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5245Re: [CF] Re: Air Conditioning, Cars, and livable places

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  • Lorenzo L. Love
    Jun 8, 2002
      Ken Kifer wrote:
      > 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
      > day.
      > 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.
      > --

      It comes to about 10 to 12 watts per square foot under ideal conditions.
      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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