Plagues

We’ve had a bunch of plagues here this year: hares and deer chewing young trees, tent-caterpillars, weeds, heat, drought, rain, and now hail. One apricot and one apple that were chewed badly have sprouted new growth. Power was knocked out briefly and there were quite a few hailstones hitting our windows in the wee hours last night. This morning I can see most of our plants are just fine. We must have been near the edge of it. TLW reports that streets nearby are covered in shredded leaves. So, we’ve been lucky. Despite a little damage, it could have been much worse. The caterpillars, drought and rains weren’t too bad either. A few leaves got eaten but I was able to pluck off most of the caterpillars that found my trees sooner rather than later. I’ve whacked a lot of the weeds. The ones that got to be very large actually were sheared off and shaded the smaller ones so we won tactical victory there. Several of our vegetables are competing well against the weeds: lettuce, pumpkin and asparagus just won’t quit. With the kind of rains we’ve been having, our soil is ready for seeding grass so that will happen this week most likely.

It’s not so bad. A taste of plague keeps us humble and thankful, unlike Trumpists.

UPDATE – The folks WSW of us were in the bull’s eye of last night’s storm.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

This entry was posted in horticulture, politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Plagues

  1. oiaohm says:

    Deaf Spy its not that simple
    http://www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ee143/fa10/lectures/Lec_26.pdf
    Before idiot jumps in the pay back time in this pdf is in 1997.

    Cost is linked to waste produced as well. Like the sunpower tech they use in their panels don’t produce any toxic waste.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-03-pv-cells-cheaper-solar-power.html
    The debt load on solar panel production companies is a nasty one. At this stage the process of making solar cells is not perfected. You have changes like the one above that subtracts 25% of the manufacture cost and increase efficiency but this means you have to retool your production line. So every time solar panel companies think they are getting ahead a retool cost puts them back to square one. And if solar panel companies do not retool there solar cells come lower efficiency and they lose market share. You can call this a nasty treadmill.

    Samsung is one of the few solar panel makers that has 100 percent vertical integration. As in they make all the tools they use to make solar panels. Most other solar panel companies are having to buy production equipment from samsung, tsmc and other true hardware makers.

  2. Deaf Spy wrote, “If I were you, Robert, I would hurry and buy these panels while they are still cheap.”

    I’m in no rush, just thinking ahead. I need them a few months before Solo… It could be a year. It also depends somewhat on my stock portfolio as TLW has made some demands on my discretionary savings. I will try to sell shares at the next peak to pay for Solo, the solar system, taxes etc.

  3. Deaf Spy says:

    Btw, a few years ago Chinese solar panel industry went belly up, and the government had to rescue it. When you pair “Debt loads are high, and finances are getting worse” with “import duties from EU and USA”, things start to look gloomy.

    If I were you, Robert, I would hurry and buy these panels while they are still cheap. But of course, you will do nothing like that.

  4. Deaf Spy says:

    Don’t confuse the panel-makers with the power-generators. They sell different things. There are many suppliers of PV panels in China

    Let’s see:
    “Chinese solar stocks is a high-risk bet at the moment. Debt loads are high, and finances are getting worse, which will make it tough for companies to invest in building the next generation of solar technology. Until sustainable profitability shows itself in solar, I wouldn’t be buying Chinese solar manufacturers, no matter how fast they’re growing capacity”
    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/06/08/solar-manufacturers-face-tough-market-in-2017.aspx

    This comes at times when EU and US are considering imposing import duties and limits to protect their domestic solar panel industries…

  5. Deaf Spy says:

    Changing the subject again?

    Not really, Robert. Just a reminder that you always say how you will build something, but years pass and you never do it.

    You praise ARM chips and servers, explain that ARM is all people need, that you will build a server and thin clients. Then, people go and buy x86 again for both their workstations and servers, and you never setup an ARM server. Same for the solar panels. Same for the Solo.

    So, prove Greece wrong. Build yourself a solar panel array, and show us how it works.

