Originally Posted by Cirquerider
I think its a great move in the right direction, but lets get some perspective on this. This solar array only generates 10.6 kW/hour (not 10 megawatts). It is only big enough to supply "up to 1/3" of the electric power demand for an employee housing complex, and does not go towards heating or air conditioning. This tiny amount of power doesn't make a dent in the operating power demands of the ski area or villages.
Lets consider a large 300 Horsepower top drive high speed lift. That 300 HP ilift consumes 224 kWh for each hour of operation at 1 KW/1.341 HP. We would need 21 of those Aspen solar arrays to operate just one major lift, and yes, it only generates 10.6 kW when the sun shines. Your home probably requires around 2.5 kwH to operate assuming you don't have electric heat or operate pumps for a pool. Just ask Al Gore.
(claps hands, but fails to cheer)
Cirque is right on the mark. Here's another perspective: 10 kW = all of 10 toasters. I'm underwhelmed. :-(
BTW, for the record, some comments about units:
- kWh is a unit of energy. Joule is another unit of energy - more commonly used in physics courses.
- kW and horsepower are units of power (the rate at which energy is supplied or consumed)
- "kW per hour" is a very rarely used unit as it is the rate of change of power ,,, how quickly you turn a load on or off. Usually the units for this quantity is kW/sec, not kW/hr.
- "kWh for each hour" is redundant ,,, you could just say kW (average).
Also, the efficiency of reasonable sized electric motors is almost always well above 50%, so the factor that Alpinedad mentioned is at most a factor of 2x ( http://www.psnh.com/Business/SmallBusiness/Motor.asp
), ie small potatoes when you are comparing 10 toasters to the power required to run a lift or two.