« Stuff You Should Know

Solar Power: The Future or What?

2019-08-13 | 🔗

We’ve been promised solar energy for a while now – where is it? Turns out, it’s been quietly and steadily growing across the world. And with a few breakthroughs, we just may be able to say goodbye to fossil fuels. Learn about sun-based energy in this episode.

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welcome to step you should now production of Iheart radios have stuff works, woke lube. I guess I'm Josh, for he strove to reach a bright jerry over there. The sun is shining collars report, tons of issues, are hanging out and smells really nice, a train which must mean one thing Chuck time to talk some stuff you should know she's finishes at. Can I say that you're a good? Well, I just did He did so. We are actually talking about solar power today and I'm a little psyched about this one, because I was put in the same together over months dude. You would think solar powered such a hot sexy topic. You know
There will be just reads a reams of just stuff to research and there is, but it's all really wonky am really technical and there's a lot of stuff that contradicts other stuff. And I got this feeling of dread researching this- that. The cheer leaders in champions of solar power are losing their resolve to an extent still sell you, a solar panel feel so tell you so great, and I know that they truly believe that, but I think that they are worried that it's it's not taking off like they expected it to. But then let me just caviar that with one other thing and then we'll get started now be quiet for the rest part cast if you look at the numbers in the figures, solar has quietly
made a name for itself in established itself, at least in the United States, to an astounding degree. So I'm not quite sure what I'm picking up on when I get the sense that their worry because if you look at it is actually doing really really well and growing all the time. Let's discuss solar power power from the sun converted into electricity right, so you can say screw you power, company or pay me. Our company. He you can say, take this power bill and shove it now the sun. This is pretty neat here at the beginning of this that you put together here, the Sun Ray the sun's rays give up about a thousand wants of energy per square metre. So if you pull the camera back a bit and you look at texas- let's say Lotta Son Texas, Landon. Taxes is a lot of a lot of stuff in Texas, their real
is not much about of no it's true. I guess it would get things. Taxi could completely covered with solar rays and no one, but the people who live in Texas would have a problem with a boy gear gear So if you look at a mass landmass, that's his biggest taxes, they receive a little under seven hundred terawatts of the earth of one hour on a yet on on a sunny day, seven, the terror, what it sounds like a lot, but it what a lot who knows who could possibly now, if you want to compare that you're being coy, In that same hour, the total amount of human, major energy energy production on planet earth- and this is all
he production that you could possibly dream of is seventeen point. Seven terawatts compared to seven hundred terawatt sets forty times less than what the sun delivered to taxes and in just that, our yeah right and the union of concern scientists happening group who love. They say that eighteen days, sunshine that hits across the entire earth contains the same amount of energy stored in the entirety of the planet's reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. If you dug up and burned every bit of coal, oil and natural gas, it would only produces much energy as a teen Is worth of global sunlight? That's astounding, yeah, and these are you know these are facts that have fifty caveats beneath each of them, which we're gonna talk about. But it is a prime example- and I think, just a good way
kind of indicate just how much energy per day Joe Energy. There is coming from the sun, everyday yeah. Just I mean to to point out the obvious. The great thing solar is. There is no greenhouse gas emissions. When you use solar electricity, it's just clean energy and its free, because it's from the son, a train for you start typing Yo Yo, but would blow you got a lot to make these things. For me, still gone, and then remember me before you do that. We were going to talk about all that stuff, but Josh very clearly said when she had leasing set up. That's that's when the real benefit Yes, if I hadn't said it, I was going to eventually honor. You basically said it like. You know, their workin when their active there not using fossil fuels. Thank you check out. So let's go back in time of it, because if you think solar power, you think oil, the stuff you know was invented in the nineties.
That not so you have to go all the way back to eight in thirty nine believe it or not. When a french physicists name Alexandra Edmund Josh, says this back where Ella banana practice did a million times. Where real are, I think, fit querulous yeah yeah yeah yeah, it's upward. Yes, it is there's a couple extra continents. Initiatives should that's right. So this dude he's on the first eminence did the photovoltaic effect, which is basically the ability of a solar cell to turn son into electricity away back in eighteen. Thirty nine right, but no one knew exactly how this work. They just knew that it were. He was burned at the stake later on his black magic right, so just Belle forty about forty years later there
guy named Charles Fritz and he in the eighteen eighties built the world's first rooftop solar array coincidence. Just a year after Edison launched the world's first coal fired power plant, but early solar array was terribly inefficient. It didn't do very much like a basically power geez. I don't even know what power mousetrap power that chair. I didn't even need electricity, that's a little power that this thing produced, but it definitely demonstrated that it was possible to generate an electrical current from sunlight in a way that that it was a proof of concept, basically saying Just give it like ninety years and in will understand this better. Yet he was that there was Fritz Charlie, grits yeah, pretty good guy, but he was no Einstein
Einstein, it would take Einstein that is to really explain how this all worked in nineteen o five, because he had a knack for doing that are much more people realise that he was a good explain or maybe the original explain her or he would put in terms that you could really understand what sure, like consider the sandwich. Imagine the sandwiches, the sun and then go from there and you be like I understand what I'm saying and if you think, I know you: he went a bunch of Nobel prizes for relativity, not so he won the Nobel rise in physics in nineteen twenty one for explaining the photo electric effect he didn't win fur relativity I didn't know that holy cow. What am I doing wrong? And if I am I going to have a lot of egg on my face? That's all right. What will cook it off with some good old solar electricity? It is gross but also says the idea of cooked egg. In your beard