  6. Grece wrote, “Seagate has the worst drive on the market”.

    Meanwhile, BackBlaze, the inquisitor of hard drives, informs: “Backblaze has explained before that it can tolerate a relatively high failure rate before it starts avoiding drives altogether, but the company has been known to take that step (it stopped using a specific type of Seagate drive at one point due to unacceptably high failure rates). Current Seagate drives have been much better and the company’s 8TB drives are showing an excellent annualized failure rate.”

    I’ve used a number of different makes and models of hard drives and I’ve never noticed a significant difference in quality. Many models these days come in three or more flavours for usage, like “desktop”, NAS, and “server”. My usage is closer to “desktop” than the others. Even when Beast was working hard serving up to 30 students’ desktop sessions, the hard drives hardly moved because all the action was from RAM to EtherNet, not the hard drives. e.g. 30 students editing and saving files automatically every five minutes is only a few writes per minute. Meanwhile, a loaded server may have 1K clients hammering storage with some application or another.

    Again, like a true Trumpist, Grece makes wild assertions based on questionable assumptions and sparse datapoints. That’s how Trump decided “Trannies” should not serve in the military based on unamed sources when published research by the military found there were no concerns that could not be managed and that Ts were capable of contributing like anyone else. Wrong assumptions, misinformation/misinterpretation, and perverted logic yields wrong conclusions.

  7. Grece again goes off half-cocked. The link to the case he cited is just a preliminary decision on motions made early on: “For the reasons discussed above, Seagate’s motion to dismiss is GRANTED as to:
    (1) Plaintiffs’ express warranty claims (including to the extent such claims are based on the essential purpose doctrine or the Song-Beverly Act); (2) Plaintiffs’ implied warranty claims under the California Commercial Code; (3) Plaintiffs’ affirmative misrepresentation claims based on Seagate’s statements about the drives’ read error rate, NAS capabilities, AcuTrac technology, and general reliability and performance; (4) Plaintiffs’ omissions claims based on NAS capabilities and read error rates; (5) all CLRA claims by Plaintiff John Smith; and (6) Plaintiff’s claims under the unlawful and unfair prongs of the UCL to the extent that they depend on theories dismissed in the context of other claims.”

    The court is considering further motions on August 25, 2017. So, Grece would like the world to believe his assertions based on incomplete data when Seagate likely has presented the court with documentary evidence of the testing/results in the field for these light duty drives. The data quoting a high failure rate is from an inappropriate use of the drives. Hint: they are called “desktop” drives. You know, those computers where users may only use them part of the time in an 8h day 200 days a year?

    “Seagate argues that the Backblaze assessment of the drives AFR is unreliable because Backblaze admittedly used the consumer-grade drives for commercial applications and “shucked” the external drives that it used, removing them from their protective casings.”

  8. Grece cackled wildly, “No where in the google report does it mention a “1% annum failure rate”.”

    Well, a picture is worth a thousand words. See Figure 3. It shows a spike in AFR in the first year, then low values for two years. There is another spike at three years and then AFR declines steadily to about 1% at five years.

    Note: Google is reporting only for five years after 2001, before my drives were built. My drives are definitely in the “light duty/utilization” category as there are few read/write cycles per day except when building kernels or booting, both of which are rare occurrences. I could ask SMART for data, but I won’t bother.

    So, Grece is wrong again, making the wrong assumptions and getting the wrong conclusion.

    Further, lately space has been very tight on my 500gB units, so I’ve been deleting useless files, like class pictures and students’ work from ~2005 or so. How much writing do you think those drives do with less than 1gB free space the last year or so? I’ve had one read error in the last decade which prompted me to finally put the new drives online. That error was in the disc image for the virtual machine where I had my photogallery… No data was lost but I could not recover from within the VM. It would not boot. I still have the original images anyway. I have a backup somewhere but haven’t restored the database since I’m in the process of moving to 1TB drives.

    So, I’m not crazy and Google did mention 1% AFR. Look in the mirror Grece, You could be the crazy one without the facts.

  9. Grece says:

    Lies Robert??

