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The Forum > General Discussion > Solar Panels Causing Problems : A Danger To The Network

Solar Panels Causing Problems : A Danger To The Network

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The cost of solar panels will increase as part of an effort to stabilise the electricity network. Household panels are responsible for uncontrolled surges in the grid.

The extra cost will arise from the need for extra technology to be incorporated into panels to fix the problem in new panels, and to retrofit existing panels, because the very rising and setting of the sun causes “enormous fluctuations”. This was not envisaged among the renewable energy enthusiasts. It is hoped that they will be the ones paying for it, and not the solar-free taxpayers who have been making the panels affordable so far.

The government needs to be able to communicate with, and control if necessary, the solar cells on people’s roofs, according to the energy minister, as well as needing to maintain the integrity of the system with coal and gas. There is no chance of fossil-free power in the foreseeable future.

This is just another unforeseen problem - and added cost - of totally unnecessary kneejerking about climate change and the ‘need for renewable energy’. More problems to come, I would think.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 18 May 2020 10:18:54 AM
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solar and wind have certainly raised electricity prices by massive amounts. They are both environmental disasters. Surely we will get a Government with enough courage to rip up Paris one day.
Posted by runner, Monday, 18 May 2020 3:52:44 PM
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"Surely we will get a Government with enough courage to rip up Paris one day".

Not unless we get a Donald Trump, runner. There's no difference on Paris, and very little on the rest of the climate scam, between the major parties.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 18 May 2020 4:28:55 PM
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Our solar panels so far are functioning normally.
And we get credit on our electric bill.
We only have six panels. Some properties have a
lot more - and if they aren't properly maintained
there may be a problem. For example, faulty wiring would
present solar panels from performing well.

Also if moisture finds its way into the panel it can
cause internal corrosion. But the monitoring box should
indicate any faults.

Ours has indicated faults previously and the panel has been
replaced.

It's basically maintenance and monitoring the control
panel that needs to be done. We check our control panel
weekly.

It's the same as cars. If you don't maintain them - you're
going to have problems.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 18 May 2020 4:33:17 PM
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I've just found an interesting article on the
topic of "electricity distributors warn excess
solar could damage grid."

http://abc.net.au/news/2018-10-11/electricy-distributos-warn-excess-solar-could-damage-grid/10365622

We're told that:

"With almost 18 million Australian homes and
businesses relying on power from rooftop solar panels
there is a fight brewing over the impact of solar
energy on the national electricity grid."

"Electricity distributors are warning that as solar
uptake continues to increase there is a risk excess
solar power could flow into the network causing
blackouts and damaging infrastructure."

"But is it the network businesses that are actually at
risk, as customers turn away from centrally produced
electricity?

Good question.

The link given above tells us what 3 different parties
have to say.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 18 May 2020 6:21:20 PM
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yes, Foxy.

No one will known until we have a proper debate with all sides of teh argument put forward.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 8:58:12 AM
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Andrew Dillon. However, he acknowledges that excess solar power has yet to cause any blackouts, or damage electricity infrastructure.

The director of the Victorian Energy Policy Center, Bruce Mountain, rejected the argument that rooftop solar could be a problem for the grid.
"I don't buy that at all," he said.

It's just a gripe about nothing. AEMEO sells excess power by auction. By the time they realise they have excess power it's gone.

They will do anything to blame alt; power than shut down a coal plant, or at least one generator.

The greatest item a household can have is solar. Industrial rooftops are filling up more and more.

It's only a whinge from those that are against everything.
Posted by Riely, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:31:26 AM
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Foxy, the problem is not to do with maintenance etc with rooftop panels.
The problem is sudden reductions or increases in output due to cloud
banks passing by. They can be unpredictable.
A modification to home panel systems is possible by the installation of
controllers in the switchboard of each house.
This was predicted at least ten years ago.
The immediate solution is to dump a group of suburbs.
The suggestion that seems to be favorite is to install a controller in
every switch board to enable remote disconnect of panels.
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 12:07:57 PM
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Bazz,

That's right. Maintenance is necessary, but that's a user pays problem.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:54:43 PM
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Bazz That is possible now with smart meters. Who do you pick on first. That is why this does not happen and that is ten years old to.

Every one that puts power into the grid is a power generator and has to be treated as such without favor.

