Solar Roadways Again???

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:56 pm

You know the line from Dumber and Dumber .............right?

I was actually surprised that road way photovoltaics were only 13 times more expensice per kilowatt. I would have thought more given the robustness required. What were the first solar cells REQUIRED for satelite functions.......how many 1000's times more expensive, but Moore's Law applied.

As so often stated: KNOWLEDGE and IMAGINATION. Science: once repeated testing shows an approach doesn't really work: we can turn our attention to other ideas that might work. What is your objection?
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Cadmusteeth » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:35 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:34 pm
So..........Edison should have gone back to gas after the first horse hair only lasted .2 seconds?

......................there goes progress................."Back to the Caves Men, we ain't going into no-go territory................"
No one is implying we should stop progressing. They're saying we need to be more conservative in accepting new ideas. Unless someone can make the idea work, it's most likely not a good idea for the time being.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:56 pm

How do you 'know" an idea is not going to work without TRYING IT OUT FIRST? Y'all seem to forget what the Scientific Method is..........or you forget how that knowledge was achieved? THERE are many advantages to solar roadways. Absent some breakthrough like Gorilla Glass made from sequestered co2.....maybe photovolaics isn't the way to go BUT WE ONLY KNOW THAT, because we have tested it. And one test is never enough.......try variations.

I look forward to some heat to electricity conversion rather than photos. This is what makes the FUTURE so interesting.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:29 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:56 pm
How do you 'know" an idea is not going to work without TRYING IT OUT FIRST? Y'all seem to forget what the Scientific Method is..........or you forget how that knowledge was achieved? THERE are many advantages to solar roadways. Absent some breakthrough like Gorilla Glass made from sequestered co2.....maybe photovolaics isn't the way to go BUT WE ONLY KNOW THAT, because we have tested it. And one test is never enough.......try variations.

I look forward to some heat to electricity conversion rather than photos. This is what makes the FUTURE so interesting.
There are no real advantages to solar roadways, just imagined. Skepticism requires a basic level of scientific literacy that protects us from taking flights of fancy with ridiculous ideas. There's a reason we haven't invested time and money in foolish ideas like "training" wheat to grow in cold climates the way the Soviets did for decades, because Stalin was ignorant to the fact that it was genetically impossible. He had geneticists executed for failing to achieve the goal or simply speaking the truth about it. Ignorance is truly scary, and we run the risk of entering another dark age if we continue to marginalize basic scientific education.

Solar roadways have been thoroughly debunked by engineers and other experts. The concept is like something from a cartoon, with Wiley Coyote riding a windsail powered by an electric fan. The physics just don't work, but like all successful scams, they only have to fool some of the people some of the time.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:32 am

They said the same thing about cold fusion.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:24 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:32 am
They said the same thing about cold fusion.
Good example. There was a tremendous amount of hype around cold fusion because it promised something for nothing; free energy, but it turned out to be a dud.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:11 pm

I was being sarcastic.............but I see it works both ways..............
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:58 pm

Solar power has its place. But as I keep telling you, everything except fossil fuels should be candidates for new energy. The decision needs to be made on sound science and sound economics.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:05 am

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs ... .201800556
In the present study, scientists at Osaka University, Japan, have developed a method to manufacture thermoelectric generation modules in a cost-efficient manner while preserving the conversion efficiency of the modules. They mounted small thermoelectric semiconductor chips on a flexible substrate and were able to achieve reliable and stable adhesion of the electrical contacts between the chips and the flexible substrate. They called their invention FlexTEG.
Right now the tech is working for temps around 125C......................but thats the thing about failure in Science: it leads to what works. Hows that for a Pessimist? Cold fusion may not work, but cold thermal conversion so as to work with roads is getting more likely all the time.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:27 pm

Black asphalt absorbs close to 1 kilowatt per square meter of heat. Solar technology has a long way to catch up.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Rob Lister » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:27 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:05 am
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs ... .201800556
In the present study, scientists at Osaka University, Japan, have developed a method to manufacture thermoelectric generation modules in a cost-efficient manner while preserving the conversion efficiency of the modules. They mounted small thermoelectric semiconductor chips on a flexible substrate and were able to achieve reliable and stable adhesion of the electrical contacts between the chips and the flexible substrate. They called their invention FlexTEG.
Right now the tech is working for temps around 125C......................but thats the thing about failure in Science: it leads to what works. Hows that for a Pessimist? Cold fusion may not work, but cold thermal conversion so as to work with roads is getting more likely all the time.
If you read the not-so-fine print, you'll see their conversion efficiency is around 1.8% in the laboratory. That works out to a street value of 1% ... first day. The theoretical maximum is ~8%, iirc.
This is one of those nice academic achievements that will not go anywhere.
Skeptic much? Sure you do.
http://www.skepticalcommunity.com/forum ... ive_topics" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:43 pm

Thanks guys.............important physics you raise there. I don't have the knowledge to recognize that. My formula: progress requires Knowledge PLUS Imagination. I don't see why one should inhibit the other, but .............