    Seagate has the worst drive on the market, there even was class-action lawsuit against them.
    https://www.hbsslaw.com/cases/seagate

    Google and others quote someting like 1% per annum failure rate.

    Robert, you crack me up! SUMTING WONG here!! No where in the google report does it mention a “1% annum failure rate”. What is does mention is, While drive manufacturers often quote yearly failure rates below 2%, user studies have seen rates as high as 6%.

    Here is the link: https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.com/en//archive/disk_failures.pdf

    Robert, please stick to facts and not hyperbole.

    Backblaze operates something like tens of thousands of hard-drives in their storage boxes. In the first 18 months a drive is in operation, its failure rate hovers around five percent. That means five percent of drives end to fail during their first year and a half of operation. After a year and a half, however–once factory defects have cleared out–the failure rate drops to an annual 1.4 percent. Then, after the three year mark, the failure rate begins to climb up to 11.8 percent. That’s when drives begin to give out, and you start to see an increasing failures.

    So, how precious is your data that you are willing to take a chance Robert? Especially say with a RAID0 array on-top of that sans a UPS, using an outdated file-system.

  10. Grece wrote, “Hard drives normally only last 3-4 years”.

    Quit spreading lies. Google and others quote someting like 1% per annum failure rate.

    Seagate quotes similar values.

    So, 10 years is reasonable for such a small number of drives.

  11. Grece says:

    Hard drives normally only last 3-4 years Robert. What sort are these 10-year deals?

  12. Grece wrote, “so what happens when one drive decides to die unexpectedly on you? “

    I’ve tested the drives for a year. No infant mortality. They are probably good for a decade and I can use the freed-up 500gB drives for backup. I bought 3 1TB drives so I have a spare as needed. The backup drive can have a minimal bootable system for repairs.

  13. Grece says:

    Regarding your RAID0 array Robert. I DARE you to pull out a drive and replace it with a spare. Oh, wait you cannot do that can you? LOL…so what happens when one drive decides to die unexpectedly on you?

    You lose the entire lot!

  14. Grece says:

    Raid0? Do you have a UPS on said server? NO??…cough-cough it’s all good. CHUCKLE.

    JFS?…ext4 offers better performance Robert. You may have selected JFS years ago for its ability to accommodate large volumes and low CPU usage. However, ext4 has since matured in both reliability and performance, and has far better support then JFS.

    Backblaze use to employ JFS, but switched to ext4. I trust their judgement on this matter, over yours.

    Regarding JFS, “This infinite write delay limits reliability, as a crash (or a power-outage) can result in data loss even for data that was written minutes or hours before.”
    https://www.usenix.org/legacy/events/usenix05/tech/general/full_papers/prabhakaran/prabhakaran.pdf

  15. Deaf Spy wrote, ” You told us so about your fabled ARM server.”

    Changing the subject again? What the Hell has a solar array got to do with and ARMed server? As it so happens, I’ve been testing out my new RAID 0 storage system for months and it’s solid as a rock so I’ve moved all my files on five drives to the RAID array. I went back to JFS because XFS is just too quirky in a virtual machine. Other than that, it’s all good.

  16. Deaf Spy says:

    I do know what I’m doing …

    Yeah, yeah. You told us so about your fabled ARM server. Where is it, Robert, when are you gonna get rid of the idling power-guzzling x86 cores you keep at home?

  17. Grece wrote, “there is no way in hell you are going to build a heavy enough gearbox to move 1000lbs”.

    It won’t have to move 1000 pounds because I will balance the array with half being equidistant above the axis of rotation as the other half is equidistant below the axis. Besides, I’ve found an affordable hub and axle from Princess Auto. It’s rated for 6000 pounds… They also sell roller chains capable of driving thousands of pounds. So, yes I can do it. I do know what I’m doing and you seem not to be able to see the advantages of a steerable array.

  18. Grece says:

    Mine will be perpendicular to Sun most of the day.

