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Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States

 
DuckNCover

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03/31/2019 09:19 PM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
only.

only 10000 square miles

only 1 million 593 thousand panels per square mile

only 15 billion 593 panels required

At only 800 per panel including panel / inverter / assembly, it would only cost about 12 trillion 744 billion.

only about 38000 per person

only about 144 000 for a family of 4

Not including the batteries, or tying into distribution.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 57933017


forgot to add

residential share at 132 million user with average bill of 112 and usage of 850 kwh = 28 panels worth or only 24% ( rest is used by city / government / businesses ) which would all download cost to customer / citizen. But ignoring that, the cost to finance per household would be:

only 3 trillion / 132 million users or: 23000 per person with a finance cost over 30 years to save would only be $116.

So assuming somehow businesses would not download costs to consumers and assuming somehow governments woudl not download costs to taxpayers, in 30 short years, this would pay for itself.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 57933017


How do you get 850Kwh = 28 panels...

I have a solar system at my home. 1 panel generates 100 Watts per hour. At 10 hours that would be 1Kwh per panel. So that would mean 28Kwh for 28 panels. Even if you had a more powerful array of panels that gave you 200 Watts per panel, you'd still have only 56Kwh from the array and not 850Kwh...
Anonymous Coward
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03/31/2019 09:26 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
An area 100x100 is TEN THOUSAND square miles.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 76886332


10 x 10 is a hundred.
 Quoting: TheGasMan II


Are we talking linear miles...100 miles x 100 miles = 10,000 Miles

or Square miles 100 miles X 100 miles =100 Square miles
 Quoting: Lacey Underall


"100 square miles" means: a square 10 miles by 10 miles on a side.
(a square with sides that are 10 miles long.)
DuckNCover

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03/31/2019 09:28 PM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Distributed power systems are the most practical, individual or small community systems that don't require large distribution systems. We have lots of cheap ways to produce power, solar and wind are among those but the problem is STORAGE. Develop affordable storage and most everyone will say adios to the power company. We should be investing massive research dollars into batteries. Affordable storage solves everything
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 76886332


You are exactly correct. Storage solutions are the problem.

I have a solar panel system and batteries don't last 10 years. I'm lucky to get 4 or 5 years from them and they degrade in storage capacity as they are used. Then the cost of the batteries are getting more expensive. There has to be a better storage solution that is cheaper...
Regal Beast

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03/31/2019 09:47 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Will only work in daytime.
DuckNCover

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03/31/2019 09:48 PM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Nothing like Solar power as an actual power alternative will be possible. Battery tech has been developed for years that could power a home and car for days on minimal power has been severally hindered by Federal regulation due to Oil lobbies and Big Oil interest within the Gov. signing Regulations and strangling EPA guidelines.
Solar panel tec has been hindered to. The absolutely best panel On The Free Market has at most 25% turn out. Meaning a 100 watt panel at highest production turns out 25 watts of charge.
If the Government Wanted Solar to be Viable It Would Be.
NASAs 52 million dollar A DAY budget would surely have produced it. But NO all NASA produces for the public investment is an active Twitter account
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75616732


I hear ya and agree that Solar is not the way to go for powering the Power Grid. It's better to power individual homes with solar, like a stand alone system, for emergency purposes..

As of your math on solar panels having a 25% turn out depends on how much solar energy your panel can absorb in a day as well as what type of controller your using...

I get 10-12 hours of sunlight a day depending on the season. My panels generate power when the sun is just 5 degrees off the horizon because I use a MPPT charge controller. If you used a PWM Controller, you'd have to wait for a voltage difference in order for the panels and PWM controller to operate. Therefore, the sun would have to be over 15 degrees in order for the Panels to operate, using a PWM Controller. To compensate for this, many people will use servo motors to angle the panels to follow the sun. With an MPPT Controller, it is not needed...

