Alternative Energy Company Opens Branch in Staunton

Altenergy just opened its doors near downtown Staunton. The solar company offers sustainable energy in the form of solar panels to provide electricity and solar thermal energy to give home owners hot water. Full Story

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#22 May 5, 2013
Dude,
First, most utilities lose money on residential customers anyway, or barely break even, so if they no longer have to do the paperwork for such nil profit "customers" they wouldn't mind a bit. Where they prosper is the bigger commercial and industrial customers.

You live in Virginia, which is one state (about the only, as far as I can tell) that has a fairly reasonable billing structure. VA bills contain base fees for admin etc., connectivity fees for maintaining power lines, TOD rates, and seasonal rates for both energy delivered AND power provided. AFAICT, VA is fairly unique in that aspect, so your attitudes may be inapplicable across most of the US.

For people who live in the American Southwest, can you describe what is involved in your bill and what the utilities are required to pay for power fed back by "consumers"? My info is indeed a bit dated, but I doubt there has been THAT much change in the last few years. But I am interested in finding out the current scoop.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#23 May 5, 2013
Ohms Law wrote:
Mr Kiteman makes the erroneous assumption that most solar installations run 120 volt AC. They don't.
They also do not include phase matching equipment that would be required to "sell back" electricity to the power company.
Eagle scout hit it on the head. He's more prepared than you.
Sorry, "Ohms Law", MOST solar power systems ARE grid inter-tied, and of course, those are the only ones that "Dude" and I have been discussing. And to be inter-tied, the systems need inverters so that they do indeed match phases and feed back 120Volt AC (or 240, depending on your service) back into the grid.
You are mistaken about grid inter-tie and about who is prepared.
Solarman

Twentynine Palms, CA

#24 May 5, 2013
Eaglescout1984 wrote:
"After a while your electricity is going to be free"
Total BS. This is obviously the statement of a con man who is counting on you not knowing enough about how electricity works. I bet if you ask him how much power this can produce, hew would answer "120 and 240 volts".
Here's the truth: Most people use more power in their homes today than a solar panel the size of their roof could produce. Would a solar panel lower your electric bill? Absolutely, will it make it zero? Not unless you are willing to take energy-saving measures.
Furthermore, these systems have to rely on batteries to provide nighttime electricity. If there is a stretch of cloudy days, eventually the batteries will run down and you will be getting all your electricity from the grid.
Oh and you have a heat pump or baseboard heaters, don't count on reducing your bills in the winter. You're better off investing in an oil or natural gas heater than you are investing in solar panels.
If you are serious about solar power, take your power bills for last year. Total the kWh (Killowatt-hour). Go to a solar panel contractor and get an estimate for installing a solar panel system to provide different percentages of that power (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%).
THEN go to a financial adviser or CPA and have them work out exactly where each system would actually begin to pay for itself. This is a "best case" scenario. This won't take into account under performance on cloudy days, mechanical breakdowns or any reduction in power output as the system ages.
A little knowledge can go a long way in protecting you from people looking to take advantage of the green energy craze.
Look up grid tied and net metering. Go to www.dsireusa.org and see what energy efficiency programs are available in your state of the union. While your at the CPAs office, ask him what 30K in the bank gets for interest as compared to 30K on your roof in energy savings. As for system payoff, why make this the determining factor when you'll go out, buy a new car, get hit with a monthly payment of principle and interest, depreciation, insurance, fuel, maintenance, repair. After 5 to 7 years you go out and do it all over again. What's the payoff period of the car? Perhaps, never? As far as the systems go, there are a few early adopters that got ahold of the old ARCO 50W panels built in the 1970's. Some are still using them. Useful system life, right now seems to be an unknown. Think about it, most panel manufacturers will warranty that their panels will put out 80% of the power a new panel would up to 25 years of service. If they are willing to put this kind of warranty on their product, how long will they last? Yes the panels do loose some efficiency over time. I have found that it is well offset by the replacement of failed appliances by energy star appliances. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, air conditioning units even small window units. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#25 May 5, 2013
The marathon will be won by nuclear of some sort or the Grim Reaper. All else is a fools errand. I would prefer fusion, but that may not happen for a long time. Till it does, I will be happy with Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers (aka LFT Reactors). They are the leanest, cleanest, greenest proven reliable source available as soon as demanded.
.
Solarman

