Skip to comments.Photo of new Solar Power Pant on Ca 0 Nevada Stale Line.
Posted on 03/23/2014 9:34:30 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
@ 2.2 Billion dollars and Californians are paying for it in the electricity rates.
Those mirrors are Garage door sized.
Sorry about the Typos in the title.
OH MY GOD!!! Their killing the Desert Tortoise!!!
Don’t you dare ride your motorcycle, ATV or dune buggy in the desert, only green energy boondoggles are allowed to destroy the environment! It’s for gaia you know, and only greedy eco nazis know how to use America’s natural resources, all you lowly peons Eff off!
There are three of them idiotic things....
They are scorching birds too.,
Kirtland AFB in ABQ, NM built one of these in the 60’s for testing purposes. The rays would melt 1/2 thick iron plates. Birds flew into the beam and were vaporized.
I think they shelled out $40,000 at the time.
Direct solar works like a charm. Only can be used in situations like this though but it kicks in when it is needed.
not too many birds out that way, tho - ‘cept vultures, and the others will sit back and watch one go in and get fried. They may learn quicker than crows.
I want that job cleaning those mirrors.
I drove by those today in nasty traffic leaving Las Vegas. Couldn’t help but stare at the reflected sunlight from the three posts. Nearly got into an accident.
I remember Jaguar. During the 70s there were half a dozen good sized solar thermal electric plants, one of them in Italy that I recall studying carefully. I did a master's paper exploring the practicality for the few places where water vapor was low enough to possibley make them cost effective for generating electricity in some rural areas. My locales were Ica and Nasca in Peru, high plains of Brazil and a similar locale in Mexico. They failed because there is no way to get a higher energy flux at our distance from the sun, and the cost for generation, even when there was not competing alternative, was simply too high.
Water vapor typically absorbs twenty to fifty percent of the sun's energy over the US. Incident solar flux on a square meter in Death Valley is around 500 watts/square meter at high noon because of water vapor from the Imperial Valley.
In a vacuum a plane perpendicular to a line through the sun intercepts about 1 kw/meter squared for about 6 hours of each day. Lower than that there is too much atmosphere absorbing energy. Thus a thousand megawatt plant needs to provide four thousand megawatts and have storage for the eighteen hours when the sun isn't intercepting enough energy.
Then the conversion efficiency for solar thermal, including storage and transmission losses results in about 10% net efficiency, so the incident energy gets multiplied by 10. The equivalent of a small nuclear plant, 1000 megawatts would require about 40 million 1 square meter heliostats, or tracking mirrors, or ten million mirrors, each two meters to a side. This "back of the envelope" estimate is assuming the 1kw/meter squared number, which is not realistic in most of the US.
Years ago we found accident statistics for window washers working on twenty foot scaffolds. Solar is comparatively a disaster compared to nuclear just because of its enormous size. Besides, there isn't enough federal land in desert areas to put much of a dent into nuclear and hydrocarbon electric generation, which would remain about the same because society wouldn't tolerate cities without power during a mid-winter snowstorm, or lots of cloud cover. There needs to guaranteed base load generation, and sometimes the sun doesn't shine, and or the wind blow.
This is what Solyndra was all about. It sounds nice, and is guaranteed to fail by physical principles. this means the same boondoggle can be, and has been, used again and again because most of the public doesn't understand the guaranteed failure of the concept. It always sounds good. Its principle investor gets a guarantee that provided him a "bonus" after Solyndra declared bankruptcy of hundreds of millions of dollars (I think it was 400 million, but won't bother to dig out the exact number because rewarding an investor with taxpayer money is the crime).
Politicians can claim ignorance because it sounds nice, and bank the campaign contributions they don't need to spend provided by the phony solar corporations that only exist because of government subsidies. They tell you, honestly, that solar energy wouldn't survive without subsidies, and they are telling the truth. The market has already shown which applications make economic sense, and there are many; but solar thermal electric, or solar photovoltaic for base load is not practical, and only gets built to gild the pockets of solar opportunists. Those subsidies are the mechanism for redistributing taxpayer's money by taking advantage of the naivety of the public.
Literally, I am sorry to see your State have to bear this burden. And for the rest of us of this nation that will be forced through so many various means, to put out their tax dollars, sales tax for goods etc. extra charges toward these programs be forced whether they have a clue or not to support these type programs, that on the surface seem to hold so much promise but are in the reality as so often has been proven, bull shit.
I wonder how much fossil fuels they used in constructing this thing.
Some guy wanting to build a garden shed on his own property there would have to spend thousands of dollars greasing the palms of local planning commisions and environmental impact studies but this monstrosity gets billions in tax dollars.
Oh, I thought a solar pant was something Michelle or Hillary, with their . . . ER . . . Oversized posteriors could wear to be . . . ER, green. . . Ya know, hook up to the grid. . .
Let's hear it for an attractive nuisance crawling across the desert!
There’s a two foot fence all the way from I-15 to Ft Irwin (about 35 miles) which the government had to build to keep the Desert Tortoise from getting run over. Folks around Barstow call it the million dollar fence.
I think this system is modeled on the one in Spain that proved to be unable to sustain itself financially without government subsidies.
I sincerely had high hopes for solar energy as a major supplier of electricity after reading all the hype about the Spanish installation.
I hope this installation has learned from the past and will work better—and not wind up blinding pilots and migratory birds or something.
an NRG, GooGle and ‘Brightsource’ project as I recall.. doe subsidied and Kennedy sold..
>>Water vapor typically absorbs twenty to fifty percent of the sun’s energy over the US. Incident solar flux on a square meter in Death Valley is around 500 watts/square meter at high noon because of water vapor from the Imperial Valley. <<
Would a sun tracking Fresnel lens increase the output?
Would a sun tracking Fresnel lens increase the output?
I’m not a specialist in optics B4Ranch, but a Fresnel lens wouldn’t change the impinging solar energy flux. I’ve heard of some interesting applications for electrically focused Fresnel lenses, which might reduce the cost of tracking infrastructure, cost which is very significant when you are talking about ten million tracking heliostats.
Most large solar installations need tracking, especially those with tower receivers, necessary because the reflected energy must focus as much energy as possible on the receiver. The receivers are heat exchangers filled with plumbing through which a heat conducting fluid runs. I don’t know what they use today, but ethylene glycol was common thirty years ago. The receiver is so “black”, ideally a “black body” to absorb as much of the energy focused on it as possible. I once visited a smaller facility and was shown by its operators that the optical coating is so efficient that you see only blackness - no detail - when looking into the cavity.
“I think this system is modeled on the one in Spain that proved to be unable to sustain itself financially without government subsidies.”
Yes Wildbill. They look very similar. I wondered if the artwork might have been borrowed from the Spanish plant.
I had high hopes too, but learned after having to do a business plan, that Solar cannot be competitive with hydrocarbons or nuclear, and nuclear has no emissions that haven’t been dealt with for over sixty years. The beauty of nuclear “waste” is that radioactive emissions are so easy to see and manage, and because their relative volume is so tiny. Of course for the naïve there are always newspapers to sell because we can easily measure picocuries of isotopes, isotopes that we are exposed to every day by cosmic ray and other natural background radiation.
When Harry Reid can get a few more millions in donations from eco-lawyers by preventing the use of the completed storage facility in Nevada, there will be lots more nonsense about dreaded radioactivity from Fukushima contaminating California. Harry, when he finally retires, can then afford, like Al Gore, to buy that beachfront retreat, where he can watch the Pacific glow at night.