• gandalf_der_12teOP
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      2 months ago

      you’re not the only one who is surprised by this. I don’t know yet how to explain that.

      • ME5SENGER_24@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        I know that solar panels have to be cleaned pretty regularly to function with high efficiency. My guess would be that the cost and labor to clean the panels would be pretty high.

        Quoting from National Geographic:

        Winds at speeds of about 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour) sweep through some deserts. With little vegetation to block it, the wind can carry sand and dust across entire continents and even oceans. Windstorms in the Sahara hurl so much material into the air that African dustsometimes crosses the Atlantic Ocean. Sunsets on the Atlantic coast of the U.S. state of Florida, for example, can be tinted yellow.

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        So heavy winds and lots of dust can make wind power more efficient in desert environments

        • gmoke@mastodon.social
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          2 months ago

          @ME5SENGER_24 @gandalf_der_12te
          Last I heard, the estimate of upkeep on solar was about 5% of the cost of fuel for the same amount of power but that was a couple of years ago. Then again, again years ago, I saw a BU prospective business which was automating solar panel cleaning and have seen self-cleaning surfaces for solar panels ideas since.

          • cynar@lemmy.world
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            2 months ago

            A desert is a very different environment to “normal”. Nievly you would think solar would be better.

            Unfortunately:

            • A lot more sand means a lot more cleaning, one of the few ongoing costs of solar.

            • Sand is ablative. A sand storm will scratch and erode the surface of the panel. This will reduce its efficiency.

            • Sandstorms can darken the sky. A lot of direct light can be lost to a sandstorm.

            • Solar panels don’t work well when hot. Deserts are generally quite hot, when the sun is shining.

            • Solder joints don’t like thermal stresses. The panels, ultimately need wiring together. The joints (cell to cell, and cell to wire) don’t like thermal stresses. Deserts get cold at night, and hot during the day. A lot more panels than normal will be lost to failed electrical connections.

            Wind, on the other hand, does well in a large open area. The only additional effects of sand would be blade ablation, and sand in moving parts. Both of these are easier to counter.

            • gandalf_der_12teOP
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              2 months ago

              I disagree.

              The abrasive properties of sand would apply to all machinery (including oil pumps) but today, we seem to have no problem installing tons of oil pumps in the middle of the desert.

              Then, abrasive effects are strongest on moving parts (such as wind mills and oil pumps) but not so strong on solid state devices (such as computer chips or solar panels). Therefore, I don’t expect that to be much of a problem.

              Occasional shade from sand storms are maybe ~5% losses per year, which is not much. In exchange, the rest of the time, the sky is cloudless.

              Solar panels can work at 60-70°C easily.