents to develop a solar power concentrator that
    >>>>> generates electricity at prices competitive with natural gas.

    >
    >> It's not as though solar concentrator PV is a startling invention.

    >
    > And the price competitivity claim is spurious anyway, because PV and gas
    > generation have different levels of availability.


    Gas power stations can be turned on and off quickly.
    The perfect companion to solar electricity.
    Because within a couple of decades solar will be so cheap during the day
    that nothing can compete with it.

    --
    Dirk

    http://www.neopax.com/technomage/ - My new book - Magick and Technology
    Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 18, 2011
    #12
  13. On 18/02/2011 13:39, wrote:
    > On Feb 18, 5:25 am, Joe<> wrote:
    >> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 19:09:54 -0600
    >>
    >> John Fields<> wrote:
    >>> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:07:20 -0800, John Larkin
    >>> <> wrote:

    >>
    >>>> But various orgainzations (with MIT in the lead) press-release
    >>>> gee-whiz stuff like this roughly 40 times a day. Approximately 0% of
    >>>> it ever amounts to anything.

    >>
    >>> ---
    >>> So, according to you, they should all shut the **** up and kow-tow to
    >>> your edicts and abandon their quest for excellence because you say
    >>> they should?
    >>> ---

    >>
    >> Not at all, such an announcement should simply not be taken seriously.
    >> The time to get excited about it is *after* it goes on sale to the
    >> public.
    >>
    >> Safe, practical, commercial fusion power has been twenty years away for
    >> the last sixty years. Those who got excited about it sixty years ago
    >> are probably now flagging a little.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>>> It's not as though solar concentrator PV is a startling invention.

    >>
    >>> Poor baby, you decry innovations because they weren't yours.

    >>
    >> Again, I wouldn't have thought so. Innovation is always a good thing in
    >> itself, but innovation which is practical and offers results better
    >> than are currently available is much, much more valuable and much, much
    >> rarer.

    >
    > These sorts of development are interesting when real, entertaining
    > when not.
    >
    > Let's look at some of the math, shall we?
    >
    > "A six-inch square silicon wafer in traditional photovoltaic (PV)
    > panels
    > produces about 2.5 watts of electricity."
    >
    > 6" sq. = 0.023 m^2. Peak insolation is around 1kW/m^2 in the US, so
    > 1kW/m^2 x 0.023 m^2 = 23W. 2.5W / 23W ~= 11% conversion. So far so
    > good.
    >
    >
    > "That same-sized wafer, cut into hundreds of square-centimeter cells
    > in the Amonix 7700, each teamed with a Fresnel lens, produces more
    > than 1,500 watts. It reduces the required area for cells 500 times."
    >
    > That implies 500 suns' concentration, reduced by the added efficiency
    > factor 31%/11% or about 175 suns.
    >
    > 175 suns on a 1 cm sq. cell is about 18 watts' insolation. Seems
    > workable.
    >
    >> New is inherently good, but not necessarily better.
    >>
    >> People such as Tony Blair tend not to understand this.

    >
    > A congressman asked me why, if we can now run a whole LED flashlight
    > on a single alkaline AAA cell, why can't we (Congress) scale that
    > magic battery technology up and run electric cars on it?
    >
    > He was a decent guy AFAICT, well-intentioned, and prepared (and in a
    > position) to commit several billions to exactly that.


    You obviously missed your big opportunity:)
    More seriously, how about a campaign to only elect people who have a
    scientific or technical background to major political positions?

    All of the Chinese leadership are scientists or engineers by training -
    and it shows.

    --
    Dirk

    http://www.neopax.com/technomage/ - My new book - Magick and Technology
    Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 18, 2011
    #13
  14. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 18/02/2011 14:12, wrote:
    > On Feb 17, 6:47 pm, who where<> wrote:
    >> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:57:48 +0000, Dirk Bruere at NeoPax
    >> <> posted a long PR release:
    >>
    >>> http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-key-low-cost-solar-power-lies.html

    >>
    >>> Thinking big while focusing on small, a solar company and a national
    >>> energy lab combined talents to develop a solar power concentrator that
    >>> generates electricity at prices competitive with natural gas.

    >>
    >>> The Amonix 7700 Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Solar Power Generator,
    >>> developed by Amonix and the U.S. Department of Energy's National
    >>> Renewable Energy Laboratory, is the size of an IMAX screen but costs
    >>> much less than comparable generators, partly because of the efficiency
    >>> of its small solar cells. It delivers more "energy per acre" than
    >>> anything yet available in the solar energy world.

    >>
    >>> The 7700 uses acrylic Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight up to 500
    >>> times its usual intensity and direct it onto 7,560 tiny, highly
    >>> efficient multi-junction PV cells.

    >>
    >> which will do wonders for their operating temp, dopant migration, ....

    >
    > Maybe not. That concentration works out to ~17-18W / cm^2. That's
    > not obviously impossible.


    But it will require active cooling. If we are being generous then at
    default solar flux the ambient surface temperature is T ~ 300 (a nice
    round number 330 might be more accurate for sunny deserts and no wind).

    Left to its own devices a PV cell receiving 500x more sunlight will end
    up at T*(500^(1/4)) ~ 5T or 1500K. I grant you it is below the melting
    point of silicon on my lower estimate but at that flux density you are
    reliant on the flow of cooling water to keep the thing from cooking!
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    >>> A six-inch square silicon wafer in traditional photovoltaic (PV) panels
    >>> produces about 2.5 watts of electricity. That same-sized wafer, cut into
    >>> hundreds of square-centimeter cells in the Amonix 7700, each teamed with
    >>> a Fresnel lens, produces more than 1,500 watts. It reduces the required
    >>> area for cells 500 times.


    The Fresnel lenses still have to be the same size though. And I thought
    that of these technologies the non-focussing flux concentrators were
    preferred since they also work with diffuse light as well as sunshine.
    These are spin offs from HEP photon collecting and counting systems.
    >>
    >> Hang about. Do the math. Assuming ~1kW/m2 at the earth's surface
    >> (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_constant) their 6in*6in area
    >> would receive about 22.5 watts.

    >
    > Oops-I just posted the same. Should've read the whole thread first.


    And the PV converts about 10-20% of that into electricity.
    >
    >> If you focus that onto anything you
    >> cant't get more energy delivered. You *can* get higher spot densities
    >> but the delivered energy from the sun is stll only that 1kW per square
    >> meter of capture area. That's the limiting factor. I mean, who is
    >> really excited if you can take a 1m2 aperture and focus its incident
    >> energy onto a spot the size of a gnat's dick. You may get megawatts
    >> per square metre but (apart from vaporising the poor gnat's dick in
    >> nanoseconds) that's not helping generate more usable energy.


    There is another more fundamental point here. The sun is an extended
    object and round so the matching optics had better be right. A 1cm solar
    cell to get a 500x increased flux would require a 25cmx25cm fresnel lens
    in front of it with 1m effective focal length (doable).

    My experience of flux concentrators with PV systems has been that they
    do cook themselves fairly easily for even modest increases in flux
    density of 3-10x - although it is the plastic parts that fail first
    (either going opaque, yellow, brittle or combinations of all three).

    In its favour if you can keep the system from cooking at these flux
    densities you only need 1/500 of the amount of exotic semiconductor. Is
    this thing a real product operating somewhere or a venture capital
    launch announcement of an investment "opportunity".

    > Our Don Lancaster says a PV cell in the US yields roughly 5 hours'
    > peak output equivalent per day. So, that 1MW for 750 houses is about
    > 6.7KWHr / day per house, which isn't unreasonable. Just do all your
    > air conditioning and cooking during the day, when you aren't home.


    Traditional model is that you export it to the grid and it helps cool
    your workplace or run industry when you don't need it.

    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Feb 18, 2011
    #14
  15. On 18/02/2011 15:19, John Larkin wrote:
    > On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 10:25:01 +0000, Joe<> wrote:
    >
    >> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 19:09:54 -0600
    >> John Fields<> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:07:20 -0800, John Larkin
    >>> <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>> But various orgainzations (with MIT in the lead) press-release
    >>>> gee-whiz stuff like this roughly 40 times a day. Approximately 0% of
    >>>> it ever amounts to anything.
    >>>
    >>> ---
    >>> So, according to you, they should all shut the **** up and kow-tow to
    >>> your edicts and abandon their quest for excellence because you say
    >>> they should?
    >>> ---

