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  1. #66
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    Still makes no sense even though they cost .50 you can get a CFL for 3$ but last 4 times as long and uses less power, no brainer to me.
    ...and there are now halogen incandescent bulbs on the market which meet the new standards.

  2. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    The sun and the wind are selfish - they don't care when we actually need the energy.

    It won't ever matter how cheap solar/wind will ever become, because the technology is not suitable for use on the grid.

    Wind energy production is highest on cool spring and fall nights, when demand is at it's lowest. Consequently, either much of the capacity gets wasted or some base load reactors have to be shut down when demand is too low. Since reactors can't be restarted quickly, doing that means burning more coal/gas during the day - exactly the opposite of what green energy programs are supposed to accomplish!!

    Solar is even worse because a quick change in weather can reduce output over a large region to practically nothing in a matter of minutes.

    Granted, the oil/gas/coal companies shouldn't have received special treatment (aka tax cuts, grants to develop - not subsidies); but at least coal and gas fired plants can actually produce electricity when they're called upon.

    Grid operators and planning agencies know that, so they recommend wind/solar; "green energy" legislation on the other hand, (crafted by lawyers, not engineers) overrides the good judgement of experienced people who know what they're doing and forces utilities to buy the power produced by "on the grid but useless" wind/solar installations.

    We can't "unplug" even 10% of the power plants online and "plug into" wind/solar. End of story.
    One, what you are talking about is energy storage solutions. You might want to google flywheel storage, or hydro energy storage. This tech is coming along as well.

    Two, I have no problem with using all existing technology. I'm looking at green tech as a good thing because I love free markets, and green tech is increasing competition for energy companies. Increased competition is good for consumers because it lowers prices. This being said, the way I see wind and solar working is that it produces when it can and we switch over as needed to stored energy, whether that energy is fossil,nuclear, or hell fussion, I really don't care. As the cost of PV drops what you will see is that everyone will invest in it. You won't need subsidies because the idea of being able to cheaply generate your own power is quite powerful.

    I don't want to unplug any powerplant, I just want to increase competition, and if I can afford it I want to generate my own power.

    I gotta ask, do you own shares in some FF companies or do you speculate in the cost of coal and oil? You seem quite keen to do away with any tech that decreases the value of coal. It is actually quite disturbing.

  3. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfshadow View Post
    One, what you are talking about is energy storage solutions. You might want to google flywheel storage, or hydro energy storage. This tech is coming along as well.

    Two, I have no problem with using all existing technology. I'm looking at green tech as a good thing because I love free markets, and green tech is increasing competition for energy companies. Increased competition is good for consumers because it lowers prices. This being said, the way I see wind and solar working is that it produces when it can and we switch over as needed to stored energy, whether that energy is fossil,nuclear, or hell fussion, I really don't care. As the cost of PV drops what you will see is that everyone will invest in it. You won't need subsidies because the idea of being able to cheaply generate your own power is quite powerful.

    I don't want to unplug any powerplant, I just want to increase competition, and if I can afford it I want to generate my own power.

    I gotta ask, do you own shares in some FF companies or do you speculate in the cost of coal and oil? You seem quite keen to do away with any tech that decreases the value of coal. It is actually quite disturbing.
    I was wondering that myself.....

  4. #69
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    Rigth now wind primarily displaces naturalngas fired power plants. This is currently the primary method of managing swings in demand. You can also run most coal generation slightly below peak capacity as well... but it takes 2 or 3 days to shut it down and restart. I think many...like the one at my work... are fluidized bed boilers so you have to cool the bed, somtimesn even remove it, relight the bed and bring it slowly back up to temperature. Nuclear and hydro gets base loaded. You don,t just shut a nuke plant off and fire it back up. They go down for maint annually and thats it. All critical systems have double redundancy so one of 3 pumps, valves, etc can be repaired on the fly.

    The are some pump storage plants in operatrion. They are usually located near large nuclear plants. Missouri had one for example, but a dam failure flooded a valley and killed most of a family. Soem hydro like the on in our town cant run at full production due to limited river flows. So it can be used partly for peak operation and some water gets stored upstream, you could store more, but you need a minimum water flow for navigation ans ecological reasons.

    I think using wind to conserve natural gas isnt a bad thing. There is also some movment at small scale hydroelectic too. One startup in our town is scaling up prototypes to bring one to market.



    Sent from my SGPT12 using Tapatalk 2

  5. #70
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    I'd also add, that I don't think we should ever eliminate coal from the mix. It's a strategic resource, cheap and readily available. It will help keep our energy costs competitive wit hte rest ofthe world. We should implement the latest technologies to minimize pollution. No energy source is completely pollution free from fabrication, installation, operation and eventualy repalcement/disposal.

    Consider if I rode a bicycle to work and consumed mexican food for fuel, I'd generate a very large quantity of GHG's. IF i generate enough methane, I could even exceed the GHG impact of a car covering the same distance. The human "engine" is not very efficient either. But there's also plenty of reserve "fuel" stored on most americans. Heck, those >100lbs overweight are up to 8.6%. That's 4 kw-hrs per lb. SO if we tapped into just 50% of that stored energy... That's 60 Million megawatt-hours... which if I did my math right is hte equivalent of three (3) 2500 megawatt power plants running for 1 year.

