What happens when a solar panel can make another solar panel?

What happens when a solar panel can make another solar panel?

I've had this discussion with people before, and want to know what the forums think.

The initial discussion was whether or not a solar panel can produce more energy than it took to create it. I think the way i approached that was a solar panels maximum potential output of energy. Which if you powered the complete production of a solar panels purely by energy from solar panels, then a solar panels annual output is the production of everything at the factory. Instead of a solar panel that generates direct energy, it would produce all the energy by all of the solar panels produced at the factory that its powering. To me, that seems like positive energy flow does it not?

jimglas | 22 aprile 2020

which came first, the chicken or the egg?
(a trick question, it was the rooster)

rob | 22 aprile 2020

lol. he had no self control

FISHEV | 22 aprile 2020

"9 Tips to Increase the Positive Energy Flow in your Space"

rxlawdude | 22 aprile 2020

Little panels?

SCCRENDO | 22 aprile 2020

Our “scientist” who prefers his own opinions to people just copying and pasting good scientific papers has just come up with a perpetual energy machine. Why don’t you educate yourself about energy and the laws of thermodynamics before you spam these threads with your sub intellectual bullshit.

andy.connor.e | 22 aprile 2020

hey thanks for the suggestion

blue adept | 22 aprile 2020

Alright, just how much weed did you smoke before you came up with this (and can I get some)?

Orthopod | 22 aprile 2020

Andy? 420? Joe Rogan show?

blkice | 22 aprile 2020

You’re thinking in the macro world the future is nanotechnology, when they reproduce we are doomed because of solar energy out of control
I am not stoned

FISHEV | 22 aprile 2020

blue adept | April 22, 2020 "Alright, just how much weed did you smoke before you came up with this (and can I get some?"

Better stick to the gummy bears, smoking is always bad for the lungs and Covid-19 does most of its damage in the lungs. You'll still get that positive energy.

Xerogas | 22 aprile 2020

It’s solar panels all the way down.

andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020

you guys cant have any

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

Aw man... :-(

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

To explain, interconnectivity aside, a shared manufacturing process or even material composition does not impart or lend to a shared consistency among similarly constructed items, which is what would be required for the "panels" to aggregate their energy.

Now will you pass the bong?

andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020

Make 1000 solar panels to power the factory. now the factory is powered by the solar panels that you built, which is producing more solar panels. If we want to get off fossil fuels, wouldnt that approach work?

its mine

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

Powering factories, industry and businesses, etc., with relatively endlessly renewable, sustainable forms of energy production would, indeed, enable us to "get off fossil fuels", but that wouldn't enable the factories, industries and bussinesses, etc., to endlessly replicate themselves.

I know it's yours, I'm only asking if you'll share...? I'll give it back after I've aken a hit.

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

'aken' = taken

andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020

ya definitely not endlessly.

ok, maybe ill share

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

Well, again 'relatively' speaking, the Sun is an 'endless' source of energy which could, as a result, provide an endless, conflict free, emissionless, renewable source of energy in any relative time scale to us.

Whether or not 1,000 solar panels are enough to power the entire operation of an industry/factory is dependent on just how much energy the panel assembly produces - x - how much energy the factory's production equipment requires to manufacture its products...It could be more, it could be less, all depending on how the produced energy is distributed amongst the various pieces of equipment.


andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020

i was already considering a solar panel has a finite lifespan, and disregarding the sun as an endless source, because it only really matters if we are harnessing energy from it.

If a solar panel lasts 20 years, and you could build enough solar panels to power the factory in 6 months, about 3% of your production would be dedicated to replacing old panels. Energy wise, could a solar panel pay for itself energy wise by producing another solar panel that will generate power?

puff-puff - have some more

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

If you mean by the panel providing the factory with the energy IT needs to produce another panel then, yes and...yes, as the produced panel would then become an integral/constituent component of the panel array whose thusly combined energy would contribute to/power the production of other panels.

Thanks! Hold it...hold it...hold it...exhale

andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020

thats kind of the way i was thinking about it. this is some good shit

TabascoGuy | 23 aprile 2020

Dave's not here man.

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

Yeah! The problem was in the wording of your question as it was actually 3 questions in 1, that is, a conpound question that, all things considered, was really only asking the same question repeatedly.

First you were asking whether or not a PV panel was capable of producing more energy than what it took to make it (potentially, yes); Then you were hypothesized whether or not the produced panel could produce enough energy equal to all of the energy it took to make it (again, potentially, yes); And lastly, you posited whether or not such a panel would be capable of producing enough energy that would be equivalent to the energy produced in an entire year by the combined factory's PV array (potentially).

