Skip to main content
9 votes

Why is solar energy so expensive?

It is not, necessarily The initial capital cost of a plant is not the same thing as its lifecycle costs. The best way to analyze the cost impact of an energy source is to look at the total expected ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 1,077
4 votes

How do I keep my solar panels clean?

I work and attend classes at a University in Florida. Our 100kW system has been installed for more than five years without a single cleaning. I have walked the solar field several times and can ...
mat c's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes

Reference request - Overview over established solar thermal desalination technologies

Here are a couple of papers published between 2011 and 2016: Ranjan, K. R., and S. C. Kaushik. 2013. ‘Energy, Exergy and Thermo-Economic Analysis of Solar Distillation Systems: A Review’. Renewable ...
stragu's user avatar
  • 3,312
3 votes

Are there any good diy examples of home level STES or BTES

STES (Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage) is, in most cases, too expensive to really be practical because of the huge quantity of the storage medium needed to supply the seasonal demand. Typically, you ...
Gannet's user avatar
  • 161
2 votes

Can hot air move horizontally without a fan (vertical is easy)

Buoyancy acts vertically, so in most circumstances the answer is "no" (or at least "not with any level of efficiency that would make it worth doing"). If you don't care about efficiency (or ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
2 votes

Why is solar energy so expensive?

Really good breakdown in U.S. Photovoltaic Prices and Cost Breakdowns: Q1 2015 Benchmarks for Residential, Commercial, and Utility-Scale Systems from National Renewable Energy Laboratory. If you look ...
Eric H.'s user avatar
  • 1,202
2 votes

Does a solar thermal hot water system make sense for my home?

With today's prices, it's cheaper to install PV panels and generate electricity, then just use a standard electric water heater. This has the advantage that it actually works better in the winter ...
Peter_V's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes

Under what circumstances are concentrated solar power plants more feasible than conventional solar panels?

Concentrating solar-thermal power is an entirely different way of producting solar power. There are two types of concentrating solar-thermal plants. One type has parabolic mirrors in a line. Then a ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,099
2 votes

Solar air heater inside the window?

Clearly I will lose the heat that would otherwise enter the room through the window if I hadn't blocked it with the Solar Venti as opposed to my mounting it on an outside wall. The heat you're ...
Jean-Paul Calderone's user avatar
1 vote

When/where is it feasible to use a solar cooker to boil water?

Just a matter of money; you can boil all the water you want with enough focusing solar collectors . There is an installation ( maybe more) in AZ (?) that melts metal with this method. Reliable,good ,...
blacksmith37's user avatar
1 vote

Are there any good diy examples of home level STES or BTES

I have done this sort of, in reverse. I'm a tree farmer. I get seedlings and to extend the time I can plant them I have made a cold room. This is a 12x12 foot room with 4" fiberglass + 12" ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
1 vote

Need critique of my idea for a passive heating and cooling system for a tent/waterbed

Never leave home without an air mattress. I've been observing the fools that sleep on the ground for years. The older you get the more likely you will do serious damage. Yes, the "macho" who sleeps on ...
user8054's user avatar
1 vote

What advantages (any?) has water heating via photovoltaic system over solar thermal system?

I had to quit my PV water heating experiment since the wife had to take one too many cold showers and I was in fear of waking up dead one morning with a back-brush through my skull... and the ...
user1009's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible