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Comment Neat, but not especially novel (Score 1) 20

If you look at vehicles like the AM General HMMWV you find that each wheel is connected to a control arm setup that places it low relative to where that control arm is mounted to the chassis. That has the effect of suspending the vehicle's center of mass from a higher point. This vehicle has a similar design.

The downside of this, which is also the downside of the HMMWV, is that the load carrying capacity is dramatically different than conventional suspensions and drivetrains, so that passengers and cargo have to be packaged weirdly to make it all work.

Comment Re: Nonsense (Score 1) 342

Actually I have. We did a road-trip into and through California when I was about 22 and we were all poor; we slept in the car at the rest-stop along the I-10 that's located in the San Gorgonio Pass and the San Gorgonio wind farm. No problems sleeping with the car windows down; couldn't hear turbines but could hear plenty of strong wind.

Besides, out in the bay where the turbines are visible near the horizon aren't going to amount to a hill-of-beans for houses so far from the project, other than that they're visible.

Comment Re:It's nice to have ideals (Score 1) 342

I have enough roof space for probably 40,000W of panels.

You have a big roof! Wish I had that much room!

I have a nearly 1000sqft detached workshop with a flat roof and parapet walls in addition to a large portion of my house having a flat roof with parapet walls. If I don't put any panels on the south-facing sloped roof I still probably have 2500sqft of flat roof with direct sun exposure for the bulk of the day, concealed behind the parapets.

The thing causing me to hold back is the electric utility. I want grid-tie with intentional islanding and battery storage if the grid loses power, and I don't want to get hammered with utility company fees like they're trying to get out of us if we go that route. I'd also like to get reimbursed a fair rate for the power I'd supply back to the grid during peak usage, but they're not interested in doing that either.

In fairness, the electric utility isn't completely wrong in wanting a fair shake.

For example, are you asking for net-metering where they pay you retail for your power, or are you asking for wholesale rates when you sell them back your power? The former is not reasonable, the latter is totally reasonable.

I'm not unhappy to make back less than the going rate for a given time of day, but they want to pay-back the rate during the peak of the day that they charge in the middle of the night to time-of-use customers. So they take power from me during the hottest, highest-demand and highest-customer-cost part of the day and pay me something like 1/8 of what they charge. They also want to charge a separate fee, that they don't charge to non-solar properties, to tie me to the grid, and it's not insubstantial. Their crap-reimbursement plus high fee for simply being tied to the grid (and it's not permissible to not be tied to the grid) means that it costs the same to have solar as to not have solar. If they charge every customer the grid-tie fee and then put actual charges for their electric use on properly I bet that many customers would find that half of their monthly bill was simply for the grid-connection. That's my problem; they're intentionally screwing-over solar customers because they don't want anyone to be able to do without them. Eventually a tipping-point will come where we don't need them; storage capacity will make that so. They're attempting to swim against the oncoming flood.

Generally grid-tie systems need to shut down automatically when the power goes out, this is for the safety of the linemen working on the downed lines.

I don't disagree, that's why I want a controller that can detect when the grid is down and island the property from the grid, so that linemen aren't working on energized lines coming from my house.

Comment Re:It's nice to have ideals (Score 4, Informative) 342

Tucson, AZ, where 4 months out of the year the temperature is above 100F and the humidity above 40% so if you don't have an air-conditioner using direct-expansion gas (not a "swamp-cooler" or "mister") you will bake. They don't make any that run on DC. Even if they did, that would be a LOT of solar cells!

Actually they do make one with an AC/DC dual voltage motor. Lennox sells one. It's ridiculously expensive without even including the panels, but it was an option that we looked into a couple of years ago when we had to relace a 2.5 ton unit that had failed. The replacement alternating current model has a 30A circuit breaker on a 240VAC circuit, so it can draw a max of 7200 Watts. This 8000W system would be enough to power that air conditioner and have some to spare.

I have enough roof space for probably 40,000W of panels. The thing causing me to hold back is the electric utility. I want grid-tie with intentional islanding and battery storage if the grid loses power, and I don't want to get hammered with utility company fees like they're trying to get out of us if we go that route. I'd also like to get reimbursed a fair rate for the power I'd supply back to the grid during peak usage, but they're not interested in doing that either. I'm hoping that Solar City wins their lawsuit against the utility so that I can feel comfortable proceeding at some point down the road with this.

Comment Re: Nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 342

The line losses are a NIMBY problem, people don't want power plants near their houses.

The fuel-source problem is people not being willing to pay for more expensive renewables, or in electing politicians that oppose them while continuing to subsidize fossil-fuels.

Those things can be fixed only if people as groups are willing to accept these differences and their costs, or if someone decides to put solar panels, at increasing personal expense given the utility companies' objections, on their property.

Comment Re:It's unfortunate they have to shut down (Score 1) 167

So, "its work to continue," is a misnomer then. It's more accurate to state that other organizations with similar objectives will continue to pursue them even though this organization has bowed-out. It's not like the closing of this organization is directly causing its resources and specific pursuits to be applied post-mortem.

Comment Re:I don't get it,... five a day? (Score 1) 378

I suppose I should add, even in those circumstances it would be demoralizing to rely entirely on this drink for complete nutritional sustenance, and at least one real, substantial, solid meal per day would be needed. Soldiers on-patrol or on-alert that simply can't stop to have a meal would probably be the only ones that would 'benefit' from this.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller

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