Xo Bell Labs and nineteen. Fifty four. If you want to talk about the modern pvc? Well, that was a nineteen before and thanks U S government really in the? U S military they funded allotted as early research, because if you ve ever looked at a picture of sky lab or any of our great satellites, you'll notice that They all have these big solar wings, yet solar powered it was because of? U S: government research in the fifties that we are able to develop those I think they launched the first solar powered said. Light in nineteen, fifty four, no fifty eight and then just sick. Years later, they launched the first solar powered satellite, whose solar panels could track the sun, which is it's a pretty ways: bang thing to have for your solar array, MRS Nineteen sixty four near sixty four amazing, so
the? U S: government invested in the earliest research and everything was going along really smoothly, but one of the things that's always been. A problem for solar is oil and natural gas and coal, or just so, cheap in infrastructures set up to burn those things and get a anti for them, so sold has always been an upstart, but at one point in nineteen, seventy three Oil was not very cheap. All of a sudden because of the pack, embargo that created the energy crisis that made it really on cheap, so much so that the United States looked around and said we need to find other sources of energy in they really looked really. Solar, and it actually gave solar technology. A big old boost, dear that boost came by way of offering tax credits for the this time in the United States for businesses and residents. You said hey. If you wanna put
solar power. They still do this today. I will give you some tax credits. It will make a lot cheaper for you, yet there has been a guess we could that the solar battle at the White House since one. Seventy nine Jimmy Carter, heads very famously had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House, to heat water for for them and for the pools and for the kitchen and stuff like that show and Reagan had them taken down and eighty six. So there are a couple of stories about how this went down the cynical say Reagan as a statement. Then taken down, even though their working fine, because he was all for the fossil fuel industry. Yet it was very symbolic gesture, other people say: that's not what happened at all the roof needed repair that these solar panels were on and they took down the solar panel. To repair the roof, and then the White House officially says they did not put them back because
would be very unwise. Based on cost is a direct quote so that Siena. That's the party line no I've never heard, though, and that sounds like a new Gingrich yarn. If you ask me well ass, a direct quote: George W Bush puts solar power back into solar power back into the White House. What ok yeah, he put the solar for the water heaters for the White House Pool and then solar panels on top of the roof of the grounds maintenance, building, ok, but there he did not have them on top of the actual White House, but he had solar solar power installed at various places around the White House. This is W h w. This is W. Ok, while that's really surprising yeah Carter's. For his part, one of his he has to undo splay. One of them said the Smithsonian, and one of them is right here in Atlanta, the Carter Centre can go. Look at one of those solar panels. There is also
a museum of Science in China, they got their hands on one it's on display in China to area which makes sense because after after the, U S, government kind of turned its on solar China came along is at all will take that ball ran with it sure. Going back to Reagan. Now he didn't want to let him too easy with this. The fact that they do said it was unwise based on costs because he guided the movement of energies, renewable energy rate, research and development budgets liked we got it I'm in he eliminated the tax breaks for wind and solar I'm not sure for how long. For a million years. I will now give their back and it was Obama who came back and very publicly installed solar panels back on the roof of the White House and of course, the first thing I thought was that that Trump probably went in there and smashed him with a sledge hammer on his first day in office, but apparently there still, there is still. There are still there still work and he didn't dig him down.
Why are we so one of the other things that the government there to help solar along during the Carter era? Was it to offer tax breaks like you were saying, but because of the really really high costs of installing a solar electric system, was basically viewed as a sweetheart deal, a tax break for the rich. That's how the first solar tax credits were viewed because solar was so expensive, so they were a little bit but before their time by- over the course of those in suing years, from the early eighties onwards. Today, because we ve had breakthroughs and in technology of manufacturing, of creating new kinds of semi conductors of making traditional kind more cheaply. The price of solar has dropped. Eighty eight percent in the past, aid yeah, I mean it's really to the point in our its I mean,
some the prices- and I was like you know- that's that's now, I think, fairly affordable for fur, most kind of middle class, American, if they want to put in solar power casino. Eventually, it's gonna pay for itself, that's the whole, rival idea? Either Europe either you're, trying to pay this? You know get cheaper bills, and have it paper it's itself over the years, which is gonna happen regardless or you're some with the money that just wants to do the right thing by the environment and get off the grid as much as possible? Yeah, it's just that up front course not the exhaust over the life or the set up. It's the up front costs, but there are things like you: can there, like energy favour renewable energy, more mortgaged home loans. Basically, you can take out. They have really special good financing and rates and stuff like that, there's a lot of things. You can do that will talk about two to get around the up front costs
you you hit the nail on the head and it's really worth saying again: you can expect your solar electrical homes system to pay for itself over the lifetime of the set up yeah, we'll talk more about price later, but just poking around it sort of an average. U S household! You can plug down out fifteen grand to cover one hundred some of your electricity needs, which an that's I think after the tax credit, if not more, again, I was at it again it in other, so many factors where you live: how much energy use, how big your houses the weather where you are so. This is a big big, broad statement, but if you're just looking for a general arrange it's not like it costs fifty or sixty days. Dollars anymore. To do this right, so you want to take a year you and take a break and then come back in talk about what actually going on in those solar cells tech. Here, let's do it
fuck em It's me jack right here right next year by next to me, just like a work hey one join with you to tell people too tune in to a very special episode special year of tedious
