Electric vehicles (EVs), their emissions, and future viability

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oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I am not the one degrading your quality of life, you are the one degrading my choices. America, the home of the free. You may have forgotten that.

I have ZERO problem with you driving your very expensive electric video game on wheels around, powered by solar panels and unicorn farts. No problem whatsoever.

Just like you shouldn't have a problem with me driving my little Golf every day. It is my freedom of choice, it is within my budget, and I LIKE it.

Your service was voluntary. Congratulations, you did great. I am proud of you.

When you try and ram ultimatums and agendas and doctrines down people's throats, they push back. You sir, single handed and without question, reconfirm my commitment to keep these silly little "obsolete garbage" (not degrading at all, right?) on the road... for as long as I possibly can. And I will redouble my efforts to do so with every single chance I get. My goal is to make as many of these cars go for as long and as far as they can with a minimal amount of cost to their owners in the long run. I have a HUGE list of regular customers, with more all the time. Our shop is busy, life is good. And in your honor, when I breathe new life into this 1994 Nissan pickup (why, that HAS to be some obsolete garbage there, for sure, right? Well, at least it has EFI) I will be thinking of you sir when its little engine (OK, well in my book a 2.4L 4cyl is kinda big) sputters back with its new timing chain in place. :)

But please, post the phone number to call for the $150/mo solar package. I'll sign up today. TODAY. No installations, no start up fee, no connecting boxes, just a different name on my monthly bill. Post it here, others may want that awesome deal too. Heck, how are ANY electric companies in business then? That has to be the best kept secret there is!

But hey, speaking of rolling my sleeves up:



I mean look at this little guy! It's a GEM!!!!
 
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Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
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2015 Beetle tdi dsg
I served you for 8 years. 3 years at sea.... away from my family. Why do you feel entitled to degrade my quality of life????


And you can EASILY.... EAAASILY get solar for ~$150/mo. No one did that for me. Roll up you sleeves and put in a small amount of work. This is America... you're not handed everything. I spent 3 years at sea I think you can do a week of research and spend a weekend racking panels.

$15k in solar DIY will EASILY save ~$200/mo. Refi your house at the new cut rates and that's <$70/mo. So you can save $130/mo with a little bit of work. Like I said... there's no excuses anymore. Just laziness :(
A bunch of us served as well including myself. Stop with the I served for you bullsh*t. You served because you either volunteered like I did or were drafted. I hate it when people adopt that "holier than thou" attitude. Most people went into the military for many, many reasons and the least of them I had ever heard of was to protect everyone's rights. That is just a current term that has come up too much lately. Most people I know went in for purely personal reasons, paycheck/unemployed, insurance needs, education assistance, legal problems, need to get out of a situation in life/change locations and such. Everyone's right was a secondary reason.

I looked into solar and it just won't pay for itself. Part of that is the regulatory setup limiting buyback of excess power created. If solar or EV's were cost effective people would be doing it in droves. But it isn't and that is a fact. Until prices get to where the average Joe can afford it widespread adoption isn't going to happen.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I looked into solar and it just won't pay for itself.
I think this depends on where you live and your utility company and federal and state rebates. I installed a 6 kW solar system (in New England!) 7 years ago and after rebates and with carbon credit sales it broke even in less than 4 years. Now I pay almost zero for electicity (I think I had a total of $75 in bills in 2019) for a 3200 square foot house with central A/C and a pool. And I get about $2000 for carbon credit sales annually. My utility allows net metering for up to a year, and I got in on a good carbon credit rate, so I know it doesn't work nearly so well in other areas. But for me it's been excellent.
 

tikal

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2001
Location
Southeast Texas
TDI
2004 Passat Wagon (chainless + 5 MT + GDE tune)
Would the health of an engine be any different? I trust a used battery FAR more than a used engine. There's no periodic maintenance required with a battery and all modern EV batteries have significant safeties built in to reduce potential abuse.
Thanks for sharing the 'comic'. But my question is serious and technical as I am interested in assessing the life left (or durability) of a used non-Tesla EV battery.