So then the underlying question becomes whether or not it is possible to produce a PV panel capable of producing the energy equivalent of an entire array of panels...Yes, potentially.

You see, you can get a slightly better energy output (watts per meter squared) from a larger panel because you have more solar cells in the panel's composition/more energy producing surface area and less aluminium framing, but this begs the question of whether or not a single, factory-sized PV panel would be enough to power the entire factory by itself?

Yes, potentially, but then the questions of efficiency and especially practicality, comes into play.

One would have to do the math to reverse engineer the panel's size requirement to determine just how many square meters of panel would be required to meet the entire factory's daily energy demands to know just how large of a panel would be required.

Then there's fitment issues, structural issues, achoring issues, potential size limitations due to zoning requirements and (of particular interest) the knowledge that, if the panel fails, are there enough funds on hand to replace the entire structure?

That's why people in the industry determined that it is best to go with smaller, easily handled, high output panels configured into an array as opposed to one large panel.

Earl and Nagin ... | 23 aprile 2020
Xerogas | 23 aprile 2020

@Earl and Nagin ...: "Tesla addressed this issue back in 2006: "

andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020



Nice! and that was 14 years ago.

Earl and Nagin ... | 23 aprile 2020

Clearly this proves that you had a good idea. Ignore those who battled you for your question.

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020


Much the same as is the case with EV's in that they, over their lifetime, offset the cost of their production by not only not contributing to CO2 and NO2 emissions, but also in the costs saved that are typical with ICE vehicle upkeep, routine maintenance and regular fueling.

Everybody wins, well, except for the fossil fuel flunkies.

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

Damn, @andy.connor.e, we got a helluva bong party going on now...

Hope we've got enough to go around.

andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020


Thanks! I was hoping for some good responses, because the whole argument about whether a solar panel or wind turbine will pay itself off has manifested on the topic of renewable energies for a while.

My high level thoughts are that shifting the production process should be considered. Otherwise as businesses grow and new businesses establish, we will have an increased demand for everything that currently has a 100% fossil fuel utilization.

we'll have plenty, its an essential business

Earl and Nagin ... | 23 aprile 2020

As a natural and, unfortunately often fulfilled skeptic and pessimist about many new, hyped technologies, I've been delighted to have seen that BEVs, PV, and wind power have continued to look better, the more I've dug into them. Most times, as you look closer, you find nothing behind the facade.

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020

@andy.connor.e & @Earl

The underlying problem is a power infrastructure built upon the fossil fuel paradigm and a general unwillingness to shift to renewables/alternatives because of retrofitment costs, not to mention an embedded governmental inclination because of how intertwined fossil fuels have become with our nation's economy.

That is what I see as being the main hurdle that needs to be overcome to further the adoption of alternative forms of energy production.

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020


'Essential' stoners for stress relief...

The only problem I see with that is the increased demand for foodstuffs due to increased incidence of the "muchies" at a time when the entire producer-to-table supply chain is breaking down as more and more people/employees are chosing to stay home and collect $600 + their base pay rate in unemployment instead of risking contracting the virus and endangering their families/friends by putting in the time at work to get the food to the consumers who count on them for just that.

Imagine, stoners RAGING for munchies...

Earl and Nagin ... | 23 aprile 2020

The GM impact was developed in 1991. The Bolt and Model 3 (first no-compromises EVs) did not come out until 2017, over 1/4 century later, after fighting big oil and big auto. Today, they are just starting to attack the legacy market and it will undoubtedly take at least another decade before they become dominant on the roads by replacing ICE vehicles that last ~15 years. That will be over 36 years from genesis to domination. Paul MacCready, lead promoter and designer of the Impact did not even live long enough to see what he created. Sadly, I saw him at a screening for Who Killed the Electric Car, shortly before he died.
The first large scale wind turbines and heavy deployment of solar energy came out during the Carter presidency but actually viable wind turbines (Vestas) and first viable PV (arguably Sunpower) didn't come out in ~2001. Today, Wind and Solar comprise a significant portion of the new power generation infrastructure replacing fossil fuel generators that were built to last 50+ years. Folks who've invested US$billions on generators aren't going to just throw them away because something with free fuel comes around. They won't, however, be replacing them with the same thing though.
Questions like asked by @andy.connor.e and answers as provided by Tesla will serve to counter the FUD that haters resisting change may throw out.
Sure, its going to take some time - but it will happen, especially if influential people push for them.

andy.connor.e | 23 aprile 2020

If the goal is possible then each step taken is just another % closer.

