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Author Topic: Solar Roadways  (Read 26445 times)

Sigmetnow

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #250 on: January 09, 2018, 10:08:27 PM »
Indeed.  As they said, the panels couldn’t keep up with a foot of snow, but it did melt most of it.  Their photo was not taken right after they shoveled everything clear, since there is still half-melted snow on top of some of the panels.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:16:55 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #251 on: January 10, 2018, 04:07:49 AM »
Sigmetnow, I think you have a point.

On second look it looks like the picture was taken (just?) before they shoveled the snow off the remaining panels that were still covered.

If that's true, then it took 4 or 5 days of heating, but their 'snow melting' feature kind of worked.
I wonder how many kWh they spent...

Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #252 on: January 10, 2018, 04:23:06 AM »
Just when we thought we solved the timing of that picture, Solar Roadways officially weighs in about it :

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdgVO_cnOKe/?taken-by=official_solar_roadways

lordmmxand then, there is a photo from webcam of you shoveling snow out from it before you took photo of it :)

official_solar_roadways@lordmmx That is false. This is an image with snow ON the panels and taken a different week from when Scott shoveled snow from some panels which had quit working. He did that to diagnose their problem with a thermal imager so he could fix it.

Mmm. That's just a very confusing answer. A 'different week' ? Which week ? And if it was a different week why did they post the picture on the same day that were shoveling the snow ?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 05:24:57 AM by Rob Dekker »

Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #253 on: January 10, 2018, 04:35:05 AM »
0.3kWh over a day is nothing to write home about.

You are still producing more than 10 times than Solar Roadways :
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/public_systems/V3vh1173801/overview

Total production of their system today was 0.02 kWh.
One fifth of a penny worth of electricity per day.
Installation costs for this system was $ 60,000.-

Sleepy

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #254 on: January 10, 2018, 07:41:20 AM »
Yeah Rob. Also forgot that I rewired that system I mentioned earlier, last summer. So the total Pmax is actually  3220W. Since everything is bought in bits and pieces I can't provide an accurate cost, but if I ordered the panels, inverters and the ecu today, it would cost me roughly $ 3600 inc VAT and shipping to my front door. That system is built in front of, and over, a gazebo(??), and I built the frame using inexpensive wood.

The main reason for this system, apart from cooling the gazebo during the summer, is to provide more power late autumn and early spring. During summer and clear skies, I can also switch off these inverters via the ECU. Selling surplus power is still not a viable option here.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 08:08:31 AM by Sleepy »
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #255 on: January 10, 2018, 09:01:18 AM »
Nice job, Sleepy ! For cost that is $ 1.11 / Wpeak. That is competitive with large scale commercial solar.

My own system is comparable in size, and cost me $ 7,000.- installed. That's some $2/Watt which works out for me to about $0.10/kWh (I'm in California). Luckily I had net-metering which REALLY helps to even out the ups-and-downs inherent to solar over the day and the year.

If you can lobby your local utility company, tell them to go with net-metering. It's not just good for you, but also good for them, since they will get reduced load when they need it most, and reduced cost of losses, since you are producing locally. Or else, have you considered a battery (like SolarWall) ?

Either way, compared the Solar Roadways we are both winners :

My system today produced 2 kWh (still somewhat cloudy day) which is 100X what Solar Roadways produced. In June/July, Solar Roadways produced about 1 kWh/day while my system cranked out 17 kWh/day. 17X the production for 1/10th the cost : a 170X cost advantage of rooftop solar against Solar Roadways.

And I don't waste energy with LEDs in my panels.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 09:16:36 AM by Rob Dekker »

Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #256 on: January 10, 2018, 09:34:59 AM »
We have some data on the Chinese system :

https://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/chinas-innovative-solar-highway/

Remember that that French system was expected to generate 82 kWh/m^2/year (see Dave's video) ? In actuality (after a year of data) it came in quite a bit lower than that, but let us ignore that for now.

Let me tell you up-front that both the French and the Chinese systems are serious and professional. A far cry from that Solar Roadway joke with their useless LEDs and their hype about snow melting and 'intelligent' panel BS. So back to business :

The Chinese system looks very similar to the French system in that they both have a top-cover that is partially transparent, but yet somewhat 'white' suggesting that a fair amount of light actually gets reflected back to the sky. Either way, by the looks of it, we would expect the French and the Chinese systems to have comparable efficiencies.

