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Comment Re:Until apple gets all peace warrior (Score 1) 252

> Ask Lockheed Martin, or Oracle or MS

Who are selling products worth millions, or billions. An iPhone is less than $1000.

Apple sells something like 250 million iPhones a year. Even if they get a 3 million for the entire armed forces, piled with all the goodies and cherries on top, it's still a drop in the bucket.

It's called math, try it some time.

Comment Re:Terrible summary, idiot commenters (Score 1) 202

> Just pull out the old panel and add in the new panel

And you can do that if it's not a solar panel, you could use cheap materials like concrete or steel instead of glass. And yet, we don't do that, because steamrolling asphalt costs much, much less. Adding glass and electronics to the physical panel will not improve things.

> I've seen lots of heated driveways in Utah

But we're not talking about a few hundred square feet of driveway, we're talking about a few million square miles of hiway. And then one can easily estimate the costs of doing so by looking up the operational costs:

and then multiplying. A standard lane in the US is 12 feet, we'll consider a two-lane highway and add the same for the shoulders and median and such, and multiply by a mile to get 190,080 square feet. According to that source, a snow melt system will cost $700 per 1000 square feet. So that means a two-lane highway will cost $133,000 to melt the snow PER MILE.

These articles come up all the time, things like space power and fusion. They are all completely hopeless, but because they're technological everyone argues for them. DO THE MATH FIRST.

> Without enough data, it's hard to say

Well maybe use Google to get enough data? I'm sure you can use it just as well as I can.

Comment Re:My sister wanted one so badly (Score 1) 74

> But best of all is that they let the telcos and the "enterprise" users turn off any features that made the phone enjoyable at all

That misses the point of BB10. Sure, they can turn those features off when the user is on their "business account", but they can (or should be able to) still use them when using their personal account. And they can switch back and forth easily.

I thought it was a great idea. Still do. Implementation? Not so much. But a dual-SIM iPhone or Android with such a system? Still seems like a great idea to me.

Comment Re:Terrible summary, idiot commenters (Score 1) 202

> Potholes shouldn't be an issue because the solar panels include a heating element

OMG, do you have any idea how much power you need to melt an inch of snow?!? There's a reason we use snowplows!

> and reduce maintenance costs

Yeah, because we all know how great glass is in high-wear areas when it comes to reducing maintenance.


Comment Dumbest idea ever (Score 3, Interesting) 202

This really is the most moronic idea I have ever seen. Glass is not exactly on the list of best materials to use for:

1) high traffic areas
2) load bearing capacity
3) coefficient of friction, especially when wet

That last part is especially laughable when you consider their solution, a pattern of pimple-like bumps on the top. Ok, so those will last exactly as long as the first snowfall, at which point the plough will make it rather smooth again. And, of course, as anyone knows, rough roads will produce lower gas milage, so the effect of this surface might be to use *more* energy.

And everyone really needs to go and look at their youtube videos where they show how it's wired up, which requires a trench to be dug under the roadway and kept waterproof because it's stuffed with expensive non-waterproof electronics.

What a joke.

Comment Re:Frankly (Score 1) 263

> The inconsistency of solar and wind will do nasty things to our electric grid if much more is added

Older projections say the problem starts somewhere around 25% of total generation. Right now the US is around 10%, so "much more" is really "MUCH more".

However, since those projections were published any number of locations have pushed right past that number with no ill effects, The software has improved faster than the installations.

It's really quite maddening to see people here on /. claim that something is impossible when its a software problem.

Comment Re:We should speed this up (Score 1) 263

> they were paying 0.87kWh

Uggg. It was 82 for tiny rooftop solar on houses. I know because I built one. Large systems were much lower. Wind was 13 cents.

> about 2/3's to 1/2 that now

Less than one-quarter, at 29 cents. Using google removes that "I don't know what I'm talking about" smell you're emanating:

And FIT only applies to small systems, wind power under 500kWp for instance, which is about 1/3rd of a single modern turbine. Everything above that is PPAed at very competitive rates, wind around 6 cents and PV around 10.

Comment Re:Frankly (Score 1) 263

> Economically feasible hydro is pretty much tapped out.

That's simply not true. In almost every area I looked, hydro was at about 1/2 capacity. And that's counting economically doable sites, using conventional technology.

For instance, here in Canada the James bay has about 35% more capacity that they simply never bothered to build out because there was no market. Here in Ontario none of the northern rivers have really been built out. There's 25 GW in northern Alberta unused. Those upgrade alone, put together, are equal to what has been built. And if built, they're enough to power the entire country and all our cars.

Comment Re:Frankly (Score 2) 263

> You know in places like Canada where the vast majority of our winters are overcast, same with the spring, fall is hit or miss.

You've clearly never actually bothered to look a solar resource map, have you?

Canada has some of the best solar resources for its latitude. Calgary, for instance, has a solar resource not much lower than Mohave. Compare to southern German or Switzerland and we're downright balmy.

> When windmills don't work because the winds are so high that they'd cause damage.

And again, you clearly don't have the slightest clue what you're on about.

Any power source, *any*, has downtime. We consider that in a figure known as the "capacity factor", or CF. Basically you take how much power actually comes out of the plant in a period of time, normally a year, and divide that by how much would have come out if it was running at perfect capacity 24/7. So that "too fast" gets lumped into the "too slow" and the "down for maintenance" and even the "tree fell on lines". All of that goes into the CF.

A typical reactor has a CF around 85 to 90%. A typical wind turbine has a CF around 30 to 35%. A reactor costs about $8 per watt peak, whereas a modern wind turbine is around $1.50/Wp. So even though you need three turbines to make the same amount of energy as that single reactor, those three turbines still cost you almost half as much. And that is precisely why no one is building reactors any more and turbines are sprouting up like weeds, yes, even here in Canada.

Don't worry, people who actually know what they are doing have the problem well in hand. As you can see, if you read the article.

Comment Re:Frankly (Score 1) 263

> is there enough factory capacity and available rare earths to MAKE sufficient solar panels to do so

There's enough to make 65 GWp this year. At its peak in the late 1960s, nuclear was being installed at about the same rate.

That number, however, increases at about 15 GWp a year. By 2020 PV will be incompletely outpacing the install rates of pretty much any source ever.

And really, is that surprising? A panel is made up almost entirely of glass, by weight. What do you think a solar cell is? Tinted glass, basically.

And what's all this about rare earth's? Been reading the FUD pages about CdTe cells or something?

Comment Re:title seems to be misleading, at best. (Score 1) 263

> Gas and solar isn't baseload,

Gas most certainly is baseload. Cogen plants are mostly baseload with some load following, and that's mostly what's being built today. Peakers are so passe.

Of course one should also point out that coal has not been baseload in a lot places for some time, and is used primarily for load following. Anywhere with a reactor nearby, for instance.

And gas+solar+software is most certainly baseload, and as numerous articles over on Ars have noted, cheaper than either gas or solar alone.

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