Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-08-2011, 11:01   #31
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Boat: Aries 32
Posts: 245
Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
If that kid is not a middle aged retired Nigerian General, then he deserves top marks for the thought processes (and some backing - even if only an intro for later).....easy to sit back and say can't work / won't work, indeed the thing about technology is that to be commercial it does not need to be cutting edge or better than everything that has ever been.
The crazy tree-thing as reported by the media can't work/won't work/doesn't work. The thing about science is that it ain't magic. Arranging a single panel in some suboptimal orientation to the sun reduces efficiency. Doing this a bunch of times, then tying them all together somehow, does not sum to some greater efficiency than if each has just been oriented optimally in the first place. That is the story for solar panels, and electricity in general.

Beau's "engineer" could learn something here: magic just doesn't happen inside wires. If the missing amount of energy were disappearing due to wire size it could be doing so only in the form of heat - given the particular expectations and results, lots of really, really obvious heat.

The story for trees is much more interesting, and it's what the kid was looking at. The experiment partially explains why trees, particularly non-deciduous trees, are built as they are. It could only be applicable to solar panels in very sub-optimal conditions: well out of the tropics, unwilling to re-aim your panels every few months, and perhaps competing with other tree-panel-things for access to sunlight might do it, but a motorized controller (the obvious missing control from the original experiment) would still probably be a much better investment.

The actual writeup, undistorted by incompetent reporters, is here: The Secret of the Fibonacci Sequence in Trees
__________________

__________________
Dustymc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2011, 11:21   #32
Registered User
 
Feral Cat's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southern California...s/v Feral Cat Catalina 38' S&S design
Boat: Catalina 38' S&S design
Posts: 66
Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

Beau:

I suspect (without seeing your wire system) that you have your panels in series... Wired from one to another to ultimately the charge controller... I am thinking that this is effective until you get a shadow across a panel or two... Think boom shadow, shroud or the like... This will effectively cut the connection at the shadow, cutting the available power to the controller.

I would look at trying to wire each panel separately directly to the controller (as much as possible: connections on controller)... Like, one to two panels together directly to the controller. I am thinking you will get better output when you can work around any shadows in this manner...

Regarding this thread... I think the young warrior is on to something... Yes, a system like a tree will produce a greater amount of power extraction from the sun but perhaps on a pole system (Round) for windage issues but then again the cells will need to be wired independently (like leaves on a tree). A configuration will be able to pull rays of light from low on the horizon for the entire daytime period.

Now if we could only find a way of extracting energy off of the reflection of the sun on the moon... Then we will be 24 hours a day capable...
__________________

__________________
Wayne
==
Feral Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2011, 11:28   #33
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

I defer to those who know about science stuff ......but my take is that even if less efficient than straight panels, that possibly more likely to be fitted for aesthetic reasons - so half solar power, instead of none.

Of course if he bred the Solar Tree with a Trifid, it might make all the difference............
__________________
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2011, 21:50   #34
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,830
Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feral Cat View Post
Beau:

Now if we could only find a way of extracting energy off of the reflection of the sun on the moon... Then we will be 24 hours a day capable...
On our previous boat, we had 470 watts of solar (before MPPT controllers).
In Mexico, they gave us 22 amps all day long, and I was able to measure 100 milliamps from a full moon.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2011, 02:09   #35
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia NSW south coast
Posts: 633
Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

Quote:
Originally Posted by beau View Post
I am disappointed by all the "BS" that surrounds the solar panel industry.

I have 5 x 200watt panels that the manufacturer says should give me 12 amps/hr per panel.
I have yet to see more than 5 amps/hr per panel and i am in the Tropics with cloudless skys.
Sure they are quiet and the price has come down, but I still think a generator, even a gasoline generator, is cheaper overall. $2,500 buys a lot of fuel? and they still work if it is cloudy and raining.
Trying to be green is a big con.
If you start another thread I can try to help you sort out what the problem is, I have 1000w of solar and I get 60 amps plus @ 12v.

T1 Terry
__________________

__________________
T1 Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:31.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.