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Author Topic: Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels  (Read 4215 times)

Offline Murchie85

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« on: 25/09/2010 17:56:01 »
Simply put, can we make the windows on skyscrapers transparent and have the electrical generation capability of solar panels in a oner? That way it would help companies cut there power costs... If not why?


 

Offline Geezer

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #1 on: 25/09/2010 18:55:58 »
The panels would have to allow some visible light to pass into the building while converting the higher energy light into electric power, but that may already be possible. Also, a lot of buildings are in the shadow of other buildings for much of the day, and vertical surfaces are not optimal for solar collection.

Ultimately though, it's probably more about economics than anything else. If photocells become inexpensive enough, and energy costs become high enough, I think we'll see them popping up all over the place. At the moment though, it's a bit difficult to justify the capital investment based on the return.

We get a lot of sun here, but it's more economic to use it for passive solar heating than anything else. I can't justify putting solar panels on the roof at today's electricity prices.
 

Offline Murchie85

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #2 on: 25/09/2010 19:01:38 »
What about lining targeted areas that will get the most sun? Such as on one end of new york where on the bigger buildings surface area will be huge and thus the power collection.

Maybe if the USA and other governments are really serious then it should consider all options (maybe this has already been turned down) although to me it seems a no brainer, one off payment for a limited but long time of cheap energy. Even subsidizing a scheme for companies to buy them cheaper.
 

Offline Geezer

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #3 on: 25/09/2010 19:14:42 »
The US does already offer substantial tax credits for installing solar power, but, even taking them into account, the economic returns are too marginal.

I suppose if the efficiency of panels were to improve significantly, that would also help a lot.

So, as things stand, it's only a no brainer if you ignore the economic and practical limitations.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2010 21:06:41 by Geezer »
 

Offline JnA

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #4 on: 26/09/2010 12:20:40 »

Maybe one day something like this technology 

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s3008638.htm

"Solar Paint is an environmentally friendly solar cell technology that will allow every household in Australia to generate their own electricity, affordably and sustainably.

The invention involves the development of a completely printable organic solar cell based on semiconducting polymer nanoparticles dispersed in water. Essentially these tiny particles in suspension are a water-based paint, which can be printed or coated over large areas. In the first instance these coatings will be put onto plastic sheets that can be placed on the roof of a house. However, in the longer term it will be possible to directly paint a roof or building surface."
 

Offline LeeE

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #5 on: 26/09/2010 13:09:34 »
For solar panels you want a lot of surface area, but a building with a lot of surface area [for its volume] is inefficient in terms of construction, maintenance and heating/air-conditioning costs.
 

Offline Geezer

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #6 on: 26/09/2010 19:35:55 »
I believe one of the big problems with photocells is that they dissipate a lot of the energy they collect internally. Solving that problem might help a lot.
 

Offline Mazurka

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #7 on: 27/09/2010 15:42:41 »
Ok, its not quite such a large scale but there are now companies in the UK that due to the incentives are prepared to (in effect rent) domestic house roofs to put solar PV panels on... 
 

Offline LeeE

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #8 on: 29/09/2010 23:16:25 »
Sort of related to this thread, as in being more or less the exact opposite of what the thread's about...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/29/las_vegas_death_ray/
 

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Why can't we line skyscrapers with solar panels
« Reply #8 on: 29/09/2010 23:16:25 »

 

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