    No they won’t, as there is no way in hell you are going to build a heavy enough gearbox to move 1000lbs. Just go with a passive tracker, you are wasting your time trying to DIY a tracker board and software.

  19. Grece wrote, “why pray tell, are you planning on charging from your storage battery, when you have solar panels? You storage battery usage, is for when its cloudy or even nighttime.”

    No. The battery is there as a buffer between solar production and Solo, an intermittent load. During the daylight period I can charge Solo using power from the battery as well as the panels. The inverter can’t tell the difference. At night or heavy cloud, all the power will come from the battery but I usually make my errands in the middle of the day to avoid rush-hour so some of my charging of Solo will take place when Sun is shining brightly on the panels. Wake up! You are concerned with theoretical worst-cases and not reality.

  20. Grece wrote, “Doing some simple maths: 1300kWh/m2 annum / 356 days = 3.56 “

    You are missing an important factor, the area of the array. With 8 panels being nearly 16m2 there is a surplus of power to run Solo. Also, that insolation is for horizontal panels. Mine will be perpendicular to Sun most of the day.

  21. Grece wrote, “calculate the amount of power you will get from the array, for an average day in any given month, multiply stated wattage of the array by 75% (to account for inefficiencies in the power generation and capture) and then multiply it by the insolation figure, shown above for the month in question.”

    Sigh. Your figures don’t matter. The panels will produce power every day and I don’t necessarily drive every day so the battery will be full so I can charge the car as needed. Do you really think I will make as many trips in January as I do in June? I’m Canadian, but I don’t love the cold that much. Still, I will be able to do all necessary short-trip errands and my Hydro bill will be not increased one iota for driving Solo. That’s the point of my array, not pleasing twits on the web.

    I hope to be able to drive to my rifle-range multiple times per week checking loads and groups in summer when my breath won’t freeze on the scope and my hand has to peek in and out of some mitten or handwarmer. I want to fish or pick berries on a moment’s notice all summer long. I’m not going to do nearly as much with Solo in January. It’s all good.

  22. Deaf Spy wrote, “you’ll be surprised to find out that Chinese panel manufacturers are fairing no better. For the last few years, many of them go out of business.”

    Don’t confuse the panel-makers with the power-generators. They sell different things. There are many suppliers of PV panels in China. They are making a lot of money. Some start-ups fail as in any line of business.

    See China H1 solar panel production surges 25% in a year

    With factory utilization at 85%, they are doing well.

  23. Deaf Spy says:

    Well, SolarWorld is complaining they can’t compete with Chinese panels…

    If you do some more research, you’ll be surprised to find out that Chinese panel manufacturers are fairing no better. For the last few years, many of them go out of business.

    At the same time, Germany is making about 8% of its electricity from sunshine and that share is increasing.

    Yep, because of political decisions. At the same time, Germans are about to pay the highest bills for electricity in the whole EU. And, don’t forget, a E-class Mercedes takes 8 years before going higher on overall pollution than a Tesla. Why? Because of Tesla’s battery.

    Greenies will be facing hard times.

  24. Grece says:

    I pulled the monthly insolation figures for Winnipeg. Ready for this?

    Jan 1.24
    Feb 2.17
    Mar 3.43
    Apr 4.74
    May 5.57
    Jun 5.84
    Jul 5.92
    Aug 5.00
    Sep 3.45
    Oct 2.25
    Nov 1.42
    Dec 0.99

    Average the values and you derive 3.5. Again, this correlates to what I stated previously. http://mrpogson.com/2017/07/25/plagues/#comment-377702

    You are just now catching up from five days ago, after arguing that I was wrong. now, the question is, can you keep up? Doubtful.

    Ok next step, calculate the amount of power you will get from the array, for an average day in any given month, multiply stated wattage of the array by 75% (to account for inefficiencies in the power generation and capture) and then multiply it by the insolation figure, shown above for the month in question.

    See, its not that hard, but you are just too stubborn to recognize that I was right to begin with.

  25. Grece says:

    Of course you don’t need to know. You have no idea, that’s why.

