Deserts and solar energy Watch

VY Rose
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#21
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#21
(Original post by ForensicShoe)
There's something very James Bondish about them
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMxVBY70dPU

Had to be done. :rolleyes:
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Revilo1
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#22
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#22
But what your proposing to do is ruin a huge amount of wild land, which surely goes against one of the main reasons for wanting renewable energy in the fiest place!!!

Why not just stick lots of small solar panels by roads/on the roofs of buildings - there is no need to lump everything into one space and make it stand out as a massive symbol of modern engineering.
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gateshipone
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Revilo1)
But what your proposing to do is ruin a huge amount of wild land, which surely goes against one of the main reasons for wanting renewable energy in the fiest place!!!

Why not just stick lots of small solar panels by roads/on the roofs of buildings - there is no need to lump everything into one space and make it stand out as a massive symbol of modern engineering.
Large arrays are the only way to collect the massive amounts of energy we need. Spreading the panels around and putting them in places that don't receive as much sun would be a waste of resources and so wouldn't be as useful as giant arrays in the middle of the desert.
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cl_steele
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#24
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#24
The issues not as such collecting the energy [although im sure the likes of Exonn, BP etc. would disagree] its more storing and distributing it. Plus the places which are most suited for this kind of development arent exactly the most welcoming to large expensive projects like this.
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Revilo1
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#25
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#25
(Original post by gateshipone)
Large arrays are the only way to collect the massive amounts of energy we need. Spreading the panels around and putting them in places that don't receive as much sun would be a waste of resources and so wouldn't be as useful as giant arrays in the middle of the desert.
:eek:

If you put solar panels in a desert, then they will gather more energy than ones placed in, say, Britain. However, the amount of energy it would require to set up the infrastructure alone - never mind maintain and protect it - would far outweigh simply putting more solar panels in Britain. You would end up covering all of Spain and Italy with power cables in order to get the power into Europe. And how secure do you think this massive array of solar panels would be? Any terrorist would thank you for giving such a great target to attack and practically paralyze Europe, all in one go.

There are so many problems with creating such a massive thing, it would just be a colossal waste of money, time and resources.
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Brachioradialis
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#26
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#26
In my opinion solar is a waste of time, money and resources unless it is based outside the atmosphere. Only there would it collect enough energy to be particularly useful in a large-scale sense. Unfortunately getting things to space, for now, is too expensive.
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gateshipone
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#27
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#27
(Original post by Revilo1)
:eek:

If you put solar panels in a desert, then they will gather more energy than ones placed in, say, Britain. However, the amount of energy it would require to set up the infrastructure alone - never mind maintain and protect it - would far outweigh simply putting more solar panels in Britain. You would end up covering all of Spain and Italy with power cables in order to get the power into Europe. And how secure do you think this massive array of solar panels would be? Any terrorist would thank you for giving such a great target to attack and practically paralyze Europe, all in one go.

There are so many problems with creating such a massive thing, it would just be a colossal waste of money, time and resources.
As I said earlier, collecting the energy isn't the problem, it's storage and distribution. I know that. This is only a feasible venture when our technology has improved enough to make the distribution of the power easier to do.

I imagine any array would have the same type of security that's kept terrorists out of our nuclear reactors for the last couple of decades. If we were willing to shell out to build this type of thing, I'm sure we'd make sure we spent a couple of million more to nail the security for it.
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Laomedeia
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#28
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#28
(Original post by Psyk)
Animals and plants that have evolved and adapted to live in the sun. Covering deserts with giant solar panels is bound to have some effect on the environment. It might mean some life will thrive better, but probably at the expense of others. It would probably throw the ecosystem out of balance.
screw the ecosystem. Such technology would definitely bring stability to the worlds economies most probably.
The problem I do see is you would need a solar panel the size of the sahara to get enough power for a race car. Once we can come up with renewable energy without sacrificing range or power I think humanity will be as good as saved.
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Herr
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#29
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#29
The main problem with solar energy isn't it's cost any longer, large plants can be made to be as cheap as if not cheaper than a traditional nuclear power station. Arguably it isn't as dangerous a target should it succumb to a terrorist attack, blowing up a bunch of silicon and glass doesn't do much damage and panels can be manufactured rather quickly these days, now you blow up a nuclear reactor and you will have another Chernobyl on your hands.

The main drawback to it is in areas with massive solar potential it is rather far away from where energy is required, much of the energy will be lost in transmission. Ultimately until technology can find a way to reduce this photovoltaic energy must be viewed as supplemental rather than a complete solution to our energy needs. While it is indeed possible to live completely off grid relying on alternative sources of "green" energy even if you live in a country like Norway, it won't be a viable if everyone starts doing it as every house will then need a battery array the size of 3 king sized bed stacked up against each other just to provide sufficient power for a standard 3 bedroom home that is very well insulated. It won't be a practical solution unless you live in an area where you are off grid and have plenty of space such as a far away cottage on a homestead or something of that sort. Even then you will need to do your best to conserve energy as those batteries may not be fully charged up everytime and if you have a cold winter it will be a problem to get enough energy to heat up the home to a comfortable level unless you have bio-gas from your sewer systems.
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Revilo1
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#30
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#30
(Original post by gateshipone)
As I said earlier, collecting the energy isn't the problem, it's storage and distribution. I know that. This is only a feasible venture when our technology has improved enough to make the distribution of the power easier to do.

I imagine any array would have the same type of security that's kept terrorists out of our nuclear reactors for the last couple of decades. If we were willing to shell out to build this type of thing, I'm sure we'd make sure we spent a couple of million more to nail the security for it.
But the point is that it isn't necessary - you can easily get all the electricity need, and from renewables like solar, without building a massive array in the desert/covering half the north sea with wind turbines etc. etc. And by building something massive, you would need to guard it, and this would cost a fortune to guard (millions, as you put it). And besides, surely it is easier not to build something unecessary which will be a terrorist target - that is just asking for something to go wrong - like building lots of nuclear power stations right next to each other, in an unstable area, or next to a big city...
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