Solar vs. Wind energy

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by bushrat, Jan 15, 2015.

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  1. bushrat

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 29, 2014
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    I was just wondering, what would be more efficient: Solar energy or wind energy?

    Solar pros:
    • avg 30W per sq meter (I'm guessing)
    • no moving parts
    cons:
    • night, clouds, high latitude in winter
    Wind pros:
    • weather and seasons have no effect
    • any latitude is ok
    cons:
    • moving parts
    • wind not always availabe
     
  2. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    Solar is better in Arizona. Wind is better in Kansas. Pretty soon, all the fossil fuel worshipers will turn this thread completely political, and render it useless.
     
  3. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    depends on the weather ;). But no, really, it does. I read a book about it, so I'm an expert (Alternative Energy Demystified). Ok enough jokes, I did read the book and the book said different technologies are more or less appropriate for different regions/climates. More wind, more windmills, more sun, more solar.
     
  4. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    I prefer oil or coal myself. Both seem to work pretty well in all weather and lighting conditions.:p

    After that its wind for me.
     
  5. killivolt

    Active Member

    Jan 10, 2010
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    You might want to make an addition to Solar cons: Storage cost, Batteries or disposal, recycle once depleted.

    kv
     
  6. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Out of the two.....it would be solar.

    Wind energy should be outlawed.

    Within 10 years all flying creatures will be wiped out, because of these monstrosities.

    But the real danger is the planet over heating.

    You see the wind spreads the heat all over the planet.

    And if you use that wind for any other purpose.......you will certainly kill us all.

    As I see it.....wind energy is far more dangerous the nuclear weapons.
     
  7. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    sure hope that was tongue in cheek.
     
  8. killivolt

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    Jan 10, 2010
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    I guess wave energy is similar to wind; both have moving parts and could be argued not always available. But; I don't know arguments for impact on the environment; the problem is developing good devices for harvesting wave energy. They are still experimenting on the best designs. It's possible to recover energy but in what quantities and at what cost.

    With the launch of wind and solar it foreshadows other types of energy research and for now they will be on the leading edge. It may never result in a true power solution over fossil fuels; it seems the greater populations reside on the coast and more power hungry. If someone could argue developing a solution to harvest the Oceans wave energy; could be better solution to power the most hungry by virtue of greater population along coastal areas.

    kv
     
  9. stormbay

    New Member

    Dec 25, 2014
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    Combination of wind and solar works wonderfully well, especially when you have lifepo4 battery packs. Lead acid batteries give about 1/3 of their rated current storage and have very short life spans, whilst lifepo4 gives 100% if you want to use it and very long life spans. We use 80% of our lifepo4 battery packs capacity and this still gives us more than twice as much usable energy compared to lead acid.

    The birds living around our property are fully aware of our 350w wind generators, the blades are painted in coloured stripes which makes then really stand out. The other bonus with lifepo4 is you can get at least 50% of your purchase price back when you recycle them, unlike fossil fuels and lead acid, they are environmentally friendly.

    We got the cost of our system back in 3 years since getting of the electrical grid and now have free power for the next 20+ years, before we need to update. When you do the economics on it, we are tens of thousand of dollars better off each year. Never have blackouts, power bills or a lack of power. Add we make our own seed oil fuel, so life is now a cheap enjoyment, not an enslaved stressful burden. Have also changed over all our starter batteries to lifepo4 and now vehicles start instantly, have heaps of power for accessories and built them myself very cheaply.

    Now we have have energy self sufficient housing, cars, machinery, motorhome, motorsailer and when we need 3 phase power just switch on the seed oil powered generator. Add glass house aquaponics and it's called living in the 21st century, not clinging to past their use by date 19-20th century. Anyone can live this way, even if you live in an urban area you can cut your living costs by 50-85% easily, using this centuries technology and organic growing methods.
     
  10. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I would be surprised if a 350W (my laptop power supply is 90W, so your generator couldn't keep up with the needs of even four of those if being used to the max) wind generator would pose much of a threat to birds. The bird-killers are primarily the large commercial turbines, many of which are multi megawatt producers.

    How do you figure you are saying tens of thousands of dollars a year? My total annual electricity costs are between $1000 and $1200 a year and I'm not doing anything special to conserve energy and I think our energy consumption is pretty typical (I've looked it up from time to time and we are always in the ballpark). Just what are you doing that is consuming ten times the power of a typical household.
     
  11. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I think solar panels are more like 200W/m², though of course it depends on a number of factors.

    Weather and seasons most definitely have an effect on a wind turbine since the winds are almost always heavily influenced by both.
     
  12. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    As to which is more efficient, that in part depends on what measure of efficiency you are using and also the specifics of the application.
     
  13. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Where did you go to school?
    Last week you said the Electron Shell Theory (here) was the latest theory on the atom, and now this?
     
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  14. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Don't count on it -- consider the source.
     
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  15. stormbay

    New Member

    Dec 25, 2014
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    Our generator is 6kva, our solar panels consist of 3kw and 1000ah lifepo4 on one house, 2kw and 500ah lifepo4 on another and 3kw and 400ah lifepo4 on the workshop. There are two wind generators both 350w and provide extra power over night and on vey cloudy days. Our notor home also plugs into the workshop, which gives me another kw or solar and 500ah of lifepo4.

    I run a large workshop on our farm and build/repair everything myself, we use 3 phase power at times, so it doesn't take long to build up a big power bill.
     
  16. shortbus

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    Sep 30, 2009
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    Being that the blades spin, wouldn't they put more spin into the electric they produce?
     
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  17. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    That's ALL we need -- more spin regarding wind energy! :D
     
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  18. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Unfortunately, no. Electron spin is limited to values of +1/2 or -1/2 unless BR-549 knows of some newer data. :)
     
  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    @bushrat you should do some research. Insolation in Florida is 270 BTU/ft^2
    If solar panels are 40% efficient (latest development on Science Daily) that's more like 300 watts per square meter on your best day.

    Then again, I had a conversation with my sister about solar panels that went something like this: If it takes 20 years to pay for themselves and they have an average time between failures of 10 years, which is more ecological: several hundred pounds of exotic metals in the local landfill or water running downhill in Tennessee? But that's an entirely different question.
     
  20. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    I think I need to get my BS boot on some of it is getting kind of deep in here. :eek:
     
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