China consumes 30% of panels in Q4
China makes a public panel to address pollution issues, Beijing something like 10-30 times "safe" USA Levels.
China ordered Gov vehicles off the road the other day due to pollution levels in Beijing
Public outcry in health issues / hospitals due to pollution
Gov't talking about halting factories when pollution is too great
Gov't just raised emmisions standards
Gov't offering an equivilent cash for clunkers
Solar boost - ASP's making evident the truths....
Free license plates for "Green" cars
Out of curiosity - I looked at our buddy BYD (google finance 1211), moving up!
One would think China is working hard on re-inventing / re-engineering pollution generation mechanisms - This solar thing will grow long legs
Got to charge those cars and burning coal is not fixing the problem
Rather than post in reply to a single response, let me reply to the general subjects mentioned.
True, batteries would indeed add to the cost. But you have to understand the need in which you would implement such a strategy. For instance, a buddy of mine owns a cabin (actually two on a single stretch of land along a waterway near the SOO.... Canada charges for the wires - YEARLY calling it an access fee. Even at that latitude, a lot of Canadians with property are finding that adding a battery allows them to "Pull the plug" (a pun) on the friggen access fee to the grid. So if one wants to discuss how a battery adds cost - then I have to assert with equal merit that there are other charges hidden in electric rates.
Additionally, there are many parts in China, Africa, Remote regions where electricity is not available. Given the virtually infinate cost of electricity because there is no grid, a battery with a few panels to provide light, radio, communications, vehicle charging seems a equitable solution.
Regarding batteries - GE has one. I believe it is produced in Schenectedy NY. I believe it may be or will be deployed in locomotives. The sodium battery in various incarnations I believe is not good at providing surge power - It sort of likes a constant charge or discharge. GE has one and there are a few others - one producing a rather large one and recently had a fire with one malfunction.
I tend to like the idea of graphene - which I mentioned many times. Perhaps not enough. So please bear with me as I expound on this a bit more than I have before. Graphene is basically a lattice arrangement an atom thick. It is very strong, so much so that it will hold together even at 1 atom thickness. It is conductive. In fact, electrons in their paths can only move in one plane. A lot of wasted movement in axises that are not useful is mitigated by its thickness. At one atom thick, it is transparent. Conductivity is perhaps the best of any material. It is suitable as a replacement for the tin-oxide layer in solar cells. This may come as a surprise, but it is also an insolator. I said it only allows conduction in one plane, along its latice. If you place it between two plates of a capacitor, it functions as an insolator. That makes the separation between plates near zero. Energy storage in capacitors is related to dielectric thickness. Power density approaches lithium batteries. But there is a major difference. It charges very quickly. It discharges equally fast if desired. It may be bent, formed. It may be used in carbon fiber.
If you put all of this together, the back sheet of a solar cell, the body of a car, the top surface of a solar cell may all use graphene and the whole system can be a battery and a solar cell in one package.
Cost - Snake will tell you it is high. However, there is enough use for the material, and the prize is there for any company that can produce defect free sheets cheaply. When they do, you will find it everywhere. In solar back sheets. In your clothing to store power for your cell phone. You will find it on windows. It too will become a commodity.
The end of the story is that there will likely be 10 major solar providers and those 10 will see a day when graphene and cells become one. They will be in cars, busses, roofs and the graphene will be / serve as a battery.
And if per chance you were just looking for a cheap way of storing energy for your own home - I would suggest looking into buying HILOW spent batteries for their core value. Many factories discard used batteries that can no longer hold a days worth of charge. They are not dead, just not as efficient but still hold serious power.
Others of course may implement solar differently. Perhaps to operate as a heat pump, offsetting the cost of air conditioning or heating by operating a pump using GEOTHERMAL. In this case, the insulation in the home serves to "HOLD" the environmental temperature obtained as the optimum condition during the day. This to may be construed as a battery of sorts.
As with any device - it matters how you use it. I cannot wait for the day when solar is embedded into the electric car and perhaps a moonroof arrangement fans out a couple extra during the day to charge my car. I only live 10 miles away from work and I presume 400 watts per mile. I think you see my point here too. The lithium battery comes with the car, offsetting $4.00 / Gal gas
More importantly, and to the point, cost as crack point out. And I would point out that the Harvaard study of 500 billion in ancilliary cost - health, coal ash, climate change, mine collapse, rail way coal accidents, lost time due to athesma attacks, lost productivity affecting tax revenue for the Gov't.
The real question is one of accounting right Crack. Selectively cherry picking goes just so far. China - Beijing is paying the price now isn't it? Pollution is filling hospitals....
But hey, it really has to suck when Mother Nature, Entropy, Rising costs, all play a part.
GE Durathon Battery for Buses Unveiled
Mentions solar at the end of the article.
Funny how these busses are much cheaper if we move the cost of the battery from the bus to the solar power generation part of the equation. Right Crack?
Point being it is a matter of accounting once again. Is the battery part of the solar power generation or is it part of the bus?
Chevy Volt is cheap too if we assert the battery is part of the solar power generation equation. It makes the Chevy Volt one of the cheapest cars but I don't think the dealer will let you get away without selling a battery with the car eh?
So where does the battery lay in a system? With the Car, The Bus. A Grid? Will a power company put up batteries, pay for solar, storing it in their batteries, selling it on cloudy days at higher rates? Will power companies charge a fee separate under the banner of infrastructure, transmission, and wire maintainance say 15 bucks to a home owner of a solar system playing the part of the battery?
The market drives the system. If the system and the buttons the EPA and Mother Nature - Economics push, result in solar taking off, then I assume it is driven by an effort to reduce GHG, provide Jobs, and I assume EV's will also play a large role. Fuel Eff. targets are in and I cannot fathom any future viable motor co. not having EV's in the arsenal.
So we can again assume batteries with an EV shell around them will be on the grid. In Cracks language - the power co. did not buy the EV for the consumer and the battery in it, so why would the cost of that electric and the battery connected to the grid be included in the price of the electric.
Will the electric co, be renting the battery from the EV?
Spot on Phree. In addition I think that one thing that would make solar roar to life all over the world is a new safe economical storage battery. There used to be a lot of talk about a "cold sodium battery" -- safe, cheap and high capacity. I saw a photo of the prototype. Idea is you plug the roof panels into the battery and use your access to the grid (if you have access) only for emergency backup or for times when you empty the battery. This would appeal both to developed urban areas where you would get power cheaper than from the Utility, and to Rural Electrification where there is no grid. Peng was on the right track when he set up the Post-Doc school (i.e. research dept) at the plant. I wonder if they made progress on the battery. IMO solar stocks would roar if a credible company like GE announced that they would be selling such a battery in "a few years."
Sometime when you have a free moment, I'd suggest you do some research into the Rampura Community Solar project. It's a free-standing "mini grid" located in Rampura, Uttar Pradesh, India, and has been operating continuously since February of 2009. It serves somewhere between 60 and 70 households in that village, plus a small grain mill.
Storage is accomplished via plain-Jane, lead acid batteries. While they aren't especially "sexy" as technology goes, they have the undeniable advantage of being inexpensive, and can be maintained by minimally-trained personnel. Battery capacity was designed to provide up to three days' worth of the system's load, in anticipation of occasionally having several consecutive days of poor photovoltaic performance, particularly during the monsoon.
So far as I am aware, they have never exhausted the battery capacity, although it's likely that they may have had a few occasions when some load curtailment was necessary.