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World’s first solar road opens in France and its costs €5 million a kilometer!

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7 hours ago, Wolther said:

Too expensive. What if a part of a road cracks? You need to replace that part of the road, from what would've been an inexpensive and fast job turns into an expensive and time consuming job

This is one thing that struck me right away. I have done road works in the past and i've worked on one of the highways that was recently built here in sweden.

Now mind you i was just a hired worker. I sat in my digger and i wasn't involved with the actual planning or engineering but i sort of know how the ground works.

The few things i'm wondering how they will deal with are long term ground related issues. When roads are built there is a lot of care put into grading and packing the soil and gravel before the tarmac is laid down. But you can only do so much. Different sections of the ground will sink down over time. I don't know all the words for what i'm talking about in english so this is turning out to be difficult to describe.. The highway that was built a while ago looked great when it was first built. But now parts have sagged and it doesn't look that great anymore. The difference that makes over time could cause problems for the roadway. Depending on the flexibility of its construction over time. 

Found the word i was looking for. "Subsidence" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidence

 

Ground frost is the paved roads most common enemy. When the water in the ground freezes and thaws a couple of times it may cause complications

rosteettatjaleiasbackavagen10-1.jpg

Pretty common to see cracks form in the surface over here. Don't know about northern france though. 

 

The surface being covered in solar panels might be a good thing if they stay together through the regular wear and tear a road is put through over the years.

Less chance of pot holes and such. But the ground underneath the road will probably still shift over time and cavities could probably form underneath the panels.

 

Apologies if this isn't particularly coherent. Its 04:37 over here and i was about to crawl over to my bed when i spotted this thread. I could try to answer more specific questions tomorrow when i'm a bit more awake. Will probably try to find some sort of documentation on the roads engineering too. Would be interesting to see how they made it work.
(Not a geologist or anything. Just picked up a few things here and there when i worked in excavation.)  

 

As for the road itself i'll be interested to see how it holds up and what becomes of it. If i had the money i'd probably go check it out xD. (Among other reasons to visit france) 


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I see major fail in the future ... 

First Solar road is laid down > first snow falls > (wait for it) > snow plows hit the road > . . . . . . solar layer get peeled off.

200.gif#23

 

 

lol...


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10 minutes ago, SansVarnic said:

I see major fail in the future ... 

First Solar road is laid down > first snow falls > (wait for it) > snow plows hit the road > . . . . . . solar layer get peeled off.

200.gif#23

 

 

lol...

The photovoltaic cells will be set underneath a few layers of substrate for protection.


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7 minutes ago, ARikozuM said:

The photovoltaic cells will be set underneath a few layers of substrate for protection.

I know, but you killed my joke ...


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4 minutes ago, SansVarnic said:

I know, but you killed my joke ...

I guess I defrosted your joke?


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Such a dumb idea. Put them on roof tops, where they are efficient and useful.

 

Been debunked as a good idea several times.


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On 12/24/2016 at 8:38 PM, TetraSky said:

Solar can meet the the energy demand of the entire world if we just build a large enough "farm" of it.

http://www.businessinsider.com/map-shows-solar-panels-to-power-the-earth-2015-9

We just need to essentially cover an area the size of Spain with solar panels, to power the ENTIRE world.
If the US actually invested in Solar, you wouldn't need Nuclear, or coal, or oil for that matter. Too bad the lobbyists are making sure it doesn't happen.

Solar isn't better for the enviroment, it isn't cheaper, it isn't safer than nuclear power (current nuclear fission reactors). And you are instead using a giant uncontrolled nuclear power plant 100million miles away. 

 

https://www.google.com/amp/www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/?client=ms-android-verizon

 


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1 hour ago, Curufinwe_wins said:

Solar isn't better for the enviroment, it isn't cheaper, it isn't safer than nuclear power (current nuclear fission reactors). And you are instead using a giant uncontrolled nuclear power plant 100million miles away. 

