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Arch Coal Inc. Message Board

  • drcolavita drcolavita Oct 18, 2013 1:28 PM Flag

    National Renewable Energy Lab Says Solar Panels Degrading as much as 4.5% a year. Solar equipment a 'ticking time bomb."

    In Europe last year, “they discovered that after one year in the field, over 90% of the (solar panels) from a one megawatt project began to delaminate and ended up on the ground.” Solar energy starting to be deemed not commercially viable based on new data showing the life span of panels being a fraction of what was previously estimated. Doom.

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    • Yes, this has always been a problem with solar panels. In the 'Rocket Science' business (which is by the way, my career), A solar powered spacecraft in Geo Synchronis orbit, has a mission life that is primarily limited by 2 things. Solar panel efficiency degradation / power output loss, and fuel consumption (which powers station keeping retros and such). Between the two, mission lives for large orbiting spacecraft powered by Solar Array wings, is typically 15 to 18 years or so, with a 'planned' continuous degradation in SA output along the way.

      If I were a business or homeowner, I would play close attention to expected continuous efficiency losses before investing much capital in a hyped solar system's long term prospects for financing itself in energy savings.

      Of course, not much of any of this is relevant to ACI, since solar is such a small part of total power generation, and since the 'sunny' west coast states that have any substantive solar projects, are powered almost exclusively by natural gas.

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