That is, I guess this is actually look. I know you saw the social media Zaza, the Ellie Otto. She said what are these two juggernaut supplied casting doing there when Mazda cause me ever they say miles. We know that you're, a loyal, Mazda owner. We want to align with you because you get it yeah. You know what I am willing to answer the call and help Ding Ding help people understand the power of it. So what we did is we actually got to record of special episode inside the new Mazda six. Thirty where we talked about kind of like flow states and was feeling alive and how we feel alive. What makes us feel like it was really doped actually record inside the car. I got to press a lot of buttons and make them mad, because you like, please don't fumble around in here- set out with it out. I like to explore. Nonetheless, if you actually want to check out the first ever see Ex thirty check it out at Moscow, USA, dot com, slash, Iheart or, if you're, trying to check it up, I already them pull up to the local deal
ship today, ok dude, so there are three way these. As far as humans are aware of right. Now that you can get energy from the site, you can get it back, converting it into electricity hooray, while we're going to talk about. Basically, you can turn it into care go energy boring, which is its far out, though it's like storing energy in the bonds of molecules like through artificial photosynthesis, pretty courts news then you can also converted into heat. But when you talk about solar energy, most people think of these soul into electricity, which is called photovoltaic energy and that basically, what we're gonna be talking about
Gallagher. You drive their neighbourhood and you see those shiny panels on a roof and think, my god, those ugly man. It's too will get to that do so so talking about these photovoltaic cells, they are made up of semi conductors materials called semiconductors and these days- and you know what talking to set about how this, I'd be changing the future, but about now, percent of all these solar cells these days are using silicon as the semiconductor right. Silicon is crystal which means that it has a really tight atomic composition right. It's not fair it's an extraordinarily stable, which is kind of a thing, because you'd want a somewhat unstable arrangement of atoms, or else you won't get this electricity to work near
I'd, give it must, if no, you can't get it, but on the low, that's exactly right: the flow of electricity. I basically with the reason why they use silicon is because it is a semi conductor, which means that it gives you a large measure of control over where that electricity flows in how it flows. So rather than just using pure silicon, which will will allow you to direct the control of electricity, but won't producing electricity. They actually dope it with materials to produce two different types of silicon, film and type MP type that's right so before the end type, which is stands for negative they're, gonna dope it- and all of that word in this case with phosphorus that has. Finally, trans, so it's gonna bind the silicon that has for electrons, and so leaves you. I can't even do this kind of simple math with one free one extra Electra
left over this dangling out there like its wearing shorts, that away too sure yeah is looking for a place to go basically show the way I sort of saw. This was like a cup of apartments next to each other. One has an empty room and one has an extra roommate. Ok, that's great one. So the other type is PETE, I, the positive its doped with boron, has three electrons, and so this is the other apartment. This. The one it's gonna to was Silicon and ITALY set unused bond open. So that's where you have your extra space, where the electron can go right. So when you take n type, silicon, film and p type silicon film and you put them up against one another, you have a seat. Nation. Where that extra electron wants to flow to the other side and fill the unused bond. Because, again the youth, It is always moving toward homeostasis right near that really needs.
Hey, you got an extra room. Can I come crash there? Yet they say wait, wait. We need somebody to get. You offer the couch, and in this case, that somebody is sunlight cause. Sunlight is made up of four times which are energy carriers of the electromagnetic spectrum, and when they hit this doped silicon, they come bursting into the room, and I kick that that lazy electron into the other apartment, where there's a open bedroom and everything is filled very nicely, that's right. So this drawn flow. These electrons moving around and flowing in this single direction. We said that only flows in one direction. Electricity does well it in this way. In this case, he that's the basis. This electron flows, the basis of electricity and what they do. Is they put these metal contacts on the top in the bottom of the cell? And then you can do that electron flow out of the cell to be used as electricity in your home gathered
The solar cell, in and in a nutshell in the solar cell, is the basic unit of the of what you think of any like a solar panel or whatever it's that one little square and that squares connected to other squares in in there, they form was called a module and when you put like em, a nice little love frame around it and put it on a stand or whatever. You have yourself a solar panel when you have a bunch of solar panels together a group all working together. That's solar array. So technically, when you pointed someone if you say, look at solar panel, you're saying look at that solar array, and now you can correct that person from the back seat in the old make you get out of the car to people look at our solar ray, I wouldn't writing. I would think people would, more say, look at those solar panels. Well then, now it since I set it up, so it didn't make any thing. So someone with sweeping incorrect, so the
person. Who knows what it's really call hang around with complete morons, who say things like look at them: solar panel when they see a group of solar pan that you were told us right I'd. So it's it's, it sounds implemented, is kind of simple and its complexity. That makes no sense at all, but a little more complicated because, like we said, electricity in this case is only flowing in one direction, which means it creates a direct current and that's a problem because we need to know if we talked about in the bone wars upset about the the called the power wars that occur in order it worse. A war of current that's right d, he did not win. So we have to convert that Deasey current to AC current, though what the solar panels need is something called an inverted Yeah and the invaders, basically like the brains of the whole set up, and there used to be a big problem,
with inverted ass. They were very clunky and you, basically have one invert her for an entire solar array and, solar inverted would be kind of modulate the amount of electricity that was going through it out to the house with a circuit panel, and it would base however, it was doing on whatever the the lowest com the dominating of the whole array was giving right. So if you had one dirty solar cell- or there was a outgoing over just one solar panel out of like twenty, the the inverted was basically delivering electric. Based on that one that one de panel that one dirty cell that's the case anymore you're, not very smart. Was it there, one cell could could be dirty or cloudy at any given point, but it's not going to drag down the whole thing.
