[ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sat Mar 19 08:27:26 UTC 2011

On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 01:25:56AM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 1:50 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> > You know, I haven't seen any locals winding up their solar panels
> > so far. In fact, I'm hearing that maintenance is zero, and that
> > the real lifetime exceeds manufacturer's productions (in fact,
> > older panels were better sealed and last longer).
> For the record, my solar system is worthless until I can put together
> $3000 to buy new batteries. The batteries do go out, and are the weak

You're insular. Most aren't. If you want to connect to power grid,
what's the price quite? 100 kUSD? More?

> link in most systems. So now you know someone who has real world
> problems with solar. Me. :-)

Nobody is using batteries here. You sell power to the grid,
you buy power from the grid. If I had to bite the bullet I'd
put the mission criticals on the equivalent of a large UPS
and do the rest by on-demand diesel generator. You can
schedule energy-intensive tasks when peak power is available,

Batteries don't work yet. For some reason we decided
to waste some 40 years, and not do R&D. 
> I like solar very much. But it is VERY expensive.

3 USD/Wp, about twice the residential rate. In ten years it
will be residential rate where I sit, or below.
> The panels themselves are just the tip of the iceberg. That part of
> the system is fairly reliable. It's the inverters, batteries and the

There are panels with built-in inverters now. In principle the future
is DC.

> rest that are the real pain. Oh, and finding an electrician who knows
> what the crap he's doing.

Not a problem where I sit. Ditto passive/zero energy construction.
> > How are you babysitting your roof? I can tell that most people
> > put it up, and forget for the next 40-50 years about it but
> > for cleaning once a year.
> I have to climb up every time it snows, risk my life scraping the snow

If you live where it snows, and the inclination doesn't take care 
of it, and you're off grid, then you should perhaps look intro
electric or other heating of the panels.

> off. It snows probably 20 times a year. It is a bit of a pain here in
> the real world.

If it hurts, stop doing it.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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