The power regulators are on the job 24/7 its the clumsy outdated coal fired boilers that are the problem. More gas turbines that resemble jet engines that can ramp up or down at a minutes notice or is that too simple.
Posted by Riely, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 4:28:06 PM
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It is nothing to do with coal fired stations.
To control the voltage etc you must have a feedback loop.
At present when the sun is out there is no feedback.
That means when the voltage or power available is too high that high
level cannot be fed back as a signal to turn the solar panels down.
All they can do is remove whole suburbs or towns.

That simplistically is what it is all about.
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 4:42:20 PM
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Bazz,
>The problem is sudden reductions or increases in output due to cloud
>banks passing by. They can be unpredictable.
Fluctuations in supply are no harder to deal with than the fluctuations in demand that we've always had. Now with big batteries on the grid, it really should be a non issue.

>At present when the sun is out there is no feedback.
False!

>That means when the voltage or power available is too high that high
>level cannot be fed back as a signal to turn the solar panels down.
The inverters do already respond to the voltage getting too high.

The real problem is the perception that the solution is to reduce the output from the solar panels rather than use the excess power to charge batteries.

_______________________________________________________________________________

runner,
>solar and wind have certainly raised electricity prices by massive amounts.
What makes you so certain they deserve the blame rather than rising wholesale gas prices?

>They are both environmental disasters.
Far less so than fossil fuels. Stop letting the neocons scam you!

>Surely we will get a Government with enough courage to rip up Paris one day.
Maybe that's why the Libs were so strongly against electric vehicles :-)
Posted by Aidan, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 1:51:51 AM
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The sun does not have to be out to generate solar.
This has everything to do with coal.
Bazz says to isolate whole suburbs is the only solution, i do not think that is any sort of solution.
coal supporters blame solar for price surges, the only blame solar generators have is being able to produce energy without CO2.
You need to think about what coal does for the only earth we have.
Posted by Riely, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 7:49:24 AM
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"The sun does not have to be out to generate solar".

They will work in daylight with the Sun covered, but efficiency is impaired. They do NOT work at night, so saying that the sun doesn't have to be "out" is a little on the wild side.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 11:29:49 AM
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Most people would know that the sun does not shine at night.
You obviously do not have much to do with solar, but you know everything about coal but do not mention that.

Try putting a fluorescent light on a solar panel at night and see what happens
Posted by Riely, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 12:14:29 PM
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Of course solar panels have output on a overcast day.
The output from mine at midday is about 30% depending on how heavy the overcast.
Posted by Bazz, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 5:05:23 PM
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"The real problem is the perception that the solution is to reduce the output from the solar panels rather than use the excess power to charge batteries."

Intermittent renewables are just a front for Big Coal, Oil and Gas to carry on business as usual, which is why they are in gleeful support. Batteries have nothing much to do with grid-scale storage, unless you're down to counting out the minutes. If batteries are so viable why aren't Germany and Japan, doyens of environmentalism, interested in them rather than preparing to burn massive amounts of fossil-fuels for decades to come?

Keep dreaming Aidan. Nuclear is here and its best days are coming.
Posted by Luciferase, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 9:10:06 PM
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Luciferase asked why Japan and Germany are content to continue burning
fossil fuels ?
I don't think they are content. However I think they now realise that
their countries are too small to have 100% electricity 100% of the time.
Posted by Bazz, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 9:47:56 PM
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There is another amazingly screwball aspect to the business of costly {to taxpayers) panels that also touches on the childishly bellicose attitude of China to our exports to them.

Apart from the costs to taxpayers involved in the supply of solar panels to some Australian consumers, a further $1.7 billion dollars of taxpayer money helps the importing of them, and subsequent enrichment of China.
Posted by ttbn, Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:26:33 PM
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Luciferase,
>Intermittent renewables are just a front for Big Coal, Oil and Gas to carry on business as usual,
In my state we've ceased to generate electricity from coal, and are using far less gas for that purpose than we used to. That's hardly a front, though fossil fuel companies will always carry on business as usual until it ceases to be profitable to do so.

>which is why they are in gleeful support.
Gleeful support? They're disparaging renewables even more than you are!