Twentynine Palms, CA

#26 May 5, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
The marathon will be won by nuclear of some sort or the Grim Reaper. All else is a fools errand. I would prefer fusion, but that may not happen for a long time. Till it does, I will be happy with Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers (aka LFT Reactors). They are the leanest, cleanest, greenest proven reliable source available as soon as demanded.
.
Yeah, that's great, I agree. Now look at the NRC site and see how many LFT reactors have been accepted for construction. Just like PBR and other generation 4 technologies, none are being applied for or are being accepted for construction. The best you'll find is LWR and probably the GE 1000 series reactors. Great the new GE design reactors address some of the issues of older designs but the reuse or re-milling of spent fuel rods is prohibited by SALT II which still leaves a political road block to nuclear. Fools errand is spoken like a true renter who has NO experience with solar PV. Is not the sun a fusion reactor, does not the solar PV panel take photons from the sun and make electricity that can be inverted into the current used in one's home?

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#27 May 5, 2013
Solarman wrote:
. Great the new GE design reactors address some of the issues of older designs but the reuse or re-milling of spent fuel rods is prohibited by SALT II which still leaves a political road block to nuclear.
I suspect your data is in error.
Wikipedia wrote:
Six months after the signing, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and in September of the same year, a Soviet combat brigade deployed to Cuba was discovered. Although President Carter claimed this Soviet brigade had only recently been deployed to Cuba, the unit had been stationed on the island since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.[3] In light of these developments, the treaty was never ratified by the United States Senate. Its terms were, nonetheless, honored by both sides until 1986 when the Reagan Administration withdrew from SALT II after accusing the Soviets of violating the pact.
We can, but the FedGov still does not permit it.
Solarman

Twentynine Palms, CA

#28 May 5, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> I suspect your data is in error. <quoted text> We can, but the FedGov still does not permit it.
Who's we, you got a turd in your pocket? Are YOU going to do it? Didn't think so. Before SALT II there was just SALT. The political climate would change if the U.S. began to "reclaim" Fissile material from the piles of spent fuel rods stored on site. Just what's needed another arms race. I suspect you're in error. We also have many laws on the books concerning immigration that have not been enforced by the Federal Government. What's YOUR point. The Federal Government is "selective" in what they enforce or not enforce? Then the NRC which is supposed to be the de facto authority on nuclear plants, monitoring, and giving their blessing to new nuclear plant construction are not signing off on anything other than LWR and seem to specifically lean towards the GE 1000 reactor design. It doesn't look like any really new reactor designs will be authorized for construction over the next decade or more. Now could it be possible to get back to the story of this thread? Solar panels, solar hot water etc.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#29 May 6, 2013
Solarman wrote:
<quoted text>Who's we, you got a turd in your pocket?
This is a rater weird statement. Do you have a scatalogical fetish?
Solarman wrote:
Are YOU going to do it? Didn't think so.
Sure would like to. There are a good number of isotopes that would be quite valuable. But FedGov policy is still an obstacle.
Solarman wrote:
Before SALT II there was just SALT.
SALT was ratified, Salt II was not. The US honored it for a few years even without ratification, but...
Solarman wrote:
The political climate would change if the U.S. began to "reclaim" Fissile material from the piles of spent fuel rods stored on site.
Indeed, the DoE is spending bucoup bucks on a MOX plant that no current US nuke wants.
Solarman wrote:
Just what's needed another arms race.
Reprocessing into Liquid Fluoride Thourium Recycler seed fuel would be the best way to destroy the Plutonium once and for good. No worries mate!
Solarman wrote:
I suspect you're in error. We also have many laws on the books concerning immigration that have not been enforced by the Federal Government. What's YOUR point. The Federal Government is "selective" in what they enforce or not enforce?
In this case SALT II was not ratified so it is NOT a law on the books. Most presidents have had their executive agencies enforce it anyway, but that is just their choice. They don't have too by law since there is no such law.
Solarman wrote:
Then the NRC which is supposed to be the de facto authority on nuclear plants, monitoring, and giving their blessing to new nuclear plant construction are not signing off on anything other than LWR and seem to specifically lean towards the GE 1000 reactor design.
Do you mean the AP1000? GE is still working to get their ESBWR1000 approved.
Solarman wrote:
It doesn't look like any really new reactor designs will be authorized for construction over the next decade or more.
Debatable. SMR designs are proliferating.
Solarman wrote:
Now could it be possible to get back to the story of this thread? Solar panels, solar hot water etc.
Sure. Solar hot water and HVAC re about the only rational use for solar power there is. But you can't run a civilization in the long term without nuclear. Other than unproven fusion, LFTRs make the leanest, cleanest, greenest reliable power around.
Dude

