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Old 07-16-2015, 12:44 PM   #151
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Re: The Environment

I do think 5 years is about right for battery storage in residential to get interesting, dePending on Elon Musk.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:32 PM   #152
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Re: The Environment

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I do think 5 years is about right for battery storage in residential to get interesting, dePending on Elon Musk.
Yeah I'd assume that is another innovation that is likely to takeoff first in the same areas that solar has. If EVs are more widespread by then, people could just completely go vertical.

What do you think the financials of that would look like? Battery storage is going to be atleast 8-10k then solar another 12-15? So 20-25 and you save around 5-8 a year on electricity and car fuel. At first when costs are high you almost have to have an EV for it to be a great investment. #s just estimates...

Although who knows what tax credits are avail then. If any...

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Old 07-16-2015, 07:45 PM   #153
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Re: The Environment

BTW Saw Mark Jacobson mentioned in the thread. GreenTechMedia's podcast actually had a debate with him and a guy from the Center for Industrial Progress (right wing think tank group) It is pretty good. Both made good points.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...energy-by-2050
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:59 PM   #154
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Re: The Environment

I'm missing Intersolar in San Francisco right now. Had a free pass, but too busy. I went last year and there were several new lithium battery storage products, but none were available. There is one system, I know of, which I have installed once a few years ago. At that time the material was about $4500 or so. It wasn't designed for full off grid use, but more like emergency use. Like, if there's an earthquake they will be ok if they are very conservative. It was a ton of work to set up and configure though, so there was a lot of cost in that. The newer systems are supposedly more like set up correctly at the factory, but none of them were really available last year. I don't know what's available this year, checking my bombardment of emails I don't see anything with a price listed.

There is lower hanging fruit for battery storage. In the commercial/industrial world people are billed demand charges based on their peak 15 minutes of demand for the month (at least around these parts). This can be a big part, like maybe 30%, of their bill. If their demand is uneven, that will lead to a higher demand charge. Using batteries they can smooth out their demand and lower those charges. There are a few companies selling systems for that, including Coda, which used to make electric cars.

Not that that's necessarily relevant, but battery tech will continue to develop as the market expands which it will do. It doesn't has to necessarily happen all at once, crossing some threshold where it becomes an easy solution for homeowners.


thx for the podcast link, will listen when I get the chance.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:35 PM   #155
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Re: The Environment

http://fortune.com/2015/04/25/billio...ersus-big-oil/

Few month old piece but talks about the powers that be, uber-elite rich getting behind CleanTech.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:47 PM   #156
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Re: The Environment

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I do think 5 years is about right for battery storage in residential to get interesting, dePending on Elon Musk.
And how much quicker would it come if there was more than one dude working on the problem?

Seems very short sighted for more companies not to get behind this early.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:02 PM   #157
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Re: The Environment

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And how much quicker would it come if there was more than one dude working on the problem?

Seems very short sighted for more companies not to get behind this early.
Well, of course there's more than one. Like I was saying, there were a number of products at the trade show last year, and that's farther than Elon has gotten so far. We'll see what happens with the Gigafactory.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:17 PM   #158
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Re: The Environment

I wonder how far along the big battery companies like JCI or BYD in China are with their own battery storage products.

It really is the gamechanger that brings everything together and puts stuff like EV/solar on a different level economically.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:36 PM   #159
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Re: The Environment

Micro any thoughts on the SunEdison/Vivint deal? They paid a lot for them.

I've heard Vivint has terrible sales people that resemble the subprime mortgage industry.
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:24 PM   #160
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Re: The Environment

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Micro any thoughts on the SunEdison/Vivint deal? They paid a lot for them.

I've heard Vivint has terrible sales people that resemble the subprime mortgage industry.
I don't really know anything about Vivent, they don't seem to be big around here. SunEdison does a lot of big projects.

I wouldn't be shocked at any level of terrible for sales people.

Just in the last 10 minutes I had to sorta deal with the idiocy of some salespeople who convinced a customer that the West-Northwest roof face was better than the East-Southeast roof. I'm just the subcontractor on this deal. My opinion will not prevail and the customer will lose 15% of her power for the rest of eternity.

Ok, that's not the kind of badness you were talking about, but being persuasive even when making things up is a hallmark of salespeople.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:40 PM   #161
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Re: The Environment

Any reason they sold them on West/Northwest over East/Southeast other than idiocy? Agenda or just incompetence?