Here is the relevant sections of what to expect from the Jinan system (from the article) :

The 5,875 square metres of highway in Jinan....
...
It can generate 1 million kWH of electricity in one year,....

See. We don't need much. Just the basic data.
1 million kWh over 5,875 square meters of panels is 170 kWh/m^2/year.
That is more than TWICE the production of the French system, and I bet you my bottom dollar that they are talking BS.

Since Jinan is a bit closer to the equator than France is, a quick calculation suggests that we could expect up to a 25% increase in production if you are very generous with the numbers. A 100% increase is impossible. Not in their wildest dreams are they going to get 1 million kWh out of that system in the first year. They should be happy if they get half.

Let me leave it at that for now before we go to cost.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 09:58:48 AM by Rob Dekker »

Sleepy

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #257 on: January 10, 2018, 11:35:45 AM »
Nice job, Sleepy ! For cost that is $ 1.11 / Wpeak. That is competitive with large scale commercial solar.

My own system is comparable in size, and cost me $ 7,000.- installed. That's some $2/Watt which works out for me to about $0.10/kWh (I'm in California). Luckily I had net-metering which REALLY helps to even out the ups-and-downs inherent to solar over the day and the year.

If you can lobby your local utility company, tell them to go with net-metering. It's not just good for you, but also good for them, since they will get reduced load when they need it most, and reduced cost of losses, since you are producing locally. Or else, have you considered a battery (like SolarWall) ?
Thanks Rob, yes I've tried to be as cheap as possible. ;)
I also have another setup with 1kW of panels and a micro wind turbine. I've been using panels since we moved here in 2005. For many, many years we were prohibited from connecting anything to the grid. Electric utilites here didn't want that. I never asked or bothered them... :)

Nowadays, after our electric utilities were forced to allow grid tie inverters, we can use them. But we still don't have net metering since Swedish legislation won't allow that (financial reasons).  ::) It's a mess here with different utilities and prices when selling the surplus, at a lower price than we pay for the electricity we buy.

So, I'm waiting for prices to drop a bit further on batteries, something like Teslas Power wall or similar, preferably cheaper. A company in Czechoslovakia has been selling components to build your own managed battery system as well, so I do try to keep my eyes open. Hopefully I'll have a fully automated battery system within a couple of years.
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wili

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #258 on: January 11, 2018, 05:45:35 AM »
Daylight robbery: thieves steal chunk of China's new solar highway

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/09/china-solar-highway-thieves-steal-panels
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sleepy

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #259 on: January 11, 2018, 08:41:50 AM »
Thieves has obviously not followed this thread.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #260 on: January 12, 2018, 09:59:58 PM »
Thieves has obviously not followed this thread.

 LOL! ;D
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #261 on: January 13, 2018, 05:12:39 AM »
From the SR Facebook page today:

Solar Roadways Update:
We just returned from a wonderful trip to Texas for meetings late Tuesday night. We are so excited to have so many wonderful interested customers.

In spite of getting hit by a lot of snow again this week, the panels are keeping up quite well. After Christmas, one day we noticed a problem with some panels not keeping up. We shoveled them to use a thermal imager to diagnose and fix the problem. It turned out to be some loose connections in the electrical closet. We are collecting data and making adjustments to the temperature profile, which is really helping us in designing SR4, which will be the model first offered to customers. We want to keep the heating elements at the lowest setting that will keep the panels clear. When we really get clobbered, like one day recently when we got a foot of snow in one day, they can’t quite keep up in real time but they recover in short order. Overall, we are pleased but will keep fine tuning over the winter.

Scott needs some very specific engineering help in designing SR4. If this is you or someone you know, he would love to hear from you:
Embedded Systems Programmer
Experience needed:
Atmel AVR - we're currently using the ATmega256RFR2
Atmel Studio 7
AVR/GNU C
OTAU - experience required
WDT, TWI, SPI, ADC, RF network, external memory access
Our testing software is in Delphi (RAD Studio 10). Knowledge of this would be helpful, but not necessary.
...
https://www.facebook.com/solarroadways/posts/10154852608712126
Photos at the link.
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #262 on: January 13, 2018, 05:47:00 AM »
From the SR Facebook page today:

Solar Roadways Update:
We just returned from a wonderful trip to Texas for meetings late Tuesday night. We are so excited to have so many wonderful interested customers.