As a result, I'm able to generate the full 100 Watt/hours per panel for 10 hours = 1KWh per panel for the day...
sirpipsalot
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03/31/2019 09:48 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
You have NO CLUE about what you are saying.
sirpipsalot
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03/31/2019 09:50 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
OP you could not even run 1 state not even ! with 100 x 100 miles of solar panels with today's tech you are misguided at best.
Anonymous Coward
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03/31/2019 09:51 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
It's just another of Elon Musk's ideas which never seem to actually amount to anything:

Elon and the collective
[link to blog.piekniewski.info (secure)]

Anonymous Coward
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03/31/2019 09:52 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
100X100=100 square miles. Lets do it!smile_kiss
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 5656520


cruise
Mr. Chronos
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03/31/2019 09:56 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
it is absolutely horrifying that not a single one of you can multiply 100 times 100

we've all been funvaxed, and you are all living proof

how could 'we' built a fucking 10,000 square mile solar panel field when the US is full of people who can't multiply 100 times 100? or even understand what a square mile it?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 77517351


^^^ THIS!
Anonymous Coward
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03/31/2019 09:58 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
it is absolutely horrifying that not a single one of you can multiply 100 times 100

we've all been funvaxed, and you are all living proof

how could 'we' built a fucking 10,000 square mile solar panel field when the US is full of people who can't multiply 100 times 100? or even understand what a square mile it?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 77517351


^^^ THIS!
 Quoting: Mr. Chronos 70170111


10,000 sq. miles would engulf Washington D.C. and Virginia.
let's do it.
Anonymous Coward
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03/31/2019 10:05 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Tesla also regularly meets with first responders and donates its cars for training purposes. But there’s only so much that can be done once battery cells begin to spontaneously explode. The company’s online emergency response guide notes: “Battery fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish. Consider allowing the battery to burn while protecting exposures.”

One of the first things first responders learn: Never cut an orange cable, a color reserved for wiring in excess of 60 volts. These can be found not just in the front or rear of a car but also running behind side panels.
Safety experts say the only way to extinguish a lithium-ion battery inside a car is with thousands of gallons of water, much more than what it takes to stop a fire in a typical gasoline engine. The other option is to just let it burn itself out. “It’s such a difficult fire because it takes so much water to put out,”


[link to www.bloomberg.com (secure)]
DuckNCover

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03/31/2019 10:05 PM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Ha, ha. The land area of the entire United States is 3,531,905 square miles.

I'm sure 100 square miles would be enough. Have all of you lost your common sense?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 40127480


For those interested, here's the simple math:

100 miles x 100 miles = 10,000 square miles

1 mile = 5280 ft

10,000 square mile = 5,280 x 5,280 sq ft = 27,878,400 sq ft

----

One of the posters above has a 240W solar panel, probably like this one:

[link to www.gogreensolar.com (secure)]

so, he gets:

240 W / (65in x 39in) = 240 W / 2,535 sq in. = 240W / 17.6 sq. ft
240 W / 17.6 sq. ft = 13.6 W/sq. ft.

-----

The total max power that can be generated from 10,000 square miles of these panels is:

13.6W/sq.ft x 27,848,400 sq. ft. = 379,661,027 W ~= 380 MW

-----

The total energy produced from this many panels over 24hrs is:

380MW x 24hrs = 9,112 MWhrs = 9.1 GWhrs

and the total over 1 year is:

9.1GWhrs x 365 days/yr = 3326 GWhrs

----

How much electricity is used in the US annually?

[link to www.eia.gov (secure)]

-----

So, a 10,000 sq mile solar farm with this model solar panel can supply:

3326 GWhrs / 10.4MWhrs per household = 319, 791 households

-----

How many households are in the US?

[link to www.statista.com (secure)]

----

So, the OP's proposed solar farm can power at best:

319,791 / 127,590,000 = 0.25% of US households

Sorry, fail, interesting calculation though.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 61625577


hesright

Thanks for the real math.
 Quoting: Roboto


There is a slight problem with the math...

Power from the panels is only for 10 - 12 hours maximum and not 24 hours. Also, in practicality, you can't put that many panels that close together. You have to space them in rows so that they could be serviced. The heat dissipation from the panels is another factor that limits the output of the panels. You have to space them for air flow...