    Now there's a productive energy policy that would also cut $billions in healthcare costs. Each of thsoe overweight individuals will liekly need medications to treat diabeties and heart disease almost guarnteed. You'd also gain on average more productivity out of that person.

  6. #71
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    Coal looks like it's going away. Fracking (the hammer) has made it uncompetitive. Renewables will be the nails at first, and eventually the coffin.


    "Reinventing Fire makes sense, and makes money..." Amory Lovins - great talk which discusses current energy system and how things are evolving. Economists like me like this one - If you look you will see these things have already started to happen:




    the more "emotional appeal" version:



    THE MILITARY IS A BIG DRIVER OF THIS CHANGE. One of the things very interesting is "proper costing". The military is now looking at the cost of fuel including "blood and treasure" which makes all kinds of technologies cheaper. For example, if solar panels mean 1/3 fewer fuel convoys, and 100,000 gallons of fuel costs $5m and 3 lives to deliver, how much money and lives do solar panels save? If they only cost the fuel at $5 a gallon, alternatives don't look so appealing.

    Makes one wonder how well we do "proper costing" all kinds of things, eh?


    RMI Teaser:
    http://www.rmi.org/ReinventFireChangeEnergyUseForever
    Last edited by tedkidd; 10-02-2012 at 11:19 AM.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  7. #72
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    If coal (without some rediculous carbon tax) is no longer economical, then by all means, lets use other energy sources. But we shouldn;t turn away from a domestically soruced natural resource. IF we can increase electrical production to pwoer plug-in hybrids and use less oil altogether, and conserve out existing petroleum resources, that's a good strategic energy policy. Petroleum is too critical as a raw material for chemicals to burn it all up as an energy source. Coal however is only useful for energy.


    I like your point on accurate costing of energy sources. You need to consider lifecycle costs, capital investment, political impacts. For example, solar power is great, but where do the raw materials comes from including batteries to store the energy? What is the cost of utilizing that technology further.

    Look at building materials. How many million tons of asphault shingles go to landfills? How about wood windows? Is a incremental energy savings worth creating thousands of pouds of waste sicne wood windows can be restored indefinitely, while repalcement will get tossed every 20-50 years. How about any appliance that's made cheaper so it only lasts 5 years instead of 15? What about electronics that aren't upgradeable? Post consumer waste is incredible. It has a cost beyond tipping fees at the local waste collection point.

    Maybe we place a disposal fee onto some of these products and encourage the use of materials that can be recycled easily. Can we reclaim some of this energy? Why not burn most construction waste and get the enrgy bakc out of it? We have good scrubbers and particulate collection system now. You could easily grind most of this up, seperate the metal out and mix this material in with coal or make pellets.

  8. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    If coal (without some rediculous carbon tax) is no longer economical, then by all means, lets use other energy sources. But we shouldn;t turn away from a domestically soruced natural resource. IF we can increase electrical production to pwoer plug-in hybrids and use less oil altogether, and conserve out existing petroleum resources, that's a good strategic energy policy. Petroleum is too critical as a raw material for chemicals to burn it all up as an energy source. Coal however is only useful for energy.


    I like your point on accurate costing of energy sources. You need to consider lifecycle costs, capital investment, political impacts. For example, solar power is great, but where do the raw materials comes from including batteries to store the energy? What is the cost of utilizing that technology further.

    Look at building materials. How many million tons of asphault shingles go to landfills? How about wood windows? Is a incremental energy savings worth creating thousands of pouds of waste sicne wood windows can be restored indefinitely, while repalcement will get tossed every 20-50 years. How about any appliance that's made cheaper so it only lasts 5 years instead of 15? What about electronics that aren't upgradeable? Post consumer waste is incredible. It has a cost beyond tipping fees at the local waste collection point.

    Maybe we place a disposal fee onto some of these products and encourage the use of materials that can be recycled easily. Can we reclaim some of this energy? Why not burn most construction waste and get the enrgy bakc out of it? We have good scrubbers and particulate collection system now. You could easily grind most of this up, seperate the metal out and mix this material in with coal or make pellets.
    Trash-into-cash power plants are becoming a viable option. The operation is expensive, because of the emissions issues, and they need a large enough trash stream to be economical, but the fuel is free - so at some point, it does offset. They, being mostly plasma arc based, are also ideal for base load, as shutdown and startup are costly.

  9. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    If coal (without some rediculous carbon tax) is no longer economical, then by all means, lets use other energy sources. But we shouldn;t turn away from a domestically soruced natural resource. IF we can increase electrical production to pwoer plug-in hybrids and use less oil altogether, and conserve out existing petroleum resources, that's a good strategic energy policy. Petroleum is too critical as a raw material for chemicals to burn it all up as an energy source. Coal however is only useful for energy.


