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THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 13:32:42

pstarr wrote:
GHung wrote:Meanwhile, I consider threads like this as pure bargaining, almost like flapping your arms harder as you approach terminal velocity, passing the 44th floor. People simply can't conceive of how far we have to fall.

Mostly how I feel about this and all the doomer web sites. We had our chance and we f#cked it. People sure can blather. :twisted:

Ghung, I am like you in may ways (EV rototiller though is like whoa!) Spent much of my adult life as an early adapter hoping others would follow. They didn't. I had my faith in humanity and rationality. I don't. Sacrificed (no big loss. don't cry for me) the big car, vacations, suburban living . . . to do my part. I was a green techie. Thought that the world would follow. No such luck. And now it is too late.


The green stuff was part of the problem though. It pointed us in the direction of solar power which is an almost useless source of energy.

Besides which there may well be 1000's of angry Mexican at the door but I would still rather keep fighting than just lay down and let them kill me.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 13:48:45

Tikib wrote:The green stuff was part of the problem though. It pointed us in the direction of solar power which is an almost useless source of energy.

Solar power is not useless, but because it is dispersed and intermittent it can not work the suburban on-demand/just-in-time system that fast, free-flowing, tankable petroleum has allowed. We could have adapted our auto-centric suburban sprawl to an less dense immediate energy source. We didn't.

There are appropriate technologies to collect, hold, and distribute solar energy. For instance fuel cell/H2 electrolysis, pumped hydro, ammonia, others

Tikib wrote:Besides which there may well be 1000's of angry Mexican at the door but I would still rather keep fighting than just lay down and let them kill me.

Dude, ask Graeme about his solar-powered rifle.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 13:52:42

Read Preato and Hall, Solar power cannot maintain a civliziation complicated enough to make solar panels.
Its horrifically useless as a technology and its that dead end which is curently dooming us.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Pops » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 14:21:53

I'm no expert on nukes so I can't really comment on those but improvements in some of the other alts have been a pleasant surprise. I was skeptical of their returns being enough to be self sustaining but I'm less so now. And really, how much surplus do we really need? I can easily survive without my 36 miles of travel each and every day of my life, and though I look better when I use a curling iron on my goatee I can do without it as well. A couple of 5w LEDs and a charger for my laptop are pretty handy tho. I think in our never ending quest for more we forget how nice just a little can be.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 14:22:47

Tikib wrote:Read Preato and Hall, Solar power cannot maintain a civliziation complicated enough to make solar panels.
Its horrifically useless as a technology and its that dead end which is curently dooming us.
There aren't enough solar energy installation to doom much of anything. Even the desert tortoise enjoys a little shade sometimes.

As for the Pedro Prieto and Charles A.S. Hall study. It is one of many on both sides of the eroei debate. Some say solar can be self-reproducing and sustainable. Others not. It depends on what level of primary energy production (from solar) we would be willing to divert to the ongoing production of more solar. I doubt that Prieto and Hall have really debated that issue to its logical completion. In the meantime, it seems kind of worthwhile to make the investment at least from a personal perspective what with subsidies and green bragging rights.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 14:30:46

Tikib wrote:I have been researching this topic pretty obssessively over the past three months and I am pretty sure I have found the only three energy technologies that could replace fossil fuels.

1. Pacer Fusion

The net output energy of a fission-fusion bomb is huge. And scientists think that the the energy conversion process from heat to electricity can be optimized to 33% efficiency. All with exsiting technology.

Possible EROEI : 50+

Possible time to scale up if we started investing now :10 years

Amount of fuel left : 10,000 years +

For more information visit yottawatts.net


2. Liquid Fission Reactor

The total fissionable energy contained in uranium/thorium is huge but we currently only use a fraction of it. Liquid fission reactors like the LFTR complete the fission process. However the technology to create these reactors is still being perfected.