 

https://www.google.com/amp/www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/?client=ms-android-verizon

 

I'm going to challenge that statement. Solar is better for the environment, at least when looking at classical sources of energy conversion: Coal, Natural Gas, and oil. The  article you linked talks mainly about the deaths associated  with each source of energy and the potential health issues that it'll cause for workers/people and the burden it may put on out healthcare system. That being said, I do agree (as do a lot of engineers) that nuclear power is the way to go. The issue being that politicians and the undereducated population see nuclear as danger or being 'unsafe', which isn't the case anymore. Nuclear gets the most "bang for the buck" in terms of energy output to input fuel required, but it doesn't come without caveats, like nuclear waste. (I'll exclude Thorium reactors and fusion from this discussion to keep things simple). The issue still remains about what to do with byproducts from nuclear energy. According to the US Government Accountability Office:

Quote

Commercial nuclear power production in the U.S. has resulted in over 70,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel—fuel that is used and removed from nuclear reactors—and the inventory is increasing by about 2,200 metric tons per year. If spent nuclear fuel assemblies were stacked side by side, they would fill a football field over 17 meters deep. In addition, nuclear weapons production and other defense-related activities have resulted in about 13,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level nuclear waste. This high-level waste is extremely radioactive and needs to be isolated and shielded to protect human health and the environment. It is currently being stored primarily at sites where it was generated. After spending decades and billions of dollars to research potential sites for a permanent disposal site, including at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, the nation remains without a repository for disposal and future prospects are unclear.

Source: http://www.gao.gov/key_issues/disposal_of_highlevel_nuclear_waste/issue_summary

 

We have a logistics issue with nuclear, we have absolutely nothing to do with the nuclear waste we produce. We came up with a disposal site in Nevada, and that ended up less than stellar, since it was never officially finished, went out of budget, and President Obama more or less forced its shutdown.

 

Back to solar. Silicone manufacturing in photovoltaic cells is a fairly well studied. The life cycle assessment for a solar panel is somewhere between 1.3 to 2.7 years. Meaning: after 2.7 years of producing solar energy, a photovoltaic panel starts to offset its original energy footprint required to be manufactured. Most solar panels have a CO2 per Kwh equivalent between 37 to 72 grams (Source). By contrast, Natural gas has a CO2 per kwh production of ~1.2 Pounds! Coal is even worse at ~2 Pounds.

Source: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=74&t=11

 

By the way, nuclear power plants still produce more CO2 per Kwh than solar. For nuclear, its estimated at 99 grams CO2 per Kwh in a study published by the NREL.


TL;DR: Solar gives nuclear energy a run for its money. Its safer with no byproducts and is within the margin of error to match nuclear energy's CO2/Kwh lifecycle assessments. On the flip side, nuclear has better bang for the buck with higher energy output per unit of fuel.

 

EDIT: Since someone is going to say that solar cant produce energy at night time,  I may need to remind you guys that not all power is produced by photovoltaic, some of it is solar thermal, or hydronic. Where water, glycol, or salt water are heated up to collectors and converted into steam or vapor mixtures to drive turbines for power. During the daytime, off peak power can be used to compress air and water vapor for storage. That stored vapor can then be used at night.

Examples: Ivanpah Solar Power Facility

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility

Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility.jpg

 

Another example: Nevada Solar One

galeria_nso_1.jpg

 


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4 hours ago, ionbasa said:

Nuclear gets the most "bang for the buck" in terms of energy output to input fuel required

Probably not the best choice of words if you know what I mean ;)

 

Anyway for a country like mine we will never really need to use nuclear power, or not any time soon (100+ years) and not in it's current form/technology. Plus we as society are still very nuclear free in mind set, ignoring all the medical use cases.

 

At some point all houses should produce some amount of power or heated water, 100% grid is just a bad strategy. We have lots of wasted roof space for solar hot water, PV solar and small scale quiet wind, you don't need to produce a lot or even enough to power the house but if EVERY house did it that is a significant reduction in central grid supply requirement.