Because there's all these other converters that are running the show on their own to you. Haven't you gotta clean these things. Did you see that I didn't, but I did see could be a dirty or cloudy at any given point. But it's not going to dragged down the whole thing because there's all these other inverted that are running the show on their own to you. Haven't you gotta clean these things? Did you see that I didn't, but I did see that they were virtually maintenance, free, airily, yeah. That's what I thought I'd. So, let's talk about pairing house and dislike four years ago he doesn't fifteen and these are pretty good numbers. Eight hundred thousand houses and businesses in the United States had solar panels and that's not to say they were one hundred percent dependent on them, but they really when some of the work, which is not bad and, like you said once once it's up. Running, not much maintenance going on and you're looking at
I believe in the number they often throw out is just you know. For twenty years, you can expect to sing to work like a charm, yet twin, yours is the low end I saw the average is about twenty five years when you buy a solar set up that you can just put it up, and be like her home. This is great. I don't even need to think about this anymore, but if you do want to invest in this, if you like, ok, I can swing this. I want to contribute I'm going to go solar. There are some steps you wanna take to kind of war, is in yourself up so that when you deal with the installer you'll know what you're talking about and when the first things you want to do to do an energy audit on your energy consumption, which is basically figuring out how much electricity, you're using your house at any given time, We want to figure out where your peak is, and then just kind of plan, for for that too, what I it is like. You can look at your power bill until that you need to do it a separate audit outside of that,
while the reason why it's good to do a supper audit outside of that is you can identify areas where you can improve things. It's it's kind of no, you don't have to do it, but you could do and energy out, and when you do, you mean like. Oh, I think if I added into nation to the attic, it would call again something by like thirty, eight I've heard it's it's. This is a much larger thing right, yeah yeah, it's kind of like gum. If, if taking on the process, of getting solar installed on your home was in a big enough headache. For you add this to it. You know I think, but it's a good. It will definitely. You will find some places where you can cut your energy consumption. That's the the benefit of energy or- and this is just happens to be a good time to do yeah- and you know the other thing you have to decide as your pricing this out you can call a company they will. They will come out these days. Basically tell you what you need. You know she good highly recommended company and a pair
Some of the smaller companies are much more highly recommended in the larger companies, from what I read a line, but they will come out and say the question they're gonna say is, and this is really the most important thing for you to decide is how much of what percentage of of your household energy do. You want to come from solar and, if you like, a hundred percent them say: okay! Well, here's what you need. If you say you know what I'm a fucking cover and I am much roof space and happy with covering fifty percent of my power usage. Then I'll say our ain't. While they must work within your system or you may just be, you may not have a choice. Unless you, you know all depends on your roof and the weight sloped in the weights. Faced and all that stuff right. There's a lot and considerations and again here you the person you hired to do. This is going to be able to provide you with all this information and ask the right questions. But if you want I know what you're talking about going into it. You can find out kind of about how much electricity
Can expect a solar array on your roof to produce down to your actual house like there's all sorts of solar, pretend maps on line, yeah calculators, it's really. They make a kind of poorly easy on you these days. It's easy and was just be honest, chuck it's fun to because it'll show like how much money you will actually out only like is how much will save over the course of the Lifetime of the solar rain you'll have a pretty good idea of how fast the thing will pay for itself. Its is pretty cold, but you'll have an idea of the things in a paper itself, years or the things gonna pay for itself in twenty five years, and there were large, depending on where you live in the country, but everything I saw from everywhere from union of concern scientists to energy DOT, Gov, is that everywhere in the United States, you can expect your solar array to pay for itself eventually over the life of its
over its own life, yet might take a little longer in Seattle than in annex right. But you know that's how things go you get better music in Seattle and better food? Well sure, maybe the foods awash you get that you got the music. That's for sure! Sorry, Phoenix! We love you yeah, sorry lasted. A meat it's so I talked about the angle of these panels and angle of your roof. It's called the angle of inclination is what is how you have to set these if you have all the money in the world, and nowhere to spend it. You can actually get systems that have voters that will move and follow these panels will follow the sun across the sky. The imperfect stay at the perfect angle of inclination that a super expensive though it is that's their technology- has taught him from nineteen sixty four that they had figured out for cyber local, yet is
Yet it is still kind of expensive. What I've seen, though, is rather than invest in figure out how to make those kinds of setups cheaper. They figured out how to catch more diffuse. Sunlight became a get gets scattered by Klaus, yes, M accent, honest, or panel, so you don't necessarily have to have it the kind that tracks the sunlight. He ain't you can still get as much. Electricity is you're gonna need to Paris. I was basically no matter where you are in the country just from the solar panels that they make me says yes, so ideally you're array is gonna, be pointing true South, that's not to say if you're roof is set up in such a way that it doesn't point yourself you can't have dollar, because, like you said they ve come a long long way over the years with how they can collect the sunlight. But if your face and true south and you're at a good angle that is close to that area. That Europe is close to the latitude as possible right. You don't have a lot of trees around and no big buildings when you're really good Canada,
to provide energy for your house. We should say also if you're in the northern hemisphere, we have listeners in the southern hemisphere, so I would say, if you're, not Julia. You would want to face true north, but everybody knows that the sun is so ridiculously high in Australia. That you don't even need solar panels. Just powers. Everything yet raising down on everyone. You can bury your solar panels underground in Austria s little work better than here. It's like you, kurdish great moves, thorn, so the thing is whether you like it. It's never weathers, never predictable, but what you're gonna do is look at data in your area, lookit, average monthly, sunlight and stuff like that, taken, you account rainfall and, in the end, you wanna design. For cause you want power time, if you're gonna per said, you wanted to
