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Photovoltaics 100X More Efficient than Biofuel


A reader over at AutoblogGreen (one of my all-time favorite blogs) sent in a short essay comparing the efficiency of photovoltaics to the efficiency of biofuels. and ABG rightly saw fit to publish it.

I'm not tremendously surprised that photovoltaics won...I'm just surprised by how big the buy tramadol fed ex difference is.

Now biofuels are kinda like solar power. Plants capture the the sun's light and mastercard tramadol convert it to energy. We then convert the plants into fuel, and then turn the fuel into useful power.

Photovoltaics skip a few of levitra prices those steps, converting sunlight directly to power without any pesky nature getting in the way. It turns out that creating biofuel with an acre of land produces about 100 times less power than covering that same land with solar panels.

While it's fascinating to buy propecia international pharmacy discover, the sad fact is, it doesn't really matter. We can hope that someday our global footprint will shrink.  But right now, it doesn't matter how much space we take up, it only matters how much money we spend. What we really need to see is www.tedxamsterdamed.nl a per-unit-of-power analysis of the cost of biofuels vs. photovoltaics. It's my guess that that analysis will make it quite obvious why no one's replacing corn fields with solar panels.

Via AutoblogGreen
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written by Nick, June 28, 2007
What I'd like to see is, before they consider the costs, factor in the effects that weather might have on energy capture... I imagine these numbers would be region dependent, and while sunnier areas might have a larger benefit from solar power, if it is possible to grow plants that can produce ethanol in very rainy, cloudy areas (I imagine it would be, but I don't know) then ethanol might even gain an advantage over solar power.. just a thought :)
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written by Jim, June 28, 2007
You don't measure photo cell area in hectares.
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written by mind, June 28, 2007
wow! and keep in mind that the www.boehler.org ethanol has to be burnt and go through a thermodynamic cycle, whereas the electricity "merely" needs to be transmitted and stored. (although of course producing batteries is a lot more complex than producing an engine)

i look forward to viagra online pharmacy usa some developments in possibly less efficient, but really cheap and durable solar cells. imagine the economics being such that you'd be foolish to -not- put them all over roofs of new construction.

the thing about ethanol that i'm sure makes it appeal to more people, is that the biomass is grown somewhere else, and the end result is some magical liquid that they can continue to put in their cars just like they're used to.

given the tendency of government to screw up whatever it touches, it's no wonder they're pushing ethanol :p
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written by Rob, June 28, 2007
you're comparing apples to oranges here. as mind has stated the step down efficiency of the ethanol with it mechanized and chemical process are of discount cialis online course going to make it drastically inefficient. besides ethanol has one of the worst energy content of the biofuels sector. i would have liked to buy levitra now see other fuels included in the comparison.
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written by Nathan, June 28, 2007
I think the efficiency of land use is very important especially as our fuel supply increasingly effects our food supply, but there are a few important omissions in the analysis that was given on Autoblog.com. First, this doesn't take into account the recommended site natural cialis pills energy produced from the lignin. In most scenarios that I have read lignin is used to power the entire operation of the ethanol refinery. It is predicted that enough energy can be produced by lignin that the company can sell electricity to the grid. Secondly, I don't know if this analysis looks at only cellulose to ethanol or also takes into account hemicellulose to ethanol. Thirdly, half of the sugar molecules turn into ethanol and half are converted to CO2, if we can capture the CO2, say in Algae, and harvest the oils then we can increase the efficiency of the process tremendously.
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written by Steve Sedio, September 03, 2008

Alcohol is not the right fuel, today.

As far as the math, I'm puzzled.

In good sun area's, you get 6 hours of sun, at 1KW per square meter, 4047 sq meters per acre - that comes out to 8863 giga joules per year, not 25,519.

Using algae to www.sinai.org.il create 20,000 gallons of bio diesel at 137Kj per gallon, 2743 giga joules, or 31% efficiency.

Conversion efficiency in a big rig is only today buy real levitra 55% (dual turbo with 45 pounds of boost), automobile diesel, 40% (single turbo, 10lbs of overnight delivery cialis boost).

Even using an automotive diesel engine, you get 12%, about the same as a solar panel after the DC to AC inverter.

If the yield is less than 20,000 gallons per acre per year, efficiency drops accordingly.

Algae, at 50% oil (20,000 gallons per acre) is still 50% carb & cellulose, that can either be burned in a col fired type power plant, or converted to alcohol, further increasing efficiency.

Or, with some genetic engineering, create algae with a higher percentage of oil.

Until solar panels are efficient enough that the area of a car can maintain the viagra pfizer buy online charge on a car, we will need liquid fuel. Diesel is by far the best automotive fuel - it tubo's much better than gasoline (Banks Engineering has the fastest pick up truck in the 1/4 mile, smoke free - and we are waiting for Mercedes and VW....)
0
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written by Steve Sedio, September 03, 2008

Alcohol is not the right fuel, today.

As far as the math, I'm puzzled.

In good sun area's, you get 6 hours of sun, at 1KW per square meter, 4047 sq meters per acre - that comes out to 8863 giga joules per year, not 25,519.

Using algae to create 20,000 gallons of bio diesel at 137Kj per gallon, 2743 giga joules, or 31% efficiency.

Conversion efficiency in a big rig is 55% (dual turbo with 45 pounds of boost), automobile diesel, 40% (single turbo, 10lbs of boost).

Even using an automotive diesel engine, you get 12%, about the same as a solar panel after the DC to AC inverter.

If the yield is less than 20,000 gallons per acre per year, efficiency drops accordingly.

Algae, at 50% oil (20,000 gallons per acre) is still 50% carb & cellulose, that can either be burned in a col fired type power plant, or converted to alcohol, further increasing efficiency.

Or, with some genetic engineering, create algae with a higher percentage of oil.

Until solar panels are efficient enough that the area of a car can maintain the charge on a car, we will need liquid fuel. Diesel is by far the best automotive fuel - it tubo's much better than gasoline (Banks Engineering has the fastest pick up truck in the 1/4 mile, smoke free - and we are waiting for Mercedes and VW....)

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