 

P.S. Those giant solar power stations that use molten salt are also giant solar death rays, instantly cooking birds is actually a problem. This issue is basically solved now but the concept of instant KFC is rather amusing.

 

Quote

Over a six-hour period, biologists counted 130 "streamers," or trails of smoke and water left behind as birds ignited and plummeted to their deaths. Rewire’s anonymous source said that at least one of the birds "turned white hot and vaporized completely."

http://www.popsci.com/solar-power-towers-are-vaporizing-birds

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5 minutes ago, leadeater said:

P.S. Those giant solar power stations that use molten salt are also giant solar death rays, instantly cooking birds is actually a problem. This issue is basically solved now but the concept of instant KFC is rather amusing.

http://www.popsci.com/solar-power-towers-are-vaporizing-birds

 

 

I spent a good 3 minutes thinking of fried drumsticks falling out of the sky!


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On 12/24/2016 at 9:38 PM, TetraSky said:

Solar can meet the the energy demand of the entire world if we just build a large enough "farm" of it.

http://www.businessinsider.com/map-shows-solar-panels-to-power-the-earth-2015-9

We just need to essentially cover an area the size of Spain with solar panels, to power the ENTIRE world.
If the US actually invested in Solar, you wouldn't need Nuclear, or coal, or oil for that matter. Too bad the lobbyists are making sure it doesn't happen.

During the day maybe but two things come into play when we are talking night time supplies, 1 Batteries are very poor at storing energy in a long term sense, 2 the grid cannot function solely on solar due to weather fluctuations that can cause night reserves to falter.

 

Lastly we did invest in solar during the last 8 years under obama, it isn't a grid wide solution it is at best a good supplement to the grid during summer months (when AC usage spikes power usage)

 

(Also you make it sound like covering the total landmass of spain is a small feat and forget the pannels have to be cleaned)


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3 minutes ago, AresKrieger said:

During the day maybe but two things come into play when we are talking night time supplies, 1 Batteries are very poor at storing energy in a long term sense, 2 the grid cannot function solely on solar due to weather fluctuations

 

Lastly we did invest in solar during the last 8 years under obama, it isn't a grid wide solution it is at best a good supplement to the grid during summer months (when AC usage spikes power usage)

 

4 hours ago, ionbasa said:

EDIT: Since someone is going to say that solar cant produce energy at night time,  I may need to remind you guys that not all power is produced by photovoltaic, some of it is solar thermal, or hydronic. Where water, glycol, or salt water are heated up to collectors and converted into steam or vapor mixtures to drive turbines for power. During the daytime, off peak power can be used to compress air and water vapor for storage. That stored vapor can then be used at night.

Examples: Ivanpah Solar Power Facility

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility

 

Batteries are not used in solar power stations and they work in all weather. Cloudy and rain doesn't hurt solar as much as you might think, PV much more so than molten salt solar power stations.

 

Edit:

Ok all weather is not quite correct, snow is clearly a 100% blockage. But you don't build these solar power stations where it's common for it to snow.

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11 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Batteries are not used in solar power stations and they work in all weather. Cloudy and rain doesn't hurt solar as much as you might think, PV much more so than molten salt solar power stations.

*Batteries have to be used if solar is the main backbone for the grid otherwise you would have no power after the sun went down, as for how much the efficiency goes down due to cloudy weather it depends but your right it isn't as bad for PV (I'd guess no more than 30% unless extreme weather conditions) however 30% during peak hours would still require a sizable surplus thus throwing predictions on landmass used out the window

 

(*unless you say pumped water into a dam or some other kinetic storage method)

11 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Ok all weather is not quite correct, snow is clearly a 100% blockage. But you don't build these solar power stations where it's common for it to snow.

Hence why solar isn't realistically viable in NE where I live

Edited by AresKrieger

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27 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Probably not the best choice of words if you know what I mean ;)

 

Anyway for a country like mine we will never really need to use nuclear power, or not any time soon (100+ years) and not in it's current form/technology. Plus we as society are still very nuclear free in mind set, ignoring all the medical use cases.