There is a science behind it and there are ways to independently verify that when you are buying a used EV the battery has x amount of years left until the range becomes below y years. Or something like that. I am sure, like ICEs, people drive their EVs differently (high speeds/low speeds, acceleration, etc.), charge them differently and park/drive them in different climates, which all have potentially substantial impact on the degradation rate of a non-luxury EV battery.

I believe people have bought used EVs unseen but I am sure many of them have done their homework previously regarding, primarily, the health of the battery, to minimize their risk(s) and avoid unpleasant/costly surprises.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
SOLD 2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
I am saying that 50 gram CO2e/mile emissions due to the battery in EV use is FUD.
Lots of source data is available for free reading. E.g.,
http://www.environment.ucla.edu/media/files/BatteryElectricVehicleLCA2012-rh-ptd.pdf
For context, a diesel emits around 10 Kg CO2 per gallon.

OR


Argonne National


For a unitary example then, a grid that produces 1 pound of CO2 per kWh generated (3412 btu) would thus lead to (65/3412 = 0.01905041) pounds per mile from battery related lifecycle costs. This works out to 8.64 grams per mile of CO2.
On the face of it this bold number surprised me, so I checked the math. At 100% conversion of all carbon in one gallon (pretend it's pure cetane (C16H34) for simplicity) would yield 11.2 Kg CO2 from 3.04 Kg carbon.

(Note: I used s.g. of 0.95 for cetane because I couldn't find a good reference value).

For my Touareg getting 22 mpg real world, that's about 1.1 pounds per mile. Yeesh.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
I think this depends on where you live and your utility company and federal and state rebates. I installed a 6 kW solar system (in New England!) 7 years ago and after rebates and with carbon credit sales it broke even in less than 4 years. Now I pay almost zero for electicity (I think I had a total of $75 in bills in 2019) for a 3200 square foot house with central A/C and a pool. And I get about $2000 for carbon credit sales annually. My utility allows net metering for up to a year, and I got in on a good carbon credit rate, so I know it doesn't work nearly so well in other areas. But for me it's been excellent.

Sounds like it has or is working for some. But for those who it doesn't work for we shouldn't be criticized like nwdiver frequently does. Throwing out the veteran card doesn't help either. Some serve their country in other ways and some just can't serve for various reasons. I served as a combat Infantry man in the 82nd Airborne Division because I chose to.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Thanks for sharing the 'comic'. But my question is serious and technical as I am interested in assessing the life left (or durability) of a used non-Tesla EV battery.

There is a science behind it and there are ways to independently verify that when you are buying a used EV the battery has x amount of years left until the range becomes below y years. Or something like that. I am sure, like ICEs, people drive their EVs differently (high speeds/low speeds, acceleration, etc.), charge them differently and park/drive them in different climates, which all have potentially substantial impact on the degradation rate of a non-luxury EV battery.

I believe people have bought used EVs unseen but I am sure many of them have done their homework previously regarding, primarily, the health of the battery, to minimize their risk(s) and avoid unpleasant/costly surprises.
I have seen some OBDII tools that let you do this. Not necessarily for the Tesla though. I would assume there is something out there though as dealers would have to have access to something like this. I have seen some for the Leaf I was checking out.
 

Tin Man

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Nov 18, 2001
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Coastal Empire
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Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
When all is said and done, with the kool-aid and virtue-signaling, you are still polluting much and are far from "zero emissions" (but you may be acting like a zero!).
For all the "ludicrous" acceleration claims: Tires Cause 1,000 Times More Pollution Than Exhaust Fumes, Study Claims
Emissions Analytics released the results of an experiment wherein it tested "a popular family hatchback running on brand new, correctly inflated tires" to see how much "non-exhaust [particulate] emissions," abbreviated NEEs, the car generated. It concluded that wear on the vehicle's tires, brakes, and the road surface produced 5.8 grams of NEE particulates per kilometer driven, which is 1,289 times the 0.0045 grams-per-kilometer limit for passenger vehicle exhaust particulates under current Euro 6d emissions standards. This test's results may yet be conservative compared to real-world driving conditions, as cheap or under-inflated tires, rough road surfaces, and heavy vehicles are thought to increase NEE production.
Is Natural Gas Really Helping the U.S. Cut Emissions? is a controversial reminder that there is no free lunch. https://insideclimatenews.org/sites...gas-oil-methane-problem-529.png?itok=_NQ9-vYz