Purcellville, VA

#30 May 6, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
Dude,
First, most utilities lose money on residential customers anyway, or barely break even, so if they no longer have to do the paperwork for such nil profit "customers" they wouldn't mind a bit. Where they prosper is the bigger commercial and industrial customers.
You live in Virginia, which is one state (about the only, as far as I can tell) that has a fairly reasonable billing structure. VA bills contain base fees for admin etc., connectivity fees for maintaining power lines, TOD rates, and seasonal rates for both energy delivered AND power provided. AFAICT, VA is fairly unique in that aspect, so your attitudes may be inapplicable across most of the US.
For people who live in the American Southwest, can you describe what is involved in your bill and what the utilities are required to pay for power fed back by "consumers"? My info is indeed a bit dated, but I doubt there has been THAT much change in the last few years. But I am interested in finding out the current scoop.
Letís be honest here, most utilities or generating corporations make their money through speculation, regulation, and commodity trading. Why do you think Dominion wants to sell gas internationally? It is to raise the price of fuel here (in the US). Those costs get passed on to the consumer; it is false to say that utilities lose money for residential customers. The largest resistor on the line is A/C units, which is why the daily peak is around the 1600 hour. Do they at times lose to small customers? Sure, but as an agreement to use imminent domain to steal land at under market rates or favorable conditions, they must provide to the rate payer at all times. Itís actually a valid argument for nationalizing the electrical grid, not unlike the highway or road system. I would agree that regulation is the impetus of the problem, but it is almost always favorable to the utility. Every now and again, they throw a bone to the rate payer, but itís almost always for a federal subsidy offset.
.
Yes, I do live in Virginia, which is what weíre talking about. Virginia is a top energy importer, and sends most of its clean energy out of state for higher rates due to regulation, but receives all the incentives of using green energy in state. Itís a loophole, no doubt, written by the utilities. Virginia is also a top importer of energy, despite Dominion being a top player in the NG market. Thereís gas in them thar hills. After Isabelle the average electrical bill doubled, due to the addition of maintenance fees for utility lines that the tax payer subsidized the utility to put in. The utilities also claimed that on their insurance, which they got busted for. They also got busted under the regulated market for making too much revenue and profit. The utility is always pushing the regulation to make more; they wield enormous power in Richmond.
.
I donít know much about the South West Market, just PJM
Dude

Purcellville, VA

#31 May 6, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
The marathon will be won by nuclear of some sort or the Grim Reaper. All else is a fools errand. I would prefer fusion, but that may not happen for a long time. Till it does, I will be happy with Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers (aka LFT Reactors). They are the leanest, cleanest, greenest proven reliable source available as soon as demanded.
.
The current problem with nuclear is that it is expensive because of redundancy. The argument for redundancy is that when nuclear goes bad, it goes really, really, bad. Fukushima has pushed nuclear back another decade or two, despite North Anna being ground zero for the infamous Virginia earthquake. Just as the Hiroshima generation (and following generation) dies off, there is a whole new generation of people that are going to face long term health concerns and stigmas. I read an article about the women of that area not being able to marry due to the stigma.
.
I'm interested in helium-3 reactors, but I don't think they're coming anytime soon either. I don't think there is a panacea, but I think a conglomerate approach is better than an all or nothing. I'm particularly interested in the advancement of bio-fuels, specifically algae. It seems to be the most pragmatic solution for industry and personal consumption, as the infrastructure is already in place.
Dude

