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« Deben's new witchhunt | Main | Solar heat »

Solar heat illustrated - Josh 322

See post below - the marvel of modern technology.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (31)

Tee, hee.

A few words spring to mind.

Red sky in the morning, eco nut's warming, red sky at night, eco nut's fright.

Come home to a real fire - install solar.

Apr 21, 2015 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Renewables, cheap and easy, if someone else has to pay the cost and consequences (including Fire and Rescue Services)

Apr 21, 2015 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Great Green Technology Breakthrough

Mankind learns how to make fire, with the power of the sun.

Apr 21, 2015 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Silly. Criticism of solar should be based on cost, efficiency and approprateness of each application. Solar has a place if all those criteria can be met. That is, not in a subsidised setup supplying grid power. Any fire hazard problem is a mere engineering matter, no big deal.

Apr 21, 2015 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Still, at least when one of the big solar farms set up on green field land goes up in flames when one of the sheep grazing around the panels decides to the chew the insulation off the cables, there will be lots of BBQ'd lamb to go around.

Apr 21, 2015 at 5:17 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Not from lamp posts, nor from roof trees
Hang low the rotted fruits of greed.

Apr 21, 2015 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Judy's got a nice post from Planning Engineer showing yet again how green schemes grind the poor. Well, he's a little more nuanced about it than I can be. AKA ClimateEtc. if you don't already know the way. PE is a gem of rare quality.

Apr 21, 2015 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Salopian, perhaps a glaze of raptor macedoine from nearby Turbinado.

Apr 21, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

My friend Peter Bocking once said that if Al Gore's hair caught on fire it would provide enough heat and light for a small English village.

Also on observing his Eurosocialist urges and his frequent comparison of himself with the Addressor of Gettysburg, Peter wondered if Obama was perhaps a Lincoln Continental.

Apr 21, 2015 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

At least solar panels are carbon-free so when they burn they don't contribute to the greenhouse effect. So there.

Apr 21, 2015 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Silly. Criticism of solar should be based on cost, efficiency and approprateness

Spot on Rhoda. Apro - Prat - eness

Not the first building to go up in flames because of solar panels. Fortunately the numbers are small but still even 1 is unnecessary.

Apr 21, 2015 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards


One key problem is that when you subsidize something heavily, like the installation of solar PV rooftop systems, you almost invariably draw in many people to the business who do not have the level of competence and care that would be present in a normal situation. So we should expect many shoddy installations of these systems, especially with regard to delayed and low-probability issues.

Some years ago, Australia heavily subsidized the installation of attic insulation. About 50 houses burned down from improper installation of this insulation (allowing the metal foil on the insulation to short out electrical circuits).

Apr 21, 2015 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurt

Curt. All subsidy is intrinsically wrong, to me. Maybe there are a few exceptions, but it holds as a principle.

Solar, however is not wrong per se. The problem we have is that it is proposed as a solution to a problem when it isn't ready. Maybe when it's spray-on and costs nothing we can have a look at it. But if it was any good it would not need subsidy or even encouragement. The corollary is that while it (or anything else) needs subsidy we can be pretty sure it's no good.

Apr 21, 2015 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

This gives a whole new meaning to solar heating ;)

Apr 21, 2015 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterivan

Every PV installation is basically a giant Electrical Capacitor sitting on everyone's roof screwed onto Timber Roof Perlins.

At the mercy of the Elements and Corrosion .not to mention Rodent Damage, Squirrels love wiring.

When you short out a Charged Capacitor you get a very loud bang and a flash.

They,re still holding a massive charge and the RCDs at the distribution box wont protect you or your property.

Apr 21, 2015 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

China made the price of PV fall rapidly. Did they

a) build quickly and to a lower standard than their rivals to capture the market
b) build quickly and to a lower standard than their rivals to ensure a market for replacements
c) both

Apr 21, 2015 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2
185 acres of beautiful rural Worcestershire about to be coated in useless Solar Farms.
Please support this protest !

Apr 21, 2015 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Easy fix to the problem; balance the solar panels with some rain panels.

Apr 21, 2015 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Tiny CO2 built-in obsolence is a requirement of both capitalism and communism.

To the Chinese workers being forced to make IT Hardware faster, cheaper and more reliable, it must seem bizarre that western IT software is being made more powerful to render perfectly functional IT Hardware obsolete.

In this instance, PV panels are being manufactured down to the price demanded by western markets. Western suppliers are supplying what the market demands.

The EU sets the standards for the market, so solar panels are generally bought, based on their claimed output. The market assumes they are safe, because that is what the market is educated to believe.

The public wants what it gets.

I do not have a solar panel. I do not want, or need one. I would not trust one anyway. It would be wrong to point a finger of blame outside the EU.

Apr 21, 2015 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

jamspid; "not to mention Rodent Damage, Squirrels love wiring."

