NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Solar challenge

Doug Keachie, sent me a note and then challenged me to post it. I have added my comments, but I will let you decided its value.

Not up to even having identifable posters having their stuff up before you can change it ?

Not even a moderated post ?

It's gotta go through e mail first ?
The Blogger server limits the length of comments to 300 characters, so I use e-mail. Your comment was over 1800 chacters. I am more that willing to post e-mailed comments of reders who want to be included in the discussion. If they do not give permission in the e-mail, I ask, before posting
Wow !

I thought his point was that the expected temps on the planets as black bodies did not match the actual temps, and I thought he made it very clear he wasn't pushing anything, just making an observation. You seem to have fun twisting the Mars data to fit your agenda.
Please explain how I have twisted the mars data?
A country that built the Atomic Bomb in 7 years. (It was "impossible" in 1938," according to many scientists.)

A country that got to the moon in another 7 years. ( Also decleared impossible or way too dangerous by many.)

Is a country that can't take the equivalent Federal expenditures today, truly adjusted for inflation, and make Super Cheap Solar Power a reality ????? Give me a break ! Look what you pay for air conditioning and insulation during the summer and tell me again there's not enough energy there or "it can't be done." The only thing stopping it is links from those in oil to the power structure, (putting Bush in actually saved a step here) funded by the money we chumps pay at the pumps.

For somebody running "insightworks" I'd say you and those like you have got a sincere case of "not invented here." Or, "I paid for nukes, I want Nukes, and damn the storage problems, stick it to the next generation."


Doug Keachie
Doug, do the math. Look at the power requirements in megawatts, then look at the solar generation capability of a solar panel. Divide the panel output into the megawatts required. Take the area of each panel, and then multiply by the number of panels needed to produce the desired output. How many square miles of panels do you need? One estimate is they would cover North and South Dakota. Wonder how Dakotans would feel about being covered by solar panels.

What is your cost per square mile? You should know, as current solar panel service life is about 20 years, with the output declining each year. That means you will have to over build to meet the declining output, and then replace it all in 20 years. Maybe the folks in eastern Montana should also be worried being covered by panels? Even the most efficient, 100 percent solar conversion, can only produce 1370 Watts per meter squared. Solar arrays will require considerable land area, regardless of the efficiency. Efficiency today is about 12 to 18 percent.

Now, let's look at some more details. Panels output is best between 9am to 3pm, six hours a day. Where does the power come from the other 18 hours? How do we store the solar energy? If you have a three day snow storm in North and South Dakota, where is the back up system? Are you going to but the backup solar array in Texas? As the economy grows, and our power needs grow, where do you locate more arrays?

Nuclear works 24/7 regardless of the weather, it has a small foot print, and new pebble bed technology is maing them safer, while producing less nuclear waste.

What do readers think? Is solar the wave of the future, or should we rethink nuclear?

Tell me what you think


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