    >>
    >> Not at all, such an announcement should simply not be taken seriously.
    >> The time to get excited about it is *after* it goes on sale to the
    >> public.
    >>
    >> Safe, practical, commercial fusion power has been twenty years away for
    >> the last sixty years. Those who got excited about it sixty years ago
    >> are probably now flagging a little.
    >>
    >>>
    >>>> It's not as though solar concentrator PV is a startling invention.
    >>>
    >>> Poor baby, you decry innovations because they weren't yours.
    >>>

    >>
    >> Again, I wouldn't have thought so. Innovation is always a good thing in
    >> itself, but innovation which is practical and offers results better
    >> than are currently available is much, much more valuable and much, much
    >> rarer.
    >>
    >> New is inherently good, but not necessarily better.
    >>
    >> People such as Tony Blair tend not to understand this.

    >
    >
    > Fields is fixated with me. Kinda sick and iccky, in my opinion. He
    > goes ballistic when I express opinions, even when I express reasonable
    > opinions.
    >
    > He told me he loved me once... look it up. That's even more iccky.


    Yes, but in a manly way - not like you were a sheep or something

    --
    Dirk

    http://www.neopax.com/technomage/ - My new book - Magick and Technology
    Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 18, 2011
    #15
  16. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 18/02/2011 16:09, Phil Hobbs wrote:
    > wrote:
    >> On Feb 18, 10:20 am, Martin Brown<|||>
    >> wrote:
    >>> On 18/02/2011 14:12, wrote:

    >>
    >>> My experience of flux concentrators with PV systems has been that they
    >>> do cook themselves fairly easily for even modest increases in flux
    >>> density of 3-10x - although it is the plastic parts that fail first
    >>> (either going opaque, yellow, brittle or combinations of all three).
    >>>
    >>> In its favour if you can keep the system from cooking at these flux
    >>> densities you only need 1/500 of the amount of exotic semiconductor.

    >>
    >> Less than that--you're forgetting the new cells' 3x higher conversion
    >> efficiency.


    Granted.

    Though it will depend on how well the exotic semiconductor holds up
    under the daily thermal stress which is going to be non trivial with
    agressive cooling on one side and 500x concentrated sunlight on the
    other. I can see it working in the lab OK for a year or two. But for 25
    years under the rigors of real world conditions...
    >>
    >>> Is
    >>> this thing a real product operating somewhere or a venture capital
    >>> launch announcement of an investment "opportunity".
    >>>
    >>>> Our Don Lancaster says a PV cell in the US yields roughly 5 hours'
    >>>> peak output equivalent per day. So, that 1MW for 750 houses is about
    >>>> 6.7KWHr / day per house, which isn't unreasonable. Just do all your
    >>>> air conditioning and cooking during the day, when you aren't home.
    >>>
    >>> Traditional model is that you export it to the grid and it helps cool
    >>> your workplace or run industry when you don't need it.

    >>
    >> I looked up the efficiency of pumped storage--70-85%. That's pretty
    >> decent.

    >
    > The problem is the size of the lakes required. Pumped storage has to be
    > done on a big enough scale to replace a significant fraction of fossil
    > and nuclear during the night (or during a week of cloudy weather).


    Nuclear goes to cover base load during the night and you use pumped
    storage to cover short duration fast transients like everyone turning on
    the kettle at half time in the world cup (World Series final) or
    whatever. The pumped storage generators can go from a standby tickover
    to 1MW synchronised output in under 16s which is impressive.

    In countries at lower latitudes with significant daytime aircon load the
    insolation and electricity demand are fairly closely correlated.

    Until we have cheap and photostable organic semiconductors that are
    screen or inkjet printable I think solar PV will always be a novelty
    that is usable only in the sunniest locations or off grid. Having said
    that market distortions have made it attractive for higher rate
    taxpayers to install a PV array if they have the room. Where else can
    you get a government guaranteed 8% ROI for 25 years today?

    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Feb 18, 2011
    #16
  17. On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 17:31:28 +0000, Martin Brown
    <|||newspam|||@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:

    >On 18/02/2011 16:09, Phil Hobbs wrote:
    >> wrote:
    >>> On Feb 18, 10:20 am, Martin Brown<|||>
    >>> wrote:
    >>>> On 18/02/2011 14:12, wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> My experience of flux concentrators with PV systems has been that they
    >>>> do cook themselves fairly easily for even modest increases in flux
    >>>> density of 3-10x - although it is the plastic parts that fail first
    >>>> (either going opaque, yellow, brittle or combinations of all three).
    >>>>
    >>>> In its favour if you can keep the system from cooking at these flux
    >>>> densities you only need 1/500 of the amount of exotic semiconductor.
    >>>
    >>> Less than that--you're forgetting the new cells' 3x higher conversion
    >>> efficiency.

