Bill Gates has harsh words for solar substantially supplying the grid.

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,148 ✭✭✭✭

Watched a couple of his youtube videos. Interesting that he stated that it is the installation costs of solar power than makes it non-competitive in spite of cheap panels.

Is there a realistic way to affordably install commercial solar?

Gates feels that nuclear offers the best option. I happen to agree, especially now that we can turn uranium 238 (depleted uranium) into viable nuclear fuel. We have enough depleted uranium to supply our energy needs for years. We also have better cooling technology which makes nuclear much, much safer.

As an aside, it is somewhat interesting that an ~100 billion dollar man spends his time watching youtube videos - or other informational videos. He is definitely a knowledge geek.

First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭✭
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,204 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, there's the cost, and then there is the storage. Solar is great as an adjunct in the daytime, but at night.....


    U238 could be used as a base for fuel, but it requires alteration to be "burnable" It's half-life is over 4 billion years, you don't get much energy from that.

    Thorium also in unable to sustain a reaction on it's own, but looks to be more suitable for power production, India alone, has started construction of over 50 Thorium reactors

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power

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  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 831 ✭✭✭✭

    Yep. Both thorium and U238 are considered 'fertile' materials - not useful as-is but easy to convert to nuclear fuel. In general you need a "seed" of fissile material (like U235) to start the conversion reaction.

    Nuclear is a good option - long lasting, energy dense, 24/7 power - but it is very expensive. We might indeed have to pay that price, but it's not going to be easy to explain to people why their power prices have to skyrocket.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,148 ✭✭✭✭

    I believe we already have the U238 - depleted uranium - in hyper abundance. That is supposed to make nuclear far more affordable.


    The global population is simply exploding as is energy consumption in previously undeveloped nations. We are facing a crisis in meeting those increased demands without creating catastrophic global warming. India is going thorium but China, I believe, largely went coal.

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • OldManOldMan Registered Users Posts: 128 ✭✭✭

    To hell with Bill Gates. I guess his kids will learn too late you cannot eat money.

  • stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 100 ✭✭

    My take on the 1% is that they never say anything unless there is a monetary advantage to it. All the other stuff is secondary.

    760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,148 ✭✭✭✭

    My own findings do not disagree with Gates.

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,759 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What puzzles me is a person who was instrumental in the formation of the World Wide Web can't think outside the box. By this I mean an east west grid, energy flowing from areas in sunlight to those in darkness, for sure it would be a major undertaking requiring cooperation between nations, but there is after all a single planet which we all share. Then again it may cut into the bottom line of the companies and the share holders of current generators, couldn't have that now, could we?

    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,490 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gates and MS had very little to do with development of the web, and at times were actively hostile to it. Post-DARPA, it was mainly an acedemic network running mainly on a mix of open source and prop Unixes. When it went more public, MS network stacks were initially developed outside MS and often distributed by ISPs with Netscape (which MS later effectively crushed).

    If MS had managed to get more control of the early net, I have no doubt we'd be using some form of AOL-type walled garden internet today. In the Gates era, MS was very much thinking inside the box.

    In Canada, we can't even get a domestic east-west grid built. Instead there are areas (eg Manitoba & Quebec) with surplus hydro resources, while others (eg. Alberta) rely heavily on fossil fuels :-(

    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭✭

    No question that if the goal is to get to no green house gases/air pollution, then the only solution is nuclear. Solar and wind require backup.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • clockmanfranclockmanfran Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭

    Some folk in the RE commercial World call me 'anti capitalist', ...... just because I will publish DIY information. 

    Everything is possible, just give me Time.

    The OzInverter man. Normandy France.

    3off Hugh P's 3.7m dia wind turbines, (10 years running).  ... 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (5 years) .... 9kW PV AC coupled using Used/second hand GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with the AC Coupling and OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries. 

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