Design Con 2015
Breaking News
News & Analysis

Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program

3/19/2012 07:31 PM EDT
13 comments
NO RATINGS
More Related Links
View Comments: Oldest First | Newest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
motti2
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
motti2   3/19/2012 8:59:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Fundamentally, any solar technology deployed at scale needs to properly be BASELOAD CAPABLE to deploy at scale and avoid damaging the power quality of the grid ( whether distributed on rooftops at grid scale or solar power plants ). Despite fascinating science and action in R&D and manufacturing advances in Photovoltaics, NO ELECTRICAL STORAGE TECHNOLOGY is cost effective for transforming actual photovoltaic intermitentcies ( fast passing cloud outages and OVERNITE power outages with PV ) into cost effective baseload power. The only BASELOAD CAPABLE solar power is Molten Salt Concentrating Thermal, with Molten Salt storage. Cost benchmarking between concentrating solar thermal versus PV hardly acknowledges that virtually any electrical energy storage costs renders Baseload ( batteyr backed ) PV UNAFFORDABLE, versus MS-CSP with MS storage is quite reasonable for the Complete Baseload capable grid scale solution. Soalr cells are toys, we will make huge advances in solar cell efficiencies ( Alta Devices is superb technology), but for BASELOAD ( realistic ) power quality, ANY Photovoltaics SOlution is ill advised ( being polite ). We need the Nevada SoCal desert to have installed ~50-100 GW of MS-CSP/ MS Storage & 100 GW of HVDC grid scale power lines built out from there to major population centers west of the Mississippi, versus all the tomfoolery of adhoc buildtouts of Photovoltaics that is not cost effective to render baseload capable in our lifetime.

motti2
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
motti2   3/19/2012 8:59:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Larger buildouts of Photovoltaics will merely exacerbate the BASELOAD power quality issues of PV, that presently in California, Natural Gas Power Plants are being deployed and upgraded, to run continuously ( burning NatGas ALL the Time ) for fast dispatch for PV outage remediation in lieu of actual prohibitively expensive electrical Batteries / Power Storage. Rather than a hodge podge Solar "solution", of PV then hugely costly electrical power storage ( esp where pumped hydro is impossible ) we need large scale deployment of MS-CSP / MS Storage that renders a cost effective immediate solution to BASELOAD quality SOLAR POWER NOW. The premature call to deploy PV at scale, reminds me of the purported imperative to deploy wind at scale, which has less predictable power quality than PV. Wind + BASELOAD batteries, is similarly ill advised, better replaced with Solar Updraft Wind Chimneys - which is solar thermal gradient windpower independent of prevailing surface windspeed ( it is a surface to altitude thermal gradient "windpower" )

rick merritt
User Rank
Author
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
rick merritt   3/20/2012 5:07:29 AM
NO RATINGS
I never heard of this molten salt technology. Can you provide a URL with an objective study about it?

Neo10
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
Neo10   3/20/2012 6:41:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Massive investment is immediately needed in phtovoltaic cell research and optimum energy capture and storage mechnism. At the present we are not in a position to supply a large load just with solar enegery at affordable rates. So instead the focus should be on more research and giving subsidies for hybrid power homes, that which use both locally generated solar power apart from the grid. These moves willl gradually reduce the total demand on the grid and in time we would also have more viable solar cell technology for massive deployment.

DanielRavenNest
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
DanielRavenNest   3/20/2012 7:10:16 PM
NO RATINGS
@rick.merritt: Mirrors focus sunlight on a tower with a black absorber. This heats a salt mixture to the melting point, which goes into a large storage tank. The molten salt then heats water to run a standard steam turbine/generator. The main purpose of the salt is to store some of the thermal energy to use when the sun is not shining. The reason to use salt is it's liquid at atmospheric pressure, so the storage tanks don't have to be pressurized.

Dave.Dykstra
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
Dave.Dykstra   3/21/2012 1:04:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Our entire energy industry is in need of overall (some of it quite literally), if it is to meet the needs of the next century. That will require massive investment to repair/replace/update and to develop the new technologies required. Solar is one part of the equation and, hopefully, the investment and necessary legal framework will be made.

Dave.Dykstra
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
Dave.Dykstra   3/21/2012 1:14:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Oops - meant to write "overhaul" instead of "overall".

PJames
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
PJames   3/21/2012 2:48:17 AM
NO RATINGS
I read some comparisons several years ago. One can probably find something more recent with a bit of googling. With PV costs crashing, I suspect that thermal solar is falling quite a bit behind. It does have storage ability, but it has the drawback of requiring as much water as any steam based power generation, which could be significant issue in the places most ideal for solar. One of the first solar plants to use molten salt was the Solar One in CA which was upgraded in mid 90's with molten salt. I believe the one with the most storage might be in Spain, which can provide 24/7 power in the summer... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemasolar

seaEE
User Rank
CEO
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
seaEE   3/21/2012 3:32:24 AM
NO RATINGS
How do I know that General Clark is more of an expert on solar energy than say, Charles Barkley?

nicolas.mokhoff
User Rank
Rookie
re: Geneneral Clark calls for U.S. solar program
nicolas.mokhoff   3/21/2012 4:24:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Clarke is chairman of the board of investment firm Rodman & Renshaw, and part of his portfolio is to study alternative renewable energy: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=122722&p=irol-govboard. He makes good points.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Most Recent Comments
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
EE Times Senior Technical Editor Martin Rowe will interview EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt.
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll