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large solar project to be built in california

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"development of a 500-MW solar project 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles using innovative Stirling dish technology. The agreement includes an option to expand the project to 850 MW. Initially, Stirling would build a one-MW test facility using 40 of the company's 37-foot-diameter dish assemblies. Subsequently, a 20,000-dish array would be constructed near Victorville, Calif., during a four-year period."

 

"the Stirling project would provide enough clean power to serve 278,000 homes for an entire year,"

 

"The Stirling dish technology converts thermal energy to electricity by using a mirror array to focus the sun's rays on the receiver end of a Stirling engine. The internal side of the receiver then heats hydrogen gas which expands. The pressure created by the expanding gas drives a piston, crank shaft, and drive shaft assembly much like those found in internal combustion engines but without igniting the gas. The drive shaft turns a small electricity generator. The entire energy conversion process takes place within a canister the size of an oil barrel. The process requires no water and the engine is emission-free."

 

http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=35263

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But how much will it cost to build and to maintain?

 

Didn't you ever play Sim City? The Solar Power Plant was always $$$$$. laugh.gif

 

"The contract requires no state subsidy and provides favorable pricing for ratepayers because tests have shown the Stirling dish technology can produce electricity at significantly lower costs than other solar technologies."

 

-Alan Fohrer, SCE chief executive officer

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For over two decades I've wanted to do something similar with a parabolic mirrored collector and steam engine that runs a generator.

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But how much will it cost to build and to maintain?

 

in real cost? much less than burning fossil fuels

 

Didn't you ever play Sim City? The Solar Power Plant was always $$$$$. laugh.gif

 

i tried to introduce my kids to it a long time ago but it always seemed to require a police station every city block to do well (or nearly) thumbs_down.gif

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At least in SimCity 4, the wind power plants are definitely the way to go. Cheap and clean. smile.gif

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you could build a solar collector out of all those free AOL cds etc. and keep them outta the landfill cantfocus.gif

 

of course someone is going to lament that a poor condor might fly in front of the focussed beam and get vaporized and the whole project will be scrapped cry.gif

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I liked the wind plants on Sim City 3000 but eventually they were not capable of supplying the load for my burgeoning city. The game gets stupid when you finally start making more money than you can spend. At that point I would only buy the fancy-shmancy solar plants and those ones that connected to a satellite.

 

Fern: maybe they could put a giant net up over the dish.

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you could build a solar collector out of all those free AOL cds etc. and keep them outta the landfill cantfocus.gif

 

though i do like to fry'em in the microwave cry.gif

 

of course someone is going to lament that a poor condor might fly in front of the focussed beam and get vaporized and the whole project will be scrapped cry.gif

 

vaporized isn't good. now, if you could hang a trophy on the wall ...

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I did the calculation once, and I think it was an array of CDs about 16' in diameter in full sun in my backyard would focus enough to melt lead. So far I haven't found a use for molten lead in my everyday life ... but the plans are on the shelf just in case.

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I read recently that they are trying to put a bunch of wind mills out in cape cod and there is a whole group of residents fighting this because their horizon will be ruined. Howsabout we look ahead 30 years when oil is going to be 10$ a quart ...that energy source is looking pretty good now huh? It just angers the hell out of me that people can be so selfish. As long as it wasn't in a wilderness, I wouldn't mind having windmills spinning over my favorite crag.

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I always wondered if there was a threshold for how much renewable energy extraction could be performed before it altered something fundamental? (i.e. wind mills slowing down large scale air current, or similar effects in generators based on tidal motion, solar dishes absorbing energy that would normally get turned into atmospheric heat, or reflected off the desert floor.) I'm sure the threshold is high, but we also thought we'd never run out of oil, or that CO2 emmisions could alter the climate.

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I did the calculation once, and I think it was an array of CDs about 16' in diameter in full sun in my backyard would focus enough to melt lead. So far I haven't found a use for molten lead in my everyday life ... but the plans are on the shelf just in case.

 

Haven't found a use for molten lead ..? Good God, woman, turn the stuff into gold! You'll be rich! RICH! BWA HA HA HA HAAA! hahaha.gif

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I did the calculation once, and I think it was an array of CDs about 16' in diameter in full sun in my backyard would focus enough to melt lead. So far I haven't found a use for molten lead in my everyday life ... but the plans are on the shelf just in case.

 

Someone's a bigger geek than I am! yelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gif

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I did the calculation once, and I think it was an array of CDs about 16' in diameter in full sun in my backyard would focus enough to melt lead. So far I haven't found a use for molten lead in my everyday life ... but the plans are on the shelf just in case.

 

Haven't found a use for molten lead ..? Good God, woman, turn the stuff into gold! You'll be rich! RICH! BWA HA HA HA HAAA! hahaha.gif

 

fern, you'll be needing some of these...

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I read recently that they are trying to put a bunch of wind mills out in cape cod and there is a whole group of residents fighting this because their horizon will be ruined. Howsabout we look ahead 30 years when oil is going to be 10$ a quart ...that energy source is looking pretty good now huh?

 

I think folks opposing the Cape Wind project on NIMBY issues are being short-sited. A pet-peeve of mine: energy generated by wind turbines does not replace oil. Virtually none of our electric power is produced by oil. The real comparison is burning coal vs. blocking the view.

 

How much energy can be extracted without changing the environment really depends on the size of the resource. Extracting a few hundred MW of wind power doesn't really have much impact (like dipping your toe in the ocean doesn't change the tides), but trying to extract a few hundred MW of tidal energy from Puget Sound would be like jumping up and down in a small puddle.

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A pet-peeve of mine: energy generated by wind turbines does not replace oil. Virtually none of our electric power is produced by oil. The real comparison is burning coal vs. blocking the view.

 

but isn't one of the issues whether applications traditionnally powered with oil could also work with electric energy. such as:

Experimental Hybrid Cars Get Up to 250 Mpg

 

otherwise, i think a reasonable argument can be made for not destroying the look of some landscapes with wind turbines. or at least, i am not sure there is a ready answer for all cases.

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