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Re: East Coast outage?
- From: Iljitsch van Beijnum
- Date: Sun Aug 17 17:13:42 2003
On zondag, aug 17, 2003, at 20:57 Europe/Amsterdam,
Sure, a regular house has enough surface area to generate this
electricity, but not appartment buildings or businesses. But why have
the hydrogen in the middle? Batteries aren't as explosive. Also, it
seems that the large amount of hydrogen that will leak out (remember,
tinyiest molecules ever, but this is well established for other gasses
as well) don't do the environment much good.
The calculations I have seen of hydrogen produced vs watts in indicate
solar could supply enough hydrogen to more than satisfy
the requirements of a residential user.
I don't think wholesale replacement of our current power systems is an
attainable goal in our lifetime. (And it will happen automatically
anyway as oil starts running out and gets so expensive that people who
just want to burn it can't afford it anymore.) However, it is still a
very good idea to add more solar energy to the mix, both on the large
and the small ends of the scale.
Small: a few solar panels (with batteries) will give you at least
_some_ power when the utility power is out. Being able to recharge your
cell phone, run a light, a laptop and an ADSL or cable modem is much,
much better than nothing.
Large: demand for power peaks when it's hot, but generating capacity is
often much lower under these circumstances because river water gets
much warmer so power plants that need this water for cooling can't run
at full capacity. (We could be facing rolling blackouts because of this
soon in Europe.) Guess what: solar panels don't need cooling and their
output is highest when the weather is hot = lots of sunshine.
So, put them on your roof. Lots of unused space. No need to have huge
There has recently been a breakthrough that makes it possible to
convert more of the sun's spectrum into electricity. This could
potentially double the efficiency of solar cells in the future, then
maybe they'll be more cost efficient.
expanses for centralized generation. I've read of Solar Cells as
materials, using the Cells as the shell of the house.