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Power Technology

Tesla Turns Power Back On At Children's Hospital In Puerto Rico (npr.org) 203

Elon Musk took to Instagram yesterday to announce the "first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico." Tesla has used its solar panels and batteries to restore reliable electricity at San Juan's Hospital del Nino (Children's Hospital) after the country was devastated by two powerful hurricanes in September. NPR reports: Musk's company announced its success in getting the hospital's power working again less than three weeks after Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted on Oct. 6, "Great initial conversation with @elonmusk tonight. Teams are now talking; exploring opportunities." Tesla's image of the project's solar array, in a parking lot next to the hospital, has been liked more than 84,000 times since it was posted to Instagram Tuesday. The hospital's new system allows it to generate all the energy it needs, according to El Nuevo Dia. The facility has 35 permanent residents with chronic conditions; it also offers services to some 3,000 young patients, the newspaper says. As for who is paying for the power system, the head of the hospital tells Nuevo Dia that for now, it's a donation -- and that after the energy crisis is over, a deal could make it permanent. Both Rossello and the tech company tweeted about the project this week, with Tesla saying in a post, "Grateful to support the recovery of Puerto Rico with @ricardorossello" -- and Rossello stating, "A major contribution of @Tesla to the Hospital del Nino."
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Tesla Turns Power Back On At Children's Hospital In Puerto Rico

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why the fuck would they waste their resources? Get the support to the people who will create JOBS! Not lazy dying losers!

  • What kind of power do they use? 110v AC? Now would be a great time to convert to something more energy efficient. I'm sure the Tesla PowerWalls take solar, store the power in a battery, then convert it to 110AC so it can just be converted back to 5V/12V DC in the power supplies of all the equipment that needs power.
    • by krelvin ( 771644 )

      Now would be a great time to convert to something more energy efficient.

      That is way out of scope of providing power.

    • It's pretty common practice to boost voltage from low to high and down to low again. The long high voltage line means lowering losses on the line, less energy lost to heat. Even small DC to DC converters will have an AC step in the middle so a transformer can step the voltage up or down.

      What do you propose that would be more efficient? Step up the voltage higher? Then you'd need transformers or something to step it down for things like standard 110 VAC lights and tools. Use DC instead of AC? Then that

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Do you have any idea what the line losses would be sending 5V across a hospital? I'm guessing no.

      Also, are you really proposing that they spend the metric assload of money and years converting all the equipment for some sort of DC standard rather than get up and running today?

      Meanwhile, modern power supplies are pretty efficient.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I'm sure the Tesla PowerWalls take solar, store the power in a battery, then convert it to 110AC so it can just be converted back to 5V/12V DC in the power supplies of all the equipment that needs power.

      It's actually not. Line losses are known as IIR losses, and they increase at the square of the current. So a line carrying 2A will have 4 times the losses as one carrying 1A.

      It's why high current applications are typically run at high voltages - to reduce the current. The PowerWall internally would probably

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @09:01PM (#55434143)

    Each set would consist of batteries and the accompanying solar array to charge them, packaged so it could be deployed as a first response to disasters like this.The ability to get early power to critical facilities would be really valuable. The array shown here looks as though it could fit into a standard 2 TEU, to be shipped or trucked anywhere.

    Gibber away all you want about your favorite Elon Musk conspiracy theory. The rest of us have long since stopped listening to you.

    • Each set would consist of batteries and the accompanying solar array to charge them, packaged so it could be deployed as a first response to disasters like this.The ability to get early power to critical facilities would be really valuable. The array shown here looks as though it could fit into a standard 2 TEU, to be shipped or trucked anywhere.

      Gibber away all you want about your favorite Elon Musk conspiracy theory. The rest of us have long since stopped listening to you.

      Generators are much more compact, easy to transport and get going. That is why FEMA has generators for this purpose. They just didn't have enough to cover every place in P.R. Look at the pictures and see how much it takes to support just this small hospital. PV and batteries make a very poor fast-deploy solution. Even Elon took this long to get one up and running.

      http://media.npr.org/assets/im... [npr.org]

    • Estimating from the picture, they're laying out about 40 meters x 25 meters of panels (1000 m^2). At a nominal capacity of 160 W/m^2, that's 160 kW peak capacity.

