1. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Mar '16 15:10
    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-iron-nitride-boost-energy-storage.html#nRlv

    This is a genuine technology breakthrough. Transformers are the most massive passive component of the electronics world at present.

    This tech would work for the big 100Kw or 1 Mw transformers for power grids and so forth also, they are now as big as a small pickup truck.

    And everything else in between, cell phones, audio amps, RF transmitters, receivers and the like, all will benefit from this development.
  2. Cape Town
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    28 Mar '16 15:38
    Very interesting, but this sentence is a shameless lie:
    ... needed for more flexible energy storage systems and widespread adoption of renewable energy.
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Mar '16 19:57
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Very interesting, but this sentence is a shameless lie:
    ... needed for more flexible energy storage systems and widespread adoption of renewable energy.
    That is not a lie. They are talking about sources such as solar which is fundamentally a DC source. Transformers are 100% needed in the circuitry to convert that voltage, whatever it is, depends on how they arrange the series/parallel circuits, could be 10 volts, could be 100 or more, but still DC. Smaller transformers means smaller, lighter, cheaper voltage transforms either from DC to DC or DC to AC, first you have a circuit that turns the DC into an oscillation of some frequency, the higher the better, say if these transformers can work at 10 or 20 megahertz the conversion efficiency is over 95% and so the entire system is a lot smaller, lighter and cheaper. Once you have some kind of oscillation, it is easy for a transformer with the right frequency spec to convert to another AC voltage and then to electronics that converts the AC to a more usable DC or AC single phase into AC 3 phase or higher phases if needed.

    All of these technologies depend on transformers to work.
  4. Cape Town
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    28 Mar '16 21:15
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    All of these technologies depend on transformers to work.
    And your point is?

    It remains a lie.

    What percentage of the cost of a solar system is the transformer? Will reducing its size bring down the cost significantly?

    We can have widespread adoption of renewable energy without changing transformers one single bit. Would smaller transformers be nice? Of course. But they would be nice for all uses of transformer and have no real relation to renewables in particular and almost zero relation to adoption of renewables.

    The main barriers to widespread adoption of renewables are cost and politics. Wind has proven that cost is not an issue, so now its mostly politics and the time it takes to build wind turbines. Here in SA they are foolishly planning to build more nuclear - clearly politics.
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    28 Mar '16 21:457 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead


    What percentage of the cost of a solar system is the transformer? .
    I tried my best to google this but just got nowhere so I could be wrong but, if my memory serves me correctly, I think I did once hear somewhere that the insulation costs of electrical converters of a complete solar electric system can make up a large proportion of the total cost. Both DC to DC and DC to AC converters, which are the ones needed here, tend to generally be much more expensive for the same power input/output than AC to AC converters as AC to AC converters don't need the expensive extra apparatus to first convert input to very high frequencies (if not very high then there is much wastage/lose ) and then convert back down again to none/low frequencies for the output -I hope that makes some sort of sense to you.
  6. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '16 07:13
    Originally posted by humy
    I think I did once hear somewhere that the insulation costs of electrical converters of a complete solar electric system can make up a large proportion of the total cost.
    I know that inverters are not cheap. I own a couple of UPS's and was considering buying a proper inverter at one point. However, the inverter is only part of the cost of a solar system. There is also the solar panels, and batteries. I estimate the inverter would be a third of the total cost or less. I also believe the transformer is only part of the cost of the inverter.
    Cheaper transformers will lead to cheaper solar systems, but are they 'needed for widespread adoption of renewables'? Certainly not.
    And the article doesn't at any point suggest the new transformers will be cheaper, only that they will be smaller.
  7. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '16 07:24
    http://energyinformative.org/solar-panels-cost/

    I believe the system listed above does not include batteries but rather relies on the local utility to buy excess power in the day time and sell power at night (act as a battery). It puts the inverter at less than 20% of the cost.

    Here in SA many people want to be off the grid or at least insulated from power failures:
    http://mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/117579-how-much-it-will-cost-you-to-say-goodbye-eskom.html
    This puts the inverter at less than 15% of the cost.

    http://www.nmsea.org/Curriculum/7_12/Cost/calculate_solar_cost.htm
    Less than 10% of the cost.
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    29 Mar '16 07:44
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    http://energyinformative.org/solar-panels-cost/

    I believe the system listed above does not include batteries but rather relies on the local utility to buy excess power in the day time and sell power at night (act as a battery). It puts the inverter at less than 20% of the cost.