:D nwdiver would have to walk a lot more to save the environment, and keep his overgrown golf-cart in the garage with his polluting solar panels: Toxic Chemicals in Solar Panels
Solar panels may be an appealing choice for clean energy, but they harbor their share of toxic chemicals. The toxic chemicals are a problem at the beginning of a solar panel's life -- during its construction -- and at the end of its life when it is disposed of. These two intervals are times when the toxic chemicals can enter into the environment.
The toxic chemicals in solar panels include cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, cadmium gallium (di)selenide, copper indium gallium (di)selenide, hexafluoroethane, lead, and polyvinyl fluoride. Additionally, silicon tetrachloride, a byproduct of producing crystalline silicon, is highly toxic.
To each his own, pick your poison....
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
SOLD 2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Regarding DIY solar installations--
I did a deep dive in 2017 on doing this myself. As in: being my own project manager and hiring an electrician on an RFQ bidding process to install equipment/gear I had selected, purchased, and had shipped to my home.

The best, most objective analysis I could do was:

  • CAPITAL COST $12k-$14k depending on shipping (highly variable), manufacturer's sales and rebates or incentives, etcetera
  • 14-17 years to reach payback
  • 2.4%-3.1% annual returns on investment, when viewed at end-of-predicted life

Main impediments were: cost of racking still too high, cost of installation and permits too high, and inverters not reliable enough for the money. I factored in state rebates. I also factored in cost/hassle of inverter failure in the middle of August in Phoenix.

I really REALLY wanted it to work out, but my analysis shows (to me at least) that I should spend money on 'Negawatts (see Amory Lovin's term) before investing in new sources of power. The ROI and payback time for NOT expending energy in the first place is at least an order of magnitude higher!

Top tips (for hot climate):

1. Shade, shade, shade shade. $2000 in professionally installed shade trees, shrubs, or panels will pay off in heaps and continue indefinitely.
2. Use of more efficient cooling strategies such as multi-splits with inverter technology (variable compression rates) and variable fans on both ends, individual room cooling, etcetera). Use of night-time cooling like the Ice Bear 20 in combination with one smaller daytime cooler (if you can get the permit inspector to sign off, that is).

Only after I've effectively maxxed out on these strategies does it make sense to switch from a 'negawatts first' strategy to a megawatts strategy.

But, these things take money, time, and enterprise (i.e. gumption).

I for one really like nwdiver's enthusiasm on solar. However, I think you could 'catch more flies with honey' --if you counseled and taught people effective and ACHIEVABLE strategies for reducing their environmental burdens. Maybe start by writing an e-book on low cost, high $ payoff and high environmental payoff strategies we can all do?

Just sayin. Preach what people are willing/able to listen to. You'll have a vastly bigger impact I think.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Nick, I'm surprised by the long payback period for your installation. It makes me wonder if either you could use a smaller system, or if electric rates are very low where you live. My system cost about $16K installed, I got a MA $2K rebate and an $8K federal tax credit. It's been dead reliable: zero repairs in 7 years. Electricity here runs about $0.22/kWh, so it's not cheap. I would usually see monthly bills in the $125 range in winter, and about $225 in summer (I heat with oil). I was able to reduce my electric costs considerably, mostly by switching to LED lighting throughout the house and by improving insulation and sealing to reduce cooling costs. Mass has a program for that, too, so the cost of those improvements were minimal.

