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-   -   Phoenix Development News (3) (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=173764)

mwadswor Nov 11, 2009 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HooverDam (Post 4551702)
What Id like to see is it phased in on different building types. All new governmental buildings (city, state, county and federal) should have to have solar panels (as well as solar hot water and gray water systems). Next all buildings over a certain size (say anything the side of a large grocery store on up), then apartment/condo complexes and then eventually all new single family homes. Maybe its something you could phase in over the next 10-15 years, but Im not expert so maybe thats too slow or too fast of a time table.

Agreed on all points, although your timetable's too fast. I like it, but being politically realistic it might take 10-15 years of talking about it before a timetable even begins, and I don't think anything like this is being seriously discussed at an official level.

The 2 points I want to emphasize are gray water and apartment/condo complexes. Solar is important here, but water conservation may be even more important. Gray water systems aren't as glamorous as solar panels, but they are something really easy and really effective, and all new buildings with any type of landscaping should have them.

Second, condo and apartment complexes are overlooked in a lot of solar discussions. Between roofs and covered parking, condo and apartment complexes have a lot of large flat spaces that would be perfect for solar. They get overlooked though because short-term tennants obviously aren't going to install them, and they don't save the complex any money because the complex isn't paying the power bill. Sure, it could be a selling point for the complex, but a lot of people shopping for apartments (condos are a bit of a different story) aren't thinking about the utility bills when they're shopping for apartments. You could get away with it on some apartments around ASU where students are particularly environmentally concious/parents are paying the bill, but most apartment hunters are looking for the cheapest possible price.

If you were to put solar panels on a multi-story building like an apartment complex, how do you divide the power/savings? Do you just take the amount of power/money generated by the panels minus maintenance costs and divide it evenly among the residents at the end of the month?

combusean Nov 11, 2009 1:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vicelord John (Post 4551644)
how do you propose the electricity company makes money if everyone is on solar?

Industrial and commercial uses of energy preclude this is as a possibility. The IO data center in Phoenix is covering its roof with solar and expects to cut only a quarter or so of its power consumption.

PhxPavilion Nov 11, 2009 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don B. (Post 4551625)
Why can't we as a state mandate that every new home and apartment be installed with at least one or two solar panels at the time of construction? The incremental cost at the time of development would be much less than the cost to retrofit after the fact.

By the way, a friend of mine who lives in Laveen installed 21 solar panels on top of his 3,500 square foot house, which has large sections of flat roof (Territorial style) two years ago. They were about $40,000 total, and rebates cut that cost in half. He now pays no electric bill in the fall, winter and spring, and only pays about $50 to $100 per month in the summer, when his AC usage exceeds the amount of energy generated by the panels. His electric bill before the installation was about $100 per month in the winter and $300 per month in the summer. He estimates that he will recoup his $20k investment in about 10 years total (8 years since he has had this system for 2 years), after that it is pure profit for him in terms of reducing his electric bill.

--don

That's great and all (I'm a big fan of solar as well) but most panels only have a typical lifespan of around 10 years. By the time he breaks even those panels will be on their last leg. Photo-voltaic panels aren't efficient enough yet to be used effectively on a large scale. Could they be good if costs came down considerably? Yes. When that happens is anyone's best guess but a system like your friend's has been quite expensive for awhile now.

What we should be concentrating on is thermal power stations. These would be relatively easy to make and much more efficient.

mwadswor Nov 11, 2009 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhxPavilion (Post 4553716)
What we should be concentrating on is thermal power stations. These would be relatively easy to make and much more efficient.

And much less susceptible to issues like the sun not shining at the same time as peak power usage.

Vicelord John Nov 11, 2009 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by combusean (Post 4551884)
Industrial and commercial uses of energy preclude this is as a possibility. The IO data center in Phoenix is covering its roof with solar and expects to cut only a quarter or so of its power consumption.

you missed my point. I could have asked how the oil companies would make money if the cars all went to electric, and maybe more people would have got it.

mwadswor Nov 11, 2009 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vicelord John (Post 4553752)
you missed my point. I could have asked how the oil companies would make money if the cars all went to electric, and maybe more people would have got it.