>Batteries have nothing much to do with grid-scale storage, unless you're down to counting out the minutes.
You're making it sound as if you don't know what "grid-scale storage" means! It's primarily about balancing supply and demand (and totally solving problems like the trumped up one this thread is based on) not replacing all other power sources for hours at a time (although although the Dalrymple battery does provide the latter capability for part of Yorke Peninsula).

>If batteries are so viable why aren't Germany and Japan, doyens of environmentalism, interested in them
Why do you assume them to not be interested in batteries? Both those countries are quietly investing in them, so don't assume they're doing nothing just because you haven't heard any big announcements!

>rather than preparing to burn massive amounts of fossil-fuels for decades to come?
Battery storage still requires the power to be generated in the first place. In both those countries, continued reliance on fossil fuels is a political result of the Fukushima disaster.

>Keep dreaming Aidan. Nuclear is here and its best days are coming.
I hope you're right - we need to decarbonise ASAP.
You seem to have forgotten I'm pro nuclear power despite recognising that it does not make economic sense in the Australian context.
Posted by Aidan, Friday, 22 May 2020 6:37:36 PM
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A problem with batteries that no one is game to talk about is that the
recharging of the batteries after an extended period of relying on them
requires a high excess level of solar and wind over and above the
normal generation. It will always be at the most inconvenient time.
Assume two sequential days of low wind and say 50% of solar generation
under cloud. Want to bet this would not happen over our East Aus grid ?
So the batteries kept us up and running for two days but they are now
at the end of the second night 80% discharged.
From sunrise on the grid has to have enough wind & solar to run the
country PLUS recharge the batteries in no more than 8 to ten hours.
(in case the fourth day is windless & overcast)

That needs a supply 6 times the maximum grid demand as well as supply
that days demand. That is what 100% x 100% means.

Anyone want to bet that scenario would never happen ?
Posted by Bazz, Saturday, 23 May 2020 5:19:43 PM
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Bazz,
It's not that nobody's game to talk about such a scenario; it's just that it's a very long way off, completely irrelevant to our present needs, and not really a problem at all.

In the medium term, our gas turbine capacity will increase despite the gas consumption declining. The turbines will last for many decades, so supply will not be a problem. And it's likely our gas production will eventually shift to non fossil sources.

And eventually we WILL have a huge overbuild of renewable energy infrastructure. Much of the extra electricity is likely to be used for the production of hydrogen, but that can be switched off (or in some cases, actually reversed) when electricity is in relatively short supply. And other heavy industry will also schedule its operations to take advantage of cheap electricity but not use much while electricity's expensive. The use of batteries will give them plenty of time to plan ahead.

So this "problem with batteries" is almost certain to be as much of a non issue as surges from rooftop solar should be.
Posted by Aidan, Sunday, 24 May 2020 11:08:20 AM
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I agree with most of what you say Aiden, but those in our corner are
not running the political decisions.
Those that are mesmerised by one CO2 molecule in 12,000 extra are the
ones saying we MUST cut all co2 and are opposed to offsets.
Those ding-a-lings will demand it as they leave our schools and join
the electoral roles.
We simply cannot afford the multiplication of wind & solar & batteries
to give 100% 100% electricity.
One cold night sitting in the dark the penny will drop (in the meter).
Posted by Bazz, Sunday, 24 May 2020 1:09:59 PM
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Bazz, I can't even tell what corner you're in! You seem to be attacking strawmen and ignoring the severity of the problem... which means you have a lot in common with those making the political decisions!

I don't know where you got the 1 in 12000 figure from, but it's well known that human activity has resulted in a 50% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration over preindustrial levels.

Very very few people would seriously oppose offsets - ITYF the controversy around those relates to what should or shouldn't be included in them.

And we can afford far more than you think; the economics have changed a lot in the past decade, and even before that the claims of unaffordability were based on political point scoring rather than reality.
Posted by Aidan, Monday, 25 May 2020 2:40:22 AM
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Aiden, I am attacking the idea that with wind solar and batteries that
in a country the size of Australia, let alone the size of our grid we
can afford to build a system that will provide the 99.99% reliability
with 100% of supply.
As you said, gas turbine plants etc can fill in but that is not the plan.
Read what they, the proponents are saying.
No fossil fuel generation, wind, solar and hydro only.
No co2 emmissions at all.
In a very few years they will demand that.
My daughters-in-law are absolutely convinced of that.
Strange one is a teacher, the other was a teacher but is a member
of the greens, hmmm.

