Changes To U.S. Electricity Supply & Demand — Wind Farm & Solar – Part 2 of 2

3 Of The World’s 10 Largest Wind Farms Are Located In Texas *

state of texas and u.s. flag

Texas Generates 1/4 Of All Wind Generated Electricity In The U.S.  

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

 

  • Compared to Capricorn Ridge, at 1.62 MW per turbine,  the turbines at Maverick Creek, at 3.42 MW per turbine, have over double the efficiency.  

 

Residential Solar Electricity Generation Is Experiencing Explosive Growth

home with solar collectors on the roof

Solar Collectors On A Home’s Roof

Image Source: ShutterStock

Solar collectors serving one home or building are rapidly lowering demand on the power grid.  Residential solar companies installed 603 megawatts (MW) of electricity generating capacity in the first quarter of 2019 alone.  This is nearly as much electricity as Texas’ Capricorn Ridge (662.5 MW) — the world’s 8th largest wind farm.

Top States For Private Solar Installations (total generation capacity) In 2019

    State  Total MW Capacity:

  • CA    25,015 MW
  • NC      5,465
  • AZ      3,790
  • NV     3,450
  • FL      3,150
  • TX     2,950 — This number is higher than Texas’ 3 Wind Farms Combined (2,179).
  • MA    2,535
  • NY     1,718
  • UT     1,661
  • GA     1,575

Source: https://www.seia.org/solar-industry-research-data & Wood Mackenzie

 

The Components Inside Each Solar PhotoVoltaic (PV) Cell

Solar panels have many small PhotoVoltaic (PV) cells.  The PV Cells convert sunlight into electricity.   A solar panel has many PV Cells linked together inside the panel.

  • The top layer of each cell is silicone treated with phosphorus.  Phosphorus has 5 electrons — 1 more than silicone.
  • The phosphorus creates an excess of electrons, which creates a negative electrical orientation).
  • The middle of a Solar PV Cell is silicon. Silicone has 4 electrons.
  • The bottom layer of each cell is treated with boron.  Boron has 3 electrons — 1 less than silicone.
  • The boron creates a deficiency of electrons that attracts electrons, creating a positive electrical orientation.
  • The resulting state of excess electrons & deficient electrons creates a positive-negative (p-n) junction between the layers within the PV Cell.  This junction creates an electrical-field.
  • Metal is printed on both sides of the 3-part PV Cell.   This allows the electricity generated by the PV Cell to be captured.

 

How The 3-Layer Solar PhotoVoltaic (PV) Cell Works

When sunlight strikes the PV cell, the sunlight energizes the silcone’s electrons inside the positive-negative (p-n) junction.

This knocks the silicone’s electrons free.  

These electrons are attracted to the bottom / positive (boron) side of the silicon.  This is because the bottom layer has the fewest electrons.

The electrical-field causes the silicone’s loose electrons to flow in one direction through the electrical field.

The movement of electrons generates an electrical current within the electrical-field.

A wire connected to the PV Cell causes the electrons to move through the wire instead of the electric-field.

 

The Installed Cost Of A Solar Collection System 

Dropped By 55% During 2010 To 2019

In 2019, Solar Collection Components Prices Are At An Historical Low.  The installed cost of an average-sized residential system dropped from $40,000 (in 2010) to $18,000 in 2019.

 

Single Home or Building Battery Energy Storage Is Also Available

As with Commercial, Utility-Scale Renewable Energy — To maximize the benefit of a single home or building’s solar collection system, an Energy Storage Battery Device,  designed for one home or building can be installed.   Tesla, the electric car company, is one of the companies that sell complete Solar Collection Systems + Energy Storage Batteries for single building or home installations.

  • Tesla sells Solar Panels that are installed above the home’s roofing.
  • Tesla solar panels are all black and have a low profile.  These aspects help minimize their appearance.

Click Here To See Tesla’s Solar Panels: Tesla Solar Panels

A key issue when considering solar panels is the orientation of the home.  If the front of the house faces south, the panels must be on the front or street side.  For some buyers, the look of these panels on the front of the home is simply unacceptable.

Tesla’s Solar Roof looks very similar to typical home roof shingles.  On their website, Tesla says their solar roof tiles are in excess of three times stronger than slate or clay roof tiles.  In areas where hail is common, this can be a tremendous advantage.

  • 1″ or larger hail can damage asphalt shingles
  • 2″ or larger hail can damage clay roof tile.

It must be noted that Slate’s ability to withstand hail is based on which of in four classes the slate is:

  • Class 1 (resistance up to 1 ¼”)
  • Class 2 (resistance up to 1 ½”)
  • Class 3 (resistance up to 1 ¾”)
  • Class 4 (resistance up to 2”).

Tesla does not note which class of Slate tile they used in the comparison on their website.

