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solar collector hats

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  • Independent
    Massachusetts
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    Solar hats
    In something I read recently, some computation had been done of the required area of solar collection (panels) to meet the calculated present world energy needs including conversion to automotive power plants. My first question to the guy would be "show me your math". Kind of a "regional" situation of the way someone came up with the number of neural connections in the human brain being greater than the atoms in the universe. "Could you run me the research and calculations for your results?"
    But okay, so some 100,000 square miles panels which absorb X amount of radiation which, when converted becomes Y mgW or gW (gigaWatts) of electricity. There's surely 100,000 square mile of useable area on the earth much of it is in dry regions where disruption of moisture percolation back into the ground is no issue at all. And if birds get roasted mid-flight, perhaps the nomads on the ground would benefit from pre-cooked meals and thus have to burn less camel dung to cook with.
    At any rate, 100,000 mile, though, becomes somewhat a problem of the in-between. For a lot of regions just aren't suitably sunny for such massive collection spreads. One such is the whole Pacific Northwest. And lots of everywhere else. And nights. And when there are sandstorms even in the deserts. And we could go on and on
    defeating the very premise of the promise of the expanse as the solution to the collection.
    So this guy's research also took into account some kind of accounting ("show me the breakdown, buddy") of a summation of rooftops and parking lots and southward-facing walls and . . . . yes, distributing panel locations so that wherever the sun shines at least sometimes there's going to be collection, it seems proveable by the conversion of light to watts that solar energy could provide for most of the world's needs.
    Static. Getting into rampant mobility is a problem called "distribution". Routes such as rails can obviously be done electrically. But automotives can't be powered off overhead witers (catenary) such as the Hartford to NYC (and foreign rail) systems.
    I think it can be done (perhaps with the exception of extremely "heavy industry" such as steel manufacture, anodizing, smelting, etc.) But I think there should be (and there will be) reduction in use. Zip cars as needed. Less commuting perhaps by 4-10 hour days (which would save 20% fuel and emissions). More people returning to city/walking-distance living in lofts or, more and more multi-use buildings (residential and commercial/office).
    I don't think any "renewable conventionality" system is sensible or safe unless society and its systems are cut back from the binge of energy we now consume. We'll have to learn to find our way around without lighting up the night to daylight lumens. And we'll have to be prepared for "brownout" interludes at least regionally, due to cloud cover. And we should damn well be prepared for emergency situations such as some massive volcanic eruption that would block the sunlight with fumes and particulates perhaps for weeks.
    Thus, no matter how much and how fast we can convert to "renewables", we must maintain the remaining "conventional" resources and the systems that generate fuels and energy from them. We may need the backup paradigm even if every surface of everything including hats we'll wear have solar collectors on them.
  • Independent
    Massachusetts
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    The friggin wind blows a lot and all over. Not just where there's a great big propeller in the sky batting birds.
    The sun shines on all those surfaces (most efficiently the dark ones) when it shines.
    Cover everything there is to cover with panels and between them install mini-turbines.
    Make each roof a generating plant. DC current can be stored in conventional batteries (such as in conventional cars). Make part of each building's cellar a battery bank. Run separate circuits (or interface-circuits such as you'd have with a generator) to at least power the electronics and lighting (low energy demand.)
    Wouldn't it make more sense to put money into manufacturing and installing rooftop equipment for sustainable energy -- than just using up everything petro and "gaseo" from under the ground?
    Other options -- tethered to the earth, massive wind turbines held aloft in the jet stream. Tidal turbines in massive subway-size pipes (thus avoiding the ecological damage of interrupting tides in and out of natural estuaries.
    Bouys and other-shaped containers of systems (somewhat like self-winding watch mechanisms) that convert varied motions into rotation to generate electricity.
    There are so many alternatives possible, and many already feasible (such as solar) that it's a failure of both our private and public sectors that our nation isn't converting its system to a . . . . binary system (varied-input "sustainables" and "conventional" fossil fuel systems in cases required or scenarios of worst cases.
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    I have always been in favor of using solar power. I don't understand the technology of it, but I believe it will be much better over-all than any coal or nuclear option. It has many bitter enemies, though, because it is such good "competition" for the other fuel sources. And it would cut down their PROFITS.

    The latest word is that MANY STATES are going to "disallow Solar Power to work AT ALL" in their state. One of them is (I believe) the state of Florida. Can you even imagine a "naturally" sunshine state, to GET RID of their "solar power" opportunities? Just because the greedy Republicans have invested heavily in their competition? This has gone beyond simple Greed, right into complete criminal Incompetence.

    But in SEVERAL states, those most clearly able to use solar power very efficiently, & to their best advantage, are stubbornly REFUSING IT. Obviously, this is
    totally ILLOGICAL, blatantly Political, & an incredibly stupid waste of resources. (& taxpayers money.) SO, - How Can WE Make Them STOP THIS? Ideas?
  • Independent
    Massachusetts
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    Alternative energies competing with conventional resource profits is absurd, even mindless.
    To maintain profit levels, all the corporations have to do is manipulate prices. Raise the price, decrease the usage, come out even.
    Hah !!! Good luck.
    Raise the price enough, decrease the usage, and profit even more.
    Plus -- preserve the proven resource (petro, shale, gas) for the future in case alternative systems fail (such as solar due to excessive volcanic effluvience).
    And . . . . . (which is already being done far more than most would imagine) . . . the "conventional" corporations (such as Chevron and Exxon) invest their billions to develop and own the technology and its systems (solar collection and reflection, wind, tidal, hydro, etc.).
    Insisting on lowering price to increase consumption to increase extraction of finite natural resources to fuel and power the excesses we call progress is worse than absurd and mindless. It's INSANITY.