I've read that solar equipment has dropped in price considerably since I bought my system, so I would think you could do something similar for considerably less these days. But i do agree that reducing consumption is the first step. Unlike where you are (I bet) I want sun shining in a lot of the year, but use insulating shades in summer to reduce cooling costs. They work great.
 

turbobrick240

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maine
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2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
It is amazing how much cooling some strategically placed shade trees can provide. Although the house I'm constructing has an ideal solar orientation, I think I'll have all of my panels ground mounted so that I can make use of shade trees. Still debating it though.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
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South of Boston
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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
One thing I learned is that panels on a south facing roof really help keep a building cool in summer. Makes sense, but I hadn't previously thought about it.
 

turbobrick240

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maine
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2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Good point. I also plan to insulate very heavily, so it probably wouldn't be as huge a difference as in the 200+ year old homes I grew up in. There is something aesthetically pleasing about mature shade trees though. That's the other thing- it takes quite a few years before you've got significant shade. I might have to flip a coin.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Keeping a house cool in New England summer vs. a Texas summer is a big difference. The type of heat you also have available is also something that needs to be considered. How many humans are actually INSIDE the house, and for how long, is also another. Cooking methods, water sourcing, etc. is all stuff that makes a difference too.

If it were just "me", I could happily exist in a tiny house, and I could have very little HVAC running during the day since I am gone for a solid 13 hours every day, and I could get by with minimal cooking, and a 2-minute lukewarm shower. No hair to blow dry, either.

I just wonder if our military hero friend goes on other automotive forums and tells them how stupid they are? And if he ramps up the rhetoric based upon the type of forum it is... I can only imagine if he truly despises a group of people who have embraced what is largely a hyper fuel efficient segment of cars (V10 T'regs perhaps not :p ), what must he think of the Chevy C/K truck crowd? Or the RV folks? Are the Prius owners despised as much as we are? Are they informed they are driving "obsolete garbage" too? Or do they get a pass?

It occurred to me, on my way to work this morning, that every single car I passed or was passed by on my 48 mile drive was consuming MORE fossil fuels that I was*. And since I know cars, they were all much newer than my car, save for a few older [full sized, almost certainly V8 powered) pickups still faithfully soldiering along, rusted rockers and all. I feel I deserve at least some credit for choosing something that is fuel efficient AND keeping in on the road and in good order for all this time. Isn't that in some way the ultimate recycling?

*there were two A4 Jettas I saw, and I would wager they were both diesels but it was too dark to see any trunk badges.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
One of my cousins rented a house in Austin for about a dozen years. There was a massive Live? Oak in her yard that shaded most of the roof. The unshaded bedroom got much, much hotter than the rest of the house. The house was built in the 40's and had VERY little insulation- none in the walls. But yeah, AC was still required. Up here, heavy shading pretty much eliminates the need for AC.

I'm sure nwdiver is well intentioned. These are stressful times for most of us. Civility is always important, but even more so when the going gets tough.
 

tikal

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2001
Location
Southeast Texas
TDI
2004 Passat Wagon (chainless + 5 MT + GDE tune)
More positive posts please!!!

Regarding DIY solar installations--
I did a deep dive in 2017 on doing this myself. As in: being my own project manager and hiring an electrician on an RFQ bidding process to install equipment/gear I had selected, purchased, and had shipped to my home.

The best, most objective analysis I could do was:

  • CAPITAL COST $12k-$14k depending on shipping (highly variable), manufacturer's sales and rebates or incentives, etcetera
  • 14-17 years to reach payback
  • 2.4%-3.1% annual returns on investment, when viewed at end-of-predicted life

Main impediments were: cost of racking still too high, cost of installation and permits too high, and inverters not reliable enough for the money. I factored in state rebates. I also factored in cost/hassle of inverter failure in the middle of August in Phoenix.

I really REALLY wanted it to work out, but my analysis shows (to me at least) that I should spend money on 'Negawatts (see Amory Lovin's term) before investing in new sources of power. The ROI and payback time for NOT expending energy in the first place is at least an order of magnitude higher!

Top tips (for hot climate):

1. Shade, shade, shade shade. $2000 in professionally installed shade trees, shrubs, or panels will pay off in heaps and continue indefinitely.
2. Use of more efficient cooling strategies such as multi-splits with inverter technology (variable compression rates) and variable fans on both ends, individual room cooling, etcetera). Use of night-time cooling like the Ice Bear 20 in combination with one smaller daytime cooler (if you can get the permit inspector to sign off, that is).

