The Tesla CEO, whose firm offers solar panel options just like the Solar Roof, shared a video via Twitter on Saturday of the electrical energy-producing tiles taking a beating from a hammer. One fan responded to Musk’s video with a 2011 quote from Bill Gates, who described solar and comparable technologies as “cute,” however that the reply is in nuclear energy.
It’s a revival of an idea Musk has shared a number of occasions, that sufficient solar panels might energy the whole United States. It’s a thought he shared in 2015 and reiterated in 2017. The plan itself is clearly a flawed concept — amassing and storing electrical energy in a single small patch of land is only a storm away from knocking your entire nation offline — but it surely illustrates a more practical proposal that folks can meet their electrical energy calls for from zero-emissions sources.
When Musk outlined the plan on the National Governors Association assembly in July 2017, he outlined a system the place the panels would supply the facility and batteries would store the electrical energy to be used round the clock. By Musk’s calculations, the panels would require a patch of land measuring 100 miles by 100 miles (or 10,000 sq. miles). The battery would require one sq. mile of land.
University College London explored Musk’s thought in 2015 to see if it will work. They used EIA figures that confirmed America used 3,725 Terawatt-hours in one year in 2013, or the equal of 425 gigawatts. They then regarded the common photovoltaic yield in Amarillo, Texas. A one-kilowatt system would supply 1,838 kilowatt-hours per year, the equivalent of 210 watts, which provides an effectivity score of 21%. As the highest-efficiency solar module on time supplied 24 percent effectivity, which provides an effectivity of 0.24 gigawatts per sq. kilometer.
The UCL evaluation assumes Musk was proposing an sq. that measures 100 kilometers on all sides or 62 miles. However, even underneath these more conservative figures, the evaluation suggests it ought to work: 10,000 sq. kilometers, multiplied by 0.24 gigawatts per sq. kilometer, multiplied by 0.21, provides us simply over 500 gigawatts. That’s larger than the nation’s annual electrical energy consumption of 425 gigawatts.
This additionally corresponds with the evaluation from Modern Survival Blog printed in March 2019. This discovered that masking a 1,939-sq.-mile patch of land, 44 miles either side, with 250-watt Sharp ND-250QCS solar panels can be sufficient to satisfy power demands.