And for your worst month, sort of like loud that really how's about to say just like those initial inverted you're only as strong as your weakest member right, but you wanna, taken too countless like will say it rains every single day in a month. Lose your job, yet our guys too sure absolute worst month right said, then they might sorry they want an extra pale for your dog you'll, be just fine right. So, if you're, all, stuff about this? There's we just kind open the can of worms, there's a lot more to take into account but again desire. Somebody Rep, of all do your research and they should be able to guide you through this process a lot more than we can, but I You strongly advise going on and figuring You're like you need to know What you need to know kind of thing does not make sense yeah sure, and you know earlier mentioned that these things were ugly and for a long time there were the bay
of existence of a lot of people in certain neighborhoods, some homeowners assertion She still won't allow them, but they ve gotten better. And over time they ve gotten closer to the roof line a little bit more attractive and- and I think, in my opinion, this is just me speculating. Just the perception is changed and now, when you see them, you dont think my guest, get a ugly thing on the roof. He think. Well, you know those or solar panels and am not blend in perfectly with the roof, but there you know, there's a big benefit as well. Are you don't even think hippies, live very more now. Normal people live there, normalcy, so there's also solar. Roof tiles at a really starting to come over thirty Kessler version there they're nuts, how there also theirs a durable, the very pretty
I dont own any because their extremely expensive, but they if they can get the costs down, thing approaching like a normal size, roof. It's like over man, that's it data over man, exactly like the that each one of these tiles like a solar cell or solar panel and it's a whole roofs worth of, There are super durable pretty, but they also cost about five to ten times amount of a normal roof. These days, which is just you're you're, never gonna pay for its, never gonna pay for itself yeah, I mean if you're spending Avenue twelve to fifteen grand on a roof, and you haven't been up to a hundred and fifty thousand for that roof to be so. Let's allotted, though I saw like two hundred in one case, but yes m. Between a hundred two hundred for a new roof, yet the people that are doing this are you know the very well heeled who want to be brag about their solar roof. Quite frank area. And I mean if they're doing that and there you know generating so
or for their house more power to illness fire it I mean it's just Tesla needs to get that that price down quite a bit, come on Tesla, hurry up, tests. So we need to talk a little about efficiency, sir. You know how much of the sons energy we can convert into electricity. Is that efficiency and way back they first started this stuff in the nineteenth century. It was one not even one percent, so was mainly just like hey look. What we can do now little bit: now. It's it. Ninety eight percent, not true it's about twenty five percent. Now it's not as much as I would have thought when I started doing this research and you can't ever gets hundred percent. I think they said at the very max these days because of energy loss in conversion and stuff, the the tipps of upper limits about eighty seven percent that we got ever get. That's like the physical limit for conversion yeah, but twenty five percent of meanness son is not one,
you know the sunlight you dont use fills up. Landfills are, I am for sure for sure, but then there is a lot of room for improvement between that current twenty five percent in the eighty seven percent joiner. I starting to make those those kind of gains from one of the ways to do it is to make solar panels cheaper. So, even if they are just at twenty five percent efficiency, if the the process of making up his chief, her, you can put more solar panels up in the average person can afford it. That's one way to go near a better way to go is to focus on making those materials as ridiculously efficient as possible and what they found. A promising new material called Parag skylight. Think that's how you say it yet cometh clinking word: it really is and I think it was discovered by
Russians or soviet attacking the day. It really does, but the one of things about prof skate. This mineral is that it is really really efficient when it comes to the blue end of the spectrum, the blue to ultra violet high energy photons that come streaming through. Normally, those kind of photons are two energetic to interact with phosphorus through the boar on that's that's Silicon Valley. With so its passage through its like completely wasted high energy light. The prerogatives it actually interacts with those way more efficiently. The problem is
it doesn't really interact with the lower energy stuff that silicon does so. The highest efficiency solar cells that you can get are typically may with Silicon Emperor Skype put together, so it captures as much stuff is. You can hope for, and these are starting to creep up into the high twenties low thirty's range and is Parag Skype. Manufacturing it's easier and easier. You we should be able to back to see solar panels? That are you know thirty, thirty, two percent efficient, which is a lot. You know that extra seven percent, that's a huge difference, yeah, We mention the reason that we are trying to make this move deprives guide anyway, as causes is cheaper, you can make it cheaper than the silicon once right. That's true to me no one day, hopefully they could be all prob Skype, khazar, developing stuff, that's gonna capture more, but what the silicon can capture in their right give. It still would be wonderful if, if the
figure out how to tinker with products that they don't need. The silicon at all, because there are a lot of problems with silicone which will talk about right I mentioned earlier in the show about selling you like a pay me power company, and that wasn't a joker, in fact, at an even though this is a thing until like shamefully like five years ago, when I learned that if you produce more energy with your system, then you use, he can actually not everywhere, but in many many places now you can sell that back to the power company and not only are you not paying? In fact we talked about this in one the upsets might have been the sun or the bill gates renewable energy episode oil gas here ya hear member, but I couldn't I knew we talked about grids and stuff like that. Now, that's where it was men could call an example, but they will get you a check which is pretty amazing and here's the best part. Even
to me, I was like my me: do I want to check from Georgia powerful whenever nineteen dollars a month? Yes, I sorted but what I would really rather do is passed that forward pay it forward, like they say in there places that have programmes where, if you have access energy? You can send that two of the power grid and then quite. A leftover is a credit to the of a family, a need which is awesome. It is pretty awesome. Everybody comes out super great yeah? I wonder what the money I mean. That's the one thing, I was like how much more you making. Is it a cheque for night dollars, or is it like three hundred bucks a month I don't know- and they were definitely depend on a couple of things- how much electricity costs in your area fury and how much the utility company pays for buy back later. And also how much you're over producing too. You know there's a bunch of factors, but I'm just gonna curious. It's a lot of money or is it on little? I really am we don't know, but you ever