    Doing some simple maths: 1300kWh/m2 annum / 356 days = 3.56

    Imagine that!…you just confirmed what I stated earlier at http://mrpogson.com/2017/07/25/plagues/#comment-377702

    And why pray tell, are you planning on charging from your storage battery, when you have solar panels? You storage battery usage, is for when its cloudy or even nighttime.

  26. Grece wrote, “Ok, what are your power outputs at each hour?”

    I don’t need to know that. It’s probably well over 1kW from the panels and several kW from the battery. It’s enough.

    A “solar potential” map indicates my area gets about 1300kWh/m2 per annum. 8 panels amount to nearly 16m2 or 20800kWh, nearly $2K worth of electricity, more than enough to drive my Solo. Using a tracking array, I’m laughing.

  27. Grece says:

    Ok, you don’t know or worse off, you don’t care to know.

    As a former member of the IEEE myself, I find your statement lacking. As someone that has worked with PE’s in the past, I had to not only know what was going on in my power designs, but I had to document everything for records retention.

    You, you just wing-it and repeatedly state “It’s all good”

    Tell me, have you thought-out and sketched a drawing for the array support? I bet not. I think a 1″ tubular structure, MIG welded and braced with expanded aluminum would be suffice for strength purposes.

  28. Grece wrote, “In other words, for each hour block of time, how much energy is your theoretical array producing in ratio to its full output?”

    Again, I don’t need full output to keep Solo happy, just enough to top up a few kWh will certainly do on most days. My average trip will likely be ~50km, equivalent to 5kWh. If my PV array has a battery of 20kWh, there is no problem. That’s why the battery is there, to average out the production and to buffer the load from the source.

  29. Grece says:

    On December 21 we will have sunlight from 0800 to 1700, 9h.

    Ok, what are your power outputs at each hour? In other words, for each hour block of time, how much energy is your theoretical array producing in ratio to its full output?

  30. Deaf Spy wrote, “In Germany, solar panel companies are going bankrupt one after another.”

    Well, SolarWorld is complaining they can’t compete with Chinese panels…

    At the same time, Germany is making about 8% of its electricity from sunshine and that share is increasing.

  31. Deaf Spy wrote, “Your confidence makes one wonder why the world hasn’t rushed and replaced all power plants with solar panels.”

    It takes time to replace 50 years’ worth of hardware with new stuff. PV panels can’t replace it all in any case unless/until we have a global grid. The EIA estimates that PV panels will be cheaper than coal per kWh over the lifetime of the system in five years. When you include the health/pollution costs of other sources of energy PV looks good already. For me it’s a second source of supply and good enough to run my Solo as long as I live.

  32. Deaf Spy says:

    Don’t know, Robert. Your confidence makes one wonder why the world hasn’t rushed and replaced all power plants with solar panels. But, the world hasn’t. The Netherlands are not closing any gas power plant despite their windmill farms. In Germany, solar panel companies are going bankrupt one after another.

    Speaking of Germany, they just found out that a E-class Mercedes takes 8 years before going higher on overall pollution than a Tesla. Why? Because of Tesla’s battery.

  33. Grece stupidly wrote, “At best, and from reading my technical materials, you get between 4-5 peak hours on average, and I do not see you getting off your butt every 15-mins to reposition the solar panel, nor will you build some imaginary custom controller board either.”

    I’ve built controllers before and will do it again. Further, my location has virtually no shading except for the first and last hour of the day, from distant trees and my house. In summer, today, we will have sunlight from 5:53 until 21:14, 15h 21m. On December 21 we will have sunlight from 0800 to 1700, 9h. Even in January, the panels will receive 7kWh insolation per day, enough to keep the battery charged. In winter, the house won’t shade the panels at all because sunrise is so much later and Sun sets through leafless poplar trees, so some sunlight will reach them until the last seconds. Temperature losses? Give us a break. Output goes up with lower temperatures.

  34. Grece says:

    The battery for the solar array will be heated by contact with Earth.