East/West is better than North/South in general for roof direction isn't it?

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Old 07-21-2015, 12:11 AM   #162
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Re: The Environment

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Any reason they sold them on West/Northwest over East/Southeast other than idiocy? Agenda or just incompetence?

East/West is better than North/South in general for roof direction isn't it?
The best direction is South. East and West get the same amount of sun. There are a couple issues that could make either East or West better than the other. One is weather. A place that in generally more cloudy in the morning will get better production on the west and generally more cloudy in the afternoon, better on the east. Another again is weather, the panels produce most power when it's cold and sunny. This is not a huge effect, but higher temperatures will lower production, which would favor the east.

But...and just making a good (it's right) assumption, here's the reason:

The salespeople believe west is better than east because at some point someone told that to them. The reason that used to be true is because the utility gave bigger rebates for west facing arrays than east facing arrays because the utility prefers production in the afternoon because they have higher use in the afternoon. So, it became sort of standard to say west is better than east. This utility rebate, in this area has run out, so it's no longer relevant. It could still be true if the customer is on time of use where they are charged different rates at different times of day and they would be charged more in the afternoon. That is unlikely in this case because it's generally something someone does on purpose when they get solar, but that would require more sophistication than these particular salespeople have.

BUT...this isn't really west vs. east. It's a good 20 degrees north of west vs. 20 degrees south of east and north is the worst direction unless you're in New Zealand or something.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:11 AM   #163
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Re: The Environment

re: Energy Storage

Read this about a month ago, not sure if it's been posted on 2+2:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdet...gh-technology/

http://planetsave.com/2015/06/28/lit...-cut-costs-50/

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Old 07-21-2015, 02:09 AM   #164
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Re: The Environment

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...driving-energy

Good pod from a few months back with sunedisons CEO.

He makes the point that solar will get cheaper and then just being a big solar company may not be very profitable. Sounds like this foreshadowed adding Vivint to their portfolio as they can give it the necessary vertical backing and others will fall by the wayside.
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:32 AM   #165
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Re: The Environment

I don't think in the long run Vivint, SolarCity, Sungevity, etc. are successful business models. And in the short run, SolarCity lost $56M last year and Vivent lost $29M, so maybe not in the short run either. I worked with Sungevity for a few years and their big positive announcements were always about big investments people were making in the company, ie. how much money they were losing. (they aren't public so the profit/loss not publicly available)
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:39 AM   #166
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Re: The Environment

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I wonder how far along the big battery companies like JCI or BYD in China are with their own battery storage products.

It really is the gamechanger that brings everything together and puts stuff like EV/solar on a different level economically.
Many hobbyists electric car and off grid solar have been using lithium iron phosphate for several years. Many say they would not even consider lead acid again. I had a hobby system up with balqon batteries. Took it down.

http://www.balqon.com/store-2/#!/160...tegory=2736691

You probably could put 4 of the 40 ahr in as a drop in replacement on most cars without replacing charge controller or anything. But I would need to check voltages of the regulator first. Most sealed battery settings of 28.00 Volts work fine for 24 volt system.

Assuming 1.5 watt hour of storage (50% DOC) at 7000 cycles (20 years) for $1. That is 105 kwh of storage at $1. About 11 cents a kwh to store power using technology that will only improve. Furthermore putting batteries in a room under static temperatures you might even get more energy stored in them.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:53 AM   #167
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Re: The Environment

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I should have caveated that I know nothing about the current Australian government other than them shipping refugees to a prison on a tiny remote island.

Their recent pace of residential solar installations had really been astounding though.
Not really and it has nothing to do with liberal government that have slowed solar adoption in the U.S. putting in large red tape fees to protect their electricity cash cow. They can install cheap Chinese panels there, like the Iphone toys they actually consider solar panels to have higher value. The economics of solar in rural areas in Austrailia with all that sun has to be a large no brainer with no incentives. Citizens can install their own systems at about $1 per watt.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle23824511/

This is a reason never to vote for Donald Trump. The people benefit by free trade, even to China.