Only after I've effectively maxxed out on these strategies does it make sense to switch from a 'negawatts first' strategy to a megawatts strategy.

But, these things take money, time, and enterprise (i.e. gumption).

I for one really like nwdiver's enthusiasm on solar. However, I think you could 'catch more flies with honey' --if you counseled and taught people effective and ACHIEVABLE strategies for reducing their environmental burdens. Maybe start by writing an e-book on low cost, high $ payoff and high environmental payoff strategies we can all do?

Just sayin. Preach what people are willing/able to listen to. You'll have a vastly bigger impact I think.
Wow right on the money in my view! Colored words are mine and this is super important in my humble view.

Fortunately I believe there are more positive people than negative in this forum. Thanks God!

More post like nicklockard did please!!!
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
I live in the Austin area and have been for the last 35 years or so. We have about two months of little to no AC or heat use. Then about two months of heat use. Then 8 months of constant full blast AC use. Anything not shaded gets the full brunt of the sun. The parts of my home that aren't shaded by my live oak trees are very much hotter than every other room. The morning sun catches the back of the house and isn't too bad. The evening sun catches the front and half is unshaded and must use fans to move air around to help keep these rooms cooler or pick another room to be in.

The regulatory rules here do not allow for or mandate that the companies buy back your excess power produced. If so this would help the system to pay for itself. Tax credits don't help those who owe very little to nothing in taxes (good tax planning for retirement). I don't know enough about carbon credits to know if they would help me or not. My current plan is to sell this house and move to a less tax hungry county and build a way more efficient home for retirement. The "Negawatts" idea is what I already had in mind. Super insulated, led lighting and shaded and every other easily incorporated idea that can be used. Then maybe a smaller much less expensive solar or wind generator. I have always wanted to find a property that had running water to drive a small generator for power.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
SOLD 2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
One thing I learned is that panels on a south facing roof really help keep a building cool in summer. Makes sense, but I hadn't previously thought about it.
Yeah, in fact a lot of people forget to factor in the reduced cooling load from solar panels. It can be substantial. Out here, you want southwest facing arrays on the roof because the afternoon solar heat gains are the worst since it doesn't cool much at all overnight from late July through early October (super humid season).

Also, in general, many of the older homes, built pre-1990's, have better layout, more mature shade trees & shrubs, longer and strategically placed eves on southern exposures, decorative shading walls, etcetera. This is because many were built with only swamp coolers to cool the main house, and maybe had a window AC in the master bedroom. Many/most have been retrofitted with whole house AC now, but there are still a few out there like this.
 

Rob Mayercik

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Location
NJ, U.S.A.
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS, Baltic Green/Beige
I should save this for the future. :D

I saw a Volvo ad last night with their hedging tag line "Every new Volvo car launched from 2019 onwards will have an electric motor." (New=not existing model/platform, "with electric" means hybrid). My first reaction was they're making a big mistake.
Volvo needs to have a word with their advertising people.

At the risk of pegging everyone's pedant-o-meters, every car on the road already has an electric motor - in fact, they all have one or more of the following:

HVAC blower motor
Radiator cooling fan
Windshield wiper motor
Power Windows
Power Mirrors
Sunroof/Moonroof
Automatic sliding doors/tailgates
Automatic side steps (some pickups)
Power seats

Need I go on? :D
 

turbovan+tdi

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Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Location
Abbotsford, BC.
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2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur
Yeah, in fact a lot of people forget to factor in the reduced cooling load from solar panels. It can be substantial. Out here, you want southwest facing arrays on the roof because the afternoon solar heat gains are the worst since it doesn't cool much at all overnight from late July through early October (super humid season).
Also, in general, many of the older homes, built pre-1990's, have better layout, more mature shade trees & shrubs, longer and strategically placed eves on southern exposures, decorative shading walls, etcetera. This is because many were built with only swamp coolers to cool the main house, and maybe had a window AC in the master bedroom. Many/most have been retrofitted with whole house AC now, but there are still a few out there like this.
Call me stupid, but I don't understand what you mean that having south facing panels because the afternoon solar heat gains are the worst?
 