    Oh? at what depth do you plan on burying said battery to avoid extreme temps? Your best bet is to get a insulated NEMA3r enclosure for your battery, that whay you can hang your power cord and whatnot inside, keeping it locked.

    The battery of the Solo will be heated electrically.

    And drawing more energy, making your charge time increasingly long.

    Now, why should it take days for 8 panels to charge Solo?

    I am not going to explain it to you, already told you at least twice why. Go hire a PE that specializes in solar energy. You are just making assumptions, backed-up with old school experience, and will needlessly spend money on materials that will not function correctly or give you the expected experience. Example: You bought a Chinese riding tiller, bitched at putting together, then complained about the seat not supporting your fat ass, too much power for TLW, etc…. Instead, you bought an American tiller and got work done. Do you see the pattern there? I do and most everyone else here does, you sir are suffering from cognitive dissonance.

    BY the way, here is a little something for you to study.

    E = A * r * H * PR

    E = Energy (kWh)
    A = Total solar panel Area (m2)
    r = solar panel yield or efficiency(%)
    H = Annual average solar radiation on tilted panels (shadings not included)
    PR = Performance ratio, coefficient for losses
    Note: when calculating the PR, you MUST take gather and take into consideration all loses

    Examples of losses in a system.

    – Inverter losses (4% to 10 %)
    – Temperature losses (5% to 20%)
    – DC cables losses (1 to 3 %)
    – AC cables losses (1 to 3 %)
    – Shadings 0 % to 80% !!! (specific to each site)
    – Losses at weak radiation 3% to 7%
    – Losses due to dust, snow… (2%)
    – Other Losses (?)

    Don’t forget the peak sun vs. total sun hours you loon. Your system is not working at 100% when the sun rises and sets. At best, and from reading my technical materials, you get between 4-5 peak hours on average, and I do not see you getting off your butt every 15-mins to reposition the solar panel, nor will you build some imaginary custom controller board either. The simple man, would use a passive tracker, but again, what do I know?

  35. Grece, not understanding much, wrote, “Come winter time, it will take days to charge your electric big-wheel.”

    The battery for the solar array will be heated by contact with Earth. The battery of the Solo will be heated electrically. Now, why should it take days for 8 panels to charge Solo?

    Further, the output of PV panels actually increases with a decrease in temperature so winter will cancel out some of the deficiencies of batteries. Oh, that paper is from India. I’m sure Grece doubts the rationality of Indians so here’s one from USA

    BTW, having studied solid-state physics of semiconductors, I can understand this behaviour while Grece stupidly follows his prejudices. I can also read the published specifications of PV panel makers and note that folks are installing them on roofs and open spaces in all kinds of cold regions of Earth.

    e.g.
    “Temperature coefficients of Pmax -0.45%/ ℃
    Temperature coefficients of Voc -0.34%/ ℃
    Temperature coefficients of Isc 0.05%/ ℃”

    For the greater certainty, that’s maximum power output, open circuit voltage and short circuit current, and generally speaking, a temperature coefficient fills in the blanks in equations lik Pmax = Pmax at 0ºC + αT where α is the temperature coefficient, negative in this case, and T is the temperature in Celsius. The Pmax might be stated for some other temperature in which case there is an offset: Pmax = Pmax at TrefºC + α(T – Tref).

    QED. You know, I did this kind of stuff from 1965 to 1976 as a student and decades since after graduating multiple times…

    Back to the original quotation… 8 panels times approximately 300W output should deliver 2KW or more to my inverter, more if the battery after the solar panel contributes, and at least 1.5kW to the battery of the Solo. Typically, Solo will need just a few kWh to top up after tootling around, so that’s a few hours. I need the rest… A full charge takes ~20kWh delivered so the panels might take a whole day. Do I care? Nope. My next outing is likely a short trip… 8 panels will meet my needs but I might buy more because the cost of freight goes by volume as well as weight so I might buy a whole pallet for spare parts, and future projects. I’m sure when Manitoba Hydro bumps up the rates, TLW will be more amenable to some panels on the roof or I could use them to power a hunting cabin or camp. Unfortunately, I don’t see panels in pink… Maybe Tesla’s shingles will come in designer colours.