I would not place them in a desert, due to the heat. There are upper temperature limits to these panels. If you increase these specs to NASA kind of specs (used on satellites), that would increase the costs drastically per panel...
Anonymous Coward
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03/31/2019 10:12 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Ha, ha. The land area of the entire United States is 3,531,905 square miles.

I'm sure 100 square miles would be enough. Have all of you lost your common sense?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 40127480


For those interested, here's the simple math:

100 miles x 100 miles = 10,000 square miles

1 mile = 5280 ft

10,000 square mile = 5,280 x 5,280 sq ft = 27,878,400 sq ft

----

One of the posters above has a 240W solar panel, probably like this one:

[link to www.gogreensolar.com (secure)]

so, he gets:

240 W / (65in x 39in) = 240 W / 2,535 sq in. = 240W / 17.6 sq. ft
240 W / 17.6 sq. ft = 13.6 W/sq. ft.

-----

The total max power that can be generated from 10,000 square miles of these panels is:

13.6W/sq.ft x 27,848,400 sq. ft. = 379,661,027 W ~= 380 MW

-----

The total energy produced from this many panels over 24hrs is:

380MW x 24hrs = 9,112 MWhrs = 9.1 GWhrs

and the total over 1 year is:

9.1GWhrs x 365 days/yr = 3326 GWhrs

----

How much electricity is used in the US annually?

[link to www.eia.gov (secure)]

-----

So, a 10,000 sq mile solar farm with this model solar panel can supply:

3326 GWhrs / 10.4MWhrs per household = 319, 791 households

-----

How many households are in the US?

[link to www.statista.com (secure)]

----

So, the OP's proposed solar farm can power at best:

319,791 / 127,590,000 = 0.25% of US households

Sorry, fail, interesting calculation though.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 61625577


hesright

Thanks for the real math.
 Quoting: Roboto


There is a slight problem with the math...

Power from the panels is only for 10 - 12 hours maximum and not 24 hours. Also, in practicality, you can't put that many panels that close together. You have to space them in rows so that they could be serviced. The heat dissipation from the panels is another factor that limits the output of the panels. You have to space them for air flow...

I would not place them in a desert, due to the heat. There are upper temperature limits to these panels. If you increase these specs to NASA kind of specs (used on satellites), that would increase the costs drastically per panel...
 Quoting: DuckNCover


Assuming the solar panels were one metre square, there would be about 25 billion of them, which would require some maintenance.

Meanwhile, Musk's Solar City can't even get their solar house tiles to work.
Anonymous Coward
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03/31/2019 10:18 PM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
9 pages of totally useless debate. And, shitty math in the OP.

epiclol
Pooka

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04/01/2019 12:16 AM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
My Math skills have always been minimal at best.
 Quoting: Lily o' the Valley


That's no sin. hf
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 3986036


It may not be a sin to be stupid, but to be ignorant, stupid and refuse to better yourself is. It takes a really, really, really lazy piece of shit to refuse to learn basic math.


Your perfection in all learnable subjects is duly noted.
Prayer is the most powerful force on earth.

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I sign all karma given. Would that those giving it to me followed suit.
Brown Chicken Brown Cow

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04/01/2019 12:35 AM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Sounds like communism. Central planning. One big power factory. That’s how the Soviet did things
Liberalism is a mental disorder.
Anonymous Coward
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04/01/2019 12:49 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Sounds like communism. Central planning. One big power factory. That’s how the Soviet did things
 Quoting: Brown Chicken Brown Cow


certainly not one big one for the whole country.

but this shows that regional solar panel farms are certainly feasible.
Anonymous Coward
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04/01/2019 12:55 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
solar light drops 700 to 1000 watts of Energy continuously,
per square meter, when the sun is shining.

hell yes we should capture much of that and put it to use.
BRIEF

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04/01/2019 07:13 AM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Forget zero point energy. It is free.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 49995199


Zero point energy is a violent way to produce power. Basically you have to cause a tear or flaw in this dimension so that a rush of information attempts to fill the hole created.That rush to fill the artificial void produce tremendous energy...if we master it we will become a level 3 existence.
I never forgive and I never forget

I am a licensed firearm holder. I will, under protection of law, use lethal force if attacked.