Click Here To See Tesla’s Solar Roof:  Tesla Solar Roof

 

Tesla says their Powerwall Energy Storage Battery Device, coupled with solar collectors, can eliminate most home’s need for electricity from the power grid.   This is based on a solar collection system and battery storage that is large enough to meet the home’s projected electricity demand.

Powerwall can also detect a power-grid outage.  If an outage occurs, the device will disconnect from the power-grid, and use the Battery to power to the home.  Without Powerwall, their solar panels or roof shuts down in the event of a power-grid outage.

  • Tesla’s PowerWall is an energy storage device with a battery to power the home when the sun is not shining.

Click Here To Learn More About Tesla Powerwall: Tesla PowerWall

 

NOTE: This is not an endorsement of Tesla products.  Tesla was chosen based only upon name recognition and a detailed website.  This information is presented only as a courtesy to our readers.  Other brands and products of solar collection systems are available.

Beginning on Jan 1, 2020 California Requires All Newly Built Homes Must Be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) 

Beginning Jan 1,2020 The California Energy Commission voted to mandate rooftop solar collectors on all new houses, condos and apartment buildings (up to 3 stories tall).   These new Zero Net Energy (ZNE) standards are projected to lower the homes’ electricity usage (from the power grid) by 53%.  At this time, these new homes can have have a natural gas furnace and water heater.

Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Is Defined As: Over the course of 1 year, the home’s solar installation must add as much electricity the power grid as it takes from the grid — during those times when the home’s electricity demand exceeds the solar installation’s capacity.

California’s new standards are also expected to take steps to reduce or eliminate natural gas heating & water heating in newly built homes.  This will be accomplished with larger rooftop solar installations and many new homes will be all-electric once again.  With today’s highly efficient heat pumps, electric heating & water heating now produce less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of the most efficient gas furnaces and water heaters.

 

What’s Old Will Becomes New Again — A 2 Minute Look Into History

A Brief History Lesson About The Construction Surge In America’s Suburbs

And All-Electric Homes

Shortly after World War II ended (September of 1945) a new homes building boom began in the United States.  New homes were in high demand by returning veterans and their families.  This building boom also ushered in a new location for these homes, the suburbs.   1946-1964 was when the Baby Boomers were born.

The first American suburb built in the U.S. was Levittown, NY.  Between the years of 1947 to 1951, Levitt & Sons Homes built 17,447 homes on Long Island, New York.   Every home had 2 bedrooms & 1 bath, and included an unfinished attic for future expansion (the homes even included stairs that stopped at the ceiling).    These homes were offered only to Veterans, and purchased with a G.I. Bill Mortgage (known today as a V.A. Mortgage).   Being in the eastern United States, Levittown NY homes included In-Floor, Hot Water Heat with a heating-oil fired boiler located in the kitchen.  They also included; refrigerator, range, automatic washer, and a TV.

Click Here To See A Kitchen In A Levittown, NY home: Levittown NY Home Kitchen

Click Here To See A Heating-Oil Boiler (left of the washer) In A Levittown, NY Home: Levittown, NY Home Heating-Oil Boiler

aerial photo of levittown ny

Shown: Levittown, NY

Image Source: ShutterStock

Click Here To See The Long Line Of People Waiting To See The Levittown, NY Model Home: Line To See Model Home At Levittown, NY

 

Gold Medallion All Electric Homes Were Built Between The Mid 1950’s Until The Mid 1970’s

gold medallion home badge live better electrically

Gold Medallion, All-Electric Homes Were Promoted From Mid 1950’s To Mid 1970’s

Image Source: Flickr: Flikr5376672_558ca02eef_z-2.jpg

The Live Better Electrically (LBE) Campaign began in March of 1956, and ended during the mid 1970’s.   To Earn A LBE Gold Medallion Emblem, A Home Was Required To Be All Electric.  When compared to what most Americans knew about coal heat, electric heat was; clean, required no effort, and did not generate soot or smelly smoke.  Thus, an all-electric home came to represent a symbol of modern living.   With a nationwide goal of 1 million all-electric new homes, many estimates say that goal was achieved during the lifetime of the LBE campaign.

Before 1950, more than half of existing U.S. homes used coal as their primary heating fuel  Coal was an extremely dirty way to heat, with the home’s chimney spewing black smoke & soot during winter.  Firing the furnace meant shoveling coal into the furnace as often as every 2 hours.   That labor was reduced for those who cold afford a new invention called a “stoker” — that automatically fed coal into the furnace.  Regardless of how coal when into the furnace, burnt coal ashes had to be removed from the furnace most every day.

* Source: https://dahp.wa.gov/historic-preservation/historic-buildings/historic-building-survey-and-inventory/live-better-electrically-the-gold-medallion-electric-home-campaign