    Here in SA many people want to be off the grid or at least insulated fro ...[text shortened]...
    http://www.nmsea.org/Curriculum/7_12/Cost/calculate_solar_cost.htm
    Less than 10% of the cost.
    even just a 5% deduction of capital costs for a solar electric system would be a good thing.
  9. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '16 10:131 edit
    Originally posted by humy
    even just a 5% deduction of capital costs for a solar electric system would be a good thing.
    Undeniably so. It is not, however, the case that a reduction in the cost of inverters is 'needed for widespread adoption of renewables' and would have very little actual impact on the adoption rates of renewables.
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Mar '16 14:171 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Undeniably so. It is not, however, the case that a reduction in the cost of inverters is 'needed for widespread adoption of renewables' and would have very little actual impact on the adoption rates of renewables.
    This technology has much further reaching consequences than renewables. High power RF transmitters, power transmission, cell phones, audio amplifiers, audio mixers, microphones, transducers, all can use smaller transformers.
  11. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '16 14:26
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    This technology has much further reaching consequences than renewables. High power RF transmitters, power transmission, cell phones, audio amplifiers, audio mixers, microphones, transducers, all can use smaller transformers.
    I agree. I can see many benefits to smaller transformers. I just get upset when articles like that make blatantly false claims about the importance of the technology with respect to renewables. It is grossly misleading both with regards to the actual benefits the technology might have and the actual reasons why renewables are not having the impact one might hope.
    It may be shameless advertising by the inventor or an over enthusiastic journalist, but one would think that scientific reporting could do better than the mainstream garbage.
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Mar '16 14:49
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I agree. I can see many benefits to smaller transformers. I just get upset when articles like that make blatantly false claims about the importance of the technology with respect to renewables. It is grossly misleading both with regards to the actual benefits the technology might have and the actual reasons why renewables are not having the impact one mig ...[text shortened]... list, but one would think that scientific reporting could do better than the mainstream garbage.
    Maybe he overestimated the savings for renewables but there will be savings, however small. Even 2% would help.
  13. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '16 14:581 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Maybe he overestimated the savings for renewables but there will be savings, however small. Even 2% would help.
    I very much doubt it is a case of 'overestimating' anything. I say it is a blatant lie.

    Of course 2% would help. But it is not essential. The cost of solar goes down significantly every year and will continue to go down purely due to savings from volume production. In most places solar is already cheaper than most other forms of electricity currently in use. Wind is cheaper still, but better suited to utility scale.

    Utilities should adopt wind and individuals should go solar. The reasons why it isn't happening faster are many, and cost is only one of them.

    The statement in the article suggests that unless this new type of transformer is produced, then widespread adoption of renewables is impossible. I say that is absolute and utter nonsense and has no place in a scientific article and whoever came up with it should know better. I find the fact that you are defending it to be somewhat concerning too.
  14. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Mar '16 17:031 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I very much doubt it is a case of 'overestimating' anything. I say it is a blatant lie.

    Of course 2% would help. But it is not essential. The cost of solar goes down significantly every year and will continue to go down purely due to savings from volume production. In most places solar is already cheaper than most other forms of electricity currently i ...[text shortened]... it should know better. I find the fact that you are defending it to be somewhat concerning too.
    I think the real savings will come when peroskvites and other organic cells go commercial with efficient ratings near silicon. That will make a much bigger effect on price than the slow decline in silicon processing. Organic cells can be built on a roll to roll basis not needing cleanrooms, sputtering machines, ion implanters, CVD's and the like, more like making wallpaper.

    Another development coming up is a spray on cell where you have a metal substrate like an aluminum siding on your house with no paint on it, spray on a couple of layers of stuff and then a top coat of transparent electrode and you have instant photocell.

    THAT will really be a game changer.

    Of course none of those technologies will make a whit difference to the conversion process which will need some kind of electronics, the electronics won't know or care the technology of the cells themselves.
  15. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '16 17:582 edits
    Look carefully through this article that I posted earlier:
    http://energyinformative.org/solar-panels-cost/

    Now, suppose there is a 50% reduction in the cost of both panels and inverter. Go through the various charts and think about how much they will change. A person who installs solar might find that the system pays for itself after 8 years instead of 10. Now tell me, are significantly more people going to install solar because of that difference? Are people waiting patiently until the payback time comes down to 8 years and then they will finally invest?

    For someone like you who lives in an area with less sunlight, it might be a case of 15 years down from 20. Is that what you are waiting for? Is that why you are yet to go solar?
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