    I like your point on accurate costing of energy sources. You need to consider lifecycle costs, capital investment, political impacts. For example, solar power is great, but where do the raw materials comes from including batteries to store the energy? What is the cost of utilizing that technology further.

    Look at building materials. How many million tons of asphault shingles go to landfills? How about wood windows? Is a incremental energy savings worth creating thousands of pouds of waste sicne wood windows can be restored indefinitely, while repalcement will get tossed every 20-50 years. How about any appliance that's made cheaper so it only lasts 5 years instead of 15? What about electronics that aren't upgradeable? Post consumer waste is incredible. It has a cost beyond tipping fees at the local waste collection point.

    Maybe we place a disposal fee onto some of these products and encourage the use of materials that can be recycled easily. Can we reclaim some of this energy? Why not burn most construction waste and get the enrgy bakc out of it? We have good scrubbers and particulate collection system now. You could easily grind most of this up, seperate the metal out and mix this material in with coal or make pellets.

    Trash-into-cash power plants are becoming a viable option. The operation is expensive, because of the emissions issues, and they need a large enough trash stream to be economical, but the fuel is free - so at some point, it does offset. They, being mostly plasma arc based, are also ideal for base load, as shutdown and startup are costly.

    That said, even plasma gassification still greatly benefits from properly sorting the trash stream, so this is still the primary point to focus on at the municipal level. If municipal waste management companies could develop a great efficient way to separate key trash stream types, and offer those individual types up to the private enterprises handling them, the whole process would be easier. The consumer, of course, SHOULD be the primary sorting location, which is where the education programs have come in. most urban and suburban municipalities are at least sorting to three types, 'trash', 'recyclable', and 'green waste' - this is great, but the trash stream usually contains a LOT of recyclables, and the 'recyclable stream' still need to be sorted finely. This sorting DOES sound like a good job for the massive number of unskilled unemployed - but it is still more efficient to do the sorting it at home...

  10. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraziFuzzy View Post
    Trash-into-cash power plants are becoming a viable option. The operation is expensive, because of the emissions issues, and they need a large enough trash stream to be economical, but the fuel is free - so at some point, it does offset. They, being mostly plasma arc based, are also ideal for base load, as shutdown and startup are costly.
    Even better, someone pays you to take the trash.

    I was thinking to just seperating biomass materials from construction debris and grinding it up and blending it with coal. You might even just pelletize it and then sell it to coal plants to burn as biomass. I know we burn some corn cobs now I think on our coal boiler. I think they can also blend in I think coke and some ash from old boilers that still has a large amount of unburnt coal in it.

  11. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    Even better, someone pays you to take the trash.

    I was thinking to just seperating biomass materials from construction debris and grinding it up and blending it with coal. You might even just pelletize it and then sell it to coal plants to burn as biomass. I know we burn some corn cobs now I think on our coal boiler. I think they can also blend in I think coke and some ash from old boilers that still has a large amount of unburnt coal in it.
    True, but there are emissions problems with burning a mixed product like that. For starters, the constituents of the exhaust varies so much, and produces pollutants that the conventional coal plant's CEMS is not measuring. Plasma gassification produces a relatively steady syngas (mostly CO and H2) that burns very cleanly and regularly, and anything that doesn't deconstruct down to the syngas, comes out as a low energy solid slag waste, that is a mere fraction of the size of the original input.

  12. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraziFuzzy View Post
    Trash-into-cash power plants are becoming a viable option. The operation is expensive, because of the emissions issues, and they need a large enough trash stream to be economical, but the fuel is free - so at some point, it does offset. They, being mostly plasma arc based, are also ideal for base load, as shutdown and startup are costly.

    That said, even plasma gassification still greatly benefits from properly sorting the trash stream, so this is still the primary point to focus on at the municipal level. If municipal waste management companies could develop a great efficient way to separate key trash stream types, and offer those individual types up to the private enterprises handling them, the whole process would be easier. The consumer, of course, SHOULD be the primary sorting location, which is where the education programs have come in. most urban and suburban municipalities are at least sorting to three types, 'trash', 'recyclable', and 'green waste' - this is great, but the trash stream usually contains a LOT of recyclables, and the 'recyclable stream' still need to be sorted finely. This sorting DOES sound like a good job for the massive number of unskilled unemployed - but it is still more efficient to do the sorting it at home...
    So many technologies just now coming to fruit. In twenty years the world will be a vastly different place.

  13. #78
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    Coal looks like it's going away. Fracking (the hammer) has made it uncompetitive. Renewables will be the nails at first, and eventually the coffin.
    We should all be very skeptical of shale gas.

    Not only are there serious environmental problems with it, but the amount of energy and water needed to recover the gas (net energy) must be taken into account.

    It's my understanding that individual wells have a very high decline rate and production tends to fall below projections.

    I also doubt the shale gas industry is sustainable at $2-3 per million BTUs. Producers must be losing money at current prices.

    The price of gas is probably low because too much is being extracted relative to demand. Recent history has shown that cost of nat gas is very volatile, so it could easily shoot back up to $7+ per million btus.

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