where2

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 1999
Location
North Palm Beach, FL, USA
TDI
One '13 JSW_TDI & One '04 Variant_TDI
... but I don't understand what you mean that having south facing panels because the afternoon solar heat gains are the worst?
Since I believe I understand what the previous poster was attempting to explain, let me toss in my $0.02. Consider the 20 PV panel 4.4kW array on my second floor roof (DIY installed in 2013). It shades nearly all my second floor, south facing roof facet, like having a tree there would. That shade lowers the A/C cooling load required by my house. It's almost like having a little more insulation up in the roof system, because it strips away some of the sunshine (radiant energy) falling on the house.

In the northern hemisphere, you typically face PV panels south because they collect the most sunshine per square unit of area measure if you place them approximately perpendicular to the sunshine falling on the panel.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
SOLD 2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Call me stupid, but I don't understand what you mean that having south facing panels because the afternoon solar heat gains are the worst?
Where2 added some good commentary. In my prior post, I wrote that you want southwestern-facing arrays (not pure south-facing.)

There are several factors at play here in the desert SW.

1. Placing solar PV panels on south-facing roofs does have the benefit of peak shading. But, it also produces peak power when the load is NOT at peak. Peak power demand is when everyone gets home from work, or about 1.5 hours before, when smart thermostats start cooling off our warm houses. (few roofs are 100% south facing because we have a mixture of grid and non-grid residential streets. I think most developments and communities here are not on a grid layout. But forgive this digression).

2. The power companies strongly prefer you install pure western-facing arrays ( or as close as possible) because it does the best load demand/usage matching, which eases strains on the grid and means they have to purchase less spot-market peaking power. They like to orient your panels such that all of their deployed residential solar panels hit peak power around 17:30 (ish).

3. A lot of newer, post 1990's homes have really terrible layout with respect to solar orientation. The older homes, built in the time of swamp coolers, were much more practical and logically laid out. (see my comments about eaves, plants, and such in the other post). Due to the generally crap layouts, the solar heat gain you get on western-facing walls and roof segments (multi-segmented roofs are predominant here for this type of post 1990's home), lands on segments/walls that were in shade all day, then suddenly exposed to insanely intense sun, so they heat up really rapidly. The best analogy I can come up with is: it's like applying 48v to an already fully charged 12v battery! Everything heat soaks right before sundown. I've actually recorded the temperatures climbing after sundown! This is because you are surrounded by heat-soaked houses, land, cars which suddenly start re-radiating. And your insulation only delays the heat transfer; plus your AC is cranking out massive heat rejection plumes 18" away from your walls. Did I mention the layouts are really stupid?

4. If you are paying for your own solar array, or had a hand in selecting the leasing company, you should insist on a SW (or as close as possible) facing array to take a blend of benefits: shade near when you need it, but also power production set to peak around 15:50-16:20 (ish)--in this way, you can get your house to a nicer, more livable temperature sooner than everyone else, whilst avoiding (most) of the peak power rates. Oh, did I mention that even when you have your smart thermostat set to say...81F at 6pm when you arrive home from work, it will still be hot-as-balls till around 11 pm? This is just pure physics. It takes time to pump massive amounts of heat around. Or, if your'e rich, you just pay the robbery-like 21c/KwH peak rates (noon to 8pm; the power company ain't stupid; they stick it to you). Good luck enjoying that $6xx power bill in August!

In closing, it's the afternoon heat gain that is the worst because it coincides with a.) an already overcharged "battery" in my analogy and b.) ripoff artist power rates that last 90 minutes past sundown) and c.) it doesn't really cool down at night in July/August because our humidity is INSANELY high then.

By orienting panels to the SW, your peak shade/power production optimal balance is better-matched to 'peak miserable, wet heat'.

When I worked in Mississippi, it felt like a cool breeze, lol!
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
A lot of newer, post 1990's homes have really terrible layout with respect to solar orientation.
This is true here in New England, too. In the 1700s and 1800s homes were carefully situated so living spaces without a heat source were faced south to capture solar gain in fall/winter/spring. They also had leafy trees (called bride and groom trees) on the south lawn to provide shade in summer. Kitchens with their big fireplaces were on the north side of the building. I grew up in a house built in 1710 and our first home was built in 1750, so I was used to this practice.