 

At some point all houses should produce some amount of power or heated water, 100% grid is just a bad strategy. We have lots of wasted roof space for solar hot water, PV solar and small scale quiet wind, you don't need to produce a lot or even enough to power the house but if EVERY house did it that is a significant reduction in central grid supply requirement.

 

P.S. Those giant solar power stations that use molten salt are also giant solar death rays, instantly cooking birds is actually a problem. This issue is basically solved now but the concept of instant KFC is rather amusing.

 

http://www.popsci.com/solar-power-towers-are-vaporizing-birds

That's way out of date. They've solved that problem for solar towers and windmills. They generate irritating noises that birds avoid. They never get close enough to be smacked or fried. The right-wing propaganda on that needs to be taken to task.


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7 minutes ago, AresKrieger said:

Batteries have to be used if solar is the main backbone for the grid otherwise you would have no power after the sun went down, as for how much the efficiency goes down due to cloudy weather it depends but your right it isn't as bad for PV (I'd guess no more than 30% unless extreme weather conditions) however 30% during peak hours would still require a sizable surplus thus throwing predictions on landmass used out the window

No, you just take the surplus into account, just like maintenance density. Towers have to be taken offline for maintenance from time to time. Including that in the calculations is basic probability, a Poisson distribution basically.


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1 minute ago, patrickjp93 said:

No, you just take the surplus into account, just like maintenance density. Towers have to be taken offline for maintenance from time to time. Including that in the calculations is basic probability, a Poisson distribution basically.

I'm saying the one linked can be thrown out, but yes you can predict it if you were to factor in all the variables granted solar still isn't a viable backbone to a power grid, doesn't mean it isn't a good supplement especially if in an arid or tropical region


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32 minutes ago, patrickjp93 said:

No, you just take the surplus into account, just like maintenance density. Towers have to be taken offline for maintenance from time to time. Including that in the calculations is basic probability, a Poisson distribution basically.

Something is fishy about your statement, but I can't figure out what.


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12 minutes ago, ARikozuM said:

Something is fishy about your statement, but I can't figure out what.

The fact it's mine.


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18 minutes ago, AresKrieger said:

*Batteries have to be used if solar is the main backbone for the grid otherwise you would have no power after the sun went down, as for how much the efficiency goes down due to cloudy weather it depends but your right it isn't as bad for PV (I'd guess no more than 30% unless extreme weather conditions) however 30% during peak hours would still require a sizable surplus thus throwing predictions on landmass used out the window

 

(*unless you say pumped water into a dam or some other kinetic storage method)

Hence why solar isn't realistically viable in NE where I live

Who said anything about batteries? Read again:

4 hours ago, ionbasa said:

EDIT: Since someone is going to say that solar cant produce energy at night time,  I may need to remind you guys that not all power is produced by photovoltaic, some of it is solar thermal, or hydronic. Where water, glycol, or salt water are heated up to collectors and converted into steam or vapor mixtures to drive turbines for power. During the daytime, off peak power can be used to compress air and water vapor for storage. That stored air can then be used at night.

Solar power can be stored at night time without using batteries. Read through this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_energy_storage

There are way more efficient ways than using batteries to store energy. Our best energy storage solutions at the moment are compressed air either in a large reservoir or underground caverns, similar to  how underground natural gas storage is done. Its efficiency is about  60-90% using off peak power. At night when you run out of solar thermal energy, you just evacuate the compressed air and run it through a turbine and then recompress it the next day during daylight.

 

Yes, batteries do play some role in our nations electric grid, but they're not the best solutions around. 

 

Here's how solar thermal power plants look like:

solar.gif

Not photovoltaic elements at all, just the sun heating up water/glycol/saline. That then heats up water that turns to vapor that drives a turbine.