little bit counts of your family need right. Absolutely so, there's other thing. That would be great if you have all this excess solar energy, when you know it's really really sunny out, if you could somehow capture it to use it later during time or on a cloudy day or something like that, and so a lot of people have said while that'd be great, I mean they're just make a solar, solar electric homes system, perfect. Let's build batteries that do that and so there are home batteries that are meant to be connected to solar outfits like Tesla makes one of those two algae makes one Mercedes Benz makes one it's a home battery problem is that they are also really expensive, on the order of five six, seven grand, and so, if you're spending twelve grand on your solar array and you spend an extra
Six grand on your home battery. You you'd, do spent in extra fifty percent of the cost of solar re to back up your your home with solar electricity when the sun's not shining as much does a huge enormous added expense. Yet in the one thing I was casino, like you, I think my interests at play, the little bit for my own house man. This is really appealing to me now here my late forties. I could buy system little see me through to my death row I do not know about, had decided, search breaking down. I belong on the list of not in my first speech was you know, we had a lot of brown out and blackouts in power outages for some reason. A neighborhood is just that this happens. Allied seems like every rainstorm, certainly anytime, theirs,
is a brown outwards like the powers I almost out, but it comes back in an almost artery. I think it's sort of flickers I wish they call it something else. It sounds so growth. The brown Greer it does. It sounds, grows great I'll, have a degree of solidarity are eating it about work, a bundle, who better to have been proved right. Out of your electrical outlived their like that sounds like a very elegant hunger thing to say: I'm going to go upstairs and have a brown out the yes. Yes, it does just doing the rounds off, the Superbowl right edge and sells the only way the Brown could make it through a suitable? Oh man, taxes in Ohio super happy with you today. So my first thought was like a man I get on solar, and there's a blackout goin on
cause. We went out, I think, attacked by the somewhat absurd. When we had the big snowstorm a couple years ago, we were out for three half days, that's unconscious I mean it was a long time to be without electricity to the point roll. It was like. Alright, I'm a little bit worried about my family, so I thought maybe I'll get solar and all those suckers will be without power and I'll have power. That is not the case. Unless you, if you storing on a battery, can do that, but there that is well it'll, kill, it'll, kill Lyman for sure. But if you have a battery backup, your fine, like you, said like yours, airlines that all the that Georgia Power, and the women are dead. There are going to work on these and you're still pumping power back into it. They can have that. So, no Our goes out. His well it'll kill he'll kill Lyman for sure, but a few
I have a battery backup. Your fine, like you, said, like you like to where you're getting your juice from, but your your solar system is going to disconnect you from the grid to keep that from happening, but there's actually that happens elsewhere chuck if with. If people have a generator, some people will ugh the generator into an outward in their house and reverse the flow of electricity from the generator threw out there. Ass. We can create island as well by really crazy, yeah yeah. Why me this everything now as a lot of new houses have whole house generators built in shirt and as soon as the power cuts off that thing automatically fires up right right. This is like a portable generator that their plugging in reverse into their home wiring. It's not a good idea for any any anyone, Emmy their safe ways to do it. That is not one of them. This should be taken of the rig. Yet, let's I will take one final break everyone and we're gonna to talk a little bit about some of the downsides, because there are some to solar
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lists relaxation, while guess find thrills at bottom, a casino in a ray of high energy night spots and at the royal blew the most acquaint new offers in the kid just a short flight from the? U S and fifty minutes drive home are isn't easy, get away any time of the year. The book your next vacation at one of the results, three iconic hotels and to explore winter specials, including up to thirty five percent savings on your stay. Yes, thirty. Five percent visit by Hamas Dhaka, that's by Hamas, Dhaka Ba H and they are come. I wanted there is one other type of battery. I found islamic
ethical battery, where you you're solar power system, uses all their excess powered tooth to power, a pump that pumps order up to a raised area and then at night or on a car today when you need the extra electricity airily is that water to spin over turbine, which creates an electrical current in that awesome, yet little power plant in your house, basically ere you do and its green to its hydro. Electric solar powered hydro, electric batteries within it pretty amazing, so we mention silicon not being great. There are its obvious that to create- and this is argument a lot of times against ultra electric cars and hybrid vehicles- we like to drive them and stuff, but there is a greenhouse effect when it comes to making the stuff riding mining. These materials is not great, very environmentally, very
harsh on the environment, and I don't think anyone makes any bones about that. I'm transporting all this stuff going to burn a lot of fossil fuels, manufacturing all the stuff burns, fossil fuels, but, like you said earlier, that is true, but once that process is finished yet, no more greenhouse gases forever right in some people will double down. At this point. Billy boy, oh wow, like creating solar cells, is actually really really harmful because it requires the production of something called. Virgin. Try, fluoride reaches a greenhouse gas that seventeen thousand times more potent than carbon dioxide lad stuff here, and when you work into the idea that you have a whore, battery. This rate of cadmium lead nickel all of which have to be mine and which has to be replaced every say ten years, You're solar rays seems much much less green and that's all
are all very legitimate arguments there is there not incorrect at all, but there also current limitations and they're all surrounding production in transportation and all that stuff can be worked out and when that stuff gets worked out, you still have solar, producing clean energy with green or with I'm fine biofuels fuels. Even if you worked all that stuff out when you deploy them and actually create electricity from them, they are still going to produce greenhouse gases. So Solar will always have that advantage, and it's just has a bunch of kind of front loaded obstacles that need to be overcome through breakthroughs in the short term, the future- and it is no kind in the end right actual. If you're talking about the life of the solar system, considering like twenty five years, let's say over the twenty five years of burning coal and natural gas
