Joe Gimenez

Tapping Analytics to Advance Solar Power's Use

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WaqasAltaf
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Re: Solar Impulse
WaqasAltaf   12/15/2012 11:34:17 PM
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@ Noreen

You have a point. The airlines, as far as I know, have a strong understanding among themselves on what to compete and what not to compete. It will take effort if regulatory bodies want to force airlines to cut prices down. They will never do it themselves unless there is too much competition between themselves.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: Solar Impulse
Noreen Seebacher   12/10/2012 2:30:45 PM
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You are an optimist Wagas. I bet airlines would still keep travel costs at today's level -- even if their operational costs were lowered by  solar-powered or hybrid flights become operational.

WaqasAltaf
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Re: Solar Impulse
WaqasAltaf   12/10/2012 1:18:50 PM
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@ Beth

For me, hybrid power airplanes are not so difficult to imagine i.e. planes that fly partly on the supply of fuel and partly on the sun rays refined for power generation for the engine. I can imagine air travel costs going down significantly in the long run if such solar-powered or hybrid flights become operational.

BethSchultz
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Re: Solar Impulse
BethSchultz   12/10/2012 10:25:00 AM
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@WaqasAltaf, I find it hard to fathom the idea of solar-powered commercial flight in my lifetime! That these guys will be able to fly around the world solo in a solar-powered airplane is unbelievable enough! 

Lyndon_Henry
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Solar power reality check
Lyndon_Henry   12/8/2012 11:06:12 PM
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..

Joe writes


Many companies are already trying to rise to the challenge of providing the analytics that can overcome this basic problem clouding solar power's use. But if you talk with anybody in charge of overcoming the challenges at a utility, you'll get an earful. The complexity that's caused by the second-to-second uncertainty of sun power is a daunting hurdle to them.


 

Joe, thanks for bringing your expertise to bear on this issue, and producing what I think is an excellent Reality Check on the potential of solar energy for the electric power utility industry.  I found particularly interesting the perspective you provide on the viewpoint of the power industry.

Currently there are serious limitations with solar power, and the poor efficiency in converting light into electric power is certainly one of the worst.  Another is the spatial requirements of solar, and the consequential environmental impact.

Where I think solar electrical generation currently might have a significant role is in utilizing structural roofs — roofs of houses, skyscrapers, commercial buildings, maintenance facilities, bus stops, train stations, etc. — as solar panel installations to supplement power from the general grid.  (Quite an expensive proposition, by the way...)

I don't see a way that this could benefit the electric power industry, unless a power utility for some reason wants to reduce local demand for power.  This actually is the case here in Austin — the publicly owned utility Austin Energy has been encouraging solar power installations.  However, I'd think that's an anomaly within the industry.

 

WaqasAltaf
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Re: Solar Impulse
WaqasAltaf   12/8/2012 9:50:59 PM
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@ Beth

Solar plane is an amazing development and a very risky product by manufacturers atleast on the outside. Unlike solar power for the utility companies, the airline industry can suffer damage to lives of human beings if a flight crashes due to technology inexperience. 

WaqasAltaf
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Complex analytics
WaqasAltaf   12/8/2012 9:47:18 PM
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I am pleased to get know how of the solar power and utility companies' perspective.  Surely this data, about intensity of sun rays and data on probability of the duration for which sun will supply input to the solar power-production industry, is complex to work out and not every analytics can work on it. Only specialized firms connected with the utility sector can help draw useful analytics that are reliable for planning and budgeting purposes.

BethSchultz
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Solar Impulse
BethSchultz   12/7/2012 1:05:10 PM
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@Joe, I know this has nothing to do with analytics, but I think the solar industry can learn a lot from the solar plane set to fly around the world. If you haven't seen or heard of this project, it's worth a look. Truly fascinating. I just watched a 60 Minutes program on it and was completely enthralled. 



Noreen Seebacher
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Re: solar power
Noreen Seebacher   12/7/2012 8:35:04 AM
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Everytime I think about solar, I just think about Solendra!

Ariella
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solar power
Ariella   12/7/2012 8:04:13 AM
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That's a great applicaton of analytics.  I was wondering, given the role of climate, if there are any pursuits of solar power in places that tend to have more cloudy days, like Seattle and London. 

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