Talk:Penny a kWh

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I vaguely remember that manufacturing of a solar panel requires as much energy as the panel can "produce" in 10 years. Above the earth's athmosphere (which consumes at least 50% of the sunlight on a bright day), and perhaps in an orbit where the sat can avoid the earth's shadow, this might go down a break-even point of maybe 2 or 3 years, compared to a earth-based place with reliable good weather.

This leaves the question of the expected lifetime of a solar panel in space. I've seen solar panel arrays on earth where a significant number of paneds have already deceased after rougly 10 years of service (yup, not even reaching the break-even point). Space might be a much better environment. Is it? -- 10:14, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

need to research that...

The idea that a solar panel takes that much energy to manufacture seems improbable, and smells to me like neoconservative disinformation.

If it took as much energy to manufacture as it "generates" in a lifetime, how could it ever be cost-effective? That is, if the manufacture process costs $X1 worth of energy plus $X2 worth of materials plus $X3 worth of labor plus $X4 worth of wear-and-tear on manufacturing equipment, and then they mark it up by a further $Y and sell it for (X1 + X2 + X3 + X4 + Y) – to someone who typically then has to pay not only that, but the cost of installation and the extra equipment necessary to make the power useful (inverters, batteries, etc.) – only to produce just $X worth of electricity, why would anyone bother?

And yet if I remember right we do hear about solar power cells having a financial "break even" of less than 10 years, so I am highly suspicious of this claim – but we do need some actual numbers in order to properly answer it. (If it does happen to be true, then we shouldn't even be bothering with solar using current tech; there's plenty of newer, cheaper and more efficient solar tech getting ready for roll-out.)

--Woozle 21:28, 14 August 2008 (EDT)


I am fairly sure solar panels take less than ICs. ICs I remember take around 10kWh/cm^2. That's less than a dollar for a processor chip, but a serious amount of money for large area panels. I tend to agree that solar cells have problems. On the other hand, they don't need much attention.

Power sats can be made about 50% smaller even counting the radiators by using heat engines. 00:56, 9 December 2008 (EST)