    >
    >Granted.
    >
    >Though it will depend on how well the exotic semiconductor holds up
    >under the daily thermal stress which is going to be non trivial with
    >agressive cooling on one side and 500x concentrated sunlight on the
    >other. I can see it working in the lab OK for a year or two. But for 25
    >years under the rigors of real world conditions...
    >>>
    >>>> Is
    >>>> this thing a real product operating somewhere or a venture capital
    >>>> launch announcement of an investment "opportunity".
    >>>>
    >>>>> Our Don Lancaster says a PV cell in the US yields roughly 5 hours'
    >>>>> peak output equivalent per day. So, that 1MW for 750 houses is about
    >>>>> 6.7KWHr / day per house, which isn't unreasonable. Just do all your
    >>>>> air conditioning and cooking during the day, when you aren't home.
    >>>>
    >>>> Traditional model is that you export it to the grid and it helps cool
    >>>> your workplace or run industry when you don't need it.
    >>>
    >>> I looked up the efficiency of pumped storage--70-85%. That's pretty
    >>> decent.

    >>
    >> The problem is the size of the lakes required. Pumped storage has to be
    >> done on a big enough scale to replace a significant fraction of fossil
    >> and nuclear during the night (or during a week of cloudy weather).

    >
    >Nuclear goes to cover base load during the night and you use pumped
    >storage to cover short duration fast transients like everyone turning on
    >the kettle at half time in the world cup (World Series final) or
    >whatever. The pumped storage generators can go from a standby tickover
    >to 1MW synchronised output in under 16s which is impressive.

    <snip>

    I hope you mean 1GW. 1MW is UPS territory. ;-)
    Spehro Pefhany, Feb 18, 2011
    #17
  18. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 18/02/2011 17:44, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
    > On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 17:31:28 +0000, Martin Brown
    > <|||newspam|||@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:
    >
    >> whatever. The pumped storage generators can go from a standby tickover
    >> to 1MW synchronised output in under 16s which is impressive.

    > <snip>
    >
    > I hope you mean 1GW. 1MW is UPS territory. ;-)


    Ooops. Just testing to see if anyone is awake.
    Dinorwig manages nearly 1.6GW and is 12s to full load.

    http://www.fhc.co.uk/dinorwig.htm

    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Feb 18, 2011
    #18
  19. Dirk Bruere at NeoPax

    alang Guest

    On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 09:19:59 -0800, "Joel Koltner"
    <> wrote:

    >"Dirk Bruere at NeoPax" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> Gas power stations can be turned on and off quickly.
    >> The perfect companion to solar electricity.
    >> Because within a couple of decades solar will be so cheap during the day
    >> that nothing can compete with it.

    >
    >Wait, wasn't nuclear supposed to be so cheap that it wouldn't be worth
    >metering it? :)


    There was a headline in the late 1950s "ZETA! free power from the
    sea". I still have a reference to it in a book from the time.

    This was ZETA
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZETA
    alang, Feb 18, 2011
    #19
  20. On 18/02/2011 18:35, alang wrote:
    > On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 09:19:59 -0800, "Joel Koltner"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> "Dirk Bruere at NeoPax"<> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> Gas power stations can be turned on and off quickly.
    >>> The perfect companion to solar electricity.
    >>> Because within a couple of decades solar will be so cheap during the day
    >>> that nothing can compete with it.

    >>
    >> Wait, wasn't nuclear supposed to be so cheap that it wouldn't be worth
    >> metering it? :)

    >
    > There was a headline in the late 1950s "ZETA! free power from the
    > sea". I still have a reference to it in a book from the time.
    >
    > This was ZETA
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZETA


    And we might well have had controlled fusion by now if all the money had
    not been poured into Tokamak

    --
    Dirk

    http://www.neopax.com/technomage/ - My new book - Magick and Technology
    Dirk Bruere at NeoPax, Feb 18, 2011
    #20

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