      Plugging in Puerto Rico's zip code (00901) into the PWatts calculator [nrel.gov] yields a 17.4% capacity factor (this factors in night, weather, movement of the sun across the sky, etc). Add in 14% system losses and 96% inverter efficiency, and you get an average actual power production of (160 kW) * (17.4%) * (100-14%) * (96%) = 23 kW. (Judging from th
  • by chromaexcursion ( 2047080 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @09:10PM (#55434191)
    Musk has done in weeks what the federal government was incapable of doing by any means.
    This may have something to do with the idiot in charge.
    It's also the first real nail in the fossil fuel industry's coffin. For remote sites, solar generation, with batteries, is cheaper that any other source.
    It may not be long before you can remove the remote from that statement.
    • by bigwheel ( 2238516 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @09:49PM (#55434365)

      Here's an aerial video of Puerto Rico's Wind/Solar remains after the hurricane.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      • Here's an aerial video of Puerto Rico's Wind/Solar remains after the hurricane. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        Wow.

      • by AaronW ( 33736 )

        It looks to me like they didn't design it with the winds Maria generated in mind. There are wind turbines in the north sea designed for 200MPh wind speeds that likely would have survived just fine. It all depends on what it is designed to handle. Maria was far more devastating than what the building codes require. Not a lot can stand up to a cat-5 hurricane. I imagine the replacement costs will be quite a bit lower unless the underlying structure was also damaged.

  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @10:09PM (#55434445) Homepage Journal
    Shocking that 2 man company that won a $300 no-bid contract to restore the power to Peurto Rico didn't get there first. Especially when those 2 men had connections to a Trump donor. Strange that. It's almost as if Trump is incredibly corrupt and giving massive amounts of money to his friends and supporters for doing nothing.
    • by makomk ( 752139 )

      Remember that side note halfway through the NPR story? "As of Wednesday morning, the Electric Power Authority reported that its power service was at 25 percent." Who do you think was doing that - the magic power faries? And remember, we're not talking just restoring power to one building here - pretty much the entirety of the power transmission lines from the power plants to all of the buildings in Puerto Rico was down. Rebuilding those properly and permanently is going to be a hell of a lot more work than

    • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @07:56AM (#55435967)

      It looks like they have very competitive rates and minimal initial payment, and were one of two bidders on the contract. As much as I thought there was a scandal there... it doesn't seem to be the case. I don't know how they are getting linemen at less than $400/day plus accommodation... but they have 300 in place and more on the way. (They are one of many contractors working on different parts of the project to restore power.)

      People don't seem to understand the magnitude of the problem when complaining.

      "At least 3,000 workers, 62,000 poles, 338 towers and 6,500 miles of wire will be needed to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid, which a month after Hurricane Maria is at only 20% capacity. If everything goes right—and that’s a big if—most of the island’s 3.4 million people should have power by the end of May."

      source [enr.com].

  • Parking? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @10:24PM (#55434473)

    >"the project's solar array, in a parking lot next to the hospital, has been liked more than 84,000 times since it was posted to Instagram"

    While that is neat looking, is it temporary? It appears to fill almost the entire parking lot, leaving no place to park... Are there other lots? Looks like maybe 150 spots gone. Power is important, but parking is kinda important too, isn't it?

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba... [instagram.com]

    • Parking is probably a lot less critical when huge amounts of roads are impassable in cars.

    • >"the project's solar array, in a parking lot next to the hospital, has been liked more than 84,000 times since it was posted to Instagram"

      While that is neat looking, is it temporary? It appears to fill almost the entire parking lot, leaving no place to park... Are there other lots? Looks like maybe 150 spots gone. Power is important, but parking is kinda important too, isn't it?

      https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba... [instagram.com]

      When a facility such as a hospital does not have power, parking goes from relevant - pointless in 2 seconds flat.

      There appears to be land available around them to expand the parking lot. Or build a parking garage, which could likely also serve as a future hurricane shelter.

    • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

      It looks very temporary. It would be interesting to see how a permanent installation would be designed to handle a hurricane.

    • "150 spots gone" This is what I remarked also. Why not arange them as roofs to provide shade for the cars in the parking lot? This will make the cars cooler instead of getting hot in the sun and reduce the need for airco.

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        Which part of "PR is currently cleaning up from a devastating hurricane" do you not understand?

      • Re:Parking? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @07:50AM (#55435939)

        The higher the panel, the less stable it will be and the more of a sail in the event of a high wind.

        I really like your idea for a planned, long-term installation, but this is a quick-fix, path-of-least-resistance job.

        Still, yeah - I'd be really tempted to look into sinking some solid posts into the ground and mounting the entire array 10' higher than it currently is and creating covered parking as a secondary benefit. Why NOT dual-purpose the space? I just wouldn't worry so much about it in the immediate future where there are likely a lot of more important concerns in a disaster area.

  • Mr.Musk is a hero and is saving lives. Thank God we have a few real leaders in this nation. Meanwhile we have Trump and a broken government without enough brains or good intentions of getting anything done. Imagine if this was Miami with twice the population of Puerto Rico and the people had no water for three weeks. Incidents like New Orleans and Puerto Rico stand out as a strong proof that the US can not protect its people.

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