  36. Grece says:

    Eight panels is not enough, you need blocking diodes and the entire array should be wired series-parallel. Come winter time, it will take days to charge your electric big-wheel.

    Yes, you were privy to a IEEE paper published in April 1979, on building a cyclotron.

    *rolls-eyes*

    Now, almost 40-years later, you continuously make questionable decisions that proves your ineptness.

  37. ram says:

    That is right Robert! It is called Engineering, but some of the commenters don’t get it.

  38. Grece wrote, “So shade or a pile of leaves, or even a single smashed panel, hinders one panel’s performance, every other panel operates at the same diminished capacity.”

    None of those is of concern to me. Leaves fall here. The panels will be exposed to Sun on the top of a tower so not many leaves will find the panels and if they do, they may just keep moving on with the wind. I have the option of cleaning the panels too with a stream of air or water. They won’t have any risk of shade for nearly 20 years at the rate my trees are growing and that will mostly reduce the hours of sunlight per day not stop delivery. The panels have bypass diodes to cover some failures but I intend to operate ~8 panels in series so that may not help. Fortunately, I the designer, will be around for a while and I can write documentation if needed. It’s a very standard installation as far as the energy-conversion goes. The mount will be something any farmer with a combine will be able to follow. The electronic controls will be well-documented and the future user will always have the option of positioning the array manually a few times a day if the intelligent controller should fail or go offline.

    So, Grece has no idea of what I’m capable. I’ve been automating and building stuff since the 1970s. I was a member of the IEEE, for pity’s sake.

  39. Grece says:

    Just because PV panels are protected Robert, does not mean that they are one, functional and two, can output any power to you.

    Now, depending on which inverter you decide on, a a single smashed panel can lower your output to zero. You see, a string inverter system can only perform as well as its lowest-performing panel. So shade or a pile of leaves, or even a single smashed panel, hinders one panel’s performance, every other panel operates at the same diminished capacity.

    Robert, do you even understand what you are doing with solar energy? Its more complicated then you think, and by judging from your responses you have no understanding on basic principles.

  40. Ivan says:

    PV panels are protected by a thick sheet of glass that can stand our usual hail which is just a few millimetres in diameter.

    Like shatterproof windshields on cars? http://i.imgur.com/syf3Pug.jpg

  41. ram says:

    Welcome to global warming!!

  42. Deaf Spy says:

    Come back when you have an ARM-based server and thin-client infrastructure. Or a solar panel which provides power for your home. Until then, you’re just a big mouth.

  43. Deaf Spy wrote, “Your constant inability to work with numbers and facts is not helping build up faith in your mythical skills.”

    You do understand what a degree in Honours Physics and and an M.Sc. in Nuclear Physics means when it comes to maths, eh? I’ve built two hoisting frames which did the job and a satellite dish, 12 foot, ISTR. A steerable PV array is very similar. Similar problems with similar solutions. I do remember digging the pit for the base for that satellite dish. We embedded a four-inch pipe in the concrete on which the whole load pivoted. In this case we could use 8-inch pipe or possibly a tapered mount for better strength to length ratio. It’s all good.

    Deaf Spy also wrote, “Why not, for a change, you really build up something? Like an ARM-powered server, with ARM-based thin client infrastructure around it? Or, solar panels that produce energy that you actually use today?”

    I’ve already built numerous IT-systems around the ancient x86-amd64 architecture. There’s not a lot of difference with ARMed CPUs embedded on a suitable motherboard. We already have one ARMed client working here and TLW finds it very useful. It’s much faster than the POS in the living room made by Intel. We like fast here. The solar panels are trivially simple to install and use. They are plug and play. The hard part is the mounting and I’ve got that covered several ways.

  44. Deaf Spy says:

    A taste of plague keeps us humble and thankful, unlike Trumpists

    What do you mean, Robert, that TLW is not humble and thankful for the plague?