Photovoltaics had TERRIBLE efficiency when it started out. Any physics as to why thermal conversion could not progress in somewhat the same way?
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:47 am

It would be nice. Space probes are often set up to operate off nuclear energy using thermal conversion, but the efficiency sucks. It is very expensive energy because of that. If the efficiency could be raised enough, a simple and quite small nuclear pile could provide the heat to generate electricity, and run a car, truck, train or boat, without greenhouse gases or toxin emission, and not need refuelling for decades.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:48 am

..........I'm guessing your little Nuke is still quite hot compared to blacktop?..............and even that the inefficiency "potentials" of photovoltaics is quite different than thermal conversions. And the whole point of solar/green anything is that inefficiency is not a killer as it is only one component in the lifetime cost formula: and its FREE.

a WHOLE lot of Roads out there.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:04 am

Not free, Bobbo. All forms of energy cost, in one way or another. Just as all forms of energy have their advantages and disadvantages. Solar energy has its place. So does every other form of energy, except, as we will all agree, fossil fuel.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:20 pm

What does the sun charge?
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:19 pm

Magic pie-in-the sky technological breakthroughs are unlikely to solve all our problems. We need to manage change in a realistic way with a firm grasp on the science.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:04 am

Technology will help.
It will not be magical or pie in the sky. More likely a steady progress in pushing existing technologies into higher efficiencies. The only "magic" possible will be if nuclear fusion ever eventuates.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Gord » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:29 am

"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:31 am

The thing about "demonstrating" bad ideas: you know what not to do? Blame Thomas Edison.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:35 pm

Solar roadways are only one breakthrough away from success. As soon as we can develop a way for solar panels to produce 10 times the energy they absorb from the sun, we've got it licked.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Gord » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:05 am

landrew wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:35 pm
Solar roadways are only one breakthrough away from success. As soon as we can develop a way for solar panels to produce 10 times the energy they absorb from the sun, we've got it licked.
You left out "cheap".
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:27 pm

I'd call it a verdict: https://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/bl ... s-01162018

And I'm the skeptic who wants to assure all reasonable ideas a fair hearing.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:37 pm

Given their expense (of solar roads) and no identified way to bring the cost curve down, seems to me the progress on SOLAR ROOFS is going a bit unattended? A few months back a saw reference to Elon Musks solar tile roofs not working out for some reason..........I assume too expensive?....or maybe too fragile technologically? Too Bad, seems like an excellent idea in theory.......but then I like the idea of metal roofs with thin flexible voltaics integrated into them. Every roof in america turned into collectors with excess energy being turned into hydrogen. I can see smallish localized grids to share energy and route excess to the electrolysis sub station. Lots of jobs too.

I mean: the WHOLE POINT in trying/testing all the tech is to find out what works and go with what works while rejecting what doesn't. Seems rather obvious.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:02 pm

For the USA it seems to me more sensible to cover your deserts with solar cells. Lots of sunshine and clean air. Less need to keep cleaning solar cell surfaces. Cover your roofs with roof top gardens. Much more sensible.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:11 pm

There's nothing wrong with smaller grids. At one time most cities had their own power plants. This would insure a measure of redundancy in the system, as power outages would tend to affect smaller areas. Solar roof panels in widespread use would assuage the need to build new plants. It would also move us incrementally towards using more energy from renewable sources.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:16 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:02 pm
For the USA it seems to me more sensible to cover your deserts with solar cells. Lots of sunshine and clean air. Less need to keep cleaning solar cell surfaces. Cover your roofs with roof top gardens. Much more sensible.
You mean like this?
Image
The solar chimney has a greater efficiency than photovoltaic cells.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:53 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:02 pm
For the USA it seems to me more sensible to cover your deserts with solar cells. Lots of sunshine and clean air. Less need to keep cleaning solar cell surfaces. Cover your roofs with roof top gardens. Much more sensible.
Oh Lance........your "Big Energy" bias is showing. THE WHOLE POINT of solar is for it to be DECENTRALIZED for all the small "d" democratic people power reasons that you know but for some reason continue to stray away from. Yes..........I love the idea of solar towers generating energy for specialized/identified services........but for general grid/home/business purposes.........I want roofs to be used. The cost is lowered because we build and repair roofs all the time.....Not special built/large/centralized/tax supported.

Get on board ...........the green bus.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:50 am

Not the green bus, Bobbo. I am on board the pragmatic and practical bus.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:16 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:50 am
Not the green bus, Bobbo. I am on board the pragmatic and practical bus.
Not when all you favor are large centralized monopolies for power generation. A solar tower has ZERO to do with road and roof localized generation. Can't you see your own bias?
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:42 am

Bobbo

I have told you many times that we need every kind of electricity generation (except fossil fuels). Concentrating on one kind is a form of blindness.

The solar tower was mentioned by landrew, not me. That technology is still more speculative than real. It may one day become important, or possibly not.

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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:42 am

Lance you are right. My eyes got crossed. Apology.
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Re: Solar Roadways Again???

Post by landrew » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:09 pm

The history of technology is littered with inventions that "almost worked." In fact, I'm sure they outnumber the workable ones by at least a thousand-fold. This one is very easy. The current cost of a solar roadway is $450 per square foot, and they still don't work. There isn't enough hydrogen in the sun to fuse into helium before a way will be found to make them affordable. It's just not going to happen.

If ice-free, illuminated roads are the goal, a cheaper, better solution would be to put a roof over the roads, mount solar panels on top, and that way all the same objectives would be met at a much lower cost. But who is asking for that? So far it's only the scientifically illiterate among us who like the idea. "Screw science, screw economics, I like what I see, Solar Freakin' Rodways, Yah!"
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