New solarcells cheaper per watt than fossil fuel

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by cc bcc, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. cc bcc macrumors 6502

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    #1
    CNN

    STMicroelectronics discovered new ways to produce solar power cells that will be able to compete with fosil fuel. Fosil fuel costs $0.40 per watt, these cell may cost as little as $0.20 per watt.

    --

    I'm confused with the price per watt indications. Shouldn't that be kW per hour or something?
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #2
    Re: New solarcells cheaper per watt than fossil fuel

    No, that's correct. This is why the world doesn't run on gasoline powered generators :) i do hope they can get these solar cells in mass production soon, there are a wide variety of applications where they would be useful. Unfortunately, they only capture about 10% of the available energy, whereas normal solar cells captureabout 20%-- so you'd need twice the space to get the same output. Still, it would be dramatically cheaper...

    pnw
     
  3. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #3
    This is very interesting. I have been intersted in solar power for over 20 years now. It is the cost that has held me back. Currently I have a house with a roof that faces South. With needing a new roof soon, solar is appealing!
     
  4. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

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    #4
    The oil company just will not let that to happen. The oil industry is too big and has too much money to sabotage anything.

    We are discovering or own DNA and we still using oil 200 years later? that is not because it is hard to find new systems, it is because politicians just do not want to. It took us less than 100 years from the first airplane to set foot on the moon and we still using fosil fuel to run our cars and many other things.

    Most of the politicians in the US, specially the Bush family, have shgares in oil companies like Shell.
     
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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  6. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    #6
    While I do agree that many politicians are in the pocket of oil companies (Bush especially) they (contrary to popular belief) can't sabotage alternative energy. Assuming that we can just come up with alternative energy very easily is laughable though. There is plenty of research into alternative energy (fuel cells, solar, etc...) but the time required is countless manhours. The problem isn't sabotage, but rather R&D funding. If the government spent a fraction on fuel cell research on what it does for defense we'd have fuel cell power everywhere. But it doesn't, so it'll take a while. It'll come (it's starting to hit cars and soon residential fuel cells will be common place).
     
  7. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #7
    Yeah really.

    Newer Tech, lets hope it *happens* this time.
     
  8. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #8
    Take the 200BN spent on the war to date, put it into alternative fuels, have an answer in less than 10 years, then forget about those contries selling oil. But our leaders are gutless, non-visionary fossils. And we all know why. Vote all of them out.
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #9
    This Kingman, AZ Project goes a bit further than the on-grid Armory Park project in Tucson, AZ

    Though the houses in www.armoryparkdelsol.com do qualify as very low energy home project, and the Zero Energy Concept home is feasible if people are willing to buy into a subdivision (meaning not yet).

    Though in Arizona the perfect complement to the Armory Park homes would be a cistern/grey water (laundry/shower) capture system for routing to landscaping.


    On-Grid Solar/Low Energy www.armoryparkdelsol.com

    OFF-Grid Solar Energy www.66greenwood.com
     
  10. cc bcc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Hmm Shell is a Dutch company, does it have anything to do with the appointing of a dutch politician as head of the NATO and our prime minister always kissing Bush's ass? (to the dismay of a lot of dutch people)
     
  11. sosumi macrumors member

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    #11
    Re: New solarcells cheaper per watt than fossil fuel

    I agree with you... I think the price must relect the amount of energy, not power.
     
  12. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

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    #12
    Re: Re: New solarcells cheaper per watt than fossil fuel

    Which makes it kWh, or kW * hour, not kW per hour. Am I making sense?
    Watt is a unit of energy per time, so you need to multiply by time to get back to energy. The official scientific energy unit is J (or joule) and a watt is a Joule per second, I believe. But kWh is used because it is a lot less confusing to Joe Public (i.e. us)

    Anyway...
     
  13. coolsoldier macrumors 6502

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    #13
    The price of solar energy is measured in kilowatts because the cost of implementing solar energy systems is all overhead -- there are no fuel costs. All of the money is paid up front, and the cost is for a specific amount of power, provided continuously (or at least when there's sunlight). Cost for fuel-based systems is usually measured in killowatt-hours, a measure of energy, because the bulk of the cost is in actually generating the energy.

    Does this make sense? (It makes sense in my head, but that doesn't always mean much... ;) )
     
  14. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #14
    makes sense, i dont see why the govt dont require all new homes to have at least one solar powered light such as in the kitchen. thats where we hang out the most but we have a attached room. this way there is real conservation going on by everyone and this would push down prices and increase competition.
     