Earl and Nagin ... | 23 aprile 2020

@andy, +1
Even better: I keep being amazed when I run into repercussions from over 2 decades of being an EVangelist. My experience is that often one step leads to many steps by others who's steps lead to even more.

blue adept | 23 aprile 2020


>>> "Folks who've invested US$billions on generators aren't going to just throw them away because something with free fuel comes around. They won't, however, be replacing them with the same thing though."

Hydroelectric installations are not the problem, though I don't think that those are the sort of "generators" you're referring to, just saying...

That's like what I've said before about it's going to take a complete paradigm shift in the form of the emergence of an alternative that renders conventional methods so thoroughly obsolete that no one would be able to look back, only forward.

An alternative so obviously superior that its immediate adoption would be unquestionable to the point of spurring the immediate transitioning in of the new and ushering out of the old methods of power generation/production by rendering traditional methods too impractical to continue use.

That's what I think we'll need to see in order to actually accomplish the goal of switching to clean, conflict and emissions free energy sources to power our world without killing us in the process because we shouldn't have to sacrifice our health for convenience.

FISHEV | 24 aprile 2020

blue adept | April 23, 2020 That's like what I've said before about it's going to take a complete paradigm shift in the form of the emergence of an alternative that renders conventional methods so thoroughly obsolete that no one would be able to look back, only forward."

Nope it takes intelligent government policy to push conversion to sustainable energy, wind and solar with battery backup.

GOPs approach is blood and oil.

Democrats approach is New Green Deal.

Pick your future.

andy.connor.e | 24 aprile 2020

Im pumped for Tesla possibly doing a house HVAC system.

blue adept | 24 aprile 2020

An HVAC system with "Bioweapon Defense Mode"!!!

IDK, something like that would likely come in the form of an attachment/accessory, something like electrostatic filtration systems that can be fitted to an existing system as a module, though there's be no real way to guarantee efficacy due to potential shortfalls of the primary system's operation or installation, not to mention the construction of the house itself which, if not properly done with all efforts to ensure a complete home envelope for insulation purposes taken, could pose the risk of "drafts" and the introduction of exterior atmospheric elements which could challenge the units efficiency.

andy.connor.e | 24 aprile 2020

i dont *need* the filtration part. But if anyone would re-invent the home heating/cooling system and optimize its performance, it would be Tesla wouldnt it.. Model Y heat pump here we come

blue adept | 24 aprile 2020

@andy.connor.e & @Earl

Back to the main conversation...

That's my point, They. Are. Not. Going. To. Stop.

Case in point, even now when there is dramatically reduced demand/need for petrol and literally no one is buying, all they're doing is continuing with production and refinement even to the point of creating so much supply that it's being left sitting in fleets of tankers off the shores of ALL of the countries because no one is interested in offloading any of it because they don't want to be on the hook for what they've no need for whereas America, on the otherhand, decides to top off the National Reserves, you know, just in case.

They. Are. Not. Going. To. Stop.

They don't care whether anyone wants it or not! They don't care how many have to die to acquire and defend their access to it! They don't care about the number of needless premature fatalities due to respiratory illnesses and diseases caused by atmospheric pollution! they don't care about the poisoning of the environment, of the land or waterways, that we all must eat and drink from in order to survive!

They. Don't. Care. About. Any. Of. Us.

And they won't stop, that is, unless they are MADE to by the introduction of a technology whose failure to adopt would be so extraordinarily earthshattering that they would be thrown from office were they to fail to implement it immediately.

That's what we need to break this cycle of conditioned dependency on fossil fuels before we're all fossilized by its coninued usage.

andy.connor.e | 24 aprile 2020

probably a good idea to top off the national reserves so when the country starts to open back up there isnt a shortage from the logistic network of extraction, transportation and refinement shutting down, and needing to restart.

a barrel of oil does nothing for me at my home. But solar does. You couldnt pay me to take delivery of a barrel of oil.

blue adept | 24 aprile 2020


"coninued" = continued

blue adept | 24 aprile 2020

I mean, sure, it's always a good idea to buy a commodity when it's at its cheapest, but all the same why not invest those monies into increasing our renewables footprint and lessening our carbon footprint?

susant1 | 26 aprile 2020
blue adept | 26 aprile 2020

And, yes, I realize that I might come across as a bit ranty about this issue that affects all of us at times, but I'm only trying to get across to everyone the fact that the only thing that they (Big OIl, the Gov't.) care about is the $$$, nothing more.

Anyway, what would Greta say?!



andy.connor.e | 26 aprile 2020

imagine a solar panel that makes a solar panel that charges a car.

have a hit

blue adept | 26 aprile 2020

That's not the way it'll (charging a car) be done, with a solar panel that is...just saying.