Stephen and Rebekah Hren  @  ChelseaGreen

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Lots of Rooftop PV = Steady Power

Posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 12:48 pm by Stephen and Rebekah Hren

One of the concerns with renewable electricity such as solar and wind is the variability of the power generated. We've always suspected that a diverse array of renewable energy installations would average out into a steady supply, and it's great news to see this confirmed with a recent study by US Department of Energy.

Rebekah up on our roof with the PV.

Turns out lots of small PV arrays on lots of rooftops over a large geographical area produces a relatively steady stream of juice. Imagine what the situation will be like once we have a smarter grid and a decent number of electric cars that need their batteries charged. It's not hard to imagine a setting for charging the electric car that helps even this flow out even more, taking advantage of large flows to increase the charge rate and keeping the juice out on the grid during the shady doldrums.

A few analogies spring to mind. The original thought of an leveling out from many multiple sources actually sprung from the idea of Hubbert's Peak, where the output from many small wells produces a fairly predictable and uniform bell curve. Also, tiny is mighty. The millipede has many small legs, and is very difficult to tip over.

Read the original article on The Carbon Free Home.

Stephen and Rebekah Hren are the authors of, most recently, A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office.


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