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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a retired Army friend who lives in Albuquerque.  We physically visit back and forth from time to time.  A couple of months back, he was at my place.  He's not too technically inclined but does a lot of internet browsing.  He'd seen my ground mounted solar array and was telling me that such installations were a real eco hazard.  I ask why and he told me about an internet article he'd read stating that low mounted solar arrays like mine destroyed all life in the ground under them because of the heat given off by the back side of the panels. I said bull but he insisted the panels caused the earth beneath them to become super heated.  

Well, shoot!  I got out my laser aimed IR thermometer and we too took a stroll to behind my rear yard fence and to the panel array.  It was a blue sky blazing hot late summer day here in desert New Mexico and about 11 a.m.  We got out to the array and I measured the temp on the nearby earth in direct sunlight.  Reading was about about 118 F.  Then I measured the shaded areas under the panels which read about 85 F.  He was astounded.  I handed the thermometer to him, showed him how to operate it, and told him to wander about and take his own readings.  He measured the back side of the panels just over our heads and they were about 100 F while the ambient temperature was about 96 F.  I said, 'gee, the bottom of these panels are only 4 or 5 degrees warmer than the ambient temp.  Sure no super heating, is there?'  He had to agree and I reminded him to not believe everything you read on the internet--which too often provides a bumper crop of misinformation.  



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Posts: 2,925
Reply with quote  #2 
Ha ha! It has to be true if it's on the internet, right? [biggrin]

Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Posts: 808
Reply with quote  #3 
It has to be true if it's on the internet

Some Mentalphysician's truth perhaps.  [rolleyes]

Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #4 
I get a never-ending barrage of comments from the peanut gallery about how solar panels never pay back their CO and pollution debts. In 10 minutes, I can find 3 articles of academia, peer-reviewed and backed by university research, clearly disputing such claims. Their response is usually a Breitbart article or something.

It gets real old, real fast.

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #5 
First, thanks to all who contribute to this site and forum. It's truly a great resource!

But if I may provide some counter-point on the Photovoltaic (PV) debate, the systemic lack of transparency on the part of the PV industry is a self-inflicted wound that invites scrutiny. 

If this were a case of a car dealer that only talked in terms of monthly "payments" there would be little question as to whether there was something the dealer wished to avoid discussing.  

Likewise, solar thermal technologies are virtually immune to similar criticisms because they so easily stand on their own merits -- even before the environmental benefits are factored in.

So I think the PV industry could solve a lot of its own problems by being more transparent about the total cost of their technologies and relying less on environmentalism (and subsidies) to make their case.
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