Possible EROEI : 50+

Amount of Fuel Left: 200 years +

Possible time to scale up if we started investing now :15 years

for more information visit http://energyfromthorium.com/


3. Wind Energy with Hydro/Tidal storage

Scandanavia has already started putting into place one of the only three energy technlogies that could replace fossil fuels. Wind Energy has an EROEI of over 20 however it is intermittant. Combined with cheap storage from a hydroelectric or tidal dam, wind energy could eventually replace fossil fuels.

Possible EROEI : 20

Possible time to scale up if we started investing now : 20 years



Other forms of energy I investigated either could not be scaled up or would be too expensive to scale up.


Don't sweat it, around here no matter how sensible the proposed solution the Doomer team will pile on to try and shut you up. Over the last decade I have seen it happen ad nauseum as they seek to self fulfill their own Doomer prophecies.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 14:48:04

GHung wrote:
Meanwhile, I consider threads like this as pure bargaining, almost like flapping your arms harder as you approach terminal velocity, passing the 44th floor. People simply can't conceive of how far we have to fall.


Our society isn't going to figure this out until oil becomes less available. Thanks to the large amount of investment in oil production due to high prices (until last year) the point where world oil production starts to fall has been postponed. Those of us in Canada and the USA are fortunate in that a large part of our oil consumption is frivolous -- therefore we can still have enough oil for all the important things even with a significant reduction in availability. The other benefit we have is that we have a significant amount of oil production right here. Having the oil that will be required to transition away from being a fossil fuel based society is a big advantage over other parts of the world such as Asia and Europe that are largely dependent on imported oil.

Oil companies have scaled back their investment in oil production in part because oil prices have declined, but also because some of the non-conventional sources of oil (ie. Alberta tar sands) were more expensive to develop than they had expected. Simply maintaining current oil production would require ever increasing investments in oil production and that is not likely to happen. It won't happen tomorrow, but I believe we are reaching the point where world oil production will go into decline.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 14:50:01

Sub, there is little reasonable re fusion and pumped hydro/tidal dams.

As for thorium MSR is it really more reasonable than solar? Beats me.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 14:53:14

Yellow, your assumption that our oil consumption is frivolous is questionable. I don't see how driving to work or shopping isn't important. One could say America is more, not less dependent on very very inexpensive oil.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby GHung » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 14:59:24

@Tikib - Sorry, but your species was 100% solar powered for 99% of its history, which is where we're headed again because of the arrogant, greedy, "barely-evolved pond scum" we've become. Even your oil is fossilized sunlight. Anyway, my household has gotten a majority of it's heat for most of the last twenty years simply by placing some windows in the right place relative to sunlight (the rest essentially from picking up dead sticks); haven't spent a cent to heat our home while keeping quite comfortable as most of you spend your time earning funny money to afford fuel, electricity and complex systems requiring frequent repair/replacement to accomplish the same thing. I don't feel like the dumbass here. Our water is solar-pumped (100%) by a small pump and a 20 year old PV panel that have required virtually no inputs and very little maintenance since installation, and we never run out of water, get "boil water" advisories, or pay a bill. Pretty certain it's working at this point, and that this small system has paid back its embodied energy relative to other options most of you are slaves to. It sure as shit has paid itself off financially many times over.

I could go on, but am sure it's pointless.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 15:14:19

pstarr wrote:Sub, there is little reasonable re fusion and pumped hydro/tidal dams.

As for thorium MSR is it really more reasonable than solar? Beats me.


So in other words you havn't done on the maths on it and don't understand EROEI.
Danish wind will provide far cheaper energy then any solar power ever will.

And Fusion of the kind I have been suggesting has been producing net energy since the mid 50's. Tokamak style fusion is almost as useless as solar.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 15:15:43

GHung wrote:@Tikib - Sorry, but your species was 100% solar powered for 99% of its history, which is where we're headed again because of the arrogant, greedy, "barely-evolved pond scum" we've become. Even your oil is fossilized sunlight. Anyway, my household has gotten a majority of it's heat for most of the last twenty years simply by placing some windows in the right place relative to sunlight (the rest essentially from picking up dead sticks); haven't spent a cent to heat our home while keeping quite comfortable as most of you spend your time earning funny money to afford fuel, electricity and complex systems requiring frequent repair/replacement to accomplish the same thing. I don't feel like the dumbass here. Our water is solar-pumped (100%) by a small pump and a 20 year old PV panel that have required virtually no inputs and very little maintenance since installation, and we never run out of water, get "boil water" advisories, or pay a bill. Pretty certain it's working at this point, and that this small system has paid back its embodied energy relative to other options most of you are slaves to. It sure as shit has paid itself off financially many times over.
I could go on, but am sure it's pointless.