 

How to store energy without batteries:

Fig.3_adiabatic-compressed-air-energy-st

 

Natural underground caverns aren't hard to  come by, and its more effective than using a dam to store pumped water.


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5 hours ago, ionbasa said:

Snip

It isn't safer. The link I showed and many many other reports so the same thing.

 

Look I'm going to let you in on a little secret. To be blatantly honest, nuclear waste has never been, is not, and will never be a problem. We have demonstrated literally tens of different safe reactor designs to draw power from them. 77000 tons seems like a lot until you consider that a single 1GWe Coal plant processed almost 50,000 tons of coal A DAY. I can go into huge additional detail if you want about nuclear waste reprocessing and storage (I am an advanced degree holding nuclear engineer currently working on a CSP project, since my expertise is in high temp materials.)

 

 

It isn't better in CO2 according to the 2014 IPCC report which is drawn from by far most comprehensive data available. And the chemical manufacturing cost of solar (and the lack of ability to recycle a great deal of the waste products) is, once you consider the insane scale and density differences, as much or a greater issue for the world (20 million tons of electronic waste is recycled each year, consider the hundreds of millions of tons that end up in landfills).

 

Life cycle CO2 equivalent (including albedo effect) from selected electricity supply technologies.[2][3] Arranged by decreasing median (gCO2eq/kWh) values.
Technology Min Median Max
Currently commercially available technologies
Coal  PC 740 820 910
Biomass – cofiring with coal 620 740 890
Gas  combined cycle 410 490 650
Biomass – dedicated 130 230 420
Solar PV – utility scale 18 48 180
Solar PV – rooftop 26 41 60
Geothermal 6.0 38 79
Concentrated solar power 8.8 27 63
Hydropower 1.0 24 2200
Wind offshore 8.0 12 35
Nuclear 3.7 12 110

Wind onshore

7.0 11 56

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19 minutes ago, ionbasa said:

Who said anything about batteries? Read again:

The person I quoted did, did I ever quote you because I don't see any quotes to you minus this one

 

Oh and FYI solar themal plants can't be used in most regions, only arid climates with little rain can effectively use those


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28 minutes ago, ionbasa said:

Who said anything about batteries? Read again:

Solar power can be stored at night time without using batteries. Read through this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_energy_storage

There are way more efficient ways than using batteries to store energy. Our best energy storage solutions at the moment are compressed air either in a large reservoir or underground caverns, similar to  how underground natural gas storage is done. Its efficiency is about  60-90% using off peak power. At night when you run out of solar thermal energy, you just evacuate the compressed air and run it through a turbine and then recompress it the next day during daylight.

 

Yes, batteries do play some role in our nations electric grid, but they're not the best solutions around. 

 

Here's how solar thermal power plants look like:

solar.gif

Not photovoltaic elements at all, just the sun heating up water/glycol/saline. That then heats up water that turns to vapor that drives a turbine.

 

How to store energy without batteries:

Fig.3_adiabatic-compressed-air-energy-st

 

Natural underground caverns aren't hard to  come by, and its more effective than using a dam to store pumped water.

Thermal energy storage is massively inefficient  (I work on high temperature materials in relation to CSP, particularly salt storage) unfortunately.

 

Compressed air is thermal to thermal/mechanical 60 to 90% efficient but forces you to run at massively lower turbine temperatures and thus is highly thermal to electric inefficient compared to things like SCCO2 Brayton cycles (~45-50% efficient at 800C hot side). Now that said, work on SCCO2 and molten salt exchangers/storage is applicable to EVERY high temp generation field (nuclear, concentrated solar, next gen fossil). AND indeed all of them have in recent years been funding work on said processes for that exact reason (I for example work under the Sunshot initiative).

 

There are also a large deal of other issues with compressed air storage that probably make it completely infeasible at the scales and densities required by CSP plants (like the very poor feedback transients with varying pressure, inconsistent discharge power flux, low specific energy discharge capacity, and the aforementioned poor thermal to electrical conversion efficiency).


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