Briefcut4892
Anonymous Coward
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Greece
04/01/2019 07:48 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
solar light drops 700 to 1000 watts of Energy continuously,
per square meter, when the sun is shining.

hell yes we should capture much of that and put it to use.
 Quoting: Kung Fu Lover


Yes, but until recently, most ignored that there isn't only solar light radiation hitting earth, some of which we capture, some of which gets reflected and some of which gets absorbed by earth and heats up the planet.

The planet not being at absolute zero, because the sun heats it up, also emits a lot of infrared radiation towards empty space which can be harnessed, especially at night times.


The technology required for that is arrays of optical/infrared nano rectennas (rectifying antenna) which is basically a nano sized antenna with one or more nano sized diodes.
Usually MIM diodes are used which are quantum tunneling diodes, more suited for this purpose.

[link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]

[link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]


The problem with this technology currently, as it appears to me, isn't the nano antennas but the rectifying diodes. The nano antennas already seem to reach a higher than 80% efficiency.
The specifications required for the diodes however in order to reach efficiencies of over 50% are immense, this being currently at the forefront of experimentation/research


But if successful and they finally manage to produce the required diodes at high enough efficiencies, in theory, you could have solar panels which at day time absorb the incoming sun rays and at night time absorb the infrared radiation emitted by earth into empty space at all times.

You could also have clothing with infrared nano rectennas weaved in, such that they would absorb a great portion of the infrared radiation your body emits at all times. Enough radiation to charge your smartphone for example several times over per day.


If this technology succeeds in the near future, it will be a game changer since earth emits infrared radiation at all times, independent of day or night or weather. It would make batteries obsolete for the most part.



With all such technology however, it is also extremely useful to the military. There are already experiments trying to use this technology to power micro drones just from the environment, without requiring any refueling, which is why there is a chance that a breakthrough already occurred but kept secret.
Anonymous Coward
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04/01/2019 07:48 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
solar light drops 700 to 1000 watts of Energy continuously,
per square meter, when the sun is shining.

hell yes we should capture much of that and put it to use.
 Quoting: Kung Fu Lover


You can use it to directly heat water in a home. Electricity is not the answer to everything.
BRIEF

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04/01/2019 08:04 AM

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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
solar light drops 700 to 1000 watts of Energy continuously,
per square meter, when the sun is shining.

hell yes we should capture much of that and put it to use.
 Quoting: Kung Fu Lover


You can use it to directly heat water in a home. Electricity is not the answer to everything.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 77399466


yeah but you create more plumbing and storage problems. An electric on demand doesn't burn that much wattage...
I never forgive and I never forget

I am a licensed firearm holder. I will, under protection of law, use lethal force if attacked.

Briefcut4892
Anonymous Coward
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04/01/2019 08:06 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Looks like AOC math. 100 x 100 = 100?

yeah, OK.
Anonymous Coward
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Greece
04/01/2019 08:11 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
solar light drops 700 to 1000 watts of Energy continuously,
per square meter, when the sun is shining.

hell yes we should capture much of that and put it to use.
 Quoting: Kung Fu Lover


Yes, but until recently, most ignored that there isn't only solar light radiation hitting earth, some of which we capture, some of which gets reflected and some of which gets absorbed by earth and heats up the planet.

The planet not being at absolute zero, because the sun heats it up, also emits a lot of infrared radiation towards empty space which can be harnessed, especially at night times.


The technology required for that is arrays of optical/infrared nano rectennas (rectifying antenna) which is basically a nano sized antenna with one or more nano sized diodes.
Usually MIM diodes are used which are quantum tunneling diodes, more suited for this purpose.

[link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]

[link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]


The problem with this technology currently, as it appears to me, isn't the nano antennas but the rectifying diodes. The nano antennas already seem to reach a higher than 80% efficiency.
The specifications required for the diodes however in order to reach efficiencies of over 50% are immense, this being currently at the forefront of experimentation/research


But if successful and they finally manage to produce the required diodes at high enough efficiencies, in theory, you could have solar panels which at day time absorb the incoming sun rays and at night time absorb the infrared radiation emitted by earth into empty space at all times.

You could also have clothing with infrared nano rectennas weaved in, such that they would absorb a great portion of the infrared radiation your body emits at all times. Enough radiation to charge your smartphone for example several times over per day.


If this technology succeeds in the near future, it will be a game changer since earth emits infrared radiation at all times, independent of day or night or weather. It would make batteries obsolete for the most part.



With all such technology however, it is also extremely useful to the military. There are already experiments trying to use this technology to power micro drones just from the environment, without requiring any refueling, which is why there is a chance that a breakthrough already occurred but kept secret.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 77492469


Here is a related Article to the above, outlining the main problem briefly

"Headlines: Harvesting Earth’s Infrared Energy Proposed by Harvard Physicists"

What’s holding us back from building this type of energy generating source? We need to do more experimentation with nanomaterials to get just the right ones to optimize the energy we generate. And we need to develop a class of diodes in rectennas that can switch on and off 30 trillion times a second.
 Quoting:


[link to www.21stcentech.com (secure)]


that Article is from 2014 and there has been and is a lot of research going on to tackle the above issue
Anonymous Coward
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Greece
04/01/2019 08:18 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
{quote:]The use of broadband antennas for collecting MID-IR
infrared Earth’s energy has a big potential advantage.
Even though the tunneling process is femtosecond fast,
MIM tunnel diodes are frequency limited due to their
large RC time constant. Searching for a diode suitable
for solar rectification, in addition to high speed and
responsivity, the goal must be a device that has a
combination of lower resistance and lower capacitance
than the existing MIM diodes. Moreover, further
research activities have to be fulfilled to identify the
suitable materials and technology for the design and
fabrication of efficient THz rectifiers.


Another paper related to this and also describing the main issue being the diodes which are not up to spec yet

[link to www.researchgate.net (secure)]
Anonymous Coward
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Greece
04/01/2019 08:21 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Most sunlight striking the Earth is absorbed by its surfaces, oceans and atmosphere. As a result of this warming, infrared radiation is emitted constantly all around us-estimated to be millions of Gigawatts per second. A KAUST team has now developed a device that can tap into this energy, as well as waste heat from industrial processes, by transforming quadrillionth-of-a-second wave signals into useful electricity.

Unlike solar panels that are limited by daylight hours and weather conditions, infrared heat can be harvested 24 hours a day. One way to achieve this is to treat waste or infrared heat as high-frequency electromagnetic waves. Using appropriately designed antennas, collected waves are sent to a rectifier, typically a semiconductor diode, that converts alternating signals to direct current charge for batteries or power devices.
 Quoting:


[link to phys.org (secure)]
Anonymous Coward
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04/01/2019 08:34 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
Forget zero point energy. It is free.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 49995199


Zero point energy is a violent way to produce power. Basically you have to cause a tear or flaw in this dimension so that a rush of information attempts to fill the hole created.That rush to fill the artificial void produce tremendous energy...if we master it we will become a level 3 existence.
 Quoting: BRIEF


there is no energy source at the Planck scale level.
Anonymous Coward
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04/01/2019 09:55 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
“If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States,”

“The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile.”

It’s “a little square on the U.S. map, and then there’s a little pixel inside there, and that’s the size of the battery park that you need to support that. Real tiny.”

[link to www.inverse.com (secure)]

If this were spread over the United States connected by a power grid sounds doable and not very intrusive, the panels also being on top of building roofs.. What we waiting for?
 Quoting: norakat147


This entire fucking post is 100 pecent bullshit.

Lets see, add up all the square footage of solar panel currently in use in the US..

Hmm.. much more than OPs stupid post, yet we are still where we are.

What bullshit.

You people have no understanding of science, physics, electricity, none of it.

Fuck it, this is like talking to a potato about fine art.
hillbilly

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04/01/2019 10:10 AM
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Re: Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States
It's like saying the entire planet's population could fit in Texas.
Soon will come a day when the ones who seek hi
to control and weaponize technology will be gone.

Last Edited by hillbilly on 04/01/2019 10:11 AM
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