Solar is free, available everywhere, and totally non-polluting, right? So one wonders why the vast majority of the world is connected to the grid. Could it be that the solar industry is content to be just another supplier to a complex and inefficient system?
For solar to ever be the answer, it has to be something besides part of the problem. It has to offer homeowners and businesses energy independence. It will have to have kinetic energy storage systems that will last for centuries that don’t waste energy and pollute. Solar cannot be dependent on chemical batteries that are expensive, short lived, and difficult to recycle.
So where are the problems that prevent solar from being a viable solution? First solar must compete against 120/240-volt AC, which is a standard. If you have to convert DC to AC, that is part of the problem. It’s not only more expensive to have to convert, it’s a waste of energy. Many of the things we use, such as computers have to convert AC to DC, which is also a waste of energy. Converting DC to AC and back to DC makes no sense. Lights, refrigerators, stoves, ovens, washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, TV’s, and especially cars can all run on DC power, which is more efficient if used at source. The only reason we have AC is so that power can be transmitted over long distances, which is also a waste of power.
By converting to at source DC generation, we could easily double efficiencies. Unless you do the research, few people realize that we waste more energy on a daily basis than we actually put to use. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories annual report for 2009, shows rejected energy at about 55 Quads or 68% of our energy production. By comparison, we waste about 2.7 times the energy we import from foreign oil.
Redundancy is the second hurdle for solar, since most homes and business are built with 120/240-volt AC systems. Most at source solar is supplemental, and thus any excess is directed back into the grid. This is much the same as building electric cars with gasoline engines. You have the problems of both technologies to deal with, and don’t totally take advantage of the efficiencies of DC power.
Bureaucracy is the third hurdle, and perhaps the hardest to fight because of the tremendous influence the oil and coal industries hold over congress. As long as we allow political kickbacks, the solar industry will face unwarranted regulations. Solar need not be held to the same safety standards as the grid, because at source generation of DC power is much safer. Solar should also be treated as a standalone system that does not require redundant supplementation from the grid. Building code will need to be updated.
Generating and storing your own solar power in OsumPODS will totally eliminate your dependence on the grid. You will have safer non-polluting energy that can potentially make you 100% energy independent. Once your system is paid for you will be able to live the rest of your life with free energy.
Building OsumPODS will allow communities to be built without utilities, thus eliminating mass infrastructure that is vulnerable to brownouts, blackouts, and rising fuel costs. Dangerous and polluting power plants will eventually be eliminated. The costs of developing land for communities will be substantially reduced once the full concept of OsumPODS is put into practice.
There are certainly hurdles to overcome using photovoltaics or other energy sources such as wind to charge kinetic energy storage systems. Lifespan, cost and efficiencies have to make the investment competitive. In reality it already could be competitive if we build communities without redundant systems. The biggest hurdle to overcome is to prove that sustainability is man’s only hope for the future.