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/...ree-trade.html

The problem in the United States is that minimum wage laws prevented the solar industry to grow in this country. There is no doubt Evergreen Solar would be making solar panels for less than $0.50 a watt today and be profitable without minimum wages laws. The people would get to enjoy the business and the workers would have good jobs that contribute to humanity.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:34 PM   #168
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Re: The Environment

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I don't think in the long run Vivint, SolarCity, Sungevity, etc. are successful business models. And in the short run, SolarCity lost $56M last year and Vivent lost $29M, so maybe not in the short run either. I worked with Sungevity for a few years and their big positive announcements were always about big investments people were making in the company, ie. how much money they were losing. (they aren't public so the profit/loss not publicly available)
Putting solar panels on your roof is a very competitive business. Like putting in a water heater or new roof tile. They only have the advantage of financing, leasing, insurance all rolled into one. However, the profits will still be thin.

The median installed price of residential PV installations in 2013 (excluding sales/value-added tax) was just $2.1/W in Germany, $2.7/W in the United Kingdom, $2.9/W in Italy, and $4.0/W in France, compared to $4.4/W in the United States. Thus, the incentive programs are all busts that really only transfer tax money to the installers.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:07 PM   #169
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Re: The Environment

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Putting solar panels on your roof is a very competitive business. Like putting in a water heater or new roof tile. They only have the advantage of financing, leasing, insurance all rolled into one. However, the profits will still be thin.

The median installed price of residential PV installations in 2013 (excluding sales/value-added tax) was just $2.1/W in Germany, $2.7/W in the United Kingdom, $2.9/W in Italy, and $4.0/W in France, compared to $4.4/W in the United States. Thus, the incentive programs are all busts that really only transfer tax money to the installers.
And the big installers aren't making money. The extra all goes into monsterous marketing and administrative costs.
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:34 AM   #170
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Re: The Environment

GE trying to compete with Tesla in the battery storage space.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/0...0Q00F520150726
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:42 AM   #171
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Re: The Environment

GE was also going to manufacture solar panels, but they gave up on that in 2013.

It's very difficult to set up manufacturing business for something that's constantly decreasing in price.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:08 PM   #172
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Re: The Environment

The EPA accidentally releases a million gallons of water held behind a barrier in an abandoned gold mine. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...colorado-river

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Old 10-01-2015, 01:14 AM   #173
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Re: The Environment

Cowspiracy

Documentary on Netflix streaming

It's not the greatest documentary in the world. The guy who made it is very average Joe and very front and center. Kinda makes it seem a bit weaker imo. BUT, it's just all stuff that pretty much everyone knows, but doesn't want to think about.

Animal agriculture is one of the biggest problems on the planet in many different ways.
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:43 AM   #174
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Re: The Environment

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Cowspiracy

Documentary on Netflix streaming

It's not the greatest documentary in the world. The guy who made it is very average Joe and very front and center. Kinda makes it seem a bit weaker imo. BUT, it's just all stuff that pretty much everyone knows, but doesn't want to think about.

Animal agriculture is one of the biggest problems on the planet in many different ways.

Ya it isn't the most well done documentary but I had no idea the magnitude of impact livestock had on the environment. I actually didn't believe it at first and looked it up and it was true. It has for sure motivated me to try and eat less meat, maybe someday go vegetarian/vegan.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:35 AM   #175
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Re: The Environment

Many hate this response as population gives you more innovation. But the natural state of man is 0.5 per square mile. Consider the United States as 1000 miles by 3000 miles, that is 3 million square miles or a population of 1.5 million.

Without hybrid corn and crops we already would have a lot of famine. What is hybrid corn, it is where you take a corn and inbreed it to death and cross it with another inbred corn. The offspring, happens to be super corn.

Without that and modern machinery and genetically modified crops we already would be starving. Wheat production has triple per acre since 1961. Thus, next 100 years food security is probably safe. Safe at the expense of natural and wild foods.

http://igrow.org/agronomy/wheat/look...duction-in-sd/

The only thing that ultimately stops life is food and famine. Laws will be changed to make abortion illegal, then probably birth control. It will be a numbers game if you have 2 children you will be overrun by moral values of those that have 5-6 kids. If you don't have 5 kids you will probably have to pay double the tax. But, in the end the food runs out, then there is a war until the rebalance. Then we will be back track to have a major war every 50 years where 25-50% of the people die. What will be the result of the wars? To make birth control a capital offense!

The thing that might save us is space, where you can send the excess population. Mars is too far from the sun, but there will be greenhouses near Venus. People might live on Mars but get their food from Greenhouses. Evenutally people will learn to live a complete life without a planet. From there the whole galaxy is open, but eventually in the galaxy every ray of light will be used to make food for humans. Then the wars start again.
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