1) energy companies have a lot of lobbying power, but it's not unlimited.

2) you missed his point. Solar panels can provide a substantial amount of power, but with current and forseeable technology they will not be able to fill all of our power needs. Moreover, battery technology is not good enough for most people to go off-grid, and I really see no reason to ever commit the research to make battery technology good enough for everyone to be self-sustaining. We live in a society, we don't live in the jungle, there's no reason to use less efficient/reliable/more expensive methods just because we don't want to rely on our neighbors. There will probably always be a niche for electricity companies, whether it's by creating and transporting electricity primarily by burning fossil fuels (as now), or primarily through renewable resources like wind and solar-thermal. Even if solar panels get way more efficient there will still be a need for electric companies to provide power at night and to maintain the transmission lines to move power from places that have a surplus to places that have a deficit (high rises will never generate as much power per person as suburbs because there is less exterior surface area per person on a high rise).

Finally, solar energy, distributed or otherwise, has the potential to make money for power companies. Electricity gets extremely expensive for the power companies when they surpass what their base load plants can produce and they have to buy power from peak-load (typically natural gas) plants that are significantly more expensive to run. In today's political climate, it is extremely difficult to get new non-renewable base load plants built, which means that this problem is going to get worse in the future. Distributed solar panels may not make money for electric companies, but they can cut the need to use those expensive peak-need plants and increase the profit margin on the electricity that power companies do sell.

Vicelord John Nov 11, 2009 11:29 PM

nevermind, it's wasted breath with you guys.

glynnjamin Nov 12, 2009 12:09 AM

John...I get what you're asking. The answer is that we sell our electricity to other cities. Let's use a simple example to make the point. If it costs $1M to build a coal power plant and then costs $1 for every Kwh produced after that, you have to charge $1+ per Kwh to your customers to pay off your plant and to make a profit. At some point, you will need to build a new plant because of increased demand of the closest city. That's another $1M you have to spend. At this rate, you may never be profitable.
If power companies can pass the cost of construction to the consumer (having the consumer build solar panels), the power company no longer has to build more plants. For the extra energy that every home creates, the power company can pay the homeowner $0.50 per Kwh and turn around and sell it at that same $1+ they were doing before. This means lower overhead costs for the power company, a paid incentive for the homeowner, and cheaper production costs for the power company.
Now you will ask, who's going to buy the electricity if we all have solar panels. To begin, it would take a lot of panels to power the valley in the summer (A/Cs are just not THAT efficient). People would NEED more power. But the real money would come from selling that energy to colder/darker places. Seattle & Denver are dark, dreary, and cold in the winter running their energy costs through the roof while ours stay in the sub-$100 range. The power company would be able to sell that energy to those cities for a wholesale rate somewhere between the $0.50 cost and the $1+ charge. That's money in the bank. Power companies would become more of power brokers.

Vicelord John Nov 12, 2009 12:17 AM

I wasn't asking anything. I was making a point.

You all are so damn literal.