The population is far too large to rely on solar as a power source now.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby GHung » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 15:23:54

@ Sub who said: "Don't sweat it, around here no matter how sensible the proposed solution the Doomer team will pile on to try and shut you up. Over the last decade I have seen it happen ad nauseum as they seek to self fulfill their own Doomer prophecies."

And someone like you will come along and label anyone pointing out the horrible realities of our situation as "Doomers". I have children and grandkids, and certainly wish things were different, but am not going to sugar-coat the fact that their species has affectively screwed itself and their biosphere, likely to the point of relatively near-term extinction. I really don't care what the rest of you think. I, for one, understand that a species can't continue to cheat the carrying capacity of its environment forever, but that's exactly what most of you keep discussing; how to cheat the system which created you in the first place. The absurdity of that struck me many years ago. I've yet to see anything at all to indicate that my assessment isn't spot on.

We all play the cards we've been dealt, but some of us understand that there is no winning hand left in the deck, collectively. Sunweb re-posted this link yesterday which I think says it all:

No really, how sustainable are we?
http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Sustainability.html

Funny thing is, I figured this out when I was just a kid. Not sure what the rest of humanity was thinking. Following the herd off the cliff it seems.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 15:25:43

pstarr wrote:Yellow, your assumption that our oil consumption is frivolous is questionable. I don't see how driving to work or shopping isn't important. One could say America is more, not less dependent on very very inexpensive oil.


We've actually been down this road before, during WW II. Military consumption of oil products was so high that civilians were subject to gasoline rationing. Military demands also greatly reduced the supply of tires and new automobiles to civilians. I'm sure it was a tremendous inconvenience but people managed by car pooling, using public transportation and cutting back on vacation traveling. We'll have to do the same as oil becomes less available. A key difference is that during the war people knew that gasoline rationing was only temporary until after the war ended. For us, the transition to a world with less oil will be permanent and our standard of living will diminish.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby GHung » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 15:27:39

Tikib: "The population is far too large to rely on solar as a power source now."

Exactly. Far too large, period.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 15:48:03

pstarr wrote:Sub, there is little reasonable re fusion and pumped hydro/tidal dams.

As for thorium MSR is it really more reasonable than solar? Beats me.


Pete any kind of Fission power has an EROEI vastly greater than Solar. Trust me I have done the math over and over until my brain wore out and Fission always comes up very net energy positive.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Timo » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 15:55:30

Pops wrote:...I look better when I use a curling iron on my goatee I can do without it as well.

Pops, you are such a hipster.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 16:02:47

yellowcanoe wrote:Our society isn't going to figure this out until oil becomes less available. Thanks to the large amount of investment in oil production due to high prices (until last year) the point where world oil production starts to fall has been postponed. Those of us in Canada and the USA are fortunate in that a large part of our oil consumption is frivolous -- therefore we can still have enough oil for all the important things even with a significant reduction in availability. The other benefit we have is that we have a significant amount of oil production right here. Having the oil that will be required to transition away from being a fossil fuel based society is a big advantage over other parts of the world such as Asia and Europe that are largely dependent on imported oil.

Oil companies have scaled back their investment in oil production in part because oil prices have declined, but also because some of the non-conventional sources of oil (ie. Alberta tar sands) were more expensive to develop than they had expected. Simply maintaining current oil production would require ever increasing investments in oil production and that is not likely to happen. It won't happen tomorrow, but I believe we are reaching the point where world oil production will go into decline.