  15. etoiles macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    #15
    Doesn't Bush have an 'energy friendly' house ? Don't get me wrong, I don't have much affinity for the guy, but I thought it was interesting how he manages his private ranch vs. the rest of the US...

    Anyway, one thing that gets me is how people decide to build cookie cutter houses in the desert. The houses are designed for mild climate and do not feature any protection from the sun, so they require lots of AC once placed in the desert. There is ways to build for those environments, but no, they want the same house they saw on the coast. And then they want to have a nice green garden with lots of grass and flowers and of course swimming pools and golf courses. Talk about a waste of energy (and water).
    I see it all over the place here in southern California. It is a friggin desert, why can't people adapt their lifestyle or go live where it might rain from time to time. Aaaargh, makes me mad.

    :mad:

    People here could easily cut down their energy consumption by half if they tried. And they could do it NOW, they don't have to wait for some magic technology to being developed.

    -rant over- ;)
     
  16. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #16
    Just remember that every transaction has both a buyer and a seller. Oil companies are powerful, but so are other industries that spend a *lot* of money on power. The oil companies do not have more clout than the combined power of every other industries. If companies like Wal-Mart, Intel, and DaimlerChrysler could save billions of dollars in power costs, they will certainly exert tremendous pressure to make that happen. Remember that corporations are only concerned with maximizing profits, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to reduce costs.
     
  17. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a

    bbarnhart

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    #17
    It would be interesting to note if a Wal-Mart or Home Depot sized building could support their electrical needs through a roof top array of these new, cheap solar panels.

    The previous poster had an interesting comment. If a Wal-Mart or Home Depot or any large company that could afford the initial layout of capitol (and assuming it would all work out) and it would save them money, they would go for it. Lots of companies are installing their own power plants at their factories (and even their business offices) because they have better control over their power. If power goes out, they have a backup to continue producing or they just use their own power exclusively and rely on the power company for a backup. Remember all the brown outs a few years ago in California.
     
  18. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #18
    <rant>
    I don't think that a great deal is going to come out of the US anymore, we are rapidly becoming a stagnant nation. The US peaked in performance in the early 50s and into 60s. At our rate of advancement at that time, we should have created a giant space station and colonies on at least the moon and Mars by now. The US is falling to demoralization. The star that burns brightest, burns shortest. Rome didn't burn down in a day. Never has this been more apparent that now that I am in college. I feel that even in an institution of higher learning, I am alone in my quest for knowledge. It seems as though nearly everyone else would rather go out and drink themselves stupid and get laid than do anything that would boost their own intelligence, and heaven forbid actually improve the quality of life on Earth or develop the sciences. NASA is crumbling under lack of care and funding meanwhile the China and European space programs seem to be in the news every day with their developments and missions. Americans are comfortable now and are foolishly and vainly confident that we are even the shell of the power we used to wield. As soon as leaders rise in China or Europe that are willing to test the waters of change America will be shown that we aren't not the overlords of the world, and that instead of demanding our way, we should first look and see if we are smashing anyone's toes.
    </rant>


    I love America with all that I am, and would give my life to see her prosper, but I feel that she is not the power she was, and that we must either realize that now, or be force-fed it later.


    edit: so fired-up made grammar errors, lol
     
  19. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #19
    our main problem is our govt with republicans and democrats constant bickering with each other and nothing gets done( or rather things get done for those special interest and joe tax payer gets screwed again & again by both sides. dont even mention NASA they have spent more money on studies/paperwork desiging & redesigning nothing with no way to space to show for it.
     
  20. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    #20
    Think "TERRAFORMING". In essence that is what they are doing. Terraforming the dessert into rich environment. Whether they know it or not. Most likely not. To each his own!

    I'll tell you this, the dessert would be a great place to own a solar powered home. You can do great things.

    ~e
     
  21. etoiles macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    #21
    Yes, terraforming. The same way they level whole hillsides to create an empty canvas for their houses. Everything becomes the same. Hardly 'enriching' if you ask me.

    As soon as you pull the plug it becomes desert again. In the meantime you 'steal' the water from other areas, riverbeds dry out etc.

    I don't say people shouldn't live in the desert, just saying they should aknowledge it and live with it instead of against it. That means harnessing the solar energy for one, accepting a different landscape/vegetation etc. You can do great things indeed. Last year I made some pizza, baked patatoes and more in a simple solar oven during a trip in the desert...and it was yummy, too :p
     

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