This does not even close yet, and I mean like, if you start getting more and more solar involved, unlike transportation than you knock out those greenhouse gases for transporting like solar panels from place to place because its soul powering the transportation to there's a lot of stuff. We can do that that we just haven't quite figured out how to do yet, but it's not physically impossible to over. Come them yeah, and you know, there's also people that say: hey we Nina the entire country could run on solar and wind people say, maybe not other people say no, it totally good, but there are a lot of big option. When you talk about converting a nation wide system from a fossil fuel system to renewables It's not easy, and frankly, it will probably never happened on that scale. Maybe I'm cynical, but I think I think it's nickel. I think if we look a hundred and fifty years in the future, maybe even a hundred seventy five
Even I reiterate its entirely possible. I could see it well. That would require in and if you do, the math it's about right outward require several generations of people dying out, sir. He would fight this tooth and nail to right surges of people who would have to die out first year but there lot a real obstacles. To this I mean our interests sure just is not built for this, like we would have to completely rewrite how we do things. Yes, they infrastructure is set up in centralized manner where you have a power plant and that power plant is built wherever and You burn coal or whatever and create steam, which turns its term turbine It creates electricity that electricity goes out to the area that that that power plant serves that's not how renew was like solar or wind work. They have to be built. Why the wind or the sunlight is, and so you have to build bunch of them wherever you can and then
things are to be connected, so it's a decentralized way that you have to connect them together to the current rid, which means running a lot more transmission lines from these new. Solar rays, that you're gonna build wherever it to connect them. Deliver that electricity throughout the country. Yeah. And there's also in their fluctuations in the whether you know already talked about your sort of at the behest of which There is giving you an not saying when the wind as a blow. Your lights go off, believe me, but it does in effect, and so you have to compensate for the stuff and compensating stuff and on a national grid, is expensive and on a theme, think we ve I figured out how this gonna work yet have we know there's some proposals. One is to basically create batteries like this
these very same solution that people have for their houses. We just need to take their excess stuff in store for use when the sun is shining, they figured out there for a an electrical storm. System to store twelve hours worth of electricity for the? U S: electrical grid, wig cost more than two point. Five trillion dollars. That's quite a bit of it. People are saying now we just have to get better at more efficient long distance. Reference mission worried that's what we talked about in that bill. Gates episode, one of the things that smart grid: we can easily shuffle solar. That's generated in Scottsdale, up to Portland Oregon, or poorly main for that matter, yeah? I mean there is everywhere in the United States at some point. There is a lot of sunshine going on right at once and he consented to places, and I were picking on Portland Seattle again, but if you can produce in Phoenix and send it to Portland, that's great
and I mean this- let's be honest here, two point: five trillion dollars is a lot of cheese her, but I saw some where someone point out that there is a an estimate to fully convert over the: U S electrical grid too solar only would be about, or trillion dollars, which again is a lot of money right, but in the greens, of things and when you really think about what that investment is going Tory right right so that much and frankly it's kind of doable. If there is a political will to do it, I get you another, so She would be for every house to have its own solar re every car to have its own solar power. That's what I think and more on is like more and more people doing this to the point where it's you know: it's not part of the infrastructure of the grid, but it's a minnow still making a big dead, but that, can it be the hardest sell, because you just completely eliminated all of the power companies and they're, not exactly known as lightweight when it comes to things like lobbying. That's true,
you know that you look at the subsidies going on now, that's really clear, whose better lobbying federal subsidies for power companies who pretty solar are about five hundred and thirty three million bucks compared to you two billion dollars for natural, ass alone into thousands. Sixteen right, that's just tax breaks in subsidies for investing in deploying that kind energy, yeah and solar still is pretty expensive, megawatt our compared to like he said. Fossil fuels are too cheap still they really are inheres appears a problem to chuck there's there's a a conundrum where, when you Roy, a lot of solar electricity in a utility. It actually tends to depress wholesale electrical prices across the board So a company has an incentive to not deploy source because they can
large more for electrical produced from like coal in other fossil fuels like they normally do. That's right! If you put one in your house you're, not only paying your own elect or whatever you're subs in your own electrical bill. You possibly are getting money back or helping a family need, and its awesome investment in your house. It. It actually increases the value of your home because you know unless someone just hate them and once did the Reagan it up and Yang Camonica Roof when they come in there. It's gotta be selling point you like hey moving to this house, they ve already paid for it and you don't have a power bill There is a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National LAB that found that is, solar set up, increase the value of a house, in America by about fifteen grand right. So when I said they ve already paid for it. What it really means their path. Passing that onto you haggling. They passed the costs. Andy you true, the anything else I got nothin else manner I'm gonna lodge legit look into this,
Let me know how it goes. Man, oh, really interested and have a dude out like we have. I don't think we can do our whole. But we have this one roof in particular. Now that's can see from the street its only see it from one place in the house and I think it faces south and I had to measure the panel's, but I could probably fit like eight panels up there, the snow, for my whole house, hey that what whatever little bit works like a power. My frankenstein experiments, he heard exactly be. Bringing inanimate matter back to life is right. One other thing chuck there's a big obstacles facing us worldwide and that is that we haven't figured out how to get solar energy from the oceans.