YC this is a point I tried really hard to make early in my time here on PO.com. Essential oil use is growing and processing food, transporting food from field/farm to end consumer, hauling away garbage, maintaining the infrastructure to permit the above and provide some heating in winter. When you have enough for all those things then you have Police/Fire/EMT needs next on the list. After that is fueled up you have Military/border control to keep outsiders from coming and taking away the food you managed to produce by force.

When the oil runs short TPTB will want to remain TPTB, to do that they have to feed their population, maintain order and perform certain other vital functions. Moving plastic toys from Los Angeles port to Chicago will be way down on the priority list. Shipping hamburgers and fries to McDonald's will rate far higher on the keep the masses content list than providing fuel for Dad to drive to the Golf course on Sunday or Mom to pick the kids up after school so they don't have to ride the school bus.

America has a HUGE amount of slack in the system. The world after peak will be very very different, but it won't be the end of civilization unless we start some sort of total war over the scraps that are left.

In other words, barring a Carrington Event or Total Nuclear War we will muddle on through into the long decline, after that things will slowly get worse and worse as infrastructure fails and is not replaced quickly or at all. The Western Roman Empire did not grind to a halt one day when Rome the city was sacked. The infrastructure had been decaying for 50 years before that and kept declining for another 200 years after that before western Europe hit rock bottom around 650 AD.
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 16:09:45

GHung wrote:@ Sub who said: "Don't sweat it, around here no matter how sensible the proposed solution the Doomer team will pile on to try and shut you up. Over the last decade I have seen it happen ad nauseum as they seek to self fulfill their own Doomer prophecies."

And someone like you will come along and label anyone pointing out the horrible realities of our situation as "Doomers". I have children and grandkids, and certainly wish things were different, but am not going to sugar-coat the fact that their species has affectively screwed itself and their biosphere, likely to the point of relatively near-term extinction. I really don't care what the rest of you think. I, for one, understand that a species can't continue to cheat the carrying capacity of its environment forever, but that's exactly what most of you keep discussing; how to cheat the system which created you in the first place. The absurdity of that struck me many years ago. I've yet to see anything at all to indicate that my assessment isn't spot on.

We all play the cards we've been dealt, but some of us understand that there is no winning hand left in the deck, collectively. Sunweb re-posted this link yesterday which I think says it all:

No really, how sustainable are we?
http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Sustainability.html

Funny thing is, I figured this out when I was just a kid. Not sure what the rest of humanity was thinking. Following the herd off the cliff it seems.


Gosh darn it, how dare I have hope! What a terrible burden it must be for you to know not everyone believes we can not do better in the future than we have done in the past!
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Re: 3 Energy Technlogies to Replace Fossil Fuels

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 16:25:11

GHung wrote:@ Sub who said: "Don't sweat it, around here no matter how sensible the proposed solution the Doomer team will pile on to try and shut you up. Over the last decade I have seen it happen ad nauseum as they seek to self fulfill their own Doomer prophecies."

And someone like you will come along and label anyone pointing out the horrible realities of our situation as "Doomers". I have children and grandkids, and certainly wish things were different, but am not going to sugar-coat the fact that their species has affectively screwed itself and their biosphere, likely to the point of relatively near-term extinction. I really don't care what the rest of you think. I, for one, understand that a species can't continue to cheat the carrying capacity of its environment forever, but that's exactly what most of you keep discussing; how to cheat the system which created you in the first place. The absurdity of that struck me many years ago. I've yet to see anything at all to indicate that my assessment isn't spot on.

We all play the cards we've been dealt, but some of us understand that there is no winning hand left in the deck, collectively. Sunweb re-posted this link yesterday which I think says it all:

No really, how sustainable are we?
http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Sustainability.html

Funny thing is, I figured this out when I was just a kid. Not sure what the rest of humanity was thinking. Following the herd off the cliff it seems.


'Carrying capacity' Is a function of the amount of sustainable energy availible. if we can increase that amount of energy with long term nuclear power than the effective carrying capacity increases.
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