Of course that all got thrown out when central heat was introduced in the mid-1800s. And now most builders pay absolutely no attention to orientation, and are more focused on what's easy to build or how the house looks from the street. When we were house hunting 26 years ago I was appalled at how 80s and newer houses were sited. Several of the houses under construction on our street (west facing) had the garage on the south side, so living spaces go zero winter solar gain.

I sited our house a few degrees west of south, garage on the north side, with the dining/living room on the south side. And yesterday, for example, the outside high temp was a sunny 45 and the house was 70 degrees with no heat running. We have shade trees on that side of the house to help in summer, but I also have insulating shades I keep down to limit overheating. Works great, and free.

Sometimes people don't think of the simple things.
 
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bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
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That's one big thing - Passivhaus and the related standards make so much sense for creating negawatts (and using the watts you have more effectively), and realistically could be implemented for not much more construction cost... but require actual thought in construction, rather than laying down a ton of cookie cutter designs for people who want a McMansion.
 

kjclow

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Location
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2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
I paid for my own PV System at least most of it :) Are you a communist?

Point is that in 2020 there are really zero reasons to not be getting all the energy you need from the sun. None. PV is cheap. EVs are cheap (used ones anyway). Only morons and monsters use fools fuel where alternatives exist. Which are you?


People like you do make me regret the sacrifice I made serving in the military for 8 years. Sacrifice wasted apparently.

Feel free to post that on your wall too....... making a vet regret serving for you......
I've looked into solar panels for my house. Since my home is smaller, well built, and well insulated, it would take over 20 years for the investment in solar to pay back. A better investment for me would be new windows since the current ones are builder's specials and are 25 years old.

I do respect your service but call ing me a monster or moron simply becasue I am not drinking the solar/musk koolaid makes me regret not blocking you on this forum.
 

kjclow

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Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
And dumb people buy trucks, if only Tesla's were popular with dumb people?
No some people buy trucks because they need them for their work. Like my SIL, who works for a general contractor.

Some people buy trucks because it makes their hobies easier. I'm in that catagory. Makes doing landscaping, hauling the bikes and bike gear, and camping gear around much easier. Yes, I've done it in the JSW.

Some people buy trucks becasue tehy view it as a status symbol or just like teh ability to be able to step up into a vehicle and not have to fight their way out of it.

My 17 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel gets as good as or better mileage than many cars on the road. I was driving my daughter's mini Buick SUV this last week. She gets the same mileage I do in 3 times the vehicle.
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
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Good point. I also plan to insulate very heavily, so it probably wouldn't be as huge a difference as in the 200+ year old homes I grew up in. There is something aesthetically pleasing about mature shade trees though. That's the other thing- it takes quite a few years before you've got significant shade. I might have to flip a coin.
Look into the expanable polyurethane spray foam insulation. It's supposed to have a better insulating factor than fiberglass and can also seal small gaps/cracks better. It the attactic, it forms a sealed area making that more usable.
 

turbobrick240

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maine
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Look into the expanable polyurethane spray foam insulation. It's supposed to have a better insulating factor than fiberglass and can also seal small gaps/cracks better. It the attactic, it forms a sealed area making that more usable.

Spray foam insulation is great stuff (even from a can, lol). When my father built the addition to our old farmhouse in '78 he incorporated spray foam urethane and large triple glazed, low e windows, as well as an attached greenhouse for passive solar heating. Those were uncommon measures at the time. I plan to build for the future too. I'll either use structural insulated panels (expensive) or make my own panel system to eliminate thermal bridging at the rafters/studs. Super insulating really pays off in this climate. I'm also resisting the urge to build big (I love big, old homes), and just poured a 18x36 foundation with daylight basement.

One element I've been excited about for a long time is a Russian/Finnish masonry heater. I'm currently getting all of my heat from burning wood and like having that energy independence.
 
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