Almost Plausible Solar Takeover Plan

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In summary, the article discusses the concept of building solar capacity at a much higher rate than peak load, leading to a cost-effective renewable grid. While the idea has been previously dismissed, this article presents a more plausible approach. The overcapacity would allow for reliable power even on the worst case days, without the need for complicated systems. The article suggests 400% overcapacity, but the author argues for 800% to account for contingencies. This would require a significant investment, but it is possible over a period of time. The use of solar overcapacity could also be utilized for other purposes, such as producing hydrogen or fresh water. However, this approach may not work in areas with lower solar availability, such as northern and arctic
  • #106
berkeman said:
Too funny, that phrase gave me vertigo and sent me down a mental rabbit hole for about 30 seconds wondering what I was missing. Then I realized that there was an implied word that was counterintuitive for me (after reading "decreases") -- The PV cell efficiency decreases with increasing temperature

Sometimes my mind gets stuck and tripped up when parsing stuff... o0)

:smile:
Been there, done that.
 
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  • #107
berkeman said:
Sometimes my mind gets stuck and tripped up when parsing stuff... o0)
Could this maybe be a result of an experiment you once mentioned? IIRC it had to do with galvanic skin response. :devil:
 
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  • #108
NTL2009 said:
Have you estimated or calculated how hot the surface of a solar panel will get with a 10x concentration of sunlight?

Have you studied the effect that temperature has on solar panel efficiency?

Do you know the maximum temperature a solar panel can withstand before it is damaged?
No but it seems important, I should probably look into that.
Just offering another avenue for the r&d to look into, I will appreciate getting a cut of the gains if this invention is ever developed, I understand the hardest part is probably making new PV's that operate well under heat.

Just thought it might be easier for R&D to focus on creating new panels that operate well under heat, instead of focusing development towards 100% effeciency panels.
NTL2009 said:
Yes, but you need frames to hold them, and you need to protect them from wind, animals, etc. I don't think mylar film will stand up to much wind.
The prototype will be a polygonal design, since it will be difficult to print out curved rings. Instead it will be a ring comprised of flat planels with the mylar flatly glued onto the panels. The mylar needs to be as flat as possible so the mylar would have to be bought directly, before the creasing happens when it is folded into mylar blankets.
Windadct said:
The PV cell efficiency decreases with temperature - it looks like the maximum boost runs about 40% unless the PV is actively cooled.

The elevated temperature will probably not kill the PV outright, however all aging related effects are also accelerated at the higher temps.

There are some more novel PV technologies that would do better with the higher temps - but all of this is driving the price and complexity up.

This has been looked at from all angles.
This is unfortunate. Also I had another idea concerning my solar invention, but I forgot what it was. I should have posted it sooner when it was on the tip of my tongue.

anorlunda said:
@paradisePhysicist ,

It is a bit like Moore's Law with silicon semiconductors. There are always promising non-silicon competitors. But by the time they get perfected in performance and manufacturing, silicon improved so much that the competitors don't look so great after all.

PV performance, and manufacturing cost, and installation cost are all on exponential improvement curves. As I said in #100 of this thread, I expect to see robotic installation of solar farms analogous to agricultural crop handling.
Cool. Here is some news about gold and silver semiconductors. Sounds expensive but could be the future:
https://www.advancedsciencenews.com...e-next-big-thing-in-semiconductor-technology/
https://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news2/newsid=55301.php
Moore's law no longer applies to computing
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/02/24/905789/were-not-prepared-for-the-end-of-moores-law/
The CEO of Nvidia said this as well. Silicon has a huge head start but maybe eventually the gold and silver semiconductors will surpass the development speed.
 
  • #109
Concentrator panels exist. They are being sold commercially and produce some of the electricity in some grids. People have tested various different geometries and kept the designs that work best. They still come with significant downsides.

If you want to propose a new model then you first should figure out why this was discarded before you assume it must be something revolutionary.
 
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