Re the co2 figures, the human generation for world was one extra
molecule in 12,000 and Australia was one in 80,000 molecules.
Typed that from memory, will check.
There have been papers about this and the ones I quoted earlier
from Turku and Kobe unis plus the Svenmark work explained it all.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 25 May 2020 9:52:07 AM
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Aiden, here is part of one source I had, still looking for the rest.
However just show me where this is wrong.
The one in 80,000 molecules I remember was Prof Plimer's figure.

TOTAL HUMAN-EMITTED CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE
 
Total Atmospheric CO2: 400 Parts Per Million
Total Human-Caused CO2: 3% of Total CO2
Total Human-caused CO2:12 Parts Per Million
 
AUSTRALIAN HUMAN-EMITTED CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE
 
CO2: Around 0.15% of 12 Parts Per Million
CO2: Around 1/100th of One Molecule Per Million
CO2: Around 1 Molecule Per 100 Million
Australian human-emitted CO2 is around 1 molecule in 100 Million molecules of atmosphere.
This is literally unmeasurable and cannot possibly have any effect on global climate.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 25 May 2020 10:09:42 AM
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Bazz, you are mindlessly attacking the idea rather than considering the timescale of it. I have already told you how it can – and will – be achieved. Claims of impossibility are just another excuse for inaction!

Silly demands for no CO2 emissions at all are sure to be swept aside by demands to cut our net CO2 emissions by more than 100%.

The atmosphere's CO2 level is no longer just 400ppm. It's now reached 420ppm, which is 50% higher than the preindustrial level of 280ppm. Yes, 50% not 3%. And emissions from human activity are more than enough to account for the change.
Posted by Aidan, Monday, 25 May 2020 11:43:04 AM
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Aiden said; 50% higher than the preindustrial level of 280ppm. Yes, 50% not 3%.

And that doesn't strike you as improbable ?
Another suggestion is that the co2 increase since the 18th century was
caused by the warming after the mini ice age releasing co2 from the ocean.
This increased co2 has been suggested to explain NASA's finding that
the earth has been greening significantly.
The current cooling fits in with the current low sunspot count.
This will I suspect be short term cooling but coincides with Svenmark
and the Turku & Kobe findings. The real cool time according to some
should be around 200 to 300 years time as that is the Medieval warm
period cycle.
Well we won't settle that here but it is enough that there are a lot
more factors than what has generally been accepted.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 25 May 2020 2:24:37 PM
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What do others have to say about this statement by an IPCC chairman ?

Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official 
Ottmar Edenhofer Chairman of the UN IPCC Working Group III

"One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate
policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the
environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or
the ozone hole," said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.'s
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation
of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?"We redistribute de facto
the world's wealth by climate policy," said Edenhofer.For those who
want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn't really
mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also
said that "the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an
economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources
will be negotiated."
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 25 May 2020 2:39:02 PM
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Aiden, you mentioned a number of ways that the grid can be kept going
during weather events, Here is another way of having battery backup
on a very large scale.

http://tinyurl.com/y8s53kvy

Mind you I would not be happy to find out my battery had been through
several charge discharge cycles during the night as the life of the
batteries is set by the number of those cycles.
Also a still night might leave my battery too low to be useful.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 25 May 2020 3:38:26 PM
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Bazz,
No, the 50% figure doesn't strike me as improbable. The evidence is overwhelming!
The 280ppm figure is well accepted, and nobody has come up with a credible alternative claim. Importantly, calculations based on fossil fuel use show human activity has released far more CO2 into the atmosphere than it would take to increase the amount in the atmosphere by 50%; more CO2 has gone into the ocean than come out of it.

Ottmar Edenhofer has been frequently misquoted in denialist propaganda, and his unsympathetically translated quotes (the original was in German) have been taken out of context to fool people into believing he was using climate policy as a smokescreen to achieve the outcome of redistributing the world's wealth. But if you read what he said in context it's clear he's actually emphasising the importance of development policy to achieve environmental objectives.

But don't just take my word for it; read it yourself: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=TT&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nzz.ch%2Fklimapolitik_verteilt_das_weltvermoegen_neu-1.8373227
Posted by Aidan, Monday, 25 May 2020 5:21:15 PM
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