As I've said before, a lot of plastics are now made with vegetable oil feedstock, rather mineral oils, and used expoxidised vegetable oils as plasticisers. They may look like plastic to us, but to most rodents and herbivores, they smell and taste like food. It's a bit like cows and discarded vehicle batteries, we usually get 3-4 cows dying in the UK each year from lead poisoning, due to licking lead salts of the plates of dumped batteries.

Apr 22, 2015 at 12:17 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

@Rhoda i am inclined to agree :
Although without subsidy madness, each solar fire is a fire that wouldn't have happened.
Solar is not a particularly huge fire risk, compared to other electrical spending.
It is a concern but I wouldn't play it up too much, other negative aspects such as waste and network instability are much more concerning.

Apr 22, 2015 at 3:34 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

OT Top US Climate Physists come out strongly to condemn their own associations 2015 pre-statement on Climate Change

e.g. "This statement is pathetically unworthy of a high school physics project much less of an organisation of physicists whose hallmark ought to be quantitative analysis, not an ignorant ideological polemic like this that tramples the scientific method." Hugh Kendrick
story from Judith Curry ....separate public comments thread
Those whose have raised their heads above the parapet : Roger Cohen, David Douglass, Hugh Kendrick, William Happer, Robert Knox, Franco Battaglia, Laurence Gould, Samuel A. Werner, Dave Rutledge, Stan Robertson, Brian Buerke , Michael Wilson, Arthur G. Tweet

Apr 22, 2015 at 3:53 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

ah on WUWT Monckton has an essay on that Judith Curry story
"the (APS's) intention seems to be to stifle debate and keep control in the hands of a politically-correct gaggle of militants."
mainly he points out the flaw that APS relies on IPCC for science when IPCC output is not pure science, but often political manipulation.
"The IPCC’s documents are not peer-reviewed: instead, the authors have – and use – the power to override the reviewers."
"It is the APS’ role to be honest about science, not partisan about politics. "

Apr 22, 2015 at 4:53 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Happy Earth day everyone. Remember to place one sock in the tumble dryer and set timer for two hours. You have to do your bit.

Apr 22, 2015 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul


… not to mention Rodent Damage…
’Ere! Leave my family out of this! We are generally a law-abiding, constructive bunch (except Colin, of course, but she’s kept in the attic), not destructive louts. Perhaps you meant “rodent damage”?

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:59 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

"Solar, however is not wrong per se.
Apr 21, 2015 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered Commenter rhoda"

Quite - when I visited Australia in the 80's many telecom repeaters in the Outback were powered by solar panels. Let's face it, they get plenty of sun, and batteries can easily cover periods of darkness and bad weather for low power installations like them. But to "Reduce Carbon" in countries like Germany & the UK????

"Every PV installation is basically a giant Electrical Capacitor sitting on everyone's roof screwed onto Timber Roof Perlins. They're still holding a massive charge and the RCDs at the distribution box won't protect you or your property.
Apr 21, 2015 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered Commenter jamspid"

Actually, No. A capacitor continues to hold a charge even when disconnected. A solar panel does not. The difference means that once you've discharged a capacitor (great fun when playing with large value electrolytics and an old screwdriver) it is no longer a risk. As I pointed out in the previous thread, a solar panel will start producing a voltage every time it's exposed to light, and unless completely destroyed or isolated will still be a danger the morning after a fire.

Note - my tongue in cheek comment about "fun" doesn't alter the fact that "experiments" like this can cause considerable sparking, and should not be undertaken without suitable protective clothing. What we got up to in skool many years ago is another matter...

Apr 22, 2015 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Ward

Are you sure you endorse the many quite snarky swipes at solar? I am researching the possibilities for my own home. On coming here I find a lot of the opposition to solar carries around baggage that has no real argument, only aforesaid snark. If its actually environmentally damaging, I want just the facts ma'am. I might become annoyed if we are being misled or deceived, but only after finding things out.

Apr 22, 2015 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Moriarty

Josh has even managed to get the little house to look distressed...

Apr 22, 2015 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Mr Moriarty: the cost of solar PV electricity is about 8 times that of conventional electricity. Without the outrageous subsidies from the government, you would look at the cost of installation, and the fact that it would not be giving you any power for most of the average day, and reach the rational conclusion that it is not worth it. How would you feel if a neighbour knocked on you door and asked if he could power up his house with an extension lead from yours? That is effectively what you will be doing, yourself, only you will be draining the power from all of us through increased surcharges on our bills (which, in case you have not realised, is where the “subsidies” of the feed-in tariff come from).

Apr 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

One of our local Greens was so pleased with his PV installation, that he announced open house for anyone who was interested. He was quite put out when I suggested it was only fair to invite round all the people who were paying for it...

This was a few years ago, when the subsidy was even higher and the technology even less reliable. I must find him and ask how many inverters he's got through.

Apr 23, 2015 at 1:17 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

KevinK, in a response to this feature as reported on Wattsupwiththat, comments that the same sort of hazard exists in an electric car after a crash - lots of fizzy dc power with nowhere to go....

Apr 25, 2015 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

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