  45. Deaf Spy says:

    I was trained in physics and have spent a lifetime making stuff that worked

    Yeah, yeah, we know. You never stop repeating that. Except for welding a few tables, unfortunately, you still haven’t shown us anything. Your constant inability to work with numbers and facts is not helping build up faith in your mythical skills.

    Why not, for a change, you really build up something? Like an ARM-powered server, with ARM-based thin client infrastructure around it? Or, solar panels that produce energy that you actually use today?

  46. Grece wrote, “you are confusing hours of sunlight versus peak sun hours”.

    No, I’m not. Grece confuses everything for everything. I was trained in physics and have spent a lifetime making stuff that worked: a drift chamber for tracking charged nuclear particles, a beam buncher, a huge thermometer, various boxes, shelves and birdhouses, tractors, tables, tools, swings, satellite dishes… many of which had to thrive in harsh conditions. I have it covered.

  47. Grece says:

    Wait…movable array!? Not fixed?…Robert, you do realize that this movable fixture must carry 1000lbs or more. How is your wet clay soil going to support such?

    Again Robert, you are confusing hours of sunlight versus peak sun hours. This item is VERY important, pay attention!

    Sunrise to sunset represents hours of sunlight, peak sun-hours describe how much solar energy is available during a day. The daily amount of solar radiation striking any location on earth varies from sunrise to sunset due to clouds, the sun’s position in the sky, and what’s mixed into the atmosphere. Maximum solar radiation occurs at solar noon—the time when the sun is highest in the sky, compared to the rest of the day. Sunlight in the morning and evening does not deliver as much energy to the earth’s surface as it does at midday because at low angles more atmosphere filters the sunlight follow?

    This imaginary solar array, will not output 100% from sun-up to sun-down. You must realize, or perhaps you do not, that when all the conditions are conducive, would this array output 100% , which is a very narrow window of time as due to what I stated earlier about solar angles.

    Sources: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/pubs/redbook/

  48. Grece wrote, “What will happen to your hypothetical solar array, when its shredded by wind and hail?”

    PV panels are protected by a thick sheet of glass that can stand our usual hail which is just a few millimetres in diameter. With a movable array, I have the option of “parking” it during storms to avoid most hail. Our hail tends to fall nearly vertically with a slight inclination from the wind. Our storms almost always deliver a blast from south or west in summer so turning the panels to the east would expose the back of the panels which are tougher and could be protected by plywood or something less precious.

  49. http://www.winnipeg.climatemps.com/sunlight.php 2192h

    https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Canada/Cities/sunshine-annual-average.php 2353h

    The government of Manitoba, quoting Environment Canada says 6.5h per day on average, 2374h per annum. Grece’s source does not quote hours at all but kWh for fixed panels at specified inclinations, something barely related.

  50. Grece says:

    Also Robert, you mention 2300-hours of sunlight in your earlier post. Where did you obtain this information? 2300/356 gives you a value of six point four, which does not correlate to reality for your location.

    Sources: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/18366

    I think you are confusing the mean daily global insolation (kWh/m2 or full sun hours) versus peak sun hours. Both are VERY important numbers to comprehend.

    The average peak sun hours for your location is 4.02 hours, while the average full sun hours shows as 3.56 and if we recompute the values for annual rates, you end up with a number (1467.3 – 1299.4) far less than your calculations.

    What does this mean? Well, I took the liberty of estimating your power needs to charge the Solo in three hours. I ending up with 20-panels which is a decent size array in itself, but requires substantial engineering and designing for weight and wind loads. The panels themselves would be 800lb. followed with a 200-300 lb frame, this could be welded from aluminum channel for weight savings.

    You should seriously rethink this plan of yours Robert, at least hire a reputable ME for the array and a company that handles ground-based solar panel installations.

  51. Grece says:

    Robert, a “plague” is an infectious disease. Animals, insects and weather events are not the same, trying to do so is specious.

    Speaking of hail. What will happen to your hypothetical solar array, when its shredded by wind and hail?

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