mwadswor Nov 12, 2009 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glynnjamin (Post 4553887)
John...I get what you're asking. The answer is that we sell our electricity to other cities. Let's use a simple example to make the point. If it costs $1M to build a coal power plant and then costs $1 for every Kwh produced after that, you have to charge $1+ per Kwh to your customers to pay off your plant and to make a profit. At some point, you will need to build a new plant because of increased demand of the closest city. That's another $1M you have to spend. At this rate, you may never be profitable.
If power companies can pass the cost of construction to the consumer (having the consumer build solar panels), the power company no longer has to build more plants. For the extra energy that every home creates, the power company can pay the homeowner $0.50 per Kwh and turn around and sell it at that same $1+ they were doing before. This means lower overhead costs for the power company, a paid incentive for the homeowner, and cheaper production costs for the power company.
Now you will ask, who's going to buy the electricity if we all have solar panels. To begin, it would take a lot of panels to power the valley in the summer (A/Cs are just not THAT efficient). People would NEED more power. But the real money would come from selling that energy to colder/darker places. Seattle & Denver are dark, dreary, and cold in the winter running their energy costs through the roof while ours stay in the sub-$100 range. The power company would be able to sell that energy to those cities for a wholesale rate somewhere between the $0.50 cost and the $1+ charge. That's money in the bank. Power companies would become more of power brokers.

Thanks. That's what I was going for, but your explanation makes a lot more sense.

Leo the Dog Nov 12, 2009 6:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PHXguyinOKC (Post 4551467)
I took a nice little Phoenix adventure today since I'm in town. Started out at Ted's Hotdogs in Tempe, yummmmm.

Yo, say no more, you just topped my chart with the statement about Ted's. By far, the best place to get a hamburger and hotdog in PHX. I used to hit up that place after playing basketball a couple times a week back-in-the-day. :cheers:

Sonoran_Dweller Nov 13, 2009 5:26 AM

Wow, I have not been on this forum since early August... school is a bitch.

I just wanted to bring up the Greenbuild Conference happening NOW at the PCC. This thing is huge for our city. Have you guys seen how packed the sidewalks are, and even the trains. I know it is only for one week, but it is nice to see things like this happen, just wish it was like this ALL the time.

But is also a great way to showcase our city, for good and bad. There are people from all over the world attending. We should be proud our city is hosting this.

Okay... back to studio...

combusean Nov 13, 2009 6:10 AM

Isnt greenbuild always hosted here?

PHX31 Nov 13, 2009 6:38 AM

I was going to mention the same thing. We went downtown to take some out of towners to the park and we were going to go up to the Hyatt's Compass room for dessert. That was packed and we couldn't get in. Then we went over to the Sheraton and there was a wait there (except for the lounge, which we went in and had dessert). Places we passed were all busy like Greenhouse Grill (or whatever), Seamus, etc. I assumed it was because of some big conference in town, but I was still plesantly surprised with all of the people all over the place downtown.

Sonoran_Dweller Nov 13, 2009 8:01 AM

Greenbuild is the annual conference of the USGBC (United States Green Building Council). Every year it is in a different city. Last year it was in Boston, next year it will be in Chicago. This year it is here, in Phoenix. Greenbuild is not in Phoenix every year, it never has been in Phoenix.

The conference is the reason Al Gore was in town yesterday. The conference has about 25,000 attendees. All of the hotels are booked SOLID. I know, I have a friend in town for the conference, and he could not get anything close to downtown. He had to get a room in Tempe.

ljbuild Nov 13, 2009 9:23 PM

It looks as though the downtown stores may get a boost from customers

seeking " OTHER PLACES TO SHOP"

due to the potential STRIKE thats developing at FRYS & SAFEWAY



However, we wont know the latest until 6pm. tonight ( friday the 13th, 2009)

glynnjamin Nov 13, 2009 9:28 PM

Im starting to understand why everyone else blocks ljbuild

dtnphx Nov 13, 2009 9:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glynnjamin (Post 4557425)
Im starting to understand why everyone else blocks ljbuild

My pupils are dialated from looking at such large type. Not to mention the 12-hours behind in the news cycle feed that ljbuild obviously subscribes to.

Tempe_Duck Nov 13, 2009 9:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glynnjamin (Post 4557425)
Im starting to understand why everyone else blocks ljbuild

I have had it with him. How do I block him?

Don B. Nov 13, 2009 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glynnjamin (Post 4557425)
Im starting to understand why everyone else blocks ljbuild

ROTFLMAO...

I just skim/skip over his posts.

--don


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