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Re: Gigafactories

Well, I hope they don't rely too much on the solar panels, not unless they have a lot of guys up there with snow shovels;
and one presumes that when it is cold they'll need heating.
And the peak solar energy doesn't exclude some of it in winter when the panels are covered....

But what he doesn't cover is that if they do produce more power than they need on some days they can sell that to the grid and when they are short buy from the grid.
But it seems a very simplistic approach and it seems that what he might have done is see what existing facilities actually produce and what calculations they actually use. The empirical approach maybe?
And on windless days those turbines cannot just sit their idel, they have to draw power from somewhere to keep them turning over so as to prevent permanent deformation of the shafts..... a problem with mounting this things at the top of towers is that weight is a factor and the bigger they are the more this is a factor.
Now I don't know enough to know even most of the factors, but given the "snow"-job on what these things are capable of I suspect that this is actually rather optimistic.
It would be nice to know what all this will cost and if that cost is amortised over their batteries and there is no guarantee these cars will sell like hotcakes..... my guess is they'll build the factory, install a toekn set of panels and trubines and then quietly forget about it. ANd hope everyone else does to.

By the way, why didn't this guy simply ask Testla for their calculations?

Re: Gigafactories

The strangest thing about the article by Tom Lombardo is that Lombardo feels obliged to defend what used to be called an "artist's impression" of the factory (even going to the trouble of counting the number of wind turbines in the picture). The thing he's defending isn't a formal engineering drawing, I think it would be accepted by the majority of people that whatever eventually gets built might look completely different to the picture.

One problem I can see with the picture straight away is that this factory is supposedly going to employ 6500 people, so you might expect to see a pretty big car park near the factory on the picture which isn't there.

I can see a couple of problems with the proposed renewable energy arrangements given on the picture. Firstly wind turbines are I believe recommended to be 6 to 10 rotor diameters apart, whereas in the picture they are not much more than one rotor diameter apart. So I think the wind farm array would in reality be occupying much more land area than is indicated.

The second problem is with the use of rooftop-mounted solar panels, The factory will have an enhanced fire and explosion risk relative to an average factory, as it is making extensive use of a hazardous material, lithium. The problem with rooftop solar panels is that firefighters don't like them because of the potential electric shock hazard, and it may cause them to do their job less vigilantly, as explained in this article:


In a situation like this I would expect that the fire insurers, or fire safety people in general, would prefer that the solar panels are kept off the roof as there appears to be ample space in the land area around the factory to locate the panels. Ground-mounted solar panels might be easier to keep clean as well, including removal of the snow cover that JMW has pointed out.