In spite of getting hit by a lot of snow again this week, the panels are keeping up quite well. After Christmas, one day we noticed a problem with some panels not keeping up. We shoveled them to use a thermal imager to diagnose and fix the problem. It turned out to be some loose connections in the electrical closet. We are collecting data and making adjustments to the temperature profile, which is really helping us in designing SR4, which will be the model first offered to customers. We want to keep the heating elements at the lowest setting that will keep the panels clear. When we really get clobbered, like one day recently when we got a foot of snow in one day, they can’t quite keep up in real time but they recover in short order. Overall, we are pleased but will keep fine tuning over the winter.

Accidentally, I was watching their webcam yesterday, and took a screenshot of them working at the panel.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 05:55:04 AM by Rob Dekker »

Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #263 on: January 13, 2018, 05:52:43 AM »
Looking at their webcam :
http://www.cityofsandpoint.com/visiting-sandpoint/solar-roadways#ad-image-3

it still seems that 5 panels are still broken (3 are dead and 2 are half-dead). Not sure what they fixed.

Remember that their system generates less than a penny per day in electricity, and uses much more than that, for a $ 60,000 investment.

For a system that promises to change the world, I am still very much unimpressed.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:29:28 AM by Rob Dekker »

Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #264 on: January 13, 2018, 06:11:34 AM »
Solar Roadways convinced the City of Baltimore to install 36 panels :

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2017/12/18/solar-sidewalk/

"and not just lightless boring solar panels, smart, interlocking, hexagonal, microprocessing solar units"

The Abell Foundation donated $100,000 to the project. Installation is expected to begin in the spring.

Another $100,000 down the drain.

Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #265 on: January 13, 2018, 07:20:37 AM »
WDT, TWI, SPI, ADC, RF network, external memory access

Solar Roadways now going wireless through Bluetooth ?

Sleepy

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #266 on: January 13, 2018, 08:24:04 AM »
Had a peek at their webcam, these are way cooler if you want to light up your home. Only $ 19.99 at Amazon.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 10:03:05 AM by Sleepy »
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #267 on: January 15, 2018, 04:10:44 AM »
I want to take a first stab at 'cost' of that Jinan solar roadway.
From the original link I posted before :

https://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/chinas-innovative-solar-highway/

we find :

The transportation engineering expert from China’s Tongji University told CCTV the road cost around 3,000 yuan (US $458) per square metre to build. This is significantly higher than the cost of constructing regular roads and highways.

To be fair, we would need to subtract the cost of what a normal road would cost from the cost of this combined (solar and road) system. I found another link with more info :

http://www.slate.com/health-and-science/2018/01/did-ryan-zinke-give-florida-an-offshore-drilling-exemption-because-of-mar-a-lago.html

Let’s start with cost. The road costs about $458 per square meter—far pricier than the $5 per square meter it costs to create an asphalt road.

So there we go : A normal road would cost $5/m^2 and this solar road costs $458/m^2. That means the cost of the 'solar' part is going to be $453/m^3. So this solar road costs 90X a normal (asphalt) road.

Assuming the efficiency of this road is similar to the French system (which was 11%), for a reference peak illumination of 1000W/m^2 we are looking at 453/110= $4.1 /Wattpeak.
That's almost 4 times what Sleepy paid for his system and 2X what I paid for my system.
$4/Watt is significantly cheaper than the French system (which was something like $14/Watt), but we need to take into account that this is an installation in China, where labor costs are much lower than in France. Likewise, rooftop solar installations will cost much less.

Since this system is not 'tilted', a cost comparison to rooftop solar will likely increase the 2-4X cost disadvantage. Also, we don't have a reference for what rooftop solar costs in China.

So all we can say right now is that it looks like this Jinan system is the lowest cost solar road on the planet, yet it is (at $453/m^2) is still far more expensive than rooftop solar.

If you have some good numbers for cost and production of rooftop solar systems installed in China, please post them here, so we can do a proper comparison.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 08:30:19 AM by Rob Dekker »

Bob Wallace

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #268 on: January 15, 2018, 05:37:31 PM »
If you want to calculate the output loss by mounting panels flat rather than at the optimal slope (direction and angle) you could get the irradiance numbers here -

http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com/solar-irradiance.aspx

Just select an appropriate city close by and sum the numbers for both mounts.