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Category: Tech
Date: 02/25/14 12:30 PM

20 Responses to IBM Solar Collector Magnifies 2000x [Pic+]

  1. Profile photo of 747Pilot
    747Pilot Male 18-29
    1455 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 12:34 pm
    Link: IBM Solar Collector Magnifies 2000x - Lets get curb our apatite for oil already...
  2. Profile photo of Ilikelogic
    Ilikelogic Male 40-49
    550 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm
    Poorely written article on a highly interesting subject.
    As solar panels (producing electricity from sunlight) are expensive and not running at full capacity under normal sunlight, focussing the sunlight will allow to reduce the panel surface and or using higher quality (multi layer) photocells
    Their cost per area is higher but their efficiency is higher too and the combination with an optical concentrator reduces the costs.
    As the photovoltaic panels heat up, they have to be cooled.
    When cooling them with hot water, you can use the heat and electricity produced to desalinate the water.
  3. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36208 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    If windmills take away the wind, then surely this device would leave us all in darkness!
  4. Profile photo of danagamer
    danagamer Male 30-39
    701 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm
    well? where are all the conservative republicans? Lets hear why you think this is bad:
  5. Profile photo of Andrew155
    Andrew155 Male 18-29
    2579 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm
    danagamer, why would they think additional energy production is bad? No, really, I want to know.
  6. Profile photo of RobSwindol
    RobSwindol Male 30-39
    2508 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm
    Wherever there is a solar panel, their must also be batteries. LARGE batteries. Where do we dump these toxic batteries once they are spent???

    This idea that solar power is clean, isn`t accurate.
  7. Profile photo of Rodin
    Rodin Male 30-39
    692 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm
    @Rob:

    You do need energy storage devices but these don`t have to be chemical batteries.
  8. Profile photo of icdumbpeople
    icdumbpeople Male 30-39
    177 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    If governments can`t make money off it, it won`t get any backing.
  9. Profile photo of CodeJockey
    CodeJockey Male 40-49
    5606 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm
    "AAARRGGHH!!! MY EYES!!!!!"
  10. Profile photo of nettech98
    nettech98 Male 50-59
    1043 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm
    "Wherever there is a solar panel, their must also be batteries. LARGE batteries. Where do we dump these toxic batteries once they are spent???"

    Not true. Solar farms don`t use batteries. Neither do those panels that you may see on utility poles, or the rooftop versions on houses or other buildings. They connect right to the grid.

    They generate electricity. Just like a power plant. Power plants don`t store electricity, they produce it and put it on the grid. Hence no batteries there either.
  11. Profile photo of turdburglar
    turdburglar Male 30-39
    4718 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Concetrated solar can be stored as liquid salt instead of using a battery.

    I wonder why people are so fascinated by solar power. It`s unreliable and high maintenance.

    Tidal and/or wave power has so much potential. So does LFTR technology.
  12. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 5:55 pm
    They generate electricity. Just like a power plant. Power plants don`t store electricity, they produce it and put it on the grid. Hence no batteries there either.

    Power stations that feed directly to the grid must be completely reliable and controllable.

    Solar power generators are neither.

    This isn`t a minor issue. It`s absolutely crucial to having a grid because supply must be matched to demand at all times. That requires reliability and controllability.

    The lack of both in almost all renewables (the sole exception is geothermal) means that they can`t practically be used for more than a few % of generation without mass storage. Any use of them has to be backed by *less efficient* use of controllable power stations, which increases pollution and reduces stability. A few % is manageable, but the impact climbs harshly after that.
  13. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 5:59 pm
    Germany provides a good example. They`re using renewables for 20% of electricity generation. It`s working, right? Well, not really. Poland is propping them up because Germany has destabilised their own national grid as a result of that policy. Germany is producing less pollution, but only on paper because Poland is producing more by using fossil fuel plants less efficiently in order to stabilise Germany`s unstable grid.

    But hey, this is new solar, right?
  14. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm
    Well, not really. It`s a combo of concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV), which is more complicated than either and more expensive than CSP.

    So...what`s the benefit of this over CSP, which doesn`t require relatively expensive PV panels because it generates electricty from heat, not light?

    Quick summary of CSP - you use curved shiny surfaces to concentrate solar heat onto a tank of stuff that will remain liquid to very high temperatures (~900C). You use the heat from that tank to boil water, which you use to power a steam turbine to generate electricity in the same way as a conventional power station.

    CSP appears to be cheaper, use less rare materials and be able to generate electricity partially into the night as well (the very hot tank retains usable heat for a while after sunset).

    But neither is much use without mass storage, which doesn`t yet exist in any practical form.
  15. Profile photo of Andrew155
    Andrew155 Male 18-29
    2579 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm
    Well, as long as it made Germany feel better about itself, I guess.
  16. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 6:14 pm
    I wonder why people are so fascinated by solar power. It`s unreliable and high maintenance.

    Tidal and/or wave power has so much potential.

    Solar has a lot of potential because it`s all over the place. It`s nowhere near practical and might never be, but it does have potential. Tidal and wave has more potential in some places, but not all. Neither actually works yet, though. Not for a national grid.

    So does LFTR technology.

    True, but fusion has more. LFTR could probably be implemented before fusion, but not by more than a few decades at most. It might be a better idea to use existing fission until fusion is viable.
  17. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 6:16 pm
    Well, as long as it made Germany feel better about itself, I guess.

    It was politically useful, which was of course the point. Lots of votes in "green" issues in Germany, even if it isn`t really green. As long as the pollution is somewhere else, it`s politically useful.
  18. Profile photo of jbwhite
    jbwhite Male 18-29
    1292 posts
    February 25, 2014 at 8:11 pm
    IBM helped the nazis
  19. Profile photo of kvetcher
    kvetcher Male 50-59
    213 posts
    February 26, 2014 at 7:31 am
    "It would take only 2% of the Sahara Desert`s land (not sea?) area to produce all the world`s electricity needs." And one determined Al-Qaeda gang with a big bomb to cut off all the world`s electricity.
  20. Profile photo of papajon0s1
    papajon0s1 Male 40-49
    578 posts
    February 26, 2014 at 10:18 am
    @danagamer, as a conservative myself, please know we are all for alternatives, as long as they make reasonable and economic sense to pursue. I am not a fan of spending endless tax dollars on research. Why? Because ever since I was in grade school in the 1970`s they`ve been wasting money on the next big thing that will solve all the worlds problems. All we`ve done is hurt people financially in the process and here I am four decades later and there`s little to show for it. That said, if IBM or whoever wants to pursue this then have at it! Good for you! Come up with ways to solve many of the problems other commenters have stated here. Just stop needlessly hurting people in the process!

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