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ZENN Motor Company Inc. Message Board

  • zawy zawy Jul 25, 2008 10:06 AM Flag

    Zenn and Solar

    If you're a believer in EEStor, you're a believer in silicon solar. Why? Because utilities can't churn out $100 a month more of electricity to run two cars per household. Since that's over 12 months and not just summer, that's something like double the amount of electricity (30 miles/day is 10,000 miles/year which is about 10 kWh/day from the EESUs. Silicon solar because it's more efficient than thin film and since you don't lose 50% of the energy like utilities in transmission and since installation is more at a premium at residences. The EESU can be charged with DC therefore you may not need AC converter for the solar cells therefore solar cells for the EESU cost 30% less than for your house since you don't need AC. Alternatively, EESU makes solar more practical for house AC current since storage for night time use is no longer a problem. And there's not enough tellurium and indium in the world for thin film to produce at full capacity in 2013. Silicon rules after that. Anyhow, my point is that YGE, CSIQ, TSL, and LDK are all way way down and you might want to buy. CSIQ has most of my trust. PhD chinese techies run it, they care nothing about marketing like TSL, and they are DEAD serious about supplying cheap solar to the world. I think of them like Amazon. They'll reinvest everything so you might not see the greatest returns for 10 years.

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    • If an engineer designs this with safety in mind, the converter will fit snugly over the capacitor's terminals. An electronic interlock would prevent removal until the capacitor is discharged.

    • When I was studying electrical engineering, I shorted 440 volts terminals.
      There was a big flash and the wires burnt out.
      I am not exactly sure what will happen, but unless one uses a very very thick wire, I imagine that the the wire will act like a fuse and burn out.

    • according to a wikipedia article(search wikipedia for eestor), they are shooting for 3500 volts, 31 farads. after all useful conversion factors, that is 52 KWH.

      it will occupy 2005 cubic inches(1.16 CF) and weigh 336 lbs. definitely a men-handle unit. i hope it has lifting hooks.

      it will include a built in buck/boost converter. AKA switching power supply.

      to compare: that is about three quarters of the weight of batts in my GEM, 8 times the KWH, 40% of the volume, and at least double or triple the cost. it would also extend the range to 240 miles per charge and i theoretically have less worrying about replacement.

      despite all that, i am concerned about the voltage regulation. the only reasonable way to get the various voltages is to use semi-conductors. nothing else switches fast enough.

      semiconductors really don't like high voltage differences or high currents. i am sure that somebody knows how to make this thing work reliably.

      one last thing, safety. if a user were to foolishly short the ultracapacitor terminals while it is fully charged, pow. all 52 KWH in less than a heartbeat through whatever shorted the terminals.

    • so many companies are so greedy that they are making huge mistakes. a co in CA has a thin, flexible solar unit. supposed to be inexpensive and easy to hook up. cost competitive with shingles. who would not re-roof their house if they were going to anyway?

      does not matter. they are not going retail. selling to power companies only for now. goofy. at least ten houses per year get re-roofed within 2 miles of my house. goofy.

      EESTOR has an even bigger mistake coming, and i hope they don't make it. they need to make their units(or at least some of them) fit into the same space as a lead acid battery. regular and deep cycle. otherwise they are stuck with a single customer. there are probably more vehicle starting batteries in this country than there are people.

      another outfit turns turkey guts into petroleum. they can do it with municipal garbage too. only one working facility because they want to retain ownership of the plants. we have more landfills than cities. this process could turn landfills into oil mines.

      and so on.

      • 2 Replies to mrwizard9090
      • Using EESU for starting traditional cars in place of lead acid is not profitable. Lead-acid costs about $60 works fine and therefore the EESU can't make more profit than that. For EV, they can make about $100 to $200 profit per kWh. For grid energy storage, they can profit easily $500 per kWh since BCON making flywheels for grid storage will cost about $4,000 per kWh for "voltage regulation" to make the transmission system more efficient especially if solar or wind are used (large swings in output of the system due to wind and sun changes).

        It costs $2 to $4 per W to make a new coal or nuclear plant. They have to build more capacity to supply demand during the day, so instead of having to build 30% more coal plants to supply the day, they could have a distributed system of EESU banks (distributed for less losses which means they only have to buy half as many EESUs for the same storage) to store energy at night. So EESU storing 12 hours of watts (12 Wh) would bring the cost of coal or nuke plants down by 30%-ish, saving about $1/watt in coal plants for each 12 Wh of EESU. EEStor could sell it for maybe $0.50 per 12/Wh ($40 per kWh) which makes bulk storage seem out of the question since it probably cost that much to make the EESU. If it's distributed where there are no transmission losses, then $80/kWh seems more reasonable....which makes it almost half as profitable as the cars assuming it costs only $30/kWh to make them. But this distributed system of EESUs is the same as EV owners themselves using the EESUs to store energy at night. In short, utilities will not need to store more energy unless EVs are used, but EVs will solve this problem anyway, so i don't see utilities buying EESU for bulk storage. But for voltage regulation, it could be a $1 B market. Also, if solar supplies electricity, then half of it needs to be stored in bulk for night. The EESU make the solar industry possible for real utility replacement. The EESU is key to replacing both oil and coal use with solar.

      • If the EESU comes to market and if, in say 3 years, when a reasonable number of EVs are around, I imagine that the cost of an EESU would drop. In that situation, it appears that you could set up both solar and wind generators and store the power in an EESU. It will considerably help in multiple aspects of human life.
        In theory, the power companies should profit considerably even at current rates, if a large number of EVs become a reality. This is based on the idea that they will be getting much more utilisation of their grid and generation stations and hence more profits.

        Will they keep the rates the same? Well....

        Waiting anxiously for the permitivity test results.

    • Well, I foresee that being the ultimate 'grid' in the future.

      Lots of smart electric devices that charge during non-peak hours. Perhaps a moderate sized solar station every 20sq miles?

      It would reduce the overall burden, make no area more important than any other, and with smart diagnostics make energy use more efficient.

      I could see mini solar stations set up on peoples roofs or in their yards, in which case they'd power an battery to an ultracapacitor, all regulated through a central home computer system. It'd also charge their electric vehicles.

      Some of the smarter engineers who work at Google are already doing this in their homes, check out some of the articles about it with a search on wired.com .

      Also, I think generally it comes down to overall efficiency. There is a future trend to market involving smart home electric systems which monitor and control the energy use of the home, and return dramatic results in cost.

    • I'm trying to boil down your post -- you're talking about solar-based home charging stations, correct?

      Do you know if Zenn or EEstor is working with any of the solar firms mentioned in your post?

      • 1 Reply to hammer61
      • They don't need to work with solar for now. It will be awhile before they have produced enough to drag down utilities. But in the future, they will need to make the EESU chargeable from DC and not just AC, which will be simpler and easier, so that it can just be plugged into any DC solar system. Solar companies will be interested enough and efficient enough that Zenn and EEStor will not have to worry much about it. They will not have to do anything except listen when solar companies make requests about what voltage and hook ups to use. One thing i failed to mention is that maybe utilities can easily handle the extra load if the charging is done at night.

    • Error in my last post: it's $80/month, not $100. To supply that much electricty ( 160 GW for the US ) would be a 50% increase in US electricty demand (I estimated we use 1/3 of 1 TW as electricity). So we can't do it, especially if there are carbon credits, unless we can build 80 ....EIGHTY.... coal and nuclear plants in the next 10 years (i don't think the entire world has that many in planning). People will pay 20% more for solar to feel independent from the grid even if there become that many wind generators. For DC without battery storage, we can can install home solar for about $5/Wp. We get 6 kWh/m^2 in US, which is 1 m^2 of 15% solar to generate 6*0.15 = 0.9 kWh/day from a 1 m^2 150 Wp solar cell. So to get 20 kWh/day to run 2 cars per household we need a 20 kWp system .... $100K .... hmmmm that's not very doable either. It looks like oil or nothing for the next 10 years. Maybe nuclear stocks (PKN) would as much of an EEStor play as solar. I own it all! LDK, TSL, PKN, brasil EWZ, malaysia EWM (the last two more reliable and cheap compared to U.S. markets and are oil and food independent and net exporters to china...imagine that...can't beat that with a baseball bat). I also got thin film really cheap. I'm 25% ahead of U.S. markets for the trailing 12 months....and that's after a recent 20% hit. My only U.S. holdings are Apple, VLO (a bet that oil will come down a little), and carefully following Gendell:

      http://www.secform4.com/insider-trading/948904.htm

      • 2 Replies to zawy
      • Another outstanding series of zawy posts. Thanks !

      • Oops, i knew my solar looked way too expensive: 20 kWh/day / 0.9 kWh/m^2 = 22 m^2 of cells = 22, times 150 Wp/m^2 = 3.3 kWp solar system times $5/Wp = $16,500 ..... very easy. With a 7% house loan for the 30 year life of the solar cells, with a government tax deduction, that comes out to $0.18/kWh which is 60% more than most of pay now for electricity but about 1/3 the cost we pay now for gasoline ($40,000 total would be paid over 30 years on the $16,500 loan, or about $1,300 per year for 2 cars). Since there is no way to build those power plants, the only solution in a world of EEStor, and a very very good solution at 1/3 the price of gasloine, is to have solar cells on your roof.

 
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