5245Re: [CF] Re: Air Conditioning, Cars, and livable places
- Jun 8, 2002Ken Kifer wrote:
>It comes to about 10 to 12 watts per square foot under ideal conditions.
> In my last post, I seem to have combined the topic of "Ken's Ideal Car" with
> this one.
> Also, as I was pedaling to the store, I recognized that I added a zero or
> dropped a zero, depending on where it's placed. One acre will produce 430,000
> watts, ten acres 4,300 kilowatts in an hour. Of course, the sun doesn't shine
> 24 hours a day, and my solar guides say that three or four hours is all that can
> be depended upon (which seems low to me). If the average suburban has 1/4 acre
> of land, that would produce 300 to 400 kilowatts per day. Collectors on the
> roof, assuming a 1,000 square foot home, would produce 30 to 40 kilowatts per
> Of course, I'm not advocating a power-hungry lifestyle based on solar panels.
> Still, it would be a cleaner world than the one we are living in.
My back of the envelope calculations show a US consumption of 34
kilowatts per day per person. So if your 1000 square foot home housed a
family of four, you would produce about one quarter of your electrical
needs. It would also add over a ton to your roof just for the panels
plus whatever the mounting hardware would weigh, probably requiring roof
reinforcements. It would cost about $60,000 just for the panels, plus
the cost of mounting hardware, roof reinforcements, power regulators,
and storage batteries. Figure $120,000 to $150,000 total cost. Plus
operating costs of replacing batteries about every 5 years and panels
about 30 years. For 25% of your electrical needs.
I'm all in favor of solar power, but we have to recognize that is is not
a panacea and not without environmental costs of it's own. The real way
to produce clean power is to reduce power useage.
Lorenzo L. Love
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