Purcellville, VA

#32 May 6, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> I suspect your data is in error. <quoted text> We can, but the FedGov still does not permit it.
I think we can all agree that regulation is a problem. There is a lot of infighting between special interests. What will probably happen is those who pay the most, will receive the most favorable legislation, and the general public will be screwed, which is normally the case.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#33 May 6, 2013
Dude wrote:
<quoted text>Letís be honest here, most utilities or generating corporations make their money through speculation, regulation, and commodity trading. Why do you think Dominion wants to sell gas internationally?
Because they can get almost twice as much for it over there. Sounds reasonable to me.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#34 May 6, 2013
Dude wrote:
<quoted text>The current problem with nuclear is that it is expensive because of redundancy. The argument for redundancy is that when nuclear goes bad, it goes really, really, bad. Fukushima has pushed nuclear back another decade or two, despite North Anna being ground zero for the infamous Virginia earthquake. Just as the Hiroshima generation (and following generation) dies off, there is a whole new generation of people that are going to face long term health concerns and stigmas. I read an article about the women of that area not being able to marry due to the stigma.
Actually, nuclear is advancing all over the world (with certain limited exceptions) despite Fukushima, partly because folks are getting wise the the LNT scam. The only reason it is not growing as fast here is fracking, and if you want to talk about something bad for the environment...

None-the-less, I too would prefer not to see more Light Water Reactors built, but only because Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (aka LFT Recyclers) are much more desireable. LFTRs, the leanest, cleanest, greenest proven source of reliable power bar none. Oh, and all those multi-level redundant safety systems are not needed since the reactor is walk-away safe.
Dude

Bumpass, VA

#35 May 6, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Actually, nuclear is advancing all over the world (with certain limited exceptions) despite Fukushima, partly because folks are getting wise the the LNT scam. The only reason it is not growing as fast here is fracking, and if you want to talk about something bad for the environment...[/quote]
Germany was leading the world in nuclear until Fukushima, and has now reversed their position. I know it's a paper war, as to cost and ROI, but they're by and far the world leader in solar. I see no problems in using solar, but I too, don't see it as a panacea. One of the most overlooked topics by environmentalists when it comes to PV cells (photovoltaic) is end of life. With the increase of popularity, so does the technology that reduces waste. As a side note, I don't know if LNT is a scam or not, but ionizing radiation absolutely does do biological damage; I'll assume that you're simply a doubter and not a lobbyist who educates through misinformation. Given your propensity towards one source and against others, I would hope where you could see where one could easily draw that conclusion.
.
[QUOTE who="KitemanSA"]< quoted text>
None-the-less, I too would prefer not to see more Light Water Reactors built, but only because Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (aka LFT Recyclers) are much more desireable. LFTRs, the leanest, cleanest, greenest proven source of reliable power bar none. Oh, and all those multi-level redundant safety systems are not needed since the reactor is walk-away safe.[/quote]
In theory...
.
The concept of pebble bed reactors is 60 years old, which too, are supposed to be walk away safe. And I like the concept of modular reactors, too. The term "nuclear" has been convicted in the court of public opinion.
.
In the end, you and I could probably go on about this for a long time, but it won't change the outcome or opinions of many, and even if you or I are right, the winner will be who can gather the most politicians in their back pocket.
Dude

Bumpass, VA

#36 May 6, 2013
Let me try this again
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Actually, nuclear is advancing all over the world (with certain limited exceptions) despite Fukushima, partly because folks are getting wise the the LNT scam. The only reason it is not growing as fast here is fracking, and if you want to talk about something bad for the environment...
Germany was leading the world in nuclear until Fukushima, and has now reversed their position. I know it's a paper war, as to cost and ROI, but they're by and far the world leader in solar. I see no problems in using solar, but I too, don't see it as a panacea. One of the most overlooked topics by environmentalists when it comes to PV cells (photovoltaic) is end of life. With the increase of popularity, so does the technology that reduces waste. As a side note, I don't know if LNT is a scam or not, but ionizing radiation absolutely does do biological damage; I'll assume that you're simply a doubter and not a lobbyist who educates through misinformation. Given your propensity towards one source and against others, I would hope where you could see where one could easily draw that conclusion.
.
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text>
None-the-less, I too would prefer not to see more Light Water Reactors built, but only because Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (aka LFT Recyclers) are much more desireable. LFTRs, the leanest, cleanest, greenest proven source of reliable power bar none. Oh, and all those multi-level redundant safety systems are not needed since the reactor is walk-away safe.
In theory...
.
The concept of pebble bed reactors is 60 years old, which too, are supposed to be walk away safe. And I like the concept of modular reactors, too. The term "nuclear" has been convicted in the court of public opinion.
.
In the end, you and I could probably go on about this for a long time, but it won't change the outcome or opinions of many, and even if you or I are right, the winner will be who can gather the most politicians in their back pocket.
Dude

Bumpass, VA

#37 May 6, 2013
Oh good grief, let me rephrase that, was among the world leaders of nuclear.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#38 May 7, 2013
Dude wrote:
. As a side note, I don't know if LNT is a scam or not, but ionizing radiation absolutely does do biological damage; I'll assume that you're simply a doubter and not a lobbyist who educates through misinformation.
Your statement "ionizing radiation absolutely does do biological damage" is one of those half truths that the LNT scammers have used to convey their lie. While literally true, it conveys only half the story, and therefore lies.