Click it over the oceans to the rest of the world, which is going to be a big challenge, but if we could figure that out problem solved just build a solar ray the size of Texas, maybe over the Great Pacific garbage Patch and Erika I feel like I've, seen research into that, maybe not the oceans, but like solar boy, it's over water. Now am I making it up. I mean I'm sure, that you could have a man like coastal areas or whatever, but that that means like you, couldn't swim in those coastal areas. You know which is gonna depress the value of the real estate there. So I would we would want them like really far off shore, but how do you get that electricity back to? You know where it's needed on land. That's the question. I think you just throw a big solar, floating solar, blanket over a nostril of short oil rig and just plug it in and just plug it in,
solving problem solved. If you, I know more about solar, go check it out, see if you can maybe swing for your house and if so, let us know about it. We want to hear that in chuckle. Keep you updated to want you sure, and since I said, chuckle keep you updated friends. I mean son for listener mail. Oh no, sir, you! I know you being coy because to your right and Jerry chair is Zander Williams and not Jerry. Jerry standing over there, this is all get and weird getting a little weird replay me the chairs and Jerry's, the loser, that's jerry for them What we ve done, though, today is ass. Alex Williams, one of our colleagues and pals here in the office to come in, and we don't do this much. But when we really love a show and someone sits fourteen feet from why, and they do something really special. I mean this especial stuff return, my money. I said we really love it. Ok, we ask him in an area as to talk
your great show ephemeral what a comfortable chair I can see why what a great chair said, Frank, business, Frank, well, he's sitting on frankness: So welcome Alex We wanted to have you here too, tell everybody by your show, because we love your show and weak. Talk about it all day, but we thought would be back If you came any kind of told the folks like the thought an ephemeral in white. What prompted you to do, what they can expect from it? So go. What's it it's a pie cast about artifacts right at the start. To get left behind and in trying to eliminate you know, maybe dark or or sort forgotten corners in history by you know we have them by playing the artifacts minutes of audio show. So, specifically, you know we started with ideas like tape and film and video, but then you know
Sometimes you get into areas where there's just really know artifacts artifacts, they translate sure into into. The audio media eminent, so you experiment a little it so the series itself its ten ten episodes posts. Trailer right, there's a later those overseas, and yet the trailer itself stand on its own. I think you said before I have say I said in a minute slid story. It will cost like my first there's no podcast than my, first radio show it to show that I loose, You know connection of thoughts that I would make on my parents answering machine that was my fully produced. First show is that I remember, and so in each episode, you kind of find a recovered formerly lost or
kind of overlooked peace and encourage dissected and explain in talk about like its place in the union, that's right, and I think one of the officers is about of kind of a long lost. Original tv network reign, the Duma, television vision work here, you guys ever heard it do mine. I had not known in the golden age of television theirs for tv networks, ABC Cbs Nbc, also with us today sure all the radio companies beforehand, I'm in big big, huge brands, and do mine was a television manufacturer that got into the broadcasting came at the verbal game. They were the fourth network when there was only for their only around, for I think, just little over a decade and something like twenty thousand broadcasts have been almost completely lost because things just what ordered than there was no real way to record live television. What they reduce their makes something called a chemist scope which should take a tv screen, and you fill it with your fill camera, and then you have a real that looks terrible.
And the other is they make. That is so. They can send it after you know, you're in California, Europe affiliates not connected to New York, He thought outfit that on the collects, YO, cable, and so then they show in California, and then they would try that thing or take over or are you have film over it because there was no reruns, then right relieve you just lie frank. I was weird because of it said the little snippets that we have of it left. The few can scopes. They got saved it, something like three hundred km, where Europe's somewhat complete broadcast, their mostly held by individual collectors and a few or an institution like the Museum of TV and Radio Newark nice. That's also me also covered one of the topics that we, you ve covered in the best about the call, your brother's eye, which has very cool- and I think this one, my favorite things about the show- is so wide ranging it's like the best episodes of this american life or nine percent invisible. As far as your approach goes and that's why I think I loved
from the beginning. You were in the call your brother's episode very briefly what, by her I did a line reading. I believe that will be an Easter egg released. So all all turnips, plus the trailer out their available now, wherever your packets. Indeed, you have second season coming said season. We did our first recording for yesterday, nice how's it going. So far so good? I gotta lotta reading a do man right on we'll get We won't keep you any longer, but thank you for coming by and if you want to check out ephemeral everybody, you can go check, I'm what the Iheart Radio APP Apple pie, Kasparov EU your podcast- could took it out in all of those things. Someone put it on an old tape forum, but I haven't done there. That would be a way to get a movie thanks. We combine, They swam among us
if you want again to just like Alex, did you can disturbed by the studio J K? then go on to stop. You should know that can take out our social links or you can send us an email to stuff podcast, Iheart Radio Dhaka Study should now its production. I heard radios how stuff works from what had cast my heart, radio, that I heard radio apple podcast
and wherever you listen to your favorite checks situated on the beautiful cable beach by Hamas, is a spectacular new resort destination in the Bahamas. With your choice of three ocean front hotels, the grand high it s, L S and rosewood. This is the place to find your perfect London luxury relaxation and a lot of fun whatever you're looking for you can find it at Baja MAR the Bahamas most exciting column airy destination. The resort is home to over forty restaurants, bars and lounges, ranging from casual, waterside, uterus too high end shaft, driven dining experiences. Eleven glorious landscape pools, acres of prestige, each front and a soothing esper spot,
endless relaxation, while guess fine, thrills at bottom, a casino in a ray of high energy nights bought and at the royal blew the most acclaimed new offers in the kid just a short flight from the. U S and fifty minutes drive from the airport by Hamas is an easy get away any time of the year. The book your expectations have one of the resorts three iconic hotels and to explore winter specials, including up to thirty five percent savings on your stay. Yes, thirty. Five percent visit by Hamas Dhaka, that's by Hamas, Dhaka, Ba each a and may are dot com
Transcript generated on 2019-12-31.