Re: Technology evolves, ergo automation evolves, until...

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 03 Nov 1998 12:46:50 -0500

John E Westerlage wrote:

> On Tue, 3 Nov 1998 10:57:36 +0100 "Max M" <> writes:
> >
> >What most of this solar cell discussion really seem to strand on is
> >the energy storage.
> >
> Why store it? Why not dump it into a world wide power grid?

Solar power generating stations suffer from one serious fault: peak demand incompatibility. being able to store power from this intermittent source for supply to the grid at periods of peak demand (when the power is also worth the most) is of utmost importance.

As for the amount of power it generates, the area of Arizona should see a solar flux level equivalent to over 250 terawatts. Given that the only solar technology currently available which has any kind of near-market cost effectiveness is thin film amorphous, which has a conversion efficiency of around 10%, we are talking about 25 terawatts of generated power. Accounting for DC to AC inveting and distribution losses, we are talking about 20 terawatts of power. This is a significant amount, but not a significant percentage of the world power demand.

Mike Lorrey