If we were electronic systems, where damage was permanent, there may be truth to the LNT model. But we are biologic systems that have repair mechanisms. At low level radiation rates, the radiation itself activates repair activity. Indeed, there is much suggestive evidence that it activates repair enough to take care of more damage from chemical insult. So the data suggest the not only is there no ADVERSE effect, there is in fact a BENEFICIAL effect at low levels.

This effect (now called hormesis) was observed and being quantified before Muller abused his Nobel Prize and lied to the world. Well, Muller's lie and its monsterous legacy have been revealed and slowly the truth is coming out.

My worry is that since the perveyors of the lie also warn against other related but non-radiation effects, their legitimate other worries may be ignored and the proverbial pendulum will swing TOO far.
Dude

Purcellville, VA

#39 May 7, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Your statement "ionizing radiation absolutely does do biological damage" is one of those half truths that the LNT scammers have used to convey their lie. While literally true, it conveys only half the story, and therefore lies.
If we were electronic systems, where damage was permanent, there may be truth to the LNT model. But we are biologic systems that have repair mechanisms. At low level radiation rates, the radiation itself activates repair activity. Indeed, there is much suggestive evidence that it activates repair enough to take care of more damage from chemical insult. So the data suggest the not only is there no ADVERSE effect, there is in fact a BENEFICIAL effect at low levels.
This effect (now called hormesis) was observed and being quantified before Muller abused his Nobel Prize and lied to the world. Well, Muller's lie and its monsterous legacy have been revealed and slowly the truth is coming out.
My worry is that since the perveyors of the lie also warn against other related but non-radiation effects, their legitimate other worries may be ignored and the proverbial pendulum will swing TOO far.
Not only does the entire scientific community disagree with you, but so does ,my brother in law who, is a doctor of genetic science. I'm pretty sure you"re a lobbiest who specializes in misinformation. You would have done better to further your agenda by dropping the subject. Ionic radiation does cause mutation, that mutation is called cancer, it's peer reviewed and accepted.
Dude

Purcellville, VA

#40 May 7, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Your statement "ionizing radiation absolutely does do biological damage" is one of those half truths that the LNT scammers have used to convey their lie. While literally true, it conveys only half the story, and therefore lies.
If we were electronic systems, where damage was permanent, there may be truth to the LNT model. But we are biologic systems that have repair mechanisms. At low level radiation rates, the radiation itself activates repair activity. Indeed, there is much suggestive evidence that it activates repair enough to take care of more damage from chemical insult. So the data suggest the not only is there no ADVERSE effect, there is in fact a BENEFICIAL effect at low levels.
This effect (now called hormesis) was observed and being quantified before Muller abused his Nobel Prize and lied to the world. Well, Muller's lie and its monsterous legacy have been revealed and slowly the truth is coming out.
My worry is that since the perveyors of the lie also warn against other related but non-radiation effects, their legitimate other worries may be ignored and the proverbial pendulum will swing TOO far.
remember kids, the American tobacco society says there is no evidence that supports that smoking increases your chances of contracting cancer.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#41 May 7, 2013
Dude wrote:
<quoted text>Not only does the entire scientific community disagree with you, but so does ,my brother in law who, is a doctor of genetic science. I'm pretty sure you"re a lobbiest who specializes in misinformation. You would have done better to further your agenda by dropping the subject.
Your data are bad, the "whole scientific community" has been putting out more and more reports that show, as a minimum, a threshold and plausibly hormesis. I'd like to discuss this with your BiL.
Dude wrote:
Ionic radiation does cause mutation, that mutation is called cancer, it's peer reviewed and accepted.
I never said it didn't. I said there is data that strongly suggests that AT LOW DOSE RATES, the repair mechanisms turned on by radiation repair more damage than the radiation causes, and thus the cumulative cancer rates either don't rise, or actually go down. Again, radiation damage is only half the story, the half that supports the scam; the half truth that constitutes the lie.

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