Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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smiley wrote:I think there should be a tenth critical question
10) Does the energy source deliver energy at the time that this is needed? If not does the energy source allow storage of the energy until useage, and if so what are the energy losses that are associated with this storage.
If you take solar as an example:
Solar energy is nice, but solar panels have a output which depends on the availability of sunlight. When the sky is overcast they produce less, when it is night they produce nothing, In winter they produce less than in summer due to the angle of the sun.
smiley wrote:There are two systems available.
lionkunz wrote:It so happens the human species is diurnal and spends most of it's active hours during daylight.
lionkunz wrote: No there isn't. There are dozens, scores. If you are going to be a nitpicker, then you should pick your own nits too.
Places in Sweden have town wind farms. What's the problem?
[/quote]smiley wrote:lionkunz wrote:It so happens the human species is diurnal and spends most of it's active hours during daylight.
That is so, but most of the electricity usage takes place at two distinct moments. That is in the morning and in the evening. The reason for that is that at these moments both the domestic as the commercial systems are online.
The sun however is not. In some places it is down, in other places it is skimming the horizon. In anyway, it is not delivering maximum capacity when we need it.
If you look at a "typical" USA power grid like:
you will see there is plenty of demand during the middle of the day, and much less in the wee hours of the night. If you look at this graph now, you are seeing a winter demand curve. The big peak at 6PM is all the outside lights coming online after the sun sets. In the summer the curve looks more like a sine wave where the peak (last summer) was 55 GigaWatts, happening about 2PM to 3PM, when the sun is 2 hours past peak. This summer curve dwarfs the 33 GW winter curve so much you do not even notice when the outdoor lighting comes online. So, I do not agree with the above statement. Solar PV certainly can provide power when it's needed.
I have a 3.5 KW PV solar system on my house and it produces peak grid injected power of 2800 watts between 11AM and 2 PM in the summer totaling as much as 20 KWH per day. In the winter (now) it varies from 5 KWH on an overcast day, to 15 KWH on a sunny day. I'm now producing as much electricity as I use throughout the year, except during the summer heat waves when the A/C runs often.
Willie in Sunny SoCal
Revi wrote:I agree completely, build a better battery and we can start to have a different grid. Every house a consumer and a producer. Batteries of different kinds or small distribution centers. We have put a lot of time and money into the existing grid, but that doesn't mean we can't improve it. We'd be a lot more secure if we all had some kind of solar on our houses, and used half of our current consumption. We could do this and live better than we do now. We may even have some extra for electric transportation like this:
GoIllini wrote: In reality, though, we'll probably have a nuclear baseload in the first place. Despite Monte's claims that we'll run out of U-235 in 20 years, there are plenty of ways to find new sources of fissile materials or make them ourselves.
GoIllini wrote:Revi wrote:I agree completely, build a better battery and we can start to have a different grid. Every house a consumer and a producer. Batteries of different kinds or small distribution centers. We have put a lot of time and money into the existing grid, but that doesn't mean we can't improve it. We'd be a lot more secure if we all had some kind of solar on our houses, and used half of our current consumption. We could do this and live better than we do now. We may even have some extra for electric transportation like this:
The problem is that it's a whole lot cheaper to build 1000 solar panels at one site than to build one solar panel at 1000 sites. Perhaps if you're of the survivalist paradigm that seems common on these forums it might make sense, but it'd be a whole lot easier to just buy 1/100000th of the equity in a firm that's going to supply 100,000 people with all the energy they need from solar as a hedge against high energy prices.
Hawkcreek wrote:Now is the time to secure some kind of battery. Batteries in my opinion include woodlots, solar hot water systems, PV with traditional batteries,
solar vehicles and walkable communities. Now while we have some resources is the time to get these things.
One good battery is insulated fluid storage heated by concentrated solar. Various fluid mediums are available which can be heated up to 4-500 degrees. I intend to try this some day for a solar heated oven - tubes circulating the heated medium inside an insulated oven.
Old Mother Earth idea, that allows you to use the sun after dark.
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